Category: Eat, Run, and Everything in Between Archive

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!
My Morning Routine + Why I Cherish it So Much

My Morning Routine + Why I Cherish it So Much

One topic I’ve been meaning to post about for a while has been my morning routine. I know this is something I’ve talked about it in the past, whether it be on the blog or on instagram, but I definitely want to reiterate WHY I cherish my morning routine as much as I do. Mornings for me are the most important part of my day. I find that starting my morning out on the most positive note possible truly sets the tone for how the rest of my day will look. My motivation, my productivity, my happiness, my dedication and so on, all depend on how the first hour or two of my day goes. This may not be true for everyone, but I’ve witnessed it first hand for myself.

 

A few things you want to AVOID in setting the tone for your perfect morning routine are…

 

1) Not getting enough sleep.

Sleep is SO important for me. I need at least 7 hours to be a functional human. I find that if I go one or two nights with a poor sleep, my lack of fitness motivation and self-control around food cravings are the first clear signs that I’ve been deprived of sleep. I instantly procrastinate my workout (which is clearly also a sign from my body telling me that sleep would be more beneficial than working out at the moment). I also find that I lose most of the self-control I have around shoving my face with highly sweet or salty foods. If that’s the case, I crave something sweet in the morning, which in turn spikes my blood sugar levels, which then leads me to crash before lunch-time, which then continues to put me in this spiral of craving sweet or super salty “junk” food for the rest of the day. THIS is why sleep is KEY. Sleep gives me you the energy to be the BEST version of yourself.

2) Starting the morning with negative thoughts.

I’ll be honest, waking up at 5:30am when it’s still pitch black out is not always fun, but waking up in the dark AND immediately having negative thoughts about the day is not going to make things any better. To be honest, what gets me out of bed in the morning is my delicious latte that I’ve been having on repeat. Especially on a chillier, fall or winter morning, waking up to warm, delicious (caffeinated) beverage can do just the trick! Give yourself something to be excited about when waking up! Shocker: for me it’s a yummy breakfast and morning beverage!

3) Rushing.

So long as you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep (ps this may mean you need to get into bed earlier! I usually turn off the lights around 9/9:15!), I’d recommend waking up early enough to allow yourself time and enjoy the moment. Again, rushed mornings, mean stressful mornings. And starting your day out stressed is certainly not going to help you take on the day. Is that netflix episode REALLY worth an extra hour of sleep?? (ps I definitely need to take my own advice on this one. Even if I’m still going to bed early, I know that watching TV before bed is a BIG no). Also, have you ever heard of the Circadian Rhythm?? It’s the 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings (i.e. HUMANS) that are affected by things like temperature, sunrise/sunset, etc.

So now for things you CAN incorporate into your morning routine to make it that much better…

 

*Also as a disclaimer, I’m certainly not saying you NEED to incorporate all of the below in your morning routine. That’s just not always realistic, even for those who do have plenty of time in the AM! My suggestion is to just try out a few different ones every now and then and eventually you may find 1 or 2 that stick.

 

1) Oil Pulling – LOVE this ayurvedic practice.

Just started it earlier this month and truly feel and see noticeable results. You want to do this FIRST thing in the morning (before even drinking most fluids). It’s suggested coconut oil is the best for this. Use about 1 TBSP and swish around for about 5-10 minutes (or more if you can!) This is a great practice to incorporate since you can easily multi-task, such as prepping your coffee or breakfast for the day!

2) Get yourself a good skincare (and oral) routine!

Super simple, but ditching the chemical/toxic skincare products can truly leave a long-lasting impact. Why? Because we should care JUST as much about the products we put ON our skin, as the products that we consume daily. Our skin absorbs whatever you’re applying on it and can be just as unhealthy, if not more so than eating something comparably toxic. Think about it…our skin is the LARGEST organ on our body. Treat it well and you will feel so much better! A few non-toxic skincare lines I’ve been loving recently include Cocokind Skincare and Frank & Whit. PS this also includes toothpaste! I recommend Toms or Dr. Bronners!

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3) Make yourself a delicious, warm morning beverage.

I love having a warm drink in the morning (usually something slightly caffeinated) that makes getting out of bed easier and a little more exciting, especially during the colder months! I usually choose to go with a latte & 2 espresso shots, bulletproof coffee, or a bulletproof matcha latte. Matcha or other various teas are awesome as well and a great option for those who have ditched coffee! Or if you’ve quit all caffeine – turmeric or superfood lattes and elixirs make for a great, yummy, and nourishing treat!

4) Gratitude Journaling.

This takes all of 3 minutes – I promise you and makes such an impact. Simply journal a few things a day you’re grateful for. Can be ANYTHING. Grateful for good health, grateful for your yoga practice, or even your new job! Next, write a few goals. I like to include very attainable and then DREAM goals. This is all about MANIFESTING and believing you have all the power to write your own destiny.

5) Practice 10 minutes of light yoga.

This is such a great way to get the spinal fluid moving with some nice, easy back bends and twists. Twists are great for detoxifying the body and help to loosen up the spine after sleeping horizontally all night. I also find it’s a great way to kickstart the metabolism and gain a little energy for the day.

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6) Eat a nourishing breakfast full of healthy fats, protein, leafy greens (if possible), fiber, and some hearty carbs!

7) Put on music that’s light and upbeat! I LOVE doing this in the morning. It totally helps to wake me up and puts me in a great mood!

Hopefully this has given you some new ideas to help take your morning routine from a 5 to a 10! It doesn’t have to be everything, just take baby steps to find what works best for YOU! Comment below and share what your morning routine looks like! I’d love to hear!

 

Baked Butternut Squash, Apple, & Date Skillet Oatmeal

Baked Butternut Squash, Apple, & Date Skillet Oatmeal

Happy November guys!!

November is one of my FAVORITE months for multiple reasons. First of all, early November in New England has got to be the prettiest for fall foliage. Secondly, it’s my birthday month (hehe). Lastly, it’s THANKSGIVING and who doesn’t love shoving your face until you quite literally, can’t fit anything else in your stomach? …EVEN if you TRIED. Yep, November is a pretty damn GREAT month to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than with a tasty, fall-inspired recipe just in time for the holidays?!

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Honestly, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve posted a recipe on the blog. I’m really excited about this one because butternut squash and dates are my absolute favorites. This recipe is REFINED-SUGAR free yet irresistibly and naturally so sweet! Your tastebuds will be dancing for joy after devouring this one. I promise! And if you’re thanksgiving dinners are anything like mine, this will be a nice, HEALTHY dessert amongst all the sugary pumpkin and pecan pies! Or if you have a sweet tooth like I do in the morning, this makes for a perfect breakfast snack when you’re on-the-go!

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I’m really excited about a new product that I included in this recipe. I’m constantly looking for healthier, low-glycemic, and refined sugar free sweeteners. I was introduced to D’Vash Organics,  a 100% organic, California-date nectar. It’s vegan, non-GMO, and believe it or not, has 25% less sugar than honey! Honey typically is about 16 grams of sugar per TBSP, while D’Vash is 12 grams of sugar per TBSP, making it a REALLY great low-glycemic alternative similar to maple syrup, coconut sugar, and honey. I also love the unique flavor it adds. I’ve always said dates are natures candy and this sweetener NAILED it.

Use code ‘EATRUN‘ for 20% off your D’Vash Organics orders!


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped butternut squash (I prefer to buy it already cut at Whole Foods to IMG_7732save me cooking time)
  • 2 cups Gluten-Free Quick Oats (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups Cashew milk (I used the brand Pacific)
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ghee (I prefer the madagascar vanilla bean ghee from fourth&heart)
  • 3 TBSP D’Vash Organic Date Nectar
  • Pink Himalayan Salt (just a few shakes)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup organic (no sugar added) apple sauce
  • Raw pecans

Directions:

First, you’ll want to pre-roast the butternut squash. Set your oven to 415 degrees. Coat the butternut squash in coconut oil, cinnamon, and a little bit of Himalayan salt. Place on a baking sheet (lightly coated in coconut oil as well) and bake for about 35 minutes or until squash is soft.

After you remove your squash from the oven, lower the heat down to 350 degrees. Mash 1 cup of the butternut squash together. In a cast iron or oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tbsp of ghee over the stove top on LOW heat. Once the ghee has melted, add in ALL ingredients including the butternut squash, the 2 cups each of oats and milk, cinnamon, date nectar, apple sauce, and egg.

Stir evenly with a whisk until it is all well blended. Feel free to add a few, light shakes of the Himalayan salt. After about 2-3 minutes, remove from heat. Option to sprinkle pecans on top. And then place in the oven and let cook for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown. Make sure to cut a small indent before removing from the oven to ensure it’s cooked fully through (shouldn’t be overly soft or mushy).

Once finished, remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Option to top with sautéed apples or blueberries, ice cream, yogurt, or even smothered in peanut butter or coconut butter!

Don’t forget to use code ‘EATRUN‘ for 20% off your D’Vash Organics orders!

XOXO,

CAL

 

Top 3 Products for When You’re on-the-go (+ Life Updates)!

Top 3 Products for When You’re on-the-go (+ Life Updates)!

Hi friends!

Hope your week is off to a great start! Before I dive into today’s blog post, I wanted to share a few life-updates with you! PS – I feel like I’m always sharing drastic updates LOL. It’s NEVER DULL around here. Soo a few things – I just wrapped up my first FULL farmers market season for BerryGood Bliss – I can’t believe how quickly the time flew by. It’s been such a whirlwind and I’m SO pleased that people even LIKE my product! My goal this summer was to get my brand out there, test my products and see if people even enjoyed it (which luckily is a success!), make meaningful connections, and of course strategize next steps in the business plan to continue to grow BerryGood. As I’ve mentioned previously, starting a business like this adds up financially (BIG TIME). I’m so glad I took the time that I did to go all-in and build the brand. I know had I been working full-time during this period, I would have continued to put it off and not give it a 110%.

That being said, I’m being realistic in knowing that I can’t continue to support my current lifestyle (personal/housing, social, and business expenses) in the way that I am at the moment. Part of having a passion project like BerryGood is knowing that at times, you’ll need to HUSTLE big time and likely be working twice as hard to make ends meet. I’m fortunate enough to have found a part-time HR position (HR is the field I worked in prior to leaving my corporate job) that will allow me to work flexible hours (20-25 hrs a week) in order to balance both work and BerryGood. This new lifestyle will definitely be a challenge for me at first – learning how to find some kind of balance between work, my social life, my blog, fitness, and so on. However, I’m trying to look at this as an exciting time in my life and ready to take on new challenges with a SMILE. So that’s pretty much the BIGGEST change in my life right now. Oh and ps I’ve also decided to pursue my CorePower Sculpt teacher training (because I can just never be satisfied not having free time HAHA). But in all seriousness, this is something I’ve always wanted to do and timing worked out well on my end/the commitment for this training is very doable. So will keep you guys posted there!


Moving on to some of my favorite products that I always have on hand whether I’m traveling on vacation, going away for a quick weekend getaway, spending the night at my moms or dads house, or just out of the apartment for the day! I tend to have a “firey” metabolism and if I’m hungry, but without anything to hold me over, things can get ugly (aka HANGER strikes at its best and you can ask Justin, it’s certainly not a pretty sight). Lastly, none of the below is sponsored. This is simply all my own, un-biased opinion!

1) Protein Bar

As much as I love switching up my bars, I always seem to revert back to RxBar as my snack of choice. Why? Because their ingredients truly are no BS.

  • High in Protein
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • No funky protein powder ingredients (aka casein + WPC, skim milk/milk powders, soy protein, vegetable oils, gluten, dextrin/glucose, soy protein, artificial sweeteners, etc.)
  • No added sugars
  • No Soy
  • No Gluten
  • TASTES DELISH!

The main ingredients in RxBars include: egg whites (high in protein, no cholesterol, & easily absorbed into the body) + dates (which help to bind & act as a natural sweetener) + nuts (for texture, healthy fats, & sustained energy).

PS – my favorite flavors include: Peanut Butter, Maple Sea Salt, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Mint-Chocolate.


2) Collagen Peptides

Collagen has been a STAPLE in my diet for almost the past year. I’ve truly noticed differences in my skin first and foremost, as well as my hair, nails, gut-health, better sleeps, joint/muscle recovery, and not to mention, it makes my lattes EXTRA frothy!

My go-to collagen is Vital Proteins and I LOVE that they sell individual serving sizes for when you’re on-the-go. These have been essential for traveling. I simply add it right into my warm coffee or tea and it dissolves instantly and is flavorless.

3) Elixirs

I never used to be a “beverage” person, but oddly enough, in the past year, I’ve been craving warm, nurturing beverages like golden milk (turmeric & black pepper + warm coconut milk), coffee & tea of course, and hot coco. I recently have fallen in love with the products from Four Sigmatic. Their goal is to “make drinking mushrooms and superfoods delicious and easy-to-do with their Mushroom Coffees, Mushroom Superfood Blends, and Mushroom Elixirs”.

Lately, I’ve been REALLY into their Mushroom Hot Cacao with Cordyceps. I’ll heat up either almond milk or coconut milk and then pour the contents in my mug, stir, and enjoy! It makes for the perfect night-capper, especially when I’m craving something warm & chocolatey. Plus the added benefits of the superfood mushroom AND the fact that it comes in an individually sealed bag for convenience makes these products that much better.


Look out for a similar blog post in the future! I certainly have a few more products I always rely on for when I’m on-the-go, but wanted to be mindful of this post getting too lengthy! 🙂

Ballin’ on a Budget: Tips for the Staples (Food, Fitness, & Style)

Ballin’ on a Budget: Tips for the Staples (Food, Fitness, & Style)

Happy Hump Day!

As you know, I’ve been on a MAJOR budget lately but the last thing I want, is that to stop me from living my life and doing things (or buying things) that make me happy and healthy! Being a small business owner, while working multiple part-time jobs, leaves little to no “extra” spending money. When it comes to spending money, there are a few things I’ll invest in. Food is absolutely number one. Food is medicine to me. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had to pay for a pharmaceutical. Wholesome, healthy food has been my save and grace and for that reason, I’m ALWAYS willing to spend an extra dollar or two. As for fitness, that’s probably tied with food. Again, I feel my BEST when I get a good sweat in, surround myself with a positive fitness community, and treat my body well! Lastly, I threw style in here because that’s always been a fun passion of mine. I feel the clothes I wear are a representation of who I am. I consider myself a pretty creative individual and my clothes allow me to express my inner fashionista (lol, too far?)

Let’s start with FOOD. How to eat healthy on a small budget.

I’ll be honest, I don’t always follow my own advice. The convenience of having a Whole Foods within walking distance can be far too tempting most times.

  • A lot of “chain” grocery stores now carry your everyday healthy products at a much cheaper price. I’m a huge fan of shopping at Wegmans. Their organic produce selection is top-notch. They have great bulk food options (and prices). Trader Joes is another one that has really low prices for their produce and other products.


Thrive Market. This one I accidentally bought the membership a year ago, BUT I will say, it HAS been worth it. When you stock up and spend more than $49 on groceries, you get free shipping. Not to mention, they always are doing free product giveaways with your order. See this picture on the left, that rosewater came free! Last time, I got two cartons of Califia Farms products. They offer these deals while supplies last. PLUS almost all of their products are discounted (trust me, I’ve checked and compared!) I love using Thrive when I’m running low on all of the expensive oils, dry goods, nuts, superfoods, etc.
– Buy from the BULK FOOD SECTION! A huge part of our diet is nuts, grains, dried fruits, almond butter, and so on. The bulk food section at any store tends to always be cheaper than if you were to buy it pre-packaged.
– Get yourself a WholeFoods Whole Body Benefits Card at customer service. Gets you 20% off supplements!
– Always keep an eye out for Whole Foods sales. Trust me, a lot of my fave products like Health-Ade Kombucha, Simple Mills, Purely Elizabeth, Hilary’s Eat Well, etc. goes on sale!
– Scroll through your fave instagramers and you can ALWAYS find a discount code for some of your favorite products! PS – I’ve added in some of my discount codes at the bottom of this post!
– Speaking of Kombucha, did you know that anytime you buy a case (of anything) at Whole Foods, you get 10% off! Sometimes the cashiers don’t even realize this, so make sure you ask.

Now moving on to fitness…

If you know me, I’ve joked that I’m a serial fitness dater (not sure if that even makes sense…) But what I’m trying to get at is that I…

1) LOVE switching up my workouts (which is actually really good for your body) and…
2) I’m always on the hunt for “free trials”, “membership deal sign-ups”, “student discounts” (sry I know this is bad but I still use my student ID everywhere…it doesn’t have an expiration date!), 30 days for $30 unlimited, and so on. The deals go on. ESPECIALLY if you’re living in a college city. SO keep an eye out for those.
* For example, did you know you get a 1-week free trial with CorePower Yoga?
– Create your own work-out space at home! I did this for almost a year after I quit my “luxury” gym (spending far too much money on a monthly basis). I had a yoga mat, simple weights, and did a lot of HIIT. Kayla Itsines (like every other girl haha) was one of the programs I followed. Youtube and even the fitness instagram world can both be great resources.
– I also switched up my workouts with runs and yoga. I will admit, I recently found an AWESOME gym deal ($25 a month) and I felt now was a good time to jump on that since we’re entering into the brutal seasons of Boston (i.e. the dreaded Winter months). The snow and cold makes running outside not fun and certainly doesn’t help with any of my fitness motivation.
– ALWAYS search groupon or gilt city before paying for any studio. Guarantee there will be some deal out there.
– You can also join ClassPass and pay a CRAZY cheap price ($19 if you’re a new member) for your first month. I’ll be honest, I cancelled after 🙂 Though I love the idea of it…I couldn’t get myself to pay the regular monthly price after your trial ends.
– Search on your cities event page for free fitness classes!
– Go to community/donation-based yoga classes.

And finally…STYLE!

I will admit, I was a HUGE spender when it came to clothes. Especially when I had a pretty nice income. I never dropped money on super pricey designers but I definitely regularly shopped at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People. Obviously times have changed and I can’t afford to do that anymore. LUCKILY, I have a lot of clothes in my closet that I no longer where and I’ve found a FAB way to cheat the system. Whenever I’m getting an itch to shop or update my fall wardrobe for example, I’ll search through my closet and drawers for pieces that are in season (this is key because most trendy thrift stores won’t accept out of season clothing). I’ll then search through any hats, shoes, jewelry, purses, jackets, etc. to see if there’s been anything I haven’t touched in the past year (or sometimes even 6 months if I’m feeling frisky).

Oversized jackets never go out of style in my book // found @ Buffalo Exchange
Loving these pieces from Buffalo Exchange. Pair a slingy dress w/ a sparkly see-through long sleeve (and pearls!) – Perfect for the Holidays!

I then march my giant bag of clothing to my FAVE thrift store, Buffalo Exchange , vintage and used clothing. (located in Allston on Harvard St. for my local friends). PS there are Buffulo Exchange stores all over the US. I found one in Queens, NY and spotted one while in Denver, CO. They are extremely picky with the clothes they accept, so make sure it’s in style, trendy, in pretty good condition, and hipster(y) is always a plus. Though it can be annoying as the seller when they send back nearly half of what you brought in, it’s also great because you know that you’re going to find the racks are all stocked with clothes, shoes, and accessories that are in style and SUPER cheap (I’m talking almost everything under $20)! They’ll offer you either a store credit or cash (though the cash ends up being like half of what you’d get with store credit), so I always keep the store credit! I then go shop, pick up a few staple fall items, and then end up having a $0 balance thanks to the clothes that I brought in and were accepted! Also, always check the quality of the clothing, if you find any small tears or stains, they’ll discount it even more, usually like 30-50% off.

Get yourself a pair of fun loafers for Fall // found brand new (Zara) @ Buffalo Exchange
…and a pair of funky wedges to go with pants & an oversized sweater // again found @ B.E.

This is my NUMBER 1 tip to always keeping fresh new items in your closet without spending a dime! Happy shopping ladies (and men)!!

So there ya have it friends, my personal tips to BALLLLLLIN’ on a budget 😉



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Sips By – (customized monthly tea subscription box order) code ‘EATRUNTEA’ for 50% off your first order.
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Health Warrior – (superfood bars) code ‘eatrunandallinbetween30’ for 30% off your order.

3 Simple Swaps to a Healthier Pantry

3 Simple Swaps to a Healthier Pantry

Wow, can’t believe we’re already into October! I swear this summer flew by faster than most. Though it technically is the Fall, it still feels like Summer here in Boston…and I definitely don’t hate it! That being said, I can certainly feel my body craving the warmer, seasonal foods. It’s so important to listen to your body and give it what it needs with the change of season. Our bodies are smart and are VERY much aligned to nature and the universe. Sadly, that means I won’t be drinking my smoothies everyday (though I certainly will treat myself every now and then). Rather, I’ll be substituting it with warmer foods like oatmeal, warm chia pudding, eggs, toast, squashes, etc.! This philosophy comes from the Ayurveda practice which I’ve talked about in the past.

“Ayurvedic philosophy holds that eating warming foods in the fall and winter is vital in order to keep the body healthy and balanced. It suggests that the metabolism works harder to keep us warm in the winter, and therefore the “digestive fire” must be adequately fueled with heavier foods. Ayurveda says that cold, damp foods like salads and smoothies, which might seem delicious and perfect in the summertime, can sap the body of energy and even leave it vulnerable to illness during the fall and winter.”

This article shares with you some warm fall & winter foods to incorporate into your diet! Anyway, shifting gears slightly towards the topic of today’s blog post! This was actually inspired by my mom who has made some major shifts in her diet and adapting some of my health tips. This is not to say she was eating poorly by any means. She’s super lean, healthy, and eats a very balanced diet! However, she’s made simple swaps like using coconut oil to cook instead of olive oil because of it’s higher cook point. Below are some simple swaps you can make in your pantry and fridge. Though these swaps may seem minor, they go such a long way in your diet!


1.) Oil and Butter.

First, let’s talk about why VEGETABLE Oils are a big, fat NO…

This includes all processed oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil and a few others out there. These oils “contain very large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful in excess.” The way in which these oils are processed “involve pressing, heating, various industrial chemicals and highly toxic solvents.” This article from Healthline goes into even more depth on this topic.

So, what oils/butters SHOULD you cook with? See below:

  • Grass-fed Butter or Ghee (butter with all traces of dairy proteins and sugars cooked out)
  • Coconut Oil (virgin or expeller pressed)
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive oil (Extra virgin olive oil should stay unheated, but normal olive oil that isn’t extra virgin is a good cooking oil as long as you aren’t cooking at high heat. Extra virgin olive oil is still great for you; just add it after you plate your food.) – BulletProof Article (more details on smoke points and oils)

2.) Sweeteners.

Let’s chat about the difference between Refined Sugars and UnRefined Sugars. “Refined sugar is sugar that has gone through a refining process, or chemical process to remove the molasses that’s naturally found in it.” – Ambitious Kitchen

Here are some staples I always have on hand:

  • Dates
  • Organic Maple Syrup
  • Organic Honey
  • Organic Coconut Sugar
  • Organic Coconut Nectar
  • Organic Vanilla Bean

3.) White Flour.

Let’s start REAL basic here. Ditch anything with white flour. White flour has been stripped of literally all the important vitamins and nutrients (i.e. the parts of the wheat kernel that slow its digestion), making it extremely easy for the body to turn white flour into blood sugar.

So, that being said here are some of my favorite options I usually have on hand:

  • ANY lentil or bean based pasta. My favorites include Eat Banza Chickpea Pasta (literally can’t tasted a difference between this and the real thing). Tolerant Foods is another one of my favorites.
  • Lentils
  • Wheat Berries
  • Quinoa
  • Black Rice
  • Farro
  • Amaranth
  • Oats
  • Bulgur

Some of my favorite Flours Include:

  • almond flour
  • oat flower
  • cassava flour
  • coconut flour
  • buckwheat flour
  • Chickpea Flour
  • Rice Flour

One thing I will say is that I certainly treat myself to a really nice Italian meal every now and then where I can trust I’m getting REAL, HOMEMADE pasta, with no preservatives or chemicals. It’s about balance. Just when you’re at home and cooking, try to have the above alternatives on hand!

Start with those three tips above and keep an eye out NEXT week for 3 more healthy swaps! 🙂

A Foodie’s Guide to Denver, Colorado

A Foodie’s Guide to Denver, Colorado

Hi Friends!

Some of you may know I just recently traveled to Denver, Colorado. In preparation for the trip, I reached out and asked for an endless amount of recommendations and you guys did not disappoint (THANK YOU)!! I figured I’d summarize the list below, share with you some of our adventures, which lets be honest, mostly revolved around food and drink since Justin was on crutches the entire time!

Let’s start with my favorite…

EATTTTS:

Just BE Kitchen: LOVED this place so much, we came back for seconds. 100% PALEO friendly, CLEAN ingredients, EVERYTHING is Gluten, Grain-Free, and Refined-Sugar Free, FRIENDLY staff, CUTE sit-down atmosphere, AMAZING COFFEE.

The “Wonder” Bowl
Highlights: There are plenty of meat options for those who like their meat! That being said, vegetarians would do just fine here as well with plenty of veggie & egg options!

  • I however, went with the “Wonder” Seasonal Veggie Bowl (SEASONAL VEGGIE, ALMOND GREMOLATA, POACHED EGG). Extremely filling bowl (I had leftovers both days).
  • Justin got the “Fulfilled” Burrito on the first day and literally said it was the BEST burrito he’s ever had (which is saying something since he loves his Chipotle burrito’s). Ingredients include: SCRAMBLED EGGS, SAUSAGE,‘CHEDDAR WIZ’ (vegan cheese), PALEO TORTILLA, CRISPY SWEET POTATO HASH, PORK OR VEGGIE GREEN CHILI, CILANTRO, SCALLION, JALAPENO
  • Justin also tried the “Simplicity” Egg Sandwich (2 EGGS, CRISPY SWEET POTATO HASH, BACON OR SAUSAGE PATTY, TORTILLA OR GRIDDLED HOUSE BUN) Also LOVED this
  • “Lifted” Chia Seed Yogurt + their homemade grain-free granola & fresh blueberries – smaller portion, so Justin and I split it to balance out our savory dishes. Their granola is ON POINT.

COFFEE Highlights (yes, we tried 4 different flavors and yes, they were all amazing):

Lavender Honey Latte
  • Maple Cinnamon Butter Bullet-Proof Coffee (grass-fed butter, maple syrup, MCT oil, cinnamon): absolutely amazing. Literally tastes like a really “naughty” cinnamon bun yet all ingredients are 100% clean. HIGHLY Recommend.
  • Mocha Bullet-Proof Coffee (grass-fed butter, MCT oil, cocoa, coconut milk, honey): if you’re a chocolate lover, this one is for YOU. We both liked the maple cinnamon butter slightly more, but this still ranked an 8/10!
  • Vanilla Sea Salt Latte (coconut milk, vanilla, salt, 2 espresso shots): LOVED this one (so much, that I’ve been replicating it at home). Right up my alley. Simple, clean ingredients. So airy and light, plus the perfect balance of sweet & salty.
  • Lavender Clover Honey Latte (lavender, clover honey, almond milk, 2 espresso shots): Shocker…another WINNER. Again, no complaints here. Simply delish! Perfect amount of lavender (not overwhelming at all). So comforting on a chilly morning.

Address:
Located in LoHi
2364 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Open 7 days/week 7am-3pm // easy street parking (outskirts of city center)
Website
Instagram Handle


Vital Roots: great recommendation for healthy eats in the Denver area. We enjoyed their breakfast menu very much! Again, super friendly & helpful service, super clean menu options, cool atmosphere/decor inside, and great fast-casual healthy option! Menu items are “98% grain-free, 99% vegan, and 100% gluten-free”.

Avocado Toast + Overnight Oatmeal
Highlights: We only ate here for breakfast, though the menu for lunch and dinner looks fab as well! Only complain would be that we wish the portion sizes were slightly bigger 🙂

  • “Everything Bagel” Avocado Toast (Sunflower Seed Bread, Crispy Chickpeas, Smoked Almonds & Date Molasses add Sunny Side Up Egg) // SO tasty and the flavor combos were on POINT. Your taste buds will dance for joy between all the unique flavors that explode in one bite.
  • The Overnight Oats (Coconut Almond Milk, Cashews, Vanilla, Maple, Five-Seed Mix & Fruit) // always a great go-to option and these oats certainly did not disappoint. SO creamy and the seed mix added the perfect sweet & salty crunch.
  • PLENTY of coffee options available, including BULLET-PROOF!

Address:
3915 TENNYSON ST. DENVER, CO 80212
OPEN TUES-THURS 10AM & FRI-SUN 9AM CLOSED MONDAY
Website
Instagram Handle


Happy Leaf Kombucha: another recommendation I received and am SO so happy we made it here at the very end of our trip! It is a little off the beaten path, but if you have a rental car, it is absolutely worth the drive. Such a unique experience going to (my VERY first) Kombucha TAP ROOM. This was a nice change of scenery after all of the breweries haha. Super spacious, open, airy tap room. Long wooden tables inside, large walls that open to the outdoor area which is perfect on a mild, fall day. Also includes outdoor grass area with lawn games. Lastly, I noticed a sign for yoga happy hour & kombucha. Would be cool to plan around this NEXT time!

Veggie “Sandwich” Over Greens + Orange Basil Kombucha
Now for the highlights:

  • KOMBUCHA was DELISH. I got the Orange Basil (really unique flavor, the fresh basil balanced out the citrus orange). Justin got the Cranberry Lavender (again, super delicious, a sweeter option (they do add cane sugar after the fermentation), the lavender is not overwhelming, perfect balance to the cran). Overall, the BOOCH was a 9/10. Highly recommend.
  • For food, I got the Veggie “Sandwich” (house made apple-carrot kraut, sunflower sprouts, kale pesto, dijonaise / NO bread, served on a bed of greens instead + side of sautéed greens w/ lemon & chili. This was the perfect salad to go along with the booch. And TBH, I REALLY needed a hearty, gut-friendly salad by the end of this trip. LOL.
  • Justin got the “Albondigas de Bison Torta” (mexican spiced local bison meatballs, fiery chili sauce, spicy pickled carrots, melted provolone, fresh cilantro) // he devoured this. AKA NO COMPLAINTS for him. PS it’s always a WIN in my book when I choose a healthy restaurant and he loves it. Anyone else struggle with convincing others to come try a new healthy restaurant with you?!

Address:
5700 W 25th Avenue, Edgewater, CO 80214
Monday–Friday • 11:30 am–8:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday • 11:30 am–8:00 pm
Website
Instagram Handle


True Food Kitchen: Ahhh another favorite of mine and so happy to have made it here in Denver before our flight took off on Sunday night. I first tried True Food while I was living in Palo Alto, CA. This place is the ULTIMATE healthy SIT-DOWN restaurant with a cozy, fresh atmosphere, open kitchen (love when restaurants do this = TRANSPARENCY), clean cocktails, and plenty of options for literally ANYONE.

Highlights: Justin and I split the apps and our dinners. LOVE doing this so that we can try more of the menu itemss!

  • Charred cauliflower (harissa tahini, medjool date, dill, mint, pistachio)
  • Kale Guacamole (pink grapefruit, cilantro, roasted poblano, sunflower seeds & pita chips) // both of which were AMAZING! We especially loved the flavors in the guac. I’d recommend splitting a few apps since the entrees aren’t overly filling.
  • Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl (broccoli, heirloom carrot, bok choy, mushroom, brown rice, avocado, toasted sesame) + Tofu // this was super yummy but wasn’t my favorite dish of the night. 7/10
  • Poke Bowl (wild caught albacore, avocado, quinoa rice, mushroom, snow pea, cucumber, cashew, turmeric ponzu) // we both LOVED this. Again, very light, cool, and refreshing.

Address:
2800 E. 2nd Ave, Suite 101, Denver, Colorado 80206
Mon – Fri: 11am – 10pm // Sat: 10am – 10pm // Sun: 10am – 9pm
Website
Instagram Handle

Lake between Idaho Springs + Breckenridge

Other EATS/Foodie Recommendations:

  • Amethyst Coffee // LOVED their matcha latte (homemade cashew milk). They also had turmeric lattes, seasonal lattes, chia pudding,
    etc. Decor inside was very chic. Plants, white, and crystals. // Address: 1111 Broadway #101, Denver, CO 80203
  • Stowaway Coffee & Kitchen // // REALLY cute spot, GREAT lattes (homemade cashew milk), friendly spot, menu looked DELISH though I didn’t eat there. // Address: 2528 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205
  • Olive & Finch
  • Linger
  • Beet Box Donuts (vegan baked goods)
  • Native Foods
  • Protein Bar
  • El Five // wasn’t able to get a reservation here, but looked cool! // mediterranean style tapas, 360 views of city, cool atmosphere
  • Element Kitchen & Cocktail // cool brunch spot to watch the football games on Sunday. Not a ton of vegetarian options but I was able to get a plate with eggs, sweet potato hash, gluten-free bread, and avocado. Also was able to watch the Patriots game 🙂
  • Hedge Row – menu looks AMAZING but you NEED to make a reservation. We weren’t able to get in.
  • Senor Bear // another one we weren’t able to get to, but again, menu looks dope. Modern Latin spin on food and drinks.
  • Denver Central Market // didn’t get to check out, but diverse group of vendors. Located in RiNo neighborhood.
  • South Pearl Street Farmers Market // located on s. pearl street on Sunday’s (starts at 9am). Healthy Breakfast Food truck highlights included Ba-NOM-a-NOM (soft-served banana “nice cream”), Prosper Oats (acai bowls, overnight oatmeal, coffee), and a number of other hand-crafted & speciality food vendors. Would def recommend stopping by!
  • American Cultures Kombucha TapRoom – BOOCH and Vegan Ice cream…what’s better?!
  • Tea Bar Denver – Kombucha, lots of Tea and Coffee Options
  • Beau Jos Pizza (located in Idaho Springs. Not many food options here and splurged a bit with Pizza) I got the gluten-free crust + sauce + veggies // very delish!

Breweries: (NOTE: we didn’t make it to all of these, not even half haha but I wanted to share since they were recommendations)

Ratio Beerworks (RiNo)
  • Ratio Beerworks: 2920 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 (LOVED this spot. Cool outdoor patio w/ lawn games)
  • First Draft – right down the street from us, RiverNorth (recommended – cool brewery where you pour your own beer + really good food)
  • New Terrain Brewing Co. – 16401 Table Mountain Pkwy, Golden, CO 80403
  • Briar Common – 2298 N Clay St, Denver, CO 80211
  • New Image Brewing – 5622 Yukon St, Arvada, CO 80002
  • 10 Barrel Brewing Company – 2620 Walnut Street Denver, Colorado 80205, Denver, CO
  • Bierstadt Lagerhaus – 2875 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205
  • Bruz Beers – 1675 W 67th Ave #100, Denver, CO 80221
  • Larimer beer hall – 2012 larimer st Denver co 80205
  • Great divide brewery – 2201 arapahoe st Denver co 80205

OTHER Highlights:

Botanical Gardens

-Spent a lot of time in the RiNo area (cool, hipster(y) neighboorhood, ~ 15/20 min walk from Coors Field area). Lots of breweries and funky bars here.
– 16 Street Mall (lots of chain stores, but good people watching)
– Visit the Botanical Gardens. We got lucky with the weather as the sun was shining and the time of year was ideal for all of the plants. So Beautiful!!
– Check out the ORIGINAL CorePower Yoga on East 13th Ave. This was the perfect place to get a quick workout in while the boys continued to drink beers all day at the Beer Fest HAHA.
– Try and catch a show at Red Rocks. We saw Big Gigantic and it far exceeded my expectations. The HYPE at Red Rocks is 110% REAL. Hands down most amazing venue I’ve ever been to. PS we stayed at an airbnb in Littleton, CO (10 mins from the venue). Highly recommend so you don’t need to worry about driving home. Also, gives you the morning to explore.
– While in Littleton, CO, I got up early and went for a beautiful trail run at South Valley Park.
South Valley Park

Overall, the trip was A LOT of fun. The weather was perfect. Would have loved to explore more, but given the circumstances (i.e. torn ACL for Justin), we weren’t able to hike. Hopefully our next trip out there we can explore more of Colorado!

PS if you have any questions on airbnbs, car rentals, locations, food/drink spots, etc. — comment below or email me directly!

XO, Cal

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

Happy HUMP day y’all!

For this weeks post I wanted to share with you tips I’ve been using to help calm my ever-so-racing mind! Being an adult is hard AF. The number one thing that’s been giving me a bit of anxiety lately has been around finances. Who else can relate? It’s unfortunate that money tends to be the number one culprit behind anxiety and stress for the average person. As you all know, I left my steady paycheck to pursue starting my own business. Luckily, I have no family, kids, college tuition, etc. to pay for…but that doesn’t mean I’m not covering rent, internet, gas/electric, car insurance, car payments, groceries, boston city parking tickets and tow fees (LOL) and oh just trying to have a social life as a 25-year old living in a thriving city. Yep, costs certainly add up and unfortunately, they’ve been leaving me with quite a bit of stress these days. I know I’m not alone and knew I had to share with you my personal tips that help me to calm my crazy mind. I wish I could say these would help to solve all financial issues (haha wishful thinking) BUT they certainly help to get into a right headspace, to then be able to better tackle solving those financial burdens.

1) Take a walk and listen to your favorite podcast.

I know this sounds obvious, but I promise you it’s an INSTANT mood-booster and gets your mind off of things. Find a podcast (or two) that you’re super into and commit to listening to them on walks. My podcast list is growing which leaves me with more motivation to get out the door and kill a podcast or two each day. Plus, the added vitamin D is SO crucial and hello, walking = happy endorphins!

PS – here’s a quick list of some of my fave podcasts at the moment. They’re all available on itunes and are FREE!

  • The Chasing Joy Podcast (positivity, wellness, self-love)
  • The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her Podcast (wellness, blogging/business tips, marketing your brand)
  • Actually Adultish (wellness, “adult” things for people in their 20’s and 30’s)
  • Rich Roll Podcast (wellness, entrepreneurship, spirituality, veganism, endurance training)
  • BulletProof Radio (wellness topics)
  • The Lively Show (high vibe living, law of attraction)
  • Let it Out with Katie Dalebout (wellness, positivity, self-love, entrepreneurship)
  • The Balanced Blonde: Soul on Fire (Spirituality, health & wellness)

2) Essential Oils, Diffusers, Candles, and Incense

This has been a big part of my practice lately, whether during yoga, meditation, or just hanging out at night before bed. Lavender oil can be rubbed on the back of your neck, your third eye, on the inside of your wrists, or pillow before going to sleep. The aroma of the “lavender helps to remove nervous exhaustion and restlessness, while increasing mental activity.” I love adding it to my diffuser before going to bed.

I’m also obsessed with lighting candles and incense. Incense are so cheap to purchase, you can buy various scents (including lavender if you wanted to keep up with that calming trend), they smell amazing, and instantly have a calming effect on me. I think personally, incense remind me of a yoga studio, which tends to be a calm, peaceful place that I can mindfully take myself to in the comfort of my own home.

3) Get upside down AND practice light, restorative yoga.

When in doubt, I always get upside down! Whether it’s headstand, forearmstand, handstand or just a simple, legs up the wall, inversions have been proven to have a calming effect on the mind and get the blood circulating which is KEY. If you can’t do a headstand, DON’T YOU WORRY! It’s just as effective to put your legs up the wall! Find any way to get your legs comfortably vertical. Also, peep my blog post on simple yoga moves to help relive stress and anxiety!

4) Whip up a calming beverage before bed or in the morning. It also never hurts to have a side of Cacao Vegan Chocolate 😉

There are a number of go-to concoctions I’ll whip up if I’m feeling super stressed or anxious. Most importantly, you certainly want to AVOID caffeine if you’re already feeling very uneasy. My go-to beverages include:

  • a calming tea: chamomile tea, peppermint tea, lemon balm tea, passion flower tea, rose tea
  • OR you can boil warm water, add fresh squeezed lemon, fresh ginger, and a drizzle of honey
  • CALM VITALITY – all natural anxiety relief powder that you add to warm water. Promotes healthy magnesium levels and calcium intake. You can learn more about the product here.
  • Make a healing “golden milk”. Golden milk is a medicinal drink that has been used for years in eastern medicine. Simply add 1 tsp of turmeric, a splash of cinnamon, ginger (optional), cardamon (optional), a pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp coconut butter (optional) a sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, or organic vanilla extract) with 1 cup of warm coconut milk and mix well. Occasionally I’ll throw it in my nutribullet, but if I’m lazy, I just use a mini whisk! I love having this before bed. It makes me feel SO good and you get so many anti-inflammatory benefits!

And for my favorite go-to vegan chocolates?

5) MEDITATE.

I know, I know you probably hear this ALL the TIME. But, I promise you, it does help and can instantly put you in euphoria. I had been playing around with different methods of meditation, which I’ve shared below.

  • Guided meditation. There are SO many free ones on youtube. Just search “5 or 10 minute guided meditation” and find one you like.
  • Candle light mediation. Best done in the dark (Either early morning or at night). Sit upright on the floor. Stair into the candle without trying to blink as much as possible. After 5 minutes or so, close your eyes and focus internally on your third eye. You should see a colorful image of the flame still burning. Use that as your focus point. If you lose it, you can open your eyes again and refocus on the flame for another minute or so before shutting the eyes again.
  • Silent, seated meditation. This has been working the best for me lately, however, I advise you play around with timing of the day. I used to try and practice in the morning but found this just did not suit me well. I started mediating between the hours of 4-6pm which seem to work MUCH better for me. Usually at this time of day, my to-do list is out of my head and I’m actually read to just sit and be mindful. I’ll usually set my timer for 10 minutes, while sitting up right on the floor with a block under my butt (helps with comfort).

Though these work well for me, everyone is different! Play around and see what works for you. Also, if you have any ideas/or tips that aren’t posted about, please comment and share below! I love hearing what everyone else does to relieve stress and anxiety.

Creating your Own Positive Storyline

Creating your Own Positive Storyline

Happy Friday Friends!

For this weeks blog post, I wanted to talk about positivity and manifesting your own storyline. I’ll be completely straightforward with you – I’m not always the most happy, positive person, though I tend to put on a facade. And sometimes, especially over these past 2 weeks, I have a tendency to drive myself into a damaging FUNK. If you follow along with me on my instagram, you may have noticed me talk about this series of bad luck that seemed to have just hit me one after another. I cried, a lot. I felt sorry for myself. I became a victim of my own sorrows. I vented to my fiance, my friends, and my family. What did I do to deserve this? Though I was given advice and comfort from those who I emptied my feelings on, none of that seemed to make a difference for me. I had made the internal decision and suddenly believed that I was doomed for bad luck. I was the one who started reading into things and created this ridiculous connection between a series of events that honestly, were my own wrongdoing. At the end of the day, the series of bad luck that came storming at me over the past 2 weeks, could have happened to anyone. I chose to believe that it was ME and that the universe was against me. But in reality, it almost seemed easier to play the victim card and accept things as they were. I personally think I used these “events” to cover up the fact that sometimes life isn’t always easy and you have to make hard decisions that may affect your career, your routine, your habits, your personal life and so on.

So why am I bringing all of this up now? Well, I conveniently started Gabby Bernstein’s book, “The Universe has Your Back” in the midst of all of this “chaos” I was facing. How cliche am I grabbing a self-help book at a time in need? I completely understand now how SILLY my “troubles” are in comparison to the REAL struggles that most of the world is facing. I’m very well aware that I fall into the 1% of the world and I’m oh so grateful for what I have every second of the day. It’s okay to have bad days and feel sorry for yourself, but getting out of that is key. Being able to clear your head, take a step back, BREATHE, and just remember how much you have to be grateful for can go a long way. That was the first step I needed to take to pull me out of this funk. Not going to lie, I’m really bad at finishing books. I’m easily distracted by instagram and ridiculous reality tv shows like real housewives. It’s crazy to me that those take priority over a book that can become an extremely powerful tool in changing your life for the better. So, here I am, making a commitment to all of you, that I will read at least chapter a night. Luckily for me, Gabby caught my attention instantly by sharing a glimpse of her own spiritual journey right off the bat.

The first chapter resonated with me BIG time and was exactly what I needed to hear.

“Joy is our birthright. What blocks our joy is our separation from love. The way back to love begins with understanding how we disconnected in the first place…we separate from the love of the Universe by giving purpose to pain and thinking power comes from outside sources. We deny the power of love, and we save our faith for fear. We forget love altogether.”

“Our projection is our perception. You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image-maker.”

– Gabby Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back

Ah-ha. This all made sense. The second you start connecting a negative connotation with yourself or something in your life, the second that becomes your reality. If you truly believe you’re destined for sadness, there’s a really good chance you’ll likely find more reasons to be sad in your life. You’ll unknowingly put yourself in negative situations. However, YOU and only you, have the ability to shift this perception. You can’t just say you’re going to be happy or that you’ll become successful, you have to truly believe it. And sometimes, that can take time. The second you’re able to get a taste of what it feels like to truly believe, is the important shift that you’ve been waiting for. It comes back to the classic law of attraction. Positive people will attract positive things and vice versa. I’ve experienced this feeling on and off. I’m the type of person that has really HIGH highs and sometimes, LOW lows. I can see it first hand when I’m ultra positive and optimistic. It’s like everything seems to work in my favor. BUT the second I face one speed bump, it’s like a downward spiral. So, my focus now is trying to take EVERY negative situation and find a positive in it. I’m going to accept that I’M the only who has control over a negative situation and at the end of the day, I’M the only one who change that perception.

Saying no to the “wedding diet”

Saying no to the “wedding diet”

I’ll be honest with you, one of the first thoughts I had after booking our wedding venue for NEXT year was “alright, so I have more than a year to kick my butt into gear for the wedding day”. Was this REALLY one of the first things that came to my mind after booking the venue? Am I wrong for thinking this? Or is this a result of diet culture and the wedding industry? Sadly, I feel it’s a mix of all of the above. It’s no surprise that I’ve battled body insecurities, as most women do growing up in their teens, early 20’s…and let’s be honest, is there any age were women feel 100% beautiful? Sadly…I’m not sure?? As I’ve blogged about in the past, my own insecurities have developed over the years, beginning in high school where I was heavily influenced by social media, TV, magazines, and more, running competitively in cross-country and track & field, and of course, the continuous diet culture that we can never seem to get away from. So of course, it’s only natural that when we as woman finally have a wedding date set, it’s an immediate reaction that we must now start the countdown to getting that perfect wedding “bod”.

Ironically, I was in the middle of writing this blog post right before heading to my engagement photo session yesterday and of course, I couldn’t escape those negative thoughts developing in my head. The ones that tell you you’re not ready for a photo shoot. Your skin looks like shit. Your hair looks dry. You feel bloated in the face and belly. You don’t have the right outfit. You can’t afford to get your nails or hair done. Oh the list just goes on! Like, Calli, do you think this is a progress photo or something? Am I expecting to drop weight between todays engagement photo and my day-of wedding photos?? Personally, I think the most difficult thing for me is falling in that comparison trap. Being a blogger, I see fitness photos posted ALL the time as I scroll through instagram. On top of that, I’m now constantly scrolling through pinterest looking at wedding dresses and of course, every woman looks nearly perfect in the wedding dress.

I don’t believe this wedding diet mindset is coming from a negative place at all. I think it’s entirely innocent and we shouldn’t be ashamed in ourselves for thinking like this. Unfortunately, it’s become a somewhat major part of the wedding and fitness industry. Both industries obviously financially benefit from this, so it’s no surprise that they’re taking advantage of marketing and advertisements targeting women looking to lose weight for the big day. Again, not trying to point fingers, we’re all guilty of playing a part and creating this wedding/diet culture. For example, just look at how many articles are shared on Knot.com regarding wedding diet tips, meal plans, celebrity workouts, etc. How many fitness studios around you offer wedding packages? How about the fact that when you go to your first fitting, it’s almost 100% likely you’ll request to schedule several more in hopes of being a smaller size? How about the thousands of posts you’ll find on pinterest about wedding diet and workouts? It’s even become normalized and totally OK in conversation between friends and family. If you look around, it’s everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid? Even those who likely never struggled with weight or body issues before, are now feeling pressured to get into wedding shape.

But, for what? To look a certain way on just one day? I’ll be honest, I was totally deep in the wedding diet mindset (and still am struggling with it) until recently when I listened to an older podcast on the Healthy Maven (episode #22 with Robyn Nohling (the Real Life RD)) where they discuss this topic. It was such an “aw-ha” moment for me because I didn’t even realize I was THAT girl obsessing over how I would look on my wedding day. The sad part is, most times, we’re not doing this for ourselves. We’re doing it so we can look good in front of the 250 attendees at the wedding. Yep, you heard that right. Potentially expecting 250 people at the wedding next year. Talk about added pressure, right? Honestly, I wish I could say that my motivation behind looking good for the big day was for me. But the truth is, I want to look good for all of the 250 people attending. I’m typically not that type of person at all, but for some reason, on this particular day, I’m already concerned with what people will say about my appearance. Again, I realize this is all crazy delusional, but this is how my mind works and I’m sure I’m not alone here. We shouldn’t be concerned about looking good. We SHOULD care about FEELING good. The other point that I found really interesting that was made on this podcast, is do you really want to look back at pictures and say “wow, I wish I could get back to my wedding body some day”? Like, do I really want to kill myself all to look good on ONE day?? Is that really how I want to remember my wedding? Do I want to spend my life trying to get back to that point of likely eating minimal calories and obsessively working out? Absolutely not. I don’t think anyone wants that. I want to look back at the moment and know that it was the happiest moment of my life!

Realizing all of this was half the battle. The most challenging part is doing my best to just observe and ignore those negative thoughts that creep in. Being able to admit and just be aware that these thoughts are REAL will make being able to push them aside that much easier. Though I don’t have any major, life-changing tips here, it certainly helped listening to that podcast and reading this blog from Robyn Nohling (aka the Real Life RD). Definitely worth a read! At the end of the day, Robyn said it best, “thinness does not equal beauty. Marriage is not about the wedding. And a wedding is not about the size of your body.”

XOXO,
Cal

Lessons Learned: From the Desk to the Farmers Market

Lessons Learned: From the Desk to the Farmers Market

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend checking out my last blog post “My Journey from Corporate to Starting my Own Business” before diving into this one! The last one is truly my full story on why I left my job, how I got to launching BerryGood Bliss, and some of the challenges, fears, and successes I faced in that process. I really want to focus this blog post on the present, where I am now, and lessons learned.

The reality of starting your own business is that unless you get things handed to you on a golden platter, you truly need to start from the bottom and work your way up. It takes a hell of a lot of determination and believing in yourself and your company. I’ll be honest, going from working in a corporate setting to selling my products at local farmers markets is quite humbling. I no longer can wear nail polish on my fingernails because of working in the kitchen each and every day, to getting my hands and nails dirty while setting up and taking down my farmers market stand. I wear dirty converses, jean shorts, and a t-shirt every day. My hair is usually tied up in a messy bun. I usually smell by the end of the day (LOL). I’m running off of endless coffee, yet avoiding water since I don’t have time to run and pee during the market (also LOL). I can’t ever drive anyone in my car since it’s quite literally packed to the brim with a portable freezer, a 10×10 tent, a yeti cooler, tables, supplies, and so on. My beach weekends are now devoted to 5:30AM wakeup calls to work Saturday and Sunday markets. But guess what, I’ve never felt more fulfilled then I do now.

I’m not sharing the above to ask for sympathy or a pitty card, I simply just wanted to share the reality of the situation! This new lifestyle of mine certainly isn’t for everyone and that’s totally fine! It’s definitely not a glamorous job. It takes a lot more manual labor than you think. And honestly, had you told me this 3 years ago that future Calli would be selling popsicles at a farmers market I’d laugh in your face.

What keeps me motivated? Interacting with the customers. Learning about the people who are consuming my goods. What do they like? What don’t they like? Are they newly vegan? Have they faced health issues? Do they have a gluten allergy? Are they struggling to find healthy food that also tastes good? THIS is what keeps me motivated. Knowing that I’m positively impacting someones day, even if it’s through a simple, healthy popsicle! I LOVE that I’m able to touch every step of the process. From prep in the kitchen to selling directly to the customer. When you’re finally able to see your work appreciated by the consumers of your products, it feels as though I finally have a meaningful purpose, even if it’s through bringing simple pleasure to someones tastebuds!

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to work these farmers markets for so many reasons. The biggest and most meaningful has been the new friends I’ve met along the way. Through all the bad s*** going on in the world right now, I still see so much hope and potential in our little community here in Boston. I’ve met the kindest, sweetest, most personable, and supportive people. Sure, I’ve gotten a few negative comments here and there, but that comes with the reality of putting yourself out there. The positive people far make up for those few negative ones here and there. It’s amazing to see how supportive people are. They truly want to see you succeed and grow. Whether it’s women supporting women, young entrepreneurs, kind elders, or super ambitious college students who are just into healthy eating – you can tell they’re sincere in their support and interactions. I love getting caught up in conversations with folks who come by my tent. THIS is what I look forward to when attending the markets. I’ve had the opportunity to share my knowledge with folks and also have received a wealth of knowledge from those who have stopped by and started up a conversation.

I’ve always been taught that networking is KEY if you want to succeed. However, it’s important to be SINCERE in your networking verse being fake and trying to hard. There’s a fine balance between give & take. If you’re networking to quickly climb to the top, but never giving back what you get, karma can and will bite you in the bum! That being said, there’s 100% a right way to network. Let’s be honest, networking is part of human nature. It’s also a win-win for the BOTH of you if you connect and have things to share/offer to one another, while still establishing a meaningful relationship. That’s truly the power of building connections. It feels good to help someone out and most likely, there’s a future point in your life where that person will have the ability to then help you out in ways that you least expect. It’s especially important while building a brand and your own business to make these connections, show sincere interest, maintain relationships, learn & grown from one another, and ensure you’re portraying a positive reputation.

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

My overall goal from attending these markets this summer was to establish myself as a legitimate company in the Boston area, build my brand, meet and connect with a diverse group of people, and hopefully establish relationships with other small store/market owners. I’d love to be able to continue doing a few small winter markets to maintain the connection with the community, work with various companies and fitness studios to host events, while also stocking my pops & energy superfood balls in local speciality stores. Although these goals may seem ambitious to some, I just continue to believe in myself and what I’m representing. Sure, plenty moments of doubt seep in nearly everyday, but I do my best to ignore them and focus on the future.

So in summary, here are a few lessons learned from this summer so far in launching my business:

1. Be Open Minded & remain humble.
2. You need to start from the bottom & work the grind.
3. Assess EVERY opportunity. Don’t shut anything down right away.
4. Don’t beat yourself up if someone gives you negative feedback. See how you can use that feedback to only improve.
5. Reach out! Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
6. BELIEVE in what you’re doing. If you are truly passionate about your product/company, people will instantly be drawn in. Positivity is contagious.
7. You need to be put in money, to make money.
8. CONNECT. NETWORK. BE KIND. PERSONABLE. This will go a long way.
9. Social Media is your friend (and also FREE marketing).
10. Interact directly with your consumer. Learn from them and adjust accordingly.

XO,
Cal


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