Tag: diet

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!

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

Will I do the liver cleanse again?

Will I do the liver cleanse again?

Hi all!

Apologies for the lack of posts in the past week. I thought for the next post I would share my recap on my Liver Cleanse. For those of you who follow me on my instagram page, you may have seen my insta stories chugging a liter of Apple Juice each day or maybe you caught me with the epsom salt and olive oil/lemon combo! Either way, you were probably thinking “what in the WORLD is she doing and WHY would she put herself through that?!” Well, I’m here to tell you why first and foremost and secondly, would I do it again?

I first learned about this holistic liver cleanse while on my yoga teacher training in Spain from my teacher, Maria. To begin, WHY is it even necessary to flush your liver and gallbladder? Up until my yoga training, I had never even heard or thought about the idea of naturally cleaning these organs. This liver cleanse has been done for centuries in both the Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine practices – both holistic approaches. Some of the main reasons for doing a liver cleanse can be to help aid in weight loss, eliminate liver stones, detox your body, increase your energy, and look and FEEL 5 years younger! I found these points on the Global Healing Center’s site and they go into even more details behind these benefits. At a high level, David (Avocado) Wolfe describes the benefits as such:

“Gallstones severely disrupt the performance of the liver, which has over 500 functions —which is why doing a flush is one of the most important things you could ever do for your health. Cleaning your liver can add years to your life, reverse or slow down the aging process and heal your body on a deeper level than you ever thought possible. Many people who have done a series of these flushes see remarkable changes in all areas of their health, some even being healed of stubborn illnesses that they lived with for years!”

These benefits were enough of a reason for me AND my mom, her boyfriend, and my sister to all give it a try! Plus, I’m pretty good at convincing and let’s be honest, it’s way easier to do one of these cleanses when you know you’re not suffering alone! So if you’re interested in doing the liver cleanse yourself, you’ll need to follow ALL of the instructions exactly as described. It’s very important that you do all of the necessary requirements over the 6 day prep for the day 7 cleanse in order for it to work properly. You can follow all steps on David Wolfe’s page.

Try and choose 100% ORGANIC Apple Juice

As you can see from the instructions, the 6-day prep really wasn’t too bad and definitely not a big change for me seeing as my diet is primarily vegan/plant-based. They HIGHLY recommend to maintain an all vegan diet during this cleanse. In addition to eating vegan for the 6-day prep, it also requires you to drink a liter of organic apple juice a day as the malic acid found in apples softens the gallstones, making it easier to pass – so don’t miss this step! Also, they suggest you clean your colon via an enema prior to the cleanse. We didn’t do this initially, however, we ended up doing it the night prior to the cleanse and I do believe it made a difference. If you’re like me and my family, you’ll probably want to avoid this unpleasant step, but I’m telling you it is HIGHLY recommended and it’s really not as bad as it seems 🙂 Also, I’ve shared a few meal ideas below if you’re in search of some tasty vegan meals to keep you satisfied throughout the week!

Buddha Bowl – Mixed Greens, Roasted Veggies, Avocado, Hummus, Pesto, Sauerkraut, Potatoes
Turmeric Slow-Cooked Oatmeal with added fruit, almond butter, & vegan snack bar

Okay – so let’s talk about day 7 – the actual day of the cleanse. Breakfast consisted of plain oats and lunch consisted of straight up veggies – no added oils, fats, etc. These steps are CRITICAL. After lunch, you’re fasting for the rest of the day. You’ll be drinking 2 epsom salt concoctions before bed. This taste I did not enjoy, I’ll be honest haha but we chased it down with a drop of fresh lemon juice. The last step is the DELICIOUS olive oil & fresh lemon juice mixture. If you couldn’t tell from above, I’m being completely sarcastic. I did not enjoy this mixture, but I did my best to chug it in one sitting and then lay in bed while following the rest of the instructions. Though I was not a fan of the fresh lemon juice with olive oil, I’ve heard from my fellow yoga teacher training friends that they didn’t mind the olive oil with freshly squeezed grapefruit – so I plan on giving that a try the next time around!

Day 7 – Breakfast / Plain Oats, Honey, Cinnamon, & Fruit
Day 8 – Lunch / Turmeric Quinoa, Roasted Veggies, & Spices

Personally, I had a little bit of trouble falling asleep after drinking the olive oil/lemon juice mixture. My stomach was making ALL kinds of rumblings and felt on and off nauseous for about an hour. After a somewhat rough night of sleep, I woke up to my 6AM alarm where I then had to chug my third mix of epsom salt & water. Following that, it’s advised you wait 2 hours before drinking the LAST epsom salt mix (thank goodness)! Now here’s where it may get a little TMI – so I’m giving you a FAIR warning! It was a little after that last epsom salt drink where all four of us began having LOVELY bowel movements HAHA and we began seeing the little green “stones”. They were pretty light in the morning and early afternoon. However, it happened to be around 5PM – 7PM where I saw the majority of my stones pass through. None of this process was painful and I was eating my usual size meal by the end of the day. The next morning, I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel TOO different, but definitely felt like I had a little more pep in my step and the brain fog was not existent. Because this was my FIRST time doing this cleanse, they suggest you flush a few more times in order to truly and fully clean your liver and gallbladder!

Overall, day 1 – day 6 were easy and painless. I definitely did not enjoy day 7. However, when you look at this cleanse compared to say a 6-day juice cleanse, I would take the liver cleanse over that ANY DAY because hey, you at least get to eat and you’re only fasting for half a day. My mom, her boyfriend, and my sister all survived (although my sister ended up throwing up Saturday night …she also didn’t do the enema* so this is why I advise you clean your colon!) We’re planning on doing it again in March and are totally welcoming “SPRING CLEANING” in with open arms! Anyone else want to join along?!

My Favorite Fitness Instagrams to Spice up your Workout Routine

My Favorite Fitness Instagrams to Spice up your Workout Routine

In college I had the luxury of being on a D1 college cross-country and track team year around. This lifestyle created a structured routine for me over those four years. Of course, there were days where all I wanted to do was stay in bed all day while bingeing on netflix and almond butter. But most days, I knew that this lifestyle was absolutely worth every blood, sweat, and tear. I knew that this would mold my future and how I would come to appreciate health and fitness the way I do today. It taught me discipline, drive, determination, and that not everything in life comes easy. You need to work for what you want most.

As not to get too side tracked here, the point of all of this is that I no longer have that same structure to keep me committed each and every day to my health. My workout routine is now in my own hands. I have no 6 AM required gym sesh 3x’s a week. I don’t have a team strength trainer to walk us through gym routines. I don’t have a running coach anymore to prepare track workouts for us on a weekly cadence. It’s my responsibility to define my health and lifestyle.

Unlike a lot of bloggers out there, I don’t have any background in nutrition or fitness. All I have is what I learn through research and believe it or not, social media…more specifically, instagram. Yes, instagram has become like my own personal trainer. Every now and then I come across a new instagram account with unique workouts, HIIT exercises, strength training, and more!

Here are some of the fitness accounts I follow that cover almost all fitness spectrums – Cardio, HIIT, Strength, Core, Yoga, Squats & Bootay, Pilates, and more!

@Kayla_itsines
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@100KChallenge
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@bagsandbunnies
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@sugarysixpack
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@cardioexercises
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@laurasykora
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@squatvideos
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@homesquat
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@brigxx
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@amandabisk
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@toneitup
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Healthy Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad

Healthy Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad

Healthy Tuna Salad:

I hear it alllll the time, people either absolutely hate or absolutely love tuna out of a can. I used to be one of those people that hated it. However, I’ve finally found a way to taint the smell a bit and to make this tuna super healthy AND tasty for a delicious lunch! How so?
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Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1 can of Tuna (I buy mine in water, no salt added)
• 2 TBSP of Plain Greek Yogurt (I prefer Fage Greek Yogurt)
• 1-2 finely diced celery sticks
• 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice
• 1-2 tsp of spicy brown mustard
• ¼ finely diced yellow onion
• Salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder – I give each a few shakes, but I also love my dishes highly seasoned – make sure to test a little out and slowly add more to your liking

Salad additions:

• A bed of spinach or kale
• Chopped beets
• ½ avocado
• Mixed bag of red cabbage, carrots, broccoli (you can find this combo at most grocery stores in the veggie area by the bag of lettuce)

For the salad dressing:

• 2 tsp of honey
• 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
• 2 tsp of spicy brown mustard

Mix all these above ingredients together very well before serving over salad.
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Now, top your salad combo with the healthy tuna mixture and add as much or as little of your honey Dijon vinaigrette to finish it off! For those picky eaters out there who still find this tuna difficult to eat, bring a whole wheat 100 cal pita pocket and stuff your salad combo in there. It makes for a great pita sandwich combo!

Cheers to 2015!

Cheers to 2015!

Happy (much delayed) New year everyone! I’m back and wanted to give you all a quick rundown on what I’ve been up to the past few weeks and explain why I’ve been a bit absent from my blog and Instagram. As many of you may know, I’ve been out in Palo Alto, California for the past 9 months (April 2014 – December 2014). I’m in a Human Resources Rotational Program and had the amazing opportunity to rotate out in CA. It was an amazing learning experience being right there in the valley and seeing real-time, how quickly the tech world evolves! I also had the chance to do quite a bit of traveling while out there – Northern CA (Sonoma, Napa, Geyserville, Healdsburg), San Francisco, Southern CA (San Diego, Laguna Beach, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Malibu), Santa Barbara, Monetery, Carmel, Santa Cruz, and so much more! Lastly, as cliché as it sounds, I don’t think my California experience wouldn’t have been what it was without the amazing friends I made along the way.

Anyhow, I moved back home on December 17th permanently to round up and begin my last rotation back in Mass. Everyone keeps asking me – do you miss California? Are you sad to be back?

To be honest, I absolutely LOVED California, I mean it’s hard not to, am I right?? But, it’s so bittersweet because I’m finally in the same state as my boyfriend after being in a long distance relationship since May of 2013! Plus, I’m close to my family and friends again – which has also been pretty hard being away from. That being said, my boyfriend and I are certainly not settled down for good in MA. We have hopes and dreams of moving around a bit before that…maybe even giving California another chance ; )

In addition to my arrival home, it’s been kind of a whirlwind over the past few weeks! With Christmas and family celebrations, a quick trip to Marco Island, Florida, a 24 hour stint in New York City to spend NYE with some great friends and to see some of my fave DJs, a weekend trip to Baltimore to celebrate Justin’s bday, a quick trip to Long Island, and a night out in Providence celebrating my sisters 21st birthday…I don’t think I’ve settled since I’ve been home!

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Given all that has been going on over the past few weeks, I actually made a surprisingly REALLY good effort to stay on track with my workouts and healthy eating. Granted I certainly splurged a bit over the holiday feast, I made sure to not lose sight of my workouts and make up where I could with the clean eating. I think this is the first year where I’ve really stayed motivated over the holidays and had my eyes set on a healthy beginning to the New Year.

To wrap up, I’m pretty excited for this year! I have a lot of goals and aspirations. To name a few…
– Volunteer consistently on the weekends with an organization that helps kids stay fit and play sports (a passion of mine that I believe is very important to share with young kids). Haven’t yet found the right organization for this, so if anyone knows of what, please feel free to comment below!
– My boyfriend and I are saving to move into our first apartment together beginning this summer!
– I am vowed to continue attending and hopefully advancing in both barre and yoga in hopes of improving my flexibility and strength. Cutting back on the running has allowed for me to fit so many new workouts into my routine!
– Put more time into my blog.
– Now that I’m back home on the east coast, make a bigger effort to continue planning time to get together with friends, family, and colleagues at work. Keeping those relationships and networks strong is SO important!
– Keep up with cooking, meal prepping, and clean eating.
– Build a strong network at work, get my name out, prove myself, and come September, interview for both attainable and far-reach roles.

The above list are a few of my aspirations for 2015. What are yours? Feel free to comment and share below! It’s so motivating to hear about what other people are doing! Have a great 2015 everyone!

My Take on Barre

My Take on Barre

Over the past few weeks, my friends/family/boyfriend have likely heard the following phrases come out: “had a great morning, hit the barre first thing” or “can’t meet after work, heading to the barre” or “the barre has GREAT music and energy” or …you get the picture. I’m not an alcoholic I swear. Okay okay, jokes old, I’m lame – but sorry, can’t help getting a kick out of it still! Yes, I’ve become completely obsessed with barre class. Particularly, I’ve been hitting up the Pure Barre studio – a chain of boutique barre studio’s across the country. To my luck, one studio is located 5 minutes down the road from my office and is conveniently the same distance to my apartment…how can I say no?

I tried out my first Barre class last winter and LOVED it, however, I was still so stuck on ONLY cardio at that point. I felt that running was the only way to stay in shape. However, lately, I’ve realized that running is not the ONLY answer and quite frankly – I think I just need a long break from running. And coincidentally, this realization could not have come at a better time. Winter hibernation is the perfect time for this! Now don’t get me wrong. I still love running and it is TOTALLY a great workout. I’ll still do 3-4 miles at least 3 times a week. But, I’ve cut back a lot. Honestly, my plan is to take off the winter and then start up training again mid-spring.

Anyway, given this – I’ve found other ways to stay in shape and really work on toning and strengthening my body. Barre has been a fitness routine that I really enjoy and am ACTUALLY seeing results from after just a few weeks, which running has never done that drastically. I loved my first class at Pure Barre so much that I purchased a 1 month unlimited sign up for new clients and jumped on that ASAP. I can tell you I have taken full advantage of this – literally, I go almost every other day possible…
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For those of you who still may be wondering what exactly barre is, let me give you a run down of what a typical class at Pure Barre would be like:

The studio is fairly small, there’s just one large room carpeted and surrounded by mirrors and of course, the barre that wraps around the room. The studio is welcoming and the fitness trainers there are all super upbeat and friendly! One thing I noticed at my first class and all of them following, is how tentative the fitness instructors are. I arrived a few minutes early to my first class and they walked me through some beginner tips. Come in, grab a ball, a strap, and 2 sets of weights. Pick an area close to the mirror, in the front of the room so that you can easily pay attention to your form. Take the class at your own pace, you know your own limit. And most importantly, when in doubt, ALWAYS tuck (essentially, act as though someone is constantly punching you in the stomach!)

On the dot, the instructor comes in – the class room is filled with no more than 15 people. The music starts up – AH – upbeat house and dance music – I could get used to this. Let me tell you – this music is so crucial for a class like this – so many of the moves go exactly to the beat and the music will push you through the pain. We begin right away with the warm up – the fitness instructor coaching us all the way through, whether you’re a regular or brand new to the class, the instructors will coach you through every move. Not only that, but they are really good about paying attention to your name as you arrive to the class. Which is so nice, because throughout the class they’ll say your name with encouraging comments or coaching tips – I find this aspect so important and I really appreciate how personal they are with the class!
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Now after your warm up, you go straight into working your arms. You have the option of using no weights, 2 lbs, 3 lbs, or 5 lbs. Don’t let the amount of the weights fool you! Your arms WILL be shaking by the end, I promise you. Once you are done with arms, you’ll do a quick stretch and move into working your “seat” (the outer part of your bum, aka the Bikini target zone, aka every women’s goal for the best summertime bod) 😉 Again, they will work you until every inch on your body is uncontrollably shaking. After this workout, you’ll then get a really nice stretch in. Another thing to note here is that this brief stretching actually Really pays off. My yoga instructor even commented on how much my splits have improved…wooo!! Progress!!

After your seat and stretching, you’ll then progress into outer/inner thighs, then slow done a bit into core. Then the fun begins as you wrap up the class with a VERY intense core session. Again, the goal here is to get you to the point of shaking for every muscle. So you can bet your core will be worked to the bone!

Quickly, the hour flies by and you’ve made it to your final stretching stages. Lastly, you’ll wrap up the class with a group applause and I can guarantee you’ll never feel more accomplished than after this barre class!

Last bit of advice – drink a lot of water before hand and make sure you dress appropriately! See below for advice on what to wear:
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Similar to yoga attire…

– Long spandex/leggings/capri spandex (don’t suggest wearing shorts as you do moves and stretches that may show a lot…if you get the point…)
– Any type of tank top – highly suggest a tight one for flexibility with movement
– You will need special socks with a grip texture on the bottom – you have the option of purchasing these there for $3

Feel free to leave comments and let me know if you’ve ever tried Barre and if so, what’d you think?!

Spaghetti…SQUASH?!

Spaghetti…SQUASH?!

So let me start by telling you that I’m absolutely obsessed with spaghetti squash. It is seriously the best thing that has happened to me! Taking it too far? Nope, not at all. This delicious and versatile squash is really a life changer! It literally is a veggie disguised as the spaghetti pasta. Don’t believe me? Take my sister for example. THis was the ULTIMATE taste test. She thinks everything I eat looks good…until she hears what it is.
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So, the other night I proved her wrong. She watched as I forked the stringy, warmed spaghetti squash out onto my plate…in awe and probably a bit of disgust. She’s not exactly a fan of many veggies (except of course asparagus which she could eat for days). And she ONLY likes angel hair. Literally she like won’t even touch ziti, linguini, etc. So, as you can imagine, she was my biggest critic I had to please. As I layered my spaghetti squash on the plate, topped it with my simple tomato sauce, tilapia and the side of sautéed veggies, she said “that actually looks good.” WOW! Check one off the list…now it was just getting her to actually try it. As if she read my mind, she goes “can I try a bite?” Were THOSE words seriously coming out of her mouth?

So OF COURSE I was going to give her a bite. FYI, I NEVER share. HAHA I’m pretty selfish and greedy when it comes to my food. I try and be polite by offering (of course this happens on rare occasions), but secretly I’m always hoping they say “no thank you”. Anyways, I knew I had to prove her taste buds wrong so I gave her a spoonful. Her response, “wow, that’s actually not bad at all”. She then proceeded by questioning me a bit on the process of making the actual spaghetti squash. HA, I gave myself a pat on the shoulder, because I just convinced the pickiest health food critic that spaghetti squash tasted the same AND better than plain old pasta!

See below for some simple Spaghetti Squash Recipes…

Spaghetti Squash, Sautéed Brocoli, and a Meat-sauce Marinara Sauce:
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Ingredients for the meat sauce:
-Lean Ground Turkey
-1/4 package of Taco Seasoning (Trader Joe’s)
-2 Chopped Garlic Cloves
-1/2 sliced yellow onion
-Basil, Oregano, Paprika, Black Pepper, and a Pinch of Salt (add to your liking)
-1/2 small can of organic tomato paste
-1/2 cup of organic tomato sauce
-tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Others:
-Brocoli (steamed or sautéed in EVOO)
-Spaghetti Squash*
-Shredded Parmesan

Recipe:
Start by sautéing the garlic, onion, and EVOO in a large sauce pan. After a few minutes, add the ground turkey meat. FYI this will cook quickly, so make sure to keep mixing it around. Once lightly browned, add the seasonings and tomato sauce/paste. Let this simmer on low heat for another 5-10 minutes and top it on spaghetti squash.*

Spaghetti Squash, Tilapia, and Sautéed Veggies:
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Ingredients for the sauce and tilapia:
-Spaghetti Squash*
-Tilapia
-1 garlic clove
-3 sliced lemons
-1/2 cup Organic Tomato Sauce
-1/2 small can Organic Tomato Paste
-Seasonings: basil, oregano, paprika, black pepper, & a pinch of salt


Ingredients for the Sautéed Veggies:

-Eggplant
-asparagus
-Spinach
-Kale
-Brocoli
-1-2 chopped garlic cloves
-1/2 chopped onion
-1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Recipe:
On a small pan, rub the tilapia in extra virgin olive oil, then throw some paprika and basil seasoning on it. Add a 1/2 tsp of fresh garlic clove and add a few slices of lemon. Bake this in the oven on 375 degrees for 15-20 mins (or until flaky). In a small saucepan, cook the tomato sauces and pastes, and the seasonings. Let this simmer on low heat. Meanwhile, sauté the veggies, beginning with the olive oil, the garlic, and the onion. After a few minutes, add the rest of the veggies and cook until softened. Serve all together on a plate and enjoy!

** How to cook the spaghetti squash: Here’s my easy way out! Slice it in half, horizontally. Toss one half in the micro and cook for 4 minutes. CHeck on it and try to fork the inside of it a bit. If it still is rather hard, but it back in the micro for another 3-5 minutes. At this point, it should be pretty soft by now. You then want to take a fork and scoop out the middle part which contains the seeds. Because these are big they should be easy enough to scoop out. Then literally scoop out all of the stringy spaghetti like squash pieces until there’s nothing left inside aside from the skin. You can scoop this right onto your plate and serve just like that!

Here’s a quick little vid for those who need to see it in person!

Find your Zen for the Holidays

Find your Zen for the Holidays

Two Things. One, my blog is currently under construction, so this is just a temporary format! I’m not the best with this kind of blogging technology, shocking seeing as I minored in Information Systems and I work at a tech company… Secondly, I haven’t posted in a while due to work and personal conflicts, however I’m backkk and ready to take on the holiday season! One thing I find very important come the holiday season is finding that time to just relax and de-stress yourself. I know that personally, little things like driving today to work and getting stuck in an hour and a half of traffic is not something I enjoy, at all. To be honest, I’d rather be doing anything then being stuck in traffic. Why? Because my stress levels tend to shoot through the roof and my road rage gets the best of me. Indeed I have no patience when it comes to traffic and actually most things for that matter. Plus, if today’s traffic was bad, I can ONLY imagine how much worse it will get as the snow storms increase into the wintery months of January and February. Anyway, where am I going with this you may be wondering…well, recently, I’ve been really into doing quick 10-15 minute yoga sessions in my room at night before I go to bed.
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In my bedroom, I find just enough space to set up my very pink, PB teen yoga mat. Yes, I made this purchase like 5 years ago because I was “into” yoga for like a day and I thought the mat color was cute. Once you got the yoga mat down, the additional “accessories” are a must have in my opinion in order to create that special place of “Zen” for you. What does this entail…?
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Well, personally I find it incredibly relaxing to have a few candles lit in my room. Something about the smell and the atmosphere established by the candles instantly calm me. If you need suggestions for candles, you can never go wrong with the season Yankee candle scents. However, I LOVE the Anthropologie candles. I have the Capri Blue Mercury Glass Jar Candle and the Good Nature Holiday Candle Cranberry Spice Scent; both give off AMAZING aromas and will always put you in fabulous mood!

The third tip to creating your special space of Zen is by finding the perfect 8tracks playlist. If you don’t know what 8tracks is, look into it! It’s like Pandora except without any commercials! Recently, I’ve been really into doing yoga to upbeat, modern Christmas music or I’ve been listening to some good indie folk music as well. Sounds strange to do yoga to, but it’s actually just what I need to end my day.
The fourth tip I have for you is to make sure it’s nice, warm, and cozy in your room! I always make sure to have the heat set around 70 degrees. This is my ideal temp for doing some yoga and I’m just nearly breaking a sweat by the end of quick nighttime session.
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The fifth tip I have for you is to find time to decorate your room with some Christmas lights. The lighting is another critical factor to finding your “happy, peaceful place”. For me, the candles and the string of xmas lights draped over my bed is just enough to create the perfect lighting for my room. You definitely don’t want bright lights for your nighttime yoga! Or my other suggestion would be to invest a super cool lava lamp…BUT that’s just my personal opinion! Since when did those go out of style anyway??
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Tip number six I have is to make sure your room is clutter-free! Having a clean space to do yoga in makes all the difference! If you decide to do your yoga session in a messy space, then that just defeats the purpose of attempting to de-stress yourself! Messy spaces, at least for me, lead to stress, anxiety, and even discomfort. So take the extra 15 minutes to make your bed, hang your clothes, and organize your bureau, it WILL be worth it!

Tip number seven is a pretty obvious one, BUT make sure you’re wearing comfortable attire! What you wear can also lead to either creating a stress-free zone, or it can lead to the complete opposite effect! I’ll usually wear some lose shorts and a sports bra or tank top given my typically warm room. I feel like I can breathe in this clothing and plus, my doors closed, so I can wear whatever the heck I want and not feel uncomfortable being dressed half naked!

My eighth and last tip for you is to wait about an hour or so after you eat dinner, then brew yourself a cup of caffeine-FREE tea. My suggestion would be to invest in some chamomile (they have a variety of yummy flavors like vanilla and caramel!) or try some of the seasonal flavors that are out! Tea helps to relax the mind and body before going to bed. I typically eat dinner around 6/6:30, dessert around 7/7:30 (can’t forget this meal!!), then have my tea around 8/8:30, then I’ll be yoga session no later than 9, then I’ll get ready to go to bed! This routine tends to work out perfectly for me, but everyone has their own ways of doing things, so find out what works best for you! It may even work better to do your yoga in the AM given your schedule, so again, try out what works best for you, then make it a habit!
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Lastly, my yoga routines at night typically tend to be a lot of stretching that I try to incorporate through a number of sun salutations that I try and switch up every now and then. I also have been trying to perfect my backward bridges, and I’ve finally succeeding in holding myself up in a headstand…so I’ve made those a standard part of my routine as well! Additionally, I like to do a variety of warrior poses, tree poses, triangle poses, cat and dog stretches, child’s pose, Camel pose, Boat pose, and Bow pose (the last few are great for digestion, especially before going to bed)! I’m not a certified yoga instructor by any means, I’ve only been to my fair share of yoga classes, but keeping it simple and following some youtube videos online, I’ve found what works best for me and I’m happy with what I’m able to do! I already feel my flexibility improving and my stress levels have gone down (by a slight bit….BUT, hey! I’m getting there).

I Survived Thanksgiving!

I Survived Thanksgiving!

Annddd believe it or not, I survived Thanksgiving! And no, I don’t feel 10x’s heavier (hence the emphasis on the “feel”…I could be..). Either way, no guilt, no shame, no excessive working out or calorie cutting, just pure thankfulness for everything I have in my life. I’m actually really happy with how I approached my Thanksgiving Day. Typically, in past years, I would go absolutely crazy and eat until I literally can’t fit anything else into my stomach. This year, I took my time and paced out my meals much better than I’ve handled any holiday feast. How? Well…

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I began breakfast with a light, but filling bowl of delicious fruit salad and some coffee to power me through the day. I then went for a great HITT run around noon. Did a solid 5 miles, 15 mins warm up, 10 x’s 30 seconds hard/easy, then 15 mins cool down. It was chilly and the wind was honking here on the Cape, but shockingly, that’s my favorite kind of running weather! I felt great and it was one of those runs where I just wanted to push myself and get my butt movin’! After the run, I came back, got some stretching it and did 10 minutes of core, legs, and arm exercises from my no-equipment workout I posted. After feeling quite refreshed from my workout, I was ready to go for the next round of food.

Perfect timing. I got out of the shower and entered a kitchen full of thanksgiving day senses and deliciousness. Ahh, there was pumpkin ravioli, cheese and cracker plates, a variety of nuts to choose from, shrimp cocktail, pita bread and hummus, multi-grain tortilla chips and fresh guacamole. Obviously, I may have gone a little overboard on the apps. Certainly I helped myself to plenty of shrimp (low calorie and good source of protein), had a few too many nuts (whoops, I REALLY tried to watch the moderation here…), mmm lots of guacamole and hummus to dip into, and just a few slices of cheese which wasn’t too bad! I was perfectly content and topped it off with a warm mug of green tea.

Give it a few more hours and 5 o’clock rolled around, dinnnnnner time!! I was good to go for another round and my plate was stocked up with sweet potatoes (that I baked and broiled in Olive oil, salt, pepper, and cinnamon), some roasted butternut squash with craisins, steamed carrots and green beans, a few awesome pieces of fresh cut turkey, a side salad with goat cheese, mushrooms, mandarin oranges, and spinach…plus I probably had a few spoonfuls of some stuffing and more sweet potatoes that I munched on while roaming through the kitchen!

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SHOCKINGLY, I didn’t go up for seconds! I was stufffedd and knew I had to hold out for dessert! So one more hour later and I topped my meal off with some pumpkin pie and plenty of the apples that I scooped out from the apple pie. This was perfect and I didn’t feel guilty what so ever! I even helped myself to seconds of both. On top of the food, I made sure to go on a few walks with some family members and the dogs which helped me to digest my food from earlier and to keep the food coming later in the day! I also made sure that I kept moving every now and then, instead of just being slumped over on the couch all day long. Now, back to a SOMEWHAT normal routine. Yes, I said “somewhat” because I have a second Thanksgiving meal tomorrow at my moms. The food just never ends and I can’t say I hate it. It’s all about balance and keeping a normal routine throughout the entire week, regardless of how much food you may have consumed the day before! Either way, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day and let yourself lose a little to indulge in a few extra treats.

How to Survive your Grandma’s Pecan Pie (and all other Thanksgiving Day Treats)

How to Survive your Grandma’s Pecan Pie (and all other Thanksgiving Day Treats)

As we all know Thanksgiving day is right around the corner. That means food, food, and MORE food. Much of which involves heavy crèmes, sugars, carbs, more pies than you can count on one hand, plenty of alcohol, and even more leftovers to last you until Christmas. What’s there not to love about this holiday?! Well, I can tell you one thing and I’m sure it’s on your minds as well! What about that dreaded guilt and set-back you feel the following day? You likely just consumed double your normal calories, you’re feeling squishy, unmotivated, and are now even questioning what the point of working out even is?? Don’t worry. We’re all there and it’s OKAY, set-backs happen ALL of the time and that leaves more of a reason to get back on track.

Regardless of the “fear” you may feel towards holidays like Thanksgiving, you need to give your strict regimen a break, enjoy the time with your family and friends, and most importantly, don’t hold back on a slice of pumpkin pie! One day is not going to make you fat. Trust me, I’m in the same boat as you all and trying to get in the right mindset that will allow myself to let go a little and enjoy the delicious, fresh cooked food that is provided for me. However, if you’re still doubting the fact that one big cheat day isn’t good for your body OR your soul, then follow these tips to help overcome that little speed bump stopping you from indulging with the rest of your family.
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1.) Thanksgiving food is NOT ALL BAD. There are plenty of foods here that do fit your daily regimen. Yes, they may be slightly disguised between some extra oils and butters, but hey, when have you ever said no to healthy fats?? A little butter never hurts anyone and extra virgin olive oil is certainly not frowned upon in my perspective! Here’s what you should have on your plate:

a. Green Bean Casserole
b. Fresh, white meat Turkey
c.
Sweet Potatoes or Baked Potatoes (leave the butter out and if you can, ask for your sweet potato baked in the skin, in the over and eat that with no extra toppings!)
d. Shrimp Cocktail → not always at your typical thanksgiving dinner, but it will be an app at mine, so you can bet your butt I’ll be having a few of those babies!
e. ANY salad (Spinach Salad with cranberries, cheese, etc. – doesn’t matter what kind of salad, there are greens in there and if you eat plenty of that before dinner, you’ll feel less hungry to over indulge in other options. Secondly, don’t shy away from a little bit of feta or goat cheese, dairy means protein and we could all use some extra protein!)
f. Along with salads, any other types of GREENS served – brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, etc. – go crazy!!
g. Soups – now be wary of what soups are available, definitely have a small helping of some pumpkin soup (check to see what ingredients were used, if the majority was organic pumpkin puree, than dig in! If there is a good amount of heavy whipping cream, be light on the soup. Squash soup tends to be a little on the heavier side sometimes FYI!)
h. Fruit dish – there always has to be some kind of fruit offered, HOPEFULLY, if so, DIG in!
i. Any type of squash served – my fave is butternut squash!!
j. Cranberry sauce can be ok, but go light on it!
k. Pumpkin Pie – have a slice! Eat this over a Pecan Pie. The protein from the pumpkin is great in addition to its other health benefits!

2.) Of course, there are always Thanksgiving day foods that can be high in cals and fat, so consume these, just consume them in MODERATION!

a. Gravy – skip the gravy! It can often be high in calories and sodium.
b. Any kind of extra cheesy casserole that may be offered at the buffet table. If you see anything that screams a large amount of heavy cream and cheese, you may want to take a small spoonful. This can leave you feeling uneasy with all of the extra cream, in addition to adding on a few extra, unwanted calories.
c. Beer and Mixed cocktails – try and keep these to just 1 or 2. The sugar from the alcoholic beverages will leave you craving highly palatable foods and will likely leave you eating more than you had planned on. Try sticking to wine if you’re going to have more than 1 or 2 drinks!
d. Pecan pie – this can be very fatty and high in calories, try to go for a pumpkin pie or even an apple pie instead if your sweet sensitive.
e. Go light on the stuffing – bread and carbs can be good for you, again in MODERATION! This is key!!
f. Cheese, Crackers, Nuts, Anti-Pasta – all of these apps again can be ok in moderation, but keep in mind it’s easy to keep going back for seconds, thirds, and fourths. And we all know if there’s a bowl of almonds sitting in front of me, you can bet I’ll be back for seconds!
g. Any other sweet/dessert that is offered – first off, avoid the added ice cream on top of your treat of a pie slice, that’s only adding extra cals! Or see if they have frozen yogurt available if you’re a lover of the ice cream and pie combo (I know I sure am!)
h. Biscuits – try and stick a few simple carbs, don’t get too crazy!

3.) Avoid the day after eating leftovers. You will regret it! Here are some tips, give away as much of the desserts as possible to extended family members/friends/co-workers. In addition, try and get rid of any casserole dishes, etc! This is pretty easy math, but the less amount of leftovers there are around the house = the less likely you’ll be tempted to eat them!

4.) Save the healthy leftovers! Keep that turkey and make turkey vegetable soup or a healthy turkey salad! Also, try and save any of the veggies as well, you know you’ll feel totally guilt free eating those leftovers!

5.) Drink a lot of water throughout the day. To often, people mistake hunger with thirst. It only worsens when you have temptations of food surrounding you all day. So make sure to stay very hydrated all day long!

6.) Eat breakfast! Even if it’s something light, if you eat early, you’ll be less likely to binge all at once later in the day.

7.) Don’t be tempted to sit around on the couch all day and watch football with the rest of your family!

a. Catch up with a long lost relative over a nice mid-day, post-dinner walk around the neighborhood.
b. Offer to help out as much as possible in the kitchen. It’s something little, but at least you’ll be on your feet moving around and the cleaning up process involves some active movement as well.
c. If your eyes are glued on the TV, watch it from the floor while doing some abs, planks, pushups or lunges!
d. Every 1/5 hour get up and move around for 5 minutes, or do a few laps up and down the stairs to keep your body moving again.

8.) If you’re not already participating in a turkey day trot that morning, go on your own morning run! You’ll feel better about over-indulging later ☺ If you are racing that morning, check out my ‘Turkey Trot‘ post from last year!

9.) Lastly, here’s a little workout routine that you could easily do from anywhere. So whether you’re visiting your grandma’s house or relatives new home, this workout is perfect to fit in from any location!

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Enjoy!! And be sure to follow my instragram: @Eatrunandallinbetween for pictures of my thanksgiving day dinner!

“Burger” Galore – the healthy way

“Burger” Galore – the healthy way

If you’re a normal human being then you can’t even try and deny that you don’t crave a nice juicy burger on a perfectly toasted bun, topped with avocado, bacon, cheese, whatever it may be! And if you’re a vegetarian, this APPLYS to you as well…there’s a burger out there for everyone! So, recently I’ve had these crazy burger cravings for some odd reason! Instead of going out to order the biggest burger I could possibly find, I decided to make my own version of a healthy “burger”. One option is the classic vegetarian burger; however I’ve adjusted the basic recipe that’s out there. The other option is a quick and easy, protein filled, seafood inspired “burger” that can easily be whipped up in 5 minutes! There’s not even the hassle of taking meat out of the freezer to defrost or spending loads of money on a fresh salmon (as delicious as that would be :/ ) Below are my yummy and nutritious versions of your classic burger. And the best part is I can eat 3 or 4 of these babies 😉 Take that McDonalds Double Whopper!
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This is my SPICY Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger on a Open Face Portobello “Bun” below…

*Cooks 3-4 Medium Sized Burgers – To give you an idea, I ate all of them…So I recommend doubling the recipe if you’re serving for two! Then again, I can put back A LOT of food…YOLO

-1 large sweet potato
-½ can of drained black beans
-¼ cup diced onions
-2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro
-1 glove of garlic finely chopped
-1 tsp ground cumin
-About 2 tsp of Chipotle Pepper depending on how spicy you like your food! (found this at Trader Joes)
-Dash of cayenne pepper
-Dash of ground black pepper & salt
-1 tbsp Coconut oil

Mash everything together in a bowl as pictured below. Then mold them into medium size burgers, not too thin, not too thick. Cook until golden brown.
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Cook the portobello mushrooms on separate frying pan from the burgers.

For the bun:
-2 large Portobello mushrooms
-½ tbsp Coconut oil
-Sprinkle of salt and pepper (fry on both sides until softened and slightly browned)
For the Toppings:
-Ice burg lettuce
-Sliced Tomatoes
-Sliced Avocado
-Sundried Tomato Hummus to spread
-Trader Joes Roasted Red Pepper, Eggplant, & Garlic Dip to spread

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Now for my Seafood Inspired dish… Salmon and White Bean “Burgers”

*Serves 2 people; makes 8 mini burgers

-1 can of drained pink salmon (in water, no salt added)
-½ can of white kidney beans
-¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
-1 egg white
-Handful of finely chopped spinach
-Chipotle Pepper (from Trader Joe’s)
-1 tsp of paprika/cayenne red pepper
-1 tbsp of coconut oil

Mash everything together in a bowl as pictured below. Then mold them into medium size burgers, not too thin, not too thick. Cook until golden brown.

Optional – Top with:
-Sundried Tomato hummus
-Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper, Eggplant, and Garlic Dip
-Avocado
-Ice Berg Lettuce
-Sliced Tomato
-Whole Wheat/Ezekiel Bread/Whole Wheat Wrap

Now that I’ve tried some simple burger recipes, I’m actually looking forward to find out what more I can with mixing up the recipes, using beans, sweet potato, or canned tuna/salmon as the consistency base! There are so many flavorful options out there and these “burgers” are SO delicious and filling! Not only do these satisfy my burger cravings, but they’re full of protein, good fats (omega-3), healthy carbs, iron, vitamins from the veggie, etc.! What more could you possibly want in a burger? So next time you’re indecisive on a summer night meal, try whipping up a few of these patties! I can guarantee you won’t regret it : )

Make sure to follow me on my instagram account @Eatrunandallinbetween for daily food and fitness postings! : )

What are you REALLY putting into your body?

What are you REALLY putting into your body?

Alright, so I need to set a FEW things straight here. Check out these two pictures below. More importantly, take a look at the ingredients on the back of both. I realize one label is a little blurry, but just try and see if you can understand both labels, taking note of the sodium, ingredients, fat, sugars, etc.

Label One:
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If You can’t quite see the label that well, here are some quick details I pulled…
Serving Size: 3 Slices
Calories: 130
Total Fat: 1g
Sodium: 220mg
Total Carbohydrate: 26g
Sugars: 3g
Ingredients: Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), High Fructose Syrup, Calcium Propionate and Sorbic Acid, Mono and Diglycerides, contains only 2% or less of: oat bran, oat flour, rolled wheat, kibbled wheat, honey, natural sea salt, rice bran, etc. THE LIST GOES ON!

Label Two:
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Now, either you have to get your vision checked, or this label is pretty clear! For one, there’s literally no ingredients. It’s quite simple actually, but just in case you’ve been putting off getting your eyes checked, here ya go…
Serving Size: 1 avg. Slice
Calories: 110
Total fat: 0g
Sodium: 170mg
Total Carbohydrate: 23g
Sugars: 1g
Ingredients: Unbleached Flour, Cider, Evaporated Cane Juice, Salt and Yeast

Now, notice a difference here…? Let me help you out. Check out this photo below, WHICH bread do you think each label belongs toAND the big question, which is BETTER for you??
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So, if you couldn’t figure it out yourself, Label One belongs to the bread bag on the left and Label Two belongs to the bread picture on the right. Both, coincidentally were bought at our local Shaws grocery store, the bread on the right was freshly baked and all natural. Where as the bread on the left, a Pepperidge Farm brand, claims to be a 7 grain bread at just 45 calories a slice. Now, I see people do this ALL the time, girls and boys trying to watch their weight. They’ll automatically go for the lower calorie bread in the grocery store. A lot of times, they’ll justify it by explaining that it says “wheat” or “7 grain” on the bag. But, hey you saw it with your own eyes right at the top there! This Light Style “7 grain” bread claims that only 2% or less of the main ingredients are ACTUALLY made of pure wheat, oats, honey, wheat kibbles, etc. The other 98% of ingredients in this bread are probably names and sugars you’ve never even heard of before. Is that something you want to be putting into your body? And, let’s be realistic, does ONE slice of that bread actually fill you up? No. Let’s be honest here, I’d have to eat like 10 of those things to actually feel satisfied. But, take 1 slice of the naturally baked bread and I’d be pretty content. I’d also DEFINITELY be MORE content knowing that what I’m putting into my body is good for me.

Freshly_baked_bread_loaves

Who cares about a few extra calories when you’re eating clean and satisfying your belly in the right way?? With that, check out the bread on the right. ‘When Pigs Fly’ is a locally baked bread in Massachusetts and the style above is Sourdough which is the best option for those who have stomach or gluten problems. So, next time you’re at the grocery store, take a few things into consideration…

dieting-all-morning

Case in point. Ditch the low calorie bread, go for the 100% WHOLE WHEAT bread, venture towards the FRESH baked bread aisle, and be sure to ALWAYS check your labels and the INGREDIENTS and make sure NONE of that is FOREIGN to you!

4th of July Healthy Tips and Recipes to Stay on Track!

Hey everyone! So again, I’ve been SO awful with posting! I actually just had my graduation party this past weekend so as you can imagine, it’s been pure chaos for the past few days! Anyway, I am back it again and have some tips for you all to stay healthy while celebrating the 4th of July at the same time. Of course, I can’t guarantee these tips will 100% work but it’s worth the try, right!?
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Tip One: EAT breakfast! People pull this move all the time. They know that they have a party and/or a big feast later that day and then there goes fasting for the upcoming 12 hours. But, let me tell you that will absolutely not work! The second you’re surrounded by delicious foods and drinks, you will end up eating more than had you just had breakfast and stuck to a normal eating plan. Eating breakfast first thing in the morning secures a normal blood sugar level for throughout the day and thus lessening the likely hood of you overeating later in the day.

Tip Two: Bring your own HEALTHY app to share with everyone at the party. (Healthy Recipes Posted Below) If you stick to eating your own app, you can assure you’re eating something that’s clean, low-fat, and fits to your healthy eating ways.

Tip Three: Try and stick to just ONE drink an hour. I know this sounds lame on the 4th, but if you’re really serious about watching your food intake, we all know the more alcohol you consume, the more drinking calories you’re taking in, and not to mention you’re probably more likely to drunk eat and make unhealthy choices later in the evening!

Tip Four: If you are drinking, stick to a lower-calorie cocktail. Often times, there are always festive 4th of July cocktails being served, but try and keep it to trying just ONE of those, and then sticking to wine or a plain liquor mixed with soda water for a lower-calorie option.

Tip Five: Do a little exercise that morning! If you’re not a regular exerciser, go for a jog that morning. You’ll find that you’ll feel much more confident about yourself and just that little bit of motivation will want to keep you on the right track for the day. Who would want to go and ruin that hardwork?!

Tip Six: If you know you have a big party to attend later in the week for the 4th of July, you should be preparing by sticking to a healthy eating routine all week. That way, come Thursday, you can take the 4th as a TREAT day. NOT a cheat, but you deserve to enjoy life and a nice big piece of an American flag cake! Then the next day, jump right back into your healthy eating routine, DON’T fast. You had one treat day, doesn’t mean your life is over!

Here’s a Few Healthy Recipes to get ya started for your 4th!

Red, White, and Blue Protein Smoothie:
Red-White-Blue-Smoothie_vertical_blog
What You’ll Need:
Red Smoothie:
-¼ Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-4-5 Strawberries
-1 TBSP of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
-2 Ice Cubes
White Smoothie:
-1 Banana
-¼ Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-1 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein
-1 Ice Cubes
Blue Smoothie:
-Handful of Blueberries
-¼ Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-1 TBSP of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
-2 Ice Cubes

Greek Yogurt Covered Strawberries and Blueberries:
frozen-yogurt-covered-blueberries
greek-yogurt-dipped-berries

Instead of Chocolate Strawberries, make them healthy and patriotic for this 4th. Simply get a batch of Fresh Strawberries and dip half of them in Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt. Then use half a batch of Blueberries and cover them completely in the Greek yogurt as well. Place on a piece of wax paper and put into the fridge until yogurt is frozen! Serve Chilled.

Patriotic Summer Spinach Salad:
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What You’ll Need:
-Baby Spinach
-1 Cup of Blueberries
-1 cup of Sliced Strawberries
-¼ Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
-¼ Cup of Sliced Almonds
-¼ cup of unsweetened dried cranberries
-¼ Cup of Reduced Fat Feta Cheese Crumbled

For the Dressing:
-1 TBSP of Balsamic Vinegar
-1 TBSP of Organic Honey
-1 Freshly Squeezed Lime

Healthy Pizza Eggplant Bites Appetizer:
EggplantPizzaRounds
Alright, so there aren’t exactly many BLUE veggies, but an eggplant will do the job…
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What You’ll Need:
-1 large eggplant Sliced
-1 Can of Organic Tomato paste
-1 Can of Organic Tomato Sauce
Spices: Ground Cumin, Chili Powder, Black Pepper, Oregano, Basil Leaves
-Freshly Shredded SKIM mozzarella Cheese
-Fresh Cherry Tomatoes to Top
-Purple Asparagus (sauté these in extra virgin olive oil before placing on eggplant)
-OR you can also use olives to make for a “blue” topping as well!

On a cooking tray, place the eggplant slices and put into the oven on 350 degrees until soft and just the little bit golden. Then pull tray out, add the sauces (mix both cans and spices together in a separate bowl before placing on eggplant), add the cheese and then top with the asparagus and tomatoes. Put back in oven for another 5-10 mins (look for cheese to melt), then switch oven to BROIL and leave in for just a few mins. This will make the eggplants crispy BUT make sure to keep an eye on them as they will burn quickly!! Enjoy your patriotic and healthy “pizza” bites!

Hope you enjoy the tips and healthy recipes! Happyyyy 4th of July Everyone!! Make sure to check out my instagram account: @eatrunandallinbetween for daily postings!

Take Care of Your Body

Just some words to consider next time you pick up that McDonalds Extra Large Breakfast Combo… 😉

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I don’t know about you all, but upon reading this quote, it SERIOUSLY got me thinking. I never really considered that what I eat and how I workout, reflects how I respect and treat my body. When one puts it in that perspective, WHY would I ever choose to consume highly processed, sugary, high-caloric, greasy, fast food?? We all do it. Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t crave a greasy burger or pizza or chocolate Kit-Kat bar every once in a while?! Sometimes, often most of the time, my body gives in and I satisfy that ugly craving of mine.

But, next time you think about whether you really want to put that Wendy’s fast food into your stomach, think about this quote. It may be just what you need to realize that your body needs to be treated with respect just as you would treat SOMEONE or SOMETHING else. Not only that, but it’s so true. Even if everything else in the world may absolutely suck or is just not going your way at all, YOUR body is the one place you have that will always be by your side, LITERALLY. It is the only place you have to live in, no matter the circumstances, so why would you want to feed it with unnatural food and not give it a workout every once in a while? You and your body deserve better, so fuel it with the RIGHT nutrients and vitamins it needs and give it the proper exercise to keep your body in a tip-top living condition that is sustainable for a long life!


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