Tag: running

Intensive Yoga Flow & Workout Playlist

Intensive Yoga Flow & Workout Playlist

Hi there!

I haven’t shared my workout playlist in a while and figured for the next one, I’d share my fave yoga flow playlist. This is for the yogi who likes to get their sweat on through an intensive flow session. The music definitely picks up a bit, so flow to the beat and feel the BURRRRNNN. I’d describe these songs as a mix of being melodic, dreamy, trippy, electronic, dubby, empowering, and so on (you get the idea).

Some of the artists include:

  • Big Gigantic
  • Flume
  • Adventure Club
  • Disclosure
  • Tove Lo
  • Bassnectar
  • Shaun Frank
  • Anna Lunoe
  • Zeds Dead
  • Sevon Lions
  • Kill Paris

…and so many more!

With more than 60+ songs to keep you going all day long – throw it on shuffle and let me know what you think! I love discovering new artists – so please feel free to share & comment!

— Also, feel free to give me a follow on SoundCloud so you can stay updated on new music & check out my other playlists as well!

Roasted Fall Veggie-Bowl w/ Pesto Tempeh Feauturing: OhSheGlows Green Goddess Dressing

Roasted Fall Veggie-Bowl w/ Pesto Tempeh Feauturing: OhSheGlows Green Goddess Dressing

Hi everyone! For today’s post, I thought it was only appropriate to share my tasty, veggie-filled, buddah-bowl inspired lunch from this week. I’m not one to brag about my lunches, because let’s be honest, they’re usually not THAT exciting. But this one HIT the spot and was actually a lunch I looked forward to chowing down on, even after eating it all 5 days (and that says something)! So if you’re looking for a meal prep option that you can prepare in under an hour and that will last you all week, you’ve found the right recipe! Plus it’s entirely vegan, loaded with yummy seasonal veggies and a whole lot of nutrients to keep you fueled each day!

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See below for the ingredients you’ll need…

Ingredients for the bowl (yields enough servings for 5 days):
• 1 (small) sack of purple potatoes
• 2 sweet potatoes
• About a pound of Brussel sprouts
• 3 cloves of minced garlic
• 2 heads of kale (I bought curly kale & dinosaur kale)
• Coconut oil
• 2 TBSP of lemon juice
• ½ yellow onion
• 2 packages of Lightlife Tempeh
• Hope Hummus (Kale Pesto)

And for an absolute favorite recipe of mine from the the amazing Oh She Glows…(seriously check her site out for some delicious vegan recipes & inspiration)! Check out the ingredients needed and simple directions for the vegan green goddess dressing on her site: Oh She Glow’s Green Goddess Dressing . If you don’t have the ingredients to prep this dressing, a great & tasty alternative can be a lemon tahini dressing – another favorite of mine 🙂

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For the bowl –

• Start by setting the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, dice the sweet potatoes & purple potatoes into bite size pieces. Cover a baking sheet lightly in coconut oil. Layer your potatoes evenly on the baking sheet. Add another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, a pinch of salt, black pepper, cayenne, and cinnamon. Using your hands, spread the oil & seasoning throughout the potatoes.

• Set aside and begin slicing your Brussel sprouts in half. Similar to the potatoes, you’ll want to get another baking sheet and layer it in coconut oil. Add your Brussel sprouts and layer another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, mixing in a pinch of salt, black pepper, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. Once those are lathered evenly throughout, place both baking sheets in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, mixing them around every 5-10 minutes. I personally like mine charred and slightly burnt, so I tend to keep them in for 20 minutes (just make sure to keep an eye on them as they’ll cook fast in the high heat)!

• While the Brussel sprouts & potatoes are cooking, take out a large, stick-free, sauté pan, add your garlic and onion with about 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil. Let that cook on low heat for about 3 minutes. While that’s heating up, strip out the hard stem of each kale leaf. Chop them slightly smaller, so they’re easier to eat. Once the pan is warm, begin adding your kale in small increments. The kale will wilt quickly, but if you add it all in at once, you may have trouble cooking it & coating it evenly in the oil. Add your seasonings of choice – I chose to add a pinch of salt, black pepper, dried dill weed, and a small amount of cayenne. Add lemon juice slowly as you’re cooking the kale to help it wilt more quickly so that you can add the remainder of your kale. Once the majority of your kale is shrunk in size, you should only cook for a few extra minutes in order to retain most of the nutrients and avoid overcooking!

• Once your sautéed garlic kale is complete, put that to the side. Use that same pan, add ½ TBSP of coconut oil, add your chopped tempeh and sautee until it reaches a nice golden crisp on the edges. At that point, lower your heat, add about 2 TBSP of the pesto hummus and mix in well before setting aside.

• The last step is to prep your Oh She Glows Green Goddess dressing. Make your way to the following link: Oh She Glow’s Green Goddess Dressing.

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As mentioned, you should have enough prepped for 5 large bowls for the week. Heat up in a microwave-safe dish for about 2:30-3 minutes. Feel free to top your bowl with additional toppings such as my favorite – Biena Foods Crispy, lightly salted, crunch chickpeas! Or sprinkle your bowl with hemp seeds & some nutritional yeast – get creative and enjoy!

An Interview with my Fast Runner Friend – Jackie D!

An Interview with my Fast Runner Friend – Jackie D!

Hi all!

For this specific post, I decided to switch it up a bit! I’m sure you’re probably sick of hearing about me, so I thought it’d be interesting to start a series where I interview friends who in some way, are just as connected to health & fitness as I am. Some of you likely know that I ran competitively in college and through that, I had the pleasure of meeting some pretty amazing people and not to mention, a few of my best friends to this date! I’ve learned so much from them and I’d say they play a HUGE role in keeping me motivated whether it’s wellness related or just personally.

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So with that…I introduce to you my very first interview with my teammate from college and one of my best friends, Jackie D’Antonio! Since I know Jackie won’t toot her own horn, I’ll do it for her 😉 Jackie still holds the Loyola University Maryland records for the following:

-Women’s Indoor Track 800m with a 2:13:92
-Women’s Indoor Track 1,000m with a 2:52:17
-Women’s Indoor Track 4x800m Relay (Team Time of 9:35.33)
-Women’s Outdoor Track 800m with a 2:14:90
-Women’s Outdoor Track Distance Medley Relay (Team Time of 12:18.36)
-Women’s Outdoor Track 4x800m Relay (Team Time of 9:23.74)
-Women’s Top 10 XC 5K with a 18.05.90
-Women’s Top 10 XC 6K with a 21:34.00

Let’s now fast forward 3 years later, post-college and see what she’s up to these days! Hope you all enjoy and feel free to leave any comments or feedback!

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1. What are you currently training for?

Rochester half-marathon on September 18.

2. What does your average week of training look like?

I typically run 3 times a week (2 workouts, 1 long run) and strength/cross train the other days. I (try to) reserve Sundays for yoga.

3. What is your goal time?

Under 1:30 for the half

4. What advice would you give to someone looking to get into running?

Be patient and be persistent. It takes at least 2 weeks to get in shape so don’t expect to end the first week running a 5k at 7 minute pace. It can be real tough at first, but stick with it–it DOES get easier.

​5. Favorite workout routine at the moment?

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are always my go-to; they’re quick and dirty. I find a lot of good strength ones on www.bodybuilding.com

6. Favorite grocery store?

What a silly question. Wegmans, duh.

7. Who is your role model?

My momma.

8. Why is that ^ person your role model?

She’s been running since middle school and has yet to stop. And she’s just overall the best human being I’ve ever encountered.

9. ​​​​​​Name your favorite dessert – doesn’t have to be healthy 🙂

I’m a sucker for a good eclair. Strawberry shortcake is also one of my absolute faves. OR warm apple pie and ice cream. I’ll pretty much eat anything you put in front of me.

​10. What does your morning routine look like?​

I usually wake up between 5:30-6:00, depending on if I am running or going to the gym that day. Do my workout, shower, make a smoothie for breakfast, and am out the door for work by 8:15.

11. Favorite drink of choice to enjoy with your lunch?

Seltzer. Also super into the Kevita Probiotic and Bai drinks. I love bubbles.

12. What do you hope to accomplish in one year?

Fitness-wise, I want to build myself a booty. Life-wise, figure out my next (literal) move in life; I wanna explore a new city, I just need to figure out which one!

13. What about 5 years?

To have run the Boston Marathon.

14. If you were stranded on a remote island, name 3 things you would bring.

My brother Joey (good for strength and brains), phone with a portable charger to call for help, and a water filter. Really thought logically about that one.

15. What new food did you recently try and LOVE?

Hapi brand Wasabi peas are bomb.

16. Favorite motivational quote?

“Remind yourself daily that someone is happier with less than what you possess.”

17. How do you recover after a hard workout?

Treat mahself to a yummy meal like my mom’s famous homemade pizzas!

18. What is your favorite strength routine in the gym?

I like picking about 8 exercises and doing a circuit of 1-minute on/45seconds off of various strength workouts. Some exercises I like to do are pull-ups, box jump burpees, renegade push-ups, deadlift to squat press, wallstand push-ups, weighted running arms, etc.

19. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Greece.

20. Last question, ​what keeps you motivated?​

Truthfully, food. Knowing that if I workout hard, I can (hopefully) continue eating whatever the heck I want.

What I love about RXBARs

What I love about RXBARs

If you follow my daily postings through my instagram account, you’ve probably noticed my latest obsession with rxbars. What I love about these bars (and you’ll easily find it on the packaging) – these bars have absolutely “no BS”. They’re as natural as it gets. I also love that these bars are both high in healthy fats AND high in protein. Typically if I’m lacking in my macros for protein, I’ll go for a quest bar. And on the other hand, if I’m lacking in fat, I may go for a larabar.
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RXBARs make it easy to get both in one serving! The bars contain roughly 12 grams of protein which come from both the 3 egg whites that are included in the ingredients and the nuts. The bars are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, and of course GREAT flavor to keep you full and satisfied!
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Recently, I ordered their sample pack online so that I could finally get my hands on ALL of their new, delicious flavors! Unfortunately, the only grocery store by me that carries them is Wegmans, but they only carry 3 flavors. So, being as obsessed with them as I am, I couldn’t help but purchase the sample pack.
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Their flavors now include the following: Coconut Chocolate, Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt, Pumpkin Spice, Peanut Butter, Coffee Chocolate, Apple Cinnamon and Mint Chocolate Chip.
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My favorites so far? In order, my top 3 would have to be …Chocolate Sea Salt taking 3rd place, Pumpkin Spice taking 2nd (legitimately tastes like pumpkin pie), and last but not least…Mint Chocolate Chip taking 1st place!
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If you can’t decide which flavor to try, my suggestion? Go for the sample pack. You are welcome!

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

When it comes to balancing food shopping and your budget – I totally get it. It’s a constant battle.

Whole Foods > Whole Pay Check?
Organic > Not Organic?
Quest bars > Kind Bars?
Almond Butter > Peanut Butter?

For me …I find that some weeks I give in to the Whole Food brain wash and buy every healthy, organic snack I see on the shelf. And some weeks, I go in with a tight budget and an even leaner grocery list. I find this balance works. Especially when you can stock up on the right essentials to save you at least a few grocery trips!

So when is it worth spending those extra few bucks on groceries when it could have gone to that new lulu sports bra you’ve been eyeing? Let me share with you my faves!

  • Chia Seeds: Lucky for you – Wegmans and Whole Foods carry these in their bulk food section! Otherwise, this product is quite popular and can be found at most health food stores or even online through Amazon Prime!
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  • Goji Berries: Again, these berries can be quite pricey – but I swear by them! They are the perfect sweet topper or can be great for snacking! Again – these can be bought in bulk or can be found in a packaged bag. Keep an eye out for sales on both these and chia seeds!
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    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
  • Amazing Grass Product: I’ve been using the chocolate infusion for quite some time now. You can refer to my recipe here — you’ll see I rave about all of the nutrients you’re getting in just one scoop! This brand is a bit expensive, but when it comes to spending a few extra dollars – the health return you get from 1 scoop is completely worth it!
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  • Almond Butter: I absolutely love almond butter – but let’s be honest, some of the brands like Justin’s can be a bit expensive! It’s great to splurge every now and then, but if you kill a jar of almond butter in a week like I do, it may be time to re-evaluate how much money is going into one jar! Stick to the bulk food section and make your own container of almond butter. Both Whole Foods and Wegmans have this option.
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  • Coconut Oil: I LOVE coconut oil and I now buy it in 2 forms. I have a the big jar and I have the spray kind. I’ve been able to find the spray bottle for a much cheaper price through the brand PAM.
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    Maca Powder: Again another superfood, that is on the pricier side. But here’s the good news, you only need about 2 tsps to get the nutrients you need from this green powder! So make sure you splurge on the price, but are generous with your serving size!
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  • Almond Milk: Thank god for the 2.8L of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk that I buy. This large carton lasts forever and is most definitely one of my essentials, whether it be for smoothies, oatmeal, or just some coffee!
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  • Frozen Veggie Burgers: These are an easy, quick go-to when your in need for protein! Throw them in a salad, whip one up for dinner – whatever works! I tend to switch up the brands. So far, I’ve tried Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, Amy’s California Veggie Burgers, Vegan Boca Burgers, and the Engine 2 Diet Veggie Burgers – all of which are great choices in my opinion! But the Engine 2 really spiced up my taste buds.
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  • Frozen Shrimp: Similar to the veggie burgers, these are another go to of mine. You can usually find these in bulk and they’re so quick and easy. They go perfectly in a stir-fry, with a pasta dish – you name it! Definitely worth an investment on my grocery list.
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  • Frozen Acai Packages: I buy mine from the brand Sambazon and you can now find these in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. They are great for a filling smoothie or acai bowl and can work for any meal of the day!
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Enjoy!

Banza Pasta Topped with a Curry Butternut Squash Sauce

Banza Pasta Topped with a Curry Butternut Squash Sauce

For some reason, pasta isn’t always a product that lands on my grocery list. It’s not that I necessarily stay away from pasta, it’s just not typically a meal I plan for during the week. I tend to treat pasta as a “special” meal, which is crazy to me because let’s be honest, I could easily eat pasta every night and be content with that.
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When it comes to pasta, I’ve tried quite a variation. I’ve had quinoa pasta, brown rice pasta, whole wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta, zucchini “pasta”, basil pasta …I seriously thought I tried it all! Up until recently when a friend (thanks jackie!!) introduced me to Banza Chickpea Pasta (high protein pasta made from chickpeas). Now let me tell you, as crazy as this sounds, you would never realize you’re eating pasta made from chickpeas! The texture, taste, consistency, shape – everything about it is easily comparable to any other regular pasta! Not to mention the taste is on point!
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Anyway, I was inspired by a few of my favorite fall squashes – butternut squash! I was craving comfort food. So, why not create a creamy butternut squash sauce for this pasta! Healthy, filling, and warmed with all of those delicious fall flavors. Try out the dish below and let me know what you think! It’s the perfect mix of sweet and spicy for this time of year!

Ingredients:

– Banza Chickpea Pasta
– 3/4 can of butternut squash
– 2 tbsp Olive Oil
– 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
– 1/2 cup large yellow onion finally chopped
– 1 tsp curry powder
– 1/2 tsp chili powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– A shake of black pepper (add based on preference)
– A dash of cayenne pepper
– 1 cup chopped Mushrooms

Directions:

  • Bring water to a boil and follow the Banza Chickpea directions accordingly.
  • While your water is coming to a boil, begin with a large skillet and add your olive oil as it warms on a medium heat.
  • Add your chopped garlic and yellow onion. Let that cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Next you’ll add your mushrooms to sauté. Let those (and any other additional vegetables you wish to add) cook for about 5 minutes.
  • As this is cooking, add your seasonings of curry, chili powder, salt & black pepper.
  • Lastly, you’ll add your butternut squash directly into the skillet. Mix this well into the pan and let cook for an additional 2-4 minutes on low heat in order to warm the squash up in the sauce.
  • It may help to add about 1 TBSP or more of warm water to help soften up the sauce and thin it out if you wish to do so. You could also choose to add some heavy whipping cream or plain greek yogurt to the sauce if you’re looking make it creamier and thicker. Totally up to you and your preference!
  • Once your pasta is done and drained, you can add that directly into the large skillet with the sauce and mix well so that the pasta is completely covered. Enjoy and serve warm!

*If you decide to store over night, make sure to keep in an enclosed container. I’d suggest you add about 1-1.5 TBSP of water when re-heating your pasta & sauce as it will have a tendency to clump and harden a bit when sitting in the fridge. I reheated mine for about 2 minutes.

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Top Fall Jamz

Top Fall Jamz

No, I’m not referring to the kind of sweet, fruitful jams that are oh so perfect on a slightly browned piece of toast…no, I’m talking about music jams. Just as good, right?!?
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Anyway, nothing like some good pump up music to get you motivated as the temperature begins to drop and hibernation slowly but surely, becomes more tempting. For those that are familiar with my blog, likely know how obsessed I am with dance music. Whether it’s trap, big room, or deep house – I love it all and therefore basically eat, sleep, breathe it.

Now, don’t knock em till ya try em!

Scrub the Ground – Tommie Sunshine & Chocolate Puma
Won’t stop rocking the beat – R3hab & Headhunterz
90’s by Nature – Lucas and Steve Remix
Crunk – Siege
X – Dyro
Save Me – Keys n’ Krates
Wombass – Oliver Heldens & Tiesto
Ready to Fly – Mr Belt and Wezol
Split (Only U) – Chainsmokers & Tiesto
Sky High – Firebeatz
Deeper Love – Jauz
Squad Out – Skrillex & Jauz
Boss Mode – Knife Party
Odesza All we need remix – Dzecko and Torres
Jewlez and Sparks – Dope
Give me some – Fedde Le Grand and Merk & Kremont
Devotion – Bingo Players Jewlez and Sparks Remix

The Struggle is Real

The Struggle is Real

So the title here says it all. There are quite honestly some mornings where I wake up – groggy, unmotivated, unenthused by the day ahead of me. Now I’m sure I’m not the ONLY one that feels like that, right?? I mean let’s face the truth – summer is gone and we’ve now welcomed Fall (or pretending to) with open arms. Us Bostonians can already feel the crispness in the air or can see the frost glistening on cars early in the AM. For those of you familiar with my blog and therefore, my workout routine – I face it head on, early in the morning…every day. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you even get a pretty sunrise as pictured below!

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Whether I like it or not, I’ve committed. I’ve even rubbed off on my boyfriend who was so fortunate enough to have dealt with my 5AM wakeup call that he just couldn’t resist anymore! It’s actually a HUGE motivating factor when on the mornings where I snooze my alarm too many times to count, he rolls out of bed and gets going. Now, my competitive nature instantly would fight back and I would have no choice, but to get out of bed and follow suit.

Side note: a fun fact about Boston is that parking SUCKS. You’re lucky as hell if you find parking included with your apartment. If you’re unfortunate like ourselves, than you’re likely paying $125 or more a month for a (crappy) parking spot, that is most certainly, NOT right outside of your apartment. What is our parking spot like you ask? Well we park in tandem. So if I pull in first and Justin pulls in after me – I’m trapped until he leaves. As you can imagine – this has caused A LOT of stress on our relationship! LOL but all kidding aside – the point of bringing this up is that this parking situation has secretly set us up for success in getting out of bed for our workouts in the morning. If one of us commits to going and our car is blocking the other, we can’t decide last minute the next morning to call it quits. So, as much as I love to hate our tandem spots – it is another motivating factor locking us into our morning workout routines!

Now, I realize not everyone may have a roommate or tandem parking spots to keep them on track in the mornings – so how else do I stay motivated? My biggest realization was beginning Kayla Itsines. I discovered how important it is to follow a routine workout plan and make sure it’s FUN and that you SWITCH IT UP. This is key. I used to only run, every day. As much as I love running, it got boring and I most certainly did not look forward to getting up in the morning for it. When you switch up your routine enough (and choose something fun and exciting) it keeps you motivated, trust me. Whether I’m doing Kayla (or customized versions of HITT), trying out a new ClassPass studio, or doing a nice run – it more than always, gets me excited! So, what does my usual routine look like?

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Monday – Kayla Itsines Leg Day! I get up and head straight to the gym at my office. I drink a coffee (w/ a spoonful of coconut oil) on the way and then I’m ready to go when I hit the gym.
Tuesday – Morning Run Day! // Depending on my energy level, I may hit up a reformer Pilates class or yoga in the evening (through ClassPass of course)!
Wednesday – Kayla Itsines Abs/Arms!
Thursday – Morning Run Day and potential class in the evening!
Friday – Kayla Itsines Abs/Arms!
Saturday – Either REST // ClassPass (Yoga, Barre, Pilates, etc.) // or Long Run
Sunday – Either REST // ClassPass (Yoga, Barre, Pilates, etc.) // or Long Run (I wouldn’t do a long run both days – just choose between one or another)

There you have it folks! Though it’s not always easy and it CERTAINLY can be a struggle, it’s always worth it. I find a way to make it work because my body, my health, my mind – are all SO important to me!

Tone it Up and the Kayla Movement…What’s This all About?

Tone it Up and the Kayla Movement…What’s This all About?

If I were to guess, the majority of you likely know about my blog because of my instagram account @eatrunandallinbetween OR through my Facebook account which if you’ve looked at my page…the only “social presence” I have on there are my continuous blog post updates #nofriends?! ANYWAY, the reason I bring this up is because using social media accounts such as instagram is a really great way to get motivated, be inspired, check in, and stay on track with your health and fitness journey! There are SO many wonderful fitness accounts out there that I follow. Seriously, I think I learn a new thing everyday. That being said, there seems to always be two popular fitness “movements” that I always see trending on social media. Ever heard of Tone it Up or the Kayla Movement? Katrina and Karena or Kayla Itsines?
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If not, I suggest you look into these different accounts and the impact that they’re making on the fitness community. It’s actually INSANE to see how many women’s lives have been changed thanks to the wonderful fitness plans, nutrition suggestions, workouts, motivation, etc. that these ladies have shared through social media. They’ve created a fabulous cult of kind and motivating women who check in daily through their instagram accounts AND all the while, commenting, sharing, and encouraging other women that are on the same fitness journey. Whether it’s through sharing each other’s progress pictures, posting your specific meal preps, encouraging one another when a “check in” photo is uploaded. The support that I’ve been seeing on instagram is more powerful than ever right now.
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I feel like when I started my blog over 2 years ago, I saw far more “cyber bullying” through instagram. Girls putting down other girls. Too skinny or too fat, paleo verses vegan, cross fit verses HIIT, strong opinions on workouts and nutrition plans that work and those that fail. However, lately, I’ve noticed more of a supportive movement. Perhaps the cyber bullying is still there, but the encouragement and support is just more over powering than the negative vibes out there. Regardless of what it is, it’s so inspiring and amazing to see how the health and fitness community has grown on instagram and through other forms of social media. I think a lot of this is owed to these two accounts.
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Typically, I’ve very skeptical on purchasing nutrition or fitness plans. I feel like I’ve done a lot of research of my own to get to where I am today. However, seeing the transformation pics out there through these two different fitness/nutrition plans, you can’t deny that they’re doing something right. Then it comes down to whether you actually want to go ahead and spend the money to purchase these plans. I think purchasing one of these plans would do AMAZING things for you both mentally and physically. However, some of us don’t have $100 to spend on a fitness booklet.
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So what’s plan B? How do you get the results that these girls have been seeing? Get on instagram! Seriously, so many meal prep plans and workouts are posted. Just search #toneitup, #kaylamovement, #kaylaitsines, #TIU …you’ll find a never-ending assortment of girls just like you posting their progress through workouts and meal plans. Additionally, both different products have blogs out there as well. Tone it Up has a free newsletter/email subscription you can sign up for and a blog AND they have a number of youtube workout video’s out there. Kayla Itsines has a really great blog that shares recipes, tips on Meal Prep 101, and more.

As you can see…there really are NO excuses now. You’d be surprised at the amount of tips and helpful advice that can be shared and inspired. Plus you’ll gain an amazing support system through motivated people just like yourself!

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 Top Workout Jamz

My Top Workout Jamz

So for those of you who may not know me well, music is literally everything to me. I try to surround myself with music 24/7. If you discover what you like – music can be so powerful. I know I sound ridiculous right now, but if I’m feeling tired/sleepy/sad/happy/excited …I can literally always find something on my playlist to enhance that mood. It’s such a game changer. I’ll listen to some super upbeat, heavy bass music for my workouts, then switch to calmer, deep house music in the AM, then I’ll move back to some more upbeat jams to get me through the work day, then I’ll likely progress into some more flowly/groovy/house jams at night – especially, If I end with some relaxing bedtime yoga. Make fun of me all you want, but music is what makes me happy. What works for you?

As you can see, music defines my day. Given that, here are some of my favorite jams to get you pumped for workouts. Enjoy!

Running/Barre/Cycling/Weight Room/HIIT (Most Big Room House, Tech House, Progressive House, and Some Trap)

Bourne – Will Sparks
Hey Mama – David Guette ft. Nicki Minaj & Afrojack
The Dance Floor is Yours – Hardwell and W&W
Momementum – Hook N Sling
Against All Odds – Dyro
SuperWave – Ummet Ozcan
Savior – Bassjackers
Wait for you – Dannic & Shermanology
Calabria – Rune RK (Firebeatz Remix)
Black Betty – JL & Afterman Remix
We Make it Bounce – Dillon Francis (Ft. Major Lazer & Stylo G)
Red Dawn – Knife Party
404 – Knife Party
Heroes – Alesso ft. Tove Lo
United We Dance – Vicetone
Burnin’ – Calvin Harris & R3hab
Bootcamp – Jay Hardway
Resistance – Knife Party
Boss Mode – Knife Party
Somehow – Dash Berlin ft 3Lau ft. Bright Lights
Runaway – Galantis (Kaskade Remix)
Virus – Martix Garrix & MOTI
Pulse- Daddy’s Groove ft. TeamMate
Deja Vu – (ft. Delora) DVBBS & Joey Dale
Burn – KSHMR & DallasK
Like That – Bassjackers
Don’t Stop the Madness – W&W, Hardwell (ft. Fat Man Scoop)
Tokyo By Night (Axwell remix) – Hook N Sling ft. Karin Park
Recess – Skrillex (Bone N Skin Remix)
Up All Night – Arty Ft. Angel Taylor
Never Dies – Yellow Claw (ft. Lil Eddie)

Yoga/Flow/Vinyassa: (Mix of House, Deep House, Indie/Nu Disco, Tech House)

Firestone – Kygo
Faded (Big Gigantic Remix) – Zhu
Piano Weapon – Shadow Child
Everybody be Somebody – Ruffneck ( Lucas & Steve Remix)
Let her Go (Kygo Remix) – Passenger
Koala – Oliver Heldens
In the Air – Morgan Page (SNBRN remix)
Outlines – Mike Mago & Dragonette
Sunlight – The Magician (Blonde Remix)
Wiggle – Lizzie Curious
Prayer in C (Robin Schulz Remix) – Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz
West Coast (Krooked Remix) – Lana Del Ray
Ultraviolence (Hook N Sling Remix) – Lana Del Ray
Stay – Henry Krinkle (Justin Martin Remix)
Beating Heart – Steve James Remix; Ellie Goulding
Heartbeat (Bentley Grey Remix) – Childish Gambino
Fade (ft. Zak Waters) – Adventure CLub
A Little More – Kaskade ft. John Dahlback ft. Sansa
Fade out Lines – The Avener
Do you Mind – Christian Nielsen
Push the Feelings – Criminal Vibes (Club Mix)
THIS – Oliver Heldens and Sander Van Doorn
Colour – Felon (Club Mix)
Walking With Elephants – Ten Walls
We Were Young – SRTW (Sascha Kloeber Remix)
Sweets (Soda Pop) – Fox Stevenson
Feel Good – Robin THicke (Oliver Heldens Remix)
A lot like Love – The Voyagers (Oliver Heldens Remix)
Kuaga – Pierce Fulton

It’s that time of year…Holiday Tips for a Guilt Free Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year…Holiday Tips for a Guilt Free Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again! How can you prepare for the holidays guilt free?

Let me help by sharing with you on what I will be/have been doing! Yesterday, I did a ONE day juice cleanse! I’ve started doing 1 day juice cleanses every now and then for a few reasons. Well, the first, to be blunt, is that I can’t actually make it more than one day! The second being, I always feel so much better waking up the day after juicing. I know one day doesn’t seem like a lot, but I can definitely feel a difference. Your tummy feels flatter, you’re not worn down by any late night desserts and sugars, it boosts your metabolism and helps assist your digestive system, and lastly I just feel more refreshed, like I’m starting at point 0 again!

All of those reasons and some are why I decided to cleanse before Thanksgiving. I want to enjoy the food, guilt free, and of course enjoy the company without worrying over what I’m eating. By cleansing beforehand, I feel like I’m prepping myself accordingly. By starting on a fresh note, it’s more of an incentive to stay as “clean” as possible over the holiday time. I mean, if I suffered through a day of juicing, do I really want to waste that away with multiple pies??

So, now you know juicing is prep #1. Prep #2 is something that hopefully you’ve been already doing somewhat consistently, but continue to workout. Don’t let the holidays stop you! It’s important to continue in your routine, whatever it may be. For me, I’ve been doing Barre like every day possible over the past 2 weeks. Since I won’t be attending any actual classes over the holidays, I’m planning on mimicking the moves to the best of my ability. Additionally, I’ve made a goal to myself to do at least 30 minutes a day of something AND at least 15-20 minutes of quick flow-vinyassa yoga in the morning. Just beginning your day with yoga is a perfect way to get you in the right mindset, plus this is a great way to get your metabolism going first thing in the AM! And don’t forget to sign up those turkey trots! 😉 FUN FACT: SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT HAS A YOGA STUDIO!! See people, I found a way to get 25 minutes of yoga into my morning routine before my 7:50 AM flight : )
tturkey
Now for the actual day of, here are some healthy meal tips:

Eat breakfast. Nothing to heavy, but I highly suggest having a breakfast. Again, this will kick your metabolism into gear and will help to fight off hunger pains later in the day. Yogurt is a great kick starter to avoid bloating – pair that with ½ banana, some berries and almonds and you’re good to go! You could also help yourself to a green smoothie or berry smoothie of some sort as well. Or throw some eggs and veggies together. All options are great!
Try to avoid mindless snacking throughout the day. NOW, this is one I really need to focus on because I’m typically always guilty of being a mindless snacker. What do I mean by mindless snacking? Well, avoiding multiple handfuls of assorted nuts (this can quickly add up in calories throughout the day), cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, etc. If you are looking to snack, aim for things like hummus, veggies, pita, organic granola bars (larabars, KIND bars), high protein bars (questbar), 1 handful of raw almonds, fruit, a salad, or a soup (as long as it is light on the cream)!
Try to stay active throughout the day. I know typically on thanksgiving, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sitting on your coach all day and watching football. But try and keep moving as much as possible. Invite a family member for a quick walk outside. Or if you’re really glued to that football game, do some abs, push-ups, squats, and lunges – you don’t even need to leave your spot!
Come dinner time…keep your head in the game, this is the final test! Avoid foods that are… high in oils, butters, and fats. Stay away from anything fried. Try and avoid foods that are heavy in cream as well << This one can be challenging since meals like mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup, etc. are made with heavy whipping creams. So if this is the case, just remember one thing, it’s all about the PORTION SIZE! • Typical Thanksgiving Day Foods you should be eating… – baked potato (no toppings), sweet potatoes, any veggies (brussel sprouts green beans), turkey, salads, soups (just check with chef on how much heavy cream is mixed in – these can be made very healthy and low in cals if you prep it right), a piece of a seedy/whole wheat bread!
• Now after you finish your dinner – GO WALK! It’s so important to move around after feasting!
Dessert – This is a tricky one – let’s just hope there are something healthier options like a shortcake with low-fat cool whip and strawberries, or a fruit salad, or light oatmeal/pumpkin cookies. However, I fully support treating yourself to dessert – so if there’s a pie you’ve been eyeing – GO FOR IT! You shouldn’t refrain from enjoying the good stuff, just keep your portions small! You can bet I’ll be giving into my sweet tooth 😉
• Lastly, take advantage of a free Friday! NO work, no school – go out and enjoy the day with some refreshing exercise after a day of feasting over Thanksgiving! Just because you enjoyed a few extra treats on Thanksgiving day, also doesn’t mean you need to restrict yourself on Friday. Just get back into your normal routine of healthy meals and workouts. You’ll survive 😉
quote
Hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving break!

Dijon Vinaigrette Brussel Sprout, Butternut Squash, and Cranberry Salad

Dijon Vinaigrette Brussel Sprout, Butternut Squash, and Cranberry Salad

When I first arrived to California back in April, I was so looking forward to trying out all of the health conscious restaurants that this area had to offer. Honestly, you just don’t have those same choices back where I’m from in Massachusetts. It was so amazing to me that I would actually be within walking distance to the healthy, fast-casual restaurants. One of the first restaurants I discovered my love for was Lyfe Kitchen. I think I could literally eat at this place for every meal, every day, and not get sick of it. Seriously, there are so many options here – and to my surprise, there was even a whole vegan menu.

I quickly discovered my favorite meals here after ordering from this place weekly… My favorite “side dish” became the Brussel Sprout, Butternut Squash, Cranberry and Dijon Vinaigrette Salad. I literally order it every time I’m there as a side, no matter what my main course is. I finally decided it was time to try out this recipe on my own, seeing as I won’t have a Lyfe Kitchen down the street from me any longer once I was due to go back home to the east coast : (

I got myself a large butternut squash and a bag full of fresh brussel sprouts from the local farmers market. I was ready to give this meal a shot! I followed Lyfe Kitchen’s recipe ALMOST to a tee. Unfortunately, I did not have any red wine vinegar on me for the recipe. However, I did have Apple Cider vinegar which acted as the perfect fruity/tangy replacement that I needed.

You can check out the link to their recipe above. I’ve also posted it below for you to follow as well:

——————————————————————————————————-

This recipe serves about 6 – 8.

Ingredients

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 pounds Brussels sprouts, stem ends removed, halved
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chives, chooped (or parsley)
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup Dijon vinaigrette

Steps:

Toss diced squash with oil and salt. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
butternut
Toss Brussels sprouts in oil and salt. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Place the pan of Brussels sprouts and the pan of squash in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes, or until they begin to brown at the edges and are fork tender and cooked through.
bruseel sproutttt

Toss Brussels sprouts and squash together in a large mixing bowl with the fresh chopped herbs, dried cranberries and Dijon vinaigrette. Serve!

THANK YOU LYFE KITCHEN FOR CHANGING MY LIFE. Seriously though.

Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais

Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais

Hello!

I haven’t really been updating you all on my recent California adventures and I apologize for that! So here’s one for ya! This past weekend, my friend and I took off early in the morning to explore the areas North of the city. Surprisingly, I haven’t really ventured off to this area much aside from visiting Wine Country (Napa, Sonoma, Healdsburg, and Geyserville). Our first stop was just about 20 or so minutes past the Golden Gate Bridge in the town of Mill Valley. We stopped at this awesome little coffee spot called the “Equator”. Great outdoor seating, delicious coffee, awesome breakfast (a lavender infused yogurt topped with a local granola that was SO good, I had to buy a whole bag of it), and perfect location! For those of you who don’t know – breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day and for that, I’m an absolute foodie when it comes to discovering quaint, tasteful coffee shops throughout my travels.

We then continued our trek up along the Pacific Coast Highway. We didn’t exactly start our journey with any particular plan, so when we stumbled upon a perfect hideaway along the highway where we pulled over and parked. We took the trail directly behind us and began our long hike. We originally did not set out to do 13 miles from this starting point. But once we started out on our original 2 miles, it quickly turned into 4, then 6 and so on. We began up high in the mountain, then found our way down to the lusher, greener area throughout the woods. I think what shocked me the most was that this was the first trail I’ve hiked that actually had a running water stream! Given the awful California drought, most trails we’ve experienced have been completely dried out. I remember the first hike I went on back in April, I walked down a trail literally called “waterfall trail”. After roaming around in circles, confused, I left the trail in disappointment. Only to find out the next day that..duh..I was in the right spot, there was just NO running water, not even a single drop in sight.

Anyway, the same day we decided to hike, it turned out there was a trail race going on that went up to a 50K. Luckily, there were a few water stands along the way stocked with granola bars and such. Since we didn’t come very prepared…no map, no water…they helped suggest us with a route to follow and provided us with some electrolyte filled water! We then continued our hike up “cardiac hill” which had nothin on us! HAHA …however, I don’t think I would have been saying the same thing if we had hit that 6 miles into our hike…

Once we began our elevation again from the valley, we made it to one of the higher points that had an absolutely amazing view of the entire city and the vast amount of water that surrounded us. It was such an amazing spot and the weather could not have been more perfect for this – bright sun and clear skies! One couple had the perfect idea – two lawn chairs, small picnic, and beyond amazing view. What an ideal spot for a picnic!

Anyway, we then continued to hike another 2.5 miles or so down towards Muir Woods where the infamous Redwood trees can be found (the ones you see on Planet of the Apes!) It’s crazy how the second you walk into the area of the Redwoods, the smell is so overpowering and trees just double in size. They are seriously unbelievable! I felt so insignificant in size compared to them…which doesn’t take much for my height of 5’2″!
photo (13)

Anyway, around 6.5 miles we decided it was probably a good idea to turn back so that we wouldn’t get lost out in the woods after the sun sets! Of course, go figure, we took the wrong trail at one point and were a bit disoriented for a few extra minutes than planned : ) Other than that, we pretty much back traced our steps perfectly to our surprise! We made it back to the car around 4pm and were absolutely starving for Lunch/Dinner. We made our way a little further north along the PCH to an area called Stinson Beach. We ate at an awesome seaside location called the Parkside Cafe. Now…prepare yourself for what we ordered…A half loaf of freshly baked bread with pesta, mussels with a cheesy garlic bread, a side of brussel sprouts and butternut squash, a side of truffle oil french fries, AND a side of quinoa salad. Oh and did I mention we pretty much ate it all? I felt the urge to tell our waiter a few times that we hiked a half marathon essentially…..I felt judgement in her eyes!
photo (15)
After the delicious meal, we called it a day and were back by 7 PM that night. Though it was still so early, the day was so exhausting, I could have sworn it was 11 pm. Anyway, I topped my weekend off with a productive Sunday of Pure Barre class in the AM, then hit up the Farmer’s Market, bought myself some fresh veggies and fruit, went for a nice Fall run, Meal Prepped, and was in bed by 10pm. LOVE LOVE weekends like this 🙂

In with the New Obsessions, Out with the Old

In with the New Obsessions, Out with the Old

Hey Friends! It’s been a while since I’ve written my last blog post AND updated you on my latest obsessions…so here ya have it!

Knee High Socks and Plaid A-Line Skirt: I’ve been obsessed with this look lately for the fall. A pair of knee highs, some strappy heels, a plaid skirt, collared shirt, blazer and a chunky necklace is the perfect go-to for work! Then when you’re looking for a more casual look – dress it down with knee highs, a pair of converses, plaid skirt and white t-shirt! American Apparel has been killing the plaid skirt game and knee highs so go check em out!
edgy high skirt

Dillon Francis – Well recently his newest album just came out: Money Sucks, Friends Rule and it’s fricken awesome. Plus, if you haven’t already GO follow him on every social media forum. He literally can make you laugh at your unhappiest point. Instagram, twitter, facebook, and even his website has an archive of his videos including: Becky, DJ Hansel, DJ Rich as Fuck, and so on. So go do yourself a favor and listen to his CD, buy tickets for his tour and watch every Dillon Francis video he’s done. You’re welcome!
dillon
50 Shades of Grey…Nail Polish: Every shade of dark grey will do you justice and you’ll look super fab and chic in your trendy fall nail color! You can’t go wrong with clashing an outfit, it’s perfect for work AND a night out on the town.
grey nails

Pure Barre: So I’ve done a few barre classes before in the past year, but this is the first Barre class that I’ve REALLY become obsessed with. For those who don’t know Barre – it’s a ballet inspired fitness class. Now before you go making any prior judgments, I’m quite possibly the least coordinated person (hence why I choose running as my sport…) but that doesn’t mean you can’t do this class! This class seriously leaves you with AMAZING results as “Burns, Tones, and Lifts”. I’ve been doing this for a little more than 2 weeks now and I’ve already felt better in my body and am loving the class. Plus, they play upbeat EDM the entire class so you could say I’m a little bias : ) The best part is that this chain is nation-wide so I can find a local studio when I’m back home on the east coast!
barre
Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cranberries, and Dijon Vinaigrette: This is 100% my FAVORITE fall dish. I’m slightly obsessed with this combo. I first tried it at Lyfe Kitchen and have been obsessed since then. So go try out this recipe for your Thanksgiving contribution and blow your taste buds away!
lyfe

Leg Warmers: Yes, I’m bringing leg warmers back. You could say I’m slightly inspired by my recent Barre classes. But, I completely forgot how comfy and cozy these things are! I recently just bought a pair from Lululemon and wear them all the time! Pair them with some leggings, converses, a comfy sweater and you’re could go to!
leg warmers

San Franola Granola: I recently just gave this granola a try and am absolutely impressed with it! It has 10 grams of protein, 160 calories for 1/2 cup (far less than normal granola), only 5 grams of sugar and a lot of fiber! I tried the Cinnamon Almond which was awesome! But they also have: California Raisin, Lemon Zest, Ginger Snap and Toasted Chia! Plus, I love supporting a local health brand. Go San Francisco!

That my friends, is a list of my current obsessions! Stay tuned for my next post!


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