Tag: wellness

Current December Obsessions

Current December Obsessions

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

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

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

Fab4 Lifestyle and FIBER

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

Vital Proteins – i.e. Love their COLLAGEN products

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

Fawen Drinkable Soups

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

Cacao & REFINED SUGAR-FREE Vegan/Paleo Chocolate

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

Spotify Playlists

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

Friend, Fitness, and Foodie Dates

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

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

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

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

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

Deepening your Yoga Practice

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

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

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

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

How to Get Out of that Winter FUNK

How to Get Out of that Winter FUNK

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

Actually take a FULL self-care day!

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

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

7AM – 12PM

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

12PM – 4PM

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

4PM – Bedtime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

I’m absolutely so grateful for all of you!

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

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

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

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

Flours/Powders all from Bob’s Red Mill:

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

Additional Baking Staples:

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

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

IMG_8799

Dry Ingredients: 

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

Wet Ingredients

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

Additional/Optional Toppings:

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

IMG_8803

Directions:

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

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

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

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

 

This post is not paid for by Bob’s Red Mill. I received free product and that is it. I simply just love their products and would use them in baking regardless!
The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began & how I’VE evolved

The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began & how I’VE evolved

The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began and how I’VE evolved.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. It’s definitely long overdue. However, I also knew that writing this post would be a big undertaking. Why? Because I started this blog almost 5 years ago, at the beginning of my senior year in college. To those who have been following my journey from the start (primarily college besties & fam) THANK YOU for continuously supporting me through all my crazy foodie ups & downs. To those who are newer to the community, thanks for joining along! This post is to highlight the ups, the downs, and of course, everything in between of my health journey. This is certainly a more personal post of mine & is something I really don’t talk about often, even though my whole journey has truly shaped me to become the person I am proud of today! One last thing – I know this is long, but just stick through it, I promise there’s a purpose for sharing ALL of my past.

Though I began my blog nearing the end of my college career, my journey with food & health truly began around my sophomore year of high school. I had just completed my sophomore field hockey season and was starting up indoor track & field. I originally signed up for track as a means to stay in shape for field hockey and improve my speed. However, little did I know, this would turn into more than just that, running became a HUGE part of my life, very quickly. By the end of my spring track season, my coach and I began to realize that I had some talent here. I wouldn’t compare myself to the crazy fast girls on my team that went on to run at various Ivy leagues and such, but there was definitely something there worth exploring through A LOT of hard work, grueling track workouts, and serious dedication. At the end of my sophomore year, I decided I was going to pursue running all three seasons and drop field hockey. This was an extremely hard decision for me because I REALLY loved field hockey & it brought me so much joy. However, I knew that if I didn’t commit to training all year round, I wouldn’t make any of the championship meets I had longed to race at and would not be training with the fastest runners on the team.

That summer I trained my ass off, past the point of being “healthy/okay”. I look back at it now and it’s crazy to think I put my body through all of that! I would wake up early in the morning and go for a 5-miler. I’d come home, change, bike a few miles to the yacht club and then teach sailing all morning, have about a 1-hour break for lunch, then I had sailing lessons for another few hours out in the hot sun. I’d bike home and top off my mileage for the day anywhere from 3-5 more miles. I’d repeat this everyday that entire summer. On top of the increased running & additional exercise, I definitely was not feeding my body adequately. The added pressure I put on myself led to this idea that I had to have minimal fat on my body. The smaller I was, the faster a runner I would be. Of course now I know this is not true, but at the time, I really believed it. Also, I meant to mention that while all of this was going on, my parents were also in the process of getting a divorce. I think that is why I used running & food as an outlet. It was really the only thing at that time I could control and excel at. I also didn’t process it at the time, but running was 100% a form of meditation for me whether I realized it or not. PS – that fall, I ended up getting injured (stress fracture in my shin) early on in the XC season that put me out of commission for the rest of XC and into my winter track season. This was living proof that I put my body through too much and it had enough. It literally broke down.

That summer going into my junior year of high-school and prepping myself for cross-country was also the point in my life where my relationship with food changed. Before that point, I never thought to much on what I was putting into my body. There was no stress or anxiety that used to come around eating. Since then, I’ve had so many up’s and down’s with food – what’s healthy and what’s not? What’s the right diet and what’s not? The list goes on. Anyway, fast forward to the summer before entering my freshman year of college. I came into college pretty fit after following the XC training guide all summer. However, within just a few months, the “freshman 15” caught on for sure. I think I had this idea that because I ran everyday, I could also eat whatever I wanted to. I wasn’t used to this much freedom around food (and booze). On top of the weight gain, I also was not running fast. My body was changing, (as most most women do when hitting puberty – I was just a late bloomer!)and I wasn’t fueling myself with proper food to adapt to those changes.

Shifting to the summer going into my sophomore year of college, I decided running was the problem and quit XC. At the time, I do think this was the right decision for me. I joined the club field hockey team and still ran everyday. As a matter of fact, my running was improving and I was beginning to eat the RIGHT foods and not 3 servings of cheese pizza every night. Taking the pressure of competing on a college DI team out of the picture had a really positive affect on me. The only thing that I struggled with was that all of my best friends were still on the team. I missed them. Just as they were closing out their XC season, I reached out to the new track coach & before I knew it, I had rejoined the team and was prepared to compete that indoor track season. I’m so glad I took the time I needed to myself to realize that I really did miss my friends, the team atmosphere, and of course, competing. This had become a HUGE part of my life and would shape my college career.

That sophomore year, going into junior year I began to focus on my weight again and watch what food I was putting into my body. As you can probably tell, I become extremely passionate and determined when I put my mind to something. This tends to be why I hit a lot of extreme “highs” and “lows”. This type of mentality continued throughout the rest of my college years. I went abroad to Spain my junior year and definitely over-indulged. I would run long, grueling miles throughout my time there to try my best to keep some of the weight off. I came back that summer and once again, whipped myself into shape and watched what I was eating. This brings me to the beginning of my senior year of college where I wrote my first blog post.

This in itself was scary and definitely out of my comfort zone. I still remember the day I shared my first blog post on facebook. I was scared to see what people would think or say about me. At that time, blogging (especially on food, health, and wellness) was still fairly new. I wish I could have told the old me WHO CARES WHAT PEOPLE THINK??? But, hey, you live and ya learn! It literally makes me cringe looking at the photography of my food pictures now haha! I also remember when I received my first free product from a well-known brand. I had written an article about chobani and they sent me a huge box of free yogurts. I was seriously HEAD OVER HEELS excited about this. I think I was only at 400 followers at the time, but I didn’t care. I finally felt like I had a purpose. Food blogging was unique to me and it was something I became extremely passionate about.

Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned a few times here, this passion can turn into an obsession for me, which it did. Looking back at some of the food I made in college now, I can’t even imagine how those portion sizes filled me?! Blogging in college had its benefits, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think many college kids can say they got creative in the kitchen. I never realized how much I enjoyed cooking in the kitchen until I started experimenting with my meals out of my college dorm room. Somehow, it’s been 4+ years since I started this blog and here I am, still going strong. I may not have a lot of followers, but it really never was about growing quickly for me. This was and has always been a passion of mine. Sometimes blogging had its negative impacts on me. There was always (and still is) the comparison trap. “So and so is eating that and running those times, so I should do the same” or “that girl is super small so I should copy her meals”, etc. etc. However, there’s also the positive side that came out of blogging. This movement is certainly more recent, but I’m so glad that people are being more vulnerable and putting emphasis on doing what’s RIGHT and HEALTHY for your body. Realizing that I can eat REAL food and fuel my body, while eating a higher caloric intake. Realizing that healthy FATS are good. Realizing that I didn’t need to eat a 100% vegan diet to be “healthy”. Realizing that EVERYONE’S body is different and what one person needs to feel healthy, isn’t necessarily what I need to eat and do to feel healthy. And lastly, being HEALTHY doesn’t mean I need to strive for a certain weight or “look” a certain way.

So with that, this blog post has now gotten to be a short novel and therefore, I’m thinking I’ll need to write a part II very soon. I hope this helps give you an idea about the person behind EATRUNANDALLINBETWEEN. I’m human too. I’ve had my struggles and have learned my lessons. We all have and it’s OK. All of this has shaped me to be the person I am today. I’m really happy with where I am and my relationship with food and fitness. I don’t run crazy miles everyday anymore. I’ve found happiness and simplicity in yoga and wholesome foods. I try my best to indulge every now and then, while maintaining a balanced diet and not letting it get the best of me. Everyday is still a work in progress, but I truly believe I’m in a better place now, more than ever.

go FLOAT

go FLOAT

Weird title, right…?

No, I’m not referring to the kind where you grab yourself a donut floatie and chill poolside. I’m referring to a float tank or what can also be referred to as a deprivation or isolation tank. My boyfriend and I first heard about these so called “deprivation tanks” via the Joe Rogan podcast. Joe Rogan is a regular when it comes to floating and certainly swears by it’s benefits. This “deprivation tank” may also ring a bell if you’ve binge watched the series “Stranger Things” on Netflix (I’ll get to this later in my post)! Anyway, if this is your first time hearing of such thing, let me try and do my best to give you the low down on what it is and it’s benefits.

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a FLOAT TANK?

Well, it’s essentially an isolated pod or tank that is filled with water (it’s pretty shallow – I’d say shin height) almost entirely saturated with 850-1,000 pounds of epsom salt. The water temperature is kept around 95 degrees to match your body temp, which thankfully feels like you’re jumping into a nice warm bath, but after just a few minutes, you realize that the feeling becomes almost imperceptible. The idea here is that it’s replicating the dead sea – as soon as you make your way into the tank and lay on your back, you automatically float weightlessly and effortlessly. As if you couldn’t pile on any more sensations to the mix, now take away all light and sound. You are now floating in a dark, quiet tank for 60 minutes. WOAH. And when I mean quiet, you literally can’t hear anything but your own breath (PS – they provide you with earplugs so that you can comfortably float in the water without any distractions like getting salt water in your ears).

So, what’s the benefit of floating in this type of environment?

Well for one, it is SO relaxing and if you can, even for just a few minutes, find yourself in a deep meditative state, the outcome is SO incredibly rewarding. As I was reading through the FLOAT Boston’s FAQ page, I stumbled across this term known as “Flotation REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) (which) triggers your physiological relaxation response directly, so you don’t need to meditate or focus or manage your thoughts in any way.” Pretty crazy!!

So in addition to the float tank being well, insanely relaxing, there are also a number of other beneficial outcomes. As you likely saw from my post last week on yoga moves to help with stress and anxiety – these feelings and emotions seem to be a highly talked about topic lately, which is unfortunate. It seems as though it’s almost become OK to be stressed, like if you’re not stressed, then maybe you’re not working or trying hard enough. With all of these added social pressures around us, we haven’t taken enough time to think about ourselves. Luckily, I’m starting to see a change here, especially in the blogger community where people are truly beginning to put themselves first. Self-care, self-love — all are BIG words and resolutions of 2017, which is AMAZING! Anyway, I know I’m a little off topic, but that’s an area I’ve felt really passionate about lately.

As I was saying above, taking 60 minutes of your day to literally just float in a dark tank seems crazy, right? Especially for those who have busy, non-stop schedules? Yes, I realize 60 minutes is a lot, but this is a great way to cut out any and ALL distractions and truly disconnect from everyone and everything. Also, I found out that a regular visit can help improve sleep as well!

Now that you’ve gotten the down low, I’ll briefly share with you my experience…

As you know, I’m living in the Boston area. There aren’t too many options, but I did stumble upon the amazing FLOAT Boston – located in Somerville, MA. Justin and I booked our float tanks for the same time, each for 60 minutes. They advise you not to drink any coffee before hand, nor to eat a heavy meal, as you want to be as relaxed as possible. As soon as we walked in, we were overwhelmed by a pleasing, spa-like calmness. We had to remove our shoes and replace them with terry-cloth slippers. We then took a seat in the small common area, where we were offered water. They were super friendly and informative upon our arrival, especially knowing we were new to this. Though we booked our tank for the same time, each person is directed into their own float room.

Once we entered our individual rooms, we were advised to shower off, strip down (so FREEEEING!), and put our ear plugs in. You then open the dark tank and make your way into silence. I found myself a bit tense at first and it took me a few minutes to totally let myself go. You truly do float weightlessly with your head just comfortably above the water. After probably 5 minutes or so of feeling my way around, playing with moving my arms and legs back and forth, I finally got over the “discovery” stage and began to try and free my mind and really embrace the full 60-minute experience.

I’m obviously not going to walk you through all 60-minutes of my thoughts but here are some ideas that I experienced.

Circa 2003 when Finding Nemo came out and there’s that scene deep, deep in the ocean where it’s literally dead silent and completely dark. Dory and Nemo see a light and Dory goes “hey conscience, am I dead?” Yep, that’s how I felt at one point.

Another thought that came up was, I wonder if this is what it feels like to be floating in space…like no destination, no idea where you’ll end up, you’re literally just floating there. Hard to describe, but the thought of space 100% came up.

Another thought was, Oh crap, am I going to fall into another dimension? Yes, this is where watching Stranger Things before hand was a bad idea. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you plan on watching it, do the float tank BEFORE hand 🙂

Besides my thoughts that came in and out, I definitely know for sure that I fell into a meditative state a few times during the span of the 60 minutes. It’s hard to say how long for, but I really tried my best to get there. I find it helps me concentrate by focusing on my third eye. I’m definitely new to meditation, so for beginners, you may find this as a helpful tip!

Towards the end, not going to lie, I think I slowly fell into a bit of a sleep which is not exactly where you want to be, but luckily I think it only lasted for a few minutes! They bring you back to awareness with some light classical music when your 60 minutes finished up. This was also a strange feeling as I couldn’t tell if I was beginning to make noises and music up in my head OR if this truly was the cue to get out haha.

Overall, I REALLY loved this experience. I came out feeling SO incredibly relaxed and definitely high on happy endorphins. If the price wasn’t so high, I’d be back weekly for sure. Unfortunately, given my tight budget, I’ll likely only be going every few months. Regardless, I definitely recommend the experience at least ONCE! Let me know if you have any further questions or comments 🙂

Happy Floating!!

*Featured Image taken from: http://superiorfloattanks.com/experience/

That time I traveled to Mallorca, Spain for my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training…

That time I traveled to Mallorca, Spain for my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training…

Hello Friends and Happy New Year!

First off, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts this past month, but I’ve been in a whirlwind of activities since the start of December. Obviously, the one that most stands out as reflected in my title was my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training that took place in Mallorca, Spain over an intensive 17 days. There’s SO much I could share with you on this training, but I’m going to do my best to keep it as short as possible, so let’s give this a go.

To rewind just a bit, there was a moment sometime in mid-September when I realized my love for yoga had reached a certain point and my interest in furthering my practice was sparked. Since graduating college just over three years ago, I had picked up yoga and established my own self-practice at home. I hoped that by incorporating yoga into my routine, I’d see less injuries from running and working out. At the time, I only saw yoga as an alternate form of stretching and injury prevention that would allow me to continue running the long distances 365 days a year. Little did I know, that physical aspect was just a SMALL part of what yoga truly is.

Back to that September day, I made the commitment that I’d look into completing a yoga teacher training sometime in the next year. To be honest, I wasn’t necessarily 100% sold on teaching yoga, I truly wanted to do this for myself. I saw it as an opportunity to be in the present moment away from the hustle and bustle, grow, get to know myself, push boundaries, get out of my comfort zone, and of course, further and deepen my practice both mentally, physically, and spiritually. The idea of teaching yoga and running my own class at the time was actually terrifying to me since I never really saw myself as a teacher. Anyway, after only a few google searches and scrolls through bookyogaretreats, I stumbled upon the most fitting yoga teacher training in Mallorca, Spain. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was about this particular training, but I just knew it was the one and without little time to waste, I quickly applied and was accepted soon after.

Fast forward to December 1st, the day of our arrival. After over 13 hours of traveling, my anxiety and fear was through the roof. Between traveling on my own to a foreign country, meeting 27 other people from around the world, submerging myself in a truly INTENSIVE program (I mean physically, emotionally, mentally, all of above), and being completely in the unknown, I was no longer in control. I realized quickly I had to let go of my fears and just be in the present moment. Though I knew this was the approach I HAD to take, it certainly took a few days to accept and surrender to the program, be OK with the variety of emotions that overcame myself, and lastly, trust that we were in the amazing hands of our teachers.

I’ll be honest, the first few nights were definitely a struggle. I kid you not, I texted Justin after the first night “I MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!” and his response was “Babe, it’s only been a day…you have 17 more to go.” HAHA. Luckily, it only took a few more days (those of which were probably the hardest), to settle in and make friends. Fortunately enough, making friends was the easy part. I can barely put into words how truly amazing and kind-hearted everyone was from the very first second we all met. It was clear we were all here at this training for a reason. As we got to know one another, we all seemed to be at different cross-roads in our lives, but there was one thing we all knew for sure, and that was that we had set out to complete our yoga teacher training and somehow ended up on this beautiful little island off of the coast of Spain to achieve this goal together. Having this support system throughout the program was paramount in getting through the various emotions, challenges, fears, unknowns, excitements, and joy that each day had to bring.

Between 4 hours of yoga a day, to adventuring off through the trails that lined the coast, to meditating under the full moon while watching shooting stars fire past us, to running our very first yoga class, to practicing acro/partner yoga on the beach, to devouring homemade vegan meals daily, and to being vulnerable and opening our hopes and dreams up to one another…this experience was truly life changing. My expectations coming into this were completely naive. I assumed I’d come home nailing a handstand and adding hundreds of new asanas to my “toolkit” but what I ended up getting out of this program was SO much more.

We learned the history, philosophy, and foundations behind yoga. We learned about anatomy, cueing, safety, and sequencing. We learned about meditation, all of the amazing health benefits that yoga and meditation could bring, and the holistic approach known as Ayurveda. We made ever-lasting friendships. We conquered so many fears and (quite literally in a small fire by the beach) let them go. But what surprised me the most, was what I learned about myself and how much I grew in just 17 days. I know I have so much more to grow and couldn’t be more excited to see where my continued yoga practice takes me and hopefully, is something that I can teach and share with others one day!

I know that may all sound sappy and cliche but it’s 100% FOR REAL. I had heard before going to my teacher training that this experience would be life changing. At the time, I just shrugged that comment aside, not thinking anything of it. But, hey, I’m here to tell ya, it’s the truth! If anyone is interested in hearing more about my experience or just has general questions regarding yoga feel free to shoot me an email at: pappascalli@gmail.com 🙂

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.

5 Tips for Living a Balanced Lifestyle

If you would have asked me three years ago what it takes to live a “balanced” lifestyle after college, my answer most DEFINITELY would have been very different than what I’m about to give you now. It’s pretty crazy to see how my mindset has shifted in just a few years. I would say much of that is due to trial & error, along with continued research and solid advice from podcasts or fellow bloggers! Either way, I feel as though I’m at a pretty solid point in my life, so wanted to share any wisdom or advice gained in the past years with all of you. I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring as I continue to grow, love, and experience more!

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1) Beat the Sunday Scaries. Now this may sound ridiculous and I don’t even know if I’ve quite mastered this, BUT I will tell you that beating the Sunday scaries is the best thing you can do for yourself to start out each week on a positive note. I’m telling you, it all starts on Sunday – not Monday as most would assume.

My tip? Make the most of your Sunday and avoid stressing about work, school, or whatever it is you have going on beginning Monday. Think positively, enjoy the day, end relaxed, get a solid sleep, and wake up feeling rejuvenated and EXCITED (key word here) for the new week ahead of you!

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How you ask? Here’s my idea of a perfect Sunday …wake up, sip some coffee & go out for a nice run. Come back and prep yourself a HUGE healthy breakfast or check out your nearest cafe to treat yourself. Personally, I love exploring new local health-food cafes during the weekend. From there – the balls in your court – do something active, go for a hike OR if shopping is your vice, then do that if it makes you happy! I typically end the day with a food shopping trip & I try to spend NO more than 1.5 hours on meal prepping for the week. I love ending the day with a calming yoga session in my living room. This is the best way to go to bed in a positive mood. Oh and don’t check your work emails right before bed!

2) Eat Intuitively. If you haven’t checked out my past few posts on intuitive eating, then I highly suggest you read up on it! Long story short, I have certainly spent a lot of my time throughout college and post-college, trying out new “diets” or wellness “fads”. Though these may work for some people, we’re all different and one persons way of living is not necessarily going to be the answer for everyone else. Of course, it took me 3+ years to discover this. That all being said, I finally gave in to eating intuitively.

“Intuition” as defined by Google is “the ability to understand something immediately, or a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.” In it’s simplest form, it means that if I’m craving ice cream, then I’m going to go for it. Same goes for a crunchy & hearty salad. Or fish. Or a glass of wine!! Or WHATEVER it may be. It’s natural human instinct and that’s something that you shouldn’t ever refrain your body from. It’s certainly a mindset change, but once you fall into it, you’ll find more joy in eating and less worrying over how many calories you’re consuming.

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3) Work out Intuitively. So similar to above, I truly believe that working out should be intuitive as well. Like eating, this was a pretty challenging adjustment for me. Coming from a strict, routine running career for 8+ years, I was afraid that any change in my workout routine would quite frankly, make me fat. Of course, this was naive thinking. But, when you come from D1 college running where everyday, Monday-Sunday, was planned for you, it’s hard to let go of that routine.

What I’ve learned is that it’s SO much more important to listen to your body then keep yourself in such a strict routine. I should have learned this sooner having suffered from on and off running-related injuries. Regardless, I’m now in such a great place, where I wake up in the morning and decide what I’m feeling versus going to bed with a set plan. This simple shift in how I work out has helped my body and my mind recover.

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What does my typically workout routine look like right now? I just signed up for a half marathon in the fall, so my running/training will likely pick up! I’ve been running about 3-4 times a week, anywhere between 5-8 miles. On the other days, I’ll either hop on the spin bike or the stair master for 30-40 minutes. I’ll focus on strengthening my legs, arms, and core (all on separate days). I also have been incorporating a mix of yoga & pilates into my routine at least 2-3 times a week for about ~ 20 minutes. Lastly, I usually take a day off every other week. PLEASE note that again, one persons routine, isn’t necessarily the right routine for you. This is ALWAYS subject to shift based on how I’m feeling. If I’m extremely tired, I will take an extra day off where necessary. The most important thing is to LISTEN to your body.

4) Take risks and challenge yourself. I think the biggest thing my boyfriend and I are struggling with right now is not knowing where we will be living in a year and what we’ll be doing for work. We have so many ideas of where we’d love to live, travel, etc. but we also know that given circumstances, it’s impossible for us to plan a year ahead right now. So much can change in just a year, so rather than living in fear or uncertainty, it’s important to turn that into excitement of the unknown. It’s knowing that so much can change in just one year and you truly need to live day-by-day to enjoy those moments. In the end, you need to take opportunities that are granted to you, make the most of them, challenge yourself and know that taking risks can either fail or can turn into something greater than you could have ever imagined!

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5) Think Positively and Love YOURSELF. I know this sounds super hippie dippy, but if there’s one thing I’ve taken away lately, it starts with loving and respecting yourself. It’s OKAY to be selfish and do things for you. We were all put on this earth for a different reason. We were all given different looks, shapes, and sizes for a reason.

Start embracing what you have and work with it! I honestly believe that the notion of thinking positively stars with self-love. At that point, your perspective becomes more humbling and gratifying. You can begin identifying the impact you can make and whatever your greater purpose is or may be one day. Just going into each day with a smile can make all the difference! Oh and PS – sometimes it takes just downing a cup of coffee to get to that state 🙂

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That’s my advice to you AND me! Though it’s taken me some time to get to this point, it doesn’t mean it stops here for me. Life’s all about growing and learning and I hope to continue doing that year over year.

I would love to hear how all of you practice a balanced lifestyle! Please share and comment below!


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