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Fall Flavor Inspiration!

2D86FED0-23A4-489B-B7C1-934B4BF455B6It’s so easy to get stuck in a cooking rut ( which I do towards the end of a season).  That’s when spending a little extra time on meal prep can help add variety and inspiration to your dishes.  Mixing it up is where it’s at when it comes to sticking to a healthy lifestyle.  I especially like adding seasonal veggies and fruits to dishes.

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Our bodies tend to crave what’s in season, which is why it makes sense to reach for the flavors of fall right now to help satisfy your appetite.  Here’s a quick reference list of veggies and fruits to add to your shopping cart.

  • Apples
  • Squash: Butternut and Acorn
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato
  • Kale
  • Eggplant
  • Pomegranate
  • Figs

This upcoming weekend when you have some downtime, take a half-hour and collect some ideas from Pinterest, Cooking Magazines, and even look through that stack of Cook Books you probably have high up in a cabinet somewhere.  Re-inspire your meals for the next few weeks, and find yourself getting excited about cooking savory, wholesome dishes this month!

I’ve been playing around in the kitchen and have been creating some of my own autumn recipes, that I’ll be sharing with you throughout October!  My Apple Protein Muffins will make a great addition to your grab and go mornings.

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After apple picking at Sweetberry Farm this past month, my family collected a bushel of delicious apples to start incorporating into some delicious fall recipes.  These low sugar muffins are also a wonderful snack and addition to school lunch boxes.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup White Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 Large Honey Crisp Apple Diced
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Siggi’S Peach Vanilla Yogurt or Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with Coconut Oil
  3. Mix all wet ingredients
  4. Whisk together all dry ingredients
  5. Add all ingredients together, folding in diced apples
  6. Fill muffin cups almost to top
  7. Bake 15 minutes

Enjoy!  And look forward to my next fall favorite-Rainbow Quinoa Autumn Salad!

 

Creating Space

Let’s face it we’re living in a digital world, where everything revolves around our devices, and there’s no end in sight.  Our phones and email have the potential to own us if we let them.  And the over stimulation we’re accustomed to is starting to feel like the norm.  It’s affecting our brains, our ability to communicate and truly connect, and it’s wreaking havoc on our nervous systems.

Ironically, as I was scrolling through Facebook I came upon a post by Thic Nhat Hanh, a Tibetan monk, that struck me, “Every home, no matter how small, can have a breathing room. We may have a room for everything else— a bathroom, a bedroom, a living room— but most of us don’t have a room for our own breathing and peace of mind…you can make a breathing space or a breathing corner. Your breathing room is a sacred place.”

This idea of creating space from the noisy digital world and all of the daily stressors we face, inspired me.  And so I embarked on the task of digging through the mess that was my basement (5 years of small biz ownership, and no time to tackle the clutter).  It was invigorating, tiring, but mostly exciting!   5 garbage bags later, 8 items of furniture and old toys sent to the garage for donation, and lots of dusting, scrubbing and vacuuming later-the space was clear.

Gracie and I made a trip to the paint store and picked out a color called Wishes (inspired by Young House Love on Pinterest), an off-white creamy and perfectly peaceful color for what we have now dubbed the Zen Den.

It’s been about two weeks since we’ve created our sacred space, and it’s been lovely.  The room is used for yoga, Pilates, journaling, and reading.  It’s also a place where Grace or I go when we need some quiet time or feel overwhelmed.  Just knowing we have this space in the house is very comforting.

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Want to create your own space at home where you can unplug from an overcharged day? Here are some tips I picked up along the way when creating The Zen Den:

  1. Color-Choose calming colors that will help you relax.  Skim through some home decor magazines and save clippings of room colors that move you.  Stick with lighter colors to help encourage open space.
  2. Words of Inspiration-Spend some time strolling around a thrift shop and look through their framed prints.  Or head to Etsy and search wall decor for prints and quotes that uplift you.
  3. Mats and Pillows-Make a corner filled with soft pillows or an comfy chair that you can settle into when you write, read or meditate.
  4. Set the Mood-Incorporate music, candles, and essential oils.  I love filling my diffuser with lavender or rose oil to help inspire a calm atmosphere for melting the day away, practicing yoga, and just chilling out.

How This Fitness Pro Eats on Vaca

Do I have an actual vacation plan when dining out?  No, not really.  But I’ll tell you this, I do think about how I want to eat while on holiday and how I want to feel.  One things for sure, I want to enjoy myself, and that means experiencing the local food wherever we go.  I also know that I want to feel good, and not like I can barely get up from a dinner table because I’m in a food coma.

I haven’t always been at a place where I’m in tune with my eating the way I am now.  It’s taken years, and it’s a big plus that I’m in an industry that helps me prioritize my health! Truth is when I’m eating lots of veggies and whole foods I just feel so much better, more energized, I sleep better, and my skin looks healthier.  So I choose to indulge, but I also spend time seeking out healthy markets and restaurants when I’m away.

I stick with an 80/20 style of eating when not on vacation. (80% whole foods, 20% organic snacks and wine on weekends) I also enjoy one cheat meal a week, because deprivation just doesn’t work for me.  When I’m on vacation my eating style is more like 70/30 and I enjoy a few more treats 🙂

When visiting Nantucket last week, I had so much fun trying new restaurants and cafes on the island.

The Lemon Press was one of our first stops.  It’s a chic, and comfy cafe/bar where I enjoyed a salad for lunch and an acai bowl for breakfast one morning.  When choosing meals I often stick with protein and fiber and I go lighter on the carbs.  Loved this acai bowl, and I’m looking forward to trying to recreate it for a Sunday breakfast at home.

Berry Acai Bowl with Almond Butter & Flax Seed-The Lemon Press

For dinner, I was all about the seafood!  Nautilus was hands down one of my top ten all time favorite restaurants I’ve ever eaten at-no doubt! This tuna bowl was so freakin’ outstanding that I ate it very very slowly just to make it lasted, because I’m pretty sure I’ll never have sashimi as good as this for a long time!

Two Hawaiian Tuna Poke Bowl-Nautilus

I know what you’re thinking so far, tuna and acai bowls-where’s the really good stuff?  Oh I dug in, believe me!  And here’s what I indulged in!

A homemade waffle ice cream bowl from The Juice Bar-Hand’s down the best dessert I had all summer…Wine with dinner…A Seasonal Berry Tart from The Straight Warf, (my second favorite treat meal of the summer)! Calamari, and Cocktails like the Coco Loco shaken up by the vibrant and hip mixologists at Nautilus.  And the best appetizer I’ve had all summer also came from Nautilus, melt your heart Steamed Pork Buns.  To eat these tacos was truly an experience for my tastebuds.

Steamed Pork Buns-The Nautilus

But here’s the thing, I also balanced the yummy with the healthy.  I shared dessert with my husband.  The first thing my fit conscious hubby and I did when we stopped off the ferry was head to the market to stock our cottage fridge with healthy snacks and breakfast items.  For breakfast we cooked eggs with whole wheat english muffins, made sure to get a few Oatmega chocolate peanut butter protein bars on hand for in between snacking, and stocked up on waters and one of my new favorite summer quenchers, Bai coconut juice.  I chose protein packed salads for every lunch and drank a ton of H2O in between meals and cocktails.

All in all, I’m a huge believer in enjoying la dolce vita, but I’m also really in tune with my food choices and know how I want to feel throughout the day.  A fusion of fit and fab is where it’s at for me on vacation!  Because life is too short to deprive one’s self.

That Waffle Bowl Though!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Quick Circuit for the Road!

Need a quick body weight circuit you can do on the road? I’ve got you covered. With August being one of the biggest vacation months of the year, you’re going to need some moves you can bring with you while you’re on the move!

You can do my quick body weight circuit off a beach wall or park bench. You can even use a hotel chair!

Complete 3 Rounds of Exercises 1-5

20 Single Leg Tricep Dips-10 with Rt. leg lifted/10 with Lt. leg lifted 

  • Lengthen your spine, open your chest and shoulders and point your elbows back as you dip.  Lift one leg up to intensify the exercise and lift more of your body weight.  Dip as low as you can!
  • Less intensity: Keep both feet on the floor, or bend both knees.

 24 Mountain Climbers

  • Maintain a plank form with the heels, hips and shoulders.  Draw your navel in and up throughout.  Drive knee close to chest.  Strong tempo, while maintaining tight form.
  • Less Intensity: Walk the climbers instead of jumping.

Step Up to Reverse Lunge 12 Each Leg

  • Drive up through heel and glutes.  Maintain fired up core muscles to aid in balance. Keep your eyes on one focal point as well for balance.  Step down with control and into a reverse lunge.  Keep spine upright throughout.
  • Less Intensity: Repeat the Reverse Lunges only in place.

Wall Hop Overs

  • Maintain a flat back.  Keep wrists beneath shoulders and head in line with spine.  Using the power in your glutes and thighs, propel both legs over a beach wall or park bench.
  • Less Intensity: Walk your legs over one at a time.

Decline Push Ups 

  • Maintain plank form throughout.  Lead with chest and be sure that lower back does not cave in.  Fire up your entire body to help keep proper alignment throughout the exercise.
  • Less Intensity: Do bent knee pushups on the grass.

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There’s always a way to fit in movement, even when you’re on the road!  If exercise help lift your mood, increases your energy and just makes you feel awesome throughout your day, then there’s no reason to leave it behind when you’re traveling.  Eat, drink, be merry  and move ; )

Slow and Steady

I may have run slow today but I still ran!
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I am continuously amazed by the way the body was designed. Just one week off from running and my stamina decreased, my speed reduced and energy for running was just not on par. I definitely had fleeting thoughts going through my head like, “If you don’t pick up the pace, you’ll never get back to your average speed you held at your peak.” and even, “Maybe you’re running days are coming to an end!” Yes, those anxiety ridden, worse case scenario thoughts flashed through my mind, because that’s the very primal human part of me that is programmed to panic. However, the personal trainer in me always wins out-thank goodness! And louder thoughts coach me through the run, “You can do this!” “Just one more minute and you’ll get over this hill.” “At least you’re out here doing the damn thing!”

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I can totally understand how many of my clients and students get discouraged when they take time off from working out. I have been running consistently since I was 17. And now that I’ve chosen coaching as a profession, I live and breathe motivation. It’s a habit I get to practice all day long. I can imagine that it takes a tremendous amount of will power for someone who hasn’t worked out in months, or is just coming back to the gym after having a baby to muster up the strength and confidence to get back at it.

Please don’t ever get discouraged, down on yourself or ever, ever give up. You must know that as long as you put one foot in front of the other, even if you go slowly, you will you gain your strength, stamina and energy back.

Top 3 Get Moving Tips
1. Make an Appointment with You! Circle the date in the calendar that is your Get Moving Date! Whether it’s been a few weeks, months, or even years there is no time like the present baby! Call your local gym or do some research online and search for a personal trainer. Set up an appointment for a one on one consultation. When we’ve set a date with someone else, we’re just more accountable to not flaking out.

2. Link up with a buddy and book a class! If your budget is tight, and personal training isn’t an option, call your girlfriend and book a girl’s day out. Scout out a few local fitness studios, and talk to the manager to get the 411 on their class schedules so they can help you pick the perfect one for you! After class, grab a healthy lunch-and put a new spin on get togethers!

3. Small Steps=Big Change! After work make a plan to lace up and head out! Aim for small distance goals each week. Start with a 1 mile walk one week, and build from there. The key is, don’t miss a week! In 6 weeks you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come by adding .5 extra to your mile.

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