balance, breakfast, dessert, easy, gluten free, health, pumpkin, quick, recipe, smoothie, vegan

Fall in love with Pumpkin

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Ok, so I know I don’t have to sell anyone on how awesome pumpkin is, it’s easily the most popular fall flavor, we find it in lattes, muffins, patches, skincare and basic hashtags all over instagram. Aside from being trendy, pumpkin is actually super good for you.

Pumpkin is packed with fiber which helps you feel fuller longer so adding this tasty member of the squash family to your oatmeal, smoothies or even soup is a great healthy choice. They are also packed with vitamin C to help you fight that fall cold and full of beta carotene and antioxidants to help lower blood pressure and even improve eyesight. we often think of bananas when we think of potassium, but pumpkin also boasts this nutrient helping you recover from those tough fall runs in the rain.

Give this delicious smoothie a try the next time you want a pumpkin drink, it’s vegan, gluten free and full of fiber and vitamins. For an extra boost add your favorite plant based protein powder.

Perfect Pumpkin Smoothie

½ cup pumpkin puree

½ banana

⅓ cup oats

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 ice cubes

1 cup nondairy milk

 

If you just can’t get enough pumpkin, you may want to try a pumpkin body scrub. Penelope and the Beauty Bar in the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Seattle has a full body polish or foot scrub and massage to take your pumpkin pampering to the next level. Pumpkin is great for the skin because of all of it’s fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids which are often found in high end skin products. The vitamin C and A help sooth skin and boost collagen production to help prevent the signs of aging.

I checked out their food scrub and I have to say, even though my tootsies are tucked warmly away inside my boots this season, they are so incredibly smooth and soft. I walked away from my scrub feeling so relaxed and refreshed, my technician did an amazing job and my feet smelled amazing afterwards.

The benefits don’t stop there, you can make pumpkin lotion, lip balm and even face masks.

If you are interested in a DIY version, give this one a try from One Green Planet

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup organic canned pumpkin (or homemade pumpkin puree)

  • Mix sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon together. Mix with pumpkin. Put on skin, scrub in circular motion, and rinse. All smooth and clean!

 

Hope you have fun this fall and find a new way to enjoy our favorite fall flavor – let me know your favorite unique ways to use pumpkin! #squashgoals

balance, dating, fitness, health, movement, running, tips, workouts

Date Actively

They say that the couple that sweats together, stays together. If you’re like me, dinner and drinks can be fun, but finding a way to get a workout in with your partner and earn those drinks can feel even better!  

Living in Seattle we have tons of incredible stuff to do in the summer, and these date ideas are perfect for people anyone who wants to move their body, stay healthy and have fun! Drinks and dinner afterward totally optional – especially if you really worked up a sweat.

 

Best Active Date Ideas

  1. Make your way up a mountain – We are surrounded by mountains and so lucky to live within 30-40 minutes of a wealth of hikes. This is a nice opportunity to unplug, break a sweat and work towards an epic view with someone you care about. Pack a picnic lunch to nosh on at the top and you have the makings for a great, fit date. Check out the WTA website to find a hike that suits you and your partner. https://www.wta.org/go-outside/hikes
  2. Spend some time on the water – Don’t have any friends with a boat? Not a problem, there are tons of places on the sound, Lake Union, and Lake Washington to rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards and even row boats. Aqua Verde – http://aguaverde.com/paddleclub/ is a great place to hop in the water and check out the houseboats, and bonus – it’s also a restaurant so you can have a margarita and some tacos afterwards! If you are looking for something a bit more off the beaten path, the UW https://www.washington.edu/ima/waterfront/canoe-boat-rentals/ rents canoes and row boats for super cheap and it’s usually much less busy
  3. Go on a walk – Hear me out, I know this sounds boring, but don’t just walk to walk, have a destination, or better yet, a few destinations. A walk around the lake can be super nice when it’s hot out, but if you’re more the short jaunt type, pick 3 places for drinks, dinner and dessert and make sure they’re in different parts of Seattle and walk from place to place. It can be really fun to spread out your meal and see the city in between places.
  4. Spin your wheels – If you both have bikes or can rent them, take them for a spin! You can bike on the Burke Gilman all the way out to Redmond, snag a beer at Redhook and some lunch or even sip some wine in WIne Country before heading back to catch dinner. You and your partner will love feeling the wind in your face and can even stop at Matthews Beach https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/matthews-beach-park to dip your toes in the water to cool off.
  5. Try a crazy class – Ever wanted to do aerial yoga? Or push yourself in cross fit? Why not do it together – find something you’re both interested in and go and have fun. You might not know all the moves or be the best, but you’ll know you’re in it together and can even help push each other to get out of their comfort zone or make it through that last rep.
  6. Climb your way to closeness – There are plenty of indoor and outdoor rock climbing walls around Seattle that accommodate amateurs and the more experienced. If you’re an REI Member, they offer all levels of classes at their indoor wall https://www.rei.com/outdoorschool/climbing-classes.html and  Stone Gardens in Ballard has a great outdoor wall https://www.stonegardens.com/seattle/default.aspx 
  7. Dance time! Dancing together can be a fun and romantic way to be active on your date and doesn’t even require athletic clothing. Century Ballroom offers lots of classes and has open dance sessions you can drop into. http://www.centuryballroom.com/home/calendar If that’s not really your thing, check out the Stranger’s website for all things dance and theater to find something that fits your style. http://www.thestranger.com/events/performance

 

Hope you feel inspired to do something a little different on your next date and get a little fitter in the process. Let me know if you have any other fun active date ideas in Seattle that you’ve tried and love!

balance, breakfast, brunch, dinner, easy, health, quick, recipe, tips

How to Meal Prep Like a Boss

Summer has finally arrived in Seattle, which means we are busier than ever, and staying on track and eating healthy can be difficult. I get it – you’ve got parks to visits, kayaks to float in and microbrews to drink in the sun. That’s where a little planning and prepping one day a week can make a big difference in your life. If you are busy, want to lose weight, eat healthier or just like to get all your cooking done at once, this is the way to go.

It can seem daunting at first to plan that far ahead (I know it was for me) but hopefully these tips will help make it easier and get you going towards successful meal prepping.

Start Simple
This isn’t really the time to start eating crazy foods you aren’t used to, at least for the first few weeks. Think about putting together foods you already like and know how to prepare, this will save you time to begin with.

Master Breakfast
If you already eat oatmeal, try doing overnight oats. I love oats because they are high in fiber, and can be super nutritious for a filling and healthy breakfast. If you’re more of an egg person, you can prep the veggies for a scramble or omelette ahead of time and throw them in the pan in the morning with some already beaten eggs and whip up a breakfast in just a few minutes. Better yet, bake egg muffins all at once and have breakfast all week.

Shop Smart
Don’t head to the store without a plan, you run the risk of roaming the aisles and buying foods that don’t really go together. Plan out what you’re going to have for the week and make a list to take to the store, you’ll save time, money and sanity.

Be Snack Savvy
Pre-packaged minimally processed bars like Kind and RX make great snacks that take absolutely no work. If you’re looking for more whole food options, buying things in bulk like string cheese and hard boiling a bunch of eggs ahead of time are great to grab on the go.

Get Freezin’
Making large batches of food ahead of time and freezing them is a great way to save time. You can throw tomorrow’s dinner in the fridge to thaw before you head to work and come home to a dinner that will require a few minutes in the microwave. Or, if you’re into smoothies, try making homemade smoothie kits of frozen fruit and veggies and then after a workout or whenever, throw it in a blender with your milk or water of choice and you’re good to go.

Choose Grains Wisely
Pick grains you can use for multiple meals and cook a big batch on Sunday. Quinoa is great for breakfast in place of oatmeal, or you can throw it into salads for extra protein, or serve your fish or chicken for dinner on top of it.

Spread Your Food Out
On a sheet pan that is. Roasting veggies and protein in big batches in the oven is a super easy way to prepare a lot of food at once. You can throw these in salads, or use them for low maintenance dinner ideas.

Slow It Down
If you have a slow cooker- bust that thing out! You can make all sorts of food in your slow cooker, and it doesn’t just have to be soup. You can make quiches, oatmeal bakes, lasagna, enchiladas, roasts, the sky’s the limit. Set it to go before you leave work, come home to a delicious meal you can reheat all week.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and prep yourself for a week of healthy eating and spend less time in the kitchen. If you are looking for or in the need of some awesome meal prep ideas then make sure to check out my pinterest board.

balance, breakfast, easy, fitness, health, quick, recipe, running, snacks

Hidden Veggies

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Smooth Moves

Got someone who just doesn’t get enough veggies? Or just want to add more veggies to your diet without effort or even really tasting them? I’ve got the perfect solution for you- smoothies!

Smoothies are my favorite go-to for a quick breakfast or after a workout when I don’t have time to throw something else together. When putting together a smoothie, it’s important to consider all of the elements that make up a balanced meal, including healthy fat, protein and fiber. Without all of these, you are at risk of spiking your blood sugar quickly which can sabotage weight loss and cause you to be hungry again soon and reach for something else.

The rules I like to follow when I make a smoothie are a 1:2 ratio of fruit and veggies, for every fruit serving, I include 2 servings of vegetables, and include fat and protein.

Pick 1 fruit, 2 vegetables, 1 liquid, 1 fat, 1 protein, 2-3 ice cubes = your complete smoothie.

Here are some of my favorites :

Fruit :

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or mixed berries
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1 packaged unsweetened acai puree

Veggies :

  • 1-2 cups spinach
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1-2 beets
  • 1/4-1/2 sweet potato

Liquid :

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk or regular milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
  • 1 cup cold water

Fat :

  • 1-2 tbsp nut butter
  • 1-2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw nuts
  • 1/4 avocado

Protein

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop plant based protein powder
  • 3 tbsp powdered peanut butter

 

Be mindful of portion sizes and remember, if weight loss is your goal or even maintenance, a smoothie is a great option, but not in addition to all of your regular foods, otherwise you’ll have a caloric excess. If you are trying to gain weight, increase protein and fat content and consume in addition to your regular diet.

Happy blending, you’re only limited by your creativity, I promise you won’t even know the veggies are in there and can get 1/2 of your servings of both fruit and veggies in one smoothie!

Let me know what you’ve tried!

 

balance, fitness, health, movement, running, tips

It’s Gettin’ Hot!

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Woof. I hate running in the heat, I am the weirdo who runs outside all through the winter, through rain, sleet, wind and freezing cold, but transitions to the treadmill in the summer when the rest of the running folk flock outdoors. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in a cooler climate most of my life, and while I love a good sunny, hot day on a boat, bbq or lazy day in the sun, it’s not my favorite weather to work out in.

I do my best to avoid running in the heat by getting up early or doing indoor classes or treadmill workouts but when training for a race, longer outdoor runs are unavoidable. I want to be able to enjoy the summer, getting lots of vitamin D and outdoor training.

Here are some ways to make running in the heat more bearable, or even almost enjoyable.

How to stay cool in the heat!

1. Clothing matters ~ Make sure to choose loose fitting and lightly colored clothing when exercising outdoors, avoid dark colors. Special tech clothing meant to wick away moisture is even better. Hats or visors are great for keeping heat off your head and sunshine off your face which can help keep you cooler and not squinting through your workout.
2. Protect your skin ~ No one enjoys a sunburn, even worse, one in the shape of a sports bra or t-shirt. I have a permanent sports watch tan line year round that I rock proudly! Make sure to apply sunscreen at least SPF 30 or higher before heading out for a run. Don’t forget ears, face and the back of your neck.
3. Early or later is better ~ If you can, plan your workouts earlier in the day before it gets really hot, or late evening when there is more shade and it has begun to cool off. Avoid midday or early afternoon runs when the sun is at it’s hottest. Try running in the shade as much as you can.
4. Stay hydrated ~ Make sure you are drinking plenty of water all day, and especially during your exercise, never go out in the heat without your water bottle regardless of how long your workout is. I always wear my camelback with chilled water whether I’m going for a 3 mile run, doing a stair workout or knocking out a 10 miler.
5. Plan ahead ~ Map out your run ahead of time with a planner like mapmyrun.com to make sure you’ll have places to stop for extra water. You can also choose a shadier route to stay out of the sun.
6. Slow down ~ When it’s very hot outside, you will want to slow down your pace or take breaks during your workout to make sure you don’t get overheated, it’s ok pace yourself to make sure you feel good throughout your workout.
7. Replace electrolytes ~ For intense outdoor activity, you will definitely be sweating. Make sure after your exercise you replace the electrolytes you lost, Nuun tablets are a great option after and during exercise, just stay away from high calorie bars or things high in sugar.
8. Listen to your body ~ Most importantly, if you feel too hot, dizzy or lightheaded at any point, stop, get out of the sun immediately and sip some water slowly until you feel able to resume activity.

Have fun out there folks, good luck staying cool! Let me know if you have any tips or things that work really well for you!

 

 

balance, chocolate, easy, fitness, health, movement, tips, travel

Staying on track during travel

It’s inevitable, whether it’s during the holidays or just for a special occasion, we all find ourselves making our way through the long security line and shuffling to the gate to dash off to some exciting destination. As fun as travel can be, sometimes the options at the airport are not always the healthiest when you’re trying to stay on track.

I have done a lot more traveling in the last few years, and coincidentally, my health has become an even greater priority as well, so how do you make healthy choices when you’re on the go? Here are some ways I manage to make sure I feel great and don’t have to sacrifice healthy choices during travel.

 

  1. Plan ahead! Since I always keep healthy food in the house, it’s not a big leap for me to grab smart choices when I’m leaving the house. If I have a lot of time I will bake some protein muffins ahead of time or make some nut and seed bars. If I am short on time, I make sure to grab a couple pieces of fruit that travel well like apples and bananas, and make my own trail mix. The possibilities here are endless, you can throw together any combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and even some dark chocolate chips if you need a it of sweetness. Some great store bought bars I love are KIND bars and RX bars, both have no artificial ingredients and are high in protein and healthy fat without added sugar. Having healthier options in your bag will make it so much easier to walk right past that cinnamon in the food court or avoid unhealthy snacks on the plane.
  2. Hydrate! So often we mistake thirst for hunger, and this can happen even more when we’re traveling and scattered. I always pack a large water bottle in my carry-on luggage and fill it half full on the way to the airport. I finish the water before we get to the airport so I start my trip hydrated and then fill up the water bottle as soon as we get through security. You can carry this onto the plane and this way you’re in control of your hydration, not waiting for the flight attendants to bring you a tiny cup of water : ) Avoid drinking alcohol on the flight which will only contribute to dehydration which leaves your skin feeling icky and can cause you to overeat. Feel free to grab a free bevvie on the plane, just stay away from juices and soda, stick to sparkling water, coffee or tea.
  3. Move, move and move some more. Sitting on long flights can leave you feeling sore and sleepy and can zap your daily move goals. I always get to the airport early enough that I can get through security and do a few laps through the terminal before getting on the plane. Since I know I will be sitting for a few hours, I like to get any movement I can in before boarding. Also, when my flight isn’t super early, if I know I’m going to be sitting during a long fight, I set my alarm, drag my booty out of bed and squeeze in a quick run before a flight. Knowing I got my workout in before travel makes me feel more balanced, less stressed and happy knowing I didn’t have to compromise my fitness goals on a travel day. If you’re on an especially long flight, try to get up eat least once an hour to stretch your legs and move a little bit.
  4. Know your stuff – if you absolutely can’t bring your own snacks and have to eat airport food, do your research. Don’t get lazy or call it vacation calories, be smart about your choices. Read the menu, look for things that are at least half vegetables, and skip the added bread or chips that come on the side. Don’t be afraid to ask for things modified, restaurants are often very willing to be accommodating if you check. Make sure to watch portion sizes as well, often the size that you get is more than one serving, so try wrapping up half right away for later and eating half right away. This can also be super helpful after a long flight when you land and feel ravenous and keep you from grabbing something else unhealthy before you get to your destination.

 

Happy travels – DM me with the ways you stay on track while traveling!