30-Minute HIIT Holiday Workout

Happy Friday everyone!

Greetings from New Jersey! My hubby and I arrived in the northeast late last night. I’m really looking forward to spending the holidays with our families. There’s going to be a lot of baking, cooking, drinking, and celebrating in my life this trip, so I will be making sure to balance it out a bit with a couple of workouts as well.

Wine Tasting

There’s always a lot of good vino involved when staying at my parents!

Whenever I’m back in my home state visiting, I find ways to squeeze in workouts. Sometimes my mom and I do exercise DVDs in the living room together, and other times I make up routines to bang out first thing in the morning before my day of visiting with everyone starts.

Lately I’ve been digging HIIT workouts – which stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and is when you alternate short bursts of intense exercise with short periods of recovery. I love them because I’m so focused on the interval timing and the exercise that I’m doing at that moment, that the workouts totally speed by.

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Asian Sesame Noodle Salad

Hello!

I’m feeling very excited to fly home and see my family tomorrow! I know that while I’m on my trip I’ll be indulging a lot and not exercising as much (especially with frigid temperatures in Jersey and my crazy pup not being with me to nudge me to take her on walks!). That’s perfectly fine and I’m looking forward to the vacation, but knowing this, I have been mindful in making some of my meals extra healthy and produce-packed lately.

holiday green juice

For one thing, I’ve been eating a lot of veggies to help build up my immune system a bit and protect myself from getting sick while I’m traveling and around so many people during the holidays. For another thing, eating really healthy meals helps balance out the sweets that have inevitably been present in my life more so than usual. Yesterday I made cupcakes and cookies that I gave out to a couple of friends as little holiday treats, and I taste tested so much I felt overloaded with sugar. Ick.

peppermint joe joe's

Have you guys tried these? Ah-mazing.

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Apple, Pecan & Dried Cherry Salad + My Wine Cork Wreath

Hi friends! Hope that you all had a wonderful December weekend. This was the last weekend I had before traveling to the East coast for the holidays, so my days were productive with Christmas gift, house and trip prep stuff. Here were some other highlights:

Rock & Roll Yoga

My Saturday began with a 90-minute rock-n-roll yoga class. I was ridiculously sore from a kettlebell class I took on Thursday and had been walking around like a 90-year old lady, so I was a little worried that my balance and range of motion would be horrible. My practice was a bit limited, but I left yoga with a happy heart, feeling stretched out and a tad less sore.

Roses

I spent some time in my backyard with my hubby finishing up painting in our backyard – oh, the life of a homeowner! Since it rained a few days last week, my rose bushes are now bursting with gorgeous color. I just love when they’re like this!

3 lb cheddar

My hubby’s grandmom sent us a THREE POUND hunk of cheddar cheese, along with maple syrup and pancake mix as a holiday gift. It warmed my heart when she said that she sent it to us because the cheese is organic and from farm-raised animals, and she knows that I’m into all of that. I couldn’t resist opening that baby up for a weekend dinner… Broc Spag Squash Mac & Cheese

…and made elbow pasta, broccoli, ricotta, and spaghetti squash mac & cheese. It was one of those dinners when I didn’t measure anything (except the cheese because I was curious as to how much I grated – 14 oz!) and used up leftovers in the fridge, and it turned out really yummy.

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Chocolate Raspberry Mocktail + Puritan’s Pride Giveaway!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Puritan’s Pride, but as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Hi friends!

Today’s post is the last installment of my 3-part Puritan’s Pride seasonal smoothie challenge. You may remember that in October, the theme was pumpkin smoothies (you can check out my chocolate chip pumpkin protein smoothie here), and my November creation was a pineapple mint smoothie for the belly soother smoothie theme. So what do we have going on for this month? Yummy mocktails!

mocktail-3

This simple 4-ingredient mocktail includes dark chocolate and cocoa powder, which are sources of antioxidants to support total-body wellness. Raspberries are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients, and using frozen ones makes the mocktail a bit creamier.

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WIAW: My Favorite Eats of the Week

Happy Hump Day!

Harley Christmas bow

Being that it has been quite awhile since I linked up to the What I Ate Wednesday blogger party, I decided to join in on this fun this week. Today’s WIAW post features my favorite eats from the past week – because as any normal food blogger, whenever I eat something tasty, I snap a photo or two!

WIAWbutton

So what goodies has this vegetarian been munching on?

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Chocolate Mint Oatmeal Flax Cookies [Gluten Free]

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Holiday Decor Collage

My weekend was full of holiday related activities: buying a tree and decorating it, buying outside lights and decorating my front yard, shopping for gifts, and starting this DIY craft…

DIY cork wreath

…a wine cork wreath! I’m not all that crafty but I’ve been wanting to do something with the many corks I have around, so I decided to give it a go! I’ll be sure to share the final product, which I’ll hopefully have done later this week. Chances are I’ll be glue gunning corks at 11 pm tonight!

Coinciding with my holiday cheer, I also did some baking last weekend.

mint cookie baking

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Striving for Better Balance in Life {pHenOH 7.4 Sports Drink Review}

Disclaimer: The following post is sponsored by pHenOH through my ambassadorship with Fit Approach. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. 

If I had to describe what healthy living means to me in one word, I’d say balance.

balance quote

Balance is a tricky thing: You don’t just have it and keep it, it’s something that you need to constantly work at, and it isn’t always easily found. I’ve found myself swinging too far over on one side on the coin, only to later find myself way over in the other direction. But the beauty is that every day is a chance to achieve better balance, in whatever way you need it. A couple of the main ways that I’m constantly trying to keep things aligned in my life include:

  • Balancing exercising often while also giving my body a chance to rest.
  • Maintaining a work/life balance.  
  • Finding the right balance of time with technology and media while also being mindful and enjoying my life right here, right now. 
  • Balancing my diet with lots of healthy foods but also some indulgent foods.

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6 Ways to Stay in Shape When You’re in a Relationship

Recently I was having a conversation with someone who was mentioning that she finds it hard to stay in shape once she begins dating someone. I totally get it: when you get into a relationship, all of a sudden you might find yourself wanting to stay in bed and cuddle instead of rush to sunrise bootcamp; to go out to romantic restaurants and indulge in 6-course meals and all of the wine on a weekly basis.

healthy living

(source)

But to me, being a healthy, confident, taken woman means finding balance between your romantic relationship, and the relationship you have with yourself. And a big part of that healthy self-relationship revolves around nourishing yourself with good food, being at a healthy weight, feeling attractive, and finding time for endorphin-boosting exercise and other healthful activities.

With my hubby in Austria last year

With my hubby in Austria last year

I’ve been with my hubby for 8 years now, and I’m certainly very lucky to have found him. While he’s an easygoing guy who has made it pretty easy for me to lead an active, healthy lifestyle, there are definitely some things that I’ve learned along the way, and healthy habits that I’ve developed in my life as half of a couple. So whether you’re in a brand new relationship or have been with your significant other for decades, here are some tips I have for staying/getting in shape when you share your life with a better half!

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{Story Time} My Paranormal Experience in Williams, Arizona

Hey guys!

Today I’m sharing a post that’s sort of off-topic, but I’ve had it on my mind since Halloween, when a friend of mine brought up one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me. I got to thinking about how I’ve never talked about it on the blog before. I want to share this story partly because if there are other people who have experienced the same thing, doing some Googling would hopefully lead them here.

I also want to preface this by saying that I’m fully aware that this story might sound kind of unbelievable to some people – as paranormal stories often do. Hell, if you would have told my husband this very story prior to him experiencing it himself, he would have just thought you were crazy. Well, now that I’m probably weirding you all out, here goes with my scary story…

Paranormal story time

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Thanksgiving 10K, My Holiday Shopping List & Plantronics Bluetooth Headphones Review

Happy weekend everyone!

Since I was MIA over Thanksgiving, here I am chatting with you all on a Saturday evening, which is a rare occasion! Let’s back it up a few days, shall we?

Late afternoon on Wednesday I drove up to Long Beach to my cousin’s house. We had plans to do a 10K on Thanksgiving morning, and spent our night hanging out and having dinner and drinks at The Yard House:

Yard House Collage

Anyone who read my recent 5K recap is probably thinking, “What? A 10K? Wasn’t she just saying that she doesn’t enjoy running?”

Long Beach Turkey Trot-1

Well, we actually just walked the 10K charity race, and it was great! It was right along the beach on a gorgeous day. I felt like I got some good low-impact exercise in, plus my calf and foot weren’t bothering me as they do with running.

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