Grilled Nectarines with Banana Honey Soft Serve

Last weekend my mother-in-law, hubby, and I were sitting at my kitchen table. We had just finished up a yummy dinner, and all of a sudden, I jumped up.

ME: “Ooooh I have to make dessert now!”

THEM: “But we’re pretty full. Why the rush?”

ME: “Because it’s going to get dark soon!”

THEM: “We’re using the grill for it? We can still grill after the sun goes down.”

ME: “No we can’t, because I have a feeling it’s going to be yummy, and if it gets dark, then I can’t take pictures and blog the recipe!”

Classic case of #foodbloggerproblems… or more like poor planning on this blogger’s part. But hey, life’s busy and this is the way recipes come together sometimes. :)
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Hug Your Pooch, it’s National Dog Day!

Hey friends!

So, I wasn’t planning on blogging today, but here I am chatting with you because I found out….

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It’s National Dog Day! 

I know that there are lots of random, silly holidays on every day of the year, but truth be told, I think some of them are fun because 1.) I love any excuse to celebrate, and 2.) I enjoy acknowledging days designated to something near and dear to my heart. And pretty much everyone that knows me knows that I’m obsessed with dogs, especially my own pooch!

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Sweating it Out with Under Armour at IDEA World {Day 3 Recap}

Hi there!

Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend. My mother-in-law has been in town visiting from Jersey, so my weekend was full of showing her a good time in SoCal. More on that later, but today, I’m recapping my third day of the IDEA World Fitness Conference!boat pose

(Yoga posing in front of the convention center, of course.)

My Saturday morning began bright and early with a 4:45 AM wake-up call to get ready for a….

UA workout

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Fig Honey Chia Smoothie Bowl

Chocolate peanut butter. Strawberry vanilla. Chocolate covered cherry. Basically friends, I’m totally smoothie crazed. And those are a few of my favorite smoothie creation combos.

But sometimes, instead of just making a smoothie to drink in a glass, I like to put my blender to work to make something a bit thicker. I then pour my creation into a bowl and eat it with a spoon, because I’m fancy like that.

fig honey bowl-3

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The Highlight of IDEA World’s Blogfest: Jillian Michaels! {Day 2 Recap}

Happy Hump Day everyone!

This week is going by fast for me, partly because I’ve been trying to catch up on work and rest the past few days. I was beat after having a busy schedule, so much fun, and little sleep while at IDEA World! Speaking of which, today I’m recapping day two of the convention. Let’s get to it!

Anaheim Convention Center

My Friday began with a 7 AM bootcamp workout with Caroline and Moe, who are both fitness instructors in Boston. I met both of these women the first day of Blogfest, and immediately thought that they both were super cool. Caroline and I already had been following each other on Twitter, and I recognized her from social media. This seemed to be a theme at IDEA World, which made it even more fun because you’re meeting people you already virtually “know.”

Blogfest bootcamp

The ladies led the group through a cardio/body weight workout that definitely started the day in a sweaty, awesome way! Bootcamp class group shot:

Bootcamp-group shot

Afterwards, Cassey Ho, the creator of Blogilates, gave a presentation on turning your blog into a money-making brand. She was witty and relatable, and one takeaway message I got from her lecture was the importance of finding your own voice.  

Blogfest-Cassey Ho

Next on the agenda was the highlight of the conference for me: Jillian Michaels speaking right in front of me!! I’ve talked about Jillian on the blog before because I own so many of her DVDs (a review of her Yoga Inferno DVD can be found here) and am a huge fan of her. I was pretty much geeking out when she walked into the room.

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The IDEA World Fitness Convention: My First Time Doing PiYo {Day 1 Recap}

Hi friends! Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend.

It has been quite a whirlwind for me the last bunch of days attending the IDEA World Fitness Convention, which included 12,000 people from over 60 countries! Within IDEA World was Blogfest, a 2-day event specifically for healthy living bloggers. It was hosted by Fit Approach, a company that I’m at ambassador for, along with a lot of great people. Let me tell you, I’m just about to burst from experiencing so much awesomeness at my first ever blogging conference! Let’s dive right into the highlights for me of day 1 of the conference…

IDEA Welcome

The first morning started bright and early with a yoga session led by San Francisco yoga instructor Stephanie Ring. It was a nice way to begin the conference by stretching and sweating! A shot of the yogi group:

Blogfest yoga group(photo cred to Fit Approach)

Afterwards, we headed to the opening ceremonies for IDEA World, which were full of inspiring stories. I could just feel the excitement and energy of the room from the moment I walked in.

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Tricks for Sneaking in Exercise While Hosting Guests

Hi friends!

Tomorrow I’m heading up to Anaheim for IDEA World and Blogfest! I was getting psyched seeing so many people posting on social media about their travels to the conference today. Anaheim is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from my house, so I’ll be heading up there tomorrow evening. Conference recaps to come on the blog, but in the meantime, you can check me out on Twitter and Instagram to see what I’m up to at IDEA World! :-)

ideaworld-banner

Speaking of travel, today’s topic is about when people travel to visit you. Living 2,500 miles away from my family, my hubby’s family, and a lot of my friends, I’m happy to have house guests come visit and spend time with me… and since I live in beautiful California and they love me, they like to visit!

When people stay with me, obviously my normal routine gets shaken up. I usually do a lot more relaxing, cooking, baking, eating and drinking. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – it’s great! – but I do like to make sure that I stay active even when I have loved ones in town. When my father-in-law was in town a couple of weeks ago, I thought about the ways that I keep up my habit of moving often while playing host. Here are the tricks that I use:

Cleansing, Foodie Loves Fitness Style: The Part Time Juice Cleanse

The idea of doing a cleanse to flush toxins and give my body a bit of a rest has always been interesting to me. But the idea of only juicing is not my idea of a fun time.

Every time I’ve tried to do nothing but juice, I find myself hangry with little self-control by late afternoon – not to mention the fact that after several green juices, I’m practically repulsed at the thought of drinking another one. Let’s face it, I’m a foodie and I love to eat! So instead, I’ve tried different kinds of cleanses – ones that involve chewing – like the Vegetarian Times 7-ingredient cleanse (posts on that here and here).

Fresh fruit

I took a cue from that cleanse to come up with my own version of a cleanse last week! Because I’m active and like to work out, I like to feed my muscles. One thing that bugs me about cleanses are their lack of protein, so my cleanse includes high protein vegan sources, like beans and nuts.
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An Afternoon of Holistic Health Treatments: Real Results or Placebo Effects?

Hello, hello!

I awoke on my birthday yesterday to a bouquet of bright flowers sitting in my kitchen. I always can appreciate some pretty flowers! I started my morning off with a relaxing yoga session….

sunflowers

…and followed it up with a delicious birthday breakfast: chocolate chip banana pancakes drizzled with cashew butter. Cashew butter is my current favorite nut butter!

birthday breakfast

Birthdays always make me appreciate just how many people care about me. All day long I received calls, texts, cards, and gifts from the people I love. I’m definitely a lucky woman!

I got not one but TWO Edible Arrangement deliveries – one from my parents, and one from my friend Danielle. I suppose that they really know that the way to my heart is through chocolate and fruit! My hubby gave me a bunch of music books for the piano… because he’s getting me a piano! I played the piano for 12 years, but haven’t consistently played in recent years because I don’t have a piano. Well, that’s about to change now that I’ll have one at home. I dream of one day owning a Baby Grand piano, but for now, a decent used one will certainly be sufficient. ;-)
birthday treats

For dinner last night, A and I headed to a super yummy casual restaurant that I would recommend to anyone wanting delicious, healthy food called Lotus Cafe. I ordered vegetarian chili + black bean enchiladas; he had tomato & artichoke soup + a mushroom pasta dish. Afterwards we found a new wine bar/restaurant that we really liked in the area for an after dinner drink.
Lotus Cafe

Solterra wine

In between all of the above, after getting work done, I headed to a rejuvenation facility for what I thought would be an afternoon of pampering to treat myself on my birthday. What took place was way more kookiness than I had anticipated. When I called the facility prior to going in, the woman said that a “specialist” would be with me for the afternoon, but it was more like me getting worked on by a bunch of different fancy machines. However, I tried a bunch of holistic treatments that I had never done before, and since this is a healthy living blog, I thought I’d share my thoughts on them with you all.

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My First Yoga Sculpt Experience

Hi friends!

A couple of weeks ago I talked about heated workouts, and I shared with you all that I’m not the biggest fan of them due to me being a baby about super warm rooms. Well, after publishing that post, I wound up using the last of my 5-class pass at that gym to try out one more heated workout: yoga sculpt!

namaste

(source)

I really only wound up doing the class because I really wanted to try yoga sculpt, and the gym only offers the class in heated rooms… so I found myself back in a sauna-like room working out once more!

I discovered 2 things from taking the class: 1.) Yoga sculpt is fabulous, and 2.) I don’t mind heated rooms if they’re under a certain temperature. The instructor had the room at 85 degrees with 65 percent humidity, and I actually didn’t feel like I was going to die. She said that she finds if the room is too warm, participants fatigue more easily and don’t seem to get as good of a workout, so she likes to keep it just moderately warm. Amen to that!

Yoga Sculpt-1

I love practicing yoga and enjoy strength training + cardio classes. Since yoga sculpt combines cardio, yoga, plyometrics, and weight-lifting all together, I figured I would like it. But I didn’t like it… I loved it! I found that the class zoomed by and it was a great, challenging yet also kind of relaxing workout.

We began the class practicing vinyasa flow for a bit, then moved on to a full-body toning routine using light dumbbells, a band and block. If you think 5- and 8-lb weights are easy breezy to workout with, try using them for 45 minutes straight! I definitely felt the burn during the class. We finished the class with a couple minutes of abdominal exercises.

Yoga Sculpt-3

I have to say, I thought that the class would incorporate a bit more yoga. I’m not sure if all yoga sculpt classes are designed this way, or if the instructor I had just likes to emphasize the strength training aspects of the workout regimen more. I think I would have liked the class even more if we ended with some more yoga practice.

The cool part about yoga sculpt is that it takes a high energy, calorie burning approach to a typical vinyasa yoga class. For me, it was a nice combo in feeling like I got a sweaty, heart pounding workout in, while also stretching out with some yoga poses. If you’re looking to start doing more yoga but really prefer higher intensity workouts, yoga sculpt is definitely for you!

Have you ever tried yoga sculpt? Do you prefer higher intensity or lower impact workouts?