My Workouts Lately [Nov & Dec ’16]

Hi friends!

Is it just me, or is January flying by?!

Today I want to rewind a bit and look back at my workouts of November and December ’16. I capped off my year with many awesome sweat sessions!

Harley photobombing my headstand, as per usual!

I kept up with doing an at-home yoga practice most mornings, though I feel like I stuck more to the basics and didn’t challenge myself with new/deepening asanas all that much.

Well okay, this pose is a pretty tough one! 

Class-wise, November was fun because I got to experience spin classes at a new studio in downtown San Diego called Pure Indoor Cycling.

The folks at the studio kindly gave me a complimentary membership to try out their classes, and you guys, I had so much fun taking spin classes there! Pure offers the club-esque type of cycling classes that are becoming so popular in many cities — complete with loud, energizing music and lighting effects.

I love breaking up the day with a lunchtime ride, and I burned mega calories at Pure classes. I have my bike trainer at home that I use all the time, but I definitely pushed myself more in the classes. I left every Pure class feeling awesome, with lots of endorphins flowing!

One thing that I dig about Pure Studio? The classes are a bit more reasonably priced than you’d find at comparable cycling studios. And San Diego locals, the first class at Pure is free! I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

The only bummer for me? I wish I lived closed to the Pure studio!

Next up with my studio class workouts throughout November & December was going to more yoga sculpt classes at Fortis & YOGALUX in Carlsbad. I’ve become such a fan of yoga sculpt classes!

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Clementine & Carrot Morning Sunshine Juice

It’s interesting how sometimes we fall in and out of habits.

For a few years, I was using my juicer all the time. Making a morning green juice became something that I did several days a week. After all, I do love getting in a hefty dose of fruits & veggies first thing in the day to power me through the morning!

But somewhere along the line last year, I stopped using my juicer at home. I was still drinking green juice, I was just buying it out instead of preparing it myself.

I blame having to clean the juicer on my juice making laziness. I mean, let’s be honest, that thing is kind of a pain to clean!

Even so, I’ve decided to bring my at-home juicing habit back in 2017. I got back into my Jack LaLanne Power Juicer groove – which I swiped from my parents’ garage after it sat there unused for years and shipped it all the way across the country for me to use, starting my juice making craze – with today’s juice recipe: the Morning Sunshine Juice.

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Focus on Gratitude with a 2017 Positivity Jar

Here at Foodie Loves Fitness, I practice & preach the concept of moderation when it comes to most things. But, if there’s one thing that I think you can’t have enough of, it’s gratitude (well… and love).

Longtime readers probably have heard me talk about the concept of practicing gratitude daily. I believe that doing so brings lots of positivity into your life, and as with the law of attraction goes, it also attracts new good things. I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to harp on the negative, and instead, I invite you to focus more on the positive this year.

If you’re wondering about techniques to be more consciously grateful, you’re in luck, because today I’m sharing one new way to bring more gratitude into your everyday life.

It’s called a positivity jar, and the idea is that every time something good happens, you write it down on a little piece of paper, and throw it in the jar. By the end of the year, you hopefully will have a jar full of little reminders of why life is good that you can look back on!

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Celebrating Football Fandom with DICK’S Sporting Goods

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DICK’S Sporting Goods. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a lover of fitness and active living, sports are definitely a passion of mine.

When it comes to my own workout routine, sports play a big part. Boxing is one of my all-time favorite ways to break a sweat, hitting the tennis courts for a friendly competition with my husband is always fun, and as an adventure lover, the feeling of racing down a trail on my mountain bike is an adrenaline rush like no other.

Watching professional sports is big in my household. I love absorbing myself in big events like the Olympics, Grand Slam tennis tournaments, and Vegas fights that thrill the the boxing world. Even soccer games have even grown on me due to my husband’s constant watching.

But when it comes to my favorite sport, there’s one that exceeds all the rest by a long shot: football.

My father has been a football coach my entire life, and I think that the love for the sport has been engrained in me. I grew up going to football games and constantly watching them on TV. My dad’s high school team has been ranked in the top 10 in the country many times over the years, and I remember the excitement at getting to go on the field at the Meadowlands (now MetLife Stadium) after some of his big games. I even have gotten to meet some NFL players!

Football and I have a long history! If you look close enough, you can see me as a 7-year old cheerleading mascot for my dad’s 1994 championship football team.

In fact, my parents were in Tampa this week for the College Football National Championship rooting on Alabama, as one of my dad’s high school players is now a great athlete on the team. Talk about an upset game for Alabama, losing to Clemson!

Another bummer game of the week for me? The NFL team I’ve been a longtime fan of, the New York Giants, losing in the playoffs to the Packers. Ah well, you lose some, you win some. 

Sporting my Eli Manning jersey last weekend

One way that I love to show my Giants pride is by wearing NFL jerseys. When I wore one last Sunday before the game for a beach walk with my dog, at least a dozen fellow fans stopped me to say things like, “Go Giants!” and, “I hope they get a W today!”

That’s the cool things about being a fan of a team. It connects people and brings them together, even when you’re living 2,500 miles away from where the Giants are based.

Even my dog gets in on showing off her football pride with her (only half eaten) Giants bandana!

Years ago, it was tough to find women’s NFL jerseys, but I’m happy that nowadays, they are not hard to come by. Most of the NFL gear that I own is from DICK’S Sporting Goods. As the the country’s largest sporting goods retailer, DICK’S core company belief is that sports make people better, and I agree wholeheartedly.

To engage with NFL fans and showcase favorite jerseys across the country, DICK’S created the Jersey Report. An NFL popularity contest of sorts, the report is based on online and in-store sales data. Each week the DICK’S team digs into the data and aggregates the top-sellers to show off in the Jersey Report.

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2016 East Coast Holiday Vacation Recap: Cookie Baking, Christmastime in Philly & More

Hi friends!

How did your first week of 2017 go? I was fighting an annoying cold all week (not my favorite way to start off a new year!) and feeling pretty worn out, and I’m happy that I’m starting to feel more like my energetic self again in week 2 of the year.

Today I’m looking back at my 2016 Christmas to share what I’ve been up to lately. My holiday trip to the east coast included lots of family time and good food, with some workouts sprinkled in, and a day in Philly!  

My hubby and I kicked off our Christmas celebrations with our annual early gift exchanging prior to our holiday travel. I made us a picnic in the living room and we enjoyed some food and wine while opening presents and watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He gave me a new camera for Christmas, which I’m excited to learn how to use well for my food and travel photography!

The next day, I tired my holiday bow wearing fur baby out on a hike, brought her to the pet resort, then off we went on a flight to Philadelphia!

Our trip was a typical whirlwind of visiting with different sides of our families across New Jersey, and here were some of the highlights:

Our annual cookie baking tradition continued on! My aunt, mom, cousins, and I baked our butts off – and Adam even helped roll out doughs for the first time ever.

We used my grandma’s kitchen to bake – which has THREE ovens – so it was a busy scene as per usual. I think I counted a dozen types of cookies that we made to share with friends and family, and I did my fair share of tasting! My pictured favorites are peanut butter cookies, 7-layer bars, and chocolate kiss peanut butter cookies. I might be a tiny bit bias, but I swear, our tried-and-tested cookie recipes are the best (tasting-wise, not health wise….!).

Christmas morning was spent at my parents’ house with my parents, siblings, sister-in-laws, and nephews, plus all of my parents’ and sisters’ fur babies – which equals 2 dogs + 4 cats (plus a bearded dragon and a pet rat that didn’t participate in the festivities). We are all animal lovers!

We exchanged gifts, drank mimosas, and I made my healthy apple crumble. Adam gave my sister, soon to be sister-in-law and I the above pictured ridiculous, fun animal onesies as a joke. He’s going to regret it when I start actually wearing my wolf onesie around the house!

Christmas dinner was spent at my grandpa’s with all of the above mentioned family, plus my aunt, uncle, cousins and grandpa. We all made a couple of dishes, and my favorite eat of the day?

Cream puffs!! My grandma made it a tradition to make these every Christmas, and we’ve kept many of her food traditions, including cream puffs, going since her passing. I’ve actually never made them myself, so I’m thinking that perhaps I need to learn and share the recipe with you guys this year!

A few days after Christmas, we journeyed into Philadelphia to check out the holiday scene in the city with my father-in-law.

I love walking around cities like Philly, and it was the first time I got a chance to experiment with using my new camera.

Growing up, I lived closer to New York City and visited it way more than Philly, but in recent years, I’ve spent a lot more time in Philly whenever I visit the east coast. I love how historic of a place Philly is, and it was fun to just walk around and soak the city in a bit.

It was chilly, but not too cold that it was uncomfortable being outdoors exploring – which I thought was better in comparison to the last time I was in Philly last summer, when it was about 100 degrees with disgusting humidity. It was like a sauna then!

We checked some things off of Visit Philly’s 20 must-see holiday attractions list, including visiting city hall’s Christmas tree, The Rothman Ice Rink and Christmas Village at Dilworth Park.

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Hearty Farro Greek Salad

This dish takes a twist on a classic Greek salad with the addition of hearty farro! 

After lots of holiday cookie baking and eating, it seems like a good time to focus more on greens, what do you think?

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You guys, I haven’t shared a salad recipe in way too long. I swear, I eat salad all the time – apparently I just don’t get creative and come up with new salad recipes too often. But today salad is making a comeback on Foodie Loves Fitness, and I promise you that this is one delicious meal idea!

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One of my favorite healthy strategies when eating out is to order a salad as an appetizer. It takes the edge off of my hunger, and I wind up eating less of my entree (which is bound to be something heavier) and taking some home as lefties.

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When it comes to at-home salad eating, I definitely have my favorite combos. I often will make a spring greens salad with shredded carrots and avocado, then top it with a black bean burger and cheddar cheese (pretty much this recipe). Greek salad is also one of my favorites.

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This dish takes a twist on the classic Greek salad. It has all of the awesome ingredients incorporated into a regular Greek salad – including romaine lettuce, tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, feta, and red onion – but with the addition of farro.

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The Best of 2016: Favorite Recipes, Workouts, Adventures & More

Happy New Year!

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I hope that 2017 is off to a great start for you. I’m back in California after a week and a half on the east coast for holiday vacation, and ready to see what wonderful things this year has in store for me. Since I love to reflect on the positives of the year at the start of a new one, today we’re looking back at my 2016 favorites!

Recipes. When I think about favorite recipe posts, what pops into my mind are the recipes that I shared with loved ones, made numerous times and couldn’t get enough of! My top 5 recipes of 2016 that were popular on the blog are…

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Mini Pretzel Twists with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. I had a thing for soft pretzels in 2016! 

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Mediterranean Feta & Lemon Hummus Dip. After creating this dip for a health coaching event, I made it several more times throughout the year. I love Mediterranean ingredients like artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes & feta cheese! 

Moving onto the sweeter side of things, these were my favorite healthy snacks/desserts of the year (all vegan + gluten free!):

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Brown Rice Crispy Squares. I like to think of these as a more wholesome, adult version of those blue wrapper rice crispy treats we’re all familiar with!  

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cookies. Because the chocolate + peanut butter combo has my heart every year. 

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Peppermint Chocolate Chip Snack Bites. I‘ve been obsessed with all things peppermint this winter! 

Travel. I got to do some awesome traveling in 2016! Here are my favorite adventures of the year:

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Visiting Ireland was definitely a check off of my bucket list, and it also marked the first time that I ever spent time in Europe with my family. I met them in Ireland and got to experience the country with my parents, sister, grandma, aunts, uncle, cousin, and brother during the whirlwind trip. I had the chance to visit the Cliffs of Moher, experience some awesome Irish pub nights, and ate lots of yummy vegetarian food.

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17 Life Mottos to Inspire You in 2017

There’s something about having a new year on the horizon that makes me feel excited, reinvigorated and motivated – but not in a New Year’s resolution kind of way, more of in an enthusiastic for what’s to come and what I want to do sorta way.

In the spirit of making 2017 a wonderful a year, today I’m sharing 17 inspiring life mottos. I’ll be coming back to them throughout the year as reminders of how I want to live my life, and I hope that they serve as inspiration as you crush your 2017 goals!

#1 –  
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#2 – 

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…because mindfulness is an important piece of the happiness puzzle!

#3 – 2017-quote-1Let your light shine is one of my favorite mantras.

#4 – 

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#5 – 

2017-quote-7#6 – 

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…because I firmly believe that the law of attraction is a powerful thing. Optimism has always been my mindset, I don’t see the point in being any other way!

#7 – 

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Gratitude is the open door to abundance, so I make it a daily practice to stop and think about all of the blessings in my life. Oh, and I sometimes don’t eat vegetables until dinner… so eating more veggies is a good thing for me to keep in mind!

#8 – 

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…because consistency and perseverance are keys to success.

#9 – 

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Don’t get me wrong, diamonds are nice and all, but adventures are what light my soul on fire. Adventures are what give me memories that’ll last a lifetime. In 2017 I’ll be going on as many adventures as possible!

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Sunflower Butter Cups [vegan + gf]

Hello, hello from the east coast!

I flew in via a red eye this morning, and am looking forward to lots of holiday  fun in Jersey. Bring on the relaxing family time!

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I have one last holiday dessert recipe to share today… and this will also be the last Foodie Loves Fitness recipe of 2016!

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We all have our favorite traditional holiday dessert recipes, but sometimes I think it’s nice to switch things up and add in new ones. Truth be told, I get a little tired of seeing the same cookies all around every December… so  today’s recipe is a bit of an unconventional holiday dessert, but trust me, it’s oh so good!

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These sea salt dark chocolate cherry sunflower seed butter cups are a mouthful – to both eat & say out loud! We’ve got the richness of dark chocolate, sweetness of dried cherries, and the salty contrast with the inclusion of sunflower seed butter and a touch of sea salt.

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Unwinding This Holiday Season with Zeel Massage on Demand

Has December been a whirlwind for everyone else too? I feel like this month has been flying by, and in just a few days, I’ll be flying to the east coast for holiday vacation with my family!

Luckily last week, I had a chance to stop and unwind a bit with one of my favorite means of de-stressing: a massage.

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It’s no secret that I love a good massage…. and I’ve gotten a number of massages this year since part of my calf & foot injury rehab/maintenance plan has been getting massages every 4-6 weeks. Being such an active person, getting a massage makes a big difference in smoothing out those knots in my injury spots. While the deep tissue rubdowns on my calf and other tight spots are usually more painful than relaxing, it’s a good kind of pain knowing that I’ll feel better in the long run!

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I was about due for a massage when Zeel Massage on Demand reached out to see if I’d be interested in trying out their services. It was a perfect fit for both working out my tight muscles and de-stressing before my holiday travels!

Zeel is a massage on demand company delivering spa-quality massages to your home, hotel, or workplace in many major U.S. cities – 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I loved the idea of getting a massage in the comfort of my own home, which is something I’ve never done before.

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Users can request massages on the Zeel app. Once I downloaded it on my iPhone, I specified when I wanted my massage, what type of massage I wanted, if I had a gender preference (female), and added in the location that I wanted my massage done (my home).

It was a pretty straightforward process, except I did experience some difficulty verifying my identify. Zeel requires either a passport or license scan, or the last 4 digits of your social security number. I had trouble getting my ID recognized and my SS number wasn’t being verified, so this step wasn’t as easy as I would have preferred, but it worked eventually.

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Once the process was complete, I got my massage booked within minutes and Zeel sent me a confirmation text. They also texted & emailed me appointment reminders and a much appreciated “what to expect” email leading up to the massage.

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The Zeel masseuse brought a massage table, lotion and music, and all I had to provide was sheets and a pillow. We set up the table in my living room, which had an especially relaxing ambiance going on because it was a rainy, dark day and I had lit my Christmas tree and fireplace lights, and also had a lavender candle lit.

The one thing I was wondering about was how my energetic dog would be during the at-home massage. Not surprisingly, Harley was very interested in what a stranger was doing setting up camp in the living room. She was her usual nosey self as the masseuse set up the table, and alternated between being good & laying down, and getting out all of her toys out of her basket and licking my lotioned arms and legs throughout the massage. I wouldn’t expect any less from her!

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