Monthly Archives: January 2016

New 1:1 Health Coaching Offering!

My active, healthy lifestyle is such a big part of my life. As a health coach, I love getting the opportunity to share some of my knowledge and passion about health, and to help support my clients in reaching their healthy living goals.

start living healthy

I believe there’s no greater feeling than feeling healthy & happy from the inside out! That feeling transcends into every other part of life. Making an active lifestyle a priority, feeling like you have the power in your diet, and coping with stress in healthy ways are some of the things that I work on with my clients.

Nicole Crane Health - Logo

Normally, I offer a 6-month health coaching program, where the client and I “meet” (via in person, Skype or phone) every other week to hold an hourlong session. In between those meetings, we often communicate via email, where I send motivational notes, informational handouts about things we’ve discussed, and answer any questions that pop up. My program is tailored to the individual, so I customize it depending on their needs and challenges.

To Be Healthy - quote

While 6 months is thought to be an ideal amount of time to make healthy changes a habit and create a new lifestyle that can stick, I understand that committing to 6 months is a lot for some people. That’s why I’m offering a brand new option that allows you to become a health coaching client without diving right into a whole program: a 6 session package!

6 Session Offer

Just what does this offering include?

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How I Recover from Challenging Workouts

Hey friends!

How have your workouts been in 2016 so far? I’m proud to say that I’ve been kicking some serious butt lately! After taking a few weeks off of exercise being sick at the start of the year (I can’t remember the last time I took even a week off of workouts before that!), I was so happy to get back into it. Working out truly just makes me feel awesome, balanced, happy and accomplished.

(There’s a reason this blog is called Foodie Loves Fitness people!) 

When I Move-quote

I’m in the midst of week 2 of a 6-week challenge with my HIIT gym, where I’ve committed to workout there at least 4x a week for the duration of the challenge. So far it’s going great, but boy, do those HIIT sessions fatigue my muscles. Since it’s the end of January when a lot of people are a good couple of weeks into their New Year’s resolutions to consistently exercise, I thought that today was the perfect time to talk about something very important: workout recovery. Here are some things that I constantly do post-workout to recoup!

Fit Mill workout collage

HYDRATION. Drinking enough water and replenishing those electrolytes is a must post-workout. I like keeping electrolyte packets around for when my workout has been particularly rough, and I’m experimenting with my new infuser pitcher:

water infuser pitcher

The last couple of days I’ve been drinking water infused with strawberries, cucumber, mint from my garden, and orange from my tree… and I’m liking it for a fun flavor twist!

FUEL. This one’s obvious, but after you beat your body up working out, it’s essential to refuel. I try to get at least 20 grams of protein in within an hour of finishing my workout, along with some healthy carbs and fat.

blueberry banana protein pancakes

blueberry banana protein pancakes

My post-workout meal depends on the time of day that I’ve exercised. Sometimes I have a dinner like black beans, brown rice, shredded cheddar cheese & avocado; will eat a breakfast like the above pictured protein pancakes; or I’ll have a protein fruit smoothie. It all depends, but it’s always some kind of healthy, nourishing food!

STRETCH IT OUT. I make it a habit to stretch every day, and it always feels particularly nice to stretch a couple of hours after a workout – especially if I didn’t get a lot of stretching in at the end of my actual workout, like when I go hiking or mountain biking. This is especially true if it’s the same day as my workout and I can already feel some delayed onset muscle soreness setting in. When that happens I know that I’ll be seriously feeling it the next day!

Side Planking

side plank stretching yesterday morning

WORK OUT THOSE KNOTS. I love to get out those muscle kinks with recovery tools! I keep my foam roller in my living room so that I remember to roll out anytime I go to watch television. In addition to the foam roller, recently I began using recovery tools from RAD Roller. The folks at RAD were nice enough to send me their muscle flushing kit, which includes the RAD Rod and RAD Helix products.

RAD Roller products

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Copycat Lemon Twist Hummus

Last fall, my friend Danielle came into town for the weekend and we had a girls’ wine tasting day in Temecula. We had a picnic at one of the wineries, and I had brought apples, cheese, pretzels, almonds, pumpkin bread, and a new flavor of hummus from Sabra called Lemon Twist:


We pretty much housed the entire container of delicious hummus into our wine-filled bellies, and I made a mental note to try to recreate lemon twist hummus at home.

Last week, my favorite HIIT studio, The Fit Mill, hosted a membership event where we worked out, then enjoyed snacks & wine afterwards. I recently began partnering with The Fit Mill with my health coaching biz, and for the occasion I whipped up a few of my recipes. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to create a copycat lemon twist hummus. lemon hummus-5But first, I had to figure out the secret to super creamy hummus. I’ve posted a few hummus recipes on the blog before, and while I obviously love them, have always found that homemade hummus doesn’t have as creamy of a texture as store-bought or restaurant style hummus. Why is that?! I scoured the Internet to found out.

Besides using a ton of tahini, it turns out that one of the tricks to creamy hummus lies not within adding anything in, but taking something out: the chickpeas skins!
chickpeas & skins

It seems laborious, but removing the skins off a can of garbanzo beans takes about 10 minutes. You gently squeeze the bean and the skin just pops off. And ooh la la, it is worth the effort! My hummus experiments resulted in super smooth, creamy, lemon twist hummus. Trust me, I will be doing this with every batch of hummus I make from now on! You simply must try it.

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The Diet Trick That’s Guaranteed to Make You Healthier

Nutrition is such an interesting subject. There are so many dietary theories out there with millions of loyal followers, yet often they conflict with each other.

Dietary Theory books

(Image via the Institute for Integrative Nutrition)

In all honesty, some of them make me cringe a bit. I’m talking to you, Paleo followers that claim they’re “eating like a cave man” yet they buy conventionally raised meat that was likely transported from halfway across the country from animals that had been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and fed a diet unnatural to them.

But I digress. Nutrition can definitely be confusing for people, even for someone whose studied nutrition and is really into food like myself. While dietary theories can drastically differ in ideology, there’s one thing that I believe all decent diets have in common: lots of veggies & fruits.


My #1 diet trick is something that I consciously implemented into my daily eats years ago: Eat veggies and/or fruits at every.single.meal. 

It might sound hard to eat at least one veggie or fruit every time you eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but with a bit of planning, I promise you that it’s not. Here are some examples of how I do it:


If I’m quickly throwing together some ravioli or pasta for dinner, I make sure that there’s a green alongside it, like zoodles or string beans. Sometimes it’s a fresh veggie, other times it’s something canned or frozen… whatever works in the moment!

Chocolate cashew banana protein smoothie

Chocolate cashew banana protein smoothie

I’m a smoothie monster. I make one almost every day. What does every single smoothie I make have in it? Either banana or some sort of berries.

Ponte pasta primavera

If I’m out to dinner, I tend to order an entree with a lot of veggies. If my entree happens to not have a lot of veggies, I get a salad as an appetizer. That salad not only nourishes my body, but it cuts the edge off of my hunger, so I’ll eat less of my entree (Leftovers are awesome!).  

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#Gratefulin2016 {Weekend Recap}

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Hi friends!

I’m coming at ya a day later than my usual Monday post due to my being (mostly) off of work for yesterday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.

After I wrote my post on 10 techniques to develop a positive attitude a few weeks ago, I started thinking about how I could share more positivity on social media this year. I like to post positive quotes and thoughts here and there, but I decided that in 2016, I will consciously spread positivity online each and every week using one of the techniques I mentioned: Take a few moments to count your blessings daily. 

Gratitude-Deepak Chopra


And just how am I planning on doing that? Introducing #Gratefulin2016! 

It’s a social media movement of sorts that I’m starting to focus on what I’m thankful for. Every Monday (and whenever else the mood strikes me) on my Twitter and Instagram, I’ll share something that I’m feeling grateful for…and I’d love for you all to participate too!

It’s a way for us to share what’s going well in our lives, instead of harping what we’re dissatisfied with. A grateful heart is thankful for things big and small, so some weeks I’ll be sharing something BIG in my life, like my health, and some weeks I’ll be sharing something of less importance, like…. chocolate! And in the spirit of being grateful in 2016, today I’m sharing some things I felt grateful for last weekend:

La Jolla day date-2

My man. I got to spend the long weekend with my hubby – who I am so thankful to get to spend my life with. I was feeling especially grateful that we got to spend three days together since he was out in the field for the Marine Corps last week.

Harley-Jan 16

My pup. My goofball dingo often makes me laugh with her crazy antics, and I’m so thankful that I rescued her 5 years ago when she was an adorable little puppy looking for her forever home. She’s a total nut that entertains my hubby & me every day!

Elfin Forest hike-Jan 16

Hiking trails. On Saturday, my little family headed to Elfin Forest for a hike together. Breathing in the crisp air and pretty views as my heart pumped, I looked around and felt grateful to live near hiking trails like these.

trunk of fire wood

Cozy fires. On the ride back from said hike, we stumbled upon a resident selling firewood, so we loaded my car up with as much firewood as my Hybrid trunk would allow. I just love cozy fires in my living room on chilly winter nights.

fruit & cashew butter bowl

Fruit. You knew that food would be somewhere on this list, right?! I enjoyed the above pictured fruit bowl for breakfast over the weekend. I’m thankful to have the access and means to real, healthy food to nourish my body every day. I also was feeling thankful for my orange tree….

Orange tree-Jan 16…which clearly loved the recent rain! It’s crazy how much fruit has appeared in the past week or so. I picked some fruit over the weekend to eat and share with friends.

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San Diego Spotlight on Swami’s Cafe

Hi friends, and Happy Friday!

Today is another installment of my new San Diego Spotlight series, in which I share details about local restaurants, dessert spots, and wineries that I love. So far I’ve talked about Crepes & Corks Restaurant & Wine Bar and Elizabethan Desserts (Note: They were undergoing temporary closures the last time I stopped in there – insert sad teary face). Today’s feature is a quintessential Southern California eatery called Swami’s Cafe.

Swami's Cafe logo

Swami’s Cafe is a wonderful hippy dippy sort of place that has 9 locations around San Diego County. My favorite one that I’ve been to (I haven’t hit all of them just yet!) is their Highway 101 Encinitas spot, which is situated in a great location right next to the beach. This is most likely their first location, as Swami’s is also an internationally known surfing spot in Encinitas. The word ‘swami’ is used when talking about a yogi/religious guru, and right across the street from the restaurant is the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram, which was founded by Swami Paramahansa Yogananda. See, lots of ‘swami’ action in Encinitas!

Photo cred: Swami's website

Photo cred: Swami’s website

Open 7 AM to sunset, Swami’s Cafe serves healthy smoothies, sandwiches, wraps, pancakes, omelettes, waffles, soups, salads, fresh juices and wheat grass shots and juices. While they have a ton of plant-based options, the cafe also serves meat and fish items.

Photo cred: Swami's website

Photo cred: Swami’s website

My favorite thing to order from Swami’s is their acai bowl. It’s a massive smoothie bowl topped with more fruit, homemade granola, local bee pollen and coconut. Yum!

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Banana Coconut Matcha Smoothie

When I think of the start to a new year, I think of a fresh start…. excitement at a whole new year to set goals, go on adventures and start new ventures.

What I don’t think of is laying on the couch because I’m too exhausted to do anything or talk to anyone with my hoarse, sore throat – a box of tissues in hand, the constant taste of herbal lozenges in my mouth, an inhaler nearby in case I go into another coughing fit, continuous cups of hot tea being sipped, ear drops handy to crackle and pop my ears, and not being able to hear anything well because my ears and head are completely clogged.

banana matcha smoothie-1

Well my friends, as we all know, sometimes life throw you not so fun little curveballs, and me being the sickest I’ve ever been in my adult life was the way I started 2016. Typically I rarely get sick, am constantly on-the-go, and missing two whole weeks of workouts is unheard of. However, this was not the case for my nearly first half of January. My brain and body felt out of commission with an ear infection and serious upper respiratory craziness, and I think I killed some serious brain cells watching trashy TV as I attempted to relax and recover.

But, I’m happy to report that I’m aliveeeee! While not at 100%, I’m officially on the mend. I feel more like myself, have some energy back, and finally got my first workout of the year in. I’m reminded what it feels like to breathe like a normal healthy person, and it is glorious!

Banana Coconut Matcha Smoothie-2

As a holistic health coach, I naturally look to food as medicine to help me heal. Last week I was rummaging around my kitchen looking for any ingredients I hadn’t yet been eating that could be helpful, and I spotted a package of matcha. I coincidentally had just received an email from Kiss Me Organics reminding me of some of matcha’s beneficial qualities, and I immediately came up with this smoothie recipe to get some matcha flowing through my body.

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5 Stretches To Do Every Morning

One of my favorite ways to start my day is with a quick yoga session or HIIT workout. Getting moving first thing in my morning – usually before checking email or eating breakfast if I can – makes me feel energized and gets those endorphins flowing.

Parigasana pose

After a recent Sunday morning yoga session

Some days if I don’t have time for 20-30 minutes of morning exercise, I do some go-to stretches to wake me up. Today I thought I’d share them with you, because they’re perfect for just a couple quick minutes of movement to stretch you out after you’ve spent the night in bed laying down. When I do morning yoga, I usually incorporate these stretches into my practice too.

5 Stretches To Do Every AM

Morning stretching is thought to help improve posture for the day, eliminate muscle and joint aches & pains, and promote healthy blood flow. Plus, I think it just feels great!

Today’s photos show a peak of my kitchen, as it was too cold and wet outside for my usual backyard setting photos. I actually snapped these photos during a morning stretch session last week – with the early sunshine breaking in, my messy ponytail and all…  Just keeping it real for you guys! 🙂

sidebend stretch

1.) Seated Overhead Sidebend Stretch. Sit cross-legged on the ground. Place your left elbow and lower arm onto the ground beside you, and move your right arm overhead, stretching it over to the left side. Alternate sides, and flow through a couple of reps of stretching on each side.

Cow to Cat pose

2.) Cat to Cow. Get on the ground on all fours. Look straight ahead and straighten your back to hold Cow for a few breaths, then curl your back upwards while tucking your head gently downwards to move into Cow pose. Slowly alternate back and forth between the two stretches, allowing it to loosen up your back a little more with every rep.

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10 Techniques to Develop a More Positive Attitude

At the start of a new year, it seems like everyone is talking about resolutions and goals. While those are great, at this time of the year I also like to reflect on my personal growth from the previous year in an area that’s not always measurable. It might not be something that you think about each and every day, but It’s something that affects each and every person’s life on a daily basis – whether they’re aware of it or not. And just what is this thing I’m referring to?

Attitude. I believe that your own attitude and the attitude of those around you play a great role in your life – whether for better or for worse.

optimist cha cha

While it’s my natural personality to tend to look on the bright side of things, I’ve really made an effort over the last bunch of years to live more consciously and positively. I live by the belief that if I work hard, be kind, and have an optimistic outlook, everything has a way of working out… and thus far, it somehow always does.

Today I thought I’d share some of the techniques that I’ve implemented into my life on a daily basis. Thinking positivity requires some effort sometimes, especially when you’re going through rough times, but what I’ve found is that the more you make the conscious decision to think optimistically, the more those tendencies are embedded into your brain and become go-to reactions and thoughts.


1.) Take a few moments to count your blessings daily. 

Every day when my mind is free for a minute – such as when I’m  driving to the gym or taking a shower – I use it to acknowledge what I’m thankful for. Sometimes I think about the big things, like how grateful I am for having an amazing husband and a mom as a great best friend. Other days I think about other things, like how blessed I am to live near hiking trails or by beach.

be thankful for what you have

2.) Find ways to see the good – especially in less than ideal situations. 

This one takes practice – more for some than others – but learning to see things on the bright side is a powerful technique in learning to cope with life. Things don’t always go the right way for anyone, but being able to move forward with a positive attitude can only improve your life.

think, do, be positive - positivity concept, color sticky notes, white chalk drawing and handwriting on blackboard

Putting it into practice, for every negative thought I think about something, I try to counteract that with a positive one. In example, when I went to a conference last year where I knew absolutely no one and found myself in socially awkward situations, instead of only thinking, “I have no friends here. This sucks,” I counteracted it with, “This is a good opportunity for me to meet new people, and if I don’t click with anyone, at least it’s putting my networking skills to practice and I’ll learn from the conference sessions themselves.”

See how I flipped my thoughts? Next time you catch yourself being negative, try this technique. It gets easier with practice and becomes almost automatic after awhile!

3.) Practice mindfulness often. 

drink the nectar of the moment

Ever catch yourself thinking ahead, worrying about how much work you have to get done tomorrow while eating dinner or thinking about what you need to add to your grocery store list while in yoga class? Well yea, everyone does it some extent. But constantly looking to what’s next steals the moment from us and elevates our stress levels.

When you’re doing something you enjoy, are surrounded by beauty, sitting at a table with your kids chatting, sipping a glass of wine with your partner, and so much more, these are moments you need to be present in. Put down your phone, take a deep breath, soak in the moment, and realize that right here, right now is pretty wonderful.

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2015 Holiday Vacation Highlights

Hi friends, and Happy New Year!


I had 12 days off of work for my holiday break, and not surprisingly, it just zoomed by. My hubby and I flew to the East coast to spend the holidays with our families in Jersey, and had a packed schedule full of fun.

I had set up a few blog posts that published while I was out of town, and really took a break from blogging, email, and my computer in general. I also only posted a few times on social media the entire trip. I love being connected, but it was a much needed break. I thought it’d be fun to recap my holiday break today and share what I’ve been up to. Let’s get to it!

Christmas 2015

We spent Christmas at my parents’ house. I made a bunch of dishes for the holiday, including this healthier apple crumb pie (recipe via Making Thyme for Health):

Healthy Apple Crumb Pie

I got to hang out a lot with my family and play with my four nephews…

Baby Danny-Dec '15…and got my puppy fill by cuddling with my parents’ Pit bull Jada:

Jada-Dec 15

She’s just a little bit spoiled!

I got in a workout in a man cave (my father-in-law’s basement)…

Bill's Man Cave

Man Cave Workout

Luckily he has a treadmill in there, so I did some incline walking along with some conditioning moves like squats, planks and lunges. Sometime you have to fit in workouts wherever/whenever you can, right? 🙂

I went to Philly twice during my trip – one of which was for the Eagles vs. Redskins NFL game. My father-in-law is an Eagles fan, and we got him tickets to the game as a gift.

Eagles vs Redskins game

My hubby, father-in-law, his fiancé, and I went to the Saturday night game the day after Christmas. Unfortunately the Eagles sucked (I’m a Giants fan anyways!) but I always have fun at football games regardless.

Eagles game selfie

A few days later, we went back to Philly with A’s mom and grandmom. We walked around in the pretty downtown area, paid a trip to the city’s famous (and ginormous!) Macy’s store….

Downtown Philly-1

…and had lunch at this awesome restaurant we recently discovered called Sabrina’s Cafe:

Sabrina's lunch

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