Monthly Archives: October 2016

My Workouts Lately // Sept & Oct

Happy Halloween!

If you trick-or-treat at my house tonight, you’ll be greeted by a barking Batpuppy:

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I celebrated Halloween yesterday by carving pumpkins and watching scary movies with my hubby, and making jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers for dinner.

Are you celebrating the holiday with some treats? If you’re looking for a way to offset those extra candy calories today, try this at-home Halloween workout: at-home-halloween-workout

And speaking of workouts, today I’m sharing what I’ve been up to lately on the fitness front!

I had a bit of an injury scare about a week and a half ago, when I spent a few days thinking that I might have broken my middle toe after tripping at my door when walking inside from my backyard. Total klutz move! I was totally sober, but I was going to open wine, so I may have been a teeny bit excited and gotten ahead of myself. Oops. At first it was really painful but luckily, after a couple of days the throbbing subsided, and I think it was just a bad bone bruise.

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Because of my poor little toe, I took it pretty easy last week with my exercise routine. It was painful putting on sneakers for a bunch of days, so I mostly did easy walks with my pup in sandals and did some upper body strength training and limited yoga. Luckily I’m almost good as new now and back to regular workouts!

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My beach walk spot: Carlsbad Cliffs

Backing it up to last month’s workouts, I had some fitness studio fun in September – especially when a heatwave hit and I wanted to get out of my warm house for my sweat sessions as much as possible. Having no A/C is no joke when it hits 100 degrees outside!

One studio that I took classes at was Fortis & YOGALUX in Carlsbad. What I love about this gym is that they offer a nice variety of classes, from yoga and barre to boxing and TRX. It’s also close to my house, which makes it nice and convenient to take classes at any time that I can fit a workout in – regardless of rush hour traffic.

Triple digits is pretty unheard of here in SoCal!

Triple digits is pretty unheard of here in San Diego

Two classes that I took there in September were Agility Barre and LUX HIIT. Created by one of the Fortis instructors, Lauren, Agility Barre reminded me a lot of Xtend Barre in that it’s more cardio-focused than other barre styles. You use a weighted bar for some of the moves, and it incorporates some yoga elements. I liked the fast pace of the class, and as usual with barre, it incorporated a lot of great toning exercises.

The LUX HIIT class marked my return to a HIIT class after a 6 months hiatus. HIIT is one of my favorite kind of workouts, but I took a break from it after my foot injury earlier this year. I’ve still been limiting plyometric training and really high-impact workouts because I find that they make my foot and calf injuries flair up, but I was curious as to what LUX HIIT was all about….

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My calorie burn from LUX HIIT

…and it was such a great workout! It was a tough cardiovascular class, and holy calves! They were so sore for days after since they aren’t used to me jumping up and down on them too much nowadays. Leaving this class super sweaty high on exercise endorphins, I was reminded why I love HIIT so much.

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Chocolate Cake Batter Chia Energy Bites {vegan + gf}

Energy bites are a favorite snack in my household. I’ve even turned my immediate family on the east coast onto energy bites, because I’m always whipping them up when I visit as a healthy snack to have around.cake-batter-energy-bites-1

And as a big fan of keeping things interesting in the kitchen and in life in general, I’m always coming up with new energy bite combinations. Today I’ve got a new one to share: chocolate cake batter chia energy bites!  

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Made with oats, plant-based protein powder and chia seeds, these vegan, gluten free bites pack a nutritious punch. They get their cake batter flavor thanks to the combo of cashew butter, cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa, and are sweetened with dates and maple syrup.

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They’re the perfect little bite to hold you over until a meal or give you some quick on-the-go healthy fuel.

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How I Get My Healthy Living Act Together

Hi there!

Hope that you had a great weekend! After recovering from travel and fighting a cold last week, I’m feeling better rested and more settled. I feel like my blog posting has been a bit more sporadic than usual the last couple of weeks, but this week I should be back to normal scheduling!

As I resume to a better sense of normalcy this week, a top priority of mine is getting back to cleaner living. While I always maintain a healthy lifestyle, lately my healthy living balance has been tipping more into the ‘indulgences’ side of things a little more than I typically strive for. This happens every now and then and it’s certainly not the end of the world. After all, healthy living is a journey, not a destination right?

donutjuice-collageWith that being said, today I’m sharing the ways that I get my clean living act together after a few too many celebratory drinks, simple carbs and desserts. Doing these things helps me to feel my best in many ways, including reducing any bloating  and increasing my energy levels. Let’s get to it!

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I amp up my fruit & veggie intake. While I always eat fruits & veggies daily, when I’m focused on eating clean I eat them even more. As I talked about in this post, I usually eat at least a serving of fruits or veggies at every meal.

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My easy orzo vegetable soup

I use MyFitnessPal app to track my nutrition and calories, including tracking my macros – which means balancing out my carbs, fat and protein to make sure I’m getting the right proportions of each.

I know that some people aren’t into tracking nutrition, and I really think it’s just a matter of figuring of what works best for you. I do it because I like crunching numbers and ensuring that my diet is maximizing my nutrition. Otherwise, my plant-based diet can be too carb-heavy and not have enough protein.

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I exercise harder. Over the past month, I’ve worked out an average of four times per week (and I’ll be talking more about my workouts lately on here soon!). While that’s a totally respectable amount of exercise, I kick my sweat sessions up a notch to usually 6 days a week. I love a lot of variety in my exercise routine & hate getting bored with my workouts!

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Life Lately: A Wedding Extravaganza East Coast Trip

Hi there!

Long time no talk. I have been crazy busy lately! An anniversary, 2 weddings, a bachelorette party & visiting family on the east coast have all taken place… and today I thought I’d back it up a few weeks to share with you guys just what I’ve been up to!
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At the beginning of the month, my hubby and I celebrated 7 years of marriage! I was traveling to the east coast two days later, so we elected to celebrate lucky #7 locally.

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First up, we went to a San Diego Chargers game. They played the Saints and the game was so much fun….until the Chargers totally blew their 13-point lead in the last 4 minutes and lost the game. Whomp whomp. 

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Let’s just say that there were many die-hard fans that were not too pleased after the game. Even we were bummed out about it, and we are both really fans of other teams (the Giants for me, the Eagles for him).

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After the game, we headed down to Coronado to have dinner at Il Fornaio. It’s an Italian restaurant I’ve mentioned on the blog before that offers great views of downtown San Diego. It was a gorgeous day, so we sat outside to enjoy our meal.

downtown-sd-view {Pasta pomodoro for me for dinner}

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{And gelato + a boozy coffee to split for dessert}

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It was such a fun day together! I especially appreciated it since I knew we’d be apart for a few weeks, and since A has been so insanely busy with work & school lately.

anniversary-dinner

A few days later, I headed cross country to NJ. Even though I was just in my home state of NJ over the summer, this east coast trip came up when I found out that two of my friends were getting married in the same weekend. One of my close friends works for JetBlue and was able to hook me up with free flights, which was awesome!

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complimentary snacks on my JetBlue flights = a happy traveling me

It was actually the first time I’ve ever flown JetBlue (they don’t fly a lot of routes that I do… yet!) and I absolutely loved them. Free wi-fi, free TV, free snacks, enough space to sit so that I don’t feel completely claustrophobic… it’s the little complimentary things that make me a happy traveler! I was able to work the entire flight out with easy wi-fi access, and the 6-hour flights flew by (pun intended!) both ways.

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The first wedding was for the friend that I’ve had the longest in the world. Ashley and I started cheerleading together at age 7 and were carpooling buddies our senior year of high school, and now as adults, we keep in touch & meet up whenever I’m in the area. She looked so happy and stunning at her wedding!

ashleys-wedding

Sans my hubby, my friend Danielle was my date for the night. It was fun to get to catch up with her the whole night and crash at a hotel together!

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Apple Pie Banana Bread {vegan + gf}

Hello, hello!

Today I have what’s quickly becoming a new favorite recipe of mine to share with you guys, so let’s dive right into it!
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Banana bread is one of my favorite ways to use ripe bananas, and I’m sure a lot of you would agree with me on that! There’s just something so comforting and yummy about a banana bread fresh out of the oven. I like to eat a slice with a cup of hot tea.
apple-pie-banana-bread

Today’s recipe takes a twist on banana bread – a cinnamon apple twist, because hello October! This is my last recipe creation using the fruit from my apple picking excursion in Julian. There’s been lots of apple eating and baking in my kitchen over the past month!  apple-banana-bread-9 Continue reading

Visiting Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher {Travel Recap}

Hello, hello!

Today is my last recap from my trip last month to Ireland. So far I’ve talked about my favorite attractions & fun in Dublin and my Dublin vegetarian eating guide… and today I’m back with a recap of my visit to the Cliffs of Moher!

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Funny enough, I’m putting together this travel post as I’m currently 40,000 feet in the air en route to NYC. I’m heading east to my home state of New Jersey for lots of wedding festivities: I’m attending  2 friends’ weddings this weekend and a bachelorette party the following weekend, and also have some bridesmaids dress shopping from my brother’s upcoming wedding planned.

Of course, there will be lots of family time as well. I usually try to see my parents and the rest of my east coast-based family every couple of months, but I’m on a roll because this will be the third month in a row that I’ve seen them. Yay for family time!

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But I digress, back to my most recent Euro trip! When I planned my trip to Ireland, I knew that I wouldn’t have too much time to do sightseeing outside of Dublin. One place that I really wanted to see during my trip was the Cliffs of Moher. I had seen plenty of travel sites and movies featuring it, and had visions of the beautiful green cliffs.

Since the Cliffs of Moher is a solid 3+ hours away from Dublin, I decided to do a travel tour. With a pretty busy trip schedule, it seemed like it would be my only chance to see the Irish countryside. An all-day tour became the plan, and my sister Kelsey and cousin Alanna joined me for what became a memorable travel day!

With my sister and cousin on our Ireland tour

With my sister and cousin on our Ireland tour

I decided to book a tour with Paddywagon Tours, which seemed like a popular Irish tour company that offers a variety of options. I easily booked with them in advance online. Early morning, we walked to a meeting spot in a Dublin city center point and were greeted by a very prompt tour guide who was full of one-liners throughout the day, including: “How do you know an Irishman is lying? If their lips are moving!”

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