Monthly Archives: December 2016

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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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies {vegan}

Have you gotten bit by the holiday baking bug?

I definitely have! Last weekend I baked up a storm making treats to give to my San Diego friends and neighbors this week to spread some holiday cheer.
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It was quite a festive weekend for me, because I also watched Elf and visited a neighborhood in a town called Poway nicknamed Candy Cane Lane. My friend Tiffany had told me about it, and while she probably knows about it because she’s a mom, I’m a little kid myself when it comes to the holidays…so I was thoroughly intrigued!

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Naturally, my hubby and I headed to Candy Cane Lane on Saturday night to check it out. You guys, it was amazing – so many gorgeous houses decorated so beautifully for the holidays! Some houses even were showing movies on projector screens and giving out hot cocoa & treats. Local readers, I definitely recommend visiting there to get into a festive holiday spirit. We may or may not have been the only ones there without children… 😉

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But back to my holiday baking.

Over two days, I experimented with making chocolate peanut butter swirl cookies (came out yummy, but not visually what I wanted them to look like), mini chocolate peppermint cups, dark chocolate cherry sunflower butter cups (I’ll share that one later), peppermint snack bites, and today’s recipe: chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

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My holiday baking goal was for things to be delicious, but also pretty healthy. I decided to make everything vegan….but am leaving that tidbit out when I give treats to my neighbor who’s always offering me plates of authentic Mexican carnivorous dishes. When sharing a plate one time, he actually said to my hubby, “You aren’t one of those vegans or anything right?”

Oh if he only knew. 

PS – He RAVED about my cookies last year! Muwahaha. (That’s my evil tricked-ya-with-my-healthy-dairy-free-treats laugh!)

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Three Workouts to Try This Holiday Season

Between holiday shopping, parties, travel, and family traditions on top of the usual busyness, most of us are pressed for time at the end of the year. But don’t let that stop you from fitting in exercise! Today I’m sharing 3 workout ideas to try over your holiday season.

The first routine is a 30-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that consists of 5 circuits, with 3 exercises in each circuit: a cardio move, a bodyweight strength move, and an abdominal exercise. For each exercise, it’s 30 seconds on / 10 seconds off, and once you complete the three exercises, you repeat it for 3 rounds, then move onto the next circuit. This one can be done anywhere, and chances are I’ll be doing this one when I’m staying at my parents’ house over Christmas!

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Tip: I use a free app called Interval Timer for HIIT workouts. I set up my desired intervals (in this case, 45 intervals with 30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest), and then once I push start, I can just listen to the alarm interval noises to switch exercises while I’m watching TV or listening to music.

The second workout is a treadmill + bodyweight circuit workout that’ll take around 40 minutes to complete. My father-in-law has a treadmill in his basement, so when I’m staying at his house I usually fit in a workout incorporating incline walking intervals. This workout begins with building treadmill inclines, then switches over to 5 bodyweight exercises for a total body workout. Do 4 rounds for about a 40 minute workout. Only have 20 minutes to spare? Complete 2 rounds for a quickie workout!

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Peppermint Chocolate Chip Snack Bites {vegan + gluten free}

Earlier this week, I sent out a health coaching newsletter with tips to avoid holiday weight gain (you can subscribe via the signup form on the right sidebar! –>), and one of my guidelines is to implement an 80/20 diet balance.

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I’ve talked about this concept before, but it’s the idea that 80% of your calories are from nutritious, healthy choices, and for the other 20%, you enjoy whatever indulgences you’re in the mood for. I apply this to my diet not only during the holiday season but year-round, because I believe that moderation is what works in the long haul for a healthy, sustainable relationship with food… which brings me to today’s recipe!

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We all know that December is ripe with food and drink indulgences. I adore baking Christmas cookies and drinking seasonal drinks like spiked warm cider, but I also balance those treats out with healthy, light meals and a very active lifestyle.

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One way that I balance out my sweet tooth is whipping up recipes that are healthy and clean, but taste like dessert. I think that many of you frequent blog readers know that this is one of my specialties! Today’s recipe is a good example of this.

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Made with oats, dates, hemp hearts, and cocoa, these snack balls give you a taste of peppermint cookie goodness while being healthy, vegan and gluten + refined sugar free.   Continue reading

UncommonGoods Holiday Gift Ideas for Food & Drink Lovers

Hello, hello!

We’re less than three weeks away from both Christmas and Hanukkah, are you all ready??

My best DIY project to date is back! This wine cork Christmas wreath is my favorite outdoor decoration.

My best DIY project to date is back! This wine cork Christmas wreath is my favorite outdoor decoration.

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year! My Christmas tree, outdoor lights and decor are now all up, and I’ve been playing Sirius’ Christmas stations in my car nonstop. I can’t wait to do some holiday baking to share with family, friends & neighbors, and I’m planning on visiting a popular Christmas light extravaganza area that a friend told me about called Candy Cane Court next weekend. It’s all so fun & festive!

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I’ve also been doing a ton of holiday shopping. I look forward to giving my loved ones gifts every Christmas, and I sometimes turn to unique gift giving sites for some inspiration and ideas. One catalog that really caught my eye this holiday season was the one I received from UncommonGoods. Flipping through it, I found so many products that made me say, ooooh and aaaahhhh because they’re right up my alley.

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Shortly after, UncommonGoods happened to reach out about working together (what a perfect fit right?), so today we’re teaming up to share gift ideas for the foodies & drink lovers in your life. Admittedly, I pretty much want all of these products for myself (hint hint to any loved ones reading this who are looking for a gift idea for me 😉 ), because they’ve got lots of gifts for women that enjoy experimenting in the kitchen like I do.

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Besides the fact that their products are so neat, UncommonGoods is an awesome brand because of its dedication to being environmentally friendly and socially responsible. Their site features products that contain recycled components, and they’ve never sold products containing leather, feathers or fur – which I find great because I really have been avoiding buying leather in recent years.

The brand also believes in giving back, and since creating a donation program in 2001, they’ve donated over $1 million to non-profits. You can learn more about UncommonGoods’ mission here. Let’s check out some cool gift ideas!

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Row Boat Serving Bowl with Wood Serving Utensils. Many foodies, myself included, are suckers for fun and unique serving dishes – and this row boat serving bowl definitely fits the bill! This is an especially fitting gift for any coastal people/boat & water lovers. Retails @ $65. 

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Twist Decanter. This product puts a twist on a classic decanter (literally!) and is a neat gift idea for the wine lover in your life. I just love the look of this decanter! Retails @ $29.99-49.99. 

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Green Herbal Tea Kit. As a tea lover, I know that I’d enjoy getting this tea kit as a gift! This holistic tea set includes nine herbs and three varieties of eco-certified, organic green tea from Japan, India, and Sri Lanka. It comes with reusable tea bags to steep the loose leaf teas and herbs in. Retails @ $40.

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Mariner Cheese Board. Who else adores a good cheese plate? I could happily eat cheese, fruit and bread for dinner every other night. This nautical cheese board is shaped like a ship’s wheel, making it a unique centerpiece for your next wine & cheese night. Retails @ $32.

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Healthy Apple Almond Crumble {vegan + gluten free}

Happy Friday!

I felt like this work week has gone by so fast – not quite as fast as last week’s three day work week, but still quick! I have a feeling that’s how the entire month of December is going to feel.

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I don’t know about you guys, but I always get in sweet tooth + baking moods on the weekends – especially in the fall and winter when it gets cooler out. One way that I satisfy it without getting off track with my daily macro and calorie goals? Baking healthy of course!

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A few of my healthy swaps are using fruit and cinnamon to naturally sweeten baked goods up, using oats instead of white flour, and including sweeteners like maple syrup instead of refined sugar. Today’s recipe includes all of those tricks!
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I first made this apple almond crumble a few months ago. The next time I made it, I tweaked a few ingredients to reach baking perfection…but for some reason I’ve been sitting on the recipe for a solid month. So here I am finally sharing it today!

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This crumble makes for a great healthy dessert or breakfast. It’d be perfect to make for family brunches this holiday season – and with no refined sugar, no dairy, and no gluten, it’s suitable for a variety of dietary preferences!

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