Category Archives: Health

15 Interesting Food Trends & Finds at Expo West

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child

Last week I got to attend an expo where healthy food and conscious foodies collide: Natural Products Expo West. It’s an awesomely overwhelming show with every kind of food producer you could possibly imagine – from things you’d expect like protein bars, nut butters, and salad, to things you probably have never thought of, like brand new products that have never been sold before. There’s no shortage of yumminess, and brands are eager to have you sample their latest products. I sound like Captain Obvious saying this, but I love attending Expo West!

Today I thought it’d be fun to dive into 15 things that stood out to me at the show. Let’s get to it!

1.) Vegan food has gotten more delicious. Even as a vegetarian myself who eats vegan the vast majority of my meals, I used to shy away from some veganized products because they just didn’t taste that good to me. Well, that has changed, as brands are perfecting the art of meat & dairy-free food! Daiya’s vegan cheeses have gotten tastier and more melty, and I also liked their caesar dressing. Ozery Bakery introduced vegan brioche buns that were fabulous.

And Kite Hill is doing dairy-free deliciously too. I’ve bought their yogurts before so I already knew that I liked them, but I tried a bunch of their cream cheese spreads at the show… and trust me when I say that you wouldn’t even miss the dairy if you spread it on your bagel.

2.) Protein cookies are big right now. And I am not complaining about that! I like eating cookies and I like making sure I eat enough protein since I lead such an active lifestyle, so why not combine the two? Munk Pack came out with 4 tasty vegan, gluten free, non-GMO certified protein cookies flavors.

I also got to try Buff Bake‘s protein cookies, and their chocolate donut flavor was my favorite.

3.) Millet tots. For two days of the show, I was working at the booth of Rollin’ Greens with a blogger friend of mine, Laura. Since they’re doing something unique (& tasty of course!) in the market, I had to include them in this rundown. Rollin’ Greens is a Boulder-based company that puts their own healthy twist on tater tots, making them with the ancient grain of millet instead. They have their original flavor, and recently came out with two new flavors: an Italian herb + a spicy-sweet combo. Healthier takes on comfort food is one of my favorite things to create, so I love what Rollin’ Greens is doing!

4.) Cold soup bottles are the new green juice. Okay, I actually don’t know if I should take it that far, but know that soup in a bottle is a thing now. One company doing it is ZÜPA NOMA. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what I’d think of the soups… but in trying their flavors, I was pleasantly surprised to really like them! Their tomato gazpacho was full of fresh flavor, and I would totally buy soup bottles to drink on-the-go and get my veggies in.

5.) Sambazon’s new chocolate covered acai bites are delicious. Sambazon makes frozen acai packs that you can buy to make your own acai bowls at home, along with other acai products, and at the show they unveiled a new product: chocolate covered acai bites. They’re awesome, and I’ll definitely be buying them when I see them in stores!

6.) Tea with maitake mushroom powder is a thing. At the show I sipped on some organic tea from Blue Buddha that was made with ashwagandha extract and maitake mushroom powder. Sounds a little odd, but tastes good I swear! The company focuses on the tradition of using plants and herbs to help keep people healthy for thousands of years. The antioxidants from maitake mushroom help support a healthy immune function, while ashwagandha has been shown to relieve stress and increase mental focus. I’ll drink to that!



7.) Vita Coco gets the most clever booth award from me.
Vita Coco makes coconut-based water, milk and oil products, and their Expo West booth had the awesome above pictured display of a cow on vacation. I also thought their tagline, “Tastes like no udder” is pretty clever!

Continue reading

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone By Feeling the Fear & Doing it Anyway

Hi friends!

How has your week been? It has been quite a busy one for me. Lots of good stuff happening, including my participation in a workshop to get certified to teach Yoga Sculpt!

If you’ve read any of my monthly workout recaps recently, you may have noticed that I’ve been going to Yoga Sculpt classes. I love the mix of cardio, weight training and bodyweight exercises with a bit of Om sprinkled in. It’s a little bit of yoga, and a lot of sweating and sculpting. Out of the many kinds of classes that I’ve taken, the one I’d probably want to teach the most is Yoga Sculpt, so when the opportunity came up for me to take a certification class, I went with my heart and jumped on it.

While I’m obviously a longtime fitness lover and have gotten to do a lot of cool fitness-related things, like getting to workout with Jilian Michaels and attend awesome fitness seminars, fitness certifications are not in my usual wheelhouse. I’ve focused more of the nutrition and integrative health side of things with my health coaching certification. While a fitness certification is entirely new to me, when it came down to it, I asked myself, Why not?

I think that so many people are afraid to get out of their comfort zone, they go most of their lives staying within their little bubble – never taking risks or trying things that are new and exciting. I’m proud to be a person that is continuously just going for it – whether that means going to events where I don’t know a soul, traveling to unfamiliar places (my favorite way to get out of my comfort zone!), interviewing for jobs that are totally out of my usual realm (and then sometimes getting them!), or doing something new like getting a fitness certification.

When it comes down to it, if you want to lead a life that’s full of growth and excitement, you’ve got to feel the fear and do it anyway. Fear-based living is what leads to stagnation, and when you think about it, if you’re not going forward, you’re really going backwards.

Continue reading

Introducing My Custom Meal Planning & Health Coaching Program!

Happy February!

How’s everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions & goals for 2017?

According to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions. JUST EIGHT! Not surprisingly, I’ve also read that the #1 New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to lose weight & eat healthier.

Personally, I’m less of a New Year’s resolution person, and more of a make-goals-at-any-time-and-crush-them kinda girl. Why? Because while I like the idea of a fresh start with a new year, I believe in the power of hard work & consistency to make changes in any month. I also believe that if you’ve already given up on your resolutions, you always have the power to start again with a renewed sense of motivation – no matter the time of the year.

When it comes to weight loss, eating better, & getting healthier, a lot of time people give up because they don’t have the support they really need to be successful – whether that means understanding their food cravings and unhealthy habits, having someone there to support & motivate them, becoming more knowledgable about nutrition, or a bit of all of the above.

So, I want to help you rock your New Year’s resolutions.

I want to help you develop healthier eating habits, shed unwanted pounds, and be the confident, happy person that you’ve been envisioning in your head.

ANNOUNCING… MY CUSTOM MEAL PLANNING & HEALTH COACHING PROGRAM!

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

Cultivate Gratitude by Switching Your Mindset from “Got to” to “Get to”

Hello, hello!

Today I want to talk about a concept that I’ve been sharing with my health coaching clients and loved ones this week. The idea first came into my consciousness during a yoga session last weekend.

yogi-tea-wisdom

I’m usually an optimistic, genuinely happy person, but since I share real life stuff on this blog of mine, I don’t mind admitting that I’ve just been experiencing a bit of a down feeling that I haven’t been able to quite shake. When I woke up last Saturday morning feeling like I was kind of in a funk, I decided that I was going to start my day with a yoga practice to stretch my sore muscles and soothe my soul. I did a class via YogaDownload, and decided to do a post-class meditation afterwards to further clear my head and open my heart.

meditation-brings-wisdom-quote

The concept of the Outlaw Yoga meditation (<– which by the way, Outlaw Yoga is perfect for those of you that don’t gravitate towards the stereotypical yoga instructor vibe. The founders are these tattooed, long haired, cool guys that teach with live music being played in the background) was cultivating an attitude of gratitude by looking at things from “got to” to “get to.” The premise is that if you alter your mindset with a more heart-centered approach, you’ll be able to cultivate a constant reminder of gratitude in your life.

Continue reading

Health Benefits of Stretching + 6 Ways to Fit More Stretching in

Back in high school, I was a competitive cheerleading coach (and a competitive cheerleader myself). I remember telling my cheerleaders how important it was for them to practice stretching exercises often to improve their flexibility, and how I stretched every single day.

Here am I, over a dozen years later, and while I’m no longer throwing girls in the air for stunts and memorizing choreography routines, stretching is still a practice that I implement into my active life on a daily basis.

stretch-collage

Some ways that stretching improves your health include:

  • While you know that stretching obviously improves flexibility, it also improves the range of motion in your joints and blood flow to the muscles. This is why stretching can decrease risk of injury – and we all know that injuries are no fun! It also helps to reduce soreness from workouts.
  • There’s a definite correlation between your body feeling tight and tense, and your mind and mood following suit. Stretching helps to alleviate the physical tension and puts not only your body at more ease, but provides some anti-stress benefits to your mind too.
  • Stretching lengthens tight muscles and is beneficial for better posture – including improved spine alignment, resulting in less tension and pain.
  • I also find stretching to be an energy booster. It revitalizes the body when you’re feeling tired and lethargic.

Continue reading

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!

radishes-and-herbs

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.

orzo vegetable soup-5

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.

week-3-hrm

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!

Continue reading

10 Healthy Ways to Embrace Autumn

Happy Friday, and Happy Autumn friends!

Yesterday officially marked the first day of fall for all of us in the Northern Hemisphere! I really enjoy this time of the year, how about you guys? Keeping it nice & light, today I’m sharing 10 fun ways to embrace the season!

apple-picking-1

1.) Go apple picking. Already have this one checked off my autumn list!

2.) Hit the trails // Go for walks. I love the crisp air and cool breezes that hit in fall. I love the return back to the steady 70 degree days in San Diego, and it’s actually my favorite time of the year weather-wise in the Northeast where I’m from.

If you live near hilly terrain, take advantage of the perfect outdoor workout weather and hit the trails with your pup, family or friends. If you live in a flat area, visit your favorite area park – or try a new one! – to get some nice long walks in. If you live in an area that gets cold and icy in the winter, get outdoors now while you still can!

elfin-forest-sept-2016

Scenes from my hike yesterday

Just yesterday evening I went hiking with my pup at Elfin Forest, and it was glorious!

3.) Reevaluate your goals & start fresh with your intentions. For me, a new season feels like a new start. Take time to think about the ways that you can improve your life and cultivate new healthy habits.

apple-pie-granola

4.) After you do #1, make apple pie autumn granolaI just made a batch earlier this week, and it’s like fall in a bowl. The recipe is vegan, gluten free, free of refined sugar… and delicious!

5.) Stash up on your herbal tea collection. I’m a big tea drinker, but I pretty much stop drinking it all of summer while it’s hot out. The desire to sip a hot drink hits me once the weather cools down a bit, and I love stocking up on new teas this time of the year. Peppermint & pumpkin flavors are my favorite autumn-time teas!

Continue reading

Friday Reflections

I’ve been reflecting a lot about life lately.

I think it’s partly having been in my home state of New Jersey for a few weeks, partly me entering my last year of my 20’s earlier this month, and partly me just being an analytical person. But I’ve been thinking a lot about life.

Stormy sunset skies at Barley Point, an island I grew up on

Stormy sunset skies at Barley Point, an island I grew up on

Every time I visit home, I find myself looking at the places I see and the people I’m with with fresh eyes. I think that many people who have lived far away from their families and hometowns can relate to this feeling. I also think that it’s nearly impossible to look at it with such new perspective unless you’ve been away. Everything sometimes seems exactly the same, while other times it seems like everything has changed. I even drove through my alma mater while I was there and got to reflect on my college years.

And somewhere along the way in the now many years that I’ve been gone, there’s this interesting dynamic of me feeling like I have two homes in my heart: where I’m from, and California. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that I was brought to California to be awakened in ways that I wasn’t before. I’ve really grown and grown into my own here, and I’ve been looking inward and thinking about what’s shaped me.

The view from my favorite nearby park & its little mountain

The view from my favorite nearby park & its little mountain

I think that being independent on my own living in new areas has helped me often push out of my comfort zone and learn a lot, that being apart from my husband and loved ones has helped me to be a more loving and patient person, that being on this journey to be the healthiest, happiest me and helping others to do the same has given me confidence and satisfaction, that traveling has broadened my horizons and given me new perspective. I’m grounded by a marriage that has gotten stronger with each year. I feel a calmness that doesn’t get shaken easily, and I think that my love of hiking and yoga has helped to develop that at a spiritual level.

cloudy sunset at Barley Point

There’s this quote I love: “A mind that’s stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” I just want to keep learning, growing, listening, experiencing, and loving all that life has to offer.

Continue reading

Pushing the Reset Button + WIAW

Hi there!

Long time no talk. I’m back in California, back to a normal routine for the week. My last weekend in Jersey was awesome, as I spent it down the shore drinking, eating, and boating with family and girlfriends…

boat riding with girlfriends

With my girlfriends Danielle and Meaghan

I wish that someone could braid my hair every day like my best friend Meg did last weekend!

I wish that someone could braid my hair every day like my best friend Meg did last weekend!

I got back to San Diego at 1 AM on Monday after multiple flight delays, then had to get back to work on Monday morning. So as you can imagine, I started off the week pretty tired and jet-lagged! I think that weeks of traveling a lot visiting with loved ones and staying up late either out with girlfriends/family or watching the Olympics while still working during the day caught up with me… and I was exhausted!

Dock & Dine

Rather than forcing myself into my normal routine of hard workouts and getting unpacked and unorganized the first chance I got, I decided to take a day to chill out on that front. Besides working, picking up some food at the store, and taking Harley for a walk, I let myself get some rest. I didn’t work past 5:30 (very unusual for me!), I laid on the couch all evening, and I got 10 hours of sleep. Whew, I needed it, and I felt so much more like myself by Tuesday!

Love coming home to this cutie!

Love coming home to this cutie!

I think that sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break with time to relax. A day of rest and recovery from travel – and also sometimes just to de-stress from general busyness – helps us to restore our bodies and minds. Once in awhile the healthier choice is to watch a movie on the couch rather than be productive!

happy hour on the boat

Happy hour on my parents’ boat last week

On that note, yesterday I decided to get my butt in gear in terms of healthy eating. While I was on the east coast, I ate lots of healthy meals, but I also overdid it some nights with booze, sweets and carbs. I’m leaving for Ireland next week (!!), so I don’t have much time to be in total control of my eats at home, but I know that I’ll feel better eating clean for at least a couple of days.

WIAW-New

With that being said, yesterday was my first day of counting macros as I typically do and eating all of my meals at home in a few weeks. I’m joining in on the What I Ate Wednesday party, and here’s what I ate!

pb banana protein shake

Breakfast was a post-early morning cycling workout cinnamon banana peanut butter protein shake, made with frozen banana, cashew milk, PB 2 powdered peanut butter, cinnamon and vanilla protein powder.

avocado toast lunch

Lunch was a slice of Mediterranean avocado toast (so good!) with strawberries and blueberries. I also made extra roasted chickpeas to include in my dinner.

raw chocolate pb cookies

For a late afternoon snack, I ate a few of these raw chocolate chunk peanut butter cookies that I was testing out (the recipe is coming to the blog next week!).

nectarine snack

I also ate a nectarine to hold me over until dinnertime.

Lundberg Farms package

In the afternoon, I got a surprise package from my friends at Lundberg Farms. I’ve almost exclusively used their rice since visiting their farm last year and seeing what a great company they are, and I was happy to find some goodies from them!

Continue reading