Tag Archives: health

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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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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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!


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.


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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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.

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The Healthy Habits I Practice Daily

The following post is sponsored by Dandy®. health is wealth

If there’s something that every single health professional and enthusiast in the world can agree on, I think it’s that being healthy is not a destination, it’s a lifestyle. It’s something you have to put in the effort for each and every day.

Consistently making healthy decisions makes me feel strong, capable, and confident, and it transcends into every other area of my life. Today I wanted to share some of the healthy habits that are part of my everyday routine. They’re ways of life for me that make me feel vibrant and energized, and help me to be the healthiest, happiest person I can be. Let’s get to it!

Morning Stretches Collage

Stretch. Stretching is something that I not only do before and after my workouts, but also on my rest days too. I think it feels great to stretch my muscles, and I’m always working on my flexibility in my yoga practice. I also keep a foam roller, tiger tail, and trigger point bar in my living room so that I remember to use them while I’m watching TV.

Harley beach walk-May 16

Walk. I go on long walks with my dog every day. What started off as something I did to just get her puppy energy out has turned into a daily practice that we both enjoy. We typically go for at least a half-hour walk around my neighborhood, at the beach or a nearby park, and I usually take her hiking with me on a longer excursion once a week. The time in nature is calming and energizing, and we both come home happy!

Dandy celery snacks-5

Eat a healthy dose of fruits & veggies. Scanning through my social media feed on Instagram and Twitter, you can easily see that I enjoy lots of real foods. I’m all about nourishing my body with food made by nature!

With having such a sweet tooth, I could easily eat a ton of fruit and not eat quite as many veggies. I never go a day without eating veggies, but there are times when I don’t eat them until dinnertime. That’s where my new favorite healthy munchies comes in: Dandy® portable snacks.

Dandy celery snacks-4

In business for 90 years, Dandy® produces produce from their family farms in Florida and California. One thing I love about the company is that they’re committed to non-GMO farming practices. Another thing I love? Their new peanut butter + celery snack on-the-go snack packs!

Dandy celery snacks-3

Dandy® has partnered with one of my favorite nut butter brands in the world for their snack packs, Peanut Butter & Co. I’m a huge fan of their Smooth Operator peanut butter paired with Dandy® celery.

Dandy celery snacks-1

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When You Shouldn’t Give It Your All {Weekend Recap}

Hello friends!

I don’t know about you guys, but a low-key weekend was much needed for me after my week last week. A couple of things with work and otherwise kind of bogged me down, and I totally needed a few days to mentally decompress a bit.

Carlsbad sunset-cloudy day April 16

Luckily, my hubby and I had only one thing on the agenda for the weekend: getting our carpets cleaned, because every time I did a pushup in recent months, I’d get a whiff of a certain someone who loves to snooze on my living room floor…

Dog beach May 16-1

While we waited for our carpets to dry, we killed time at the Del Mar dog beach. It was a beautiful day for a long walk there! There are certainly worse places to waste time. 🙂

Dog beach May 16-2

My weekend also included an at-home movie night, a long family walk along the coast Sunday morning, heading back to the beach that afternoon to relax and read for a few hours, and my first mountain biking session since my foot injury diagnosis.

Carlsbad beach-May 16

I’ve only been doing strength training, yoga, walking my pup, and non-plymetric movement since I’m trying to heal my tiny broken foot bones, and I’ve been really craving a sweaty cardio session. What can I say, I’m a sweat junkie and I love how it feels to have my endorphins pumping after some great cardio! Strength training just doesn’t give me quite the same strong mood-boosting effect.

Mountain Biking-May 16

It felt wonderful to get my heart rate up pushing myself up the hilly terrain, but since I’m trying to be really conscious of how my injury and body in general feels, we only went riding for just about 45 minutes. I was reminded of a conversation that my mom and I recently had about both of us being tough in a way that can actually be detrimental.

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My HIIT Studio 6-Week Challenge Health & Fitness Results

Hello, hello!

Last weekend marked the end of a 6-week challenge that I participated in with my favorite HIIT studio, The Fit Mill. I collaborated with the studio as the health coach for the challenge, and was a participant as well. We’re all a work in progress, and I had goals that I was striving to reach at the same time that I was supporting the participants in reaching their own.

Fit Mill Tranformation Challenge

The premise? A 6-week “Transformation” challenge to kick off 2016 in high gear. The rules were that participants had to workout at The Fit Mill 4 days each week, and then the studio and I provided goals, recommendations, tips, recipes, and support throughout the challenge. Pre-challenge and post-challenge evaluations were held to take measurements and gage fitness levels on a variety of exercises. The goals were totally up to the participant, and mine were to reduce my body fat, increase my strength, and shed a couple of pounds.

Photo via The Fit Mill // taken during an event last month at the gym

Photo via The Fit Mill // taken during an event last month at the gym

My Strategy 

Since I already usually workout 6 days a week and eat a healthy plant-based diet full of whole foods, the only way for me to change my body is kick up my workouts into high gear and tighten up my diet. I was pretty strict in making sure that my macros and calories were consistently right where I wanted them to be – particularly with balancing out carbs and fat and making sure I ate enough protein.

One of my go-to post-workout small meals

One of my go-to post-workout small meals

I also reduced the amount of treats I had, so there was less wine and dessert in my life. I definitely still had them (no way I would totally give up either!), but they were more calculated and planned into my diet.

A go-to treat of mine: Halo Top protein ice cream. Tastes awesome & has 240 calories + 24 grams of protein in a whole pint!

A go-to treat of mine: Halo Top protein ice cream. Tastes awesome & has 240 calories + 24 grams of protein in a whole pint!

Besides doing 4 HIIT workouts a week, I also did some kickboxing, hiking, yoga, and cycling with my new bike trainer. I was a workout maniac – even more than usual! – and I did a lot of 2-a-days. I usually do short yoga sessions most mornings, so I kicked my morning movement up a notch. I added in high-intensity moves, lengthened my AM sessions a bit, and made sure to get a good burn in first thing in my day, along with my nighttime sweat sessions.

Fit Mill workout collage

I’ll further elaborate on this in another post soon, but last year I decided to drop some weight. At the time, I was within a healthy weight range and lead a very active life, but I decided that aesthetically, I didn’t like where I was at. So, I worked to get to the lower end of my healthy weight range. Over a substantial period of time, maybe 6 months, I dropped about 8 pounds. Going into the challenge, I wanted to shed another 3-5 pounds, build muscle mass and reduce body fat. Having a Beets BLU Smart Scale helped me gage where I was at throughout the challenge and served as a great tool.

Beets BLU Smart Scale-2

The Results

First, I got all of my measurements taken. I knew that I felt leaner and had worked hard, but I was a bit surprised at how much my measurements reflected that.

Measurements. The biggest changes were both my body fat, which I reduced 4%, and my hips, where I lost 4 inches. The body fat analyzer at the gym measures me a bit higher than my Smart Scale. My body fat is currently in the high 19% range on my at-home scale, and at the gym, my body fat measurements went from 25% to 21%, which is a huge change!

I also lost a bit everywhere else, including 2 inches in my thigh, 1 1/2 inches in my waist, 3/4 inch in my chest, and 1/2 inch in my arm. I measured my muscle mass at home with my scale throughout the challenge, and increased it from 35.7% to 36.1%. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but increasing muscle mass takes time and I was satisfied with any increase. I mentioned in my recent Smart Scale review that I had a goal to push into the 36% range, so I’ll take that progress!

handstand practice-Jan 16

I’ve never done a fitness challenge where every area gets measured, and it was pretty awesome to see my hard work pay off with the results of lost inches all around.

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Weight Is Only Part of the Equation {Beets BLU Smart Scale Review}

When it comes to shaping your body through diet and exercise, sometimes people put too much emphasis on their weight alone (I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past too!). Of course weight tells you part of the story, but it’s not the whole picture.

Women's Health-Food for Thought

(Source: Yahoo Health! via Shutterstock)

Case in point: There’s a woman whose 5’6″ and weighs 140 pounds. She sporadically eats healthy but mostly eats a diet high in simple carbs, saturated fat, and sugar, and doesn’t get consistent exercise. Perhaps she’s lucky in that she has good genes allowing her to easily maintain a healthy weight, but she might also be “skinny fat” and have some internal things going on with her body that she’s not yet aware of (like high cholesterol or being at risk for Type 2 diabetes).

On the other hand, there’s another 5’6″ woman that weighs 140 pounds, but she eats a diet plentiful in whole foods and healthy fat & carbs. She also maintains an exercise schedule, and has an athletic build.

Woman 1 may look completely different than the second woman even though they share the same height and weight. The second woman is probably much healthier than the first with better health biometrics, including a higher percentage of muscle mass.

Eat Well Move Daily-quote

So you see, weight isn’t everything – and thanks to new technology available to us health conscious consumers, we can get on a scale and see not only weight, but other data like fat percentage, muscle mass and body water.

Enter the Beets BLU Smart Scale. A couple of months ago, the company sent me the scale to try. If I had to share my thoughts on it in one short sentence, I’d say: It’s kind of awesome.

Beets BLU Smart Scale Review

One thing I absolutely love about the scale is its ease of use. I had previously owned another scale that monitored similar data, but it was much harder to use. I had to push buttons to switch users from my husband to me, which sometimes wasn’t all that easy. Although this other scale kept track of past weigh-ins, it wasn’t simple to access that history, so instead I would take pictures on my iPhone of my weigh-ins for future reference (annoying).

With Beets BLU Smart Scale, the data from my weigh-ins automatically sync to my iPhone as soon as the scale gathers the info. It keeps tracks of all previous weigh-ins so that I can easily access them to do things like compare where I was 3 weeks ago from today. The app shows me my weight, fat percentage, muscle mass, BMI and water weight.

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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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What Makes You Fit?

“Are you fit?” 

“Did you say that you workout?” 

These were the questions our tour guide was shouting to me as I struggled to keep up with him and my husband biking through the hills of Austria. We had booked a bike tour in hopes of seeing more of the beautiful Austria countryside and getting some leisurely exercise in during our vacation there, but I wasn’t so prepared to be huffing and puffing with my heart rate at a sky-high level.

Hohenwerfen Castle

Austria’s Hohenwerfen Castle

Our guide was a little man in his 60s, originally from somewhere in Asia, who seemed to be in good shape for his age and told us he exercised daily. While I already knew that my husband was stronger and faster on a bike than I was from our bike date workouts through the hills of California, I wasn’t really expecting our guide to be as hardcore of a cyclist as he turned out to be.

Austrian Bike Tour Guide

Our tour guide

I grew increasingly annoyed at both him questioning me about my level of fitness, and his refusal to slow down a bit for one of two people on his bike tour. It’s something my hubby and I jokingly say to each other nowadays, saying, “Well are you fit?” if one of us is panting during a hike or complaining about post-workout muscle soreness.

Austrian bike excursion

The day of the discussed bike excursion in Austria

Looking back on that day – which was a great experience despite my bike pace apparently slowing the group down – I later realized the reason why our tour guide was aggravating me. He was questioning if I was in good shape. He was making me feel inferior, and touching on a subject that feels very personal to me.

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10 Ways to Live Your Healthiest Summer Yet

Hi and Happy Friday!

Any fun plans for the weekend? Speaking of the weekend, Sunday marks the first official day of summer in the northern hemisphere! While San Diego has been getting a lot of June gloom weather – where it’s overcast for large parts of the day anywhere close to the ocean – I’m expecting it to officially feel like summer here pretty soon.

In honor of the summer and its official start, I came up with a list of ways to make summer 2015 your healthiest one yet. Let’s get to it!

local nectarines

1.) Eat lots of in-season produce. This is the time of year when tomatoes are at their sweetest and juiciest and when watermelon is abundant. Take advantage of it! Bonus: Watermelon is mostly made of water, which will keep you hydrated in the hot weather.

The view at the park nearby that I frequent

The view at the park nearby that I frequent

2.) Get outside and connect with nature as much as you can. While some days may be too sweltering to exercise outdoors depending on where you live, summer is the time to appreciate Mother Nature! Connect with the outside world and soak up the sun as often as you’re able to. After all, there’s nothing like the feeling of satisfaction when you go for a sweaty bike ride with your family or spend the morning hiking with your dog!

3.) Apply sunscreen daily. Don’t forget the SPF! Sunburns are no fun and increase your risk for skin cancer. The sun feels stronger than ever to me, and I make sure to lather up in sunscreen every day that I’m outside so that I get some color but don’t burn.

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