Tag Archives: healthy living

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!

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The Best of 2016: Favorite Recipes, Workouts, Adventures & More

Happy New Year!

happy-2017

I hope that 2017 is off to a great start for you. I’m back in California after a week and a half on the east coast for holiday vacation, and ready to see what wonderful things this year has in store for me. Since I love to reflect on the positives of the year at the start of a new one, today we’re looking back at my 2016 favorites!

Recipes. When I think about favorite recipe posts, what pops into my mind are the recipes that I shared with loved ones, made numerous times and couldn’t get enough of! My top 5 recipes of 2016 that were popular on the blog are…

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Mini Pretzel Twists with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. I had a thing for soft pretzels in 2016! 

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Mediterranean Feta & Lemon Hummus Dip. After creating this dip for a health coaching event, I made it several more times throughout the year. I love Mediterranean ingredients like artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes & feta cheese! 

Moving onto the sweeter side of things, these were my favorite healthy snacks/desserts of the year (all vegan + gluten free!):

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Brown Rice Crispy Squares. I like to think of these as a more wholesome, adult version of those blue wrapper rice crispy treats we’re all familiar with!  

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cookies. Because the chocolate + peanut butter combo has my heart every year. 

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Peppermint Chocolate Chip Snack Bites. I‘ve been obsessed with all things peppermint this winter! 

Travel. I got to do some awesome traveling in 2016! Here are my favorite adventures of the year:

cliffs-of-moher

Visiting Ireland was definitely a check off of my bucket list, and it also marked the first time that I ever spent time in Europe with my family. I met them in Ireland and got to experience the country with my parents, sister, grandma, aunts, uncle, cousin, and brother during the whirlwind trip. I had the chance to visit the Cliffs of Moher, experience some awesome Irish pub nights, and ate lots of yummy vegetarian food.

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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.

take-care-of-your-body-jim-rohn

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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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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A Day in the Life: Workouts, Health Coaching, & Running Out of Groceries

Hey, hey!

I haven’t done a day in the life type of post in awhile, so today I’m sharing what one day last week looked like for me. I’m also joining in on Arman’s What I Ate Wednesday party!

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The reality TV lover in me always finds this type of blog post interesting, but if it’s not your cup of tea, tune back in on Friday or check out my  pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe from earlier this week.

Since I work from home and do a few different things for a living, my schedule can vary a lot. The day before this, I worked for 9 hours straight, then took a class at a fitness studio in the evening. The day after this, I went grocery shopping in the middle of the day, then was working at 9 pm… so the point is, I like to change it up and my schedule all depends on what work I’m doing & what else is going on in my life!

7:30 – Wake up, get dressed & ready, feed my pup, and check my publicist work emails while drinking a glass of water. I always wake up thirsty!

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8:15-9 – I do a morning workout of 20 minutes of yoga + 20 minutes of spinning on my bike trainer. I’ve been using that equipment a lot lately!

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9-11:15 – I make a chocolate cherry protein smoothie for breakfast, and work on a couple of different work things.

My smoothie contains: 3/4 cup frozen cherries + 1/2 scoop chocolate plant-based protein powder + 2/3 cup chocolate almond milk + 2 TBSP chocolate powdered PB + 1 TBSP cocoa powder.

11:30-12:15 –  I have a conference call with a client of the public relations agency I work for.

12:15 – I get ready to leave for a health coaching session – well, it’s more accurate to say that I hurriedly rush around my house getting my stuff together (I anticipated that my call would be a bit shorter), getting changed into non-workout clothes.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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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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!

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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!

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My Annual Solo Birthday Date

Hey, hey!

Tonight I’m catching the redeye to the east coast! I’m looking forward to time with my family. I haven’t been home since the holidays, which is quite awhile for me.

Jumping at Elfin Forest

Can you tell that I’m excited? This ridiculous photo was taken a few months ago and is too funny not to share.

Earlier this week, I continued a tradition that I started years ago of dedicating a day around my birthday just to treating myself to things that I love. It’s what I call my “me” day to decompress and take myself on a solo date.

I think that for a lot of people, life just seems too hectic to feel like there’s time to practice self-love as much as we should – or worse, maybe we don’t feel deserving of it. I think it’s really important to take time here and there to slow down, appreciate life, and to kind of recognize that I’m doing a pretty decent job at this thing called life and celebrate it.

Carlsbad sunset-Feb 16

So, my birthday is a perfectly good reason to do have a “me” date! It’s something I look forward to around my birthday. I established this annual tradition with myself also as a reminder that my happiness isn’t dependent on what others do for me, but also how I treat myself. I have the power to create happiness within. This year, I’m fortunate in that I’ll be spending my 29th birthday with both my husband and my entire family, which is really nice, but there have been birthdays where my husband is deployed and I’m 2,500 miles away from my family.

Harley playing at the park-summer 2016

I rang in my last year of my 20s – well, not technically, as my birthday is tomorrow, but in my mind it was kind of the start of my birthday! – by first taking my pup for a long early morning walk. Our daily walks together are something small that I often appreciate, and I love getting in exercise with my crazy pup.

Next up, I stopped at one of my favorite spots in Carlsbad for an acai bowl. I headed to the beach to enjoy it as I watched the waves and the early risers getting their workouts in.

birthday date acai bowl

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8 Ways to Be Healthier While Traveling

Hello, hello!

Can you guys believe that we’re already towards the end of July? It seems like the summer is just whizzing by!

headstand play at sunset

Next weekend starts the beginning of a month of travel for me. First, I leave for the east coast to spend time with my family and friends out there for a few weeks. My hubby was already scheduled to take a trip to Philly for a weeklong class to start his Masters degree at Temple University, so it seemed like a good time for me to head east too. I’ll be based at my parents’ house in Jersey, but will also traveling around the state to visit in-laws and friends, heading to Philly a few times to see my hubby, and will probably visit NYC once or twice.

Then, I come back to Cali for a week of normalcy before heading out to Ireland. I’ve never been there before and am excited to go! I’m expecting lots of greenery, pubs, and castles, and will of course keep you guys in the loop about what I’m doing in Dublin and around the country. If anyone has must-see recommendations, please let me know!

Photo via Ireland.com

Photo via Ireland.com

I adore traveling. It’s a passion of mine to see and explore new places. But traveling can certainly make it more of a challenge to live a healthy lifestyle. Since it’s important to me to consistently feel my best, I’ve developed some healthy habits that serve as guidelines during my experiences traveling. Here are 8 ways that I stay super healthy while traveling!

Keep up with a workout routine. While I might not get in as frequent or as long of workouts as I do when I’m in a normal routine, I make sure to still fit in exercise when I’m traveling.

A shot from a hotel room yoga session in Mexico in June

A shot from a hotel room yoga session in Mexico in June

Sometimes I bust out a quick HIIT routine or yoga session in my hotel room. I use whatever I have available to me, which sometimes is a treadmill, other times is a few sets of dumbbells, and at times may be just a floor with a bit of space to jump around.

It also helps that my hubby is the same way. When he opts to go for a quick run around whatever city we’re in, I push myself to get in a workout as well!

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A healthy smoothie lunch in Lake Tahoe

Keep it healthy for breakfast & lunch. Let’s be honest, I love food and when I’m traveling, I’m going to splurge sometimes. Food is no doubt part of experiencing the culture of different places. But, if I eat a big breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I feel bloated and gross. Instead, I try to keep it pretty healthy for breakfast & lunch, and then I indulge at dinner.

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Pizza in Venice — which was even better than it looks!

In example, if I know I’m going to eat Italian for dinner and bathe in a pool of pasta, I make sure to get in protein and go light on the carbs during the day. Or, if I order pancakes for breakfast, I’ll eat only half of them to avoid feeling stuffed. It’s all about balance.

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What my breakfasts looked like while vacationing in Italy

Love a big fancy brunch? Go for it, but then even it out a bit with a lighter dinner. All in moderation my friends!

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