Holiday Weekends

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed the holiday weekend. I am in love with holiday weekends. How often do we have 3 day work weeks and 4 day weekends? I think our society should make this the norm. Wouldn’t that be great? Work for 24 hours and be off the rest of the week? Hell  to the yeah.

What did you do this weekend? Where did you go? I stayed at home this weekend and spent Thanksgiving with the boyfriend’s family. It was wonderful! The next day we both put the Merry in Christmas. Our house is in the Christmas spirit, my friends, and I LOVE IT!

If you read this post from a couple weeks ago, you know I am doing the Elf for Health challenge this holiday season. In honor of the challenge, I thought I would give a little recap of my first week. Here it goes…

Monday… Go meatless day. I made a black bean with veggies type of dish. It wasn’t bad, but I tell you what was even better… reheating it the next day and mixing it into scrambled eggs. Yum!

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Tuesday… Unsubscribe challenge. I found out about unroll.me and my life is forever changed. Seriously, if you get overwhelmed signing into your email every day, check this out. I now don’t have to worry about getting 100 advertisement emails in my inbox daily.

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Wednesday… Try a new workout. I did a new yoga routine in the morning and added in a new Tone It Up routine in the afternoon. It was a good change of pace. I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene vids and Tone It Up vids. I subscribe to both YouTube channels fo sho!

Thursday… Share a book, blog, etc. I am reading Bossypants by Tina Fey right now. I love her. I want to be friends with her!

Friday… New veggie smoothie. I failed at this today, not going to lie. I intended to make a smoothie, but did not get to it. I just don’t look forward to anything cold these days.

Saturday… Treat yourself. Boy did I ever! I decorated for Christmas, took a nice nap, caught up on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and hung out at home with the boyfriend. I may have even made chocolate chip cookies… my favorite!

Sunday… Meal prep day. I baked some sweet potatoes ahead of time because you know I looooooove my baked potatoes. All I have to do is reheat, put a little bit of ghee on that sucker, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Y to the um!

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Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead!

WTEW: Savor each Flavor

SAVOR

Today isn’t necessarily a “What to Eat” Wednesday. It is more like a “How to Eat” Wednesday, but that’s okay. There’s room for that. Today and tomorrow during your Thanksgiving meals, savor each flavor!

Did you hear me?

SAVOR.

That is such an important word and one that so many people disregard over the holidays. Savor. It means to taste good food or drink and enjoy it completely. If you do this with every bite, you will be less likely to overindulge and end up asleep on the couch 5 minutes after your meal. What I also like about the word is that it does not mean to restrict. Go ahead, eat that piece of pie you have been eyeing. And don’t feel guilty afterwards or feel like you have to run it off. Enjoy it.

The Thanksgiving meal is not a competition of who can eat the most food, although most of us do eat a little more than usual. If you like Mr. Bean (I have never been a huge fan, but thought this was pretty funny), this is how NOT to eat at holiday parties and Thanskgiving gatherings.

 

So this Thanksgiving, we are all going to savor each flavor. Now tell me, what is your absolute favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving? Mine is probably pumpkin pie or sweet potatoes with butter/cinnamon (but I eat sweet potatoes even not on Thanksgiving. I LOVE them!) And if someone brings a homemade plate of cookies, you better believe there is one with my name on it.

What will you be savoring this holiday? And before we go, one more VERY important thing…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

Simplifying Active Living

simple

You know I love all things simple. It’s kinda why I HAD to include the word simple in my blog title. Simple just makes sense. It keeps things light, fun, fresh, and delightful! When things are the opposite (aka complicated), life is one big ball of goo. And I am not a huge fan of goo.

Since i clearly love the simple life, it is no wonder I also like things simple when it comes to active living. Having a healthy lifestyle is NOT complicated. There is no 500 word prescription for it. In fact, we get to create our own prescription. How freakishly awesome is that?!?!?!

In fact, writing my own active living prescription is how I have sustained the healthy lifestyle. It truly is a way of life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But, here is the thing. This prescription changes. And it changes often. That’s okay. Reading someone else’s book on how cutting out certain foods and doing loads of crossfit led to X amount of weight loss is not my cup of tea. I know my body and I know what moves me. I currently have a triple threat. You can read more about that in detail here, but the triple threat is yoga, PIYO, and walking outdoors. I look forward to these activities and thrive when I fit them in on a regular basis. Just a few months ago I was into running so that was in the mix somewhere. And even before that I liked Insanity DVD’s. I like to think I change with the seasons.

In terms of nutrition, I have done the restrictive thing in the past. I have followed someone else’s diet. More than once. And it always backfires. Diets create a disconnect with the mind and body. Diets create a negative relationship with food. I refuse to diet or be restrictive ever again. Sure, I can cut down on sweets every now and then because they cause a sugar rush or give me a headache, but I never remove them altogether. And I focus on how I feel. I don’t reduce them because someone told me to. I also refuse to follow the latest trend. Speaking of this, have you seen the gluten-free vid from Jimmy Kimmel? I laugh every time. Check it out.


 Back to active living, so here are my quick tips to keeping it simple AND sustainable for you:

  • Find what moves you. And do more of those activities. These activities will make up your fitness tool belt. And don’t be afraid to try new things. A new tool on that tool belt can lead to a whole lot of joy and opportunity!
  • Listen to your body when it comes to nutrition. If your stomach feels bloated every time you eat a certain food, that is a good sign it may not be for you in excess. Ditch the diet books and focus on MORE fruits and veggies, nature’s gift to all of us.
  • Motivate yourself on the regular. What motivates you? Keep that in the back of your mind always. And be your own cheerleader. It’s okay to kick ass and take a few names. You got this, girlllllll!
  • Love your body, every ounce of it. I know unhappy skinny people and unhappy chunky people. Your body can do some AWESOME things. Embrace that. If you don’t love yourself, being skinny ain’t gonna make you happy. Love yourself first. Then allow awesome to enter. Truly!
  • Learn to be okay with a little 50 shades of grey. No, not like that. Well, it can be if you want, but that’s for another blog post. 😉 What I mean here is that active living does not need to be black or white. It ain’t all or nothing, my friend. If you have an inactive day, you can be active the next day. Enjoy the middle ground and leave the perfection for sweet baby Jesus.
  • Embrace your support system and share the love. How good does it feel to be supported? Like really supported? Pretty darn good, right? Turn to those you love when you need them. And pump others up too. I love this quote and it is right on… thank you Mother Theresa, “Peace begins with a smile.” Smile a lot. And put a smile on someone else’s face too.

So there are my quick tips for keeping active living simple and sustainable. This post was part of the Fit Dish link up with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers. Feel free to join in on the #fitfam action!

What is one way you make active living simple and something you look forward to on the regular?

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Joy on Foot

 

Joy on Foot

I am grateful for my feet. Weird? Maybe. But, it’s true. I am absolutely thankful that my feet allow me to walk or run and find joy on foot. Now, I never said I like the looks of feet.. they kinda creep me out to be honest. But, I can be creeped out by the look of feet and still be so thankful for them. Isn’t that sweet? (threw that in for the rhyme.)

I can always find something to be grateful for. I am sure you can too. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I have an even bigger reminder to be thankful for the little things. So, today, I devote this post of thanksgiving to feet.

What do I mean by joy on foot? Some of you probably don’t even have to ask and know EXACTLY what I am talking about. Do you get that little tingle of excitement when you walk around a downtown or mall that is all lit up for the holidays? Or even without the holidays being around the corner, do you get that tingle of excitement when you are traveling to a new place and get to find new treasures on foot? Oh, I definitely do. Traveling is one of those “feel good” things for me. I love love love it! I love exploring new places and going on adventures.

That’s joy on foot. Loving exactly where you are and being thankful that YOU got yourself there. Your feet moved to do it. Heck yeah. High five, feet!

What do you enjoy doing on foot? I enjoy a variety of things on foot, but what I REALLY enjoy on foot are the following:

  • Taking a hike outdoors in Colorado.
  • Walking around a mall during the holidays (during the weekday to avoid the crowds ruining the joy for me).
  • Walking around a downtown anytime, especially a new downtown (even in the suburbs).
  • Taking a zumba class with my mom.
  • Walking around an airport with my Ipod playing. Hello, people watching!
  • Going country dancing with MK. We have only been once, but we have plans to go again soon. And even try swing dancing. AHHH! I am so excited just thinking about it. 🙂
  • Taking a Latin dance lesson with my favorite teacher, Ryan.
  • Taking my sister dogs for a walk with my parents.
  • Participating in a fun run or walk with friends. Last week we did the Six:02 6K and it was AWESOME!
  • Shopping (yes, I am THAT girl who LOVES to grocery shop too).

Man, that was fun. I got joyful just writing out that list. Here’s to being thankful! And not just on Thanksgiving, but ALL YEAR LONG!

What are you thankful for that your feet allow you to do?

This also my first time to participate in the Fitness Friday Link up! I love it. Join in if you have a blog and are interested. The host is Jill Conyers.

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WTEW: Pho

pho

I am not always 100% certain I am saying this right, but What to Eat Wednesday has the spotlight on Pho. Have you heard of it or tried it yet? And, most importantly are you in love with it as much as I am this time of year? Warms me right up!

In case you have NO clue what pho is, let me give you a brief explanation. It is a Vietnamese dish with a blend of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. It looks like this…

chick pho

I have been to 2 pho restaurants in Dallas and like them both really. The first was Pho Crimson in Uptown (which is actually pretty close to the new Pure Barre). The second was Pho is for Lovers on Greenville Ave (next to the first Pure Barre in Dallas). Ain’t that something?! You can get your workout on first and then nourish your body with a bit of pho afterwards on these cold days. Well, as long as you are in Dallas anyway. And if you aren’t, I am sure pho restaurants are booming in your town too.

One thing to keep in mind is that pho is still high in sodium so if you are watching your sodium intake, you will get about 380 milligrams of sodium. Just like other soups! You know the drill… but on the flip side of the coin, you will get plenty of protein, fiber, iron, and other vitamins/minerals. It is not high in calories or fat either. So, what are you waiting for? Eat up!

So now a question for you…. have you ever tried pho? If so, what is your FAVORITE pho restaurant?

Healthy Swap for the Holidays!

healthy holiday

“I’ve got another confession to make…” (cue Foo Fighters here).

I don’t cook on Thanksgiving. Like, at all. Not one thing. Let’s add a yet to that sentence though, because someday I am sure I will. Currently, I do not have kids and am very mobile so travel to loved ones and they do the cooking. I consider myself fortunate. Not a huge fan of cooking overly large turkeys. In fact, I think I would cry if I had to cook a turkey, because I had a crying experience cooking a whole chicken once. I almost became a vegetarian at that very moment. No lie. And the thought still haunts me so I definitely do eat way less meat than I ever have. Can I get a hashtag animals rock?!?! Even chickens.

But, even though I do not cook on Thanksgiving, I do make some healthy swaps for the holidays in general. Which healthy swaps do I make you ask? Great question, Joe! I shall tell you….

But, first, shout out to the hosts of the Fit DishThank you, Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch and Jill at Jill Conyers for this lovely #fitfam party every Tuesday. I always dig it.

Okay, back to my healthy swaps. Without further ado, my top 3 healthy swaps are…

  1. Pumpkin pie instead of Pecan pie. You save over 100 calories per slice by choosing pumpkin, plus you get all the vitamin goodness that is naturally in pumpkin. It is in the squash family, after all. To me, it also tastes better, but I know taste buds are different. If you still prefer the pecan pie, choose a smaller slice.
  2. Real fruit salad instead of frozen fruit salad. Frozen fruit salad was always a staple at my mom’s Thanksgiving table. But, frozen fruit salad often has the real fruit plus tons of juice and even sugar added before being put in the freezer. Fruit is naturally sweet and does not need all that extra sugar added. I vote for real fruit cut up (and the more colorful the better) in a fun and festive bowl!
  3. Oven roasted sweet potatoes instead of candied yams. Have you ever had a baked sweet potato with just a tad of butter and a little (or a lot) of cinnamon? Delish! You won’t ever go back to those candied yams with marshmellows. Seriously, try it. And a sweet potato should be about the size of your fist in case you were wondering. Those gigantic ones at some grocery stores are to be shared. Capeesh?

And now to you, dear friend. What healthy swap do you make at Thanksgiving or over holiday season?

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Have you heard about Elf for Health?

The Lean Green Bean

Are you in the mood for a little holiday challenge? And yes, it will be SO fun! I read a blog post today about Elf for Health over at The Lean Green Bean (The blogger is Lindsay and I love her stuff. Another dietitian, I might add. High five!). I am over the moon excited about this challenge and I hope you will join in too. Lindsay and Elle (with According to Elle) are co-hosting this challenge.

I will give you a small rundown of the challenge today on the blog, but PLEASE visit one of the hosts’ websites to actually sign up for the challenge. You can click on “Elf for Health” in the first paragraph above to be taken right to the info you need. You’re welcome!

Challenge deets that I am super stoked about:

  1. The challenge starts Monday, November 24th. Yes, that IS next Monday!
  2. Each day will have a challenge “to do” that encompasses either food, fitness, for you, or for others. Isn’t that great?! Well-rounded wellness right there.
  3. You can join the Facebook group for even more support. You will also get assigned an elf (if you want one) for that extra encouragement. I believe you get assigned at least 2 elves during the duration of the challenge to meet more peeps. Hello, social butterfly!
  4. Prizes are available throughout the challenge. You’re looking like a winner these days!
  5. And my favorite, you can save the calendar to your google calendar. For days you forget to look on Pinterest or on the blog, you will get that pop up reminder. No forgetting your good holiday habits this year, my friend!

So… are you with me!?! Who else wants to participate in Elf for Health this holiday season? Comment below if you end up signing up!

Happy Monday, friends!

My Current Triple Threat

Triple Threat

What movement is YOUR movement? Or let me rephrase.. what MOVES you? What activities currently encourage you to move those cute little feet of yours? I currently have three and consider them my triple threat.

We will get to my triple threat in a second, but first let me tell you why knowing your answers to the questions above is important…

  1. Just like we have four seasons of the year, we can have seasons of activities. Or simply put, you may not ALWAYS enjoy the same activity year-round.
  2. Doing the same workout day in and day out is not only ineffective, but BORING. Yawnnnnnn.
  3. Knowing what moves you will keep you moving. It is THAT simple. You CAN get to the point where you are looking forward to movement most days.

My current triple threat happens to be… Yoga, PIYO, and walking outside. That last one may change quicker than the other two as the temperatures start to fall lower and lower. This lady loves being WARM! But, as it stands currently, I love to start the morning with a little yoga (even 10-20 minutes can have huge benefits if done regularly). It gets me in the right frame of mind to have a kick-ass day. And that, I like… and will always welcome. Second, I tend to do a PIYO workout over my lunch break, in the evening, or right after yoga if I have time. I am flexible with this one. Third, walking happens whenever I need a break. I love getting outside so will often take a 20 minute break during the workday to get outside or walk a little longer after work before dinner.

What I love about my triple threat (and will keep in mind when I switch some things up for a new triple threat in the future) is that I incorporate all 3 important components of fitness. 1) Cardiovascular exercise, 2) Strength, and 3) Flexibility. All 3 are so important and we often skip out on one or two. When choosing your workouts, keep those components in mind.

I love varying my workouts. I tend to change things up a bit at least every quarter, but sometimes more often. I keep my body guessing and this can be a beautiful thing. The body does not need to get used to your workout. But, it should love the movement you are gifting it regularly!

So now tell me, do you have your own version of a triple threat? Do you know what MOVES you?

WTEW: Dreaming Cow

Dreaming cow

If you are at all interested in where food comes from, you know that many food companies treat animals inhumanely. But, there are also food companies that don’t. And those I like to spotlight. Those are the companies I am going to support with my dollar and cents, fo sho! So, that leads me to today’s What to Eat Wednesday… Dreaming Cow yogurt.

Have you heard of them yet? I found these gems at Target and had to try them right away. I was blown away by the flavor and texture. I like to add a little crunch so put in a tad of granola and dark chocolate chips. Holy cow (pun intended), it was delish!

So how do they treat their cows? Well, they let the cows roam freely. They let the cows eat from the pasture. They let the cows…. well, be cows. You can see for yourself by the vid below. You really only need to watch a few seconds to catch the drift.

I am so inspired by companies who create a product AND do well by the environment, nature, or animal kingdom. Humans are not the only ones on this planet so we need not be greedy. Am I right, or am I right? And if you are a pet person, you for sure understand. You would NEVER want anything to happen to that sweet ‘lil ‘ol pet of yours. So when we are taking milk from a cow for whatever reason, we can do it with dignity. Yes, I know cows aren’t technically pets and we even kill some for beef, but that does not mean that we let them suffer or put them in incredibly horrible living conditions. All animals deserve to be happy while living on planet earth.

Okay, off soap box now. Don’t I sound like a little treehugger? No, but really.. you do vote with your dollar so make a wise choice when purchasing goods. Even if you don’t try Dreaming Cow and plan to stick with your favorite yogurt brand, do your research. Make sure the supplier treats its cows well. Same goes for any other milk product.

So back to Dreaming Cow. I bought 5 different flavors at Target this past week and have not had a bad flavor so far. I’ve tried the Dark Cherry Chai, Maple Ginger, and Vanilla Agave. They run about $1.25 per container so not much more than the Chobani or Fage brands.

Oh and I LOVE their slogan… Happy Moo, Happy You. Totally diggin’ it!

Have you tried Dreaming Cow yet? If so, which flavor is your favorite?

Does Your Mind Wander?

Now THAT is a good question. Does your mind wander? Heck YEAH it does. Mine wanders frequently, but especially during a workout (at times). I consider working out “MY” time so I can calm the brain a tad, but oftentimes I find myself getting really creative during a workout. The mind wanders to ideas and light bulb moments.

Creative

Before I go any further, it is TUESDAY so you know what that means… The Fit Dish Link Up with The Fit Switch and Jill Conyers. Still lovin’ the heck out of this link up. Today’s topic is, “Does your mind wander? Thoughts while running or working out.”

For me, being active keeps the creative juices flowing. If I have a new challenge or activity that I need to create for one of my clients at work, I will often go for a walk. My BEST ideas come to me whenever I am moving. It is magical. And I think there is something to it. Being active has a TON of benefits, we all know that, and one of the benefits is that it can boost creativity. YESSSSSS… another reason to MOVE MORE!

What else do I think about while I walk or run? Randomness. A few recent thoughts…

  • “Man, I love this dude’s garage door. I think I need a garage door like that.” His looks like it is all wood, which is rare around here. And it is gorgeous!
  • “I can’t help myself (sugar pie, honey bunch) would be a fun song to dance to at a wedding. Maybe even my wedding someday?!?” Songs can prompt a lot of random thoughts for me…
  • “I wonder why that guy is walking like that outside without a shirt on. Is he flexing his muscles to boost his ego or is he legitimately trying to tan his chest?” Still not sure.. he wasn’t your typical macho man.

While I love getting the mind to wander a bit during a run or walk, there is definitely time for the brain to shut up. I try to incorporate yoga and/or meditation into my regular routine. This is important because it helps you release the past and the future, while focusing on the present. That can be SO much easier said than done. But, with a regular yoga/meditation practice, it gets easier. And so fulfilling. I seriously do think that adding in these two things to my regular routine has increased my happiness. Natural happy pill, what what!?!? And I literally just read an article about how meditation can CHANGE cells. Way cool. Take THAT, Cancer.

What was one random thought of yours during a recent workout?

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