Travel Smart

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Traveling whether leisure or business can make it very challenging to stay healthy.  Besides for usually being completely run down from commuting to your destination(s) you are usually forced to eat out and most of the time in places you have never been to before.  That means a lot of fast food stops and other restaurants where they hide sneaky ingredients into all the dishes.  How do you prepare for this?  Anytime I travel, I make sure to bring a bag full on healthy safety food just in case I can’t find anything I like along the way.  I always have some fruit, nuts and chia seed bars.  I usually like to bring a few kombucha’s with me to keep my digestive system in check.  It is usually tough to keep things refrigerated when traveling so I avoid anything that will spoil if they aren’t kept cold.  Traveling can create unwanted anxiety already and I find this makes things much less stressful.  Tell me what you do when you travel to stay healthy!

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Overcoming winter gloom

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Here we go again-up at 7AM, gym at 5PM, dinner at 7PM and repeat.  Ever feel caught in the work/life routine and feel the urge to switch it up sometimes?  This time of year can really have many people feeling like all they do is work, house chores and sleep.  With the short days and long dark nights, it is easy to fall into a funk.  I have been trying to add some fun things to each week to keep from feeling the dreaded winter gloom.  I enjoy mornings where I shower the night before and am able to wake up slow before work to have that extra cup of tea and catch some of the today show.  I also love those spontaneous date nights where we ditch the food we bought for the week in the fridge and grab dinner and a glass of wine somewhere other than the kitchen table.  Checking out a new workout class on the weeknights is also a good way to brighten up your week.  One more thing we are trying to incorporate into the winter are quick weekend getaways.  We have a few planned.  Even though are destinations are also on the east coast and very cold, sometimes a little bit of new scenery is all you need.  In the summer there are so many more options on things to do at night- bike ride outside, walk in the park, baseball games, pretty much anything outside can cheer me up!

What do you do during the winter nights to keep away the winter gloom?

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Cycle On

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Next week, I am going to do a full day at a local spin studio to become certified to teach spin classes.  I have been an avid spin goer for about 5 years now.  When I lived in New York I was obsessed with soul cycle (this is when it wasn’t as popular as it is today).  We have a couple decent spin studios in town but nothing like soul cycle.  I have a few favorite instructors though that make it just as fun.  I started spinning in highschool but got really into it again after college.  I absolutely love spin.  It is such a great calorie burn and the time usually flies by as long as the music is good.  I don’t belive that only doing one form of exercise is good for your body so I usually don’t like to spin more than twice a week.  I mix in yoga and my own strength training other days of the week.  I am really excited to be able to teach classes so that I can bring my own style of spin to studios.  There are a few aspects of spin that I don’t agree with so I won’t be incorporating them into my classes.  I really don’t like isolations on the bikes.  I feel like if you don’t know what you’re doing which is always the case for new members it is very easy to injure yourself.  I also don’t like when the only thing you do is sit in the saddle the whole time.  I like to incorporate jumps into my routine to really get the different muscles in your leg working.  I am also incredibly torn between whether or not I want to do a small arm routine in my classes.  I don’t feel that they are very effective and actually may hurt you if you are doing the exercises wrong.  Even three pound weights can hurt you!  I have pulled a muscle before by doing arm routines on the bike because I am trying to focus on too many things; spinning my legs, posture and keeping up to speed with everyone else in the class.  Arms take focus since you need to have proper form.  I am excited to experiment with all of this and hope that people enjoy my classes!  I am purely teaching for fun.  It is something I love and want to share it with other people.

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Snow Day

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Out here in Pennsylvania we have been getting slammed with snow storms.  It seems like every week we have at least one substantial storm that leaves us all stuck inside for a full day with not much to do.  I find that during snow storms I tend to snack and pick at food at day long.  It’s funny, I almost feel like being stuck indoors on a snow day is an excuse to just eat whatever I want.  I know I’m not alone in that either.  Partially, my preparation is very much to blame.  This past storm that we had I really had nothing to snack on so we were stuck making dinners for snacks and it was kind of hard to come back from that.  There are many things to blame on the few extra pounds we all seem to put on in the winter; snow storms that leave us stuck inside the house, cold weather and eating and drinking comfort food, holidays, a decrease in physical activity because who really wants to go outside when it is negative 4 degrees outside.  I tried something new the other day though.  It was VERY icy out and I didn’t feel comfortable driving to the gym so instead of parking myself on the couch for the remainder of the evening, I hopped onto youtube.  I found some really great workout clips, mainly fitsugar clips which are always very fun and motivating.  I also did a cardio warmup around the house.  I created a run (including going up and down steps) for 10 minutes before the strength videos and 10 minutes after as well.  I was completely SHOCKED that I felt very refreshed after.  The next day I was even a little sore from of the new exercises I found online.  I realized that there really should be no excuse for putting on extra weight this time of year,  we all our capable of self control and making ourselves feel and look great.  All it takes is a little determination.  It is easy to get in a rut and form bad habits but it is JUST as easy to create healthy and good habits.  Adding along with my other resolution, I will make sure to keep pushing myself to be the best ME possible.  Staying motivated with fitness goals and constantly reading and researching on the best things to feed your body.

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Ringing in 2014 with a new way of thinking.

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Oh the holidays.  When everyday life stops for a few minutes and we can focus on each other.  We can take a few deep breaths and mix up our daily routines.  Families and friends get together to make memories and reminisce of old ones.  We all sit around and eat and drink and eat and drink and eat and drink some more.  I cherish these times, as do most people, but coming out of a routine can be really difficult sometimes.  I am usually so caught up in what I am eating and drinking this time of year that I forget to enjoy myself.  I have made a conscious effort this year to NOT get too caught up on it.  If I eat or drink too much one night, it’s okay.  It isn’t going to change my life.  Tomorrow is always a new day.  I get right back to the gym, start up with my green smoothies and am more conscious of what is going into my body.  In fact, going into the new year I have made a resolution that I am going to really try to stick to.  This isn’t just a resolution it’s a different way of living life.  I am going to make sure that I am more present in everyday.  I am a planner and always thinking of what I need to do/go next.  I am the one in yoga class thinking of what I am cooking for dinner.  This needs to change!  I think this is going to be a very hard resolution to accomplish since it is a way I have been thinking for my whole life but it could drastically change certain aspects of my life.  I tried it the other day- On Christmas Eve, after our family left for brunch my husband and I went to dinner and the movies.  Instead of looking at my watch the whole time (besides for once so we didn’t miss the movie) I just enjoyed myself.  I didn’t look at my watch, I didn’t think about all the cleaning that needs to be done at home or all of the work that we have to catch up on in the office.  I was present and it felt really good. It affects everyones mood around you.  If you are present, they are more present and engaged.  A truly attainable resolution!  Here is to a happy, healthy and successful 2014 filled with love and laughter!

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Four ways to be a superb dinner guest and even better host

ImageWe have all been there- Your close friends have invited you over for dinner and they spent all day slaving over the stove and preparing a delicious menu.  Everything smells great and they are so excited to bring out the meal.  The only problem is, you don’t eat ANYTHING they made.  Some parts of the meal you can suck it up, put on a happy face and eat (forget about the stomach ache you will have the rest of the night).  BUT other parts of the meal, forget it, you just won’t eat a rack of lamb.  Has anyone else ever been this very uncomfortable situation?  I know that I have been thrown into this situation time and time again.  I am not a yes person.  I can easily say NO and stand my ground.  A lof of the time though, I feel so bad when it comes to dinner parties and saying no (even if it is politely).  I truly know how It feels to make a beautiful meal and then realize your guest doesn’t eat that type of food.  ON the other side of this, the host feels horrible as well and starts scrambling around the kitchen trying to make something which makes the guest feel ever worse!  How do you prep for this and try to eliminate this from ever happening again?  The truth is, you are bound to run into this problem but luckily there are a few things you can do in advance to bypass this situation all together.

AS THE GUEST

  • When you make your initial plans, let the host know there are some foods you do not eat.  Offer to bring some dishes that you enjoy for the whole dinner party. 

AS THE HOST

  • Always ask your guests if they have any dieatary ristrictions. 
  • Try to make an assortment of different dishes that are gluten free, dairy free, and/or vegan just in case someone felt embarrassed to say that they prefer to eat a certain way. 
  • Always have a salad or green veggie no matter what! 

I hope this helps you get through the numerous holiday dinners that you are attending or hosting.

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Healthy Hosting

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When hosting a holiday party, people expect a lot of very indulgent food and drinks.  I believe in moderation.  I obviously make sure to have food around that suits everyone’s preference but as a very health conscious person I can’t possibly not have an abundance of healthy ‘treats ‘ as well.  I also find it extremely hard to cook with butter and sugar.  I tend to make some modifications and then it turns out horrible.  This year, my husband and I are hosting a new years party.  We decided on a theme of ‘indulgence and inhibition’.  We asked all of our guests to make two dishes, one to satisfy the guests who are watching their calories and another to satisfy everyone else (which is the majority especially on New Years).  I can’t wait to see what everyone is going to bring but in the meantime I have been going through recipe after recipe trying to decide which healthy treat and healthy drink I should make for the night.  I want to make something that everyone will enjoy and maybe even choose to eat over the indulgent table.  Here are some of the ideas I am thinking of:

  • Chocolate Dipped Fruit
  • Roasted Veggie and Quinoa Salad
  • Banana Carob Bars

As far as drinks, I will most likely just get a bunch of red wine and possibly make a winter sangria.  I would love some more suggestions!  What do you think of this idea?

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