02.21.2018

Wellness Wednesday || A Delicious Breakfast Bowl + Slow Weekends

The word slow really isn’t in my vocabulary. I’ve always been a fast mover… a doer…. a “let’s get going” type of girl (and I wonder where Harper gets it from)…. and it’s always applied to the weekends as well. Yet, TJ on the other hand loves to move slowly. It was one of those “issues” we had to work through when we first got married… how to meet in the middle when one person wakes up ready to tackle the day, and the other wakes up ready to do a little more lounging around. And while we haven’t reached a definitive solution to that issue, we do agree on how we spend our weekends 95% of the time…. whether it’s getting up and going, or laying around just a little bit longer.

One of the ways that I’ve come to accept the “slow” morning concept is by making a delicious breakfast we wouldn’t ordinarily make. While this dish typically isn’t too elaborate, it’s often a small variation of our weekday morning meals, adding a twist here and there makes it feel a little more special. We add sweet potatoes to a breakfast scramble, maybe a fancier avocado toast, and more recently, these delicious breakfast bowls. We had a similar bowl at one of our favorite breakfast spots, Haute Cakes, when they had it as a special…. we both ordered it and loved it so much we decided to try and replicate it this past weekend in Palm Springs. They’re super simple to make, and even better to eat when you’re lounging around in your favorite comfies, with nothing on the agenda for the rest of the day (ok, that’s TJ’s world… mine is until 11am tops….).

Breakfast Bowls:

2 Eggs (we did a poached variation, but they’re best with some sort of runny egg)
1 cup of shaved brussels sprouts (you can buy them this way at Trader Joe’s or shave them in a food processor)
Handful of Arugula
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Sliced cherry tomatoes
2 Slices of crumbled bacon (optional)
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spay
Lemon Juice
Sea Salt

To Assemble: Toss the greens in a bowl, and then top with the quinoa, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, + bacon. Then spray everything several times with the avocado oil, use as much lemon juice as you’d like (we probably started with 1/2 tsp and increased from there to get just the right amount of tanginess), and sprinkle with a dash of sea salt. Mix everything together. Top with the eggs.

And in case you’re looking for some cozy loungewear to convince you to move a little slower in the mornings my favorites include these joggers, rose colored sweatshirt + jogger duo,  rose colored long sleeve + cozy short set, and this adorable heart set. Now, is it the weekend yet??
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(Outfit Details || Sweatshirt | Shorts)

01.17.2018

Wellness Wednesday || A Quick, Healthy, + Delicious Weeknight Meal For The Family…. Loaded Sweet Potatoes

On NYE, when we headed down to a friend’s house in San Diego, where we had loaded potatoes for a festive evening in spent celebrating. TJ and I loved the idea so much, that we decided to make it a regular occurrence in our home. It’s a hearty meal, full of clean ingredients, and super easy to whip up on a busy weeknight (especially if you pre-prepare some of the ingredients, like the cauliflower rice, on a Sunday evening… just re-heat and it’s good to go…). Annnd, with little miss’ sense of independence at an all time high, it’s also a meal that we can get her in on the action with. She loves picking our her toppings (and maybe taking a few samples along the way) and I love that it creates a sense of community in the evening hours, when they can often be a hectic time of the night…. It’s a nutritious, clean, and fun meal that we can all enjoy together.

I often get asked what my favorite food brands are. I’ve been a huge fan of Foster Farm’s Organic Ground Turkey ever since I was introduced to it a year ago (I love buying it in bulk on my Costco runs… such a great price). It’s California grown, raised free range on organic land, lean, moist, and full of flavor. If I’m meal prepping over the weekend, it’s easy to make a few turkey burgers for the week on Sunday night, and cook the rest up as an easy “toss in the salad” protein. It helps me stay on track to eat lean + clean throughout the week. Annnnd, it’s especially good on our loaded sweet potato nights (or lunches… depending on how we’re feeling….). So, today, I’m sharing with you our ingredients for a “Loaded Sweet Potato” evening… easily doubled, tripled, or enjoyed solo too.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes: 

Ingredients For Turkey:
1 Package Foster Farms Organic Turkey
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Olive Oil/Avocado Oil Spray (for cooking)

Topping Ingredients:
2-3 Bell Peppers, Diced
1 Red Onion, Diced
1 Green Onion, Diced
1 Avocado
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
1 Package Riced Cauliflower
1 Can Black Beans, Drained, Cooked
Salsa Verde
1 Garlic Cube (I use frozen cubes)
Pico De Gallo

Directions For Turkey:
Mix the spices in a bowl with the ground turkey and mix all ingredients together. Spray a pan and cook turkey, stirring and breaking it up frequently until completely cooked.

Directions For Cauliflower Rice:
Spray another pan and heat garlic for about 1-2 minutes. Toss in the bag of riced cauliflower along with 12oz of salsa verde. Stir to combine, cover, and allow it to cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until soft. Be sure to stir frequently.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes: 
Cook sweet potatoes in your preferred way (oven or microwave….). When soft and cooked through, slice open and top with some salsa verde, ground turkey, black beans, bell peppers (sautéed if you prefer….), guacamole/smashed avocado, cauliflower rice, pico de gallo, and green onions.

Hope you enjoy!

Thank you to Foster Farms for sponsoring this post + allowing me to bring you clean and nutritious meals. 

01.10.2018

Wellness Wednesday || My Experience With The Tone It Up Detox Plan

I’ve never been one for extreme detoxing… I did a modified juice cleanse, as an experiment, and it was quickly my last (which I anticipated it would be…). Instead, I prefer to fall back on whole foods, clean living, and regular workouts. Yet, when Tone It Up shared a free 5 day post-holiday detox plan, I was curious. I absolutely love their workouts, and what they stand for, so I decided to give it a try (you can read about my BBG vs. Tone It Up experience). So, today I thought I’d share my experience with it, how I modified it, and my overall impressions…. just in case you’re looking for some kind of meal plan or detox experience yourself…..

1. Foods: I think when the term “detox” is used is signifies deprivation. Yet, with this plan, I found it to not be depriving at all, and actually found meals that I am going to incorporate into my regular meal planning (like their chocolate pudding for dessert… and the apple with cinnamon for a mid morning snack….). There is a big focus on veggies and proteins, with fruit being the main source of carbohydrates, so that meant no grains (corn, rice….). They do say no to added sugars, fried foods, alcohol, creamy dressings (so I opted for the primal kitchen honey mustard since it was basically just avocado oil, vinegar, and herbs….), dairy (which I already don’t eat), starches after lunch, salty foods (i.e. chips, pretzels, cereals, crackers…), soda, and fake sugars. While I know this list sounds long, it’s really not that bad when you’re focused on eating basic ingredient foods (chicken + veggies…. large green salad with tuna and veggies…. chia seed pudding… egg scrambles….).

They also explain the scientific reasons why you will be eating the foods they have on the meal plan… which was actually very educational for me. It grouped them into antioxidant foods, detoxifying foods, anti-inflammatory foods, and fiber packed foods.

There are several meals plans for all dietary restrictions…. vegetarian, vegan, gluten free…..

2. Preparation: The plan also helps you fully prepare for the five days ahead by providing you with a grocery list and daily meal plan (in conjunction with workouts….). Preparation is key for success, so it made it super easy for me to run through the grocery store, with the list, and grab the essentials. Also, a lot of the breakfasts, like the chia seed pudding, can be made within 10 minutes and placed in a container for up to 5 days…. making a super easy grab and go breakfast option.

3. Customizable: This might be one of my favorite parts of the detox plan. You can easily add up to 250 calories when you’re doing higher intensity workouts, feeling low on energy (who wants to feel that way??) and if you’re not going for the 1-2 pound weight loss. Since I wasn’t looking for weight loss, just the de-bloating, cleansing, and metabolism boosting benefits I added in daily…. A few add ons I used included:

5 egg whites with my breakfast scrambles
1/2 cup quinoa when I went to lunch with my sister and mom
1/2 medium avocado with my salads
1/4 cup almonds with my morning apple snack
1 cup berries with my morning chia seed pudding
1/4 cup sunflower seeds with my salad
2 tbsp almond butter with my apple snack (not in conjunction with the almonds)

What this allowed me to do was listen to my body… how was I feeling? What was my body needing? I find that so many detox plans lack in that area… it’s a strict formula which allows for no flexibility….

I was also able to mix in my own meals that followed all the ingredients and guidelines they set forward, which made it not feel like a detox at all.

4. Taking With Me: A few things I added during the plan was increasing my water intake to about 80oz a day (they recommend 90, but I couldn’t quite get there!) as well as their morning mocktail of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, water, and cayenne pepper (loved starting my morning that way….). I found that the more water I consumed, the less bloated and hungry I felt. I’m for sure continuing both and incorporating them into my daily routine.

As I mentioned above there were several meals that I loved and will continue to make… the red lentil soup, chia seed pudding, beet salad, and the chocolate mousse (I mean, a detox plan that includes dessert…. need any more convincing??).

5. Overall Impressions: highly recommend this detox plan for anyone looking to de-bloat, cleanse, and get a jump start on clean eating. It’s very manageable, and easily fits into a daily lifestyle. Tone It Up also launched an app with studio workouts… and I seriously love those too. When I started Tone It Up last April I began noticing so many changes in my body… I literally “toned up.” I love their focus on strength training, and making working out fun… along with those occasional glasses of wine and indulgences…..

And now, a few recent workout looks…..

(windbreaker, capris, cap)

(lace-up sweater, perforated tank, watch)

(leggings, vest)

(leggings, pullover)

12.20.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Real Ingredient, Dairy Free Hot Coco

When I stopped eating dairy several years ago, I worried how I’d be able to enjoy my regular indulgences in life… frozen yogurt, baked goods, and hot coco around the holiday season. Of course, I came to realize that with simple swaps there is an unnoticeable difference between dairy + non-dairy products (with the exception of yogurt… for sure a difference there which requires a lot of taste testing….) particularly in the beverage department…. I actually prefer the taste of almond milk to milk in my smoothies, beverages, and cereal….

So, when it came to hot coco in the winter time, I turned to my go-to almond milk as a dairy substitute. Over the years we’ve typically used instant hot chocolate (you know, swiss miss… and the likes….), yet have veered away over the last couple seasons in preference for a simple homemade option (which, in all honesty, takes about 5 minutes to make… not much more than the instant stuff…). I like to top mine with some marshmallow fluff (great recipe) or good old marshmallows (non-gmo option) straight from the bag. Annnd, if it’s the evening, and I’m feeling particularly festive, I just might top it with a little Baileys liqueur…..

This season was particularly special since Harper took a liking to the chocolatey goodness…. I mean, I seriously can’t resist that smile and the memories we get to create making hot coco together (of course, thsi typically results in a much bigger mess… but hey, I can handle a mess for that smile….). She’s living the “Hot Coco Life” right…..

Real Ingredient, Dairy Free Hot Coco 

1 cup nut milk (I used almond milk)
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder (used that brand, but bought at Sprout’s for much cheaper)
1 package Organic Stevia In The Raw
1 tbsp Dairy Free Chocolate Chips (Whole Foods and Sprouts carries them)
1/8-1/4tsp tsp Vanilla
Peppermint Extract to your liking (I like this especially around the holidays)

Mix all ingredients together in a pot and bring to desired temperature. Makes 1 cup, but is easily multiplied.

Enjoy!!
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(Post Details || My  Loungewear | Beanie | Slippers | Harper’s Pajamas | Garland | Mugs)

11.08.2017

Wellness Wednesday || My 6 Favorite Easy + Healthy Breakfast Options

Sometimes I have too many ideas for a blog post, that I don’t really know where to start… or sometimes I have just ideas, but don’t know how to give the post some substance. So, today I took to instagram and threw out three topics to see what people might want and this topic won (with a close follow up being “How To Stay Healthy During The Holidays….”). I really love feedback from all of you, so if there is ever a topic that you’re interested in, always feel free to share in the comments or via e-mail…..

All that to say, I’ve rounded up my favorite healthy breakfast options…. most can be made ahead of time and simply re-heated when you’re in a rush… or savored if you have a little more time. I’ve always come from the school of thought that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day (I seriously wake up hungry…) so making it a nutritious one is a must for me. Whether it’s a grab + go option, or one I can sit and enjoy before little miss wakes up, it’s something I look forward to every night before I go to bed…..

Egg Muffin Bites

These are super easy to make ahead of time, place in the refrigerator (in a baggie or container), heat up in the microwave, and eat on the go. I most recently made them for our early morning flight to Hawaii. I never find any healthy selections at the airport, so I whipped these up the night before with the remaining eggs and veggies we had in the refrigerator, and simply heated them in the morning. We all (including Harper) ate them on the way to the airport. I’ve made them with and without the sweet potato crust…. both ways are equally as delish.

Healthy Oatmeal Bake

Another easy breakfast to make ahead of time and eat throughout the week. I’ve never tried it, but I imagine you could easily make this into muffins by simply baking them in a muffin tin (with liners) as opposed to a baking dish. Either way, we made this like crazy right after Harper was born. I’d make a batch on Sunday and then we would all (well,….TJ and I) eat it throughout the week. We didn’t have a lot of time to think about breakfast and dinners, so this dish was a life saver.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes

You can’t really make these ahead of time, but they don’t take long to whip up…. actually, maybe you could make the batter the night before???  I can easily make a batch in the morning and, since it makes 8-9 pancakes, feed our entire family. You might have to leave the dishes for later, but they’re a delicious alternative to eggs or oatmeal.

Chocolate Protein Waffles

As opposed to the pancakes above, these can easily be made and kept for a day to use as a snack or breakfast the next morning. They’re filling, easy to make, and super tasty (IMO). I was making these pretty regularly a few months ago, and made them for my sister’s bridal party on the morning of her wedding (paired with mimosas of course….). All clean ingredients.

Dairy Free Chia Seed Pudding  

For the past several years I’ve done a “Post-Thanksgiving Detox” post… something “clean” to eat after a day of indulging (I mean, why hold back on the day meant for eating… three pie slices please!). This chia seed pudding was last year’s post. I made it with Pressed Juicery’s seasonal almond milk, but you can also follow this recipe to get the same taste. I make this in a batch at the beginning of the week, and then scoop it out and add my toppings in the morning. If you’re more of a planner, you can easily distribute the pudding into individual containers that you can easily grab and take on the run in the morning.

 Egg Scramble: 

I’ve yet to perfect this dish enough to make it look pretty for photos… but the taste makes up for that. This is seriously one of my favorite breakfasts ever…. if you follow my meal plans or instastories you know that. It’s so easy to make. I use two eggs, and 1/2 cup of egg whites. I whisk them together, and then cook them in a skillet using this Chosen Foods Avocado Oil spray . Once they’re done, I simply mix them with some salsa verde (the one from Trader Joe’s is my favorite), some pico de gallo (or mango salsa if I have it), micro greens, and a 1/4 of an avocado. It keep me full all morning long and takes about 8 minutes to whip up… and about 2 minutes to eat….

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RECENT WORKOUT OUTFITS:

(Tee, Leggings, Hat)

(Capris, Velour Pullover)

(Hoodie, Crops)

11.03.2017

Favorite Products November || Healthy Living, Beauty, Fashion

Finally, Friday. The week after vacation always seems to kick my bootay, and this one wasn’t any exception. Looking forward to some rest and relaxation this weekend, with absolutely nothing on our schedule except for a little date night with TJ. Sharing my favorite products from the past month today…. some new beauty items I’ve started using, a few tasty treats (including a new favorite bar… hands down favorite), and a bunch of items I’ve been wearing on repeat…..

I hope you all have a great weekend! See you Monday….. xx

FOOD: 

1. Naturally Clean Eats Bars: I first shared these in my last meal plan, and have been obsessed for several weeks. They were created by a mom who was disheartened by the snack bars out there for herself and children. I was skeptical about yet another “bar” but when I tried them I was hooked…. they currently come in two flavor options (both are amazing and one has kale hidden in it….). Harper + TJ both love them too. All bars are vegan, gluten free, + non-gmo.

2. Sweet Potato Chips:  I shared briefly about these here, but I am horrible at making my own sweet potato chips (I’ve tried, and they just aren’t thin or crispy enough….) and these are pretty much the same thing. Made with only sweet potatoes, coconut oil, and sea salt… if you love sweet potatoes, you’ll love these as a healthy alternative to regular chips.

3. Appelgate Organic Frozen Turkey Burgers: For weeks when we don’t have a lot of time to pre assemble our turkey burgers, these come in handy. They’re frozen raw, but cook up quickly and are incredibly tasty.

BEAUTY:

1. TULA Probiotics: I shared about these in this post, and I am happy to report that I noticed a difference in bloating and overall regularity within a week or so of taking them. I’ve always been a huge fan of probiotics (hence why I drink Kombucha daily), but these have the added beauty benefit… so it’s really a no brainer why I continue to take them daily.  You can take 20% off with code SHANNON.

2. TULA Dual Phase Skin Reviving Treatment Pads: These little pads are pretty much an instant facial at a fraction of the price. I shared my experience with them yesterday on instastories, but they pretty much left my skin feeling oh-so-soft and glowing. It’s one pad, which has two sides (a smooth side, and a textured side) which act to give you that facial experience in about 2 minutes (and I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time or money to get a weekly facial….). You can get 20% off with code SHANNON.

FASHION:

1. Poncho Hoodie: I snagged this a few weeks ago to wear as a casual layering option in the fall months. I love how it can easily be tossed on over my favorite thermal with a pair of leggings (featured above) for a day of errands, or with a pair of jeans if you need to dress it up a little more. It’s not super heavy, so it’s great for the mild fall days.

2. Sweatpants: I bought these to wear on the plane for our recent travels, and they ended up fitting like a dream. Perfect for us short girls, they hit at the perfect spot, without making them look baggy. Super comfortable, and can easily look chic with a knotted tee + suede jacket.

3. Lace-Up Crop Workout Top: I’m pretty much obsessed with this workout top…. I wear it during yoga, a spin workout, stairs circuit, and strength training. The detailing makes it appropriate for a post-workout activity… simply pair it with a pair of high waisted leggings and a zip-up.

4. Faux Fur Vest (also here): This was part of my Halloween costume this year, and I knew I’d wear it tons post dressing up. I’d actually been eyeing it since last year, so as we approached the cooler weather months, I decided it would be perfect for the fall/winter. It’s soft, and layers easily over so many different tops, and I love the natural colors.

5. Waffle Knit Pullover: Last featured here, and owned in two color options, to say I’m obsessed would be an understatement. Comfortable, lightweight, and versatile it’s a great closet staple for fall (and excellent for layering).

6. Lightweight Anorak (currently on sale too): I bought this jacket about a month ago as an alternative to my denim + utility jackets. It’s been a great option, as the temps have cooled, to layer on over thermals + tees. It keeps me comfortable, and isn’t too heavy or bulky that I can’t move around in it.

7. Oversized Cardigan: I know, I know, another one. Yet, this one is so soft, and I spent the entire day traveling in it and it was incredibly comfortable… so much so that I’ve continued wearing it simply lounging around the house. I have it in the rust color, but it also comes in a blush and fall brown option as well.

8. Fuzzy Jacket: It’s like wearing the softest blanket ever. I promise. I styled it here + here, and you can see the other ways I have paired it over on instagram. It’s great for fall… lounging around the house in it, or wearing it out at night… it’s versatile enough for either.

9. Long Sleeve Shirt Dress (on sale): I’ve always loved wearing booties and dresses, so when I stumbled across this mauve colored dress I knew it would be a great option for fall. It easily pairs with a denim jacket or oversized cardigan, and is casual enough for everyday living.

10. Henley Top: A super casual everyday top for your wardrobe. It’s comfortable and I love the bigger sleeves. I’ve worn it several times with my distressed jeans, as well as under this vest.

11. Oversized Hoodie: The best post work-out sweatshirt to toss on… the oversized feel makes it cozy enough to lounge around in… and pairing it with jeans makes it look more pulled together (especially topped with my favorite pom beanie). Love the retro feel too.

10.25.2017

Wellness Wednesday || 5 Day Meal Plan

We’re halfway through our trip to Hawaii, and enjoying all the indulgences that it has to offer. Yet, when I return, I’ll likely be returning to a meal plan similar to the one below. I like to try and mix the way we prepare our proteins, so hopefully you can find some new and delicious ways in the plan below. Happy hump day friends!

(also sharing a few workout looks below….)
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Monday: 

Breakfast: 1 Paleo English Muffin, topped with 1 tbsp of Wild Friends Pumpkin Almond Butter, and thinly sliced 1/4 banana
Snack: 1 Hardboiled egg + Booch
Lunch: Lentil Soup (from night before) + small spinach salad (2 cups spinach with pumpkin seeds and drizzle of Green Goddess Dressing)
Snack: Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar
Dinner: Carnitas Tacos (one of my favorite healthy recipes)

Workout: 5 mile run + Quick Total Body Toning 

Tuesday: 

Breakfast: Purely Elizabeth Oatmeal (on-the-go) and took it to the park with Harper. Topped with blueberries + organic stevia in the raw
Snack: Mini Perfect Bar + Kombucha
Lunch: Super Spinach Salad (from Trader Joe’s) topped with Green Goddess Dressing + 1 turkey burger
Snack: Banana Chocolate Smoothie
Dinner: Shrimp Curry made with cauliflower rice 

Workout: 30 minute stairs + Booty Workout 

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Egg Scramble: 2 eggs + 1/2 cup egg whites scrambled. Topped with organic micro greens, salsa verde, and 1/4 avocado.
Snack: Mini Perfect Bar + Kombucha
Lunch: Spiralized Zucchini noodles (purchased at Sprouts, but I hear Trader Joe’s now has them….) sautéed in a little bit of ghee and garlic. Topped with 4 Hilary’s Eat Well bites and 1 can of safe catch tuna (just used lemon juice, himalayan sea salt, and pepper to make tuna). I know this combo sounds so odd, but I really like it!
Snack: Sliced bell peppers (1 large) + Cucumbers + Jicama (comes pre-sliced at Trader Joe’s) with guacamole (homemade) and salsa.
Dinner: Grilled salmon (seasoned with lemon juice, pepper, himalayan sea salt, and dill) with broiled asparagus and 1/2 cup of lentils (from Trader Joe’s). 

Workout: Yoga Booty 

Thursday: 

Breakfast: Same as Wednesday
Snack: Mini Perfect Bar (my fav) + Kombucha
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Bowl: some grilled chicken mixed with 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup of black beans, pumpkin seeds, salsa verde, and spinach. I just mixed it all together.
Snack: Naturally Clean Eats bar
Dinner: Organic, grass fed beef burgers (found at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) on a grilled portobello mushroom and butter lettuce leaves, topped with sliced red onion tomato, and honey mustard. Paired with grilled brussels sprouts (season with olive oil spray, pepper, garlic, and sea salt) and sweet potato fries. 

Workout: HIIT + 20 minute run

Friday: 

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Snack: Apple + Kombucha
Lunch: Ate out and ordered a Paleo Bowl (grilled veggies) and chicken with avocado and kimchi
Snack: Blueberry Smoothie
Dinner: Ate out and ordered two lobster tacos with black beans and brown rice…. and 2 glasses of rosé later in the evening… with some Pressed Juicery (topped with almond butter drizzle) 

Workout: 5 mile run + Arms + Abs
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(Wrap (comes in 3 colors) | Crops (high waisted and so good!)) 

(Hoodie, Leggings, Tank

10.18.2017

Wellness Wednesday || The 4 Things I Do In The Morning To Set The Tone For A Healthy Day

This post is sponsored by Organic Stevia In The Raw® and SheKnows Media. All opinions expressed are my own.

I’ve always been more of a morning person than a night owl. I’ve never pulled an all-nighter (I tried, multiple times… could never keep my eyes open…), and working out in the evening has always felt more on the sluggish than invigorating side. I guess it all started in high school, when I would go out for a morning run to get ready for the day ahead…. I didn’t do it every morning, but on the days I did, there was a noticeable difference. I took a break in college (hmmm… I wonder why…), but when I graduated and went to grad school, I put together a morning routine that set the tone for a healthy day, both physically and mentally. It’s something I’ve followed ever since, making slight modifications when little miss arrived. Yet, at the core, there are 4 things I do, daily, that set me up for a balanced day….

  1. Wake-up + Workout: For me, this is like a morning cup of coffee…. without it, I’m void of energy for the day. It doesn’t always have to be an intense workout, even a few walking laps around the neighborhood gets me moving and feeling awake. During this time, I set my priorities for the day, work through any thoughts I may be having, and get my endorphin release. Of course, when little miss arrived, I needed to wake up even earlier to squeeze this in…. which I did by waking up 10 minutes earlier, every other day, for about a week. At the end of the week, my body had adapted to the new time.

2. Eat A Healthy Breakfast: One of my favorite meals of the day, always. I’m typically pretty hungry after my workout, so skipping this meal is never an option. I try to make sure that both Harper and I are getting a filling, and nutritious, morning start. Anything from eggs and fruit, to a bowl of oatmeal, yogurt and granola, or a homemade gluten free/dairy free waffle, I like to make sure it’s tasty. Something I’ve started using, to add a little sweetness, is Organic Stevia In The Raw®. I discovered Organic Stevia In The Raw  when I was looking to do a little baking this fall (bring on all things pumpkin please. It’s organic, non-gmo (very important), vegan, and naturally gluten free. It comes in tiny packets (seen above), which means I can easily toss them in my purse to sprinkle in my morning iced tea (took a few of them to Hawaii to use them with my morning iced green teas). One of our favorite ways to use it is dusted on our morning oatmeal with berries. It adds a delicious, sweet taste. I’ve always felt that a healthy breakfast sets me up to make better choices throughout the day! You can find Organic Stevia In The Raw at Walmart or purchase it online here.

3. Make My Bed:  Having a “healthy” day goes way beyond just working out and making the right food choices. It also has a lot to do with making decisions that I know will set me up for a positive day mentally. Making my bed is one I’ve been doing for years. It’s a very little thing that takes about five minutes, but helps me feel much more organized… and for me, personally, an organized life makes me less anxious. Less anxiety means I can be more present in my relationships, which is the ultimate goal.

4. Gratitude: Another contributor to the mental health of a day. So much research has shown that having a position of gratitude improves our health, relationships, emotions, personality, and career. I don’t spend a long time on it, about 2-5 minutes while I eat my breakfast. I simply jot down a few things I feel particularly grateful for that day. I find that simply reminding myself of the things I have to be grateful for sets that stage to be able to manage smaller setbacks throughout my day.

That’s it. Nothing major, or particularly time consuming, but it’s usually a few small things that add up to a big difference. I’d love to know what you do to set a positive tone for your day!

(Outfit Details || Cardigan | Tank Shorts)

What are some of your morning rituals? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 10/16/17-12/24/17.

10.11.2017

Wellness Wednesday || My 10 Favorite Organic And/Or Non-GMO Products

When I became pregnant with Harper, I became more concerned about the foods I was putting in my body. Since I was her sole source of nutrition, I took the responsibility serious. And while I was always sure to be eating “clean” before I became pregnant, what I began to watch more was where my food was coming from, was it organic, and was it genetically modified in anyway. It really opened my eye to products, as well as how many have ingredients that aren’t good for our bodies. So, today I thought I would share with you my top 10 favorite organic or non-gmo products (because, if I listed them all it would probably take days…..) ranging from my favorite probiotic granola, an on-the-go breakfast option, and some chips meant to be paired with some creamy guacamole! 

I also shared a few recent work-out looks below!

1Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal: Our entire family is a fan of the consistency of this oatmeal. Hearty and delicious, it cooks up quickly, especially if you use the oatmeal cups (we used these while we were in Hawaii) which are an easy grab and go option for a quick morning meal. 

2. SafeCatch Tuna: When we were thinking about starting a family, I became increasingly more cognizant of mercury levels in the fish I was consuming. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I discovered SafeCatch tuna. It has the lowest mercury level of any other brand, is non-gmo, and sustainable. Oh yeah, it tastes pretty darn good too.

3. Vital Farms Eggs: I was once told that you could tell the difference between organic, pasture raised, eggs and non-organic, cage raised eggs. I didn’t believe it, until I tried them. The eggs are an orange-y color and have a thickness to them that regular eggs don’t come close too (they also have a harder shell). We’ve been using this brand for several months, and we’re sold. Poach them and toss it on an egg sandwich… so.good.

4. Hilary’s Veggie Burgers: I post about these all the time on my insta-stories. They are, hands down, my favorite veggie burgers ever. I toss them on salads, eat them solo, and Harper loves them too. They come in multiple flavors, as well as in bite sizes too.

5. Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray: Another item I started using after I began researching soy-lechtin. This product is free from it and non-gmo. I use it as a non-stick cooking spray, and also spray it on my salads from time to time. It works really well, and adds a great mild taste. While it’s not certified organic, it is chemical, propellant, and emulsifier free, with only avocado oil as the ingredient.

6. Primal Kitchen Salad Dressing: One of my newest loves. I use this on every salad I make. For a while, I was turned off by salad dressings due to all the artificial ingredients, until I stumbled across this line. All of their ingredients are soy free, dairy free, gluten free, non-gmo, and organic when appropriate (which they address on their web-site). Now my salads are full of flavor!

7. Trader Joe’s Organic Carrot + Turmeric Juice: This stuff is so good, and something our entire family sips in the morning (pairs well with the oatmeal-stevia combination above).  It’s lightly sweet, and as TJ puts it “You just feel like you’re sipping health when you’re drinking it.” Enough said.

8. Chocolate Pro-biotic Granola: I could pretty much eat this entire bag in a solo sitting. I top it on my favorite Pressed Juicery freeze, or on my morning oatmeal combination (seen in today’s post). The fact that it is loaded with pro-biotics is an added benefit.

9. Cabo Chips/Tortillas: I could pretty much eat Mexican food every night of the week…. chips + guac… tacos… always my favorite. When we do have a fiesta themed dinner, my go to chips and tortillas come from this line. Their tortillas aren’t cooked when you get them (but cook up quickly) and are so good… I also love making breakfast tacos with them.

10. Yogi Bedtime Tea: When I was pregnant I remember asking my doctor if I could still drink tea. She said in moderation, but to make sure it was organic, since that was the best way to ensure it was safe. It was then that I stumbled across yogi teas, and my most recent love is their bedtime tea. Love the flavor and the relaxation it provides at the end of the day.
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(Capris, Tee, Sports Bra, Shoes, Sweatshirt)

(Tee, Leggings, Sweatshirt)

(Sweatshirt, Leggings)

(Leggings | Thermal)

09.20.2017

Wellness Wednesday || 6 Easy, Healthy, + Delicious Weeknight Meals

When TJ and I got engaged, someone gave us a cookbook that was titled “30 Minute Weeknight Meals.” I thought it was brilliant. Until I attempted a few of the recipes… and realized that they took much longer and had too many ingredients. I think I’ve made one recipe out of the book (still have it though!). All that to say, over the years, I’ve become adept at making meals that are on the quicker side, with ingredients I regularly have in my refrigerator…. because, often I don’t know what we want for dinner until the afternoon. So, today, I put together some of our favorite easy, tasty, and nutritious weeknight dinners (based on this grocery list– which needs some modifying for the soup)… you can make these for one person or they are easily multiplied for a larger family. And while I’m not making any of these this week due to vacation, they will all likely be on heavy rotation next week when it’s back to clean eating!

Monday Night: Salmon Bowls

Ingredients:
Salmon filets (6oz sizes)
Lentils (I prefer Trader Joe’s)
Arugula
Asparagus
Tomatoes (plum)
Arugula
Lemon
Dill
Salt
Dressing

Directions: 

Marinate the salmon in lemon juice, salt, + dill, add a handful of tomatoes to the grill pan. Prep the asparagus with some avocado oil spray, garlic powder, and salt. Grill both. Prep the lentils. In a bowl combine 2 cups of arugula and some dressing (you don’t need much at all, probably less than a tsbp). Top with asparagus, roasted tomatoes, 1/2 cup lentils, and salmon.

Tuesday Night: Taco Night 

We love these salsa verde tacos (featured above). An easy “set-it + forget it” option for the middle of the week. You will likely have leftovers, which makes lunch the next day pretty easy!

Wednesday Night: Breakfast Tacos 

Ingredients:
Cabo Chips Corn Tortillas (So.Good. Found at Sprouts)
5 Eggs, 1 Cup Egg Whites
Guacamole
Mango Salsa (or a fruit based salsa)
Salsa Verde
Micro Greens
Black Beans (can)
Bell Peppers (chopped)
Onions (chopped)
Meat Option: Bacon (prefer this one) cut into small pieces

Directions: Make guacamole. Scramble eggs to your liking. Sauté peppers + onions. Cook the tortillas. Place a dollop of guac on your tortilla. Add eggs. Top with salsa, micro greens, black beans, bell peppers/onions, and bacon (if you choose). I ate two tacos, and also had some more eggs on the side with salsa and guac.

Thursday Night: Healthy Fried Rice

Another favorite in our house is this healthy fried rice recipe. I love that you can top it with any protein. Last Sunday evening we marinated some skirt steak for about 6 hours in pepper, salt, + soy sauce and cooked that with some bell peppers. We added this friend rice to the meal and it was so tasty.

Friday Night: Protein Burgers 

Ingredients: 
1lb ground beef (we prefer Bison, or Trader Joe’s has a great organic, grass fed option)
Butter Lettuce Cups (Trader Joes + Sprouts)
Red Onion
Tomato
Mustard 
Ketchup
Pickles
Sweet Potato Fries (it’s Friday!)

Directions: Cook the fries accordingly. Assemble the hamburger patties. We grilled ours, along with the red onions, on the BBQ.  Wash butter lettuce leaves, slice tomato and pickles. Assemble burger to your liking.

Saturday Night: Order Out

We always like to give ourselves a break and order out on the weekends…..

Sunday Night: Lentil Soup

This is my all time favorite lentil soup recipe (that I shared 3 ago…. I apologized for the poor quality….). I love making it on a Sunday evening because we always have leftovers and it’s often better the day after. Plus, with the temperatures cooling down, and football on Sunday evenings, it’s the quintessential fall meal!

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  (Leggings | Pullover | Cap)

(Leggings | Tee)