Friday Favorites: Food, Fitness & Fun

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Good afternoon ladies! I haven’t done one of my Friday Favorites posts in a while, so I figured I’d get back into the groove today. Here’s what I’ve been crushing on this week…

  1. Cat Stevens albums, particularly this song. I used to listen to his music when I was younger and it somehow reminds me to be calm, strong, confident and inspired
  2. The $50 voucher to Basho Japanese Brasserie that my boyfriend bought me from LivingSocial. They definitely serve up the top three Spicy Tuna Maki rolls I’ve ever tasted.
  3. The new FitFluential #proof tanks. Once you sweat, the back reads “#proof” and well it’s an extra excuse to get extra sweaty during workouts!
  4. My super refreshing, delicious homemade summer tabouli. It was so good that I’m actually making it again for a summer BBQ this weekend.
  5. Sticks & Twigs from Mary’s Gone Crackers. These little gluten free, whole grain pretzels are to die for, and contain good-for-you whole grains like brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, and millet.
  6. Grilled turkey burgers with sauteed mushrooms & onions, topped with melted fresh mozzarella.
  7. Running! Yes, I am running again in training for the Newport Half Marathon this October. And let me just say, it feels gooood.
  8. Snail mail from a good friend. Nothing makes me smile more than a letter in the mail!
  9. Shutting down. Yes that means no TV, phone, or computer within the hour before bed. Try it sometime…
  10. These handmade little hair ties from local Boston company, Stanz & Co. Stay tuned, there will be a giveaway on my blog in the near future!
  11. Hummus wraps for lunch. Hummus + leafy greens + olive oil + cucumber + salt & pepper + feta + whole grain pita.

What’s at the top of your list this week? HAPPY Friday!

Friday Favorites: Kombucha, Sweat & Love Letters

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Happy Friday loves! Hope your weekend is off to a good start so far. Today I took myself on an amazing date to Whole Foods, where I stayed for a good portion of the afternoon. I had a lot of work to get done today, and most of it I could do without the internet, so I decided to unplug from my Mac for a solid 4+ hours. However, I did bring an old-fashioned notebook and my IIN iPod in order to catch up on my latest lectures for nutrition school.

I loved everything I learned about today, from the pros, cons, and logistics of soy products to lessons of healthy eating from cultures years ago, like eating REAL, RAW butter and cheese and consuming all natural meat and fish products (fat and all) for nutrient optimization.

It definitely helped that I was listening to my lectures while eating a delicious, wholesome meal from the Whole Foods’ salad bar. My plate included lentils, spicy chickpeas, raw pumpkin seeds, salmon salad, roasted mushrooms, quinoa and feta among some other samplers. I absolutely love the different variations you can make at Whole Foods, and if I could I would go there every day if the budget allowed. How cool would it be to have a buffet like that in your own apartment? Hey, a girl can dream…

Anyway, since today’s Friday, here’s what made the cut for this week’s Friday Favorites:

1. Kombucha Tea

I used to drink this stuff in college because it was “low calorie” and I was scared of calories/fat/carbs/everything at the time. I hated the taste back then, but would down it anyway. Now that I know of the extreme health benefits of Kombucha, such as better digestion and immune support, I’ve been trying to add it back into my diet lately. I enjoyed some today with lunch and found myself to have great energy and concentration, without an ounce of coffee all day! Even better, I actually really enjoy the flavor now and find it to be super refreshing. I decided to go with one of GT’s newer flavors: Botanic No. 3 with hints of lavender and elderberry.

2. Sweating it Out

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I have to admit; I’ve been totally slacking when it comes to cardio lately. My busy schedule mixed with core fusion classes mixed with walking all around the city has prompted me to put cardio on the back burner. However, yesterday night after an extremely stressful day I decided to go for a good, old-fashioned run on the treadmill. Who knew how exhilarating  just 30 minutes of sweating could be?  I loved the the energy burst I got, the clarity I found, and how amazing it made me feel over all. I’m definitely going to be incorporating some more cardio into my daily lifestyle again. Not too much, but enough. It’s just  running & I work very well together. I’m also thinking about registering for another half marathon coming up if my iffy knees allow for it. I will certainly keep you posted!

3. Love Letters

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The whole Valentine’s Day thing got me thinking about love letters, and how you simply don’t see enough of ’em this day and age. As I expressed on my blog before, words mean more to me than any gift could ever mean and the card The Boy made me for Valentine’s Day was my favorite part. If I got a love letter sent to me every day, I would be the happiest girl on earth. OK, maybe not every day but you know what I mean. And it doesn’t even have to be from your significant other. It could be a love letter to your best friend, a love letter to yourself, or a handwritten “I love You” note on a napkin for your roommate who’s having a bad week at work. I wrote one for The Boy yesterday ’cause he’s been having a tough week, and it made me feel good knowing it’d make him feel good. Go ahead, write it out. It feels pretty good, now doesn’t it?

Xoxo,

Friday Favorites & Holy Headaches

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How can you not love these adorable, little jars?

While I’ve been loving how juicing has been making me feel inside and out, I’m really not loving the headaches that I’ve been getting. I’m pretty sure it’s due to the fact that I’ve been cutting back on coffee lately, or not even drinking it at all some days. After a bright green, clean, delicious juice it just seems strange to jump to a black coffee. Those flavors don’t really mesh too well, ya know?

Plus the juicing has so many wonderful nutrients and essential vitamins in it, and the coffee not to much. I strongly approve of drinking a cup or two of coffee a day for yourself and for the health benefits (hey, my great-grandma lived to be 99 drinking coffee daily) but I’ll have to find a way to balance my coffee addiction with my juicing obsession.

Anyway, it’s Friday so you’ve got it, it’s time for Friday Favorites. I’ve been slacking lately on this weekly post, but I really want to strive to bring it back.

Here goes:

Hurraw!: My boyfriend bought me a three-pack of this all-natural, vegan lip balm for Christmas and I’ve been lovin’ it. It’s made with raw, fair trade ingredients with no sketchy additives, yet still tastes and smells delish (a necessity in my book). My favorite so far has been Almond, but I also have it in Chocolate and Black Cherry. Hurraw! comes in a variety of flavors, from Green Tea to Grapefruit! I love how smooth the balm goes on, without leaving any residue. Makes your lips look & taste ultra yummy.

Mason Jars: I can’t get enough of these simple, yet sophisticated jars lately. I loved the lentil soup mix my cousin made me for Christmas beautifully wrapped in a Mason Jar, they’re perfect for storing nuts, flour or candy, and I’ve even been drinking my juices from them. They’re eco-friendly, pretty and super easy to wash. A household must! As I continue to learn about holistic health through Integrative Nutrition, I’m planning on possibly selling some items as well. Hint: Mason Jars will be involved…stay tuned.

Collard Greens: We were given a huge bunch of collard greens in our last Boston Organics box, and I’ve been having lots of fun with them. Collard greens are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants, cholesterol-reducing enzymes and offer a number of other health benefits. I’ve been enjoying adding them into my juices for an extra green kick, steaming them to eat alongside lean chicken or fish, and even sautéing them as I did last night with garlic and olive oil. They are also a great additive to vegetable or lentil soups!

What’s something you can’t get enough of this week?

XoXo,

I’m Back & Friday Favorites

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[source] Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting this weekend!

Hey ladies! Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. all week, but I guess I’ve been in vacation mode ever since our New Hampshire getaway. But now I’m back in action, just in time for Friday Favorites. Here’s what I’m obsessing over this week:

  • Surfing the internet for tasty Thanksgiving recipes to impress the fam. I have to make a comeback after I made the worst gluten free red velvet cupcakes last year. I guess some things are meant to be left alone, or maybe it’s just my poor baking skills.
  • 27th Annual Faneuil Hall tree lighting ceremony this Saturday. I will totally  be attending, and so will Santa!
  • Cupcake-flavored lip gloss
  • Red pea-coats
  • Dad’s homemade turkey chili with turkey & sausage meatballs
  • Snuggling by the fireside with a glass of red
  • Cleansing – This week, I am cutting out all processed foods, corn, gluten, sweets, cheese, etc. (Pretty much anything that comes in a box or a bag)
  • This song (Seriously obsessed)
  • All of the gorgeous holiday recipes lately on Jessica’s blog over at How Sweet It Is like these Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting.
  • Good, ol’ fashioned holiday cheer
  • Indoor workout DVDs. Hey, it’s too cold to go outside!
  • My recipe for homemade Sage & Parmesan risotto, the perfect fall dish.

What are your favorites of the week?

XoXo,

Friday Favorites & New Hampshire Getaway

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Good morning everyone, and happy Friday. I am one very happy girl indeed, ’cause after I get out of work tomorrow afternoon I’m heading up to my family’s condo in New Hampshire to spend the weekend with The Boy and The Fam. We’ll be doing the usual, like eating Dad’s homemade chili, going for a brisk fall hike, and sitting by the fireplace with a glass of wine and some cheese. And the not so usual, like CELEBRATING MY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY with The Boy.

Yup, he and I will be staying until Wednesday to celebrate our one year of being together. We’ve already planned some fun activities like getting hot stone massages, going on a foliage stroll (if there is any left), and simply enjoying each other’s company. I couldn’t be more happy to have met someone like him, and can’t wait to cheers to the big ONE.

Anyway, it’s Friday so it’s time to share some of my favorites of the week. Here goes:

  • Long sweater/ leggings combo
  • Apple pie, pumpkin pie, or any pie-scented candle
  • Fuzzy, bright-colored socks
  • Making a healthy take on kid food & calling it comfort food
  • Sleeping in on the weekends
  • Going to bed early a.k.a. before 9. It’s oh so refreshing
  • Sculpting my butt via core fusion
  • Christmas music in stores. At first I was annoyed, now it’s making me feel all warm & fuzzy inside
  • Zoup’s soup & salad combo
  • Homemade healthy turkey chili
  • Outdoor runs at sunset on The Charles
  • Bein’ in love
  • Post-it notes just sayin “hi” or “have a good day” from the sis
  • Unsweetened almond milk – great in cereal, oatmeal, coffee, & recipes
  • Being totally OK about sharing a plate of fried calamari, shrimp, ‘n’ scallops over martinis with a friend. Totes worth it

What are your favorites this week?

XoXo,


So So Sore & Friday Favorites

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who knew 2 TB of these bad boys can aid with digestion, control cholesterol levels & give you a dose of heart-healthy Omega 3s?

Good afternoon ladies! Hope you’re all having a fabulous Friday, and are ready to embrace the weekend. I’m doing great, other than the fact that my body is extremely sore from the Core Fusion class I took last night. It’s a good pain however, you know the kind you get when you know you pushed yourself a little farther and really challenged your body. I did have to skip my morning long run this morning however, but I’m OK with it as I knew it was right for my body and didn’t want to force myself or risk getting injured.

Anyway, it’s Friday and you know what that means: time for Friday Favorites! Here’s what’s on my top list this week.

Flaxseed: I bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal the other day, and have been obsessing over it ever since. I’ve always been a fan of flax and know it works wonders for your diet, but I’ve been slacking on this miracle-worker lately. Did you know that just 2 TB of flaxseed meal has a whopping 2400 mg of Omega 3s? It’s also high in fiber, great for digestion, and works wonders for controlling cholesterol levels, lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). In my mind, this should be a staple in every Healthy Chick’s kitchen.

Core Fusion Open: I know, I know, I just complained of how sore I was from the class earlier, but I did mention it was a good sore. This past month, I’ve been avoiding Core Fusion Open (the traditional Core Fusion class) like the plague for that very reason: it’s a killer workout. Instead, I’ve been playing it safe with yoga, Core Fusion Cardio and running. But Open is where it’s at if you want to see real results aka that dream booty by Thanksgiving. Hence, I shall embrace the class with open arms.

Love: Love yourself. Love your body. Tell that special someone you love him/her. Send a love letter to someone you deeply care about. Learn to love that little freckle on your nose you used to despise. Share your love with a surprise cappuccino for a dear friend. Life is too short not to love.

My Fall Boots: I took them out of the deep, dark hole that was my closet the other day, and an instant warm & fuzzy feeling came over me. Fall is back. That means fall boots, long sweaters, and leggings. I am in heaven.…

Friday Favorites: Menage a Trois, PranaVayu Yoga & More

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Happy Friday ladies! I’m one happy girl, as this will be the completion of one week living in the North End of Boston. So far, so good. I really don’t think living could get any better… Anyway, it’s Friday and you know what that means; time for Friday favorites. Here’s what made the cut this week:

1. menage a trois: No, not a threesome, silly! Rather, a blend of three red wine varieties. This week, I chose a California Menage a Trois blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and red Zinfandel. It was fabulous, and made for the perfect pairing with my homemade gluten free pizza.

2. The Charles: Living in Boston the past 2+ years, I’ve realized I don’t take enough advantage of what the city has to offer. Take the Charles River for example. While I’ve gone on a few runs/walks/journeys to the river in the past, I never made it part of my regular routine. Now that I live closer to everything, I’m starting weekly runs on The Charles in preparation for the Newport Half Marathon. This morning, I went for a long, slow 8 mile run along the river and it couldn’t have been more beautiful. And to think, I was actually working out. Who woulda thought?

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3. PranaVayu Yoga: This week, I took my very first PranaVayu yoga class with David Magone at Exhale Spa Battery Wharf. I’ve never been so in tune with my mind, body and spirit. David’s voice had this way of making you let go of everything, and simply flow through the movements. I highly recommend this style of yoga for anyone looking to find inner piece, while challenging their body in new ways.

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4. done out in deco: I discovered this OPI color in my sister’s nail polish bag the other night, and decided to give it a go. I immediately fell in love with the color, especially the hints of lavender. It’s a great way to hold onto summer a little longer, while embracing fall at the same time.

What are your favorites this week?

XoXo,


Friday Favorites: Picnics, Puffs & Pretty Beach Hair

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Beach hair may just be the way to go in this sultry weather…

Happy Friday chickies! Hope you’re all getting pumped for the weekend, and staying as cool as possible. I saw on the news yesterday that there are little things we can do to keep our sweaty & muggy abodes cooler (and conserve energy) like closing the blinds, putting up blankets to cover  large windows, and keeping the thermostat around 70, 71. Hey, it can’t hurt. But something tells me in this kind of heat there’s little we can do to really make a difference other than jacking up the AC. What do all of you do to stay cool in this brutal weather?

Anyway, it’s Friday so let’s get to it with this week’s Friday Favorites:

1. Picnic in the Park: The other day my best friend and I packed up a lunch and headed over to the Boston Common for a picnic in the park. I packed a large salad composed of spinach, mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, fresh mozzarella, tuna, red wine vinegar and olive oil. It was so nice to catch up with my friend, gossip, and people-watch the afternoon away.

2. White Cheddar Corn Puffs: Have you ever had Pirate’s Booty, you know the cheesy, delicious popcorn bites? Well I’ve found something that comes pretty darn close: Trader Joe’s White Cheddar Corn Puffs. I bought a bag the other day and have become completely obsessed. They are light, cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth puffs, making them the perfect snack for any time of day. At only 140 calories and 5 grams of fat for a 2.5 cup serving, this is one guilt-free snack not to miss!

3. Beach Hair: Usually I straighten the sh*t out of my hair every day, but lately I’ve been going for the au naturale look, a wavy “beach hair” look if you will. At times, it can turn into a knotty, wavy nest but with a little leave-in conditioner and the right touch, it’s been coming out pretty decent if I do say so myself. Lately I’ve been loving It’s a 10 Miracle Leave in Conditioner, a product my mom suggested I try from her salon.

I just find straightening my hair to death so pointless in this humidity, as it only takes 10 minutes before the frizzies start to breed. What can I say; I just wasn’t blessed with naturally beautiful hair and I envy those girls that can pull it off! How do you do it?

What have you been loving this week? How are you staying cool in this sultry weather?

Friday Favorites: Beach Walk, Blueberry Waffles, Boating and Everything in Between

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Who doesn’t love a walk on the beach?

Good morning ladies! Hope you all had a fabulous week, and have an even more fabulous weekend. If you recall last week I mentioned I was feeling under the weather. Good news is I’m feeling a little better, bad news is I’m still not back to my 100% self. I guess only time, hydration and lots of tea will heal me! I’m just happy I have my voice back; I can’t imagine what is was like to be Ariel in the Little Mermaid. Girl must of had it rough. OK, it’s Friday and that means it’s time for Friday Favorites. Here’s what I’ve been hootin’ and hollerin’ about this week!

Beach Walk: No, not actually walking on the beach (though that’s fun too), but rather the Yankee Candle scent. I know candles are typically a wintery thing, but I just couldn’t resist the fabulous sale Yankee Candle was having the other day at the mall- just $8 scored me a large, 22 oz. candle. And I must say, I am 100% happy with my purchase. Notes of salt water, ocean, tangerine and orange blossom make any day a sunny day at the beach. If your local Yankee Candle isn’t hosting a fab sale and you’re willing to pay a few extra bucks, you can purchase your own Beach Walk Jar Candle on Amazon here.

Blueberry Waffles: Usually I’m a fan of preparing my own meals from scratch, though I wasn’t always that way. I guess I just like the control and reassurance of knowing what exactly is going into my food. However, this week I’ve gotten a little lazy and bought myself some Van’s Gluten Free Blueberry Waffles. Made with whole grain brown rice and sweetened with fruit juice, these waffles have the perfect flavor and crispiness, and you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating them. I love that there aren’t a million ingredients in them, making them a good choice when you’re not in the mood for cooking yourself. Pair ’em with fresh berries, Chobani yogurt, or simply eat as is.

Boating: I’ve been down in Connecticut for the past few days at my parent’s house (the house I grew up in) on the lake. Living in Boston, it’s hard to get away and escape to nature, serenity and country life. So I’ve been trying to take advantage of all I have here in my teeny tiny home in CT. You bet boating has been #1 on my list! Since I’m still getting over a cold, I’ve been lacking in the exercise realm lately. So the other day I decided to take the Kayak out for a stroll on the lake. It was a beautiful day and I had a blast, and the best part? My arms got a killer workout too!

What made your top 3 this week?

XoXo,

Friday Favorites: 3 Must-Haves After My Island Adventure

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Can you believe it’s already Friday? I can’t! This week sort of flew by like a hurricane for me…a very blurry hurricane. Ever since I’ve been back from my Fourth of July camping adventure, I’ve unfortunately been sick as a dog. I feel sore, lethargic, and have a killer sore throat. But I’m trying to stay as positive as I can despite my situation. There’s nothing a little R & R, Vitamin C and hydration can’t fix, after all! I’m hoping to be back to my normal self soon enough.

Anyway, it’s Friday and you know what that means…it’s time for my weekly Friday Favorites! Here’s what I’m obsessing over this week:

Slow Flow Yoga: The other day, I was feeling a little down so I decided to use my complimentary week pass to Healthworks and get down with some Slow Flow Yoga. First off, Healthworks was absolutely beautiful. It was my first time attending the fitness center for women, and I was so impressed by the sparkling clean interior, outstanding customer service non-crowded space.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the Slow Flow Yoga class, which was a mix between a meditative practice and a slow flow of yoga postures. Afterward, I felt refreshed, rejuvenated and much more positive than I was when I went into the class. The guest instructor had the most soothing voice too; it didn’t hurt that he had an English accent!

Civilization: As much as I loved “roughing it” and unplugging for the long weekend, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss civilization just a tad. There are just so many things I take advantage of, like the comfort of my own bed, to-die-for Spicy Tuna Maki from my favorite sushi joint, and clean underwear. It’s kinda nice to be back to good ol’ civilization after all, especially when I’m feeling under the weather.

TomCat: This guy was one of the rangers on our camping trip to Bumpkin Island. His name was “TomCat.” He walked around 24/7 with a full Dunkin’ Donuts cup and a comb in his pocket. Enough said. He was such a character, and quite the legend if I do say so myself. I don’t think the Bumkin trip would have been the same without him.

What are you lovin’ this week? Have a lovely weekend, and to all my fellow Bostonians: stay dry & don’t forget your umbrella!

XoXo,

 
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