Have a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving is Just Around the Corner…

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but let’s be honest: I’ve been thinking about it since early October, and I’m already thinking about Christmas. Hey, it’s the malls fault for being all decorated and pretty with lights and Christmas trees. But when it’s all said and done, Thanksgiving is and always has been my absolute favorite holiday. The delicious smells, the wonderful feeling of family and the fact that I go into a turkey coma every year (no matter how much I tell myself to slow down) is all part of the joy of Thanksgiving. 

But even though I almost always have to unbutton my pants come dessert, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t try to keep my Thanksgiving just a bit healthier. After all, I’m not trying to gain 10 pounds in one sitting and feel like absolute crap the next day. That would be doing my body no good. So this year in particular, I’m working on adding a little extra healthy oomph to my favorite holiday, and that I will share with you…

#1 I’m running my first ever Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day: I’ll be running the 5-mile Manchester Road Race, Read More!

Sweetie Pie “Spaghetti” & Meatballs

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           What? That’s NOT spaghetti??!

 

This healthy dish is a wonderful substitute for your traditional spaghetti ‘n’ meatballs. Eat one of the all-time favorite comfort foods with absolutely no guilt at all. Serve with a side salad or small piece of homemade garlic bread! Trust me: it’s so darn good that your guests won’t even know it’s not real spaghetti. Note: this recipe is GF- gluten free AND guilt free! 

 

*serves 4

For squash:

-1 spaghetti squash

-2 TB extra virgin olive oil

-1 tsp. cinnamon

-1 TB ground pepper

-1 TB red pepper flakes

-1 TB oregano

-1 TB parsley

For meatballs/sauce:

-1 package lean ground turkey

-1 c. of fresh Marinara sauce

-1 clove garlic, crushed

-1 tsp. salt

-1 TB red pepper flakes

-1/4 c. red onion, chopped into small pieces

-1 tsp. pepper

-1 TB basil 

-Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

 

 

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut squash in half (lengthwise). Scoop out the insides, and set on a large baking sheet. Coat squash with olive oil, along with the dry ingredients “for squash” listed above. Bake for 45 minutes.

 

2. In the meantime, mix ground turkey in a large bowl with 2 TB olive oil, salt, pepper … Read More!

No You Don’t HAVE to go on a diet: Cleaning Your Body and Soul

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The other day, I decided I want to dedicate one day a week to cleansing my body. No, this doesn’t mean I’m going to fast or go on one of those crazy cabbage soup/grapefruit diets. I don’t do diets (anymore). Every day I hear/see/read of young women who “have to go on a diet” and it makes me go crazy. No, you don’t have to go on a diet. Fueling with healthy foods? Yes. Devoting more time to exercising for the mind and the body? Sure. Cutting out carbs and sugary treats once a week? Fine. But saying you have to go on a diet sounds miserable.  

I’ll let you in on a little secret: diets don’t work. Seriously. Sure, you may lose a couple of quick pounds to look slightly better in your too-tight dress…for one night. But wouldn’t you rather live a healthy lifestyle where dieting isn’t a part of it, and you look and feel good all of the time? If you say no to this, then sorry I can’t help you, but if you are nodding your head yes, then stay tuned. 

I used to be one of those girls who “had to go on a … Read More!

Calling All Boston Fit Chicks: A Fabulous Giveaway!

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If you remember Legally Blonde, Elle said “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” While she may have been a tad ditzy, she was absolutely on point with this one! I think we can all attest to the feel-good high we get after a nice, long sweaty workout. If you like being happy (who doesn’t?) and love a good deal (um, hello) then this is the giveaway  for you!

The kind folks at CoupMe are giving away one of four fitness deals for…wait for it…free! 

Choose between these four fab Boston/Cambridge offers: 

* 4 belly dancing classes at Johara Snake Dance Productions in Brookline or Cambridge, MA ($60 value) 

*4 Zumba classes at Shape Up Personal Training in Cambridge, MA ($60 value)

*3 Pole dancing classes at Boston Pole Fitness in Boston, MA ($75 value) 

*3 weeks of boot camp PLUS nutrition plan at Durbrow Fitness Training in Cambridge, MA ($348 value) 

Just leave a comment on my blog (bonus points if you make me laugh) with which fitness deal you’d love to win and why! Also, tweet about the deal to friends on twitter & leave a comment here saying you Read More!

Hidden Benefits of Running: It's More than Burning off that Cake

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I have to admit: up until this year I absolutely hated running, but I did it. I ran to lose weight, to burn off my dinner, and to look good in my bikini. I’d force myself to go on group runs with my roommates, even though every stride was absolutely painful. I hate this. But I have to keep going, I’d think to myself.

It wasn’t until this year that I began to enjoy running. The weekend of my grandmas funeral, I was filled with a bajillion emotions: anger, confusion, pain, rage, and I don’t know what got into me but I laced up my sneakers and hit the road. It was a beautiful spring day in Boston, and the temperature was in the low 70s. While normally I’d want to quit before the first mile, I simply couldn’t stop this day. I ran and I ran and I ran, letting out all my emotions on the road. I ran three miles that day, and never felt so alive.

Ever since then I’ve used running as an outlet, a way to explore and understand myself. I’ve realized running is so much more than looking good in that tight dress and … Read More!

Unplug: Trust, It Won't Kill Ya (in fact it'll keep ya healthy)

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[ew, looks like I need to dust my plugs too!]

I have a confession: I’m utterly, entirely, 100% addicted to my BlackBerry. Actually, addicted may be an understatement. I’m addicted to peanut butter, love, and writing. But that doesn’t mean I’m sitting clenched to a jar of peanut butter all day long, fantasizing about love with a pen in my hand. No, that’s not how it works. But with my BlackBerry it’s a complete different story. I’m literally with it day in and day out that you’d think it’s like my child or something. I’m one of *those girls* who texts someone something sassy (or bold, or daring, or just plain stupid) then puts my phone on silent and checks back every minute to see if I got a response. I’m one of *those girls* who freaks out if I forget my phone at home, like it’s going to be the end of the world and Rachel can simply not go on without it. Really, I left the magical, ever-so-worthy Blackberry at home once and had a pitty party the entire cab ride to the bar. Turns out, no missed calls when I got home anyway! I’m one of *those … Read More!

Don't Be Afraid to Give Advice (Or Take it)!

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When I was younger, I used to take advice (even kind, constructive criticism) extremely bad. I hated when people offered me “lessons,” different perspectives or new ways for me to do things. What was wrong with the way I was doing things? When I was in Elementary School (heck, probably up to when I was in high school), I’d throw fits at my dad for trying to teach me how to play basketball better. Poor guy. Being the high school basketball star he was, he was just trying to throw his daughter a few innocent pointers. Little did he know I’d throw a temper tantrum and scream at him because of it. Yeesh, you’d think I’d at least say “thank you.” After all, I was terrible at basketball. I couldn’t make a lay up and I’d lob the ball full-speed at the backboard. All he was trying to do was help, but I wouldn’t let him. Ever. (sorry Big Guy) Needless to say, I never became star of the basketball team in high school. But maybe I could’ve?

Now, I definitely take advice a little more openly, as we should. Imagine if we all treated people who offered … Read More!

Wicked Easy Rosemary Parmesan Chicken with Veggies

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-2 small to medium boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins 

-1 1/2 TB grated parmesan cheese 

-1 TB dried rosemary 

-2 TB cornflake crumbs

-1 TB lemon juice 

-3 TB extra virgin olive oil (for cooking) 

-1/2 small red onion, chopped

-1/2 c. spinach (fresh or frozen)

-1/2 c. zucchini, chopped 

-2 TB basil, chopped 

1. Coat the chicken breast in the rosemary, cornflake crumbs and parmesan cheese. Cook the chicken on medium heat in olive oil until nice and crispy! Add in fresh lemon juice when the chicken is almost done. 

2. In the meantime, heat another medium sized pan and sauté the zucchini, onions and spinach on medium heat in olive oil. Add in chopped basil, and salt & pepper to taste. 

3. Serve chicken with heaping side of veggies and a side salad : )… Read More!

Healthy Impacts: The Positive Influence on Readers

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[me: happy, healthy, & alive–curves & all]

If you haven’t already heard there has been an uproar of comments/concerns/controversy/anger/discussion over the latest Marie Claire article “The Hunger Diaries.” The article shines the light on how “healthy living” blogs may be putting their readers and themselves in danger, potentially promoting eating disorders, extreme dieting, and over-exercising. While I could go on and on about my take on the article or my opinion of “The Big 6,” that’s not why I’m writing. 

I’m writing because I do agree with one thing the article said: that blogs, including healthy living blogs, do have an influence on their readers. And I think that can be a good thing, in many cases! In fact if it were a bad thing, I’d have no purpose in having this blog or working on a memoir based on my experiences before I started this blog. I write because I strive to have a positive impact on women all over, making them feel wonderful about their bodies, happy for being themselves and enthusiastic about living a healthy lifestyle. 

You see if people took a chance to read blogs like my own (and hundreds of other positive, influential, inspiring women) … Read More!

 
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