Good evening, friends!
I thought I’d pop in and share this salad dressing recipe that I am LOVING lately.
Drinkable Shallot Vinaigrette
- 1 Shallot, diced
- 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Honey (local if possible!)
- 1/2 teaspoon Real Sea Salt and Black Pepper (feel free to eyeball)
It is super easy to whip up in a mason jar and throw in the fridge for when it’s time to make a salad. It will last there for a week, by the way, unless you decide to drink it, which I have strongly considered.
Give it a try. I know you’ll love it!
PS -> By adding olive oil or other healthy fats to a salad we can get more out of the leafy greens nutritionally as fats are said to aid in nutrient absorption. In addition, apple cider vinegar (which seems to have countless magical properties) can stimulate hydrochloric acid in the stomach, improving digestion.
I’ve just returned from a nice long vacation in my beautiful home state of Massachusetts.
During this time I spent a lot of time with my mom and, not surprisingly, did a lot of processing and re-evaluating.
Now that I am back in Santa Monica I feel restored and ready to jump back into my routine with a refreshed attitude and perhaps leaving some old, somewhat destructive habits behind.
One being my coffee obsession.
Before I explain further I feel the need to admit that I am sipping a hot cup of black coffee as we speak and I’m LOVING it. And that’s the problem, really, that I can’t go a DAY without my morning cup of coffee. And sometimes one in the afternoon.
It’s not that I drink too much it’s that I feel I can’t live without it, which to me says addiction. This addiction is certainly common in my family, and can be traced back to my grandmother who would live on nothing but coffee and hot cocoa if she could.
Coffee is not necessarily bad for us (although I do think it’s important to acknowledge its negative qualities), but I find it interesting to look into our habits around certain foods/substances and identify if they have this manic quality to them. For instance, when we have a strong negative reaction to the thought of certain food or drink (like when the thought of it really grosses us out) we naturally view that as a sign not to consume it. Similarly, a strong positive reaction could also be a red flag. Sometimes the foods that give us the biggest “lift” are the most addictive and ultimately destructive to our health.
By simply identifying my dependance on coffee it then occurred to me that it might be the route of several issues I’ve been trying to fix in my ongoing pursuit of mental and physical health. I conceded that although I experience a euphoric “honeymoon stage” within the first half our of drinking it, I subsequently suffer on many levels throughout the rest of the day.
-> Coffee is hard on the digestive system, it exacerbates anxiety, is very acid forming in the body and is taxing to our adrenals. By drinking too much of it we can become more fatigued, moody and achy, among other things.
The last time I quit coffee I discovered some great replacements:
- Green Tea (is stimulating but also has a calming effect on the body)
- Black Tea and Yerba Mate (both are strong and mix well whatever you would normally add to your coffee)
- Dandelion Tea (is not caffeinated but tastes similar to coffee and is amazing for your health)
So after this cup of coffee, with which I am no longer in the honeymoon stage, I vow to drink green or black tea instead. At least Monday through Friday ;) Wish me luck!
Now ask yourself, is there any food or drink you feel you can’t go a day without?
Lately I have struggled with the ability to trust my own process. While many things in my life are essentially too good to be true, I can’t shake the feeling that I should be doing more. The list of “should’s” seems to be endless: I should work harder, I should make more money, I should eat better, exercise more and lose weight. I should write more music. I should keep up with this blog. I should be a better person all around. This kind of thinking takes it’s toll. It feels wrong, obnoxious really, and despite having so much to be thankful for I find myself feeling dejected.
I’m realizing that this is a matter of thinking my life is “off schedule” when really I need to be comfortable with the fact that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.
There is certainly something to be said about having goals, showing up and working hard. But I think we sometimes neglect to balance that out by accepting ourselves and our circumstances, just as they are, in this very moment.
This is something I’m slowly learning to do. I’m learning to be patient with my process.
Just remember that, in any area of life, important changes can be subtle. With each moment, each experience and each decision we are constantly growing and evolving. Entertain the idea that these changes are always for the better, and that right here, right now you are exactly where you belong.
Beautiful walk home with goodies from the Santa Monica Farmers Market. #greens #veggies #berries #grassfed
Asian stir fry w/ millet, tempeh, mushrooms, scallions and asparagus. Sautéed in toasted sesame oil and seasoned with ginger, garlic and tamari. Yummm!! #vegan #comfortfood
I’d like to share some things I’ve been loving lately. If you’ve wondered why I have been MIA, this might give you some insight :)
Yoga Teacher Training
I am in my first 200 Yoga Teacher Training program at a lovely studio in Culver City, CA called Goda Yoga. I could not be happier to be a part of this program and am finding it to be transformative both physically and emotionally.
Ted’s enjoying it too…
Iced Yerba Mate
I bought one of these randomly at Rite Aid one day when I needed some energy before work. I never thought I’d be so into it! I find that every time I drink one I feel energetic, happy and never wired. Worth the 9 grams of sugar in my opinion.
It also comes in a nice glass bottle which I keep to later use for smoothies or coffee on the go.
Tracking my steps
I used to track my steps with a cheap pedometer when I lived in Boston, and when my boyfriend gave me a FitBit for Christmas I got back into it. I have to say that this has been revolutionary for my fitness philosophy.
An “active” person walks 10,000 steps a day. You could spend a sweaty hour at the gym 7 days a week and still be considered sedentary! I guarantee that relying solely on this 1 hour in the gym will make your heath and fitness goals that much harder to achieve. Think about the gym or yoga studio as a place to improve your movement, and then continue to be active throughout the rest of the day. It doesn’t have to -and shouldn’t be- overly vigorous. Just walk more and you’ll be healthier and fitter.
Get yourself some sort of pedometer and see how many steps you take naturally the first day you use it. Then try to add 500 steps the next day. Work your way up to 10,000 or more and see what a difference this makes!
Raw Chocolate Granola
If you’re anything like me the word “granola” sends you running for the hills. It’s impossible to digest. Not this stuff. It is delicious, satisfying and easy on the tummy.
Arnica Gel for Sore Muscles
Proven to be magical for both me and my clients. Slather some on the sore areas after a hot bath of Epsom Salts and Mustard Bath. Do it now and thank me later!
This comes from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a text I, and most yoga students, am reading.
2.33 - VITARKA BADHANE PRATIPAKSA BHAVANAM
"When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana".
Here Patanjali has given us a very practical way to start changing the way we think.
Next time you have a negative thought try replacing it with a positive one. You can do this by simply thinking the positive thought, even if it isn’t true, or by distracting yourself with something you love. If your friend is annoying you, tell yourself the things you appreciate about them. Or if you are feeling angry about something, cuddle one of your pets.
Practice Pratipaksha Bhavana for a day and notice how you feel.
All my best! XOXO
Holaaaaa! Hope you had a nice weekend!
I spent the early part of the weekend nursing a bit of a cold and quickly transitioned straight into some Saturday shananagans. Today started early with my lovely client and then a much needed workout that consisted of:
-Foam Rolling the Calves, Quads, TFL, Adductors and Lats. (a MUST for me)
-A little bit of Core and Balance training involving planks and single leg squats
-Finally, a fun little circuit my coworker and I chose on the spot:
- 12 Deadlifts
- 12 Static Single Leg Deadlift w/ Rows (6 rows/side)
- 20 Split Squats (alternating legs)
- Repeat 2-4 more times!
That’s 60 deadlifts for me today :)
I realize that despite being a personal trainer I never post my workouts. It feels great to share this part of my life with you as it is something that I love and I strongly believe in. The reason I don’t regularly share, however, is because I feel uncomfortable not knowing who said workouts are going to reach. If something works for me at any given time it is because of my current mobility, stability, static/dynamic posture, sleep, stress level, hydration, etc. Since we live in a world that tends to work against all these things, it is common for us to merely FEED our imbalances when working out causing injuries and poor results.
Exercise should make us feel amazing. It should make everything in our lives outside the gym easier. It is THAT powerful but ONLY when we have the proper program. I didn’t learn this until I started to learn more about training.
A good personal trainer is not only there for support and motivation but to make educated decisions that you, for whatever reason it being emotional, intellectual or both, cannot make for yourself. For this reason I have not yet felt comfortable posting workouts all the time because I couldn’t let go of the idea that it is impossible for me to post a workout that is good for EVERYONE.
Before I got into the field I used to love reading about other bloggers’ workouts and using them as inspiration for my own. A major reason I originally chose to become a certified pt, in fact, was to back up the information I post on this blog and to provide fun and effective workouts. I am now realizing that while I wasn’t always getting the best information it was the beginning of my learning process and kept me excited about going to the gym (I can be very lazy).
With that in mind I feel compelled to post more workouts with the hope that my readers can be mindful and always honor their bodies when trying new things. (And always check with a doctor before making any fitness changes).
**End rant :)
On the agenda for tonight is a little Dry Brushing (so good for the skin as it improves circulation and is detoxifying), a hot bath, a cold shower, some tea and some reading.
PS I HIGHLY recommend the New Rules of Lifting books if you’d like to learn more about training on your own.
Good morning! It’s 5:45am and I’m feeeeeeelin’ good!
I happened to wake up super early this morning and although I didn’t have to be up for a few more hours I decided just to go with it and get some work done before sun rise.
And by work I mean…
Coffee drinking (today called for hot coffee so I made some Healthy Bean Coffee in a french press and drank it out of my Friends mug)
(I never said I was cool)
Photo shoot with the kit kat
(Ted could hardly sit still with excitement over my being up so early)
Slow cooker oatmeal prep - today I threw in a simple mixture of rolled oats/almond milk/cinnamon/stevia/raisins. A few days ago, however I created this lovely concoction that was healthy AND tasted like pumpkin pie, no less.
Pumpkin Pie Rolled Oats (makes 4 servings):
- 1 C Gluten Free Rolled Oats (it is important to make sure they are certified GF if you are allergic/intolerant to gluten)
- 1 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/4 C Canned Organic Pumpkin
- 1 Apple, diced
- 1/4 C Raisins
- 1 t Vanilla Extract
- Cinnamon/Pumpkin Spice/Powdered Stevia to taste
- **throw all ingredients in a crockpot on low for up to 6hrs or cook oatmeal on stove as directed and throw in additional ingredients towards the end.
This is a lovely recipe to make in bulk at the beginning of the week and heat up for breakfast/a mid morning snack.
I get excited this time of year when Trader Joe’s starts coming out with their $1.99 cans of organic pumpkin. It is so incredibly convenient and useful.
Pumpkin has many health benefits and is known to be:
- A great source of fiber
- High in potassium -> great after a heavy workout
- Anti Inflammatory
- High in the antioxidant beta carotene, which is good for the immune system, protection against free radicals, lowers the risk of cancer/heart disease and is wonderful for the skin.
A few more recipes for all my current and future pumpkin heads out there:
-Paleo Pumpkin Bread
-Pumpkin Carrot Soup
-Throw it in a smoothie! You betta believe I will be.
The sun is rising and so I’m off for a run. Oatmeal has been cooking for almost 3 hrs now, the whole house smells like cinnamon buns and life is good!! Have a wonderful day. Xoxo.
Hello, hello! Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve had a lovely week and a wonderful weekend!
About a week ago I welcomed an exciting new addition to my kitchen.
The crock pot!
Despite being an absolute kitchen appliance JUNKIE I surprisingly never felt the need for a slow cooker until I started spending more time at work. I found that my routine of preparing smoothies, oatmeal and lunch salads in advance was working for me and yet something was missing. I would eat well all day because I looked forward to my meals and would then arrive home for dinner feeling unmotivated, uninspired. Enter: weird meals and lots of snacking! I’m sure one can relate.
Finally the stars aligned and I had an epiphany - there was a crock pot sized hole in my heart and it was time to fill that void.
After picking up an original 3.5 quart Crock Pot I spent the week experimenting with how utterly lazy I could be and still have a good outcome. The whole reason we buy a slow cooker is for the convenience, after all.
I successfully made (on a few occasions):
- Chicken and vegetables (delicious fall apart chicken with a mixture of every fresh and frozen veg I had in my kitchen basically)
I unsuccessfully made:
- Frozen mahi mahi with coconut oil & cajun seasoning (it overcooked and generally weirded me out)
- "Lemon Berry Muffin Steel Cut Oats": This one was a bummer as I expected a masterpiece and ended up with average oats topped with a cement colored crust.
Currently I’m brewing a pot full of of lentils, sweet potatoes, onions, leeks, carrots, celery, peas, broth, seasoning, tamari & black pepper and hope to use this as a protein topping for this week’s lunch salads. Fingers are crossed!!
I look forward to experimenting more with my crock pot (I know, I might as well get a room with the freaking crock pot), and will surely post more successful recipes. For now, however, the slow cooker talk ends **HERE**.
I’ll leave you with this delicious smoothie recipe that I’ve been loving lately.
Morning Mocha Monsta (<- said in a Mass accent)
- 1/4 C Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
- 1/2 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/2 C Water
- 1 Scoop Vanilla Sunwarrior.
- 1 Sm Banana
- Sm Handful of Cacao Nibs
- As much Baby Spinach as your little heart desires
This one will have you buzzing off to work, or whatever it is you do with your time.
Enjoy your evening! Xoxo