Five on Friday {11.17.17}

Hi, friends! Happy Friday 🙂 I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve popped in with a casual post like this. When I looked through my phone and realized I had lots of things to share, I figured today was as good as any day to do that.

On a side note, can you believe Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK?! We are hosting this year, and while I’m SO EXCITED for this, I have to admit – I’m pretty damn nervous about having the responsibility of cooking the turkey. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on how to make sure the turkey comes out nice and – dare I say it – moist?! Thanks in advance!

And now onto my Friday shares 🙂

  • Maple Holistics A while back, Maple Holistics reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in trying any of their products. When I took a look at their website and read about their high standards for products, I decided to give it a try. At a high level, all Maple Holistics products are made in the USA, they are all natural, cruelty free and sulfate free. After perusing their site, I decided to try the Coconut Oil. With the winter months quickly approaching, I figured having a liquid coconut oil on hand would be really beneficial for my dry skin. I love coconut oil for many reasons, but what I don’t love is that unless it’s hot in the house, it lives in solid form. With a bottle of coconut oil in liquid form and with an easy pump dispenser, it makes it so easy to quickly add a little to my dry hands, hair, feet, etc. If you’re interested in trying some out yourself, or any product on their page, I encourage you to go to their free samples page and take advantage of their offer to send you a free sample of a product of your choosing!

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  • Thanksgiving with Whole Foods – Did you know that Whole Foods has everything you need for Thanksgiving? You could literally order your entire meal there, should you wish to do that! A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of going to a Whole Foods event where they showcased all of their holiday meal & entertaining options. It was such a fun event and everything tasted delicious! I also love how friendly all of the Whole Foods employees are 🙂
  • Health Warrior new flavors As a Health Warrior Ambassador, I’m lucky enough to receive random packages from them with new bars to try. The best surprise was when I received a package of their brand new Caramel Sea Salt Chia Bar, which, I promise you, is as good as it sounds! I love that the bars are small, because they make for a perfect pre-workout or teaching snack. I had one of those and a half of a banana before my Monday morning class and it was the perfect amount of fuel.

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  • Fall Fashion – I’m trying to dress a bit more trendy these days, but I’m also trying to do it on a budget, so when I found these awesome distressed jeans at Lucky’s (in D.C.) for $25 I had to get them! I had also wanted some slip on shoes and found these Vans at DSW for I think maybe $40 or $50, which I thought was a good deal. I’m loving the look of the distressed boyfriend jeans and a baggy sweater – it was a great fall outfit!

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  • New “must try” restaurants – Over the past couple of weeks, RM and I have enjoyed some Saturday day-dates in the city. While I love getting all dolled up for date NIGHT, I have to say, day dates are pretty fun… and you get to be home in your comfy clothes nice and early 😉  The first day date we had was at Explorateur on Tremont Street near the public gardens. RM had walked by it earlier and suggested it when we found ourselves looking for a good lunch spot. I loved the open concept where the front of the restaurant was more of a “cafe” feeling where students were studying and ordering from the cafe, but I also loved that the back part of the restaurant was filled with a bar and tables with table service. We saddled up at the bar, per usual, and enjoyed a really delicious lunch consisting of bubbly, beer, French Onion Soup, a mini burger and a Croque Madame. Everything about our trip there was great and we will definitely be going back.

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  • The next place we tried was Kava Neo-Taverna, in the South End, and judging by all the comments I received after I posted a picture of us there, it seems to be a popular among many of you! But, I can see why – everything was incredible! We didn’t get much, but everything we got (baked feta & honey, grilled octopus and braised short ribs) was so flavorful. Plus, the wait staff were all very nice and I loved the bright, white feeling in the restaurant – very Mediterranean feeling!

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And that does it for me! I hope all of you have a great weekend 🙂 We have friendsgiving in Maine tomorrow, which I’m looking forward to, and then i’ll be busy prepping for Thanksgiving!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite pre-workout snack? Have you been to any good new restaurants lately? Do you prefer day or night dates? What’s your favorite fall fashion item?

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Wednesday Workout: Countdown Backside Burner

Hey there! What’s a mouthful in terms of a workout name, huh? I always see people come up with fun workout names, so I was trying to follow suit 😉 I think I need some practice, but I’m up for the challenge!

Anyway, back to this workout. I did this workout a while ago, and even though I wasn’t huffing and puffing throughout it and didn’t feel like it was one of those overly hard workouts, I felt it the next day… a lot! My glutes & back were quite sore, actually.

The beauty of this workout is that you only need a KB & set of DB’s. That, and it doesn’t take very long to complete – I did it within the 30 minutes I give myself for lunch break workouts! I may end up doing this one before Thanksgiving festivities next week (yes, I liked it enough to repeat!).

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I didn’t video myself doing any of these exercises (sorry!), so if you have questions, let me know and I’m happy to help!

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday – get out there and move!

Questions for you: What’s a workout that you’ve done recently that you really enjoyed?

Easy & Delicious Breakfast Casserole {& a giveaway!}

*This post is sponsored by Pete & Gerry’s Organic eggs. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are mine!

With the holidays quickly approaching, I’m sure your calendars are also filling up with dinners, parties, cocktail hours and maybe even a brunch or two. I always want to make something interesting, but still a brunch staple that will be a crowd pleaser. Enter: this quick and easy breakfast casserole. Start to finish, it took maybe 35 minutes? Gotta love that!

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Eggs are a staple item in our house – RM eats them almost every morning and I often bring hard boiled ones to work. We are lucky because my dad has access to the best “farm fresh” eggs near their house (and it’s $3 a dozen!!), so he tries to stock us up as often as he can, but there are still many times where we are out of the farm fresh ones and have to buy them at the store.  Now that we’ve been spoiled with those eggs, we can’t go back to eating just any old egg, though. I’ve found that the only ones that come close to replicating truly farm fresh ones are ones that are organic, free range and not fed with antibiotics.  I truly believe those things make for happy hens and therefore better eggs.  While these are certainly a more costly option, the benefits that comes along with buying these types of eggs are well worth it to us.

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That said, when Pete & Gerry’s reached out to me to see if I wanted to use their eggs in a holiday recipe, I jumped at the opportunity because I knew how high their standards were. Their hens are never caged and their barns allow the hens access to the outdoors. Additionally, they never administer antibiotics or hormones to their hens and they feed them 100% organic feed which contains no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or GMOs and it’s free of animal by-products (and the drug residues/pathogens that may be associated with them). Lastly, their farms are inspected at least once a year by a third-party certifier with USDA accreditation. Because of these factors, I will gladly spend a few extra bucks a carton for these eggs!

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If you haven’t looked past the price tag on the eggs you buy, I seriously urge you to do this! We really notice a huge difference between the eggs we *used* to buy and the eggs we buy (or get from my dad) now. What differences, you ask? Well, the color of the yolk is the biggest difference. You’ll notice a crisp, bright orange yolk in Pete & Gerry’s eggs, whereas in others you’ll notice it’s a very light yellow. The egg whites also get “meatier” (aka: thicker) when you cook them, which I can only attribute to the better ingredients in the food that the hens are being fed.

Have I convinced you yet? Great. Go buy yourself a carton (or two) of Pete & Gerry’s Organic eggs and then make this recipe. OR, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite holiday recipe and maybe you’ll be the lucky reader who wins a coupon for a FREE carton of P&G eggs!

Ingredients

 

  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 organic red pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • salt & pepper
  • EVOO

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425*. Slice potatoes into thin slices & place on greased cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle salt & pepper. Bake for 10ish minutes on each side, or until the potatoes start to get browned and crispy.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, slice your onions and peppers and sautee them with the garlic.
  3. When the potatoes are cooked, place on the bottom of a casserole dish and top with the cooked peppers and onions.
  4. Wisk your Pete & Gerry’s Organic eggs and cook  in the same pan you cooked your peppers and onions in. When eggs are fluffy and mostly cooked, add them to the casserole dish. Sprinkle with Gruyere cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes.

This dish was so tasty, but even better than that, it was quick and easy to whip up! This will be a perfect addition to your brunch spread throughout this holiday season.

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Remember – if you want to try out Pete & Gerry’s Organic eggs for FREE, leave a comment on this post with your favorite holiday recipe and maybe you’ll be the lucky winner!

Questions for you: What is your favorite brand of eggs? Do you buy organic? Are you hosting any holiday parties this year? 

How can we expect to be “good” if we don’t practice?

The other night I took a yoga class for the first time in probably 6-12 months. Between teaching a lot, hot summer weather and preferring to spend my “free” time lifting weights, yoga just never made it into my weekly routine. No big deal – things happen! However, whenever I come back from a yoga hiatus, I am quickly reminded why it’s so important, and always end up asking myself the same question: “why don’t I make this a more regular thing?”. I know it’s an important part of my physical training (hello, flexibility, mobility and stretching my tight muscles!), but even more than that, it’s an important thing for me mentally. I run around all week between work, training clients, teaching, trying to blog, trying to hang with friends and have date nights with my hubby, that I end up leaving little to no “down” or quiet time. No time for just me. And yoga the other night reminded me why this is so important.

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Having that one hour to breath, stretch, move and take the time to actually listen to how my body feels was a HUGE reminder as to why this is something that I need to make part of my regular routine. I noticed how tight my shoulders were. I noticed that my right hip flexor was tight and bothering me. But most of all, I noticed that I had a REALLY HARD time quieting my mind. I was thinking about what the strength workout was that I was missing. I was convincing myself that yoga was the right choice for me that night. I was thinking about the trip to Telluride we just booked. I was thinking about said tight shoulders and hip flexors. I was thinking about what I would have for dinner.

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Initially, this bothered me. Why couldn’t I just quiet my mind and focus on breathing? Why did everything feel so hard? But then I had one of those “ah-ha” moments…  How could I expect to jump right back into my practice where I was when I last did yoga consistently if I hadn’t been to yoga in going on a year? I couldn’t. So I accepted where I was and made a promise to myself to go more often. To practice. Just like I tell my clients and fighters when they get frustrated because they aren’t “good” at something or because something feels “hard”. I always say to them “you can’t expect to be “good” at something or have it come easily to you if you don’t practice.”, which is true!

These days, we all want the easy access (guilty as charged!). We want quick results and we don’t want to have to work hard. Sorry to tell ya, friends, that’s not how life works. We have to work (and oftentimes, work hard) for what we want and for things to be “easy”.  We have to practice. We have to train.

My client the other day said to me “ugh you made that look so much easier than it is”, and my response? “that’s because I practice it. I worked through the exercise and trained myself to get better at it.”.

And this applies to all areas of our lives. You can’t expect a promotion at work if you don’t put in the work. You can’t expect to run faster if you don’t train. You can’t expect to get stronger if you don’t lift weights. You can’t expect to lose weight if you don’t make changes to your diet or workout routine. You can’t expect to get more “likes” or “followers” if you never post things. Catch my drift?

So, even though my yoga experience earlier this week wasn’t entirely what I wanted or expected, it caused me to self-reflect and give myself a little self-check, which I SO appreciate. I can’t wait to make yoga a more consistent aspect of my training.

Questions for you: Do you tend to be impatient when it comes to wanting change or something to happen? Do you want to rush through the in between steps to get to the end? Do you like yoga or do you have a hard time settling your mind?

 

Wednesday Workout: KB Sandwich Workout

Hi, hi, hi! Is everyone adjusting well to the time change? I have to say, although it’s never fun leaving work when it’s dark, I do like the fact that I’m not driving to work in the dark anymore 🙂

Before I share today’s workout with you, I wanted to give you some information on a yoga class being held tonight at Reebok’s Back Bay Showroom on Newbury Street.  VivaOmm, a fitness brand who has created a Latin-infused workout blending the hottest moves from yoga, pilates, and barre, will be hosting a class that benefits the Veterans Yoga Project. Veterans Yoga Project is a charitable organization committed to providing support to all veterans through Mindful Yoga Therapy. Their mission is to use yoga to support recovery and resilience. In addition to sharing a great workout, VivaOmm is committed to help its community give back via The #GiveWithPassion Project. The project offers a charitable platform accessible to everyone and welcoming of varied areas of passion and strives to make the world a better place one loving action at a time. To start, VivaOmm is committed to spreading awareness of Veteran’s Yoga Project and it’s incredible work.

If you like the sounds of this and are looking for a new and fun way to workout (and place to workout!), make sure to check out additional details here.  100% of the proceeds going directly to the Veteran’s Yoga Project.
Speaking of yoga…. I need to get back into it! Now that the weather is cooling down (finally), and I’m not teaching a bajillion classes, I plan on trying to get to CorePower Yoga in Newton Corner once a week.
Today’s workout doesn’t involve yoga whatsoever, which means there’s no great segway into it, so I’m just going to jump right to it! I don’t remember when I did this workout, which never happens. I assume it was recently as it’s on the lower end of my “workout” note in my phone so it had to have been recently. It looks like a good one, so maybe I’ll just have to do it again 🙂
The way it works is you sandwich your 2 exercise ‘sets’ with 10 KB swings, but if you don’t have a KB you could just use a dumbbell. Each ‘set’ will be done 3x through.
KB Sandwich Workout
As always, let me know if you have any questions, as well as if you try this!
I hope you have a great rest of your week 🙂
Questions for you: What’s been the best part of your week so far?