Pile on the Miles

October 31, 2013
Happy Halloween Everyone!
Here's a look at some past healthy Halloween tips
One of the blogs I follow, Run Eat Repeat, is hosting a November event called Pile on the Miles.
"The goal is to pile on extra miles, not pounds, during this food filled time of year!"
I signed up with a goal of running 60 miles over the month of November. I recently purchased some new running shoes so I'm looking forward to this challenge!
Find out more about the challenge here and set some goals this November!
? Are you participating in Pile on the Miles? ?

Giveaway: SkinnyPop Popcorn

October 29, 2013
First giveaway alert!

I recently discovered a healthy snack while browsing the aisles of The Fresh Market. SkinnyPop! It easily caught my eye with the bright, fun packaging.

The thing I love most about this popcorn is it's simplicity. It's just natural popcorn, sunflower oil and salt. None of those artificial flavors that many of the other popcorn snacks contain.

Plus it's non-GMO which, I love. Corn is one of the most genetically modified foods out there so it's nice that this is all natural. Aside from non-GMO check out all the other reasons to eat Skinny Pop!
With 3g of Fiber per serving, Skinny Pop is also a good source of fiber! You should aim to get 25-35 grams of fiber per day. 
Throw some in a ziplock bag and you have a great on-the-go snack!
...SkinnyPop was nice enough to send me samples to giveaway! Just enter in the comments section why you want to try SkinnyPop and I'll randomly select a few people to try their product!
Don't forget to follow SkinnyPop on Facebook and Twitter!
Please note this post was not sponsored. I did not receive any compensation. All opinions are my own.

CorePower Yoga

October 24, 2013
While in Chicago, my friends and I decided to start our Saturday off at CorePower Yoga. CorePower is great for those who are new to yoga as well as those that are more advanced in their practice. I also appreciated the fact that they had mats, towels, water bottles and other things available (great for out-of-towners!).

We took a 75-minute hot yoga class. This was my first time doing hot yoga and I have to admit I was a little hesitant. I made sure to hydrate before, during and after the class. Hydration is SO important! Especially when you sweat like this...
Overall I really enjoyed the experience! The instructor helped me adjust my poses and the atmosphere was very relaxing. We all left feeling refreshed and ready to start the day (after a long shower!)!
? Have you ever tried hot yoga? What did you think? ?

Weekend in the City

October 22, 2013
This past weekend I was able to enjoy a girls weekend in the city...Chicago! It's always fun to visit - the atmosphere, shopping, food, scenery...what's not to love?!

We arrived Friday night and went to dinner right away. After driving from Cincinnati and getting stuck in Chicago traffic, drinks couldn't come fast enough! We decided on Mezcalina where I ate some delicious fish tacos with a heavy poor of Chardonnay. 

After a late dinner we headed home and my friends husband had the brilliant idea to "push our beds together" (the couch/air mattress). It was hilarious and made for many laughs.  
Saturday, we tried to sleep in. That usually doesn't happen and in true fashion we were up at 8am. We headed out for a hot yoga class (my first, more to come later!) to start our day.
Yoga was followed by brunch at Eggy's Diner where I got a ham scramble with toast. Yummy!
Once we fueled up we headed out to the city to do some shopping. Later on we got drinks at Howell's and Hood and then enjoyed sushi at Nori followed by a night out with games/drinks. Our friend downloaded the "heads up" app on her phone and I highly recommend it. It's like catchphrase on your phone and it's hilarious!
Sunday came waaaay too soon. We enjoyed brunch at Eggsperience where I had eggs Benedict that were delicious...are Benedict's ever not delicious?!
Overall, the weekend was amazing. Great friends, food and plenty of laughs! Can't wait to do it again!
? What's your favorite thing about Chicago? ?

Travel Eats

October 18, 2013
While traveling to and from, I like to eat things from home rather than fast-food or gas station eats that others find are their only options. I'm off to Chicago this weekend so these will definitely come in handy for my trip!
Here are some ideas for eating while in the car or high in the sky...

Fruit. It's super easy to toss in a bag and eat on the go. I prefer apple or orange slices, a banana or grapes. Bring along a Ziploc bag for the peel or core so you're not left with a mess.  You can also add some peanut butter to help your snack last! Justin's PB packs are great for travel!

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Trail Mix or Nuts. Make your own or portion out some store bought mix into a snack size baggie. Watch your portion here because nuts and dried fruit are healthy for us, but high in calories. Moderation is key.

String Cheese. I LOVE string cheese. It travels well and tastes delicious. Enough said, right?

Energy Bars. These are great because they're so portable. I prefer Larabars but any energy bar will do. Just make sure you read the nutrition label because some of these have waaaay too many calories to be considered a snack. Some may also contain hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats) which you want to avoid.

Vegetables. Celery sticks, carrots, peppers, cucumbers...the list goes on. All of these, when cut up, are great on the go snacks. Throw in a hummus cup and you're all set!

Water. This one is obvious. We need to stay hydrated while we travel. Don't be afraid that you'll have to make a pit-stop. You don't want to feel tired and sluggish once you get to your final destination.

? What travel snack do you never leave home without? ?

Welcome Back...

October 14, 2013
I've been away for quite awhile and have had a lot going on. I'm excited to be back though!
Take a look at what's been going on while I've been away...
A few weddings...

An MSU win vs. South Florida...


#RunOMCincy. This was a 6-mile run from the Hyde Park Lululemon to Great American Ballpark where we did an hour of yoga in the outfield...

I also contributed to setting the world record for the most headstands at one time...
 A few flights to CO that included a DMB concert, water park visit, lots of espresso, delicious eats,  hiking and quality time with my man...AND...

...we're engaged!!!!

...Can't wait to share all the exciting times ahead!!! 

Fit Fashion Friday

August 9, 2013
Here's some apparel I'm loving right now:
Athleta Seamless Skirts Got Legs///ALO Cozy Cape///Emi-Jay Hair Ties///Zella Seamless Tank
? What apparel are you loving right now? ?

Homemade Larabars

August 7, 2013
I've been wanting to try to make my own Larabars for sometime now. I saw some bulk dates at the store recently and decided it was a sign I needed to just do it already. Dates are essential because they are at the heart of Larabars.

(I was in the moment and wasn't able to document a lot of the process...sorry!)
Homemade Larabars:
2 cups dates
1 cup nuts (whatever type you prefer)
1/4 cup nut butter
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

First, put the nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer those to a bowl when done.
Next, Add the dates to the food processor and mix until they start to clump together.
Once the dates are done, add the nuts and peanut butter to the dates and pulse until well combined.
Lastly, mix in the shredded coconut. I did this with a spoon, but you could just as easily pulse it in the food processor.
Before transferring, line an 8" cake pan with waxed or parchment paper. Pack the mixture in the pan and then place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before cutting.
This was an experiment that just so happened to work out and I encourage you to experiment as well! Try adding cocoa powder, cinnamon, honey, dried fruit, etc. Enjoy making up your own unique flavor!

Once cut I placed my bars in snack baggies and put them back in the fridge so I could grab them easily for my lunch or snack during the week.

I think what I love most about these bars is that I know what's in them. Dates, nuts/peanut butter and coconut...simple as that! None of the artifical flavors or colors that come in other store bought bars.
? What's your favorite type of nutrition bar? ?

Workout: Pure Barre

July 31, 2013
This past weekend I had the chance to try a complimentary Pure Barre class thanks to Lululemon. It was a beautiful sunny morning and we enjoyed the class on the outdoor party porch.

pure barre technique

I have to admit that before I took this class I wasn't quite sure what all the hype was about. I mean, how hard can a bar workout be?! Let me tell you friends...it was tough! My legs were shaking and my butt burned in places I didn't know was possible!  

Pure Barre Technique : ab work
The Pure Barre Technique:
"Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time. Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body. Students see results in just 10 classes."

For those looking to try Pure Barre check out a location near you to see if they offer a free complimentary first class as well as other beginner specials!

 ? Have you tried Pure Barre? ?

(Photos courtesy of Pure Barre/Pure Barre Cincinnati)

Product to Try: Justin's Nut Butter

July 29, 2013
For those that aren't aware, Jim recently moved to Colorado to take a new job. I'm super excited about it and can't wait to get out there myself. Denver is such a health conscious city and good nutrition is a big deal.
Jim recently introduced me to Justin's Nut Butters (based in Boulder, CO). Being a peanut butter freak (no really, I have 4 open jars right now) I had to try it out! I love trying different types and varieties of peanut butters. Justin's did not disappoint and luckily, it's available right here in Cincinnati!

Image Source

 Justin's Mission Statement: 
Making the foods we love extraordinary, with an uncompromised spirit of innovation, sustainability and community.

I love the fact that Justin's strives to use organic, local products. Check out their website for all the ways they're going green! It also doesn't hurt that all the products I've tried are delicious!
Peanut Butter is a favorite of mine because it's so versatile and easy! You can spread it on just about anything (fruit, vegetables, crackers, toast, etc.) and with these convenient squeeze packs it makes on-the-go snacking so much easier! Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats (poly and mono-unsaturated) as well as protein which helps keep you satisfied.

 Find a Justin's near you (here) and enjoy!

? What's your favorite brand of peanut butter? ? 

What to Wear: Hot Weather Run

July 22, 2013
It's been really hot and humid in Cincinnati these past few weeks. Hot and humid weather always makes for tougher outdoor workouts. Here's some gear to help keep you cool and protected on your outdoor run or any workout for that matter!
...and always remember to hydrate!!!
Lucy Fast as You Can Tank /// Aveeno Hydrosport SPF 30 Spray
Lululemon Run Speed Short /// Nathan Speed 2 Waistpack
? What's your go-to hot weather gear? ?

What I'm Eating

July 17, 2013
Here's a round-up of yesterdays meals!
For breakfast I had a piece of multi-grain toast with creamy peanut butter and a banana. I washed it all down with some Horizon organic skim milk. This quick meal kept me full because it's loaded with healthy fats, whole grains and fiber!
For a mid-morning snack I had a handful of almonds. Nuts are such a healthy and easy snack. However, they are calorically dense so, watch your portion size!
I take my lunch to work 90% of the time. Yesterday I had 1/2 turkey sandwich with provolone and yellow mustard as well as a salad. The salad had a lot of color (red/yellow peppers, cucumber and carrots). The more color the better. We eat with our eyes first so, make it colorful!

 A little while later I snacked on an apple. An apple a day...

 Once dinner time rolled around I made salmon and green beans. The serving size for the salmon was around 3 oz. Salmon is a great source of omega-3's as well as protein. The green beans add fullness because they contain fiber.
Calories: 1,202 
(this is under my normal...I'm typically closer to 1,500)
Fiber: 29g
(aim for 25-35g per day!)
Protein: 77g
(~25% of calories...10-35% is recommended)

Book Review: The Flexitarian Diet

July 15, 2013
Lately I feel like we can all agree that there has been a shift in the way we think about food. Consumers are becoming more aware of what they are putting into their bodies and not only that but, where it comes from and  how it's made or grown. It's a wonderful thing!
Where I'm going with this leads me into another book review...The Flexitarian Diet! Now more than ever I feel like people are making the choice to be vegetarian or vegan. I tried it for a month or two back in college and it was not for me. What I do love, however, is Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner's perfect combination: Flexitarian.
The Flexitiarian Diet is the perfect combination for those who love the idea and benefits of being vegetarian or vegan but don't want to give up those special occasion steak dinners or hefty servings of turkey at Thanksgiving. Flexible + Vegetarian = Flexitarian! 
I found this book to be quite informational. It breaks down the "five flex food groups" which are new meat (aka vegetarian protein sources), fruits & vegetables, grains, dairy and sugar/spice.

I also enjoyed the "troubleshooter" boxes which provided great tips and inspiration throughout the book.

The majority of the book is the Five-Week Flex Meal Plan which includes five weeks worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some recipes include a "flex swap" if you prefer animal protein sources. There are also grocery lists included for each week.

Overall, the idea behind this book is to try and make at least one change. By making at least one change it will hopefully jump start other healthy changes down the road. Don't think about the meat meals you're missing, but rather the vegetarian meals you're adding.

You could start with a Meatless Monday recipe!

Purchase The Flexitarian Diet book Here

? What diet or health book do you recommend? ?

Cincinnati Summer Workouts

June 5, 2013
If you live in the Cincinnati area there are plenty of ways to get in a good workout while enjoying the weather...did I mention most are free?!

Check out what's available:
Washington Park
Tuesdays from 6-7pm there's free "Yoga on the Green"
Saturdays from 9-10am there's a free "weekend workout" (zumba, bootcamp, yoga, etc.)

Hyde Park Square Lululemon
Complimentary Yoga from 9-10am Saturday mornings
They also host Run Clubs (3 mile run) Thursday evenings (630pm and 7pm) and Sunday mornings (9am or 930am)

Kenwood Mall Lululemon

Complimentary Yoga from 11-12pm Sunday mornings

Ault Park
Yoga @ 630pm Monday and/or Thursday evenings (located near the pavilion)
Note: $10 suggested donation

Washington Park "Yoga on the Green"

Hope to see you there!

Meatless Monday

June 3, 2013
I've had a package of edamame in my freezer for sometime and decided to put it to use with an easy meal! This was one of those "round-up" meals where I basically combined what I had available.
I had some leftover zucchini (~1 cup) so I chopped it up and cooked up some brown rice (~3/4 cup uncooked)
While the rice cooked I heated the edamame as well as blanched some green beans (~1 cup)
Once the edamame was heated I removed the soybeans from the shell and combined all the ingredients together with sea salt, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
This was super easy to prepare and great for those looking for a quick, healthy meal! You can incorporate any vegetables or herbs that you have or even substitute black beans (or bean of choice) for the edamame.
Edamame (soybeans) is a great source of protein and fiber. In 1/2 cup you get 9 grams of fiber as well as 9 grams of protein! (Make sure to look for non-GMO soybeans)
? What's your go-to meatless meal? ?