A Week In Review

HELLO Beautiful Friday! How are you doing friends? How was your week? No small talk needed, so let us jump right into today's post before I kick off the weekend and disconnect. After working a little too much last weekend, it is time to step away from the devices. Happy Friday friends! XO

My Weekly Reminder...I love this quote! Thanks Leslie for posting this on Tuesday! I have spent this week worrying too much about my social media numbers and it ends up being annoying and exhausting. There is so much more to life and happiness! So YES, I am looking forward to time away from my devices this weekend. To enjoy the tangible things in life that bring me joy! 

Week Of Workouts...There has been lots of running involved over the past couple of weeks, which has me thinking about signing up for a race. It has been way too long and I am itching for something to help me stay motivated with a goal in site. I am even thinking about triathlons again too...HA! I am not sure what has gotten into me, but I am kind of excited about it! 

The weather on the east coast has been cold and snowy, so any sort of running outside is not safe. I do not mind the treadmill as long as I have some good shows to watch. It is usually my time to either catch up on the news of watch the Food Network. And to beat the boredom on the step mill, I always bring my book. 

  • Sunday - 45-minute run + Strength Training (Legs + Triceps)
  • Monday - 45-minute on the Step Mill + Strength Training (Chest + Shoulders + Core)
  • Tuesday - 6-mile treadmill run + 25-minute outdoor walk with Lucy (the sun was out WAHOO!)
  • Wednesday - 45-minute on the Step Mill + Strength Training (Back + Core)
  • Thursday - 90-minute walk with Lucy
  • Friday - TBD
  • Saturday - OFF

Favorite Eats Of The Week...I forgot how good and easy preparing spaghetti squash is and I finally roasted it on Sunday when I was stuck inside ALL day because of ice. It is a great substitute to pasta. I can do without pasta, but bread...heck no! Crispy Italian bread slathered in butter and dipped in sauce...DELICIOUS! I had that meal 2 nights in a row and it just hits the spot on cold winter nights and leaves me feeling satisfied without the bloat. 

How did I prepare my spaghetti squash:

  • Cut in half + take out the seeds + drizzle in olive oil and salt;
  • Place flat side down on a baking shee;
  • Roast for 50-60 minutes at 400 degrees! Shred out the insides or eat straight out of the half!

Sweet Breakfast Bowl - Eggs + Fruit + Nut Butter

More BIG Beautiful Salads (except this time it's not in Tupperware)

Spaghetti Squash Bowls - Mom's Meat Sauce and Crispy Bread

Recent Reads...I LOVE to read and it is the best way for me to SLOW DOWN at the end of the day! I start working every morning between 6:45 AM - 7:15 AM, so I am pretty tired at night. Disconnecting earlier from all of my devices and reading instead of watching TV in bed, has definitely made a huge difference. Since I have made this change into my nightly ritual, I have been flying through books! These 2 are great reads to help you unwind at the end of busy day!

  • A Dog's Purpose - Funny, sad, heart-warming, and so TRUE, this book is for dog lovers!
  • Eligible - The modern day version of "Jane Austen" this book was so much fun to read! 

I am ready for the weekend and hoping the sun will stay out and grace us with her presence! Enjoy friends and see you next week!

What is the best thing you ate this week?

What was the last good book you read?

    Building A Beautiful SALAD

    Snow days make for the perfect days to tackle the "To Do List" that you have been ignoring for long periods of time. It is good to hunker down with lots of coffee and get it done. Even though my taxes are staring straight at me as I work away, I am still going to ignore that task and instead talk about FOOD! Food is fun...Food is good...And food fuels this lifestyle! This weeks obsession is SALADS. Instead of consuming all the sweet potatoes, I have been eating lots of BIG, flavorful, and nourishing salads for lunch and with dinner. It is all about that crunch and using whatever leftovers are around to make these beautiful meals. 

    A couple of things you should know about my salad creations:

    Building A Beautiful Salad
    • I always eat my lunch salads out of a Tupperware container...Why? Because I like to mix all the ingredients together...Shake it up...And then let it marinade for a little bit before I devour it!
    • I always add leftovers from the night before! Whatever is leftover from dinner or hanging out in the fridge goes into my salads. I hate wasting food!
    • LOTS of CRUNCH! I love texture and when it comes to my salads, the more crunch the better. It is just like my obession with crunchy nut butters!
    Building A Beautiful Salad

    Here is how I build my SALADS:

    Building A Beautiful Salad
    • Protein: Chicken, tuna fish, salmon, fried eggs, or roasted chickpeas are my usual go tos! Adding a protein is a MUST when making a beautiful salad. Make sure that you are getting all the great benefits of proteins, because they are so important for our bodies, especially if you live a active lifestyle!
    • Fats: Diced avocado, leftover guacamole, goat cheese, or a heaping handful of mixed nuts are my favorites to add to a salad. Adding fats to your salads are key to helping you stay satiated. 
    • Fruit: Pick one of your favorites and add it for some natural sweetness! As of lately, I like to dice up an opal apple for added crunch. Minneola and moro oranges are really good additions right now for that much-needed Vitamin C. 
    • LOTS of Vegetables: Tomatoes, Carrots, Cucumber, Peppers, Red Onion, and a mix of greens are always in my salads. Sometimes I like to add roasted broccoli and cauliflower. You can never go wrong with adding any vegetable to a salad...so load it UP friends!
    • Dressing: Typically I do a balsamic and olive oil combo, but thanks to my friend PAM, she introduced me to Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressings and they are FABULOUS! A nice way to switch things up and try something new. 

    That is it my friends! Now go have fun and be creative with your salad creations and remember you can always keep it simple, healthy, nourishing, and FUN. Salads can be a side dish or a meal and are always a good decision. You just need to know how to build the right one to keep your belly happy and satisfied. Let me know how it goes! XOXO

    Do you eat your salads out of Tupperware?

    What do you put in your salad for that extra CRUNCH?

    Thinking Out LOUD

    It is February...How the heck did that happen? Despite the ups and downs; the dreary and gray weather; January went by surprisingly fast. As we close one month and enter into a new one, I thought it would be a good day to post about those random topics that go through my head and share them with all of you. A short summary of what has been happening in my world. Grab that cup of coffee and read along as to what has been happening these days. Cheers to a fresh new month of only good energy, experiences, food, and happiness! 

    Sweet Potatoes are the BEST...I could seriously eat one every night! They are nutritious, delicious, versatile, and so easy to prepare. I keep it simple when preparing mine. Scrub clean + pork with a fork + stick into a preheated over of 450 degrees and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how crispy on the outside you like it) + sprinkle with garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce + serve alongside dinner. 

    Sweet Potato Dinner
    Sweet Potato Dinner

    Tiny Space Workouts are CHALLENGING but FUN...Yes it is winter and gray and cold and sometimes depressing, but that shouldn't stop you from staying active! Make sure to check out this Core Power Workout that is challenging, fun, and can be done anywhere. It is specifically designed to do in a "tiny space", but you can obviously take it to the gym or do it whatever you feel most comfortable working out. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out!

    Healthy Dog Treats...YES PLEASE...Thank you to Best Bully Sticks for sending us dental dog chews that are hormone free; drool-worthy; contain limited ingredients; and from what Lucy tells me, they are DELICIOUS! She is a lucky dog and we appreciate gifts like these! 

    Chia Seed Pudding Is BACK...I forgot how easy it is to prepare chia seed pudding. It is also a versatile recipe, a great meal to take when on the go, and even better when topped with blobs of nut butter or granola. I will share the recipe soon! Oh and of course it is jam packed with all those healthy nutrients to keep your body happy and nourished! 

    Nature's Touch Blueberry Chia Seed Pudding

    Online Dating Is BRUTAL...Because sometimes I need to talk about personal things. There are only so many food photos and exercise routines I can talk about. And dating these days as y'all know is hard, frustrating, confusing, and comical. Can someone please explain to me: 

    • Car Selfies...Shirtless Selfies...Bathroom Selfies??? 
    • The disappearing into thin air act! Raise your hand if you have been texting with someone who you met online and developed a rapport with and then POOF...GONE...And never to be heard from again! Where did they go? And what is the point of engaging with someone if you are going to disappear on them with no explanation? I'm a big girl and can handle rejection. Just tell me that "you are just not that into me!"

    On a "Positive Patty" note...High-Fives though to men who take lots of pictures with their dogs! That is always a major plus in my opinion. 

    Practicing Slowing Down Feels Really GOOD...I posted this quote earlier this week on Instagram because recently I have had to slow down because there have been multiple times I have felt the burn out coming on STRONG. It has been with work, training, and just life in general. Those mornings when you wake up and look in the mirror and think to yourself "WOW I look really tired!". It was happening too much, so I am taking baby steps to learn to slow down and let life take its course one day at a time. A few of the things that have helped me slow down: 

    • Closing my laptop at 6:00 PM on the dot!!! I typically start doing work on mine around 6:45 AM and throughout the day, so those hours add up fast;
    • No more social media checking after 8:00 PM! This is hard, but when I stick to it, I feel so much better and refreshed the next day;
    • Sleeping an extra 15 minutes! A few months ago, I was waking up at 5:45 AM...YIKES! I was tired and it made the days really long. Now I am sleeping until 6:30 AM. Great progress!
    • And finally my "go to" for slowing down and disconnecting is LONG WALKS with Lucy! I love leaving my devices and just going for a long walk or hike with Lucy and a friend and just soaking up the fresh air and the peace and quiet. It makes me happy to just be in the moment and soak up the beauty and the simple things in life!
    Practicing Slowing Down Feels Really GOOD

    What is your favorite way to SLOW DOWN?

    Do you have a favorite sweet potato recipe? If so, please share with me in the comments!

    Recipes That Use GHEE

    After reading all your comments last week on my review of Gather Superfoods Ghee, I thought that it would be appropriate to follow up with some FUN recipes that you could try out that incorporate ghee. And later on, I would like to dive in a little deeper as to why it is important to incorporate ghee and other healthy fats into our daily eats. But first the recipes...

    Ghee is a very versatile healthy fat that you can use as a substitute for butter, for sauteing, for slathering on your favorite delicious toast, and for drizzling on your nighttime popcorn. But there are MANY other ways you can use ghee. Here are 5 GHEE RECIPES that I found inspiring and I am looking forward to whipping up in the near future. 

    GUT HEALING CINNAMON COCONUT LATTE by The Real Food Dietitians

    I LOVE coffee and I LOVE lattes! The Real Food RDs are pretty amazing ladies, who I have gotten to know this past year and worked with on many projects. They are knowledgeable, inspiring, and their recipes are delicious. Make sure to whip up this latte and enjoy all the nutritional benefits it has to offer!

    PALEO LEMON BUTTER CHICKEN by Jay's Baking Me Crazy

    If you follow me on Instagram, you probably notice that I make chicken thighs a lot. They are so damn good and that crispy skin is my favorite part. I love the simplicity of this recipe with all the fresh lemon and the nice touch of coconut cream. I feel like this photo needs to be a scratch and sniff. DELICIOUS! 

    GHEE RICE by Sailu's Food

    This recipe only takes 5 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook! It is versatile, healthy, and loaded with lots of delicious flavors. Who knew you could dress up rice like this? I love the addition of Garam masala and cashew nuts. Make a big pot of this on Sunday and eat it throughout the week! 

    WHOLE30 SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI RECIPE by Design Life Diaries

    This recipe...This photo...OMGHEE...I want this now! Was that cheesy enough for you? But seriously. Yes this recipe is going to take a little bit of time, practice, and extra love, but I believe it is 100% worth it. Invite a friend over, sip on some wine, and make these little sweet potato bites and just have fun with it! 

    MEXICAN CAULIFLOWER RICE by Fashionable Foods

    Another thing that I eat on a regular basis is cauliflower! I love how versatile this hearty vegetable is and how it is the perfect side dish with any meal. Next time you are craving Mexican, make sure to whip up this simple, healthy, and easy Mexican cauliflower recipe. Pass the hot sauce PLEASE!

    I hope that you will try some of these recipes and if you do, definitely let me know how they turned out. They are ALL great recipes that are good for your health, so use that ghee and reap all those health benefits that they have to offer. 

    Would you try any of these ghee recipes?

    Did you know that ghee was this versatile?

    Gather Superfoods - Product Review

    Raise your hand if you LOVE healthy FATS!!! We all know my slight obsession with nut butters, but I also make sure to eat plenty of avocados, mixed nuts, and I always cook with olive oil, and now ghee too. I will 100% admit that I used to be one of those people who was scared of FATS. But this was back in the day when I honestly had no clue as to how to properly nourish my body. Times have changed and I am older and wiser and more in tune with my body and its needs. I LOVE fats!  I eat a lot of fats! They make me feel good inside and out and they work for my lifestyle, my training, and my belly. 

    Today I am talking about ghee! I recently partnered up with Gather Superfoods to talk about their ghee and why you should check them out; follow them on social media; and start including their ghee into your eats! ENJOY!

    What is GHEE...

    Gather Superfoods Ghee is derived from butter. The butter is cooked down to remove all the butterfat/milk solids to create pure butterfat that is lactose and casein free. It is a great substitute for anyone with a dairy intolerance and great for anyone who wants to try another fat that is fabulous for you!

    Why GHEE...

    Gather Superfoods Ghee is a delicious and nutritious fat that you definitely need to add to your list of healthy FATS. Ghee is an ancient superfood that is known for its amazing healing abilities internally and externally. This healthy fat is known to alkalize our bodies; provide physical and mental stamina; reduce inflammation; and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Some other fun facts to take note of: 

    • Lactose and Casein FREE
    • High Smoke Point of 485 degrees
    • Rich in Omega-3
    • Packed with Vitamins A, D, E, and K

    What do I use GHEE for...

    Gather Superfoods Ghee is a great replacement to your butter! You can use it for baking, sauteeing, spreading onto a delicious piece of toast, and drizzling it over your nighttime popcorn. The possibilities are endless! Check out this DELICIOUS Gather Superfoods recipe by my friend Sarah!

    Who are the people behind Gather Superfoods?

    Foodies are the BEST kind of people! When I started to learn more about this company and their founders, I knew we would get along and this would be a good collaboration. The two founders have traveled all over the country eating their way from coast to coast enjoying all that life and food has to offer. Food + Travel = PURE BLISS! Learn more about their story and why they started Gather Superfoods HERE! 

    Make sure to follow this fabulous couple on their social media channels to get inspired with healthy recipes, updates on products, and any promotions that they are running! 

    Have you ever used ghee? If so, what is your favorite way to add it to your recipes?

    *Disclosure: I received compensation and product for this post. All opinions are my own.*

    Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

    What do you look for in a teacher when it comes to taking care of your health and fitness? What makes you come back to keep taking their classes? Is it knowledge, passion, their personality, or that they can kick your butt and yell at you, while still having a pretty smile plastered on their face? We all have different likes, goals, and reasons for practicing a healthy and active lifestyle, so it is great that nowadays there are a plethora of options to fit YOUR needs. 

    When it comes to yoga teachers whose classes I revisit, I like a variety of styles, that fit whatever my body is currently needing...it could be more focused on stretching my hips; building up my core; or honestly just getting my butt kicked and getting in a good sweat session. I want to introduce you to Jessica Haims from Powerflow Yoga. She is ONE of those teachers who in a matter of 75 minutes educated me, stretched, strengthened, and kicked my butt! Her passion and knowledge of the yoga and the human body...The way she effortlessly flowed into the poses...Learn more about this beautiful woman and why I consider her a yoga goddess!  

    Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

    I Am Jessica Haims:

    My approach to yoga is to be safe, educational, challenging, and fun. I believe in educating students about their bodies so that they are equipped to make appropriate decisions about their bodies on and off the mat. Classes are based heavily through a lens of biomechanics and anatomy, always explaining to students why we do a pose a certain way. I want to offer as many tools as possible to my students so that they learn how to modify poses when necessary, and know how to play their edge when appropriate. I am both a vinyasa teacher and Yoga Tune Up® teacher and seek to blend these two styles together to link movement and breath in an intelligent manner. I mainly work one on one with students teaching self-care; we come up with a routine at home comprising of myofascial release work, corrective exercise, and yoga. After suffering a serious back injury due to years of competitive ballroom dancing and teaching full time it became my mission to empower students with the relationship to their bodies!

    Why did you start teaching yoga? 

    I started teaching yoga because it gave me a sense of empowerment and peace that was uncanny. In 2011 I took my first class ever (at Powerflow Yoga in Chatham!) and it was the HARDEST thing I had ever done (seriously I thought I was going to collapse on the mat by the end of it) - but then savasana came and I nearly fell asleep. I left the yoga room called my mom and said “I want to be a yoga teacher after school” - it was one of those weird gut feelings. I did my first training a little over a year later and fell in love with the studies of anatomy. Over the past year, I have dove deep into the study of biomechanics, anatomy, and the science of stretching. The more I learn about anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, etc… it reminds me why I always want to teach - to help people understand their bodies and to feel good in their bodies.

    Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

    What is your favorite pose and why? 

    Half moon! There are SO many different ways of approaching this pose with props, the wall, different isometric contractions - I always find something new about my body in this pose. When I’m in it I feel like I’m flying and floating!

    What is your least favorite pose and why? 

    I have a hate/love relationship with warrior 3 (which means I probably need to do it more ;) ) - it always kicks my butt no matter how many times I do it!

    What advice would you give to someone (aka - me) who is scared of handstands? 

    Work slowly away from the wall and with a teacher you trust. Going upside down is a HUGE mental game so it’s all about taking those little steps until you feel ready! There is a move called “scissor kick handstand” that Phillip Askew taught me and it helped me get away from the wall and over my fear of hand standing (will have to show you during our coffee date!). Working on shoulder/core stability and hamstring mobility are major players in working into those handstands. One of my favorite moves are working planks and doing scapula push ups! Another great exercise is doing plank with a blanket under your feet and pulling the blanket towards your hands (ending in forward fold) and then sliding back out to plank.

    How do you practice a healthy lifestyle? 

    Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

    I practice self-care by setting aside time for myself every day - whether it's 5 min or an hour for a workout. I love to go hiking, cooking, writing, reading, and watch old Hollywood movies! I make sure to fuel my body with clean food, get in exercise 5 times a week, and take 2 complete days of rest when I can to re-charge and do active recovery (or binge watch Netflix for hours ;) ! ) 

    Sweet or salty? 

    SWEEEEEET!!!!! I have such a strong sweet tooth - chocolate covered anything will have my name written all over it. My one vice is chocolate and coffee - I can never say no to it. My favorite chocolate is german chocolate, but my favorite sweets are my homemade chocolate chip marshmallow cookies - they are out of this world!

    Tell us 3 FUN things that we should know about you...And if there is anything else you want to add, go for it.

    I LOVE old jazz music - I always say I was born in the wrong era… I love old Hollywood movies and music. Ella Fitzgerald, Solomon Burke, Etta James, Duke Ellington, Sam Cooke, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, this list goes on and on. I would have killed to live in that era and see those people perform. I had the honor and privilege to see Tony Bennett live with one of my best friends (she got me a ticket for Christmas!) I started tearing up during the performance - it was one of the most amazing experiences.  

    I won world and nationals in 2011 for ballroom dancing! I miss those dancing days with all my heart and when I hear music my mind will wonder off into choreography!

    Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

    My dream is to have a huge back yard one day for a garden and chickens!

    I am a huge nerd and love spending free time reading about human anatomy and the latest research on the science of stretching (Jules Mitchell is an amazing resource for anyone interested). One of my goals with teaching is to eventually develop an anatomy module for 200-hour training that gives newer teachers a concrete understanding of the human body. It is our responsibility as teachers to keep these people safe and I would like to see the bar raised in this department!

    What do YOU look for in a teacher?

    Tell me your favorite teacher and where they teach!

    Love At First Sight - The Best Match

    Life on Nantucket during the winter months can definitely be a little lonely. It is grey, cold, and QUIET. I definitely could not live here if it was not for my amazing friends, but little Lucy has a VERY big part in keeping me sane too! She is with me all the time. She lies by my side while I work. She runs by my side while we walk. She sleeps by the bed and snores like a champ. She is the perfect match for my personality, my lifestyle, and me!

    She was rescued in Houston, where she was left on the side of the highway in a kennel with her two other siblings covered in fleas. It took days for her to venture out of that kennel. After I lost Kala, I started looking for a purebred Golden Retriever just a few weeks later, but I could not justify spending over a thousand dollars for a dog, when there were thousands of dogs without homes. So instead I started searching the rescues for golden retriever puppies. I found a picture of “Custard” and started contact with the foster mom. Once I agreed to meet the foster mom and “Custard”, I knew I was not going home alone. Just like everything else in life, when it is meant to be, it is meant to be - no matter how cliché that sounds, it is the darn truth!

    It was love at first sight and “Custard” would be named Lucy and she came home with me a week later. And her two siblings were also rescued. One went to New Orleans and the other went to live on a apple orchard farm in Rhode Island. Knowing that all 3 of them found such healthy, happy, and safe environments is just BEAUTIFUL!

    Lucy means so much to me and it is really hard to imagine life without her! All those corny quotes about dogs are the TRUTH. She teaches me to be a better person. She makes and reminds me to laugh daily. She reminds me to live life to the fullest and to just keep it simple…LIVE, LOVE, and of course EAT!

    She is in doggie heaven here on Nantucket Island, along with the rest of amazing dogs that live here. They truly do live a fabulous life here! So when I was asked to team up with Z Living to help promote their newest show Finding Fido , it was a no brainer.

    Finding Fido (premiering January 17th at 9pm ET) is all about matchmaking—only instead of human couples, host Seth Casteel is pairing people with pooches. Each week one lucky dog finds their forever home, and one lucky person finds their new best friend. You can see more about the show here.

    In addition to being an awesome show that we’re super excited about, there is also an amazing campaign created by Finding Fido to help support animal shelters and rescue groups.

    Z Living has joined forces with A Greater Good and Halo, Purely for Pets® to launch the #FindingFido program. Z Living will be giving away a series of cash grants plus pet food to shelters and pet adoption organizations in need across the U.S..

    Share a photo of you and your pooch on your favorite social channel and tag it with #FindingFido, for every hashtagged post Z Living will give an additional $1.

    Have a shelter you think should be considered for a grant? Tag them in your post and they’ll automatically be in the running to receive one of several $500 cash grants given away weekly + $6000 worth of Halo pet food donated to shelters in need leading up to the premiere of Finding Fido on January 17th at 9pm.

    Now go give your pet a big SMOOCH and tell them how much you love them! XOXO

     

    Healthy and Happy with Swanson Vitamins

    It is here...The NEW YEAR is upon us! The holidays are done. It is time to take down the decorations. It is time to practice our new intentions. It is time to nourish our minds and bodies with healthy and happy thoughts! Are you ready? I definitely am and I have already been making it happen...ONE day at a time! 

    New Year - New You

    Taking care of ourselves emotionally, physically, and nutritionally is a process. It is not something that happens overnight or the first two weeks after the New Year. Living a healthy and active lifestyle takes time, work, and dedication. It is not easy, but it is SO WORTH IT! When you feel strong, when your skin is glowing, when your body feels healthy, you radiate positivity inside and out and that is why we dedicate so much time and effort into it sweating daily and eating well-balanced meals. And that positive energy is contagious, so throw it around like confetti and inspire others to join you on the healthy and happy journey!

    New Year - New You

    As you know living 30 miles out at sea has it challenges sometimes, when it comes to shopping, as my choices are limited. Do not get me wrong, for an island the stores here have a very good selection, but it is hard for them to carry everything! For that reason, I am grateful to be able to work with companies like Swanson Vitamins that provide a plethora of healthy options for not only myself but Lucy too! YES, they sell an abundance of doggie treats! I was so happy to find that they sell Greenies! I have been shopping with Swanson Vitamins for a couple of years now and I am always a happy customer. They offer so much more than just vitamins. I can get lost on their site...in a good way! And you can always find a good deal, as they have deals of the day, sales, buy 1 get 1 free, overstock, and clearance options. The possibilities are endless and there are no excuses to not make healthy and happy choices in 2017 on Swanson Vitamins website! 

    Above are just a few of my favorite Swanson Vitamins products that I recently bought. I already have a list of what I want to buy next because my nut butter jars are almost empty, but also am realizing that I probably need some Vitamin D because these gray days are driving me bonkers! I am going to treat Lucy to some more Greenies and Oatmeal Milk and Honey Shampoo! So many great options, but now it is YOUR turn to shop with $100.00 thanks to Swanson Vitamins! It is YOUR turn to shop for a healthier and happier YOU in 2017! Follow all the details below and GOOD LUCK friends! 

    How are you living a healthier and happier 2017?

    What would you buy with the $100.00 gift certificate?

    MY 2017 INTENTIONS

    It is time to head bACK to the island after a week of celebrating with family and friends. It was a week well spent. There was LOTS of food consumed...There was LOTS of time spent on the yoga mat...There was LOTS of time connecting with Mom, old friends, and new friends. But it is time to get bACK into my routine and set my intentions for 2017. My body and mind are ready for my routine and I am VERY READY for the new year! I am just READY for a clean slate and fresh start!

    Jockey Hollow New Jersey

    "INTENTION leads to BEHAVIORS which lead to HABITS which lead to PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT which leads to DESTINY"

    I am not one to set "goals" for the New Year or at the beginning of a new month, but I do believe in setting intentions, which is one of the many things that I work with, with my Life Coach. My intentions have nothing to do with fitness and food. They dig deeper. They are not easy. They take patience, practice, and work. As you know, working on yourself is never an easy task. Admitting your faults is hard enough, but then taking the time to work on them is when the real work begins...

    MY 2017 INTENTIONS:

    My 2017 Intentions
    • WIN AT LOVE personally and professionally - The past few months I have experienced a lot of bumps in the road, both personally and professionally. Nothing has come easy. It felt like everything was a struggle and required 100% effort, which in the end was leaving me exhausted, depleted, and slightly negative. 2017 is going to be about WINNING! Winning at love, relationships, business opportunities, health, and overall life. A little cheesy...YES...but for ME, this is the kind of attitude I need to make 2017 a WINNING year!
    • Travel MORE - I can easily become a hermit on Nantucket and get into a routine. This routine gets comfortable real fast and before I know it POOF time has slipped away. It is time to shake up the routine. It is time to explore. It is time to get out of my comfort zone. I am single. I am young. I have worked hard. It is time to book some trips and BE FREE!
    • Be FEARLESS - I am always talking about being "fearless" and it is a good reminder and intention for me as the new year approaches. I am a very sensitive person, which is one of my strengths but can also be one of my weaknesses. Sometimes I need to take a little bit of that emotion and sensitivity out of the picture and just GO FOR IT! This applies to all aspects of my life. 
    • Have more FUN - Do I need to say more??? I want to travel more...Go out more...Flirt more...Learn more...Build and dream MORE! I have to step out of my routine and live fully and let my full self shine. It is time to get out of my comfort zone and LIVE! It's time to go FUNNING!

    It is not a big list and that is a good thing for ME! I believe it is important to keep things SIMPLE! These are intentions that I know I can work on daily. These are intentions that I can give 100% of my attention too. These are intentions that I KNOW I have to work on to be the best version of ME! 

    Have a happy and healthy New Year friends and see you in 2017!

    Tell me ONE of your favorite 2017 Intentions...

    Thinking Out Loud - December

    Winter is officially HERE! The shortest day of the year has come and gone and I can start getting a little bit happier about that extra minute of sunshine per day! Christmas is this weekend and I cannot wait to celebrate with my family. Time is flying. My days are busy and disappear a little bit too quickly. I have already been home for a week and not sure how that happened! There is a LOT happening these days, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me for a "Thinking Out Loud" post to close the week!

    Nantucket Island

    Back on the mat at Powerflow Yoga - LOVE coming back to this community of friends whenever I am back home in good old NJ! I look forward to these HOT, sweaty, and challenging practices as they are such a nice break from my workout routine on the island. I like to take a break from strength training and just focus on walking, running, and strengthening my core, my practice, and obviously stretching those very tight hips and hamstrings. And if you live in the NJ area they have 10 studios that you can choose from, so make sure to check them out and treat yourself or a loved one to some yoga classes! Give the gift of YOGA!

    NuttZo has FINALLY reached 20K followers on Instagram and all the hard work is paying off! I am so grateful to work with this team of amazing people on a daily basis. But I am also grateful for all the brands and influencers that I have connected with and worked with since starting with NuttZo a few years ago. The NuttZo community is passionate, dedicated, hard-working, and obviously YES they are all just as obsessed with NuttZo as I am. The #NuttZoLOVE is for real!!! And make sure to click on this LINK and donate to Project Left Behind and you can receive a FREE downloadable NuttZo recipe ebook! 

    Spending time with FAMILY is the BEST no matter how bat crazy we can drive each other! As you all know, I love coming home to NJ anytime of the year. It is fun to see old friends...Eat all my NJ favorite foods...And spend time with my Mom talking politics and binge-watching "House of Cards" and "The Affair". We've already done a lot of that so far and it is awesome. And yes there are those moments, but who doesn't have those moments. No family is perfect and that is okay. At least we know we are a little kookie and we can get over those bickering moments pretty quickly. I love all the craziness...the fun...the laughter...the food...and the feeling of just being home. Can you tell I am a home body?

    Setting intentions for 2017 is REFRESHING! This quote sums up on one of my BIG ones that I have already started to practice. I plan on diving into this deeper as to what my intentions look like and what I am looking forward to. And of course, there is a podcast that goes along with it. 

    "Sometimes you need to erase old connections in your life to build rooms for new ones. If someone's not making you grow, it is time to go..."

    Note To Self - Keep my "Positive Patty Pants" ON! December has been a LONG month and there have been many speed bumps that have come my way. I am pooped. I have been fighting and constantly dreaming and scheming and planning and reaching out to help build my brand, but gosh darn it can be HARD and TIRING and STRESSFUL! But in the end, this is what I love to do and I am not going to give up. I have to stand up tall. I have to keep trucking. I have to keep fighting. Life is not perfect, but I am grateful, and I will stay positive going into the NEW year!

    Don't put a comma when you need a period! #mandyhale

    A photo posted by Mantra YOGA Magazine (@mantramagazine) on

    Feeling so GRATEFUL for my family, friends, health, and the life that I am able to live! And that is all and that is what I will end on. Have a Merry Christmas friends and I will see y'all before the New Year!!! XOXO

    Tell me your "Thinking Out Loud" thought is for December!

    Island Girls Podcast - Mountain Man

    Happy Hump Day Friends! It is time for another Island Girls Podcast and we have to say, even though we may be biased, it is a good one! Since it is freezing cold outside, we recommend you grab some coffee or tea and listen to this week "coffee talk" with a young gentleman, while you work on the computer, cook in the kitchen, or even need to be distracted while running on the treadmill. 

    Last week and Dorothy and I had the pleasure of sitting down with a young man to talk about dating, love, and life 30 miles out at sea on Nantucket Island. Kelly is 27 years old; from Vermont, (hence the "Mountain Man" title we gave him); studying for the LSAT's; working and living on the island until February. We loved chatting with him and getting a younger man's perspective.

    I am not going to lie. It definitely made me feel a little old, but hearing him talk about these topics was fun and interesting. I loved how he picks up the phone to call women he is interested in. But I also found it interesting how the women his age felt uncomfortable when he called and would have rather received a text message? Kelley was a total sweetheart and it was such a pleasure to have him on our podcast, so that you can learn more about him and what is like for a 27-year-old man in today's dating world.

    Make sure to tune in to the full podcast here

    Let us know what you think! We really want to start engaging with our listeners and we want to know if you have any specific questions; what you would like us to talk about more; and if you would want to share some of your stories with us. We want this to be a fun, inspiring, and educational space where we can all learn, grow, and support each other. 

    As you can tell, I am really enjoying these podcasts as it is allowing me to open up more...learn more about myself...spend more time with Dorothy...have fun...and inspire me personally and professionally. Once you start talking about these topics out loud, you are putting them out into the universe, and then it is time to make things happen! I LOVE THAT!

    When you were in your 20's did you know your non-negotiables?

    Have you dated someone a lot younger or older? 

     

    ENJOY The Holiday Season

    It is the most WONDERFUL time of year or this time of year can wreak total havoc, stress, and weight gain...Am I right? Instead of going into the holiday season with these "Negative Nancy" feelings when it comes to eating and exercising, why not go into it with a positive, HAPPY, and HEALTHY attitude! Yes friends, put on those "Positive Patty" pants and have a jolly good time! This is a wonderful time of year and you should celebrate...you should be smiling...and you should be enjoying it with the ones you LOVE! I am not here to tell you what you should and should not eat. I am not here to share killer workouts, to help you burn off the Christmas cookies and wine. I am here to inspire you to go into this time of year with a NEW, refreshing, fun, and healthy attitude! Be grateful, be joyous, and just have FUN!

    Happy Holidays

    My Happy and Healthy Holiday Tips

    • ENJOY those holiday treats that only come out this time of year, but in moderation! It is hard to not eat all the cookies, candies, and cakes that always seem to be everywhere this time of year! You don't need to eat them just because they are there. Eat them because you want to! Eat them because it makes you happy and you haven't had Peppermint Bark since last year...HA!
    • Get LOTS of fresh air! Yes it is cold outside, but fresh air is always good for the mind and body. Grab a friend, family member, or you dog and just go for a long walk. Whether it is 15 minutes or a 60-minute walk, moving your body on a daily basis is a great way to stay healthy, happy, and motivated. I am cold ALL the time during winter, so I look like a snowman on my walks, but that fresh ocean air feels so GOOD! 
    • Remember to DISCONNECT! When you are at holiday parties, dinners, or events, try turning your phone off and just leaving it alone for a few hours. It is so refreshing and liberating to not be constantly checking your phone. Make those connections with those around you, by engaging in conversations, making eye contact, and giving friends and family members BIG hugs! I believe that when we are truly engaged and having a great time, we forget about our phones and we are just living in the moment. To me, that is PURE happiness!
    • Stay ACTIVE! If you feel like you are in a rut or not very motivated this time of year, switch things up! Try signing up for new classes. If you are traveling, check out local studios and sign up for a yoga class, kickboxing, or even swim laps at the local Y. And check out Groupon to see if you can get some good deals too. Staying active during this time of year, will help you stay happy, healthy, and prevent you from gaining any extra pounds if you really are enjoying that Peppermint Bark a little too much!
    Happy Holidays

    So what do you think of these tips? They are not hard...They are attainable...They are simple and they are REAL! Now go put on your holiday attire and smile big, because this truly is a wonderful and special time of year! Have a wonderful weekend friends and see everyone next week!

    Happy Holidays

    What are you looking forward to most this holiday season, besides peppermint bark?

    Are you signing up for any fun holiday races, fitness, or yoga classes?

    Island Girls Podcast - A Nantucket Gentleman

    It is the LAST big weekend on beautiful Nantucket, until April and it is time to celebrate! "Stroll" weekend is officially here! The boats and planes are sold out...Restaurants are booked solid...Christmas decorations are everywhere...and the island will be filled with up to 40,000 people! I am looking forward to dressing up, toasting to the festivities with friends, and yes DISCONNECTING to enjoy life on this beautiful island! It has been a busy week and I worked hard, so all those devices need to be shut down. It is time to make REAL connections for 48 hours and celebrate the Christmas season!

    BUT...Before I disconnect...We have a NEW podcast to share with you! This past week Dorothy and I met up with a "Nantucket Gentleman" over coffee and tea at Nantucket Culinary Center to talk about dating, love, and of course Nantucket. It was so much fun to get a male perspective. The conversation was fun, relaxing, and honestly, we could have talked for over an hour. People love to talk about these topics and so do we. (And I know my little sister is going to listen to this and she is going to tell me that I say "like" too much and I noticed that I do...DOH! I will work on that little sister...HAHAHA!) And moving forward...

    Here are some of the questions that we asked our "Nantucket Gentleman" were:

    • Why do men text and not call anymore?
    • What are some things that women do that are a turnoff?
    • What do you appreciate about a woman?

    So click HERE to listen to the podcast and ENJOY! If you have any questions that you would like us to ask or topics that you want us to cover, please leave them in the comments below. We want to hear from you and know your thoughts!

    Have a beautiful weekend friends and I will see you next week! XOXO

    Yoga BLISS At Powerflow Yoga

    I LOVE going home to New Jersey anytime of year, but I especially enjoy it during the holidays! Our family is very traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas and I look forward to those traditions each year. I cannot believe that I was home for a week and poof it just disappeared. There was lots of time spent with family and friends, working, shopping, and YES there was so much food, but gosh darn it was good...Mom's meatballs and spaghetti; burgers; Italian subs; pizza; and Thanksgiving dinner. My "food baby" was large and in charge, but thankfully I was able to balance it out with lots of yoga and running! 

    I knew when I got off the island last week, I needed to spend some time on my mat! I have been doing a lot of running, spin, and weight training, and I wanted to switch things up. My hips were screaming to be stretched and I knew it was time to step back on my mat! I was craving hard sweaty workouts that would help me stretch, lengthen, and work different muscles in my body. I am so grateful for Powerflow Yoga in New Jersey! You can learn more about this studio in my post that I did a few months ago HERE

    I was able to practice 5 days in a row at Powerflow Yoga. Each class was 75 minutes long and I was able to take classes from 3 different instructors. It was AWESOME and I was in yoga bliss. There was so much sweating, twisting, and poses that I have not done in months and it just FELT GOOD and was exactly what my mind and body needed! Love that feeling! 

    I took classes with Emma, Jeff, and Jessie. I have been taking classes with Emma and Jeff for a few years, but Jessie I had never taken before and it was nice to switch things up and try something new. 

    Emma's Class: Don't let this petite gorgeous woman fool you...She's TOUGH! Her classes focus on core, strength, and fun but challenging sequences that leave me sweaty, sore, but always smiling! With all the running I have been doing, her classes definitely helped open my hips, stretch my hamstrings, and build up strength in some of those neglected places...Chaturanga push-ups and lots of them, reminded me where I was weak!   

    Jeff's Class: Oh how I love Jeff and so does everyone else! His classes are always packed. He is fun, hilarious, and I love his music selection. I like the flow of his classes because he is always switching things up, to take you out of your comfort zone. He somehow makes it fun and comical even when you have been standing on one leg for what seems like a never-ending sequence. It's a hot sweaty mess of awesome yoga! 

    Jessie's Class: This was the first time I practiced with Jessie and I was pleasantly surprised and I definitely will practice with her again. She blew me away with her knowledge of the human body. This was a very challenging class, that I really enjoyed. We really got into deep stretching of the hips and shoulders. The sequences were slow, intense, and well structured. It really helped me focus on my breathing, my balance, and my core. It was such a well-rounded flow that I highly recommend for athletes. 

    It felt good to reconnect with this community. To see familiar faces. To switch up my workout routine. To try new things. To challenge myself. To find comfort and peace on the mat again. These are just a few reasons why I practice yoga and why I look forward to reconnecting with these people when I go home. The studio, the people, the teachers are the BEST and I cannot wait to go back in a few weeks for Christmas and spend more time on my mat and working on those inversions. I loved being upside down again!

    Make sure to check out the studio, their schedule, and follow them on their social media platforms below to stay up to date and maybe even sign up for some classes this holiday season!

    What is your favorite yoga studio?

    What type of workout are you currently loving?

    Island Girls Start A Podcast

    For a long time, I have been wanting to write about my "Oh So Single Life" and what it is like dating on Nantucket and what it is like to be a single lady in today's society. Let's be real...it is HARD. It is frustrating. It is exhausting. And it is CONFUSING! With all the dating sites, apps, and trying to figure out the "rules", it is a hot mess and sometimes leaves my head spinning. I know that I am not the only lady out there who feels this way. Raise your hand if you agree?

    Every time I would try to sit down and write about this, I felt overwhelmed and I was having a hard time putting it ALL on paper. Thank goodness for podcasts! And thank goodness for my partner in crime Dorothy! A few months ago, we started meeting at the Corner Table for delicious coffee, tea, and to talk about life, wellness, love, and Nantucket life. We both love to write, dream BIG, and inspire others, so it occurred to us that we have a lot to share. After brainstorming for a while, we believed it was time to start "Island Girls". 

    Island GIRLS

    Let us learn a little bit more about Dorothy first...

    Dorothy is a 7th generation Nantucketer. When she hit her rock bottom in her 20s, she made a choice that everything she would do in life she would do for love. Every day she makes that choice which has lead her to travel the world, become an entrepreneur, a yogini and love have fueled her writing, having a weekly Freaky Friday column on The Nantucket Chronicle, she has written Amazing Love Diet and has another book coming out, War on Love. Love can be a hard choice to make but it's always worth making. 

    Island Girls

    Make sure to follow the beautiful Dorothy on her social media platforms

    So here we GO friends...It is going to be a fun and interesting journey and we hope that all of you will follow along...listen...ask questions...and get involved! Click on the link below and listen to the "Island Girls" FIRST podcast! ENJOY! 

    https://soundcloud.com/dorothy-stover/islandgirlspodcastepisode1introductions

    What topics would you like to see us cover?

    Are you single? If so, have you experienced "ghosting" or "poof act"? 

    Nutty For NuttZo - Recipes by Marissa

    I am truly grateful for a lot of things, but as of lately I am grateful and appreciative of friends who LOVE to bake and are able to write guest posts for me when my life is too hectic and crazy to even think straight! I need to slow down and I am hoping that Thanksgiving week will allow me to do just that. My goals for next week are to breathe deeply + practice lots of yoga + move a little bit slower + enjoy time with family and friends + press the RESTART button! Sounds like a good plan to me...Now I just need to follow through with that! DOH! 

    In the meantime, I suggest you check out these NuttZo recipes by my fabulous friend Marissa! Yes, this young woman is a ROCK STAR with a heart of gold. And like me, she is a #NuttZoFANATIC. If you do not have NuttZo on hand, you can use another nut butter of choice. These recipes are perfect for the holidays or honestly anytime of year because anything with nut butter is the BEST! Try them out and let me know how they turn out for you. And make sure to follow Marissa's journey and give her a BIG high-five for recently completing the Rock n' Roll Savannah Marathon. She's unstoppable...THANKS again Marissa! XOXO

    NuttZo Pumpkin Spice Cookies

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 c Power Fuel NuttZo
    • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
    • 1/4 c coconut flour
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • Optional: 1-3 T sweetener of choice
    • Optional Add - Ins: chopped nuts, shredded coconut, dried fruit, or cocoa nibs

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    2. In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and apple cider vinegar. Stir the mixture well and set to the side.
    3. In a bowl, mix the NuttZo, pumpkin puree, egg, coconut flour, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and/or sweetener of choice.
    4. Spoon cookies onto a cookie sheet.
    5. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown! ENJOY!

    Gingerbread NuttZo Banana Bread

    Ingredients

    • 5 ounces of banana mashed
    • 3 T Power Fuel NuttZo
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 flax eggs (for every T of ground flax meal, mix with 3 T of water)
    • 2 egg whites
    • 2 T psyllium husk powder
    • 1/4 c coconut flour
    • 1/4 c of water
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • Spices: 2 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp ginger + 1 tsp nutmeg + 1 tsp cloves
    • 1/4 c chopped pecans
    • Optional: 1 T coconut palm sugar or 1 chopped date

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix until blended together.
    3. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Let it cool and then ENJOY!

    What is your favorite nut butter holiday recipe?

    Are you a baker or do you just wait for your friends to bring you baked goodies?

    Root For FOOD - Guest Post

    This week it is ALL about the food! I LOVE to talk about food...I LOVE to eat food...I LOVE to try new foods...and I LOVE how food fuels my lifestyle and allows me to do things that I LOVE to do on a daily basis. I know you all probably know this, but if you don't, I am a FOODIE! Just like so many other women in today's society, I too have struggled with food. When you are constantly bombarded with images of what you should look like and articles telling you what you should and shouldn't eat, it can become overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting. But once you are able to find that "happy space" to say screw you and do and eat what makes YOU happy, life changes! 

    When I first connected with Meg a few months ago, I knew that I wanted her to contribute to this space. Meg is an RD that also calls herself a "Food NERD that plays with plants!" She is also a taco guru, music lover, and obviously a FOODIE! Her story, her passion, and her outlook on food and life is inspirational and I hope you will head over to her blog Root For Food to learn more about her and follow her journey. In the meantime, THANK YOU Meg! XOXO

    Freedom In Food

    Root For Food

    The other day at a restaurant, I observed a woman carefully measure out every single item she ordered to ensure it was exactly catered to fit her meal plan. When it didn’t measure up she ordered more food. She took away food. She brought out her own food from her purse. At last, she even squeezed some lemon juice on top to make it fit the EXACT measurement. It blew my mind. One of her friends said, “You shouldn’t have to measure food like that for the rest of your life… that’s a little obsessive. What kind of life is that?” (YES. Yes for friends who are willing and able to speak truth into other friend’s lives. What a true friend.)

    Honestly, when you see things like this, it is hard not to judge. It is hard not to roll your eyes and shake your head, thinking, “she has gone off the deep end. “ And yes, maybe she has, but haven’t we all in one way or another?

    I think many of us struggle with this kind of manipulation- this kind of warped perfection of healthy. Thinking that we need a carefully outlined guide or road map to health or fitness or weight loss or whatever your “goals” may be. I believe it all manifests itself in many different ways. Hers happens to be in a very visual one for all to see.

    For you it may be a working out, it may be counting macros, it may be restriction, it may be juice diets, it may be with body bands or even bulimia or laxatives. Or maybe just stressing about food in general.

    But I believe all of these stem from the same foundation of fear and self- un-acceptance. They stem from a place of not feeling adequate enough and finding a high and some sort of comfort in these variables that we can control and manipulate. It stems from of a place of “I’m not good enough… so this will get me good enough.”

    This was me. 100% this was me. I wasn’t measuring out my food but I did count calories, severely restrict, and exercise myself to death for YEARS. All in an attempt to make my body submit to my wishes and take on the form I was convinced would make me beautiful and desirable. I was ashamed of myself and felt self- manipulation was the only option. And I am not the exception in this kind of toxic behavior or mindset.

    Root For Food

    There is one BIG problem with this mindset: It is working AGAINST our bodies instead of WITH our bodies. It is saying I don’t like you the way you are so I am going to take the reigns and make you how I want you. It is saying — you don’t know what you need for nourishment, so I am going to ignore you and apply calculations and formulas. It is removing natural intuition and mindfulness from our bodies and applying science and even aggression. It is saying— you don’t know how to burn off calories fast enough or work efficiently enough so I am going to exercise vigorously. It is saying I don’t like how much you weigh so I am going to provide you less fuel. It is ignoring craving and dismissing them as misbehavior.  

    Root For Food

    Wow!!! We live in a society that often promotes punishing our bodies into submission… versus loving our bodies into wholeness. I say wholeness because I think it best describes a beautiful mindset. One that says, body, I love you and want to work WITH you. I want to listen to you and treat you with care and love. It is a mutual respect for your soul and your body have towards one another- I love you, you love me, so let us pursue wholeness and wellness together. It is coming to that place of self-care and self-love that brings unity and peace to your spirit and your body. It is owning your body exactly how it is. Owning YOU exactly how you are. It is eating with the mindset of NOURISHMENT, not of calories or fat or carbohydrates. It is working out with the mindset of STRENGTH and HEALTH verses calorie burning. It is living life with an inner mindset, remembering your body and physical appearance is a part of you that needs to be loved and nurtured.  How much more valuable is a beautiful spirit, a happy sprit and a life well lived? One that is free of guilt and anxiety. Can you imagine?

    Root For Food

    If you are not in this place, I challenge you to begin to adopt this new state of body and mind. To blossom into unity with your body.  See it as a friend to grow with verses something that needs to be subdued into obedience and disciplined to reach your “goals”. To be completely honest, I still struggle with remaining in this positive place. To be honest, every day is a new challenge. Some days are better than others. But acceptance and self-love is the first step. As corny and cliché as that sounds…. it is true. Honestly, if you don’t START your journey with LOVING yourself and accepting your body the way it is nothing- no diet or disciple is ever going to get you to the point of contentment or happiness.

    Root For Food

    All of this being said, I do think it is healthy to have an understanding of the amount of calories and macronutrients you need daily. But when it becomes dogmatic and religious and creates a point of potential guilt around food, I believe this is when we have strayed from what our bodies are designed to do. I believe there is a substantial difference between awareness, and actual counting- as counting often eliminates a lot of the flexibility and grace your body desires. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot fit into a box and nutrition cannot fit into a formula. It all boils down to having an understanding of basic nutrition and letting your body do the rest. HOWEVER, many of us have turned off those signals. We have gone so far down the rabbit hole that our bodies don’t know how to communicate and we don’t know how to listen. Thus, there are some exceptions here and times when I do believe it is appropriate to follow a strict meal plan. This allows you to retrain your body to recognize proper nutrition and crave it when you are lacking and not when it is satisfied. This type of re-wiring can eliminate restriction, binging, and everything in between. Trust me, I’ve been there. We’re all in this together!

    Root For Food

    If you have any more questions regarding this, feel free to contact me. Of course, all of this is my humble opinion. I believe our bodies are incredibly perceptive and are capable of communicating their desires if we would only rekindle that beautiful relationship. I believe this is true freedom in food. 

    LOVE your body! LOVE yourself! And LOVE the foods that make you happy!

    #TryDry - A Product MUST When Traveling

    *Disclosure: Post sponsored by Mirum Shopper but all opinions are my own.*

    WAHOO! I got off the island for a jam-packed Halloween weekend in Boston! It was time to explore, shop, eat, drink, and enjoy the mainland for a few days. During the offseason, it is a MUST to get off the island as much as your schedule permits. It also helps to have friends who love to travel and can join the party! 

    After taking the ferry and picking up the rental car, then taking the train into the city, there are always a couple of stops I like to make. Yes, that is the normal amount of travel required to get off Nantucket. That alone in itself is its own little adventure. My frequent stops when I make it to the mainland for quick weekend getaways are always: Dunkin Donuts, Trader Joes for snacks, and CVS for all my bathroom essentials. I love CVS and their selection has really improved over the past few years. I always stock up on: 

    Besides being the perfect travel size, this Dove Dry Spray keeps me fresh, dry, and lasts 48 hours. When you travel by boat, car, and train on warm Fall days, I definitely need something that is going to hold up for long busy days of travel and adventures. It also helps that it smells good, goes on instantly dry, and there is no mess! No mess is KEY, because how annoying is it when you put on a deodorant and it sticks to your clothes, stains your clothes, and leaves you feeling just awkward. 

    Make sure to click on the above and below images to learn more about these products and make sure to pick some up for you, your significant other, or anyone else in your family. The offer is good until November 5, 2016, so STOCK UP and take advantage of this deal. 

    Even though it is definitely getting cooler and the days are getting shorter, there are still a few warm days left and you will be glad that you purchased these deodorants. I am glad that I was wearing my Dove Dry Spray on Sunday because it was warm in the city and we were walking around for hours, shopping, eating, drinking, and doing yoga poses in the middle of the historic streets because that is totally normal...Right? I smelled great, felt dry, and was comfortable all weekend long. Becuase the last thing I want to worry about is whether or not my deodorant is working when trying to enjoy a weekend away!

    What is your favorite deodorant?

    Do you have a list of places that you always stop by when traveling?

    Dinner Demonstration with Chef Greg

    On Friday it was windy, gray, and the streets of Nantucket were very quiet! I finally got out of my yoga pants; put on some "going out" attire; added some accessories and makeup and was ready to have a nice evening out. Even though I was going solo, I was so happy to be walking into the Nantucket Culinary Center's event that was being held that night. The environment was warm, welcoming, and perfect for meeting new people and enjoying delicious food and wine. 

    I first met the owners Joy and Greg at one of their cooking classes last Winter but lost touch during the crazy Summer months, so it was nice to reconnect with them and start working together to talk about this great business and promoting them. I make it a point to go to the cafe, which is below the culinary center at least 1-2 times a week, to not only get out of the house but to enjoy their latte's. They are so so so GOOD! And it is a great place to chat with friends, meet new friends, and work away. 

    Joy and I met a few weeks ago and just started chatting away about life, food (obviously), ideas, and ways to get people involved with the events and classes they offer. You can check out the schedule here to see the amazing variety that they offer! Joy graciously invited me to come to the event held on Friday and of course I said yes. When have I ever turned down food and wine?

    The event on Friday was called "Dinner Demo with Chef Greg in the Demonstration Kitchen". You walked in the door and they had family style tables set up; with appetizers set on the tables; 2 servers; and Chef Greg in the kitchen with a large flat screen TV overhead so you could watch from all angles. The kitchen is clean, modern, but also warm and comfortable. It was the perfect night for a Fall inspired feast and I was so happy to see lots of pumpkin, squash, and cranberries on the counters.

    I sat down with some women from NYC who were having a "Girls Weekend" to celebrate one of their birthdays. The dinner started on time. The servers were friendly, professional,  and did a great job of making sure everyone was happy. They are very good at making sure your wine glass is always filled! The food was all local ingredients, real, simple, and so delicious. Chef Greg is funny, engaging, and obviously very talented (Chef Greg lived in Colorado for many years and loved that his favorite spot to ski was Steamboat...FUN FACT)! I enjoyed that you could talk with your new friends at the table, but also ask Chef Greg any questions that came up while he was preparing the feast. I could go on and on about my dinner, but since I will be working with Joy and Greg throughout the winter, I can always brag more in other posts. 

    So start scrolling down through my pictures of these delicious Fall inspired EATS, that left me leaving that night with a very happy belly and heart. THANK YOU, Nantucket Culinary Center for inviting me to this perfect Nantucket Fall event!

    Cheese & Meat Plate with Pinot Noir

    Chef Greg starting the Dinner

    Pumpkin Soup with Creme Fraiche  

    Roasted Delicata Squash & Cauliflower over a Fennel Puree

    Swordfish & Steak with Isralei Cous Cous and Bruschetta

    Cranberry & Apple Crumble with a French Vanilla Sauce

    Make sure to follow the Nantucket Culinary Center to keep up to date on all events, life on Nantucket, and of course beautiful FOOD pictures:

    Do you enjoy going to cooking events?

    What is your favorite Fall squash right now?

    Breakfast Bowls ALL Week

    HELLO Friday! So it was 65-70 degrees and sunny all week here on Nantucket...AMAZING! I was giddy that I was able to wear shorts, leave the doors and windows open, sit outside in the mornings to eat my breakfast. Enjoying these days as much as possible, because I have a feeling it will be like a light switch and I will be moaning about how cold I am...Right?

    But back to breakfast...I LOVE breakfast! I love enjoying it after a busy early morning of work, clients, and my workout. When I get back to the house, I whip it up and make sure it is hearty, delicious, and packed with all the nutrients to keep me happy and healthy. And this week they were ALL out of bowls, hence the title. So let us take a look at my breakfasts during the week...

    For those mornings when all I want is crunchy, hearty, and large clusters of granola, this breakfast gets satisfies all of those needs. Michele's Cherry Chocolate Granola is DELICIOUS! I could easily eat half the bag, so I measure a serving and then pick out all the large clusters to eat on the side. Granola clusters make me happy...It is the little things, friends. In this bowl I added:

    Breakfast Bowls

    Pumpkin pancake for the WIN! So simple and so easy and the perfect combo of nutrients to eat after a busy morning and a hard workout. This pancake keeps me full for hours and yes I eat my pancakes out of a bowl and with a spoon because I don't want to waste ANY of that nut butter.

    • Pumpkin Pancake
    • 1 diced apple;
    • HEAPING spoonful of peanut butter!
    Breakfast Bowls

    One of my FAVORITE things about being an entrepreneur is that I create my own hours. Yes, I start sending emails around 6:15 AM and I have a tendency to work on the weekends, but that is okay because I love what I do. And I love when a friend says it is time to go out for a boat ride because it is 70 degrees and feels like Summer. Pack up a big breakfast bowl and run out the door. I packed this container with: 

    • 1 cup of Greek yogurt;
    • 2 cups of larger than life green grapes;
    • 1/4 c unsalted almonds!
    Breakfast Bowls

    And there was the really ugly but delicious breakfast bowl! It is funny how some of the best and most satisfying meals can sometimes truly be the ugliest. This smoothie did not disappoint, but gosh it was really ugly looking. I am trying out Rootz Nutrition for the first time and I have to say that this Paleo Protein Superfood was pretty darn good. More information to come later on this. In this smoothie I added:

    • 1 scoop of Rootz Nutrition;
    • 1 apple (1/2 blended + 1/2 diced and put on top);
    • 1/2 tbs chia seeds;
    • HEAPING spoonful of peanut butter;
    • Lots of Simply Organic cinnamon!
    Breakfast Bowls

    I do not know about y'all, but I have been eating a LOT of apples lately! They are so good and go with everything and pair really well with peanut butter...Obviously! I have been eating 3-4 per week. Tis the season! I make protein pancakes a lot (because they are super easy) but will usually switch up the fruit to whatever I am craving or have in the fridge. In this bowl I whipped up:

    • 1x egg + 1 scoop Rootz Nutrition  + baking powder;
    • 1x diced apple;
    • HEAPING spoonful of peanut butter!
    Breakfast Bowls

    What is your favorite breakfast bowl these days?

    What Fall fruit can you not get enough of?