What I’m Loving Lately

Currently my kitchen has no ceiling. That’s right. And it’s on purpose! The hubbs and I are in the middle of some renovations on our house and as you can probably guess, it’s making any sort of cooking, baking or blogging quite challenging. My photo setup has been dismantled and replaced with a tools table. Ahh! Obviously I’m super excited about the end result of our reno, but living in it is a bit tough. That being said, I’ve decided to keep things positive and share some things that I’m loving lately!

1. Avocado with salt and red pepper flakes

This is my new favorite side dish instead of chips or soup. And it adds some healthy and satisfying fats to my lunch. Plus the red pepper flakes add a little something special 🙂

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2. LaraBars as dessert

Lately I’ve been trying to reduce my refined sugar intake, but I still get intense cravings for something sweet. Enter the Coconut Cream Pie LaraBar. It’s the perfect amount of sweetness, but has only natural sugar from dates and also has fiber and protein to keep me full.

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3. Lettuce wraps instead of chips/tortillas

Check out these beef tacos! Lately I’ve been subbing the corn taco shell with some romaine lettuce leaves and it’s pretty awesome. Honestly I don’t even miss the taco shell. Who needs carbs when you have beef, cheese and veggies?!

 

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4. Little Secrets dark chocolate peanut butter candies

These things are dangerously delicious. They are like peanut butter M&Ms, but way better because they’re dark chocolate and have nothing artificial in them! Perfect for movie date nights 🙂

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5. Bowls

I’m not talking ceramic. I’m talking rice, veggies, sauces and big flavor. Just grab your favorite fresh and roasted veggies, your favorite grain or whole grain crackers, some protein like roasted chicken and top with your favorite salad dressing or sauce. Done and done.

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The last thing I’m loving probably deserves its own blog post and that’s the weather. Spring is here in New England, well sometimes. By sometimes I mean yesterday it was 85 and today it was 45. But I love any warmth and sunshine we can get! Okay, I’m off to help build us a new ceiling. Wish me luck!

5 Tips For A Vacation-Ready Body

Happy first day of spring! With a foot of snow on the ground and temps hovering in the 30’s it does not feel like spring here one bit! But the calendar tells me it is, so I guess I’ll believe it. It’s all good though because next week the hubbs and I will be sailing into the warm Bahama sunshine 🙂 So I wanted to share some of my tips for shedding your winter-body and becoming the beautiful spring butterfly that has been hiding under all those sweaters for the past 5 months. I am by no means an expert on this, but these are just some of the tricks I find helpful and what I am doing right now! Warm weather here I come!!

5 tips for a vacation ready body

1. Say yes to sweat

This may seem obvious, but you’re gonna have to start working out – hard. Or if you are already working out, it’s time to amp up whatever you’re doing. Here’s some tips on how to do that.

  • Increase mileage/time – If you’re currently running 2 miles every other day, make it 3 miles.
  • Add an extra workout – Even by simply adding one extra exercise day to your week will make a big difference. Sunday evening is my favorite time to get in an extra workout because I usually have extra time. Think of what day you might have just an extra 20 minutes and do your workout, no matter what.
  • Add a walk into your daily routine – Moving throughout the day is just as important as the time you spend at the gym. Commit to a 10 minutes walk during your lunch break, even if it’s cold outside!
  • Stop making time an excuse. Try my 20-minute at-home workout for a quick and easy way to get your sweat on.

5 tips for a vacation ready body

2. Make sleep your best friend

My personal goal for every weekend is to sleep as much as possible. During the week I am go go go and barely have time to breathe, so the weekend is my time to re-charge. That means sleeping in late AND planning a nap in the afternoon. This rest time ensures that I have the brain capability to handle the coming week and it prevents nasty things from happening to my body, like an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which increases appetite. No one wants an increased appetite when they’re trying to fit into their summer clothes…in March. So make sleep your b$tch.

3. Cut the sweets

This one gets me every time. For me, it’s hard to say no to chocolate. But if you’re 2 weeks away from bearing your pasty white body for all to see, you gotta give it up. Reducing your sugar intake will help you reduce unnecessary calorie intake, but it will also help you eat more nutritious and satisfying foods. If you usually reach for a cookie after lunch, reach for some nuts instead. Or if you really need a sweet fix, opt for a snack that still offers protein and fiber to help keep you satisfied – like fruit, a yogurt (low sugar preferred, like Oikos Triple Zero) or a Lara Bar (natural sugar from dates). Shoving a handful of M&M’s into your mouth may temporarily keep you satisfied, but 20 minutes later you will crash and need something real. Skip the extra calories and go straight for the real stuff.

5 tips for a vacation ready body

4. Say no to bread

Cutting bread from your diet helps reduce your carb intake, which helps you burn fat, but it also opens up your eating possibilities. Think of all the super nutritious foods you could be eating instead of bread; like sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats, brown rice, coconut flour, etc. Try eating roasted sweet potatoes with your morning eggs, subbing quinoa for pasta or using coconut flour in your baking. Have a serious hankering for some toast? Opt for whole wheat and keep your portions small.

5 tips for a vacation ready body

5. Get your bronze on

There’s nothing worse than showing up to a tropical beach and being the whitest person on the sand…or just blending into the sand completely. You gotta get a little pre-tan happening so that you have the confidence to strip down and frolick into the warm waves. I recommend getting a spray-tan or applying some self-tanner the day before you go. Sun Tan City always has coupons available and Fake Bake is super popular for the DIY sunless tan. No harmful UV rays needed!

5 tips for a vacation ready body

Now I’m not saying that I can stick to this every second of every day, but I’m certainly trying. I mean, nothing makes you want to run that extra mile like knowing you need to fit your winter bum into your summer bikini in t-minus 10 days.