Lipgloss Break: healthy
Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts

10 Uses for my Essential Oils


I recently started using Young Living Essential Oils and I'm really enjoying experimenting with the different oils and blends. Here are my top 10 uses for essential oils and oil blends (so far!):

1 - Lavender in baby boy's bath
2 - Lavender in baby boy's humidifier
3 - Eucalyptus in humidifier when stuffy
4 - Lemon oil in dishwasher to help get rid of water spots
5 - Diffusing Lavender and Stress Away at night to help relax me after a stressful day at work
6 - Diffusing peppermint during the day to help energize 
7 - Diffusing Citrus Fresh in kitchen to freshen it up
8 - Fennel oil to help with nursing
9 - Using all sorts of oils for DIY bath products, such as lotions and shower fizzies (bath product recipes coming soon!)
10 - Diffusing Purification in my kitchen after cooking, to help freshen the room

All the oils I listed above + several others come in the Young Living Essential Oils premium starter kit. The starter kit also comes with a diffuser and samples of oils (ideally to share with friends). It really is the best deal if you want to start experimenting...

There are SO many uses for oils. I love the smells and relaxing effect of using them. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have on Young Living Oils. Please tweet at me or comment below! If you're interested in purchasing the starter kit or oils, please use my distributor ID #2360032!

Do you use oils? If so, which are your favorite and what do you use them for?

*Post contains affiliate links


Clean Eating Oatmeal Cookie Pancake recipe

I love cooking breakfast on Sunday mornings. I usually try to get creative and try new clean eating breakfast recipes. Last week I came across Rachel Ray's Oatmeal Cookie Pancake recipe and my mouth started watering. I immediately scanned the ingredient list and figured out how to clean it up. My adapted recipe below...

Ingredients:
2 cups of oatmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
3/4 cup of water
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 really ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup of raisins
2.5 teaspoons of agave nectar
Sugar free or light Maple Syrup for topping

1 - Combine all ingredients (except for syrup) in a large bowl. 

2 - Mix as good as you can with a wooden spoon and then pour into blender. I used my NutriBullet to blend the batter. I had to do it in about 3 different batches, which is why it's important to mix it up as good as you can before adding to the blender.
3 - Heat skillet and spray with extra virgin olive oil. Heat pancakes until bubbles form on top, then flip. Since there are walnuts and raisins in these, they aren't going to look smooth like normal pancakes, but more like a oatmeal cookie. 
This recipe made about 10, very filling pancakes. Definitely enough to feed 4 people. Since it's just me and my husband, I froze the leftovers and pop them in the toaster for a quick breakfast when I'm in a hurry. They are so good toasted!

Do you like to cook breakfast on the weekends? If so, what's your favorite dish? Please share below! And if you're interested in more recipes, check out my other clean eating recipes.


Get Ready for Back to School with MinuteClinic



I know my teacher friends don't want to hear this, but Back to School season is in full effect. Backpacks are out, school supplies are on sale, and it's time for parents to start thinking about vaccinations. Not only are they important for your child's health, but in many states, they are mandatory!

When you're ready to start planning out vaccinations, check out the CVS MinuteClinic site, which offers a variety of back-to-school vaccinations so your kids don't have to miss their first day. Before heading over to CVS, check out your state's requirements for vaccinations here.

CVS also offers the following services:
  • Pre-participation sports physicals for just $39 - that's $20 off! This isn't just for sports, camps count too! Check out details here
  • Kids off to college? CVS also offers college physicals. Details here
  • MinuteClinic also offers a free $22 coupon book when you visit, with no purchase necessary. Available while supplies last through 12/1/14.
You can find a plethora of back to school info on the CVS MinuteClinic page, plus find the MinuteClinic closest to you. 

Also, on Monday, July 28, join the @MinuteClinic #GoBackHealthy chat to learn more Back to School tips and to ask questions. See you there!

Note: This review includes products that I received as samples, provided by the brand company or a PR rep. Please click here for more information regarding my disclaimer.


Clean Eating Crockpot Lasagna

Lately I've been trying to cook a 2-night meal on Sunday nights, so we can eat the leftovers on Monday. More often than not, they end up being crockpot meals.

I have done a ton of research on clean crockpot meals, and incorporating several recipes, I put together my own Clean Eating Crockpot Lasagna recipe. Trust me when I say, it's phenomenal. It takes about 20 minutes to prep and 4 hours to cook in the slow cooker. It serves about 6 people, but since my husband usually eats 2 helpings, it only lasts us two dinners :)

Ingredients:
1/2 package of whole grain or whole wheat uncooked lasagna noodles (I used Ronzoni Whole Grain)
1 package of lean turkey
1 jar of all natural tomato sauce
2.5 cups of part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
15 oz container of part skim ricotta (you can substitute cottage cheese for this, but since I'm pregnant and can't find pasteurized cottage cheese, I went back to using ricotta)
1 package of mushrooms
3 cups of spinach
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

1. Brown the turkey, mixing in garlic and red pepper flakes
2. While meat is browning, mix the ricotta with 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese
3. Once meat is brown, add 3/4 of the jar of tomato sauce to the pan and stir, making a meat sauce
4. Line the base of your crockpot with lasagna noodles (you may need to break a few apart to fit)
5. Add a layer of the meat sauce on top of the noodles
6. Add a layer of the cheese mixture on top of the meat sauce
7. Add a layer of mushrooms on top of the cheese mixture
8. Add a layer of spinach on top of the mushrooms
9. Repeat steps 5-8 one more time
10. Add one more layer of the meat sauce & cheese if you have any left over, along with the rest of the pasta sauce
11. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top and cook in crockpot for 4 hours on low.
clean eating lasagna
You really can't mess this up. If your proportions and layers are off, it's okay! Trust me, no two lasagnas will be the same. As I'm typing this, I'm finishing my 2nd bowl of this lasagna and my hubby is on his 3rd :) Once it cools in the crockpot I'll be putting the leftovers into tupperware for a fast, healthy dinner tomorrow night.

Enjoy!



Clean Eating with KIND Granola

clean eating yogurt parfaitAs much as I love making homemade clean eating granola and snacks for travel, I'm not superwoman. I only have so many hours in the weekend that allow me to cook and bake from scratch, and I usually prioritize cooking our main meals over desserts and snacks.

When I don't have time to create healthy snacks on my own, I turn to KIND Healthy Snacks. I have been a huge fan of KIND bars for a long time now. I always have one packed in my laptop bag and suitcase for hunger emergencies. My favorite is the Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate + Protein bar. These all natural bars are a life saver! One can hold me over between meals and I don't have to feel guilty over it tasting so good.

KIND also makes granola. Recently I was lucky enough to receive some samples of their granola clusters. My favorite flavor was the Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters. Absolutely delicious! If you like peanut butter, you'll love this granola.

This flavor is protein packed, with a blend of peanuts and whole grains. One serving contains 16kg of whole grains!

I put a half a cup full in a baggie for my travels and made yogurt parfaits one night with my hubby. Here's my Clean Eating Yogurt Parfait recipe:

Start with 6 oz. of Greek yogurt (I used Fage), and add toppings! My mix of toppings include:
 - KIND Granola (Peanut Butter Whole Grain, but all flavors taste delicious)
 - Fresh blueberries
 - Fresh strawberries
 - Unsweetened coconut
 - Extra dark chocolate chips
 - Sprinkles

This is also a fun snack to make with kids. When I have my niece and nephew over I put all of the toppings in different bowls and let them add the toppings to their individual yogurt bowls. It's a 'build your own yogurt parfait' bar!

You can buy KIND granola from the KIND website, Soap.com and Walmart.



Clean Eating Peanut Butter Cups Recipe

clean eating peanut butter cups
Happy New Year all! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I sure did, as you can probably tell from my lack of posting, we've been very busy throughout the holiday! Lots of visiting with family and friends, and I loved every minute of it.

I thought it would be fun to share one of my favorite clean eating desert recipes to kick off the new year. Clean Eating Peanut Butter Cups. They got rave reviews from the parties I brought them too this year. They are super yummy. Clean eating doesn't mean bland eating, it can be fun too! Below is a modified version of the recipe from HeandSheEatClean.com (love this blog...I get a lot of clean recipes from it!).

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all natural peanut butter (make sure the only ingredient is peanuts!)
1 heaping tablespoon of natural honey
20 oz of chocolate, 60% cacao, I used 2 bags of Giradelli chips
Mini cupcake paper cups



1 - Mix the peanut butter and honey together and set aside
2 - Melt chocolate chips in the mircowave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds.
3 - Once chocolate is completely melted, pour enough into each little cup to cover the bottom
4 - Layer on a dab of the peanut butter mixture in each cup
5 - Cover the peanut butter mixture with another layer of chocolate
6 - Freeze cups for an hour and the voila! Clean eating peanut butter cups!

This recipe makes about 50 small cups. I purchased a decorative holiday tray from my local grocery story and arranged them on this for the parties I went to. The tray was a nice leave behind as a hostess gift.

What did you bring to holiday parties this year? Or if you hosted, what did the menu include? Please share!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box

I love the idea of monthly subscription boxes. I first started seeing these a few years back, with a fewer smaller beauty companies. Now, it seems like there is a subscription box for everything...makeup, jewelry, healthy snacks, home decor and more! I've tried a few different subscription services out before and I always seem to get something that I wouldn't have purchased for myself, but end up loving!

POPSUGAR's Must Have box is my new favorite. It has a little bit of everything in it each month. All full size products, and a great assortment of new products. September's was filled with an assortment of good stuff, starting from top center and going clockwise...
Must Have Home
Barr-Co. Original Scent Reed Diffuser - This scent is amazing and it goes with any type of decor. I put it in my bathroom and it still smells amazing.

Must Have Fashion
P.S. - You're Invited by Erica Domesek - This book is so cool. So many ideas for DIY fashion projects that seem easy enough that even I could do them! This is a great idea for a hostess gift!

Must Have Home
Rifle Paper Co. Coaster Set - It's fun to set out pretty coasters when entertaining! They make a nice touch to any coffee table.

Must Have Fitness
Sharkies Energy Bites - All organic energy bites, great for pre-workout snack.

Must Have Food
That's It. Bar - Super clean and healthy. Pure fruit!

Must Have Beauty
Kitsch Headbands - They couldn't have picked a better gift for me. I live in these headbands on the weekends and during workouts. These came with fun, bright colors.

Must Have Fashion
Shoptiques $25 gift card - (not pictured) Shoptiques is a markeptlace where you can shop amazing boutiques from all around the world in one place.

This box, in my opinion, is the perfect gift for the girl who is hard to shop for or the girl that 'has it all.' Housewarming gift...gift for the new mom...college send off...it's perfect! There is something in each box for everyone. You can see what's in past boxes here. The Must Have subscription is $35/month, and discounted if you buy 3, 6, or  year at a time.

Do you belong to any monthly subscription services? Please tell me in the comments below!


Clean Eating Apple Pecan Protein Bar Recipe

Last weekend we went to the apple orchard with my husband's family. It was a beautiful day and the orchard was packed! I asked my husband to buy the smallest bag for apples. So what does he get? A full bushel!

Now I have a bushel of apples that I need to use in a week or two. The first place I turn for recipes? Pinterest! I found a Clean Eating Apple Cinnamon Raisin Pecan Protein bar recipe on Far Cleaner Life and made a few changes to create my own bars. Ingredients are as follows:

3 scoops of whey protein (I used 2 scoops of chocolate and 1 scoop of vanilla)
1.5 cups rolled oats
1 medium apple, cored and chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
1/2 can of 100% pure pumpkin (make sure no preservatives have been added)
1/2 cup of natural unsweetened applesauce
3 egg whites
4 Tbsp of ground flax
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Combine all ingredients into a medium size bowl and mix well
3. Grease 8x8 baking dish (I used coconut oil) and pour mixture into dish and spread evenly
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes
5. Let cool, cut and serve! You can wrap bars in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for later.

These turned out delicious. 1/2 can of pumpkin is just enough pumpkin flavor (any more than that can be a bit over bearing). I love these types of bars for traveling or a quick breakfast with coffee in the morning.

What's your favorite apple recipe? Please share below in the comments...I have a whole bushel left to go through!


Ellie Malta Capri pants

I heart new workout clothes. It motivates me to go to the gym! My new favorite workout pants are from Ellie.com. The Malta Capri pants, from their Bon Voyage collection, are ridiculously cute and unique. One of the coaches at my gym said, 'they look pants from the future!'

These pants are so different, you're bound to be the only person wearing them at the gym. Hitting mid shin, these grey capris have a fuchsia band across the top and fuchsia straps at the bottom of each leg. There's also the added convenience as hidden inside pocket for a credit card, cash or a key. I was a little worried about how these would wash, but after 3-4 washings they remain just like new.

ellie
Early morning Divvy bike ride in Chicago

ellie
Early morning run in Chicago

ellie fitness
Fall walk in Michigan to check out the changing leaves
 Additional info from Ellie.com for the Malta Capri pants...

  • Moisture wicking pre shrunk fabric
  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Open side detail, contrast waistband 
  • Natural waist, hidden pocket inside waistband
  • Designed for running, yoga, outdoors 
  • Material – Eclon, Supplex contrast
Ellie releases a fashionable new line of workout gear each month. October is themed Lightspeed and is releasing today! 


Have you tried Ellie gear out yet? If so, which pieces? What did you think?

Note: This review includes products that I received as samples, provided by the brand company or a PR rep. Please click here for more information regarding my disclaimer.


Clean Eating Apple Crisp Recipe

As much as I love Summer, as soon as October hits, I'm all in for Fall. Bring out the tights, bold nail colors, and cider mills. Last year we went to the orchards in Long Island and it was SO MUCH FUN. We brought back two huge bags of apples and I made a large bowl of apple sauce. But after one serving of it, as good as it was, I was kind of over it. So when my neighbor dropped off a bag of apples from a Michigan orchard, I hit the interwebs and researched some clean eating recipes.

Apple Crisp it is! I found several clean recipes but many still called for butter and brown sugar. I found this recipe on The Slender Grapefruit that looked good, and did my own variation.

Here's what I used:

7 small green apples
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup natural honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cups oats
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup granola (I used Nature's Path Organic Coconut Chia Granola from Costco)
2 tbs of ground flax
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Wash and chop up apples into cubes, toss with vanilla extract, and set aside
3. Mix honey, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside
4. Mix oats, almonds, granola, ground flax and Greek yogurt in separate bowl
5. Spread apples in a 9x13 banking dish.
6. Coat with honey mixture, and then top with oat mixture. Cover apples evenly.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until apples are soft

I served this over a little bit of Greek yogurt, instead of the usual ice cream that comes with crisp. Just keeping it clean! This got rave reviews from my husband and brother in law.

What are your favorite 'apple' recipes? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below! Please share!


Outdoor Workouts




A physician's assistant (and friend) once told me that the shape you're in when you're in your 30s has a direct correlation to what you'll be like 'fitness-wise' when you're in your 50s and beyond. I don't know if this a scientific fact, but it makes sense, and is why I prioritize fitness so much in my life. Not only does working out make me feel good, but I want to be able to set good examples for my children some day by living a healthy, active lifestyle. 

I travel a lot with my current job as a sales account manager, and sometimes its hard to find time to fit in a workout. Even worse, sometimes we stay in hotels that don't have gyms or if they do, it's one treadmill. So, I usually have to get scrappy when it comes to fitting work out in, because I believe in NO EXCUSES! I always pack my shoes (adidas Springblades) and a sports bra (adidas Techfit is my new fav), and now that it's getting colder out in the midwest, my new adidas Ultimate long tights and adidas Ultimate short sleeve top.


Adidas
Sometimes I'll do a circuit in my hotel room, but that can get kind of cramped and limited, so I started taking my circuits outside. I'm not a huge runner (can't just lace up my sneakers and run for 5 miles). So I incorporate run/walk intervals, with other body weight moves, to get my heart racing and a good workout in. For example, here's what I did last week in Chicago:
30 second sprint/30 second walk x 30 rounds (30 minutes)
50 body weight squats (in a park)
50 knee ups on park bench
Stop in a park (or back in hotel room) and jump rope (20 seconds jump/10 second rest x 8)

Not only am I getting a massive amount of cardio in the morning, revving up my metabolism for the rest of the day, but I'm getting to see a new city first hand! 

I also do workouts like these at home. If I know I have late work night coming up, I'll usually wake up early and workout. Here's another example of an outdoor workout I'll do at home and around my city:
30 second sprint/30 second walk x 30 rounds (30 minutes)
Break in between sprinting and do 20 alternating lunges (every 10 rounds)
Run down and up hill in my backyard x 3
Jump rope on back patio (25 seconds on, 10 seconds rest x 8)
Yes, sometimes I get weird looks if I'm on a street and a car drives by, but it really doesn't bother me. There's something very rewarding to me about being awake and working out as the sun is coming up in the morning! 

Now I want to know, what are your favorite outdoor activities?  What do you do to make working out fun?
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adidas Women designs innovative performance products to help women commit to their best self and conquer their fitness goals.   We inspire women to look and feel their best - be pretty, be tough & be confident.

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by adidas via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of adidas.




Peanut Butter & Banana Pancakes Recipe

After testing out several different clean eating, protein, oatmeal pancake recipe variations, I finally came up with one myself! I made these twice this weekend and my husband said, and I quote, 'these are the best pancakes you have ever made!' And I agree! Here's the recipe:

Ingredients
2/3 cup of dry oatmeal
7 egg whites
1 medium sized ripe banana
2 tbsp of all natural peanut butter
1 tbsp of Raw Cacao Nibs (optional)
1 tbsp Coconut oil for pan
Blueberries to top (optional)

1. Combine the oatmeal and egg whites in a mixing bowl and stir
2. Add in banana and mash/mix it in to the bowl
3. Add peanut butter and optional cacao nibs
4. Pour batter into blender and blend until smooth
5. Heat nonstick pan over medium heat and put a small portion of coconut oil to grease pan
6. Add a portion of the batter (depending on how big you like your pancakes) to pan for approximately 3-5 minutes, then flip to cook other side (this will vary based on how hot your pan is and size of pancake

My husband and I topped these with sugar free syrup (for him) and low-sugar syrup (for me). I added blueberries to the top of mine for some extra sweetness.

This recipe should make approximately 4-6 ‘silver dollar size’ pancakes. These are pretty dense – 2 pancakes filled me up!



Clean Eating Blueberry-Raspberry Jam

I've been on a huge fruit kick lately. I realized how cheap Costco is for buying fruit and I've been stocking up. I get 3x the amount of strawberries and blueberries at Costco for the same price of what I pay for a small amount at my local grocery store. Costco is the way to go! What we don't eat in a weekend I freeze for smoothies or parfaits for a later time.

I normally just buy strawberries and blueberries but this past Costco visit the raspberries were calling my name. They looked so perfect!

I've been wanting to make my own jam for awhile now. I don't buy it from the store because it contains so much sugar, and the sugar free jam, to me, tastes awful. I found recipes from two of my favorite food blogs, Oh She Glows & PaleOMG and used them both to make Blueberry-Raspberry Clean Eating Jam. Here's what I used:

2 cups of fresh raspberries
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1/2 cup of all natural honey
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp lemon juice (or a juice from one lemon)


1. Add blueberries to a small sauce pan over medium heat. As they defrost they will start 'popping' open, and juices will start to come out.
2. Add raspberries, honey, and lemon juice
3. Continue to stir and mixture should start to get thicker
4. Add in chia seeds
5. Stir until all fruit is broken apart. I kept mine over medium heat for about 25 minutes, and then 10 minutes over low
6. I let it cool and then put it in my one of my grandmother's mason jars :)

I used this jam on my toasted Ezekiel cinnamon raisin English muffins for breakfast on Saturday morning and it was delicious!



Kettlebell Love

Tomorrow is a big day. I'm taking a full day kettlebell certification class through the International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation (IKFF). It only took 28 years to find a sport I am passionate about. These iron bells have pushed me past what I thought was my limit and have made me a mentally and physically stronger woman!

Here are my essentials for a kick butt kettlebell workout:
 - A kettlebell! Start off light if you're new. I originally started with an 18lb bell, then 2 years later competed with a 12kg (26lbs) bell, and now I'm competing with a 16kg (35lb) bell. Took me 3 years to work up to the 16kg.
 - My Lululemon headband does a great job keeping my hair off of my face, especially during kettlebell swings.
 - Ellie.com is not only quality and functional workout gear, but also super cute. I just ordered the shorts below. And every time I wear my Ellie Peek a Boo top people go crazy over it!
 - Wristbands provide cushion for your wrists. Helps when you clean and jerk the bell!
 - I love my Under Armour shoes for lifting.

Once I have my certification I will be posting more kettlebell workouts here. Stay tuned and please let me know if you've ever used kettlebells before!

Kettlebell workout



Ellie Little Black Collection


You know you have it bad when you spend more money on workout clothes then every day clothes. I'm not one of those girls who gets all done up to go to the gym, but I do think that when you are comfortable in the clothes you work out in, and like the way they look on you, you'll have a better workout. Look good = Feel good. And that's why I'm totally obsessed with Ellie...

I love that Ellie gives you the option to join as a monthly subscriber or purchase items separately. The best bang for you buck is joining as a member, and you'll get 2 items each month for $49.95. You can cancel at any time. Click the banner to the right for 20% off your order!

I already did one post about my obsession with Ellie gear, but recently I got to try out a new outfit from their Little Black Collection and I'm in love all over again.

I packed my new top and pants for my trip to New Orleans a few weekends ago. The hubby and I woke up super early our first morning there and went for a jog along the Mississippi River, which is where we took these pictures.
ellie
Ellie Black Widow top.

Pictured above is the 'The Black Widow' top, named this because of the strappy back which is spider-like. But don't let this creep you out...this top is contoured, slimming and sleek. It has a built in bra (medium support) and I didn't have to wear another one for my run (but I'm also smaller on top). The back panel is mesh, and there are also breathable panels along the sides. The panels are sheer, but not too sheer that they are see through. The fabric itself is really breathable, made from EllieProText and Power Mesh. I wore this for a jog, but would also wear it to cycling and kettlebell workouts. This top retails at $44.95.
ellie black widow top
Ellie logo detail on Black Widow top

Ellie Little Black Capri pants
Ellie Little Black Capris
The pants I wore are the Ellie Little Black Capris. These fit like a glove. They are super comfortable. I would wear these out and about for errands as well. They are made from wicking fabric that keeps you dry, and are preshrunk so you don't have to worry about washing them. They are also water, wind and tear resistant. I wore these for my run but would also wear them to yoga, kettlebells, cycling and the gym for weightlifting. Little Black Capris retail at $44.95.
Ellie Little Black Capri pants
Ellie logo detail on Little Black Capris

Ellie also has two new lines out: Cosmic Love and Coral Crush. These are a few of the items that are on my wishlist:

Ellie Cosmic Love
Space Cadet top and Galaxy shorts
Ellie Coral Crush
Dynamic Duo Top and To Dye for Capris







Have you tried Ellie gear yet? If so, did you like it? What's on your Ellie wishlist? Don't forgot to click on the banner above for 20% of your order!

Note: This review includes products that I received as samples, provided by the brand company or a PR rep, and affiliate links. Please click here for more information regarding my disclaimer.


Yoga + Kettlebells = Cosmic Kettlebells

kettlebellsMy kettlebell coach had once told me that Minneapolis has a huge kettlebell following, so when I was there last year, I attended a local kettlebell studio, Southside Kettlebells, and had a blast. So when I was in town last week, I wanted to try out a new studio. I came across Four Gates in my searches and decided to check out a class called Cosmic Kettlebells.

Cosmic Kcttlebells is a combination of vinyasa yoga and kettlebells. Here's the description on the site:

"The word “yoga” means “to integrate” or “union”, and this definition is very well exemplified in this one of a kind class. We merge sun salutations, kettlebell lifts, Qi Gong exercises, and full body hooping to create a state of cosmic bliss and universal strength. We recommend that students attend one kettlebell expansion class first."

I was really curious how the class was going to flow. I was pleasantly surprised at the balance between yoga and kettlebells. I got a great cardio workout in while stretching and meditating in the same hour.

It was American style kettlebell moves which I'm not totally use to, but caught on quick. We picked up our bells from the squat position to start each kettlebell circuit, and then once the circuit was over we did traditional yoga moves.

I was really sore the next day from all of the stretching and deep squats. I will definitely be taking the class again when I visit Minneapolis again. I highly encourage checking out a new class or gym when traveling for work or pleasure. Every class is different and it's always fun to learn and try something new!

lululemon

And on a separate note, to end my trip, I swung by the Mall of America before I caught my flight, and guess which store was right by my entrance??? Fate!





Clean Eating Sloppy Joes

It was hard to find a clean eating sloppy joe slow cooker recipe...so I just made one up! They turned out delicious. So delicious, that my husband and brother in law ate them all before I could take a picture. Here's what I used:

Ingredients: 
1.5-2lbs of ground turkey, beef or venison (I used venison)
1 cup of all natural ketchup (make sure it doesn't contain a bunch of added preservative junk)
1/4 cup of hot sauce (if you don't like spice you can leave this out)
1 chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp of sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
8 whole wheat or multi grain buns (I like to toast my buns :)

1. Brown the meat in a large skillet. Once it's no longer pink, drain, and add to the slow cooker.
2. Add all other ingredients and stir well.
3. Cook for 8 hours on low (may very based on your slow cooker). This is a 'cook while at work' approved recipe!
4. Serve 1/2 cup of mixture on a toasted bun and enjoy!



Meet Ellie



Oh, great, now I have a new obsession...Ellie. Have you met her yet? Ellie is a new fitness line that is going to give Lululemon a run for their money.

I'm not one to spend a lot of money on workout clothes. We only sweat in them, right? But sometimes, when you know you look good, you feel good, and that can make for a better workout. Probably the same reason I put on lipgloss to go to the gym (#truth). Ellie takes fashion and fitness and feeling good all into consideration when they design their lines. Most of the pieces on the site (mostly the tops) are very unique, which I love. They are nothing like what you will find in popular workout gear lines..  All pieces are mix and match which is convenient for gym clothes. I have a hard enough time piecing together outfits for work, let alone the gym!

You can shop on Ellie.com just as you would any other site, or, you can sign up for a monthly subscription, aka the Fit Fashionista Club. It's $49.95 a month and you get two new pieces each month, your choice. Also included in a membership is free shipping, priority access to the new lines, flash sales and other exclusive events.You'll take a style quiz as soon as you sign up to choose your style preferences and size. From there, they will tailor your shopping experience to the looks they think you'll love.

I received 'My New Obsession Leggings' and 'Peek-a-Boo tank,' both pictured below. They arrived in a super bright pink bubbled envelope, wrapped in tissue. Like I mentioned earlier, the top is super unique which is why I chose it. It looks like a regular tank from the front, but has a mesh, open back. It fits loosely around the hips and kept me cool during my yoga workout. I will also wear this to circuit training, cycling and kettlebell classes.

The pants are super comfortable too. They were a little long on me so I cuffed them at the bottom and they still looked cute. I wore them for yoga but they are also perfect for an early AM run and/or a cycling class.
DDP Yoga poses (warrior and superstar) and our new 'yoga room' aka living room.

Check out Ellie's new line for March, the Little Black Collection, here. Ellie and I are also offering 20% off of your first order...click the banner to the right to redeem! I will definitely be ordering more from Ellie. I could get use to looking fashionable while at the gym!

Note: This review includes products that I received as samples, provided by the brand company or a PR rep. Please click here for more information regarding my disclaimer.


FlyWheel Indoor Cycling

My husband and I had to be in NYC a few weeks ago for work, so we flew out early to spend the weekend there. We opted into staying near our old stomping grounds, the Upper West Side. I highly recommend our hotel, you can read my review here.

I like to plan out my workout times in advance when I travel, so I can plan other stuff around it. The hotel only had a small workout room, and I couldn’t get a weekend Equinox pass, so I finally decided to splurge on a legit NYC cycling class.

My first choice was SoulCycle. I checked Friday afternoon and all of the early morning sessions for Saturday and Sunday were booked! I then checked FlyWheel, which I read about in a BlissTree article on my way to NYC. I logged onto FlyWheelSports.com and while creating my profile to sign up for a class, I realized that the first class is free = yes!

I arrived a few minutes early to the Upper West Side studio, just so I could get settled in. The check in process was easy, all I had to do was log into one of the computers and click a button. My cycling shoes were already pulled for me and put in a cubbyhole that corresponded with my bike number. Shoes, lockers, waters and towels are all included in a class price ($32/class, but again, first class is free).

A FlyWheel rep helped me adjust my bike once the studio was ready. At every bike there are weighted bars and a digital resistance/RPM reader. I’m use to just guessing what my resistance is at, but these bikes tell you your exact resistance or ‘torque.’

Instructor comes in, lights go off, and there is a dim spotlight on the instructor. She starts the music, David Guetta, and I knew I was going to like this class. The whole time I felt like I was at a club, and the instructor was the DJ. She was so energetic and into the music, I loved it.

Every couple of songs the instructor would change the screens in the front of the class to show our ‘scores.’ When signing up for the class online, you can ‘opt in’ to this feature, and see how you are doing compared to others in the class. While signing up, I thought ‘why not.’ And I’m glad I did, because it really pushes you to go farther! After class, you can check your performance online, finding how far you rode, approximate calories burned, etc.

The class was made up of sprints, hills and one song dedicated to an arm work with the weighted bars. According to my heart rate monitor, in a normal cycling class, I average 300 calories burned. After this class, I was at 480. AWESOME way to start a Sunday!

I wish I would have taken more pictures of the class, but I didn't want to be a total tourist :) When visiting a city that has FlyWheel locations, I will definitely take another class. It was an amazing workout. 45 minute and done for the day! 


Clean Eating Blueberry-Banana Protein Crepes

For the past few years I've called myself a 'clean eater,' but lately, I've been super serious about it. Making my own snacks, prepping meals for the week, down to making my own granola. The all natural, organic kind at the grocery store still contain processed junk!

The past few weekends I've been making Clean Eating Blueberry-Banana Protein Crepes for our post workout meal and they have been phenomenal. I started with a recipe I found in Oxygen Magazine, but made a few moderations....

Ingredients
4 egg whites
1 scoop of vanilla protein
1 tsp of cocoa powder (optional...can also use cinnamon)
3 tablespoons of almond butter
1/2 cup blueberries
1 banana

Whisk together the egg whites and vanilla protein. Less lumps the better. I used my new Cuisinart hand blender and it worked it into a really smooth batter. If yours a little thick, add a tablespoon or two of water to it.

Spray a non-stick pan with olive oil spray and pour a 1/3 of the batter into the pan over med-low heat. Once the sides start to cook (probably after 1-2 minutes) add 1 tablespoon almond butter to half of the crepe, along with some blueberries and banana slices. Fold over (like in the picture of above) and let cook a few more minutes. Repeat for the other 2 crepes.

Serving size is one crepe. This recipe makes about 3. Enjoy!