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Wedding Brain and Clean Eats

1 Jul

So glad this Monday is wrapping up! I’m not feeling too hot today. Tired, headache, neck and jaw pain- NOT a good way to start the week. I blame it on the fact that over the course of the weekend I went from a lazy bride with zero wedding plans to this:

Wedding brain

Just when I thought my life/brain was at full capacity, I managed to squeeze another category into it. We visited our first venue on Friday, hammered out a first draft guest list on Saturday, and developed a line-item budget on Sunday. I’m learning that wedding planning is like everything else in life- as complicated or as simple as you choose to make it. You can plan a three ring circus OR you can plan a little party- it’s all up to you.I love this article from A Practical Wedding titled “Your Wedding is Not a Show”. It puts things into perspective for me. Since JWD and I are on a very tight budget, perspective is crucial. Let’s be real, despite the upswing in planning I am still a “lazy bride”. There is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that I will lose sleep over centerpieces and aisle runners :) Looking forward to sharing my wedding planning simplifications as the planning ensues (and would love to hear your tips if you have any!).

In other news, after a weekend of traveling, brunching, and lunching, I was very much looking forward to getting back into my normal food routine today.

An unseasonably chilly morning spurred an oatmeal craving.

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Old-fashioned oats, soy milk, blueberries, walnuts, peanut butter, unsweetened coconut, stevia, and cinnamon.

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Lunch was leftover shrimp salad with leftover crumbled roasted tempeh (can you tell leftovers are my go-to lunch??) rounded out with salt & vinegar Popchips, grapes, and a sparkling water. LOVING Seagram’s Key Lime right now!

Afternoon snack before yoga was a too-ugly-to-be-photographed green smoothie with Sunwarrior. Greens + cocoa powder make for a very unappetizing color. It was delicious though!

The theme in my yoga class tonight was “listening to your body”. It was exactly what I needed and made me feel SO much better, but still exhausted and ready for an early bedtime. 

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After yoga, JWD whipped up a yummy dinner of smashed pinto beans and sautéed veggies and sweet potatoes. Time to close my eyes and hope I feel better tomorrow- it’s going to be a jam-packed day!

Thanks for reading :)

A New Chapter

18 Jun

Once upon a time there was a blogger. She blogged… and then she didn’t. And then she blogged again… and then she didn’t. Sound familiar?  :)

It’s been a challenging few years. I’ve been in survival mode for most of it, making sharing my life on this blog difficult. But a new chapter is upon me and suddenly blogging feels right. I’m ready to share, to be an open book, and to ditch the ideas of perfection, ideals, and “shoulds”. The perfect time will never come, no circumstances will ever be ideal in every way, and I will always be “under construction”. There is no better time than the present. 

Big changes since we last met, my friends…

1. Instead of sitting in a classroom learning about nutrition and exercise, I am finally out practicing it. I am working as a dietitian and personal trainer at a fitness center and also for a private practice dietitian in sports nutrition, weight-loss, and media. 13430_10201042496846065_475774142_n 2. I became an aunt! My sister gave me this wonderful gift- my nephew Waylon. DSC02200 3. JWD and I are engaged! I am over the moon excited and the wedding journey has only just begun.

4. Therapy- lots of therapy :) I told you I am “under construction”. People treat therapy like it’s a bad word. I think that is nonsense. Since when is wanting to improve yourself a bad thing? We are all a work in progress. Everyone needs a good therapist. It’s life-changing :)

My dream is for Running on Sunshine to be a place to share my nutrition and fitness know-how with you, a place for you to turn to for the truth about the latest health craze, and a place to share my day-to-day craziness laced with my personal healthy living tips for mind, body, and soul.

With that, let’s get reacquainted. Here is a look at my Monday… DSC02036 I started my post-vaca Monday (just got home from a week at the beach!) bright and early with a green juice, egg + egg white on an english muffin, and melon before heading out for an early nutrition client. After my client I got some work done at a coffee shop. After another appointment, I headed home for lunch.Leftover tofu taco salad, lemon La Croix, and the last of this yummy snack I posted on instagram today.

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My afternoon included a meeting with the dietitian I work for, and a nutrition client at the gym. I snacked on a rice cake topped with the most incredible coconut cinnamon almond butter I made on Sunday and sliced strawberries and a Luna protein bar in between meetings. 

I ended the day with my favorite hot yoga class. This class makes Mondays so much more bearable. It is my religion. I have cried, laughed, bit the dust, and mastered poses I thought were impossible on my mat in this class. Please do me a favor and dedicate an hour of your Mondays to something that feeds your soul in this way!  

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I was a sweaty, blissful mess after class. Post-yoga, I took a much-needed shower and threw together dinner with JWD.

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Roasted sweet potato fries, tempeh, salad, and sriracha for dipping.

Then  I curled up with a new book, The Fire Starter Sessions, for a little wind down time before bed. I’ll leave you with this great quote from my book: True Self It’s good to be back! Thanks for reading :)

Beat Boredom Gym Cardio Workout + Life Lessons From My Yoga Mat

8 Jan

Hello my friends! Hope you are having a great week so far. Mine has been pretty low-key: working, studying, and a good dose of self-care :) Today I want to focus on a few recent workouts.

I am such a baby about the cold. My standard state in our apartment in the winter is a giant sweatshirt (with the hood up of course), fuzzy socks, slippers, wrapped in a blanket, with a mug of hot tea in hand. JWD is a gem for putting up with this :)

The only thing worse than sitting inside when it’s cold is thinking about exercising outside. It takes all of my willpower to make this happen. So, when the outdoors looked less than appealing on Saturday I ventured to the gym to knock out my cardio. I get bored pretty easily on gym cardio equipment, so I came up with this workout that mixes things up by utilizing 4 pieces of equipment:

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This workout is easily adjusted to the time and equipment you have available. Short on time? simply cut out one of the 10 or 15 minute machine segments to meet your needs. Don’t have all the equipment? Do the same prescription on a different machine. The 50 minutes flew by and I had fun bopping around to the different machines.

Now on to the second workout. Yesterday I took my favorite hot yoga class. This class challenges me like no other workout. I am always amazed by the growth that happens and the lessons that I carry off my mat and into my life. Before class I came across this article that I shared with my Facebook friends today. (read it, it’s short and sweet!)

Why Being Uncomfortable Is A Sign You’re On The Right Track

Being Uncomfortable

The lesson this article teaches us is priceless. There is enormous power in learning to stay calm in the face of discomfort. To feel it, acknowledge it, and just let it be. Because just beyond this discomfort is where the magic happens. It’s where you grow, change, and get to know the best you you can imagine. I think it’s human nature to avoid discomfort at all costs. We do it everyday- when we decide to go to the same old restaurant because what if the new place isn’t as good? When we stay in a job we hate because finding a new job would mean putting ourselves out there for others to judge. When we avoid trying something new because what if we fail? When we travel the same routes everyday because what if we get lost on the new route?

I am such an introverted creature of my comfort zone (hence the hoodie-socks-tea routine), so being uncomfortable is.. well, very uncomfortable for me. Over the past 5 years I’ve changed cities once, schools twice, college majors three times, homes four times, jobs five times, completed a 10 month internship that required me to immerse myself as an employee at a new site every two weeks, and went through the divorce of my parents. Talk about uncomfortable. I think I’ve lived most of the past 5 years outside my comfort zone. BUT I’ve also grown, achieved, and discovered and fell in love with my “true self” over the past 5 years.

So I take this idea of “getting comfortable being uncomfortable” onto my yoga mat and practice it. I acknowledge the discomfort, I focus, and I breathe through it. I remind myself that no matter what happens, I will be okay. During last night’s class my teacher asked us to practice kicking up into our handstands with both feet at the same time. This is challenging for me because the comfort of having one “safety” leg near the floor is gone. You are literally “jumping in with both feet”. I acknowledged my fear of falling, my fear of knocking over one of the yogis next to me, my fear of failing, and my fear of looking silly. And then I did it anyway. It doesn’t matter whether I succeeded or not. If I fall, I grow. If I succeed, I grow. All that matters is that I allowed myself to feel the discomfort and breathed my way to the other side of it. And that, my friends, means I’m on the right path :)

This week I challenge you to jump in with both feet and face discomfort head on. Do one thing outside your comfort zone, big or small, and take in the gifts that wait for you on the other side.

Thanks for reading :)

Building The Perfect Workout Routine

21 Oct

I get a lot of questions from readers and clients about starting a workout plan and about my workout schedule. My schedule tends to vary from week to week, but I try to stick to a general routine. Today I’m going to break down my workout routine and the four elements that I include when putting a routine together for myself or someone else. I also added a new tab ↑ (look up!) ↑ where I will update my weekly workout schedule, links to workouts, etc. for your sweating inspiration :)

Part One: Strength

Strength training really is the foundation of my routine. I think it yields the best results for weight loss, body composition, and overall health. I like to do my strength workouts at a gym, but strength exercises can be done anywhere with bands, dumbbells, soup cans, and even your own bodyweight! I think strength workouts should be done at least two times per week. It can be as simple as a 30-minute routine done in your living room. I would love to make some videos of my favorite strength workouts for you guys soon! I strength train 3 days per week.

Part Two: Endurance

I think of endurance exercise as longer, slower, bouts of cardiovascular exercise. Think walking, running, swimming, biking at a slow and steady pace. It keeps your heart healthy and builds stamina. I try to include at least one endurance workout per week, lasting about 30-60 minutes. My favorites are running, swimming laps, or a long walk or bike ride.

Part Three: High Intensity

High intensity workouts are the opposite of endurance- shorter time and faster pace. Workouts that fall into this category include sprints or intervals on an elliptical/treadmill/bike. I also put plyometrics into this category. I include at least one high-intensity workout per week for about 30 minutes.

Part Four: Flexibility

This is the component that is often forgotten, yet it is so important! Flexibility and stretching exercises keep me feeling limber and healthy. This component can be as easy as stretching for 5 minutes after a walk or run. I include one yoga practice per week to fulfill my flexibility needs.

Now this sounds all fine and dandy, but most peoples’ lives do not allow for structured, elaborate workout schedules. Exercise is a substantial part of my life, but I understand that certainly is not the case for others.

So what should you do if you only have a small window for workouts? Research shows that shorter bouts of exercise, like 10 minute increments, can be just as effective as longer bouts. Try to find at least 10 minutes in your day to move on most days of the week. I don’t care what you do- play with your kids, walk your dog, dance naked in your living room- just move! Do what you can when you can. Here are a few great 10-minute routines to get you started…

A power sculpting workout for the ladies

The time crunch workout for the guys

The 10-minute flat abs workout

A 10-minute yoga workout

Happy sweating! Thanks for reading :)

The Practice and Holiday Happenings

5 Jul

Hello, friends! I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable mid-week holiday. We enjoyed a low-key day around here, but before I get to that I want to back up to Monday for a little yoga talk.

I’ve been practicing yoga for over 6 years, but have just recently fallen in love with Power Vinyasa. I’ve been doing it pretty consistently for the past 6 months. Power Vinyasa is an intense, athletic practice where you flow through challenging poses in a heated studio for about 90 minutes. My studio keeps it right around 85*. I think it’s the intensity of the practice that I love- it forces me to be present and let go. I find it really challenging to turn off my brain and be present in slower yoga practices. It sounds crazy, but I need intensity to relax instead of serenity!

Anyway, back to Monday. I’ve been on a great streak with my yoga practices lately. I’ve pushed myself into a lot of new postures and always leave the studio feeling a million times better than when I came. This was not the case on Monday. About halfway through the practice right after a failed attempt at a tripod headstand- I felt awful. The heat never bothers me, but at this moment I felt dizzy, weak, and like I was going to get sick. I spent the last half of class in and out of child’s pose trying to figure out what was going on with me. Was it dehydration? Not enough to eat? Was it hotter than usual? I was so frustrated that I couldn’t practice my normal advanced postures.

I considered leaving several times, but decided to stay when my teacher gave the class a timely reminder. She said “Remember, this is our practice, not our perfect. You come to class to practice, not perform.” Just the reminder I needed. Often times we get so caught up in performing. We let our ego take control. We need to remind ourselves that every yoga class, every run, every day is practice. What are we practicing for? I’m not really sure. But that’s the point- the focus should be on experiencing, not mastering- in yoga and in life :)

Enough philosophy, let’s talk 4th of July. We forgot to set an alarm and slept for 9 glorious, uninterrupted hours! It was great, but it made for a hot start to our holiday. After a quick bowl of cereal and yogurt, we biked to a nearby track for an interval workout.

Less intense than I planned due to the hot temps. Here’s what I did:

  • 1 lap warm-up jog.
  • 2 laps sprinting the straights and jogging the curves.
  • 4 sets of barefoot intervals on the soccer field- sprint down, jog back.

And then we stretched and played…

          

After some fun with handstand practice, we biked home for “second breakfast” (which ended up being lunch).

JWD whipped up eggs scrambled with veggies and potatoes.

Iced coffee on the side (post on the technique next time!).

The rest of our holiday was filled with packing (we are moving in a few short weeks!), a successful trip to Lululemon for some new workout clothes (I live in workout clothes now for work and play and I feel like I’m killing them by washing them so frequently), a simple summer dinner (BBQ tempeh, corn on the cob and tomato-cucumber salad), and no fireworks. At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, I have a confession: JWD and I hate fireworks. I think it’s the mix of air pollution, noise pollution, and the lonnnng shows. It gives me anxiety. I’m a delicate creature :) Nevertheless, we were forced to listen to them BOOM well into the morning hours.

Today was yoga and pool time with Mom and Sis, swimming laps with JWD (we’re slowly getting better..), and prep for a weekend trip! Have a wonderful weekend! see you on the other side…

Thanks for reading :)

So Many Mini Vacations

6 Jul

Hey, hey! How was your holiday weekend? Mine was very relaxing! Let’s hop back to Friday and see what I did…

I usually kick off my weekend with yoga, but my favorite Friday class was cancelled (boohoo), so JWD and I walked to the park where I led us through our own practice. With the temp nearly 90, it quickly turned into a hot yoga practice!

After yoga, we whipped up a very quick and delicious creation- Veggie Burger Bowls with Avocado Citrus Sauce (sauce recipe post coming soon!).

In the mix: brown rice, crumbled Amy’s veggie burger, and veggies, topped with one of my favorite super easy creamy sauces.

The veg: Anaheim pepper, carrots, zucchini, and parsnips (use what you have on hand!)

The rest of the evening was spent packing and prepping for the weekend.

Saturday morning started bright and early with Kaldi’s Highlander Grogg (my favorite coffee!) and another outdoor yoga practice. My farmer’s market offers a donation-based yoga class, how great is that?! I get to practice under the trees, then meet up with JWD to buy produce and listen to live music. This is why Saturday morning is my favorite time of the week!

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This practice was particularly challenging and sweaty. Perfection. Yoga in the heat is the best because your muscles get very loose and stretchy. I was triumphant in three challenging poses.

crow, birds of paradise, and one legged king pigeon

After the market, we packed up and got on the road to JWD’s parent’s house. The trip was spent reuniting with our oldest friends, hanging at the lake, eating incredible food, and enjoying some great family time.

Our Fourth of July meal was especially incredible!

Roasted beet, tofu, spinach & walnut salad, tomato with basil, Asian slaw, salmon, and broccoli- almost all cooked on the grill. Enjoyed with a Schlafly Pale Ale. So yummy!

We are only going to be home a few days this week and our cupboards are bare! JWD’s mom was nice enough to send us home with her pantry surplus. When we got back to the cocoon, I set to work making a meal plan for the week with the ingredients we have.

M- We made farmer’s market grilled veggie sandwiches. Yum! Mine was open-faced.

+ a TJ’s Reduced Guilt Brownie from the freezer. (Tip: I freeze brownies individually in parchment paper for pre-portioned treats that last longer. It’s much easier to pull one serving out of the freezer than it is to resist diving fork first into a giant brownie pan! Eat them frozen or microwave for 10 seconds.)

T- Grilled Stuffed Zucchini

I sliced this GIANT zucchini in half lengthwise and scooped out the inside. Then I diced up the zucchini insides and mixed it with cooked lentils, spinach and Lemon Parsley Cashew Cream (I’ll post this recipe soon). We stuffed the hollowed-out zucchinis with the mixture and threw them on the grill!

(sorry about the sad, dark iPhone photo)

W- Veggie burger bowls + kale chips (I’m filming a kale chip video for you!)

TH- Tomato basil frittata with all the beautiful basil from JWD’s parent’s garden. (This video is coming soon too)

This week in fitness:

M- Weightlifting session actually happened after driving home and before dinner. JWD motivated me.

T- Hot and sweaty run

W- Weightlifting session

TH- Yoga practice + a run

F- Squeezing in a run before the kickoff of another full weekend

Stay tuned for more adventures, recipes, and videos and LIKE the Running on Sunshine Facebook Page for some brain food!

So many food shots, not enough humans! Must take more people pictures.

Thanks for reading :)

 

Staycation

5 Apr

Since I told you all about my big spring break plans, I owe you a little re-cap of what actually went down.

I’ve been accused of being boring. Can you believe this nonsense?? I guess because I’m not exactly a stereotypical 20-something college student, then that makes me boring. Don’t get me wrong, I do occasionally engage in a little 20-something fun with my friends. But on most days I’m up by 6am and in bed by 10pm, I thoroughly enjoy my Friday night yoga/grocery store routine, and nothing makes me happier than a trip to the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning. Does this make me boring? Nah, it just makes me me.

To each her (or his) own.

So, some might say my spring break was pretty lame, but it’s all relative. In my opinion, it was fabulous.

My Wild and Crazy Spring Break

~I threw back some pretty potent cocktails. These are not for the faint of heart, people.

Exhibit A: a delicious GT Synergy Kombucha {mystic mango}.

Exhibit B: Beets+carrots+ginger+oranges. You’re welcome, circulatory system.

~I was in a wet t-shirt contest…. of sorts.

My friend Katie coaxed me in to trying Bikram Yoga for the first time. It is a 90 minute yoga class during which you perform a series of 26 postures twice in a room heated to 105*. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, and I’m still evaluating whether I love it or not.

The positive: At the end, I felt so alive (my whole body was pulsing), completely detoxed and pure, and I could literally wring the sweat out of my soaking wet top.

The negative: It isn’t that athletically intense, but I felt like I had just raced a half-marathon. At many points throughout the 90 minutes, I felt like I was going to faint and had to sit down. Insanity.

~I got my dose of adrenaline by mastering something wild and crazy- arm balances.

I finally got back in touch with my inner yogi. I squeezed in five practices during my week off. It felt great!

~I scrubbed the cocoon until I could see my reflection in the surfaces.

I would never survive in a Panama City Beach hotel room. I must have order in my life or all hope is lost.

~ And, last but certainly not least, I indulged a little.

Oh man.

I hate to leave you hanging, but… recipe post for this ^^^ baby coming soon :)

Spring Break ’11 (the first spring break in my life that I haven’t gone on vacation) was a success. Now it’s time to knock out these last 6 weeks of undergrad…

Congrats to all my classmates who found out on Sunday where they will be interning next year!!

Happy Tuesday!

Thanks for reading :)

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