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Don’t Let Your Diet Go to the Wind on Vacations

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Don’t Let Your Diet Go to the Wind on Vacations

0000000005717Whether I’m at home or on the road, I always want to keep my body in shape. There are so many temptations when you travel. It’s easier to stop and get fast food, and you can’t resist picking up salty or sweet snacks in gas stations on a road trip. However, resisting these pitfalls of vacations is the best way to keep your body in shape while you travel. These are some other things that I practice while on vacations to maintain my fitness level.
1. Pack Favorite Snacks

It’s a good thing when you know what you like and it’s healthy. That’s why you should always pack your own snacks. Dry, easy to snack on favorites are the best for road trips. The key is moderation when you pack your snacks, and it should always be something healthy. Cut fruits, veggies and granola are some great energizing snacks for the road that also curb the appetite.

2. Pick Better Dishes at Restaurants

You likely won’t be able to avoid going out to eat, but instead of splurging, look for the dishes that are going to keep you fit and healthy. There are always better choices to make such as going with a less buttery sauce or picking a lean vegetable dish instead of something extra fattening. If you’re at a sandwich shop, go without the cheese, top bun or mayo and save some calories.

3. Drink Water Every Day

Water is a very important resource for your body. After all, everyone knows our bodies are mostly made up of H2O! It can be pretty devastating to suddenly get dehydrated on vacation, so you should always have a bottle of water with you. I always make sure we’re stocked up with bottles of water for the car, hotel room and backpack. With this method, you’ll always have a way to hydrate yourself.

4. Exercise Even While Relaxing

Vacations are made for relaxation, but that shouldn’t stop your daily routine of jogging, walking and lifting. Many hotels have a fitness center, and if not, you can still go for your morning run or late afternoon jog. You can also go on hikes, go for long walks, lift water bottles or create a routine that you can do in your hotel room with squats, lunges, ab crunches and yoga.

It’s always easy to give up exercise and diets on vacations, but it can be a real blessing to not have those extra pounds when you return to normal life. We always use these tips when we travel, we even like to book hotels that have a nice gym. This is something we will certainly be doing on our upcoming tip to Orlando. With so many places to stay, it can make the research process a bit of a pain. Sites like Gogobot however make it easy to read user reviews so you can feel even more comfortable with what you will be booking.

 

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Bring on the day- Breakfast Shake

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This is a breakfast shake recipe I came up with recently, and now I am hooked on the stuff

I have had this for breakfast for months and it still isn’t old yet, sometimes I even have it for dinner :) !

You will have to eyeball this recipe a little bit,

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1 cup of frozen strawberries

1.5 cups of frozen mango

Enough Organic Vanilla Soy Milk to cover the top of the frozen fruit

3 scoops of Nutiva Chocolate Hemp Protein

1 scoop of Amazing Grass Organic Wheatgrass

1 Truvia or Stevia packet

1 Sambazon Acai Smoothie Packet

On top:

Blackberries, Pop Quin (popped quinoa by Kosher Mills), Askinosie Cocoa Nibs, a little Agave in the Raw if you like it sweeter, or sometimes I put Wegmans Organic Jam in it. Enjoy!

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Festive Fall Cupcakes; Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan

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Vegan Harvest Pumpkin Cupcakes 

I know, it has been a while right…I have slacked a little bit on writing and haven’t posted a new cupcake recipe in quite a while, but fall is the perfect time to put a little more emphasis on writing and baking because I love being festive in this season and there are so many options for new recipes with all the fall flavors and lovely local fall foods (like pumpkins, squash, I love them all) in the grocery store. Can you tell I am a little nutty in the fall (it is the best season of all). These pumpkins are delectable if I do say so myself, they are just that right bit of sweet and salty and go perfect with a glass of apple cider (which I am going to pick up at Kelly’s Apple Farm after the Hilton Apple Festival this weekend).

On to the recipe..

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For cupcakes:

1/3 cup oil ( you can use coconut oil which works well because it has no taste,

try to keep with an oil that has a faint or no taste at all)

1 cup sugar ( I use raw sugar)

1/4 cup flax milk, I use Good Karma brand

(you can use soy, almond or whatever pleases you)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make sure this is pure vanilla extract, imitation

contains caramel coloring which has gluten in it)

1 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon of fresh ground ginger

1/4 cup of real maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon apple sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup canned pumpkin

You can add chocolate chips or walnuts for some crunch-1/2 cup (just check your chocolate chips to make sure they are gluten-free, and if there is butter or milk in them that means they are no longer vegan so in that case you can substitute carob chips). I didn’t use any chocolate in my recipe but hey put your own spin on it!

Frosting:

1 cup non-dairy butter (Earthbalance is a great gluten-free, vegan brand,

you can also use vegetable shortening but I think a butter taste is better)

4 cups gluten-free confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract

4 tablespoons of flax milk (almond milk, or soy milk)

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of real maple syrup

(you can add cocoa powder if you want chocolate frosting 1/2 cup)

Toppings

Sea salt for topping

Honey to drizzle (some vegans can’t decide if honey is vegan or not, so if

you are against it you can replace real honey with Bee Free Honee

(it is made with apples http://beefreehonee.com/)

Chocolate or Carob chips to sprinkle on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together sugar, oil, vanilla, flax milk, ground ginger, maple syrup. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon, sift in dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix. Fold in pumpkin and apple sauce and any added ingredients (chocolate, carob, nuts). Pour your mixture into your liners, this should make about 1 pan. Bake for approximately 20 minutes at 350, but use the toothpick trick to make sure.

 

Frosting:

Mix all ingredients together. If it is too thin add a little non-dairy milk, if it is too thin refrigerate it for 20-30 minutes. Frost your cupcakes, sprinkle on some sea salt and drizzle some honey (that you bought from a local place…represent).

Check out some articles on what is going on in the honey business with the bees, it is very interesting

( http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2149141,00.html , http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/dec/16/crucial-role-cities-honey-bee ).

If you are a honey lover like me, this should give you another reason to buy organic pesticide free food, so that we can live on this earth sustain-ably along with the many species that have very important niches. Also because I’m ranting on honey..if you ever see raw New York Goldenrod honey the good stuff is a light creamy color, you should buy it, it is one of the best things on this earth in my opinion (I eat teaspoons of it on the daily). Which brings me to goldenrod, I don’t think we should cut the grass on the highways, it make me sad when they do because I see goldenrod everywhere along the highways, after all we disrupted their environment by building highways everywhere.  Holy hippie rant batman.

Back to cupcakes…ta-da you are done, go feed yourself or your families some cupcakes (or in my case, let your husband eat 90% of them while you try to hide one or two for yourself ).

 

Show Up & Just Do It Already!

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Guest Post by Maya from PetsandPests.com

Before I sat down to write this article, I did a lot of thinking about it. I thought about what I wanted to say, about how I was going to say it, where I wanted to be when I wrote it, and how much time I wanted to give myself for it. All this thinking about it, agonizing, and angst meant that it took me longer than it should have to actually “Just do it!”

I wear a navy Nike baseball cap sometimes, and I constantly hear the voice of a long-ago basketball coach who loved to remind us all of Woody Allen’s saying “80% of success is showing up,” but I still let the thinking sometimes overcome my ability to actually accomplish anything.

The First Step is Always the Hardest

This personal weakness is most apparent, of course, in my exercise routine. I recently began a more rigorous exercise schedule. While it’s more than just walking the dog, calling it a “schedule” is somewhat of a misnomer. Lately I’ve been getting into the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels. I recently began Level 2, though I don’t think I’ve done more than 5 consecutive days. The perk of the 30 Day Shred is that it’s easy! Okay, it’s not physically easy, but it only takes 25 minutes, 30 minutes if I’m slow putting my exercise clothes on. I can do it right in my living room. Plus, I feel great after! Like I’m a strong, fit woman.

So why do I always put it off? Why do I deny myself the opportunity of 20 glorious and excruciating minutes with Jillian?

The main reason is inertia. Once I’m doing it, doing another repetition of squats or plank-jacks or whatever is easy compared to actually turning off the television, getting off the couch, and putting my running shorts on. Just getting started is the hardest part. But the main trick is just getting over that hump and doing it. Which, if the past 3 days of Jillian have been any proof, I hope I’m getting better at the just-do-it mentality.

Stop Making Excuses and Find the Right Time

The other main reason for my undisciplined exercise is timing. Theoretically, I’d like to exercise at a set time every day. But I’m starting to think that having a scheduled exercise routine – along with two young kids and a career – is a totally unrealistic fantasy. Phone calls and urgent emails from work burble up at unexpected times. Kids get sick, can’t sleep, won’t eat their pizza or French toast or stew for dinner, and need to be driven to all kinds of activities. The dog needs at least one daily trip to the dog park along with at least a couple other good walks, and the husband needs the odd moment of consideration, too. Amidst all this, setting an exercise routine seems preposterous.

So I’m staying open-minded, yet proactive. I’ve given up on setting aside time and waiting for that moment to come, especially because when my “exercise time” finally came, I’d make an excuse not to work out. Now, instead, if there’s a moment in my day that I think might last more than 5 minutes, I bite the bullet, remind myself of Woody Allen, and turn Jillian on.

She tells me that I’m strong, powerful, and that I can eke out five more reps. And working out has made me feel stronger and more capable in the face of the simple, everyday conflicts that come up. When my son fights with my daughter and one of them starts crying for one reason or another, I remind myself that if I can get off the couch and do the 40th rep of the shoulder-raise-side-lunge move, I can do anything.

Author bio: When Maya Rodgers isn’t thinking about writing, exercising, or her family, she consults primarily for termite treatment, which she loves, but which can also be difficult to “Just do!” In pretty much every area of her life, she’s recently resolved to get over the starting hump and build her momentum faster. To see whether she succeeds, find her at www.petsandpests.com.

Keep it healthy!

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Keeping a Healthy Body Despite Busy Schedule

It seems that in today’s world, not one person is immune to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. People find themselves to be busier than ever, and possibly as a correlation, decreasingly healthy. The level of obesity throughout the world is ever-increasing, and people are looking for more and more ways to integrate healthy into their busy schedules. Although it may seem difficult, following these tips will allow busy individuals to find time for healthy practices.

1. Eat a healthy breakfast every morning: The cliché that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” may actually help kick-start your morning in a healthy way. Although you may say “I am not a breakfast eater and therefore will not do so”, you may want to rethink this choice. One great benefit of eating breakfast in the morning is that it will start your metabolism going, allowing your body to more actively start to burn calories. If you are sure to choose healthy breakfast selections, you will also feel more motivated to make healthier decisions throughout the day.

2. Make fidgeting a daily habit: Some readers may feel that they do not have time to get a workout in because they are too busy. Are we also too busy to fidget? No, we are not! No matter what you are doing, whether you are sitting at your desk for work, driving to the grocery store, or sitting and folding laundry, you can be burning extra calories at a time that you would otherwise be largely idle. This will increase your metabolism while also burning extra calories throughout the day.

3. Always carry your water bottle with you: Water is arguably the basis of life. We need it to live, and we also need larger quantities of it if we want to be healthier. No matter where you go, always make sure that you leave one destination to go to another with a full water bottle. There are several advantages that are associated with drinking large amounts of water. The first is that drinking large amounts of water will increase your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. It will also make you feel fuller, which will in turn make you less inclined to eat junk food to fill your stomach. Lastly, it make skin look clearer and fresher. It will help to rid your face of acne and other blemishes that would otherwise intrude your pores.

4. Make time for your health: As much as we all think that we are too busy for the things that aren’t necessary, you can make time for those things that you make a priority. It is unlikely that anyone would argue that your health should not be a top priority, and therefore it is important that we make time for our health. Take anywhere for a half hour to an hour each day to spend exercising. This can be done at the gym, outside, or in your living room doing body weight exercises. No matter what form of exercise you choose, make time for some.

Author Pam Johnson is a nurse who uses her knowledge of health to keep herself fit in spite of the hectic work schedule that comes along with nursing. Pam obtained her degree from one of the many Accelerated Nursing Degree Programs