Category Archives: Health and Fitness

On Nature, Gifts and Gratitude #PowerofthePeanut

Did you hear what Mr. Peanut said? “Harnessing the power of the peanut is about accepting the gifts that nature gives us.”  Continue reading

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Workout Wednesday: Living UP with Jawbone and Best Buy

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I’ve been trying to devote Wednesday posts to fitness updates and related product reviews, and I’m especially excited about the review I have to share this week. For the past few weeks, I’ve been helping Best Buy test out the UP band and mobile app from Jawbone® by tracking my fitness, activity, sleep, and all the things that add up to true holistic health…AND I LOVE IT.

 photo 5ef28d9e-037d-4220-a20c-a62fe392cc77.jpg Continue reading

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Spiced Peach Turmeric Smoothie

Turmeric.

It’s a warm, slightly bitter spice often used in flavorful curry dishes. It’s also popular among the “no dyes” crowd as a great way to add tons of yellow color to foods, fabrics, even Easter eggs.

Everyone I know pronounces it differently, but one thing we all seem to agree on is the fact that we should be eating more of it. Studies show that turmeric may function as an anti-inflammatory, helping with swelling and alleviating symptoms of everything from joint inflammation and digestive problems to skin irritations and the common cold.¹

But, aside from eating curry for dinner every night or shaking it on your sandwich (which would just be weird), how do you get more turmeric in your daily diet? Try adding it to your smoothie!

Spiced Peach Turmeric Smoothie

Filled with coconut oil, cinnamon and a healthy dose of turmeric, this smoothie recipe has been a great way to pack more beneficial ingredients into my breakfast. The fresh fruit is so flavorful that it can accommodate up to a 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and still maintain the fresh taste of sweetly spiced summer peaches.(For an added kick, add some freshly grated ginger!)

Spiced Peach Turmeric Smoothie

 Spiced Peach Turmeric Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe peach (preferably partially frozen)
  • 1 ripe banana (preferably partially frozen)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Place all ingredients in blender; blend well. Serve and enjoy!

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1. Source: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-TURMERIC.aspx?activeIngredientId=662&activeIngredientName=TURMERIC 

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Running Update: I’m HOT! #WorkoutWednesday

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I looked back at my RunKeeper log tonight, and I noticed that my last run before having El was on Dec 1st. She was born on Feb 7th, and I was back in my running shoes on March 10th. Not too bad, right? Although, some days I do get down on myself because my fitness is returning so slowly, or because the weight is still there. 

But you know what? I’m still running. Whenever I can, I’m running. And I really can’t think of anything else that makes me feel as good. So, despite the spare baby tire I still have, I’m feeling motivated to keep pounding the pavement (although I’d love to find a track that’s not so hard on my feet.)

That half marathon in Hershey is still in my future. Believe it.

And while we’re talking about exercise, I’ve just gotta ask: Has anyone else seen that butt that keeps popping up on everyone’s Facebook feed? You know the one…the teeny tiny butt in the pink Zaggora hotpants.

The pants that promise to help you lose 2 sizes in 2 weeks.

Weight loss pants? Come on, now.

Skeptical? Yes. But at one point, that butt seemed to be taunting me. Mocking me, even. So I wrote to Zaggora, and I said, “So, about these pants. Howsabout you let me give them a shot so I can tell my readers all about them?” And they said, “Ok!”

So now I have pants that will make me sweat my butt off, literally. Well, maybe. I got them in the middle of a July heatwave, so I haven’t exactly taken the “Zaggora 2-Week Challenge” yet. But what I can tell you is that it only took one 3-mile run in the pants for me to understand that these things are NO JOKE.

How do they work?

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Me, paraphrasing from Zaggora: Celu-Lite Technology™ is a patent pending, multi-layer fabric technology that harnesses the body’s natural heat during exercise to help you burn more calories. The material a bit like a SCUBA suit, I think. You know how you can get an air bubble in your bathing suit and it just moves around in there until you pull the fabric out to let it escape? They feel like that.

It’s recommended that you wear your HotPants for 30 minutes a day, during activity, so I’ve been wearing mine to run. I will absolutely attest to the fact that I got hotter faster running in my Zaggora pants, and that I actually had sweat running out the bottom of the pants and down my calves. Additionally, it takes me longer to cool down after my run. I 100% felt that my core body temperature was higher, just like the company said.

(I highly suggest taking water with you when you run in these pants.)

But, all weight loss claims aside (because I can’t speak to those yet), there was one benefit I noticed right away when I put my Zaggora pants on, and it’s one I didn’t expect. As soon as I started running, I felt firmer. Tighter. Less…jiggly. After having a baby, there’s the not-so-small matter of that baby belly that can seem to take on a life of its own at times. It’s distracting, and frankly discouraging, during a workout. Not in these pants. I have the High-Rise Capris and they come up high enough that nothing moves when I run, my thighs don’t touch, and perhaps best of all, the waist band doesn’t roll down!

zaggora

Buyer’s Tip: If I get another pair, I’m totally going for the Fold Over Capri Pants or the Atomica Pants.  I love the look of the fold over waist, and they have ventilating fabric between the legs, which is a must-have to stay comfortable… and a little less stinky. (Ew.)

I can honestly say I think I’ve been running better and with more motivation. In my HotPants, I just feel stronger and more fit because everything is being controlled and held in place.  I told my husband that if I had a Zaggora top to complete the outfit, I just might be able to bust through a wall (and the “girls” would be way more comfortable and supported, too!)

ZaggoraLogo

So, yeah. Am I going to be skinnier in a few weeks? I hope so, but I’m not really into easy weight loss claims. You’ve gotta do the work. That said, it’s that much easier to get motivated when your workout gear works for you…and I’m telling you, I exercise harder and longer in Zaggora. 

30 minutes a day…stay tuned!

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Dye-Free Red, White and Blue Recipes

Oh, say can you seeeeee….

past the blinding dye-filled flag cupcakes at the local grocery store?

Ew.

After nearly 20 years as a professional cake decorator, I’ve seen (and worn) my fair share of food dye. But, that’s all in the past and we avoid that stuff like whoa now, especially for the kids. That can sometimes put a damper on party foods, since bright colors are usually part of the holiday fun. (Thanks to Easter for making it easy on us!) But I’m here to tell you that when it comes to patriotic celebrations, there are plenty of dye-free red, white and blue recipes out there that will help you keep that colorful spark on your table (and they taste better than those dyed-up floozy cupcakes, too.)

Here’s a compilation of some of my favorite dye-free RW&B recipes this year, each one linked to the fabulous blog that created it. (Just click for recipes and original blog posts.)

Which one will you try?

A blast from the past! Berry Bliss Rocket Pops

Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

For the adults, Red, White and Blue Sangria

 4th of July Fruit Pops

Patriotic Fruit Pizza

Tutti Frutti Popcorn

Red, White and Blue Salad with Beets, Blueberries and Goat Cheese

The same ingredients (as above), in a stack!

Dye-free Red Velvet Cake, just top with blueberries for a patriotic flair!

Red, White and Blue Salad with Quinoa and Berries

Remember, there’s more than one way to include those bright colors on your party table! Why not incorporate most of the color into the things you don’t eat? Invest in a few bright patriotic decorations and break them out every year to help bolster that all-American spirit!

Table settings from Stone Gable

Happy celebrating!

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