Go Green for Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day, friends!

Ever thought about how your nutrition and fitness routine affects the environment? From powering up a treadmill to overusing plastic water bottles, it might not be as green as you think.

Remember we need the Earth more than it needs us. Be kind.

Consider these eco-friendly tips and give your health and fitness regimen a green upgrade in honor of Earth Day:

  1. Get outside // Save energy and burn calories by exercising outdoors. Whether it’s a jog, a hike, bike ride, or even a little outdoor yoga. The bonus: an extra dose of vitamin D.
  2. Green your commute // If you’re close enough to your destination, always walk, bike or jog there instead of driving.
  3. Reusable water bottles // Help end the over-use of plastic and protect the environment. Ditch your plastic water bottles and find one that you can use over and over again. (try this one)
  4. Shop local // Eat healthier and reduce your carbon footprint by shopping at your local farmers market. Buying locally grown produce helps to cut down on environmental waste.
  5. Eat less meat // The meat industry generates nearly 1/5 of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Make a difference by limiting your meat consumption.

What do you do to minimize your carbon footprint?  

The Sweetest Thing

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Saturday morning I was running a few minutes behind on my way to yoga class. I felt rushed. Hurried. Almost in a state of panic. Worried I would hit all the red lights or not be able to find parking, and therefore, dun dun dun… miss my yoga class.

(Sidenote: entering a yoga class after the instructor begins is yogi social suicide. It is considered completely unacceptable and inconsiderate. So, if you’re late to yoga, you’re out. You miss class.)

I was about half way there, when I approached a stopped car in the middle of a VERY busy road, with its hazard lights on. Quite unsafe and frankly, pretty annoying since traffic on this road is fast and heavy. Most cars speed well over the 55 mph limit.

Naturally, cars were swerving and people were blaring their horns. Frustrating. Now I would definitely miss yoga. This car was literally angled across two lanes. Slowing traffic and potentially causing an accident. Couldn’t they have at least pulled to the shoulder?

But to my surprise, as I passed the car, I looked back and saw the sweetest thing: a mother duck and 10 baby ducklings crossing the road.

The driver had stopped to simply block the road, allowing the ducks to safely cross. And let me tell you, these tiny ducklings weren’t the quickest waddlers.

What a compassionate person!

The rush of my whole morning was lifted and my perspective immediately shifted. This person literally stopped his/her morning to look after these innocent ducklings. Ignoring all the road rage to see their safety. Would I have done the same?

It was the most beautiful thing. So simple, yet so profound. A perfect metaphor for life, and just what I needed early that morning. I needed to slow down. To be more compassionate. And to focus on others. Who cares if I missed yoga.

All Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

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Did you know you can dye Easter eggs using all natural ingredients that you could probably find in your kitchen? Yup. Vegetables, fruits, herbs and juices are perfect for coloring eggs.

I don’t know about you but I’m not a fan of synthetic dyes in close contact with my food. I mean, that vibrant blue egg isn’t exactly appetizing when you crack it open and discover the egg itself is partially colored too.

If you use natural dyes, the inside of your eggs will be completely uncolored – so much more appetizing.

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Try using any of these all natural dyes:

  • 3+ tablespoons turmeric –> yellowish orange
  • 3-4 tablespoons paprika –> soft orange-ish pink
  • 4 cups, chopped cabbage, boiled in water and vinegar –> robin’s egg blue
  • 2 cups grape juice to 2 cups water, plus 2 tablespoons vinegar –> dark grayish blue
  • 4 cups of raw spinach –> pale mint green
  • 2 handfuls fresh, mashed blueberries –> blue

How to dye all-natural Easter eggs at home:

  1. Soft boil your eggs. (Plunge them in boiling water for about 6 minutes before removing them.)
  2. Place eggs in bowls or jars, separated by how many you’d like in various colors.
  3. Make dyes by combining any of the ingredients above with 1 quart water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in a pot. Boil for 5-7 minutes to get the colors out of the ingredients. Be sure to wear gloves when mixing the dyes or you might stain your fingers!
  4. Pour dyes into your various bowls and jars and allow them to sit for 4 to 6 hours, checking occasionally to see if colors are as saturated as you’d like.
  5. Remove eggs and place on a rack or paper towels to dry.

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Lemon Chia Seed Dressing

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I am a huge advocate for creating foods/sauces/dressings/just about anything from scratch. It’s the only real way to know what you’re eating. And a good salad dressing without a bunch of nasty-ass preservatives and artificial ingredients is REALLY hard to come by. 

So over the past 6+ months, I’ve experimented with creating my own. Some are super tasty, but some could still use a little work. ;)

This simple, lemon chia seed dressing is perfect for your summer salads.

I love it over the Sweet Kale Salad Kit from Costco, which is one of my weekly staples. It’s basically superfood heaven: shredded broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, kale, chicory, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. I ditch the pre-packaged dressing that comes in the bag since its filled with a bunch of ingredients I can’t even pronounce, and use this one instead. 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp chia seeds
1 tbsp agave syrup (or stevia/your choice of natural sweetener)

Directions:

Whisk together all of the ingredients and enjoy over your favorite salad.  

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Repurpose Those Peeps!

Yesterday I talked about the calories behind your favorite Easter candy, and unfortunately you don’t get much bang for your buck in the nutrition department (duh!). I tend to allow myself a few pieces if I’m out and about, but trouble shows up if I buy a whole bag of candy and keep it readily available in my house.

Sometimes it’s a little sad to not put out a candy dish filled with my favorite pastel goodies, but I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have enough self-control for that.

The good news is you can still create a festive home without the sugar overload. Turns out, Easter candy makes darling decor! Who knew?

I’m not all that into arts and crafts, but I’m loving these candy filled vases. Super simple and totally effortless.

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Question: Would you ever use candy as festive decor? How do you feel about arts and crafts? 

 

The Truth About Easter Candy

Whether the Easter Bunny fills your basket with marshmallow Peeps, Cadbury Eggs, jelly beans, a chocolate bunny, or all of the above, it’s easy to be tempted with tons of crave-worthy candy.

Now it’s ok to indulge in a piece or two, but think twice before you pop another Peep. Here’s what 100 calories of your favorite Easter candy looks like: (source)

Brach's Jelly Beans

Peeps
Cadbury Mini Eggs
Cadbury Creme Egg
Cadbury Mini Creme Eggs
Cadbury Caramel Egg
Cadbury Mini Caramel Eggs
Peter Rabbit Chocolate Bunny
M&Ms
Reese's Peanut Butter Egg
Reese's Peanut Butter Mini Eggs
Hershey's Milk Chocolate Eggs

What’s your favorite Easter candy? Do you limit yourself to just a few pieces or do you let yourself indulge? 

 

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

It’s no secret that I love eggs (see thisthis and this). And with Easter right around the corner, I thought I’d share my technique for the perfect hard boiled egg.

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To be honest, hard boiled eggs can be a little tricky to get just right. Don’t you agree?

I think one reason is that if you google/youtube how to make a hard boiled egg you get 1,000+ techniques.

Some adding vinegar. Some with baking soda.

So many different methods! How is that possible?

I need simplicity. And I need a technique that works. 

Well, I’ve finally discovered just that.

My method is SUPER SIMPLE. Nothing but eggs and water. It never fails. I’ve never dealt with the dreaded grey yolk. I’ve never had a soft, under cooked egg nor an overcooked white.

Perfect eggs, every time.

Hard Boiled Eggs:

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with at least ½ inch of water. 
  2. As soon as the water reaches a rolling boil, remove from heat and cover with a lid for 15 minutes. 
  3. Drain hot water from the saucepan. Add enough ice cubes and cold water to cover the eggs, allowing eggs to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from ice water and peel or store in the refrigerator.

**To peel the eggs, gently tap on hard surface, then roll between palm of hand and surface. The shell will quickly appear to be shattered on the egg.  Begin to peel the shell – most of it should stick together as it easily comes off of the egg.

Life Lately

**This is a new series dedicated to sharing snapshots of my life lately. Just images captured through my lens. Enjoy!

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{10th Annual La Jolla Concours D’Elegance}

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{The most lovable Frenchie I ever did meet}

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{The Cutest Vintage Picnic Set}

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{Newport Boat Show}

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{Laguna Sunset}

Blue Apron Giveaway Announcement

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered the Blue Apron Giveaway last week! Lots of entries!

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The Blue Apron Box winner is:

Kristen McLoughlin

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Congratulations Kristen!! You will receive a FREE week’s worth of meals courtesy of Blue Apron, delivered right to your doorstep! I will be contacting you via email to send you your Blue Apron Box!

Thanks again to everyone who entered this killer giveaway and don’t forget everyone gets 30% off their first box with this link :https://www.blueapron.com/skinnyopinion

Stay tuned for more giveaways!

xoxo,
Jenn

We got bikes!

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I’m so excited to share that Mark and I finally splurged on a perfect pair of brand new beach cruisers!

It’s starting to feel more and more like summer in San Diego, and we figured getting bikes would be a great way to kick off the sunny season. We know we’ll be riding them a ton, especially over the next 6+ months as the weather warms up. And this time of year, (or all the time, really) the beach is where it’s at. There’s nowhere else we’d rather be.

We took them out all day on Sunday, biked from Pacific Beach to La Jolla Cove, had lunch and rode back. That’s like 14 miles! Great exercise and SO FUN!

I can honestly say I feel most alive when I’m on a bike. While I don’t take my biking too seriously (unless I’m in a spin class!), I find it so relaxing just cruising up and down the beautiful Southern California coast. And I can’t seem to wipe the smile off my face.

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Do you have a bike? What kind of biking do you like to do (beach cruising, mountain biking, cycling, spin class – that counts too!)?

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