Category: Lifestyle

Skinny Tips for the Fourth of July

IMG_5111Summer is in full effect and nothing says it louder than the Fourth of July weekend! There will be plenty of BBQin’, boozin’ and hangin’ by the water with friends and family.

Whatever your weekend has in store, I have a few skinny tips for you to get through the weekend, guilt free.

DRINK: Choose clear alcohol – vodka or tequila with soda water, a squeeze of grapefruit and extra lime. You can also garnish with cucumber and mint for a more refreshing drink.

Did you know?? Tequila is one of the few liquors that is not made from a starch or grain (it’s made from the Agave plant). When combined with the lime and grapefruit, it does not cause your blood sugar to spike so it helps curb those typical late night junk food cravings.

EAT: Load the grill up with lean protein like chicken, fish, kabobs and roasted veggies. Make a mixed green salad or fresh fruit salad for a lighter side dish. Doing burgers? Go bun-less.

Worried about having healthy options at a party? Bring your own to share!

Remember at a party there are typically four categories we can indulge in: booze, bread, snacks and dessert. Limit yourself to one or two of the four, but never more!

EXERCISE: Plan on getting your workouts done first this in the morning on at least 2 days this weekend.

What are your July 4th weekend plans? I’d love to hear YOUR skinny tips for the 4th! Have fun, be safe, and keep it skinny! 

xo
Jenn

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I share more of my healthy living tips and tricks on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love for you to follow along on my health and fitness journey!

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Healthy Date Ideas

IMG_4687Happy Friday, friends!! With the weekend finally upon us, I thought I’d share some of my healthy date alternatives for you to explore this weekend.

It’s no secret that Mark and I have been trying to focus on our health a little more these days. It’s not just about getting in shape, it’s also about keeping our marriage alive and healthy, which means carving out more time for each other. After adding a little one to the mix, it’s easy to spend every single minute as a party of three. So we’ve been making an effort to schedule babysitters or line up the grandparents to watch Kaylee once a week.

But how do you make it work when you want to explore the local farmers market and drink green juice and he wants to drink beer and try that new burger joint?

Well, with all things in marriage: compromise is key. But if you’re looking for some healthier date alternatives, I’ve got you covered.

WALK there // If the hubby wins and we’re going out to eat, I like to choose a restaurant that is walking distance from home. Whether it’s a day date or a fancier evening affair, taking a long stroll to get there is a great way to extend our time together and sneak in a little exercise. Walking also helps with digestion on the way home 😉

DO something // Instead of sitting around at yet ANOTHER restaurant, talk your partner into an active day date. It could be a day of paddle boarding, ocean kayaking, a long hike, or a little bike ride. Even a long sunset walk is a great way to connect. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.

GO somewhere // Our favorite thing to do if we have a full day is to go on a mini adventure. We pick a town that is 30 minutes to an hour or more away and just explore. It always feels good to just get away, even if it’s not overnight. We walk around, try the local coffee shop, check out their downtown and sometimes do a little shopping if I’m extra lucky.

What are some of your favorite “healthy” date ideas? Please share!

xo, Jenn

I share more of my healthy living tips and tricks on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love for you to follow along on my health and fitness journey on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.

 

Get Out of the Mid Day Slump with My “10 Minute Power Jog”

IMG_3968My husband and I have this routine now where we wake up at 5am, drink some lots of coffee, and do a workout together. We love starting our mornings together, just the two of us. Because let’s be honest, we don’t get a lot of “us” time these days. Working out together first thing sets our tone and intention for the day, and we feel more connected now as husband and wife than ever before. Win-win!

The MAJOR downside is that the coffee maker goes off at 4:45am (!).

Wah. Never in my life, would I have thought I would WILLINGLY set my “alarm” that early. But we have come to realize that mornings are best for us, because trying to workout with a toddler running around just doesn’t happen these days. If we don’t do it first thing in the morning, we end up dreading it all day long. Our daughter is waking up earlier and earlier these days (WTF! moms: any advice here?), which means OUR wake up call also got pushed up.

As you can imagine by noon I am EXHAUSTED. I’m not gonna lie: some days it got to a point where I needed a power nap. This wasn’t working. I can’t start napping. And drinking more caffeine isn’t all that healthy.

So – I’ve been implementing a “10 minute power jog.”

Let me tell you: it is seriously a game changer. It’s like a triple shot of espresso. It’s LIKE a 45 minute nap. Only it’s not. It’s PROACTIVE. It only takes TEN minutes. Who doesn’t have 10 minutes? Trust me you will feel like a whole new person afterwards. Ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Now, there are a few rules I’ve given myself:

  1. It’s a jog. It’s not a walk. It’s not a run. It’s not meant to be a workout but you should break a tiny sweat. I take my time and run at whatever pace I’m feeling.
  2. It’s 10 minutes max. It’s not a workout and it does not replace my exercise for the day.
  3. It’s not mandatory. This isn’t another thing I’m adding to my “to-do” list. I can do it when I need it but it’s not an everyday thing.
  4. It’s not scenic. I’m not driving anywhere for this. It’s right out my front door – 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back.

I would love for you to try this with me! Next time you’re hitting that mid day slump, I challenge you to do something proactive and see how you feel. Let me know what you think!

Stop Making Excuses – When It Is OK to Be Selfish

FullSizeRenderWARNING! Today’s post is a little HARSH. But I feel like it needs to be said. #sorrynotsorry

Here’s the deal: I am ALL about going after goals. If there is something you want bad enough, and I mean really, truly want — JUST DO IT already.

Be confident. Make up your mind. Don’t be wishy washy. And please, for the love of God, stop making excuses.

You know those people in your life that complain all the time about being fat, or broke, or in a bad relationship, or…whatever it is that makes them unhappy. It’s like they just want to TALK about what they don’t like about their life and then once they’ve vented enough they don’t feel the need to change anything. The venting was enough for them. I call it “word vomit.”

Alright, we ALL do it. I’m not pointing fingers here. I do it, too. (You guys, one of the reasons I write is for self pep-talk.)

My excuse most recently has been motherhood:

“I can’t do that, because I am a mom.”

“I don’t have time, because I am a busy mom.”

“I can’t look like that, I had a baby.”

Blah blah blah.

Ok people. Listen up: It’s time to STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.  Let’s DO something. 

If something is REALLY that important to you where you feel the need to vent about it ALL the time, it’s obviously weighing on you pretty heavily. It’s time to STOP making excuses.

Some excuses are REAL and some are ABSOLUTELY 100% BS. Be your own judge here, but don’t be afraid to work on yourself.

This is SO important, you guys. We are entitled to feel amazing. We are entitled to confidence. We are entitled to look our absolute best. We are entitled to happiness. We are entitled to be financially secure. But all of these things take WORK. It’s about making the smart, right decision every chance you get, which all add up over time. Those decisions become habits, and our habits become our reality.

What do you want most in life right now? What has been your excuse lately? What are you going to do about it? 

Throw Away Your Scale : Why You Can STOP Weighing Yourself TODAY

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Once upon a time, I weighed myself every morning. It helped me stay accountable and kept me motivated. I thought it was for good reason, but it was horribly unhealthy. I let that little number dictate my day. My LIFE, really.

When I got pregnant, I saw the number increase at such a rapid rate, and because there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, I started to become less and less focused on it. I knew I HAD to gain weight to keep my baby healthy. For once, I gave myself grace to gain.

In the process, my habits changed. I knew I was going to be gaining weight no matter how healthy I ate, so I didn’t need to step on the scale. I felt such a sense of relief. When “the baby wanted me too”, I indulged. And really, I didn’t go overboard. My husband and I ate out at restaurants whenever we wanted, because we knew those lunch dates would be few and far between when our little bundle arrived. I exercised daily and listened to my body.

I gained 40 pounds and I don’t regret an ounce of it.

For once I chose what I wanted from the menu. Not what was the lowest calories, but what really, truly sounded tasty. I stopped eating when I was full (because when you’re THAT prego, you can only fit SO much). I learned what hunger and satisfaction actually felt like.

My relationship with the scale changed for the better during those 10 months. I fell out of the habit of weighing in regularly and measuring my success by that stupid little number. And now…I DON’T weigh myself everyday, or even every week, for that matter. I go by pictures. How I feel. How my clothes fit. My measurements.

Do you ever let the number on the scale dictate your progress? Or even worse, your day? Do you get anxious to step on the scale? 

Well today I want to encourage you to STOP. Stop letting that little number control your life. You are worth so much more than a number.

When we weigh ourselves on a daily basis, the number we see plays tricks on us. Our weight naturally fluctuates day to day due to water retention, hormones, sodium intake, etc.  Another big factor is our body composition – our muscle to fat ratio.

Now I know you’ve probably heard “muscle weighs more than fat.” Well friends, that is NOT true. A pound of muscle actually WEIGHS the same as a pound of muscle. !! They are both a pound. The real concept is that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. So if you replace fat with muscle by incorporating strength training into your workout routine, you may not actually see the scale go down, but you’ll be smaller.

Today, I encourage you to let the numbers go. Throw the scale away for all I care! Focus on your journey. Focus on fueling your body with wholesome nutrients. Focus on moving your body. Focus on challenging yourself every day. When you let go of the stress of the scale, you’ll be amazed at what your body will accomplish.

Start Goal Setting TODAY

SetAndReachGoalsI am HUGE, firm believer in goal setting and today, I want to encourage you to set some for yourself. This is something my husband, Mark taught me and I am so hooked. You can accomplish some amazing things by just letting yourself realize and fully understand what you truly want.

Every year, it’s important to set personal and professional goals. Maybe it’s how you want to feel or how you want to look. Maybe it’s the relationships you want to have. Maybe it’s a financial goal. Maybe it’s a career goal.

Goalsetting

So HOW exactly do we set goals?

At the beginning of each month, form these concepts into more specific goals. And then weekly, make a game plan of how you are going to get there. Make sure your goals are really goals and not “to-do” items. Cleaning the house is not a goal. Going to work is not a goal. Those are tasks. Think: BIG PICTURE.

Here’s an example: you want to lose weight. 

**Yearly: I want to be 30 lbs lighter a year from now. I want to feel confident and good about myself.

**Monthly: I am going to lose 2-3 pounds per month. I am going to respect my body and improve my health.

**Weekly: I am going to workout 5 days this week and follow a healthy nutrition plan. I am going to listen to personal development podcasts to help boost my confidence.

**Daily: TODAY I am working out and eating healthy. I am speaking positively about myself and loving my body at the state it is currently in.

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My #1 tip is to write down your goals! The act of WRITING with pen and paper helps define what it is we really want. Put them in a place where you can see them everyday. Maybe it’s a notebook or planner, maybe it’s posted on your bathroom mirror.

Once you’ve laid our your game plan, start daydreaming! This feels super awkward at first but it’s all about our mentality. Your inner thoughts become your reality. So THINK and ACT as if you’re there. Here’s a video clip I love on how to do this:

What are YOUR goals and what are you doing TODAY to get there?

Life Lately: Labor Day Weekend / Our 2nd Anniversary

Grande-Colonial-La-Jolla

<< The Grande Colonial >>

The hubby and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary with a little stay-cation by spending the weekend in our favorite place in San Diego: La Jolla, CA. It was the perfect weekend. Oh, so relaxing and just what we were in the mood for.

We stayed at The Grande Colonial Hotel which we quickly fell in love with because of the location. We were in the heart of downtown and could walk to the beach and all of the little shops and restaurants around town. It is such an iconic and historic place to stay in San Diego – it’s over 100 years old! And a little bonus: we got upgraded to an ocean view room for our anniversary!

We mostly relaxed at the pool and on the beach, went for lots of long walks downtown and of course we went to a bunch of our favorite restaurants. For our anniversary dinner we went to our favorite place, Eddie V’s, where we were treated to an ocean front table covered in red rose petals.

It was so, so romantic and the best way to celebrate our last anniversary as just the two of us, before our little one arrives.photo 3

2013-11-02 13.47.39<< La Jolla Cove >>

1<< beach essentials >>

2013-11-06 18.18.08<< La Jolla Sunset >>

photo 4<< poolside loungin >>

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<< martinis and mocktails before dinner >>

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Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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Labor day weekend holds a very special place in my heart.

Sure, it marks the end of summer, the start of a new school year, and some of the best sales of the year. Oh, and who can forget the good old fashion rule: we can’t wear white after labor day. Totally old school in my book. Rules are meant to be broken, especially in fashion.

But besides that, it is the weekend my husband and I chose to get married. Our intent was we’d celebrate each anniversary with a little weekend getaway.

This year we decided to do a little stay-cation in La Jolla, CA and just take a few days to enjoy the beautiful coast right in our own backyard.

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Stay tuned for pics!

Tell me: What are YOUR labor day weekend plans? 

P.S. Skinny tips for your summer cookout!

What I Wish I Knew in College about my Health

college-lifeA dear friend tagged me in an old college photo last weekend and it instantly brought us all back to the time and place we met. Looking back, college was full of SO many good times — now a million and one memories. While some days I’d give anything to go back for just one day, I can’t help but look at how much I’ve changed since then.

When I graduated from high school, I was “healthy” and “in shape.” But then again isn’t every 17-year-old? (The truth is: I didn’t know a thing about health – but that’s a whole other story, for a different day.)

And then college happened. And over those 4 years, the weight crept on. By the time I graduated, I didn’t recognize myself. Five pounds a year will do that to you!

I’m happy to say, after graduation I learned how to lose weight in a healthy way. I found a healthy balance between having fun and nourishing my body. And eventually I re-discovered my love for exercise.

I wanted to share a little on what I know now and what I would have done differently if I were moving back into the dorms today.

Drink smart // Let’s face it: every college kid is going to drink. A lot. Don’t waste your time with sugary flavored vodka and fruity mixed drinks. Remember, clear drinks are better choices than darker varieties and just say no to the 3am burritos.

Find a routine // The one thing about college life is that every day can be totally different if you let it. With class schedules different every day and parties popping up whenever/wherever, a routine is easy to get away from. Get a healthy breakfast every morning, get plenty of sleep and find a gym time that fits in with your class schedule.

Eat real food // Frozen dinners get you nowhere in life. Learn to cook real food, even if it’s just grilled chicken and brown rice. It will save you in the long run. Start simple and slowly add in spices and try new recipes to mix it up. Easy and cheap is not the answer.

Walk // College campuses are giant. Save some money, don’t buy a parking pass this year. Walk from your apartment/dorm to class instead. Those extra steps will add up and you’ll thank me later. Oh how I wish I had at Fitbit circa 2005.

What do you wish you would have known in college that you know now? How would you have been healthier?

Friday Five: Summer Date Ideas

tumblr_lmby2mnQaJ1qck08go1_500_largeI’m a huge believer in weekly date nights. No matter how busy we get, Mark and I always set aside one night a week for a date. It’s important for us to dedicate a specific time to be together as a couple to connect, be romantic and just enjoy each other’s company.

As we settle more and more into marriage, we’ve agreed that date nights don’t have to be as fancy as they once were. While an evening of wining and dining is always OK in my book, it’s not always practical or affordable. After all it’s the time we spend together that’s the most important.

During the summer months when the weather is warm and the nights are long, the possibilities for date night are endless. So to give you a little inspiration, I’m sharing my top five favorite date ideas to try out this sunny season.

// One //  Beach Cruising // Preferably near the beach or bay, but just about anywhere around town will do. If you don’t own a bike, they are pretty reasonable to rent for a few hours. Just remember to bring bike lock so you can stop for a drink along with way!

// Two // Picnic in the Park // The ultimate romantic date. Pack your picnic basket, grab a blanket and some tunes and head to the park. Not sure what to pack? Think finger foods, a mix of snacks like pretzels, grapes and carrots, plus your favorite wine or beer.

// Three //  Sunset walks //  It doesn’t get any more romantic than this! We love taking our doggies on a long walk during sunset. The best part about this date: it doesn’t cost a dime!

// Four // An afternoon at the Dog Park // There’s nothing that will put a smile on your face  more than watching all the pups run free. Bring a bottle of wine and make it “yappy” hour!

// Five // Fro-yo Date //  Nothing says summer like an ice cream date. When its warm out, I love grabbing a nice cold sweet treat and enjoying it in the summer sun with my man.

What is your favorite summer time date? Any ideas for me?

 

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