family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

Keeping the Pounds Away During the Holidays! + Frap recipe

Can you guys believe Thanksgiving has come and gone already? I feel like November flew by this year and am in denial that it’s almost December. My parents and I hosted Thanksgiving this year and had a pretty mellow day with some close friends and family.  A tip for fellow parents out there to keep your sanity and the kids entertained is that I went to the Target Dollar Section a couple of weeks ago and got festive crafts for the kids to do while dinner was being made. You can get several options since they’re so damn cheap and the kids really loved being able to choose what they wanted to make first etc. I’m definitely going back soon to stock up on items for them to make at Christmas dinner.

Im terms of staying somewhat healthy this Thanksgiving, I realized that I filled up on a lot of the vegetable options and didn’t get seconds; that plus the fact that I was on my feet most of the day helped me to not add-on those extra Thanksgiving lbs that tend to set me back every year. I knew that I wouldn’t want to workout on Thanksgiving Day; I’m sure I could have made the time but to be honest I just wanted to relax and watch the Parade with my son and start getting things prepared so I worked out the day before and tried to push myself a little harder since I knew I’d be eating more than I usually do the day after. Obviously this didn’t mean I could go hog-wild on Thanksgiving just because I worked out the day before but I did feel like it made me want to pay a little more attention to what I was eating and not have the workout be for nothing. Another thing I did differently this year was making a protein smoothie in the morning and not just picking on things here and there until the feast, which before would alway lead to me starving and overdoing it by the time dinner was served. Most importantly I focused on having a wonderful time and being present with my family and didn’t let one day mess with my head and throw me off track. Balance truly is key to health and overall happiness so I’m hoping to continue working on that over the holidays and everyday afterwards as well.

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As we know, the holiday time is amazing but can also be busy as hell and lead to an increase of coffee consumption. Since it gets expensive to constantly buy coffee I love to make mine at home most of the time and especially during the holidays when fun creamer flavors come out. To make a frappuccino at home all you need is a blender and these simple ingredients: ice, bottled iced coffee (I love the Chameleon brand) and liquid coffee creamer (I used Pumpkin Almond milk creamer as well as the vanilla one) put in your blender and blend until a thick frap consistency occurs, it happens pretty quickly so keep an eye out. It’s so easy to do and really fun to make your own concoctions. Hope you give this a try and can’t wait to start sharing some christmas treats! Until next time xo chrissy

fitness, food, health, motherhood

How to Rock a Low Carb Diet + Thanksgiving Treat

Low carb diet + a Thanksgiving treat full of carbs, goes together like PB&J right?! Well actually it can; what I’ve been learning most on this weight loss journey is that balance truly is so important or else success is hard to maintain. By eating less carbohydrates over the past month I have dropped almost ten lbs and feel less bloated than I have in such a long time. One thing that has helped tremendously is that in the mornings I have a smoothie (can we get an Amen for NutriBullets, so mad at myself for not getting one earlier, the cleanup is SO easy!) with a scoop and a half of vegan protein powder mixed with a very small amount of berries, frozen spinach, water and a handful of seeds, such as chia and hemp. This keeps me from getting over hungry right away and gives me the nutrients I need. I would highly suggest incorporating this into your diets if you can. Now, if I’m going to do a workout I will have some hard boiled eggs or whole grain toast with peanut butter etc to go with the smoothie or else I don’t have enough energy to keep up. Instead of processed carbs I have been incorporating non-starchy vegetables whenever possible with meals and snacks and get as much protein as I can to avoid the sluggish side effects than can happen on low carb. Protein stays with us longer as it is digested slower than the other food groups and gives lasting energy instead of highs and lows like sugary items do. I’m not willing to have no carbs at all since they are important for brain function etc so I do have small amounts of fruit and whole grains. If you’re looking to kick start your weight loss I definitely have had success with focusing on lower carb-high protein, however as we know our bodies are all different but I would say it’s worth a try! Now for the fun and festive part: Turkey Cupcakes!

This is SO easy and fun for the whole family to put together. I made these several years ago so the picture quality is not great but I hope you can get the feel anyway. Make some cupcakes of your choice and frost, set aside for the time being. Get Oreo cookies and candy corn; place candy corn into the frosting on top half of cookie to mimic feathers. Take Nutter Butter cookie and with colored icing make eyes and gobbler on cookie to make the turkeys face. Let sit while frosting and icing hardens then stick the Nutter Butter into the cupcake and place the Oreo part slightly behind. Making all of these didn’t take as long as you would think and I had a lot of fun with it! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season ahead of you with loved ones! Until next time xo Chrissy

family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

Finally seeing weight loss results and here’s why

Happy November everyone! If you celebrated Halloween I hope you had a fun night, we definitely did but I need to donate some of the 500 lbs of candy that my son got. I have some updates on my weight loss journey that I wanted to share. The other week I had my first appointment with a Stanford nutritionist at their weight management clinic. What they typically do is start people on solely having 4 protein shakes a day, but I knew with the amount of energy I need everyday to keep up with my toddler that it might not be the best option for me. We decided for me to skip ahead a bit and I am having 1 shake to replace my snacking (that I tend to over-do) and am just having my three meals that are focused on high protein and low carbohydrates. If I need something between meals besides a shake then I snack on non-starchy vegetables and have limited my fruit intake for the time being. I bought a few Fat Free dressings to jazz things up a bit and have decided to cut out alcohol of any kind for the moment. Workouts have mainly been low-impact cardio but I will increase it as I feel more energetic. Over the past couple of weeks I certainly have lost some weight with this approach; most of which I know is water weight but it definitely has been encouraging and I feel more motivated than I have in a long time. Since this is somewhat of a shock to my system, I have experienced some low energy while adjusting but overall I feel good and much less bloated than I usually do so I am going to stick to this plan and eventually learn to make the best food decisions for the future and not just initial weight loss.

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Something else that I wanted to share has been my experience with this celery juice fad that seems to be all the rage on social media and fitness sites. I started having celery juice about 4 days a week, initially because I heard it helped with IBS symptoms that I have suffered from for most of my adult life as well as reducing anxiety which I also suffer from. However, like with most of these fads I was skeptical and started looking up information on my own. What I never realized is just how many healthy benefits there are to celery along with the nutrients it holds. Some facts that stood out to me pertaining celery were: aiding in lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol, reduces cravings and helps with weight loss, high in vitamins A &C, iron and magnesium, fiber, maintains healthy cell membranes, boosts immune system and helps to control UTIs and stones (gall/kidney.) I know there are many many more benefits to this simple yet amazing food but the bottom line is that if you’re going to give a fad a try, incorporating more celery into your diet in general should be one. After the first couple of weeks I did notice that I was not getting so bloated and I felt like I had some more energy along with not wanting to binge on unhealthy foods. Clearly celery juice or having celery raw is not going to cure everything but I do like how I feel since incorporating this into my diet. If you don’t have a juicer this can be found bottled at health food stores such as Whole Foods and I have enemy gotten some from my local Farmers Market. What I will say is that plain celery juice is not that delightful in taste but the more you have it the more you are able to drink and adjust to the taste. Again, I am no health care professional but I did want to share my experience with celery juice so far because I do think it’s easy to add to your diet and is incredibly nutritious. If you give this a try for a while let me know how you like it. Until next time, XO Chrissy

family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

Festive Fall Fit Tips!

This weather lately is throwing me for a loop. One day it’s hot as hell and the next I want to stay in bed all day curled under some fuzzy winter blankets. Its been pretty nice weather the past couple of months and I fell into a routine of walks and swimming, but now that the weather is so extreme from one day to the next I’ve been needing to focus on other activities to keep me active. I have been sticking with Orangethory a few mornings a week and have added some seasonal activities to the mix that I wanted to share since they are a fun and easy way to incorporate fitness into your daily routine while still having some festive fun regardless of the weather. From one person trying to take back their health to another, I hope this gives a little inspiration for staying motivated regardless of where you are on your health journey. Until next time, XO Chrissy

Family Fall Outings: I’ve found that taking my son to Halloween activities such as the pumpkin patches, bounce houses, fruit picking etc. is not only fun for him and gets his energy out but it gets mine out as well! Sure you could sit down and just watch from afar but walking through the patches, running around like a kid with him and being out in the world all day (or until the heat hits) gets my heart rate going and calories burned simply by doing outside activities with him. This coincides with my next tip below.

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Wear a FitBit: If you have a FitBit get in the habit of wearing it everyday. Even just going to the patches and events like mentioned above I can see how many steps I’ve taken and track my active calories burned and try to beat that each day in some way or another. Now naturally I do not do crazy active things every day but try to only take a couple of days a week off but even o those days off wear your FitBit or similar tool to be mindful of your activity and push yourself to reach goals you create.

Find indoor workouts you look forward to: I live in the Bay Area and October is typically very warm but in a month we’ll have consistently cold weather, which I love but limits workouts to the indoors most days. Finding indoor workouts that don’t rely on weather to be done is a great way to stay healthy during the cold months. I love workouts like Orangetheory or Spin because you can look at the screen and see where you stand next to others in the class as well as compare your stats from one class to the next, which if you’re somewhat competitive like me would be right up your alley. Not everyone can get to studio workouts and they aren’t always affordable so also look up online workouts such as FitnessBlender or Blogilates, both available for free on YouTube and there’s so many videos that can be done in the comfort of your own home, no equipment required.

Run, Forrest, Run!: I know some people will read my last tip and think “Well thats great for you people but I want to be outside!” and I hear you. Personally I think the best times to be outside in terms of soaking up the beauty of nature is Fall and Spring, but Fall wins in my book no matter what. Soak up the feeling of Fall with an outdoor run or walk, make sure to dress appropriately and layer for the weather. Let the foliage inspire you and put together a kick-ass running playlist. Pick new trails that you haven’t tried before and let your runs take you on your own personal Fall adventures.

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Eat seasonal and embrace the pumpkin!: If you live near a Farmers Market, shop there for local Fall produce and eat whole foods full of nutrients to keep you healthy and satisfied. Pumpkin has gotten a bad rap for being “basic” but it’s so good for you: it’s low calorie, delicious and packed with nutrients, especially high in Vitamin A. Look up recipes that call for squash and pumpkin; soups are especially easy and can be so healthy when made at home with simple ingredients full of vegetables.

Stay inspired: Let the changing of colors and the crisp Fall air keep you motivated to stay healthy and enjoy all the beauty that comes with this season while continuing on your health journey. It’s easy to let the cool weather convince you to stay in bed but take this season as a chance to get your goals back on track and experience new ways of staying healthy and happy.

family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

Dairy-Free Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Muffins!

On today’s episode of “I literally never bake except for in the month of October” we’re comin’ at ya with some Dairy-Free, organic Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Muffins. Yeah you heard me, and yes they are as delicious as they sound. I got inspired by one of my favorite YouTubers Kalyn Nicholson (if you love lifestyle, fitness and recipe videos I would definitely check her out she’s amazing.) I took the recipe she had found online and tweaked it a bit for my own personal taste since I typically like to add vanilla into most baking recipes. This recipe is so simple and perfect for Fall, not to mention that it made the whole house smell like pumpkin spice heaven! I hope you give this one a try and let me know if you put some of your own personal baking touches as well. Until next time, XO Chrissy

Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Preheat oven to 375, use a cupcake/muffin baking sheet. I used baking cups to make for easier cleanup.

Ingredients
15 ounce organic canned pumpkin
1/3 cup melted vegan butter
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Melt butter in large mixing bowl, then add all other ingredients and mix. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven but start checking on them after minute 20. Top with walnuts and dark chocolate chips like I did or whatever your heart desires! Seriously guys, give this one a try.

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family, fitness, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

Spooktacular Fitness Challenge!

Happy October everyone!! It is officially my favorite time of the year; Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, which my son clearly knew and decided to be born two days before on October 29th. Since I am trying to better my health and overall fitness level I decided to set out a challenge for myself and thought I would share it here if anyone wants to join me or share what their October fitness goals are.

I am late to the game as it is currently October 2nd but we’ll count yesterday and today as prep days. This is totally casual and just a little schedule I put together for myself so definitely feel free to alternate it to your lifestyle and needs but I think Fall is a great time to step up the fitness game and really work on my goals before the holiday madness truly begins. Just a reminder that I’m a stay-at-home mom whose husband works in the emergency field and works long shifts typically 5-6 days a week so some of the workouts on this challenge are at-home and ones I have either done before or am eager to try! As always please let me know what you like to do to motivate yourself and make changes toward a healthier life. Until next time guys, BOO! -Chrissy

October 3- FitnessBlender’s Fat Burning Cardio Workout (YouTube)

October 4- Orangetheory workout (or any studio workout you belong to if any, example Spin or Barre, Pilates etc)

October 5- Gym cardio (i.e treadmill, elliptical or rower)/lower body

October 6- Take Sean on hour walk in stroller around town

October 7- Gym upper body/cardio workout

October 8- Rest Day

October 9- Orangetheory workout

October 10- Yoga With Adriene’s Yoga for Weightless (YouTube)

October 11- Orangetheory workout

October 12- Power walk outside one hour

October 13- Gym for abs/strength training

October 14- Rest Day

October 15- FitnessBlender’s Cardio Kickboxing (YouTube)

October 16- Orangetheory workout

October 17- PopSugar Fitness’ 30-minute Hip-Hop Tabata (YouTube)

October 18- Gym upper body/cardio

October 19- Rest Day

October 20- Swim! (We will be on vacation and the hotel has a pool)

October 21- Walk everywhere (We will be in Disneyland so I have a feeling I’ll be getting more cardio in than I want, ha!)

October 22- Gym cardio/lower body

October 23- FitnessBlender’s Bodyweight HIIT cardio (YouTube)

October 24- Rest Day

October 25- Orangetheory workout

October 26- Walk track at local school, one hour

October 27- Put on music videos and dance like no one’s watching, 30-45 minutes

October 28- Gym, upper body focus

October 29- Yoga With Adriene’s Yoga for Core and Booty (YouTube)

October 30- Rest Day

October 31- HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! My workout will be following Sean for miles as he trick-or-treats

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family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

LazyGirl Weight Loss Hacks

Let’s be real, sometimes lazy hacks are the best hacks and I fully stand by that since as a toddler mom I will take all the lazy tricks I can. Losing weight is seemingly easy right? There’s a formula: eat less calories than before, eat healthy foods and be active. Unfortunately, as it tends to do, life can get in the way and make seemingly easy tasks a bit more difficult to sort out. This summer has been a bit overwhelming for many reasons, some good and some bad, but as it is coming to an end I am finding my weight loss getting “easier.” Here are some tips and tricks I’ve been using, some of which I wasn’t even aware of until I really thought about what I was doing differently lately. If you have some tips of your own please feel free to share below I’m sure many of us would love to hear them! Until next time, xo Chrissy

  1. Coffee please!

Now I don’t know about you guys but I am a bit of a coffee addict, not the caffeine but the actual taste of great quality coffee. I tend to drink my coffee black with a pump or two of vanilla but I’ve noticed I’ve been drinking my coffee after I have breakfast instead of later in the morning and it truly does, along with a hearty breakfast, help curb my appetite and I don’t feel the need to snack or turn to unhealthy snacks as the morning/day goes on. If you are like I used to be and enjoy your coffee filled with creams, an unholy amount of flavoring and a lot of milk, try taking steps toward eliminating some of these items from your cup of joe one week at a time and eventually you will start looking forward to the taste of pure coffee without all the added crap (excuse my language.) Not only does the black coffee help curb cravings but it truly is better for us than the mocha caramel frappes with extra whipped cream that are not good for our health and aid greatly in weight gain.

2. Pile on the breakfast

I have noticed that when I was running ragged this summer I didn’t get to put much emphasis on breakfast for myself; maybe some oatmeal here and there or grab a bagel when I could, and not unexpectedly my weight continued to stay the same or go up. Now that the craziness has calmed down I have been making large breakfasts composed of whole foods, I find myself snacking much less and have more energy to conquer MomLife as well as those Orangetheory workouts that got neglected over the past month. I’m not a nutritionist or expert but I would argue that breakfast should be our highest caloric meal of as it truly does set the tone and keep us going for the day ahead.

3. Get your move on

Some days I can’t get into the gym or fitness studio and that’s just a fact for most of us out there but I’m trying to fit in movement where I can in order to at least have some form of cardio for my body, even if it’s something short and simple. For example, last night my son wanted to watch Disney Music Videos (shoutout YouTube) and instead of just watching him dance while I sat on the couch, I got up and we had a dance party for half an hour; and let me just say my legs were on fire by the time I got into bed. Today, instead of driving to the store a few blocks away, I decided to walk and know that this is a habit I should get in the habit of since it’s easy and allows me to get some fresh air as well.

4. Eat carbs, just don’t go crazy
I personally don’t know how people live without carbs, especially since it is essential for brain function so it drives me crazy when people say to have no carbs whatsoever. That being said, I’m not saying to go out and eat a dozen donuts. Eat complex carbs that give lasting energy and help with weight loss instead of hinder it. I’ve been consciously trying to keep my distance from processed carbs and not only do I feel better but I notice I appear less bloated and can see weight loss starting to happen, slowly but surely.

Although these are only a few lazy hacks I will share more as my journey continues and hope you will share your lazy-girl-or-guy tricks as well.

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