Uncategorized, family, food, health, motherhood

The easiest Christmas appetizer you have to try! plus workout update (setback)

Happy December y’all!! I honestly am in disbelief that we are in the last month of the year, anyone else? If you’ve been following along with me you know that I’ve been on a health journey over the past several months and have tried different approaches as I go along. Well, last week I tried a barefoot cardio class at my local gym and loved it, so I went again two days later; halfway through my second class I tweaked my back so badly I couldn’t even walk on my own out of the gym bathroom soo that was a lot of fun! My Dad and I were talking about it and I realized, as much as I want to do all the fun classes and have done so many new things, the most success I have had in fitness is when I stick to regular ole’ cardio, i.e the bike and elliptical. As much as I hate to admit it, my body is just not cut out for fancy workouts; this is not to say I won’t be partaking in them anymore but I am going to shift my focus back to old school cardio and weights for the most part so I’m sure I’ll give an update on how that goes once my back is back to normal and I can get into the groove.

Now, even though we are staying health over the holidays, I can NEVER resist making fun holiday appetizers and desserts. I can’t tell you how much people loved this super simple appetizer that I made so I wanted to share it with you guys to maybe try it out this year or put your own spin on it. All you need to make this Christmas Tree app is some cheese to cut into cubes (regular or dairy free) in two different colors for layering, grapes, one celery stick and greens for garnishing. After cutting the cheese into cubes, place on cutting board or serving tray and layer between the cheese and grapes to create a tree. Cut about 1/3 of a celery stick to use for the trunk and cut one piece of cheese into the shape of a star for the topper. Garnish with the greens and viola, all done! I can’t tell you how easy this was and how many people commented on it. Let me know what your favorite festive foods are and if you give this tree a try! Until next time, xo Chrissy

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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, food, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

Deliciously simple Fall family recipes

Any excuse to make pizza and I can guarantee you my son and I will take it! I think having kids help us in the kitchen not only makes them feel proud but also teaches them from a young age the importance of making their own meals (until college and all they care about is Taco Bell per usual.) The weather may not be rainy and cold like I’m waiting for but it IS October so that means Halloween themed everything, including pizza. These were so easy to make, since we know if it’s not a simple recipe I’m not about it, and were delicious! Side note: my son had so much fun making these and while they might not look perfect, they were to us 🙂

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Ingredients

  • English muffins
  • Pizza sauce of your liking
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Sliced cheese (I used CHAO vegan cheese for the mummies)
  • Whole black olives

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet and cut english muffins in half if not pre-sliced. Add sauce. For mummies: cut thin slices of cheese and arrange into mummy-like pattern. Cut two slices of olive for eyes, you can cut some small tomato rounds to place in olives for even more of a spooky look. For bats: cut olive in half, place one half on pizza and cut other in half again to make wings. Not pictured: we made spiders on spider webs but ate that one before pictures were taken.  Place in oven for approx. 15 minutes but check as it goes. Enjoy!

I know I can’t be the only pumpkin spice lover on here, but as much as I’d love to go to Peet’s coffee everyday and get theirs I try to make my own as much as possible. Adding some vanilla really makes it even better and I literally just add three ingredients plus ice and am in pumpkin latte heaven!

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Ingredients

  • Ice
  • Cold brew of choice (I use vanilla Chameleon cold-brew)
  • Pumpkin spice milk (I used the brand Almond Dream from Whole Foods)
  • Vanilla coffee creamer

Just toss some ice into your favorite cup and combine the ingredients to your liking, add as much or little of each ingredient as you like. I know these are ridiculously simple but I hope you get inspired to have some fun and make your own Fall creations.

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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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family, fitness, food, health, Uncategorized

Deliciously Easy Weight loss Recipes

As we know, we can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle without eating properly and fueling our bodies the right way. Exercise alone is not enough to be healthy and feel good inside and out, which is something that has taken me a long time to realize. I have definitely ranted on here about how parenthood leaves little time to focus on ourselves and our needs but thats not an excuse so I am trying to make sure that healthy eating stays a priority and is not only necessary for me but for my son as well. Funnily enough I have actually been inspired by my toddler who prefers salads to burgers and snacks on fruit and veggies like they’re going out of style. Here are some easy recipes made from whole foods that are delicious and fan favorites around my house. If you give these a try I’d love to hear about it! Until next time xo Chrissy

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Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Ingredients

Head of cauliflower
Franks Red Hout Buffalo Sauce
Butter or plant-based butter alternative
Garlic Powder
Himalayan salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet and set aside. Cut cauliflower into bite size pieces and place in oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix together about 2/3 C buffalo sauce, a spoonful of butter (melt to make mixing easier,) a few dashes of salt and same for the garlic powder. Take out cauliflower, flip and pour buffalo sauce until pieces are well coated. Place back in oven for about half hour, flip one more time. Dip in ranch or any sauce you love!Let cool then enjoy!!

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Tasty Tofu Burritos

Ingredients

Broccoli
Snap peas
Bell peppers
Firm tofu
Organic salsa or pico de gallo
Whole wheat wraps
Himalayan salt
Garlic powder
Cumin

Directions
Cut broccoli and bell peppers into bite size pieces. Spray pan with oil and place broccoli, snap peas and peppers. Sauté until they start to get soft, then cut up some tofu and throw into pan. Sprinkle salt, garlic powder and cumin to tasted. Place in tortilla and top with salsa, voila!

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Pineapple Refresher

Ingredients

Pineapple slices
1/2 lime
1/2 lemon

Directions

Place ingredients in blender filled half way with ice and serve. Pineapple aids greatly in immune support, strength, digest and is anti-inflammatory which is why it is a great healthy choice and tastes so delicious!