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

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

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.

fitness, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

My husband gained a job: I gained weight

It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with my weight on and off for most of my life, but the last half a year or so it has really skyrocketed and has been so hard to get any off. I have been wracking my brain as to why this happened and then I had a realization. Last Fall my dad was sick, which has been years worth of struggle but we can get into that a different time if I feel the need. Anyway, I was so busy going back and froth from the hospital and my husband was still in the background stages of his government job so there was a lot more down time for him to watch our son and hold down the fort for me etc. I dropped a lot of weight during this time and kept it off over the holidays. Then in January my husband started his new job (which I am so grateful for and we are so lucky that he has the position that he does,) however his schedule is 12 hour shifts, a lot of overtime and shift covering etc. because he works in public safety/emergency services. Needless to say this creates very little free time for him and everything around the house and regarding our son fell on me. Don’t get me wrong I was used to doing most of that but with additional time for me to be able to go to the gym routinely, take a shopping break a couple of times a week etc., and suddenly I had no time at all. We rely on our parents for child care when we really need it but do not have a babysitter etc. due to how expensive it is and I had decided to stay home for these few years to raise Sean and not put him in daycare. I don’t think I realized how hard its been to have my husband in a job that requires such unusual hours and long shifts and how I have completely put my needs on hold for the most part, which I know sounds like I’m complaining and things could be so much worse but I know you guys are ok with a little venting session know and then. Putting my mental and physical health on the back burner for half a year has absolutely affected my body negatively and I know I need to scratch and claw my way back to a better healthier situation. I am hopeful that when Sean starts school next week (for a couple of days a week) that I can start to mend myself and look and feel how I know I should, and we all deserve to feel healthy and strong in our own bodies. Being on this end of the spectrum I can see how much I would take my health and athleticism for granted when I was in good shape but would only ever see the negative about myself, which makes me want to kick myself looking back on it. I know that I need to get my health straightened out in order to be the best version of myself and would love any tips on how to do that from those of you that are parents or have busy jobs or just have gone through health battles of your own. Sorry for the random somewhat complain driven post but this community has been so uplifting and you guys have messaged me some great advice before and I am so thankful. Until next time XO Chrissy

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fitness, health, motherhood, Uncategorized

Orangetheory Fitness: Honest First Impression

Alright guys sorry for being MIA but I did warn you these couple of months are insane. Since I’ve been trying to get my health (both mental and physical) to a much better place, I’ve tried a bunch of different things this year to see what works with me and what doesn’t. The other week after having lunch with my son across the street from an Orangetheory I decided to pop in and see what all the hype was about. I’d also like to note I have no personal ties to this company or any other fitness studios and/or products I use, that would be nice but I have no connections to fitness-related companies. When I walked into the studio a very nice young man (yes anyone under 25 to me now is young,) explained the concept of their approach to workouts and I signed up to take a trial class the week later. I went to the 9:35 class on a Monday and not going to lie, I was really nervous. Luckily for me I was one of four newcomers that morning so it was nice to go into it not being the only one having no idea whats going on. Now if you’re interested in trying an OTF class I’d do some research, check YouTube, go talk to someone at your local studio etc., in order to really see if its right for you or not, but I’ll talk about the main things that really drew me into the workout as a whole. At first we separated into two groups and I was in the group that started on the treadmill/rowing circuit first while the other half started on the floor circuit (aka weights, resistance training etc.) I like how it really is you in charge of how much you will push yourself during class but there are others in it with you; and I should mention I really enjoy how there is a coach there who keeps the group motivated and also helps when you are unfamiliar with something but isn’t all up in your face aggressively like some bootcamp style workouts. Now I went to another class later in the week but could only make it to the 7:30 class and I should have known better because I really struggle as the day goes on (#MomLife) but it was the only option I had that day. It was an incredibly tough workout and I could feel myself getting exhausted but I pushed myself and felt really proud when the workout was over; I won’t lie afterwards I felt really sick and was still nauseated the morning after but I know my body was probably in actual shock. I’m not going to act as if these workouts were the most fun in the entire world but talking to people who have been sticking with them I can see how they become addicting and the results I’ve seen have been incredible of people reaching such amazing fitness goals with the help of these classes. There’s music, the treadmills have personal fans on them which was a huge plus for me and anyone else like me that is very heat sensitive and everyone who worked there has been nothing but encouraging and helpful. So even though I have only had one week there, I did sign up and would recommend this for people who need to shake things up and get their body out of a rut. I hope to do more updates as my journey with this continues and will be back with some fun recipes as well. Whats your guys favorite workouts and have you tried any new “trendy” workouts that you actually were impressed by? Until next time, XO Chrissy

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