St. Louis friends: I’m so excited to share this powerful, inspiring workshop with you! My friends at The Vault Luxury Resale in Brentwood are graciously hosting this women-only event in their beautiful space, please see the details below. Online sign up opens on April 3rd, but you can pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited!
I love the holidays! I love finding that perfect, thoughtful, creative, gift for people in my life. No matter how big or small your budget, here are some ideas for everyone on your list!
My tips for giving the perfect gift:
Spoil them: Choose something they wouldn’t normally splurge on for themselves – a spa service, a jewelry box, cute PJs…
Inspire them: A journal, a book, a gift certificate for healthy meal delivery, etc. can be the spark they need to live better. (As you’re not pushy).
Personalize it: Add their name, nickname, initials or monogram. (Can’t wait til the last minute though!)
Here are some of the things I’ll be shopping (and hoping for) for this year.
FOR THE HOMEBODY:
- A plush bathrobe – Spoil them with this warm, luxe one from Ugg.
- Cozy slippers – You don’t need an exact shoes size or to spend too much to find the perfect pair like these from Urban Outfitters.
- A luxurious blanket – You can’t go wrong with this silky, soft (totally affordable) throw. And you can never have enough of them!
FOR THE FITNESS ENTHUSIAST:
- TRX Suspension System– Easy to set up, portable and perfect for all fitness levels, you can get a killer workout at home or anywhere.
- The perfect gym bag – Lululemon has stylish and functional choices for men & women.
- A sleek water bottle – Swell bottles are durable and come in just about every color, pattern, style you can imagine. And they’re perfect to personalize. (Pictured right fromCha Boutique in St. Louis).
FOR THE JETSETTER:
- A cosmetic case or dob kit – I have been givingStephanie Johnson cases as gifts for as long as I remember.
- An eye catching luggage tag– You’ll want one of these for yourself too.
- Travel size skin and hair care products – Mini versions of luxe products for men and women (like these for him from Jack Black or this set for her from Drybar) are instant winners.
FOR THE ATHLETE:
FOR THE KID (OR KID AT HEART):
- An arcade game – Definitely a big ticket item but hours of fun. For everyone. If you ever can’t find us, we’re in the basement playing Golden Tee. (Pictured left, one of many tournaments in our basement).
- Coloring kits– Who doesn’t love to color? A cure for boredom, coloring is also a great stress reliever. Don’t forget a set of colored pencils or fine tip markers.
- A puzzle – You can find one to suit just about anyone. ( I like this 80’s themed one.)
- FOR THE BEAUTY PRODUCT JUNKIE:
- Dyson hair dryer– A total splurge but give this to a girl with long hair and you’ll change her life forever.
- Foreo– This tiny but tough, portable facial cleansing brush comes in every color.
- Luxe gift set – Every year Chanel does a set of mini lip glosses and every year I buy it. (For myself).
FOR THE HOST/HOSTESS:
- A great bottle of wine – We received a bottle of Papillon as a gift and it is gooooood.
- A designer candle – Voluspa candles are the prettiest and smell amazing!
- A game – A pretty deck of playing cards or a raunchy Cards Against Humanity. Just know your crowd…
You’re not lazy. You’re willing to put in your time. You’re not afraid of hard work. So why is it so hard to get your shit together?
Too general. Too broad. What’s the WHY? The “why” helps you set a goal. Are you in debt? Are you in a dead end job? Do you have kids to put through college? Do you feel undervalued? All very different situations which will likely require a different path.
Question for you…Have you actually set goals for yourself? Have you really identified what you want and just as importantly, WHY you want it? It’s more difficult than it sounds. Try writing down a clearly defined goal. For example, you want to lose weight. Ok.
I want to lose 20 pounds.
I want to find a nutrition and fitness program that fits well into my lifestyle and allows me to maintain a healthy weight, have energy to ______, and feel proud of my physical appearance.
See the difference? You have the what and the why. And now you can actually figure out what steps to take to get there. You can seek out a nutrition coach, or research different programs to decide what seems like a good fit for you. Same goes for choosing a gym. Going back to your set goal, your clearly defined, written goal, will help you make better decisions. You’ll be less likely to get sucked into a trendy “diet” that you know will be miserable for you. You won’t join a gym that’s inconvenient for you. Or sign up for workouts you dread. That wouldn’t be serving your ultimate goal. It wouldn’t set you up for success.
How about another one?
I want to make more money.
I want to get out of debt and become financially stable so that I can save money for the future.
I want to find a career that allows me to work in a field that I enjoy with upside potential to grow and…buy a home….take family vacations…support my family…create personal wealth.
I want to create a budget that allows me to save money to provide for my kids’ education.
I want to earn a fair salary for the work that I do and feel valued.
The steps you’d take for each goal would be very different. You may need to find a new job, a new career even, or look into an additional source of income. You may need to seek help creating a savings plan for a specific goal.
I speak from experience. I’ve failed to reach many goals. Mainly because they didn’t really exist. I had ideas of what I wanted, but an idea is not a goal. If you don’t know what you’re really after, or why, it’s like running on a treadmill – not very inspiring, easy to lose interest and tough to stay on it for long. (On another note, for an effective, less boring treadmill workout, click HERE.)
This is just a start. But you can’t skip the first and most important step. SET A GOAL. Define it clearly. Write it down. Read it daily. Only then can you start to map out your plan.
I don’t love the treadmill. I don’t know many people that do. The thought of 30 minutes going nowhere is not exciting to me. At all. I need scenery, fresh air, some hills…
So as the weather gets colder and outdoor workouts start to dwindle, I try to find ways to challenge myself (and make the time go by faster!)
Find a great playlist and try this indoor hike. It’s not Runyon Canyon but it get your heart rate up, your legs burning and leave you sweaty.
I’m a multitasker. Sometimes because I’m feeling super productive but more often because I’ve over-scheduled myself. I’ve eaten, (and spilled), a variety of breakfasts in my car, and smoothies are by far the easiest to maneuver. One of my current favorites is this lemon-y concoction I recently created. It’s got this frothy frozen lemonade vibe and lately I go to bed excited to wake up just so I can make it again.
Try it for yourself…
Lemon Tart Smoothie
1 small frozen banana
1 cup frozen cauliflower
Juice of 1 lemon
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 Tbsp coconut butter
Blend and enjoy!
I have a friend that won’t drink smoothies because they have “too many calories and high in sugar”. Ok. But then she tells me about this new place that has these unbelievable açaí bowls.
These trendy (and delicious) bowls are basically a smoothie with toppings! Depending on the size, there can more than one serving for the average person and those toppings are sometimes more of what’s already blended in the bowl! So if there’s a couple heaping tablespoons of nut butter in the bowls and walnuts on top….
So what do you do when you just HAVE to have that bowl? Well, start by finding out what’s in it. AND HOW MUCH. The ingredients are usually healthy but you can still over consume healthy! Especially if this is a supposed to be snack!
I’ve found that many juice and smoothie bars don’t have their nutritional info readily available but they’ll tell you about how much of what is in there. Usually. So then it’s on you to know your proper serving size of fruits, nuts, seeds, etc…
Don’t want to be the annoying person asking a million questions before you order? (That’s totally me by the way). Then make your own! The one pictured here is about 360 calories. Yes there’s sugar from the fruit but this bowl packs a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and protein. And it’s totally customizable to meet your caloric and nutritional needs!
TROPICAL GREEN SMOOTHIE BOWL
What you need:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 small frozen banana
1/4 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
1 tsp spirulina
1/2 serving vanilla protein powder
(If you like it thicker or need extra carbs, add 1/4 cup of whole grain oats)
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
3 or 4 sliced strawberries
Breakfast, snack, dessert…chia pudding is everything. And the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth :). Get your protein, fat, omega 3s, a variety of vitamins and minerals from these tiny but nutrient dense seeds. Start with this basic recipe ( it makes 4 servings) and mix it up with your choice of toppings!
~ 1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
~ 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
~ 4-5 tablespoons chia seeds
~ 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix well and divide into 4 small containers. Seal tightly and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours til it thickens.
Pictured is my fave with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and fruit. But sometimes I go with sliced apples and cinnamon. Or bananas and honey. Or I go tropical with mangos and shredded coconut. Or, when you need a chocolate fix, mix in a scoop of unsweetened cocoa powder and/or a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Easy, quick, delicious and easily adaptable for a variety of tastes. Protein, carbs and healthy fat make this a satisfying dish fit for everyone from my athletes to my weight loss clients. (Recipe inspired by Eleat Nutrition’s Buffalo Chicken Tacos).
Ingredients (serves 2*):
1lb chicken breasts** – flattened
2 celery stalks – chopped
2 cups fresh spinach – chopped
1 small avocado
1/4 shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
1.5 – 2 cups brown rice
2 tablespoons Frank’s Original hot sauce
2 tablespoons yogurt based ranch dressing (homemade or Bolt House Farms)
Spray a large saute pan with olive oil spray. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer. Saute for 5 minutes on med-high heat. Flip the chicken, add water to pan covering breasts, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes until done. (I’m a little OCD and use a meat thermometer to make sure internal temp reaches 165 degrees.) Remove from water and set aside until chicken is cooled enough to shred with ac couple of forks.
Prep the bowl:
Layer rice, spinach, and cheese if using (I skip it for weight loss clients) on a plate. Mix chicken, celery and hot sauce and add to plate. Garnish with avocado, ranch dressing and additional hot sauce if you like it hot!
*Adjust serving size for weight loss, maintenance or performance.
**Don’t cook? No prob. Pick up cooked chicken breast from the market.
The concept of “pre-hab” is becoming increasingly popular in sports. A nickname of sorts for injury prevention, this type of training is not only sought after by athletes, but organizations as a whole are beginning to incorporate various methods.
“Pre-hab” can be defined as a proactive approach to avoiding pain, preventable injury and unnecessary surgery. This is accomplished through a balance of strength and stability. By training the most vulnerable areas and focusing on efficient movement patterns, athletes can help increase their chances of staying healthy while improving performance.
For years, Pilates has been quietly used by elite athletes to enhance their training. Athletes in various sports, and professional teams, have embraced Pilates and its popularity continues to grow.
How does Pilates work as “Pre-hab”?
•Teaches proper activation of trunk stabilizers to promote efficient movement
•Combines mobility and stability to improve functional performance, posture and alignment
•Balances strength and flexibility to increase agility while strengthening smaller, supporting muscle groups
•Helps correct muscle imbalances, posture, recruitment deficiencies and poor movement patterns
•Aids in recovery without contributing fatigue
•Increases blood flow to help the body remove lactic acid and other waste products
•Helps relieve pain and soreness through targeted, active stretching
In addition, and possibly one of the most important benefits of Pilates is the enhancement of the mind and body connection. Pilates requires an athlete to execute complete control of their movements, improving body awareness.
Combine the physical benefits with a strong mind-body connection, and Pilates can be an invaluable part of a complete training program.
Everybody should eat a balanced breakfast but especially if you head to the gym in the morning, you will want to make sure you get you fair share of carbs, protein and healthy fat to boost your metabolism make the most of your workout. I personally love a egg or two at breakfast…hard boiled, scrambled, poached, you name it, I’ll eat it. But if you don’t like eggs as much as I do, or you need to switch it up, here are 3 breakfast ideas to try!
PB&J Oatmeal: mix 1/2 cup oatmeal (quick oats) with 1 cup of 1% fat milk and microwave on high for 90 seconds. Add 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseed, 1 Tablespoon of natural, creamy peanut butter and 1/2 cup of blueberries. (approx. 420 calories, 20 grams protein)
Smoked Salmon on Sprouted Grain Toast: toast a slice of sprouted grain bread (I like the Ezekiel flax sprouted whole grain or Trader Joes Sprouted 7 Grain), spread 1 wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and top with 3oz of smoked salmon and a thinly sliced cucumbers or tomato. Add any salt-free seasoning if desired. (approx. 250 calories, 23 grams protein)
Crunchy Yogurt Parfait: Mix 1/2 cup of ripe, mashed berries into 3/4 cup of Plain 0% Fat Greek Yogurt and top with 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds. (approx. 280 calories, 25 grams protein)