My incredible 2 week spring break starts on Friday and it is going to be nothing but yoga and wedding planning and cooking! I’m spending some of my (rare) free time this week collecting ideas & drafting recipes but if there’s anything specific you want a gluten free, vegetarian, healthy recipe for let me know here! My ideas so far range from gluten free greek yogurt brownies to gluten free baked mozzarella sticks to all sorts of salads, soups, & of course some gf mac & cheese but I would love to hear what you want to make! :)
This smoothie was a deliciously happy accident. I ran out of soymilk but really wanted a smoothie so I decided to try throwing some of my green tea concentrate in instead. I usually use the green tea for lattes (of course haha), mix it into plain greek yogurt, or sometimes even make milkshakes with it but this is a whole new, wonderful use! I think it would also be fantastic with a frozen banana instead of strawberries (and maybe even some white chocolate chips?).
This is the same concentrate used at Starbucks but you can get it at Target for about $2.50 a box (8 servings) so it saves money and tastes great! :)
I am a huge proponent of body-weight based exercise. It’s convenient because you can exercise completely on your own schedule right from home. It’s cost efficient because, well, all you really need is yourself (although I also recommend a pen & paper to jot down how many reps you do!). Most importantly though, it’s effective. Machines are fantastic tools and the atmosphere in many gyms is often inspiring, but personally, I’ve gained all my strength completely through my yoga practice (which actually uses most of these regularly!).
I hope these explanations not only help you navigate the world of at home workouts, but also inspire you to try a few and maybe even design a workout of your own!
I put together these plans to be accessible for all levels of runners. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been running for years, I hope these plans will help you set and attain your goals. After that you should pick EITHER speed or distance depending on what your goals are (for example do you want to run your fastest 5k or are you shooting for a half marathon?).
Cross training days should be something non strenuous that helps with aerobic endurance. I highly suggest biking or yoga which will help you build strength and stamina without overtaxing the muscles you rely on for running. Remember to listen to your body and take the rest days you need!
I also highly recommend making charts for your progress! No matter what your goal is- time, distance, minutes run v. walked- find a way to visualize your progress! One of my favorite daily rewards is being able to input my mile times (I’m working on speed) and see how they’re improving run to run! :)
Every time I go to the mall, I always stop at the giant salad bar and wonder why salads there are better than what I make at home. Finally it hit me- I don’t have to chop anything and there are so many choices! I decided that starting this week, I would make my own salad bar at home and it was a huge, delicious, healthy success! Above is a list of every healthy salad topping I could think of, a few of my recent salads, and the salad bar I made for myself.
Here’s my suggestion for building your own salad bar:
- 1-2 salad bases
- 3-4 proteins
- 4-7 veggies & fruits
- 2-3 other toppins
- 2-3 salad dressings
How do you food prep? As part of the March Makeover attitude challenges yesterday was my day of planning so I took 30 minutes after grocery shopping to prep out as much as I could for the week ahead.
Here’s a few general things I always look for when I bring the groceries home:
- vegetables to be chopped (zucchini, onion, etc.)
- fruit to be prepared (pomegranate, grapefruit, ect.)
- beans to be rinsed
- proteins to be cubed (tofu, cheese, etc.)
- starches to be cooked & portioned (rice, quinoa, etc.)
- iced drinks to be made (loose leaf tea & coffee)
Yesterday I was getting ready for nightly stir fry, big chopped salads at lunch, and my usual drinks. I chopped eggplant & onion and cooked/ portioned rice for the stir fry. I chopped zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes, as well as rinsed chickpeas, for the salad. Not shown I also brewed a big mason jar worth of 2 kinds of Teavana tea (weight to go berry oolong & strawberry rose champage white, link on left side of my blog!) and a jar worth of Maine Blueberry Coffee so they’d be iced but not diluted and ready to go!
March is here and I’m celebrating with a new challenge! This month is all about MIND & BODY. In addition to a fitness plan, it features a daily attitude challenge, something to help you feel good about yourself, your surroundings, and your goals (particularly your health-specific ones!). The calendar is printable so save it, print it, and check off the bubble each day. Don’t forget to reward yourself! My suggestion is to reward yourself based on the number of bubbles you check off each week.
ps- if you post about your progress this month here on tumblr or on instagram I’ll leave you encouraging comments & feedback! I follow the tag piecesinprogress on both. :)
One of the things I love about yoga is that it changes me entirely, body and soul. I’ll go weeks without doing a particular posture but then when I decide to give it a go it’ll be wonderfully different. Last night was a perfect example. I hadn’t done tittibhasana in a few weeks (bottom left) and only managed to even do the posture for the first time around Thanksgiving yet I found the posture to be completely different. I entered it without expectation and was happy to find that it was easy to get into, I could balance without strain, and even though it’s not a part of my regular practice, it had improved significantly. My point with this post is to say- don’t get caught up in any one physical piece of yoga. A desire to stand on your head or balance on your hands can be a fantastic catalyst for learning yoga, but never lose sight of your entire practice, mental and physical. Go ahead and seek the inversion, but remember that it’s the daily dedication and non-judgmental attitude that will really make your practice grow.
ps- both progress pictures show about a 3 month difference (December to February) as well as a difference of about 10 pounds.
All of these meals are directly from my time as an undergrad at Bucknell University. The station offerings will differ school to school, but I made it my top priority to only use meals here that I had ACTUALLY MADE IN THE BUCKNELL DINING HALLS. I hope these inspire you when you’re in the dining hall. The single best piece of advice I can give for staying healthy in college is to BE CREATIVE. Mix and match the sandwich station and salad bar, the egg bar and stir fry station. Be willing to try different combinations and look around for ingredients not pre-set meals.
When I set out to make this recipe, my original plan was to go with gluten free pasta. However, pasta gets soggy after a few days and I knew this would make at least a week’s worth so I decided to try out quinoa instead! It has a great nutty flavor and even adds extra protein! You can throw in whatever veggies you like- peppers, corn, carrots, celery, mushrooms or anything else you have! I’m not vegan so I use parmesan but if you are vegan you can try either using a vegan alternative or even adding a little soymilk for creaminess at the end!
Have you seen my instagram @piecesinprogress yet? Besides daily yoga updates there’s also quick snacks and super simple, easy recipe ideas (and of course cute shots of my kitten Joey). Go check it out! :)
ps- in this post there’s gluten free avocado toast, a strawberry pineapple protein smoothie, salmon & avocado sushi, loaded greek yogurt, fresh strawberry infused strawberry white iced tea and a throw back to my favorite Maine Blueberry Coffee outside my favorite coffee shop!
This is a fantastic recipe to throw in your Sunday food-for-the-week prep. It’s literally just 1 chop, toss, and bake. I almost always bake on tin foil to make clean up super easy. For all the ideas for gluten free uses you can ALWAYS sub in gluten free products (I do!).
Here’s a few more specific ideas:
- Sandwich: toasted gluten free bread, avocado, asparagus, hummus, mixed greens
- Sandwich: toasted gluten free bread, asparagus, roasted red peppers, pesto, fresh thick sliced tomato, mozzarella
- Salad: mixed greens, crumbled goat cheese, asparagus, thinly sliced red onion, sunflower seeds, your favorite dressing
- Salad: arugula, lemon olive oil dressing, gorgonzola, asparagus, cucumbers, chickpeas
- Pasta: saute garlic, red onion, & cherry tomatoes in 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Toss with pasta, asparagus (chop) and fresh parmesan
I designed this workout to be printable so you can save it and fill it out every day! It’s a quick jump start meant to get you into a regular strength training routine. While this is a fantastic and challenging addition to your workout, remember that it is just an addition and to have visible results you need to do cardio and eat a healthy diet. Need some ideas for what to eat? Go here!
This week’s meal plan! Remember, this is a for weight loss, vegetarian, gluten free meal plan. Please customize it both to fit what your food preferences are AND what your body needs (meaning if you work out every day you’re probably going to need more calories than what’s listed here).**The 4 bean texas chili is here. :)
This week’s fridge shots are a mash up both of what’s on the meal plan and some other things I like to keep around. I got a selection of berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, green apples, & pomegranates) to switch up my fruit and 3 kinds of cheese (gorgonzola, feta, & a hand cut sharp cheese) just to mix things up. I also keep a few bottles of Zevia (sugar free cream soda) and a mason jar of freshly brewed ice tea (from Teavana, link on my blog!) and of freshly brewed Main Wild Blueberry coffee for on the run icy drinks.
ps- this meal plan has a lot of fresh produce which can drive up the price, I spend about $60-70 per week but you can easily cut costs by getting less expensive fruit and generic brands!
Need a quick, delicious, healthy meal? Look no further! I absolutely love making stir fry. It’s speedy, custom to what I feel like eating at the moment, and makes great leftovers! haha! Today I threw in yellow squash, asparagus, and green beans, but swap them out for whatever veggies you like! You can also add proteins like tofu, egg/ egg whites, or meat.
The BEST ADVICE I can give you on stir fry is to have everything ready before hand and get your pan really hot. I have a good nonstick pan that I use and sprinkle water when necessary to keep it from burning but I really do let the bottom brown a bit to give it that caramelized flavor.