Pieces in Progress: Living fit, healthy, & happy!

This month’s new workout challenge! August is a time of preparation and new beginnings. A new school year, a new schedule, it’s the perfect time to take a look at your habits and routines and make changes. I hope that this challenge encourages you to start each morning with a bit of both peace and invigorating activity. Whether you have a daily yoga practice or have never tried it, sun salutations are accessible but challenging for everyone. You can add this onto your existing fitness routine or just make it a small part of your morning getting-ready routine. If it’s too challenging starting out doing the high plank into low plank between each standing pose simply go back to to down dog. Really just make this challenge work for you, your body, and your day!

I hope the picture guide helps you follow the sequence but I’ve also written it out here. If you have any questions, want feedback on your form (from an about-to-be-certified yogi, one more week!!!), or just want to show me your progress post a video to instagram and tag me @ piecesinprogress

Sun A: starting in downward facing dog, bring your feet to your hands & come halfway up to a straight spine (inhale), fold (exhale), rise all the way up hands reaching above you (inhale), fold (exhale), come halfway up (inhale), high plank—>low plank (exhale), upward facing dog (inhale), downward facing dog

Sun B: starting in downward facing dog, bring your feet to your hands & come halfway up to a straight spine (inhale), fold (exhale), bend your knees & sit back coming up to chair/utkatasana (inhale), fold (exhale), come halfway up (inhale), high plank into low plank (exhale), upward facing dog (inhale), downward facing dog, bring your right foot forward back heel spinning down & rise Warrior 1 (inhale), hands to the mat step back high plank—>low plank (exhale), upward facing dog (inhale), downward facing dog, bring your left foot forward back heel spinning down & rise Warrior 1 (inhale), hands to the mat step back high plank—>low plank (exhale), upward facing dog (inhale), downward facing dog

For more at home workout ideas go here! :)

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I’ve been on a tahini kick recently. Ever since discovering its awesome possibility for gluten free & vegan pasta (or zoodle!) sauces, I’ve been playing around with new ways to use it. This dressing is one of the best uses I’ve found so far! The tahini makes it smooth and creamy while the vinegar & agave balance it out so it’s tangy but not tart. (I used gluten free Tamari instead of the regular with-gluten soy sauce, so if you’re also gluten intolerant just make the swap!)

I used it for this my gluten free & vegan Edamame Rainbow Salad; the recipe is on the new blog here!

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You could also use it for dipping veggies, as a marinade, on wraps, as a regular salad dressing or with a cold noodle salad. You can also decide how thick you want it to be by adding more or less water. I actually like to keep it really thick (using half the water called for in the recipe) in the fridge then thin it out based on what I’m using it for.

There’s more easy, healthy, gluten free (often vegan) dressing & salad recipes here!

All smoothies are vegan & gluten free, most are nut free and the only smoothie with banana is Macha Magic!
Apple Pie Green Smoothie: apples, pecans, greens, spices, agave
Apples & Peanut Butter Green Smoothie: apples, PB2, greens, agave
Blueberry Bliss Green Smoothie: blueberries, strawberries, greens, soy
Bunny’s Lemonade: carrots, greens, lemon, strawberry, agave
Carrot Cake Green Smoothie: carrots, dates, coconut, spices
Classic Green Smoothie: apple, orange, greens, agave
Chocolate Strawberry Green Smoothie: cocoa, strawberries, greens, agave
Double Strawberry Green Smoothie: strawberries, strawberries, & more strawberries!
Fresh Start Green Smoothie: strawberries, carrots, lemon, greens
Green Lemonade: peaches, greens, lemon, agave
Macha Magic Green Smoothie: macha, banana (the only one!), greens, dates, soy
Mango Tango Green Smoothie: mango, orange, peach, greens
Morning Wake Up Green Smoothie: strawberry, lemon, mango, greens
Peaches & Cream Green Smoothie: double the peach, soy, greens, agave
Pina Green-Lada: pineapple, coconut, greens, soy
Orange Creamsicle Green Smoothie: orange, soy, greens, agave
Sip of Summer Green Smoothie: mango, strawberry, orange, soy, agave, greens
Spring Fling Green Smoothie: peach, coconut, soy, greens
Strawberries & Cream Green Smoothie: strawberries, soy, greens, agave
Tripe Berry Green Smoothie: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, greens

All smoothies are vegan & gluten free, most are nut free and the only smoothie with banana is Macha Magic!

Apple Pie Green Smoothie: apples, pecans, greens, spices, agave

Apples & Peanut Butter Green Smoothie: apples, PB2, greens, agave

Blueberry Bliss Green Smoothie: blueberries, strawberries, greens, soy

Bunny’s Lemonade: carrots, greens, lemon, strawberry, agave

Carrot Cake Green Smoothie: carrots, dates, coconut, spices

Classic Green Smoothie: apple, orange, greens, agave

Chocolate Strawberry Green Smoothie: cocoa, strawberries, greens, agave

Double Strawberry Green Smoothie: strawberries, strawberries, & more strawberries!

Fresh Start Green Smoothie: strawberries, carrots, lemon, greens

Green Lemonade: peaches, greens, lemon, agave

Macha Magic Green Smoothie: macha, banana (the only one!), greens, dates, soy

Mango Tango Green Smoothie: mango, orange, peach, greens

Morning Wake Up Green Smoothie: strawberry, lemon, mango, greens

Peaches & Cream Green Smoothie: double the peach, soy, greens, agave

Pina Green-Lada: pineapple, coconut, greens, soy

Orange Creamsicle Green Smoothie: orange, soy, greens, agave

Sip of Summer Green Smoothie: mango, strawberry, orange, soy, agave, greens

Spring Fling Green Smoothie: peach, coconut, soy, greens

Strawberries & Cream Green Smoothie: strawberries, soy, greens, agave

Tripe Berry Green Smoothie: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, greens

I’m obsessed with smoothies. It’s getting serious. There’s the morning energizing smoothie, the hearty lunch-time smoothie (aka my excuse to eat almond butter), even the night time fruity dessert smoothie. I’ve been blending up so much goodness recently I’m compiling and posting 20 awesome green smoothie recipes tonight. This one is so good, though, it deserves it’s own post now. There’s something about banana and macha that’s just, well, magic. This one is so good I usually make it super thick and eat it for dessert but you could make it whatever consistency you like!  Macha is, sadly, expensive but I keep buying it almost exclusively so I can keep making this smoothie haha. The list is on its way (this is the only banana based smoothie on it) but for now seriously, go make this!

Oh and this smoothie is vegan and gluten free! :)

I’m obsessed with smoothies. It’s getting serious. There’s the morning energizing smoothie, the hearty lunch-time smoothie (aka my excuse to eat almond butter), even the night time fruity dessert smoothie. I’ve been blending up so much goodness recently I’m compiling and posting 20 awesome green smoothie recipes tonight. This one is so good, though, it deserves it’s own post now. There’s something about banana and macha that’s just, well, magic. This one is so good I usually make it super thick and eat it for dessert but you could make it whatever consistency you like!  Macha is, sadly, expensive but I keep buying it almost exclusively so I can keep making this smoothie haha. The list is on its way (this is the only banana based smoothie on it) but for now seriously, go make this!

Oh and this smoothie is vegan and gluten free! :)

One of the coolest wedding gifts David and I received was a spiralizer. David was a bit skeptical but I couldn’t wait to test it out and the results are every bit as delicious as they look! Here’s two easy ways to make them that are both absolutely delicious. I have to say though, for my post-wedding vegan week I have been feasting on the tahini caprese version. It’s so full of flavor and absolutely delicious I don’t miss the cheese at all. That said- zucchini and garlic and parmesan is definitely a match made in heaven! The key to making really excellent zoodles regardless of the flavors you add is to cook them quickly! As soon as they start to wilt get them off the heat and on your plate so they stay crisp and not soggy!

My spiralizer was $40 from Williams Sonoma and I would highly recommend it. However, if a spiralizer is not in your future, my favorite way to cut zucchini so it stays crisp but tender is to cut it in half lengthwise then into half moon slices then again in half to make cubes.

Last tip: get your zucchini at a farmer’s market! Seriously! I buy enormous zucchinis for 50 cents each at the market instead of paying $2 a pound in the store. And with how many zoodles I’ve been eating at least that’s a hefty saving haha! :)

For more healthy, gluten free, delicious veggie recipes go here! :)

The wedding post has arrived! David and I were married one month ago on June 21. We’ve been honeymooning (disney-mooning), travelling, and settling but now we can truly say we are “home” AND we have our pictures (special thanks to Chris Hensel our photographer who captured our day perfectly)! 

Here’s my review of the day, favorite pictures and all the crafty little things we did to make the day truly ours. Enjoy!

Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Quinoa Salad

This is by far my favorite way to prepare asparagus. It’s simple, full of fresh flavor, and really lets the asparagus be the star. I paired it with this super simple quinoa salad that, truly, will only get better the next day. Together, these two elements make for an impressive but easy to pull together meal delicious the day of with warm asparagus & chilled salad and delicious packed on your way to school, work, or the beach the next day!

The salad has farm fresh baby tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese, classic spices and just enough lemon & olive oil to pull it together. Of course you can customize it to your own favorites with different veggies, types of cheese, or kicking up the dressing with a some fresh herbs!

Get this simple, healthy, absolutely delicious recipe here in my e-book! It has over 25 exclusive, perfect for summer, gluten free & vegetarian recipes (and all my love too!).

I always seem to forget how ridiculously delicious these are. I’ll buy a carton of cherry tomatoes, cook them to perfection, take one bite and immediately want to go back to the market to buy and make another batch haha! These are really one of my absolute favorite, super healthy recipes because they’re not only delicious in themselves, but also because they make everything they’re a part of so much better!

I’m using them this week for vegan & gluten free brown rice veggie bowls. They’re also great in salads, on sandwiches, roasted with other veggies, even pureed into a sauce! Try them out and let me know how you get creative with them!
For more easy, healthy veggie recipes go here. :)

I always seem to forget how ridiculously delicious these are. I’ll buy a carton of cherry tomatoes, cook them to perfection, take one bite and immediately want to go back to the market to buy and make another batch haha! These are really one of my absolute favorite, super healthy recipes because they’re not only delicious in themselves, but also because they make everything they’re a part of so much better!

I’m using them this week for vegan & gluten free brown rice veggie bowls. They’re also great in salads, on sandwiches, roasted with other veggies, even pureed into a sauce! Try them out and let me know how you get creative with them!

For more easy, healthy veggie recipes go here. :)

Today’s breakfast smoothie: tropical twist! Thick enough to eat with a spoon,  so refreshing, vegan, and gluten free!

Blend:
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
2 pitted dates

To make my smoothies quicker and more easily I peeled and halved a few bananas and froze them in Tupperware so I could grab blend and go!

#healthy #healthyfood #healthyliving #vegetarian #instarecipes #instafood #food #cooking #snacks #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #easyrecipes #vegan #raw #veganfoodshare #smoothies #smoothiejunkie #veganweek #fruit

Today’s breakfast smoothie: tropical twist! Thick enough to eat with a spoon, so refreshing, vegan, and gluten free!

Blend:
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
2 pitted dates

To make my smoothies quicker and more easily I peeled and halved a few bananas and froze them in Tupperware so I could grab blend and go!

#healthy #healthyfood #healthyliving #vegetarian #instarecipes #instafood #food #cooking #snacks #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #easyrecipes #vegan #raw #veganfoodshare #smoothies #smoothiejunkie #veganweek #fruit

Introducing: Vegan Week!

It has been an incredible month of celebration- I got married, went on my honeymoon to Disney, went on a mini second honeymoon to Maine, all the while having an amazing time with my husband and family. BUT! Now I am home and so SO happy to be returning to my “normal” life. To kickstart my return to normal, detox from the foodie celebrations of the last month, and just really energize myself to be healthy, I’m beginning my time at home with a nutrient packed week of local, fresh, vegan food!

I’m sharing my daily eats, activities, and simple fresh recipes on instagram all week and then at the end of it I’ll post the whole meal plan here! I hope it gives your fit-life an extra boost and inspires me to make the absolute most of this time! :)

ps- my instagram is piecesinprogress if you want to follow along, check out recipes, or share advice!

There are 2 more levels to this plan, get them both here on my new site!! :)
As always, remember that this is your workout and you should always listen to your body. Mix and match pieces from the 3 plans to suit your needs. Don’t like running or walking? Do whatever cardio you want! This is really a plan to help you get excited again about your summer routine so do what will make you excited to get out and get moving! :)

There are 2 more levels to this plan, get them both here on my new site!! :)

As always, remember that this is your workout and you should always listen to your body. Mix and match pieces from the 3 plans to suit your needs. Don’t like running or walking? Do whatever cardio you want! This is really a plan to help you get excited again about your summer routine so do what will make you excited to get out and get moving! :)

Make in take out! This is one of my favorite healthy meals. Stir fry is fast, so delicious, completely customizable, and the high heat & quick cooking times let all the fresh flavor of the produce shine through. This meal is satisfying, so easy to make, gluten free, AND vegan! 
Get the full recipe & tips here on my new blog! :)

Make in take out! This is one of my favorite healthy meals. Stir fry is fast, so delicious, completely customizable, and the high heat & quick cooking times let all the fresh flavor of the produce shine through. This meal is satisfying, so easy to make, gluten free, AND vegan!

Get the full recipe & tips here on my new blog! :)

My journey began just over 3 years ago and it has led me down a path windier than I knew possible. There have been periods of success and periods of great frustration. I learned I’m gluten intolerant, became a yoga instructor, accepted Jesus, got married!!!, graduated college to go off to my dream job, and along the way, learned to be a person I am happy to be. The weight loss is only one of many pieces of how I became who I am today, a necessary part, but even more was that I learned how to change. Becoming the person you want to be, physically, emotionally, it comes from waking up every morning and choosing to be that person, choosing actively to live how you know you want to live. It won’t be easy, it won’t be a straight path, and no matter what goals you start with, you’ll attain so much more. I hope my progress, my life, my blog and experience and cooking (so much cooking haha) help you along your own journey to being who you want to be and live how you want to live.

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I’m working on moving all the best of my content over to my new domain here! It has my favorite recipes, workouts, guides, everything really haha, all organized to make it as easy to use as possible!

This is a salad I’ve been thinking about for a while but have been nervous to try. All summer I’ve been seeing salads like this (goat cheese, some sort of berry, candied nuts) on cafe menus and thinking to myself that sounds like it might be good but I don’t want to spend so much money on something I know I can make at home. After a few attempts (goat cheese doesn’t last long in my house!) I finally pulled this together and was in love. The creamy goat cheese mixes so well with the sweetness of the strawberries and the crunch of the radish makes the perfect contrast. I used to be a fruit-in-salad skeptic but this has definitely proven to me that it can be an outstanding combo!
Check out my new domain here for more delicious, easy, healthy *gluten free!* recipes! :)

This is a salad I’ve been thinking about for a while but have been nervous to try. All summer I’ve been seeing salads like this (goat cheese, some sort of berry, candied nuts) on cafe menus and thinking to myself that sounds like it might be good but I don’t want to spend so much money on something I know I can make at home. After a few attempts (goat cheese doesn’t last long in my house!) I finally pulled this together and was in love. The creamy goat cheese mixes so well with the sweetness of the strawberries and the crunch of the radish makes the perfect contrast. I used to be a fruit-in-salad skeptic but this has definitely proven to me that it can be an outstanding combo!

Check out my new domain here for more delicious, easy, healthy *gluten free!* recipes! :)

I love omelets! They’re protein packed, customizable to exactly what I feel like enjoying, and if I mess it up, well, then I’m in for one seriously delicious plate of scrambled eggs haha! I like to start with a mix of 1 whole regular egg and a mess of carton egg whites to get a good mix of fat and protein (want them fluffy? add a splash of water & beat them before cooking). I hope this list of 54 possible fillings inspires you to get creative and think beyond the carton haha.
Here’s my top 5 favorite combinations:
The Chinese Take-Out: healthy fried rice (recipe on my instagram) with added zucchini, green beans, and broccoli (cook the veggies with the fried rice then use the loaded rice as your filling)
Inside-Out Burrito: black beans, cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, peppers, tomatoes, chipotle blend seasoning
Italy Calling: mozzarella, parmesan, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, extra garlic, fresh chopped basil
Green Machine: spinach, peas, asparagus, shaved brussels sprouts, goat cheese, dried rosemary
The All American: potatoes, American cheese, spinach, mushrooms, & a little bit of garlic powder
For more gluten free, healthy recipes & guides like this, check out my new domain here!

I love omelets! They’re protein packed, customizable to exactly what I feel like enjoying, and if I mess it up, well, then I’m in for one seriously delicious plate of scrambled eggs haha! I like to start with a mix of 1 whole regular egg and a mess of carton egg whites to get a good mix of fat and protein (want them fluffy? add a splash of water & beat them before cooking). I hope this list of 54 possible fillings inspires you to get creative and think beyond the carton haha.

Here’s my top 5 favorite combinations:

  • The Chinese Take-Out: healthy fried rice (recipe on my instagram) with added zucchini, green beans, and broccoli (cook the veggies with the fried rice then use the loaded rice as your filling)
  • Inside-Out Burrito: black beans, cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, peppers, tomatoes, chipotle blend seasoning
  • Italy Calling: mozzarella, parmesan, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, extra garlic, fresh chopped basil
  • Green Machine: spinach, peas, asparagus, shaved brussels sprouts, goat cheese, dried rosemary
  • The All American: potatoes, American cheese, spinach, mushrooms, & a little bit of garlic powder

For more gluten free, healthy recipes & guides like this, check out my new domain here!