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Where To Start On Your Health and Fitness Journey

Improving health and fitness is a common goal, but starting your information search can be completely overwhelming. One site will say to stop eating carbs, another will say they’re essential. One site will say to only eat between 12-8PM, another will say to eat several small meals throughout the day. Instead of following any of these arbitrary rules or going “all in”, I recommend starting small. The following 5 basic habits are great places to start, then refine your journey from there. Which habit you start with will depend on where you’re at in your journey and what area of your life could use the most help.

1. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water.

Water is key in helping you feel your best. Calculate your body weight in lbs, cut that number in half, and set it as a goal number of ounces to drink each day. If this is a reach for you, start smaller and work your way up. These tips also help:

  • Swap one coffee/soda/juice/glass of wine per day for water.
  • Use sparkling flavored water to help you hit the goal.
  • Drink a glass as soon as you wake up!

2. Remove distractions when eating.

We often multi-task, eating while we do other things. This takes away our ability to tune into our own hunger and fullness cues. Removing distractions (tv, phones) helps us slow down, enjoy our food more, digest better, and listen to our bodies. People often eat less and eat better when the distractions are removed, without having to track intake or consciously change food choices. Giving your food more attention just through slowing down and removing screens has a wealth of impacts and is relatively simple to implement.

3. Add walking to your day.

Workouts get a lot of attention, but what are you doing during your other waking hours every day? If the answer is sitting, let’s work some more movement into the day. Walking is a great option because you can do it inside or outside and it helps with both stress management and getting in enough activity. A nice most-meal walk helps with digestion, too! Set a timer to get up at the end of each hour and walk the entire house, or to your mailbox, or to the end of your street. Or, after each meal, walk for 5-10 minutes. The activity adds up (and also creates positive momentum for you to keep going).

4. Develop a bedtime routine.

Better sleep improves physical and mental health. It allows you to recover and gives you the energy to be more productive during the day. Sleep may be the single biggest “bang for your buck” change you can make to your health. Some easy places to start are: decreasing caffeine intake (especially in the afternoon), going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, or starting a bedtime routine (there’s a reason it works so well for kids!). I’ve found the Hatch Restore to be so helpful for nighttime routines (and gentle wake-ups). I also find that reducing blue light after sunset helps me wind down (which is why I love these glasses).

5. Start small with working out.

You don’t have to work out 7 days a week to see results, and in fact, you shouldn’t. Especially if you’re just starting. How many days per week do you think you can commit to exercise for the rest of your life? That is the number of days you should start with, and usually that number is more like 2-3 days/week. In the beginning I’d also focus less on “what’s the most effective workout” and more on “what do I like doing enough to stick to it”. Try different things: strength training, barre, spin, running etc. See what sticks! My Get Strong At Home program can be modified for fewer workouts/week and is a great way to try working out at home.

You may have noticed that not all of these are diet and exercise related. That’s because your health is much deeper than that. If you are dialed on your nutrition and exercise but have no social interaction, can’t sleep at night and spend your entire day thinking about food and exercise, I’d argue that you’re not experiencing optimal health.

If you’re looking for help with habits like these, my HealthierU program may be for you. Our virtual group setting encourages accountability and gives you access to expert coaching at a fraction of the cost for 1:1 coaching. And if you’re looking for a more advanced/customized plan, contact me about 1:1 options!

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Healthy Snacks Roundup: My Current Go-To’s

I’ve always been the hangry type, but breastfeeding seems to have amplified that, and having a newborn means I have little time to prepare snacks in-the-moment. If you’re like me, not prepping snacks in advance means you’re raiding the pantry for goldfish and cookies. In an effort to eat a little healthier than that, here are the healthy snacks I keep on hand:

  • Cut fruit + veggies: Simple and refreshing. I find it helpful to buy a lot of fruits and veggies and prep them all for the week during one of Stella’s naps. We usually have watermelon, strawberries, carrots and cucumbers washed and cut up in the fridge. Note that if they were not washed and cut previously, I’d be far less likely to grab them in a pinch.
  • Cheese sticks: I don’t like mozzarella, but I love colby jack. I buy cheese sticks for when I’m craving a salty snack but want real food rather than something out of the pantry.
  • Rice cakes with peanut butter + cinnamon: I love this as we’re heading into fall. Plain rice cakes topped with peanut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Light but filling, and super quick to throw together.
  • Smoothies: when I have a few minutes (aka Stella has been fed recently and is asleep), I love to make smoothies. My favorite combo is frozen banana, almond butter, almond milk, and chocolate protein.
  • Energy balls: These need to be prepped in advance, but are super quick to make so I usually make them when I’m finished chopping fruits and veggies for the week. My go-to recipe here is:
    • 1 cup almond butter
    • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tbsp flax seeds
    • and lately.. I’ve been rolling them in sprinkles!
  • Yasso bars: I love the chocolate fudge flavor to get my dessert fix but without going gangbusters on calories.

I’m always looking for new ideas to throw into the mix! What are your go-to healthy snacks?

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How (And Why) To Switch To Natural Deodorant

About a year ago I started exploring natural deodorant options to limit the amount of chemicals I’m putting on my skin. I had read about how traditional deodorant/anti-perspirant combos could interfere with hormones and decided it was worth it to try something new. I wish I had continued my research a little further, because then I would’ve also seen that there are steps to take to make the transition easier. Instead, I went cold turkey on my Secret deodorant and swapped it for a natural brand with some not-so-successful results. A year and multiple brands later, I can say I am very happy I made the switch. So don’t let the bad bits I start off with discourage you–read on, this story has a happy ending, I promise!

What’s Wrong with Regular Deodorant?

Most traditional deodorants are a combination of deodorant and anti-perspirant: designed to stop you from sweating and mask odor. Problem one is that you should sweat. It’s a natural function of the body, and to limit it can prevent the proper elimination of waste. In addition to that, some of the ingredients are questionable.

  1. Parabens. These preservatives used in deodorant may interfere with estrogen production and regulation. Given how close the armpits are to estrogen-sensitive tissue in the breasts, this was a risk I didn’t want to take, even without conclusive evidence.
  2. Aluminum. There have been similar links to aluminum deodorant and breast cancer, although again, without conclusive evidence. While waiting for that research to come in, it seemed worthwhile for me to switch.
  3. Phthalates. It’s suggested that Phthalates may be an issue among pregnant women as it can impact fetal development. Research has linked phthalates to lower IQs and higher rates of asthma.

While most of these are anecdotal and lack conclusive evidence, there is still a risk factor that I felt better mitigating. So, what did I find as problems when I pursued the natural route?

Hesitations About Natural Deodorant

  1. Initial skin irritation. After years of conditioning your skin to expect aluminum and parabens under your arms, it can take awhile for your skin to detox. That detox presents itself in the form of skin irritation, which happened to me. Read on for ways to combat this!
  2. Continued skin irritation. Just because ingredients are natural doesn’t mean your skin will agree with them. My skin had irritation/rashes well beyond the initial transition phase when I tried love, beauty, planet. This may work for you, but something in the ingredient list did not agree with me.
  3. Not as strong/doesn’t last as long/you may smell. Some varieties of natural deodorant wear off quickly or don’t mask B.O. as strongly as you may be used to. I found this issue with Native, and living in a climate where it is often hot and humid combined with working in the fitness industry.. this was less than ideal.
  4. Pricier. In this case, I think of it as an example of you get what you pay for. If you want something made with quality ingredients, you should expect to pay a little more for it (and when it comes to things I put in and on my body, I am willing to pay that price). Also–keep scrolling and you’ll see a discount for my favorite brand!

While these hesitations sound like a lot, I still felt better about using a safer option. So, how do you make this transition smoother?

Ways to Ease the Transition

  1. Detox your pits. I didn’t try this myself, but I trust anything Laurie Christine King recommends. See her detox recipe here.
  2. Don’t apply deodorant right after shaving. Some people shower and shave at night then apply deodorant in the morning. This was something I tried when I had continued skin irritation that I called out above. Broken skin that has just been shaved tends to react more harshly to anything applied to it. Ultimately, this wasn’t the solution for me and I now use a brand that I can apply right after shaving.
  3. Try different brands. I tried love, beauty, planet, then Native before ultimately trying Primally Pure. I had heard great things, but I’m conditioned to convenience and free shipping, so it took awhile for me to accept heading to a website other than Amazon to purchase–but I am SO glad I did.

Why Primally Pure?

A few months ago I tried Primally Pure charcoal deodorant and haven’t looked back. I have had 0 skin irritation since trying it, and it lasts all day without wearing off. I also love that it doesn’t have a strong scent attached to it. When I used to use regular deodorant, I often felt like the fake scent coming from my deodorant was as overpowering as B.O. would’ve been. Rather than a scent that “masks” B.O. I find I just don’t smell at all, which is quite a feat when fitness-ing in North Carolina.

I wasn’t sure if I had found something that just worked for me, but since making the switch and sharing my experience, I’ve heard from multiple people who were compelled to try it and had the same experience. After seeing how well it’s worked for me and friends, I reached out to become an ambassador (my first time approaching a company vs the other way around) and now you can get a discount with code STODDS at checkout.

If you decide to make the switch, I hope you learn from my mistakes and have a much smoother, shorter journey!

Do you use natural deodorant? What brands have you found success with? If you haven’t made the switch why not? What questions do you have about making the switch?

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5+ Ways To Feel Better During Pregnancy

If you’ve ever spoken to a pregnant woman, you’ve likely heard a lot of woes and discomforts (and rightfully so). As exciting as pregnancy is, there are a lot of symptoms and ailments throughout the course of 9-10 months and most of them are not fun. Below, I pulled a list from mayoclinic about what to expect by trimester, paired it with the symptoms listed in “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” and included anecdotes for how I got through any of the symptoms that I experienced. If I didn’t experience a symptom, I left it blank!

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First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms

This trimester was the most difficult for me, I was hit with almost every symptom and spent 6-8 weeks not feeling like myself. My best overall advice is: know that it does get better. It felt endless at times and I wondered if I would ever feel like myself again, and I definitely do!

  • Tender, swollen breasts. This is not a difficult symptom to deal with, just something I noticed. It was my first indication that I should buy a pregnancy test!
  • Nausea with or without vomiting. I never vomited, but felt nauseous all day, every day from weeks 6-12. I found that eating bland foods, in small amounts, but often, was what helped me get through this. Unfortunately it took a few weeks of serious struggle for me to get that advice and take it (since the last thing you want to do when you’re nauseous is eat something). I also had to start eating something small first thing in the morning (prior to my workout, which I did not usually do and have since stopped doing). Preggie pop drops (a sour flavored hard candy) were also super helpful throughout the day.
  • Increased urination. This was only an irritating factor at night when I would wake up repeatedly to use the bathroom. I didn’t find a solution for this, it just subsided into the second trimester before coming back again in the third!
  • Fatigue. Every day from weeks 6-12 felt like a drag to get through. I had to lower my active calorie goal on my apple watch because I found it so hard to get up and move outside of my morning workout! I did find that the more active I was, the better I felt, but again, it took some time to come to this realization. If there’s ever a next time, I will remind myself that getting up to walk does wonders for my energy level and laying on the couch keeps me feeling lethargic.
  • Food cravings and aversions. This was the most shocking and challenging symptom for me. I went from prepping salads to bring to work every day to being repulsed by raw veggies. I could also not stomach black coffee, I had to get my caffeine in the form of frappuccinos and lattes. During this time period, I moved into pretty much an all-carb diet, and the best advice I have is to just eat what sounds good. This was extremely frustrating for my husband who likes to plan meals and eat healthy, but you truly have to take it as it is and just eat what you can, when you can.
  • Constipation. My usual solutions for constipation would be eating more fiber and drinking coffee to get things moving. With both of those not being an option, this was, again, something I just had to get through. Constipation comes in waves throughout pregnancy as your insides are all shifting around – some people use stool softeners, but I never found it to be so bad that I needed to resort to medication.
  • Heartburn.

Second Trimester Pregnancy Physical Symptoms

The second trimester is known as a bit of a honeymoon phase: most of the first trimester symptoms have passed, and the baby hasn’t grown enough yet for you to be very uncomfortable. I found this to be the easiest trimester where I felt the most like myself.

  • Growing belly and breasts. While it took awhile for me to really start showing,  I did find that I needed new bras right away and that my old bikini tops needed the padding removed or I looked a little ridiculous! This is one of those symptoms that you know is coming and just have to accept – it is both reassuring (the little one is growing!) and frustrating (I don’t know what to wear). This was the time of pregnancy where I struggled with body image the most, because while my body was changing, I had not yet “popped” so I looked different, but not pregnant. Now that I am in my third trimester it is very obvious there is a baby on board.
  • Leg cramps. I didn’t have cramps, per se, but restless leg syndrome kicked in. Yoga, stretching, and epsom salt baths helped alleviate this.
  • Vaginal discharge. Again, this is not a symptom you can mitigate, just something you should know is normal!
  • Skin changes. I had a slight linea nigra form below my belly button. There is nothing you can “do” about this, but again, know that it is normal and most skin changes are temporary.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions. 
  • Nasal problems. 
  • Dental issues. 
  • Dizziness. 
  • Urinary tract infections. 

Third Trimester Pregnancy Physical Symptoms

The third trimester has felt very similar to the second, except with more aggressive fetal movement (Stella loves to dance around when I try to sleep) and difficulty sleeping (likely due to said dance moves, and an increased level of anxiety knowing the baby is COMING SOON!).

  • Difficulty sleeping. As stated above, this has happened on and off in the third trimester due to frequent urination, nerves about the baby coming, restless leg syndrome, and fetal movement making it hard to relax. I’ve found that the less I think about it, the easier it is to sleep. I’ve also used epsom salt baths, stretching and meditation before bed. I have a pregnancy pillow and find that sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. If all else fails, I’ve tried the occasional unisom sleep tab (since it is safe for pregnancy).
  • Frequent urination. Due to baby’s position, there’s a frequent feeling of NEEDING to urinate, not actually frequent urination. When the feeling hits, I think about how much water I’ve drank recently and when the last time was that I used the restroom. If I haven’t drank much and it hasn’t been long, it’s likely just baby’s position and I won’t feel any relief from a trip to the restroom, so I wait it out. Not sure if that’s the best advice, but the difficulty of even a bathroom trip cannot be underestimated at this stage, so the less useless trips I take the better!
  • Backaches. I had sciatica come on early in my third trimester, and it was so sharp that I sought chiropractic care. Within a week of the prescribed exercises and regular adjustments, the pain had subsided! I continued to see the chiropractor with less frequency for the rest of my pregnancy, and I can’t recommend it enough. It made a big difference in my level of comfort and is partially what allowed me to remain active throughout my pregnancy.
  • Shortness of breath. Even with my activity levels, I find myself getting out of breath doing everyday tasks (likely because baby is putting pressure on my lungs). There’s nothing you can really “do” about this, but it is funny to be asked “are you feeling any shortness of breath?” when you try to go out in public during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to respond “yes, of course I am look at the child I’m carrying!” but know that isn’t the answer they’re looking for, so I say no and move along.
  • Heartburn. I have only had a couple bouts of heartburn and find it pops up when I haven’t eaten for a long period of time. I ordered these papaya enzymes from amazon and found that they work well for the mild heartburn I experience.
  • Protruding navel. My innie has started to become a partial outie – again, nothing I can “do” about it but it is funny to see and experience.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Spider veins, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. 
  • Achiness in the lower abdomen or along the sides.
  • Occasional lightheadedness/dizziness
  • Mild swelling of the ankles and feet.
  • Itchy belly.

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Easing Pregnancy Symptoms

While I’ve addressed specific pregnancy symptoms and how I found relief when I could, there are a few things that helped me feel better all-around during pregnancy.

  • Staying active. Going on walks, maintaining my morning workout routine, and doing yoga all helped improve my energy levels and overall comfort.
  • Seeing a chiropractor. Regular adjustments helped me feel refreshed and reduced any little aches and pains that could crop up as my body grew.
  • Epsom salt baths. These helped me relax, reduce aches and pains, and fall asleep easier.
  • Prioritizing fruits + veggies. I have tried to keep my eating during pregnancy fairly similar to how I ate prior to pregnancy. Most of the same principles apply: fruits and veggies priority, and healthy fats are encouraged. If you feel overwhelmed about how to eat to best take care of baby, I suggest reading “Real Food For Pregnancy“.
  • Meditation/yoga/journaling. I used meditation, yoga and journaling to take care of my mental health during pregnancy. Stress hormones pass to baby through the placenta, so stress management is extra important. I also found that getting out in nature and doing affirmations were helpful.

Above all else, remember that pregnancy is temporary, everyone’s journey is unique, and everything is what you make of it. Doing the little things to take care of your health and your mindset can go a long way.

How was your pregnancy? Did you experience any of these symptoms? How did you find relief?

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3 Reasons I Love To Work For My Beer

One of my favorite things about this city is the overwhelmingly popular beer fitness scene and all of the balanced living enthusiasts that come with it. That’s why when I heard about Work For Your Beer – Charlotte’s hub for all things beer fitness – I knew I had to get involved.  There are few (if any) things that I love more than a nice adult beverage after a workout! So what exactly is Work For Your Beer?

Work For Your Beer is the place to go if you’re looking for beer fitness classes. This site serves as a guide for pub run clubs, brewery yoga classes, bootcamps that end with beer, and more (there are even dance classes — Twerk For Your Beer, anyone?). Outside of the super-helpful calendar that provides details for more than 100 beer fitness events/week, they also post interesting content. The blog shares beer releases and reviews, Charlotte-specific events, and topics that balanced living enthusiasts would relate to (read one of my personal favorites here). PS – if this sounds like your thing, sign up for the weekly brewsletter–you won’t be disappointed!

Like this shirt? Enter code: christine15 at checkout on the Work For Your Beer site for a discount!

So, why am I so obsessed with being a Work For Your Beer brand ambassador? Find my top 3 reasons below:

  1. The workout variety. So many workouts, so little time (and money!). I love that the beer fitness scene allows you to vary your workouts, commitment-free, for a small price tag. Many of the pub runs are free (you just buy your own beer afterward), and classes are around $5 (which sometimes includes a beer!). So, you get to experience lots of different trainers and exercise styles for much cheaper than a membership or drop-in fee at most boutique studios! The variety of options is great for someone who likes all different kinds of fitness.
  2. The craft beers. Beer fitness is a great excuse to try different craft beers! In Charlotte, there’s no shortage of brewery options. Within walking distance of my apartment, I can go to Legion Brewing, Resident Culture, Catawba, Pilot, and more. It would be easy to fall into a rut of going to the breweries closest to me – but the fitness events offered at other breweries get me out there, trying new things! I’ve since figured out that my fave Charlotte beers are Birdsong Jalapeno Pale Ale and Wooden Robot Good Morning Vietnam.
  3. The community of people. Beer fitness events provide a great way to get out and be social on weeknights. I love being able to connect with people who I already know share two of my biggest loves! And meeting new people is so important to me, being new in town. To all my fellow beer-and-fitness-loving Queen City residents: message me to meet up at a class together!

I’d love to hear your favorite beers, breweries, and beer fitness events (Charlotte or not) in the comments!



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“The Wobble” Ultimate Leg Burner Workout

To me, one of the best feelings a workout can leave you with is that “I can’t walk” feeling. The one where you finish your workout and start walking, only to have your legs wobble like jello. The one where your mind realizes “if it’s this bad right after my workout, the next couple of days will be a struggle”. The afterburn is a great reminder of how hard I worked and it feels like a badge of honor.

This workout is guaranteed to give you that feeling if you choose the right weights and move through each set without a lot of rest.

What you need: 1 dumbbell (I used 35 lb) + 1 bench/box/elevated surface

Format: 10 reps of each move using your right leg, then 10 reps of each move using your left leg. Rest 1 minute. Repeat 2 more times.

Move #1: Elevated, weighted, single leg hip thrust

Lay on the ground perpendicular to a bench with the dumbbell resting on your hips. Put your right heel on top of the bench and lift left leg straight up in the air. Drive down through your right heel and push hips toward ceiling, driving your left leg straight up into the air. Lower back down to the ground. That’s one rep – repeat for a total of 10 reps on the same leg then switch right into move #2.

Move #2: Weighted Bulgarian split squat

Stand a foot or two away from the bench with your back to it. Rest your left foot on the bench and step your right foot out in front of you. Hold the dumbbell in front of your chest or on top of your hips. Lower your hips toward the floor so that your back knee comes close to the floor – almost like a lunge. Drive through the heel of your right foot to get back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat for a total of 10 reps on the same leg then switch right into move #3.

Move #3: Single Leg Deadlift

Stand with feet hip distance apart, holding the dumbbell at your hips using both hands. Pick your left leg up off of the floor and lift it behind you as you lower the dumbbell to the floor in front of you. Return to standing, using only your right leg. That’s one rep. Repeat for a total of 10 reps then rest for 1 minute, before going back to move 1 on the opposite leg. *Be sure to keep your back flat during this movement – if you start to round out, lower your weight*

Give it a try and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Establishing a Morning Routine

I recently made the switch from listening to the radio to listening to a podcast whenever I’m in my car. I’ve been flying through The Model Health Show on iTunes, and I’m amazed at how much time I was spending mindlessly listening to music I didn’t love when I could’ve been learning and motivating myself. I feel like I just discovered a huge life hack and I’m HOOKED on this habit! I think I’ll dabble into audiobooks soon too..

Anyway, one of the episodes of The Model Health Show I just listened to was about establishing a morning routine (listen here). I’ve always considered myself a morning person since I have to start my day with a workout, but this got me thinking. I wake up at 6:15 every (week)day, but what am I really doing in that 45 minutes before my crossfit class starts?

I make my coffee, pack everything for work, go to the bathroom, drink some water.. but I’m not really accomplishing anything. Those 45 minutes are valuable time that I could spend setting myself up for true success, every day.

Why should you establish a morning routine?

You know the saying “you run the day or the day runs you”? Knowing how your morning will look and going about it with purpose sets you up to run the day. Starting the day by checking your phone and replying to texts, emails, social, etc sets you up to run on someone else’s time, needs and desires. How can you accomplish your goals and be your best self without identifying your purpose for the day and executing on it?

Something else that really spoke to me was the part of the podcast that outlined the stress of being “on time”. I’m regularly “on time” for crossfit – meaning I’m rushing out the door, speeding down the highway, and running into the gym in my socks because I haven’t been able to change into my sneakers yet and can do so as the warmup is announced. That’s a highly stressful way to start my morning. After hearing this and acknowledging how it affected my own life, I knew I wanted to make a change.

Establish A Morning Routine (1)

What does my morning routine look like now?

Since I made this conscious shift, I started waking up a few minutes earlier and my morning now looks like this:

  • brew coffee
  • 5-minute meditation in the legs up the wall yoga pose
  • drink coffee while writing a gratitude journal (3 things I’m grateful for) and today’s purpose
  • drink at least 2 glasses of water
  • change into my gym clothes
  • gather my work bag, gym bag, and lunch bag (all packed the night before)
  • leave 5 minutes earlier than I used to so I am early instead of on-time
  • listen to a podcast on my drive to the gym

I find the gratitude journal and meditation to be so powerful when it comes to starting my day on the right foot. I feel more positive and in control with those simple additions.

One thing you may notice is missing from this list is breakfast. Since I workout at 7, I don’t have much time for digestion pre-workout. Coffee and water are necessary, but my high-protein breakfast has to wait until my workout is done.

This routine may shift as I figure out what I like and don’t like. I’d like to work in more goal setting, planning, and stretching down the road.

How do you go about establishing your own morning routine?

Ask yourself: What do your mornings look like now? What are you hoping to accomplish and get out of each day? There are so many different options for different people, but a simple place to start that is applicable to everyone is: drink more water. Even though you’re laying in bed for hours at night, your brain and body are doing so much and using water to do it. Start by replenishing your water stores for an immediate improvement in your day!

A quick Google search will also return plenty of articles where entrepreneurs and high-power CEO’s share their morning routines if you’re looking for additional inspiration!

Do you already have a morning routine that you love? Leave your feedback in the comments!

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What’s In My Emergency Snack Kit?

If you’re anything like me, the hanger is REAL come 3 p.m. (or really any time it’s been 3+ hours since I last ate). My energy dips, I can’t think, I’m grumpy.. and with that, I’m likely to reach for anything in sight as my next snack. To stop this cycle from affecting everyone around me, I make an effort to keep snacks on hand at all times. The following convenient options are my go-to’s:


  1. Protein bars. Seems like a no-brainer, but I eat them so often they have to make the list. I’ve previously mentioned my love affair with Quest bars, but I’ve also been keeping GoMacro bars on hand recently. They only use vegan ingredients that are found in nature, and their high protein flavors are so good! Anything with nut butter and I’m sold.
  2. Fruit with greek yogurt/nut butter. I like to pack this snack for work so that I can refrigerate it. Mixing plain greek yogurt with a little nut butter and topping it with fruit is fresh and filling! If you don’t have refrigerator access, a banana with an almond butter packet does the trick too.
  3. Homemade protein treats. If I have time to snack prep along with my Sunday meal prep, I like to make a healthy, homemade treat to stick in my bag for when hunger strikes. Some of my favorites are these muffins and these protein balls.

What’s in your emergency snack kit?

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Banana Nice Cream: Summer Recipe Roundup

Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot day? I could eat it for every meal, every day in the summertime, so I sought out healthy alternatives. These recipes are quick and made with whole, simple ingredients.

Banana Nice Cream

  1. Cookies and Cream – if you make one recipe from this list, it should be this one. It’ll change your life (read: you’ll become addicted very quickly).
  2. Blueberry Muffin – great post-workout breakfast – make it even more filling by adding more almond milk and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.
  3. Cake Batter – admittedly, I haven’t tried this one yet, but I can’t get enough of Cold Stone’s Cake Batter ice cream and I have high hopes.
  4. Chocolate PB Cup – I love to add a sprinkle of cacao nibs and some melted pb drizzle.
  5. Rocky Road – again, haven’t tried this one, but it’s on my to-do list.

What flavors have you tried?

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7 Healthy Road Trip Snacks

This weekend I went to a bachelorette party in Deleware. We stayed in Lewes Beach, but also stopped (drank) in Dewey and Rehoboth. It was a blast!

I knew I’d be eating out a lot once I got there, so I made sure to at least pack my own snacks for the 6-hour drive. Below are my favorite options:


Sweet Snacks:

  1. Quest Bars – These are a given since I can’t get enough of them. Rocky Road and Blueberry Muffin are my current favorites.
  2. Fresh Fruit – Whatever’s in season will work, but I usually pick bananas since they taste best at room temperature and aren’t as messy as other fruits.
  3. Dates – Also known as “Nature’s Candy”, these are a great alternative to processed sugar when you’re looking for a sweet treat.

Savory Snacks:

  1. Plantain Chips – A healthier take on potato chips, these are a great option if you’re craving salty, crunchy snacks.
  2. Nuts – Cashews, shelled pistachios, and almonds are my go-to’s.
  3. Roasted Chickpeas – I make my own depending on the kind of spice I want. Garlic and cajun are great, but sometimes just a little salt does the trick.

Fresh Snacks:

  1. Veggie Sticks – Baby carrots, celery, and speared cucumbers are convenient veggies to eat while driving.

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Buying food on the road can be expensive, time-consuming, and less-than-healthy. Being prepared with your own healthy road trip snacks can make all the difference.

What snacks do you pack for a road trip?