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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!

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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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Sweaty Sunday Workout

Sundays call for sweating! And due to the endless rain in Syracuse, I took my workout to the gym in my apartment complex.

This 45-minute circuit mixes cardio with total-body strength moves.  Each move listed has a tutorial below to help guide you. Give it a try and leave me your thoughts in the comments!

Sweaty Sunday (1)

Renegade Rows with Pushup

Bicep Curls

Shoulder Press

Single Leg Deadlifts

Alternating Front Rack Lunges

Suitcase-hold Squats

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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:

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  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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A week of Summer Salads

When summer hits, the last place I want to be is inside working on a hot stove/oven. So for most of my summer dinners, I turn to salads.

Salads get a bad rap for being boring/girly/lame/you-name-it. But to me, they’re refreshing. Crunchy. Flavorful. Light. Easy. And they’re variable. The options are endless, people! So, salad-haters, take your disdain elsewhere. And if you’re a salad-lover like me, try some of these below (and leave your own favorites in the comments)!

A Week Of Summer Salads

Monday: Kale and Quinoa Salad

I went with a vegetarian option for #meatlessmonday:

  • Massaged kale – I use about 2 cups per person. Destem, drizzle with olive oil, and knead/massage it for about a minute. The leaves will become greener and softer (much better for a salad).
  • Roasted chickpeas – About 1/3 cup per person
  • Quinoa – About 1/2 cup per person. I prefer to use white quinoa because it’s fluffier than red.
  • Avocado – 1/4 per person
  • Drizzle olive oil and lemon for dressing

Tuesday: Mexican Chicken Salad

A good option for a lighter #TacoTuesday:

  • Romaine – 2 cups per person
  • Pan roasted corn – 1/2 cup per person
  • Grilled chicken (spiced with cumin, cayenne, and garlic) – 1/2 breast per person
  • Black beans – 1/2 cup per person
  • Avocado – 1/4 per person
  • Pico de gallo – 1/4 cup per person
  • Tortilla chips – a handful crumbled on top

Wednesday: Berry Chicken Salad

  • Baby spinach – 2 cups per person
  • Blueberries – 1/2 cup per person
  • Strawberries – 1/2 cup per person
  • Grilled chicken – 1/2 breast per person
  • Feta cheese – sprinkled on top
  • Pecans – sprinkled on top
  • Pomegranate-blueberry dressing – drizzled on top

Thursday: Shrimp Cobb(ish) Salad

  • Massaged kale – 2 cups per person
  • Hard-boiled eggs – 2 per person
  • Shrimp (pan-seared in cajun) – 5 per person
  • Cucumber slices – 1/2 cup per person
  • Pico de gallo – 1/4 cup per person
  • Greek yogurt ranch dressing – drizzled on top

Friday: Jalapeno-Cheddar Burger Salad

  • Romaine – 2 cups per person
  • Pico de gallo – 1/4 cup per person
  • Grass-fed ground beef – 1/4 lb per person
  • Baked sweet potato fries – 1/2 sweet potato per person
  • Cheddar cheese – 1/4 cup shredded per person
  • Jalapeno – as many slices as you can handle
  • Sriracha – drizzled on top

Saturday: Waldorf(ish) Salad

  • Baby spinach – 2 cups per person
  • Apple chunks – 1 apple per person
  • Grilled chicken – 1/2 breast per person
  • Feta cheese – sprinkled on top
  • Pecans – sprinkled on top
  • Pomegranate-blueberry dressing – drizzled on top

Sunday: Fattoush Salad with Chicken

So there you have it! And if you’re looking for a healthy week, salads are a great way to get back on track after a weekend of bingeing.

What salad recipes should I try next?

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How To: Recover from a Weekend of Overindulging

If you’ve been here before, you know the core purpose of my fitness journey is to encourage balance and living your best life. And if you’re like most people I know, even once you’ve found that “balance”, it can fall out of whack from time to time.

For me, it happened this weekend. I was on my first-ever trip to Boston and I wanted the full experience (aka some craft beers and hot pretzels at Harpoon – seriously if you haven’t done this you need to). I don’t regret it, but I did know I wanted to get back to my veggie-filled lifestyle come Monday morning.

Summer is full of celebrations like this. Traveling, bridal showers, weddings, bachelor(ette) parties, graduation parties.. the list goes on. These weekend experiences are key to enjoying life (who wants to say no to a party?) but going overboard can set you up for feelings of guilt and demotivation. We’ve all been there. But the good news is, one weekend of binge eating (and drinking) doesn’t have to be a complete setback. Read on for my tips to start the next day fresh, followed by little tricks to keep yourself balanced on those weekends where you’re afraid you’ll spiral out of control.

How To- Recover from a Weekend of Overindulging

  1. Stop beating yourself up. That’s not helping. You can’t set the clock back 24 hours and knock that piece of cake out of your hands, so stop thinking about it. Also, one or two days of overeating won’t ruin your life. What matters is what you do now to set yourself up for success moving forward.
  2. Break a sweat (or two). Push yourself a little harder than you usually do in your next workout. Picture all those extra calories fueling you through one more mile or helping you hit that new lifting PR. If you usually run, add some strength or interval training to your workout in addition to that run, or vice versa. You’ll get your metabolism and motivation fired up!
  3. Hit 10,000 steps. In general, moving more than usual will help you get back on track. It doesn’t have to be high intensity. Bonus if you get outside and go for a walk – the fresh air will help you feel better.
  4. Fuel up on fresh fruits and veggies. Take a break from the processed foods that are probably sitting like a rock in your stomach. Replacing those with only nutritious foods for an entire day will help you get your glow back and increase your energy!
  5. Fill up on clear fluids. Drink water and tea to help get things moving in your system. This helps even more if drinking played a part in your binge.

And as for preventing those feelings of guilt down the road, try these tips on your next weekend of expected debauchery:

  1. Set small limits for yourself. If you love dessert, don’t go for the apps. If dip is your thang, stay away from the dessert. Make a rule that your plate has to be half full of veggies and you have to eat them before moving on to anything else. Little things like this will allow you to indulge and enjoy without feeling like you’re back at square 1.
  2. Still break a sweat. No matter what you have going on that day or where you’re traveling to, set aside 20 minutes to sweat. You’ll thank yourself later. Also, if you’re traveling, it’s fun to check out a workout class that isn’t offered where you live.
  3. Limit your calorie-laden booze. Craft beer and specialty cocktails make a great first drink, but once you’re buzzed a vodka soda or light beer will do the trick.
  4. BYOB. That second “B” being “breakfast”, if you’re traveling. Packing your own breakfast (preportioned bags of oatmeal, bananas, protein bars, etc.) can cut calories (and costs) when traveling.

How do you reset after a marathon weekend? What keeps you on track while celebrating?

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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:

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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?

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April Goals Update + May Goals

In April, I set some pretty light/attainable goals:

  1. Go Streaking: run outside every day in April (1 mile minimum)
  2. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 550 followers.
  3. Self Care Sundays: Reading, running for enjoyment, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, yoga, relaxing with a cup of herbal tea are all examples

So, how did they turn out? Streaking and Self Care Sundays were easy. Were there days I didn’t feel like running? Sure, but one mile is a small enough distance that no matter how sore I was or how hard it was raining, I knew I could do it. I loved it, but I’ll be incorporating rest days again in May. I like to be able to listen to my legs and take breaks when necessary (which would’ve been nice the day before and after my half).

As for growing my Instagram: I didn’t put as much work into this as I should’ve. I grew my account, but not by as much as I wanted to. Ultimately, the purposes of my @healthydoseoflife Instagram are to inspire people on their health journey, get people to check out the blog, and connect with other health/fitness enthusiasts. I need to prioritize the “connecting with others” aspect moving forward to achieve my goals!

April Goals (1)

For May, I’ve set a few more goals and am hoping to challenge myself with a few of them:

  1. Do 3 hours of yoga per week. I feel so great when I do yoga, but I’m quick to cut it out when my schedule gets packed. 3 hours/week feels very attainable to reap the benefits without making it a “chore”. I’d love to do more classes, but to keep my wedding budget on track I’ll be youtubing from home. I love Sarah Beth Yoga and Yoga With Adrienne – let me know if there are others I should check out!
  2. Do ab/core work every day. I usually rely on crossfit and lifting to target my core, butI’m going to spend some time outside of class working on bodyweight movements.
  3. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. I loved how this goal turned out in March, so I’m excited to revisit it! I’ll probably read “Start Where You Are” but would love to see your recommendations in the comments.
  4. Follow 3 health/fitness publications. I don’t read a lot of news or articles, but I’d like to change that. Starting with a subject I’m passionate about should help this become a habit down the road.

What goals are you chasing this month?

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10 Instagram Accounts You Need To Follow

Instagram is my favorite social media platform. Beautiful visuals, short form content, (generally) a positive message. Opening my @healthydoseoflife account first thing in the morning and seeing people’s posts can be a great motivator and help me start my day off on the right foot. I also love to use Instagram when I’m looking for new healthy recipes. Here are my fave accounts you should follow if healthy recipes/motivation/wellness are your thang, too.

  1. @ambitiouskitchen 

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2. @fitfoodiefinds

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3. @carrotsncake

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4. @addictedtodates

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5. @fitmittenkitchen

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6. @fitfoodiemama

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7. @paleomg

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8. @thefitfork

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9. @leefromamerica

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10. @hungryhobbyrd

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What are your favorite accounts? Any others I should follow? Leave them in the comments!