Living Clean and Getting Outdoors

Living Clean

People often cop out of exercise because working out inside a gym simply doesn’t motivate them.  Yet leading an active life and eating clean doesn’t mean spending hours alone chained to a machine.  In fact, a great way to stay in shape and active is right outside your front door!  From walking to running and even outdoor yoga classes there’s a whole load of options where you can work out alfresco and enhance your lifestyle.  Here are some top tips to get you started.

Outdoor Activities

Choose an activity you enjoy that fits around your commitments.  Buddy up with friends and family to make it a social occasion rather than a chore.  If you’re looking to walk or run you can join a local club or research your own route.

Incorporating a route with useful natural features such as steps and benches for triceps dips and other maneuvers will keep things interesting.  There are plenty of hiking websites out there if you’re looking for inspiration, with a range of routes from light to more adventurous.

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What You’ll Need

Outdoor activities require minimal equipment, which is one of its many advantages.  If walking and hiking is your game then you’ll need a good pair of boots.  Investing in some well-fitting, durable boots means you can avoid any blisters or injuries by ensuring you’re fully supported.  If you’re making your active lifestyle choice a family affair, you can visit Tesco for kids hiking boots.  Whatever your activity, you’ll also need to dress appropriately.  Look out for weather resistant and breathable materials to work with your body temperature.  Prefer to run?  Then you’ll need some suitable, breathable sneakers so that can go the distance.  If an outdoor yoga class is more up your street then chances are the only piece of equipment you’ll need is a mat.  Job done!

Eating Right

As with any form of exercise, you must fuel and nourish your body.  If you’re looking to work out in the morning, make sure that you eat a good, protein-based breakfast. Which foods work best for you depend on your goal and what reacts well with your body.  You may find that you need carbs to give your chosen activity your all.  If that’s the case then opt for whole grain and slow-releasing carbohydrates such as oats with natural yoghurt in the morning or chicken with quinoa for lunch.  If you’re setting off on a long hike, pack some energizing snacks to help keep the pace up, and plenty of water to stay hydrated.  Apples, unsalted nuts and protein bars are all suitable clean options.

Leading an active lifestyle doesn’t need to be mundane or routine.  Mix up your activities and take advantage of the great outdoors and the natural resources that your body and mind crave.  From long walks by the lake to taking the kids hiking and climbing, there’s a lot to explore and keep things interesting.  After all, a little fresh air never hurt anyone!

Image by Trailmix.net, used under Creative Commons license.

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In this fall weather, I find it almost impossible to stay inside!

What’s your favorite way to get moving outdoors?

Have you changed your fuel as it’s gotten colder?  (Or warmer, depending on where you are!)

Big Gay Ice Cream WIAW

There’s not much better than ice cream on a sunny, fall afternoon.

Or after a brutal workout.

It’s been a week of treat ‘yo self.  But how often does the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck head down South from NYC?  I enjoyed a cone on Monday and a cup on Tuesday.

Monday night I stopped to pick up a Salty Pimp after a bitch of a challenging workout with my trainer.  He only looks sweet and innocent.

Me and Steve… 

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Leaving Las Vegas

I’m home after one helluva week.

I may have left my heart in Vegas.

The softball team tied one, lost one, won one, and then lost another… that we never should have lost… but whatever.  I’m already looking forward to next year!

Seeing as how I’m on the late flight back to ATL, this is going marvelous Monday of pictures.

bacon socks

I wore my lucky socks. Because bacon.

How could I pass up this pre-game photo op?

We cleaned up niiiiiice for the strip.

We enjoyed the kitsch of old Vegas.

We enjoyed the kitsch of old Vegas.

I went for a morning run on the Strip and found a rainbow a the Billagio!

They say everything is bigger in Texas but I think “they” got it wrong.

I’ve never seen bigger pancakes than the TRIPLE stack at The Griddle. I didn’t even finish 25%!

But I did drink allllll the drinks.

And learned that sometimes… you just have to take a time out.

But what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. ;)

Back to the grind I go…

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Check back on this post for the Quest protein chip winners!

Have you ever been to Vegas?  Did you like it?

Could you have finished that pancake stack?

Roasted Brussels, Butternut, & Beets (Recipe)

Fall gets me excited for new produce.

It’s the little things… am I right?!

While I’ve seen a lot of strange in Vegas (some good, some BAD), this strange but good meal was done in advance of the trip.

Side note: I planned ahead?!  Who AM I?

Roasted Brussels, Butternut, & Beets… 

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Easy Travel Snacks + Quest Chips GIVEAWAY!

Travel can be a challenge when it comes to food.

Or it can be a fun adventure!

I’m no stranger to packing up my meals and going.  I once flew with 21 meals!  This trip is a little different.  I’m in Las Vegas playing in a softball World Series.  That means long days on the field, not knowing when the next food opportunity will come.  We don’t have a fridge and I doubt my ability to keep food at a safe temp in the Vegas sun all day… snack time it is!

Packaged foods are happening.  That doesn’t have to be all bad!  I’m not snacking on the “typical” things.  Here are a few items I’ve packed up to withstand uncertain schedules, heat, and a lot of roughhousing.

easy travel snacks… 

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Breaking a Sugar Addiction in 21 Days

This is  week of firsts.

Well, one big one…

I’m going to Vegas for the first time! It’s also my first time playing in a softball World Series (the reason for the trip).  And I play first base!  It’s going to be a marvelous week.

Atlanta Night Riders Softball

I have a couple of fun things planned for the blog while I’m gone (stay tuned for an awesome giveaway Wednesday!).  Today is the first treat – my friend Kenny and I met in grad school.  As class clowns devastatingly beautiful straight A students, we were instant friends. ;)

Kenny came to me asking for help with a sugar addiction and I instantly identified with the struggle.  If you’ve been reading for a while (or since last week), you might have noticed I have a ridiculous sweet tooth myself.  I’ve posted tips I use for managing it:… 

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Cauliflower & Eggplant Noodle Pumpkin Lasagna (Recipe)

You can do anything with cauliflower.

Really… I  bet you could even make ice cream. Maybe… that might be weird.

I’ve made cauliflower pizza, pancakes, waffles, sriracha muffins… the sky is the limit.  Why not sheets of noodles?  It sounds strange, but it works!

Cauliflower Sheet of … 

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Spooky Matcha Green Sludge + WIAW

Eat your greens!

I can still hear my mother yelling saying this to me at the dinner table.

Growing up, I was the pickiest kid on the planet.  If it was green, the only way I’d eat it is if it was raw and covered in so much ranch dressing (specifically, Marie’s ranch) there was no possibility of tasting it.

Fast forward 20 years and I’m voluntarily starting my day with this sludge:

Matcha Green Sludge

Matcha Green Sludge

  • 1 tsp matcha
  • 1 T gelatin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 T water
  • 5-6 drops liquid stevia

Mix together in a small bowl and a allow to sit 1-2 mins to allow the mix to gel.

It’s a very “green” tasting mix, which is why I add a little stevia… even my altered taste buds need some help.  Here’s the “why” behind the ingredients:

Matcha

One cup of matcha green tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea.  As if that’s not enough reason to start supplementing with it, it also enhances metabolism, reduces stress, lowers cholesterol, and combats aging and cancer.

One of my favorite benefits is the caffeine.  It’s perfect first thing in the morning.  It doesn’t cause the shakes though!  The relaxing properties of L-theanine in matcha promote concentration, memory, and mood.

Gelatin

This isn’t your cafeteria nastiness.  Gelatin is actually flavorless, making it easy to add to just about anything.  I began taking it for digestion at the suggestion of Lindsay (see her post here).  It 100% works for that!  I’m more “regular” than I’ve ever been.  It can help to heal the lining of your stomach and digestive tract, and is a detoxifier.

For someone who is active, gelatin is especially beneficial because it contains half of the 18 essential amino acids, which help build muscle.  With 6 grams of protein per tablespoon, it’s a great way to add more protein to your diet.  It is not a complete protein, but it helps the body fully utilize the complete proteins you eat.  It also supports skin, hair and nail growth, and is good for bone strength and joint recovery.  Rumor as it that it can help tighten loose skin and improve cellulite.

Cinnamon

Aside from making everything taste better, cinnamon is good for your health!  It stabilizes blood sugar levels, making it popular for those with Type 2 Diabetes.  Cinnamon might also reduce the effects of high-fat meals by reducing response of triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood but as much as 30%.*

It can also lower your bad cholesterol (LDL), reduce inflammation, and can decrease cancer risk (especially leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells, which my dad had).  It can control yeast with it’s antifungal properties. Allegedly, candida cannot live in a cinnamon environment.  When added to food, cinnamon acts as a preservative, slowing bacterial growth and food spoilage.  Even smelling cinnamon can have positive effects on cognitive function, memory, and headaches!

*This is not a license to raid the nearest Cinnabon… it has been found to be toxic in large doses.  And I don’t think even OD-ing on it will fight that sugar rush. ;)

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Peanut Butter Pumpkin Oreo Blondies (Recipe)

I wanted to name this recipe “crack.”

But that would be whack.

Really though.  I made 2 pans in as many days.  There was just something magical about these.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Oreo Blondies Recipe… 

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Pumpkin Tomato Sauce Recipe

Recipe inspiration can come from anywhere.

I like to think this excuses my aimless wandering in Whole Foods.

This particular meandering trip paid off!  I happened down the tomato sauce aisle and a bright orange jar caught my eye.  It was pumpkin tomato sauce!  I immediately put it in my cart… then remembered to look at the price.  For $9.99 I could certainly make it myself, and I had nearly all of the ingredients at home.

I took a quick picture of the back of the label and scurried off to execute.

Pumpkin Sauce inspirationNormally I’m too lazy to actually follow through with a sauce idea.  For some reason using a saucepan seems like a lot of effort.  It’s really not.… 

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