The Madison Improvement Club-Phoenix

I took a spin class at The Madison and it was amazing! Party on a Bike was a great workout, an awesome workout, and had all the good vibes.

They also have a cute cafe and super cute apparel in the lobby!

I can’t wait to go back.

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SoulCycleXtarget

Had an awesome time at the Nashville Soul Cycle pop up, sponsored by Target!

I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was just a pop up, and not a regular location- but they definitely delivered!

It was an awesome experience, awesome time, and they made everyone feel like a rockstar.

A fresh smart water water bottle was clipped onto every bike and then as we left we were presented with a Suja juice and Kind bar! They really pulled out all the stops to make the pop up a memorable experience! 

  
   
    
 
 

   

Fresh Made Kitchen- Orlando

I recently had the pleasure of checking out the brand new Fresh Made Kitchen in Orlando- and I must say, I can’t wait to go back again!

They have a huge menu with tons of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their omelettes looked amazing and super tempting.

Since I went for a late lunch, I decided to pick a couple starter options and then entrees. I tried the seared ahi tuna starter and the hummus! Both were delicious! For main entrees, I sampled the mahi tacos (my personal favorite) and the Strawberry/avocado/chicken Salad.

Overall- for a brand new restaurant that just opened- I give it 5 stars. I seriously can’t wait to go back to try breakfast!

Photo above shows the hummus and ahi starters on top and the mahi tacos and chicken salad on the bottom- all taken on my phone (great presentation!)

Click here to visit Fresh Made Kitchens website!  

Mid week- Mid Day Crunch

Mid- week, Mid- day crunch time. Found this awesome ab info graphic that I thought would be helpful to share. This way you actually can see what area you’re hitting and targeting when you do crunches.

Also, even more helpful- the “This means That” info graphic below… Super helpful when you get a certain type of food craving.

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Getting back on track

The week after Thanksgiving and the first week of a new month can often make us feel like we’re playing a game of catch up.

We should be enjoying the end of the year and finally getting into the Holiday spirit… but at the same time, there’s a million things to do, we overate on Thanksgiving, and want to feel like we are on track and moving forward in the right direction.

Just remember, when it comes to moving forward- all you have to do is take the first step. You have one last chapter, one last month of 2014- make it a great one! And don’t get caught up in a numbers game! Be healthy, but don’t beat yourself up over getting out of routine over the Holidays! A scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity… Weight will never measure your talent, purpose, strength, love, or character.

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My favorite Fall Treat

I love sweets… and I feel like fall kicks off the season of sweets leading up to the Holidays!

Often times, I feel like having dessert or sweets are the downfall of my normally healthy diet!

I go all day- eating healthy, using correct portions, and focusing on a well balanced meal- and then BOOM dessert rolls around and I binge eat on something at the end of the day!

I seriously LOVE these Dole Dippers as a 100 calorie dessert option, but often times I end up eating more than one little package of chocolate covered bananas or strawberries- and I still want “something else” to satisfy my sweet craving in the evening.

dippers

A new option I recently stumbled upon (thanks to Fall) is a delicious caramel covered apple.

One apple, dipped in caramel usually only runs you around 135-150 calories and can make you feel full for longer.

app

Why do apples make you feel full for longer? Well, apples contain Pectin, which is a soluble fiber, that upon digesting helps make you feel full for a longer time by absorbing water and expanding in your stomach. Pretty cool, right?

Pectin helps to slow down digested food as it moves through your small intestine and it also helps control the rate at which sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream. This can be helpful because it regulates your blood sugar level- no drop in blood sugar means no feeling hungry for no reason.

Since it is the Fall season, you can find caramel apples at your local grocery store and Target.

Enjoy!

Look at your labels!! PLU (price look up) Codes on Fruit

You know those annoying little stickers you have to peel off of your fruit before you wash and eat it at home?

Those stickers are IMPORTANT! Those stickers tell you where your fruit came from and if it is conventionally grown, organically grown, or if it a GMO!

The most common number code you’re going to notice on most fruits and vegetables in your local produce section is going to be a four digit code that usually begins with a four.

A four digit PLU code that starts with a 3 or 4 represents a fruit or vegetable that is grown conventionally.

A five digit PLU code that begins with a 9 means the fruit or vegetable is organic.

A five digit PLU code that begins with an 8 means the fruit or vegetable has been genetically modified and is a GMO.

Remember, it’s your responsibility to know what you’re eating and putting into your body.

All Natural vs Organic

So you’ve made the decision to start eating healthier, checking labels, and looking at ingredients! Wonderful!

You go grocery shopping and as you start selecting your items, you make sure to choose the labels that say “Natural” or maybe “Organic” … They’ve got to be better for you that a box that doesn’t say “All Natural” …. Right?

Wrong.

The truth is the term “Natural” or “All Natural” is not regulated whatsoever by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is the national organization that we hold accountable for regulating and supervising our food production.

When I think of natural, I think fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, truly NATURAL products and ingredients.

Unfortunately, if you actually take a look at the ingredient list in many self described “Natural” food products, you’ll see that many of these products still have corn syrups and genetically modified ingredients in them.

The only actual stipulation that comes with using the word “Natural” or “100% Natural” on food packaging is that the food can’t have synthetic substances or added coloring. But there are many ways around this as well- since companies don’t have to list ingredients that are not directly incorporated into the final product!!!

Unlike “natural,” which has no clear definition, use of the “organic” food label and seal is strictly regulated by the National Organic Program, which is administered through the USDA. Foods with an organic seal are certified organic and contain at least 95% organic content (1). Organic food is produced using approved organic farming methods “that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Specifically, “synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used” to produce organic food, meaning that organic food products are not genetically modified and have not been treated with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers (1).

If you’re reading this post after grocery shopping, I bet it feels a bit defeating as you think about the products you have right now in your home that you trusted because they said “Natural.”

Keep in mind that the most important thing you can do with any food source is read the ingredient list. I know it’s difficult, but if you can’t understand what’s in it- you shouldn’t be eating it.

The healthiest sources of food are those that come from the Earth- fruits and vegetables.

Change your diet, change your life.

References

1.    National Organic Program (last modified Oct. 17, 2012). USA.gov. Retrieved June 3, 2014.

Food Prep / Fruit Prep

I love fruit and throughout the week, I eat a lot of it. What I realized though, is that it takes a lot of extra time in the mornings to cut fruit up or chop it- whether it’s to eat or to blend in a smoothie.

 

So, I started fruit prepping! 

 

I’m currently on a big papaya and apple kick, so I cut up usually one large papaya and a few organic apples to store in a bowl and eat throughout the week.

 

I blend apples into my daily smoothies, so it always helps to have them pre sliced. Papaya I usually eat for breakfast or an afternoon snack, so if I want to grab and go- having the papaya already cut up is a great time saver.

 

Very simply, I cut up the entire large papaya along with 2-3 apples and store them in a large round Tupperware container. This gives me quick and easy access and lasts the whole week!