Friday Faves

Blame it on the full moon, but this week presented me with some pretty larger-than-life aha! moments. Physical, spiritual and emotional doozies. Despite teetering on a cliche, let’s just all nod when I say “life has a way of showing us what we need to learn.” Through the (sometimes cracked) lens of gratitude, I tried to take it all with grace, perspective and kindness towards myself (one of the biggest challenges of all!). Here’s to hoping each of us face every day with a “bring it on!” attitude and an unfaltering faith that we can handle whatever comes! (Spoiler alert: we can 🙂 )

Hope you had a wonderful week and are treating yourselves to a simply fabulous weekend! xo!

Epidural
The Wake-Up Call, a.k.a The Infamous Epidural

I had an epidural this week, which is a more aggressive treatment for the nerve pain that, quite honestly, I’ve grown a bit bored with and am ready to have to move on. The pressure, pain and discomfort of the actual procedure itself, though less stellar than a gluten free molten lava cake obviously, was virtually nothing compared to the fear I had of the procedure itself. The heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and whole-body freak-out was just out-of-control; positive self-talk, attention on my breath and mantra recitations be damned. They weren’t helping a bit. Once a pretty fearless “bring it on, gimme whatever you got” girl, I have noticed that although experience has “wizened me” to the potential pains and disappointments life can hold, I’ve really let fear play too much of a lead role in my life. I’ve read (and observed with clients & myself) that our fears are protection mechanisms, but I have decided that I can protect myself well enough, thank you very much, and this so-called “frenemy” can take a hike! Enough already! Needless to say, I am so thankful for finally getting this message loud and clear and, as such, had to give it top billing in my favorite things of the week!

Friends
#wearefun

Celebrating the sparkling, bubbly fantasticness of each other’s lives and successes, showing up to share the moments that just plain stink, and lending shoulders and backs when you just can’t do it on your own, our Tribes get us through life. They are our family, our biggest cheerleaders, our tough-love disher outers. I so appreciated the love and support of these girls (and others with whom I didn’t take any pictures 🙂 ) throughout the week!

Gluten Free
No really, a sign from Heaven!

Finding this sign in the airport quite literally made me stop in my tracks! One of my favorite pre-GF bagel shops EVER is now schlepping gluten free goodies!? WHAT? I perused their special section and was pleased to see Udi’s GF muffins and salads sans croutons. I can hardly wait until they have authentic-ish NY bagels for us gluten-free carb queens. Even more of a pleasant surprise, having stopped and shopped here, I ended up sitting in the cafe’s vicinity, which gave me the unique privilege of having a birds’ eye view of the foot traffic, making it easier-than-ever to spot a dear friend with whom I hadn’t connected in far too long! It was simply kismet.

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Snuggling Pups
Snuggle Buddies

Just as spending time with our human compadres soothes one’s soul, so does snuggling with sweet animal friends, like these two: Parker & Lilly. They’ve been giving me a little more attention lately, and I can only assume they just know I need it. So fortunate to have found these little creatures and very thankful for their gentle animal nature this week!

Baby Elephant
How can you NOT smile looking at this guy?

This adorable little guy found his way into my Instagram feed, and I could not have been happier about his apropos appearance! Simple joy and love embodied in a baby elephant. I don’t think this one needs any other explanation 🙂

Roadside Assistance: Healthy Snacks for Weekend Warriors

On the road, adventure, puerto rico, charleston, plane ride, travel buddies

‘Tis the season for spring breaks, weekend getaways & music festivals, and you know what that means? Road Trips!

But, for all their allure and adventure, they can also throw a wrench in our healthy habits. How easy it is to fall off the wagon when we are tempted to grab Fritos and Coca-Cola for “lunch” at the BP when stopping for gas, or chugging a Red Bull to stay alert for the five hour drive ahead.

We know we really should be making better choices, like walking away from the pre-packaged honey bun beckoning us in all its cellophaned glory, but we are ramped up  from the anticipation of reaching our final destination, and we just want to get there already! We have adopted the vacation mindset and a spirit of urgency and indulgence! Besides, could there really be healthier choices lurking just off the interstate?

Indeed, you hungry traveler, there are!

Here are some secrets to help keep you on track no matter where the road takes you:

Plan Ahead
If you know you’ll be hungry before you’ll need a pit stop, pack healthy snacks & drinks from home. If your adventure includes lots of sightseeing or rushing from party to party, bring enough to last for the trip, if space allows.

Here’s an example: On a recent trip to Charleston (5 1/2 hours), I brought along two liters of water, baby carrots, a small tub of hummus and a medium-sixed (reusable) plastic container full of chopped romaine
lettuce leaves and leftover fresh basil rolls & sushi from dinner the night before. It was not only easy to eat in the car, but it kept me from binging on french fries or potato chips when I finally did stop. Since I had the water, I didn’t need to buy anything on the road either and could much more easily walk past the soda fridge or my old childhood favorite, the make-your-own-concoction fountain drink machine! (What is it about those whacky flavors that just spelled F-U-N!? …ah, memories. <sigh>)

Road Trip, on-the-go snacks, travel snacks, kid friendly, gluten free, gluten free snacks, nut free snacks

Another easy-peasy hint along these lines: Fill snack size ziplock bags or a small container with your usual go-to’s, like veggie or apple slices, pretzels, hummus or nut butter, trail mix, lean meats or smoked fish, or whatever your heart desires. You can even make some lettuce wraps or sandwiches!

Mommy Poppins, trail mix, homemade snack, gluten free snack, kid-friendly snack, snack for kids, nut free trail mix, nut free
Yummy Bubby Trail Mix
Mmm Mmm! G-doubleO-D good!

Scout out the healthy(ish) options in Convenience Stores
Worst case scenario, you (your kids, your S.O., your travel mates, your dog) have eaten all your finely prepared snacks, and popping into a grocery store to refuel with carrot sticks and hummus just isn’t a viable option. Don’t fret! In most gas stations, sunflower seeds and a variety of nuts are easily found, and some stop-n-go’s even have apples and bananas at the checkout. If the fresh fruit looks a little iffy, try to find some dried apricots or other trail mix with dried fruit, if you’re hankering for some sweet with your salty. As always, check the ingredient list for any additives or unrecognizable ingredients (i.e. sugar additives or you can’t pronounce them) before buying.

on-the-go snacks, road trip, eating healthy on the road, sunflower seeds, trail mix, gluten free, nut free, kid friendly snacks, Walgreens snacks
Roadside Snacks!

For even better luck with a wider array of choices, try to choose a gas station in a more populated/commercialized area, particularly a Pilot if you can find one. Added bonus with Pilot: they are usually well-lit, the bathrooms are clean, and the gas competitively priced!

Steer Clear of Sugar and Soft Drinks
Ah, yes, sugar. Candy and sweets, though appealing and a throwback to our childhood jaunts in the family station wagon (Circus Peanuts, anyone?), will mess with your blood sugar, leaving you drowsy and craving more sugar later in your trip – both of which are quite inconvenient for the traveler on a mission to her final destination! Instead, count on your seeds and nuts to keep your blood sugar stable with their protein/fat content, and rely more heavily on water than on sugary, caffeine-laden colas to keep your thirst at bay. If you’re craving the carbonation, get a bottle of club soda. For those who travel with your own Stevia, put a few drops (or one of the individual packets) into the bottle, and you’ve just made your own all natural, refreshing soda without any of the guilt or garbage!

Let’s be honest, though, sometimes, we just need a jolt, and when the energy slump really hits you, particularly if you’re driving through the night, you really do have to have a pick-me-up. Pick up a coffee or hot tea with the least amount of additives.

Wherever your travels take you, Ramble On, Rosebuds, and enjoy your adventures!

 

 

The Ultimate Green Goddess Smoothie

Green smoothie, vegan, on-the-go, kid-friendly, vegan protein, raw

Clean, green smoothies & juices are all the rage right now – I know I just can’t get enough! – and rightfully so. They are full of vitamins & nutrients, taste delicious, and are a healthy breakfast or snack, particularly when made at home and taken on-the-go. Not to mention today’s technologies & user-friendly appliances can be found at almost every price point, so it’s becoming easier for just about anyone to whip one up!

Landscape cropped

Not sure where to start? Neither did I!  And let me just tell you, it took a while before I was able to figure out how to concoct a green smoothie that didn’t taste – or look – like some sort of green salsa or something from straight out of the garden trimmings. Holy moly, it was not at all palatable (nor very appealing to look at)! In all honesty, I gave up a few times and completely wrote off the whole “Green Smoothie Thing,” BUT, after experimenting with recipes, getting creative, and realizing that there’s no “wrong way” to making smoothies, I got the hang of it, and I’ve been enjoying a green smoothie every morning for the last two and a half years!

So, here’s the deal: Ever since I’ve been toting this magic potion into the office every morning (or indulging in one as a snack, for example, after a run with friends), people have taken notice & started to ask questions. Some even dare to ask for a sip, and inevitably, they ask for the recipe, so here it is, the recipe for The Ultimate Green Goddess Smoothie!

Smoothie, green smoothie, vegan, vegan protein, breakfast smoothie, gluten free, dairy free
So vibrant! Lookin’ good already!

The Ultimate Green Goddess Smoothie
Serves 1
1 – 1 1/2 scoops of Garden of Life RAW Protein, Vanilla flavored (seen here)
1/2 – 1 full bananaHandful of Spinach or Kale (or both!)
1/3 – 1/2 cucumber (about 1/2 cup messily chopped)
1/2 of an avocado
5 drops liquid stevia (start with 5 and add more if needed)
1 Tbl flax seed
1 cup milk (hemp, rice, almond, flax, etc.)
1/2 cup H2O
1/2 cup ice
2-3 sprigs of parsley
1 tsp maca powder (seen here)
1/4 c. berries (frozen or fresh, preferably organic)
1 Tbl Royal Jelly (**NOT Vegan)
1 Tbl chia seeds (added after blended)

A Few Tips
–  Have fun with it! Mix and match your ingredients, and don’t worry about the creating the perfect green smoothie; above all, it should be fun, and there’s nothing fun about worrying!
–  Add enough liquid (milk and/or water) that it covers 3/4 of the contents of your blender; that may mean adding more than the amounts listed above.
– If your blender “stalls,” turn it off, add a little more liquid, stir, put the top back on, and get back to blending!
–  Blend until the consistency looks like “normal” smoothie consistency (usually about 5 minutes).

Green Smoothie, Vegan, vegan protein,
Happy Blending!