“Healthiest” Halloween Costume

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What can I say? : ) The bunch of grapes costume is easy, cheap, cute, and pretty fitting for my lifestyle. Love it!

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Your Turn-

  • What are your Halloween plans?
  • Will you be indulging in any Halloween goodies?
  • Do you get Trick or Treaters at your house? .. I think there comes a point where it just becomes fun to stay in and hand out candy. No shame in that! ; )

5 Ways to Snack for Success at Work

Transitioning from college to funemployment to the workplace comes with a lot of lifestyle changes. From your sleep patterns to your social life, a lot can change in just a few months! Since I’ve recently gone through these phases, I’d love to share some thoughts on how to make the transition a smooth one.

Senior year of college, I was on top of my game. I had a jam-packed schedule and thrived on being busy. I planned my workouts and even my meals (a little too Type-A style) in advance.

A bit of obsessive meal planning in college... but it worked for me!

A bit of obsessive meal planning in college… but it worked for me!

When I graduated and was working part-time while looking for a job in my field, I had plenty of spare time. I used that time for job apps, shopping (haha) and half marathon training, typically working out 2x a day.

Now that I’m working a full-time desk job, I’ve found that:

  • I walk less. I used to walk to campus, now I hardly walk anywhere unless I make the conscious decision to.
  • Workouts are calculated. Before, with extra time came extra activity. I could do a quick morning run and a Body Pump class later without batting an eyelash — now I like to spend 60 minutes MAX at the gym, since work already takes up so much of my day.
  • Temptations are everywhere. Soda, candy, chips, cake, BBQ, pizza … somehow it all makes its way into my office. Plus, moving to a “foodie” city like Austin = dining out a lot more than usual.
  • The night-time snack struggle is real. I’ll be honest – after a long day at work, sometimes I just want to come home and nosh on all my comfort foods. The struggle is so real!

Here is how I’ve been able to deal with these challenges and “snack for success” at work.

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WIAW – My First Burger in Months

Wednesday, Wednesday. You little golden ray of sunshine. Thank you for reminding us that Friday is not far behind! (See? Do you believe me? It really is all about perspective.) ; )

Last week I opted out of doing a ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ post, so today I’m happy to be back sharing some of my favorite meals from the week. Thanks to Jenn (Peas and Crayons) for hosting this linkup.

wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button I was going to say the burger I got on Sunday was the highlight of what I ate this week…

My first burger in months came from Hop Doddy gourmet burger bar in Austin, TX.

My first burger in months. I got it with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, BBQ sauce, mushrooms and “sassy sauce” — from Hop Doddy in Austin.

… But then I remembered the Pumpkin Spice/Graham Cracker fro-yo I treated myself to on Saturday.

Froyo with all the toppings!

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Oh, then there were the Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Pancakes I made for myself on Monday. They were healthy and amaaaazing — I called them the Monday Killer.

Healthy dark chocolate pumpkin pancakes are totally a Monday Killer.

 —

Then again I’ve been loving a solid purple sweet potato/salmon/brussels sprouts combo. All my faves. And how awesome are purple sweet potatoes?!

Grilled salmon, roasted brussels sprouts and purple sweet potato are a healthy and awesome dinner combo!

Yeah, I took a nib before snapping the photo. ; )

 —

And of course, I’m on my salad game for easy vitamin-packed work lunches. This week I switched it up by adding roasted beets, sprouts & lentils on top of my usual avocado, carrot, tomato and cucumber grind. I was so happy my lentils didn’t turn to mush.

Veggie packed salad for an easy work lunch

So I guess there really was no highlight. It’s all a highlight! No complaints here.

I’m consciously eating as healthy as possible this week because I’m sure that Halloween candy and grown-up candy (okay, alcohol) will be happening this weekend.

I haven’t revealed my costume to anyone yet … fingers crossed that it actually comes out the way I want it to! ; )

Your Turn-

  • Best Halloween candy? Worst? (Bit O Honey .. let’s be real)
  • Are you dressing up for Halloween?
  • Highlight of your meals this week? (Did you share it on your blog?)

Stuffed Banana Baked Oatmeal Recipe

Baked oatmeal is my #1 go-to breakfast for colder weather.

During the freezing cold never-ending winter of ’13/’14 (please let’s not talk about it), I was on a HUGE baked oatmeal kick. I could prep it the night before, and loved having breakfast ready for me when I arose at 5:50 AM. I was commuting 1 hour and 45 minutes to work in Philly, so this was key.

I also love that baked oatmeal is warm and comforting for those mornings when you just want to stay snuggled in your bed (or in my case this winter, futon) for hours. I’d be lying if I said that having a delicious breakfast waiting for me was not my main motivator for actually getting out of bed most mornings. ; )

easy stuffed banana baked oatmeal recipe is perfect for colder weather

Just like regular/overnight oats, there are tons of variations of baked oatmeal. But the easiest way to make your “boatmeal” feel super indulgent is by making it stuffed. It’s 10x easier than it sounds!

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Friday Favorites — I Swear It’s Not ALL Pumpkin Things

Friday already?! Have the weeks not been flying by? Before we know it, it’s going to be Thanksgiving, then Christmas… ahhh, time flies!

I’m actually super excited about the coming weeks. In November and December, there are FIVE weeks in a row that I’ll be spending time with friends and family from home. That’s what the holidays are all about, right?!

Moving across the country has been a transition so I can't wait for the holidays!

Moving hundreds of miles from home has been a transition, so I can’t wait to be spoiled by seeing some of my favorite people.

But for now, let’s take it one day at a time. Today, I’m linking up with Katie @ Running4Cupcakes and Heather @ Housewife Glamour to bring you some of my Friday Favorites.

fright day

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How to Keep One Foot on the Wagon

Hey all, hope your week is going really well! I’ve been busy catching up with old friends and spending time with new ones. Nothin’ better than that!

Today I decided not to share a WIAW post, since my food photog has been slacking lately — oops. Instead, I’d like to share some tips on staying at least partially on track.

How to Keep One Foot on the Wagon. Tips for staying healthy and maintaining a balanced lifestyle!

Lately, I’ve loosened up a bit on my nutrition and workout schedule. I was advised to do so by my doctor (long story).

Some days, this is great. I get to eat whatever I want and don’t have to bust my booty every day at the gym! But sometimes it’s a bummer. I get discouraged if I eat poorly or have a less-than-intense workout.

Ultimately, I can’t help feeling like I’ve fallen a bit off track. There have been a few too many pumpkin baked goods, handfuls truckloads of candy corn, cheesy tacos (“when in TX,” right?), late night snacks, bar tabs, etc. You get the idea.

Dogfish Head Namaste beer and Rogness Yogi Chai Spiced Amber beer

Marketing at its finest. I love yoga, so I’ll TOTALLY love these beers! ; )

This Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen was a special treat.

Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzard … it was bound to happen.

When this happens, it always helps me to refocus. I will sit down and write out a list of areas that I want to change or improve. Most recently, that list has looked like this:

How to Keep One Foot on the Wagon:

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PiYo Live Review

It seems like everyone is talking about PiYo these days!

I have heard of Yogalates before, so when my gym announced they were starting a PiYo class, I didn’t think much of it. But after seeing a few bloggers raving about PiYo, I decided to check it out.

My review of PiYo Live by Beachbody. The strength of Pilates plus the flow of Yoga!

PiYo was created by Chalene Johnson and Beachbody, the people who brought us P90X, Insanity, Turbo Fire, Body Pump, and more. As you can imagine, it’s a mix of Pilates and yoga. It incorporates the strength of Pilates with some traditional yoga poses/sequences. The class is set to music, and you’re basically moving the entire time.

Similarly to Les Mills classes, each song has a different purpose. There’s a power track where you do a bunch of jumping lunges, a core track, a “flow” track, and so on.

I was pleasantly surprised by PiYo! To be honest, I expected it to be pretty easy. But it was definitely a challenge! You can expect a low-impact workout that will still make you break a sweat.

I would say it’s more similar to Pilates/aerobics than yoga. You’ll do sun salutations, downward facing dog and crow pose, but for those who value the more spiritual aspects of yoga, you won’t really find that here. If yoga is not really your thing, you’re injured, or you’re looking for something to supplement the workouts you already do, PiYo is definitely worth a try.

I was pleasantly surprised by PiYo Live, the newest workout class from Beachbody and Chalene Johnson

I’ve recently been advised to lessen the intensity of my workouts (speaking of which…), so I think I’ll be a PiYo regular. Shout out to Gold’s Gym in Austin for introducing this class! : )

Your Turn-

  • Have you ever done PiYo or any classes by Beachbody?
  • Have you tried a new workout program lately?

The Best/Worst Thing Ever!

It is simultaneously the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. Okay, I’m being over-dramatic. But, it’s kind of true…

Red Mango is now open on South Lamar in Austin

Red Mango frozen yogurt shop has opened up in South Austin! It’s dangerously close to my apartment and work. It’s going to be the end of my budget and my waistline… and I’m so excited!!

There is a shockingly low amount of frozen yogurt places in Austin. In fact, I can think of 3 or 4 that have actually closed down since I moved here! As a fro-yo connoisseur, this just didn’t fly with me. Thankfully, I found a place I really like up North, but it’s a bit out of my way.

Red Mango popped up out of nowhere! I discovered it on my morning run and stopped dead in my tracks. I snapchatted it to everyone I know — they know I’m a froyo fiend.

Red Mango frozen yogurt and smoothie shop is now open in South Austin!

I actually didn’t realize that Red Mango also serves smoothies, fresh juices (hello, “sweet beets!”) and coffee. They even have a few sandwiches and salads on their menu.

I have a feeling I’m going to be a regular. Welcome to South Austin, Red Mango!

Your Turn-

  • Fav fro-yo combo — fruity or chocolatey?
  • #1 thing you’re looking forward to this weekend? : )

WIAW – Sneaky Veggie Spaghetti Recipe

Hello and Happy Wednesday. The cold front in Austin has it feeling a bit more like fall lately. I’ll take it!

With the colder(ish) weather comes a desire for comfort food. This week, I embraced that desire by making spaghetti squash, turkey meatballs and homemade pasta sauce. I have been meaning to get more creative with my spaghetti squash (like this lasagna), but there’s nothing wrong with keepin’ it classic, right?

wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button

As if replacing pasta for a veggie wasn’t awesome enough, I got some extra sneaky vegetables in this dish. The more, the merrier! Can you guess the secret ingredient in the meatballs that makes them so “sneaky?”

Healthy fall comfort food in the form of spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs. can you guess the secret ingredient?

Here’s a hint – it was used to replace rice/breadcrumbs.

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Gift Card Game

Thank you to everyone who offered positive words on Friday’s post about self-imposed fitness rules. Many of us are in the same boat — loving our healthy lifestyles, and working on a healthy balance. Everything in moderation, right?

As I hoped, this weekend was very relaxing, just the way I like it! Though I didn’t actually get paid on Friday, I had the urge to SPEND SOME MONEY! ; ) Do you ever feel that way? I knew I shouldn’t reallyyy be shopping for things I didn’t need, so I decided to spend some gift cards. My gift card game was strong this weekend!

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