Hello beauties! I am so excited that the Holidays are here and in full swing! I usually always put out a gift guide, so this year is no different! But for this year I really wanted to share a lot of my absolute favorite things from beauty to skincare to workout essentials etc….all things that help me live my most healthy, active life. All of these items on the list are things I use daily and LOVE…or things I really have my eye on..hint hint..
ALSO BY THE WAY HOW CUTE IS OUR FIRST FAMILY PHOTO?!?!
Ok, back to the subject at hand…let’s just get right to it! No categories…just a big list of my favorite things, all of which I know you or a special someone will LOVE. K here goes.
These are all so lux and beautiful! I got one last year for Christmas and I wear it all the time and feel like a queen when I do. Sunday Forever also has a ton of other amazing goodies that are perfect for gifts.
I have been using this for a couple of months now and I LOVE it!! It is making my hair so much stronger, I have way less breakage and its softer. I am a total believer in this system and know you will love it too. Plus the hair turban is the best around.
I just go this gym bag recently and it is literally the best one I have ever tried (and I have tried a lot!). It is so chic yet so functional at the same time. I absolutely love it and it would be so perfect for any gym-goer in your life. I also take it to set with me haha- it fits a laptop and scripts AS WELL AS my gym stuff. Score!
I have totally revamped my skincare routine (more on that in next weeks blog post) and this pre-cleanse is a miracle worker! It is incredible at breaking down all my makeup and makes my skincare routine work better for my skin
I mean, this are incredible. AND they literally never fall out! Well ok thats a lie- they fall out if you pull your shirt over your head while wearing them…but other than that you are good to go. And good-bye annoying cables and phone holders while at the gym!
For anyone who likes to run or hike, the Flipbelt is essential. I discovered it while I was training for my first marathon and still use it all the time for running and hiking. It holds your phone, credit car, ID, car keys etc all securely while also laying very flat- it won’t bounce around at all like those other running belts!
I love this vacuum because I hate vacuuming but love clean floors. So the solution is a robot vacuum and this one is super affordable and works so well! I set mine to go every other day or so at home to keep things tidy!
And here are some awesome brands/items I have great discount codes for…I mean, who doesn’t love a good holiday deal right?
This pet camera is seriously the best we tried! We ordered a few when we got Yuki and all of them sucked and were returned. I am doing a collaboration with Furbo (in the next few days) but honestly I am so impressed with the camera that I would recommend them regardless of the collab. It is also super chic and blends perfectly well into my modern decor. I’ll be showing you how I style it on my Instagram in the next few days! My discount link gets you $110 off, which is a total deal!
SOOO, if you follow me on Instagram, you know the news: we got a new puppy!!! EEEEE!!! And I am going to tell you all about her, why we got her, from where etc. You know….ALL the DEETS.
For a little recap, we have had Puffin for about 6.5 years- we got him when he was about 6 months old and he just turned 7 years old this September. He is our baby and he is SO bonded to Ben and I, but especially me. He travels with me to different sets, flies with me all the time and is my boo-boo-bear-man. If you follow me in Insta, you also know he’s a super weird funny dog with a ridiculous personality.
We have wanted to get another dog for a while now but kept putting it off because…well…puppies are a lot of work and we weren’t 100% sure if we wanted to have two. BUT, personally, my biggest hang up about getting another dog over the years is that I LOVE PUFFIN SO MUCH (it’s borderline ridiculous) and I didn’t want to have to share that love. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to love another dog as much as I love Puffin and I didn’t want to have to split my love and give Puffin any less than I already give him. Ben always said this was a little crazy haha, but the feeling was very real!!
So, why did we just now decide that it was time to finally get another dog? Well, it really happened by chance to be honest. A couple of weeks ago, when the devastating fires were raging in Los Angeles, I signed up to foster displaced animals at a few different shelter/rescue organizations and (long story short) no one chose us to foster. Oddly, it turns out that there were SO many volunteers for fosters that we were simply not needed and I have to say, I was a little bummed. I was ready to take a dog or two, some bunnies or other small animals into my home to help, but that help wasn’t really needed at the time. So, because I was feeling that need to help and do good to animals in need, I started looking deeper into dogs that needed fostering and adopting in LA. As I was searching, I discovered The DoVe Project and started sending dog profiles to Ben (he was sitting in the other room but whatever lol we operate like that sometimes).
After looking through so many, he said to me: “we need to adopt one from The DoVe Project.” And I couldn’t agree more. The DoVe Project rescues dogs and puppies from the Dog Meat Trade in Asia. have you heard of The Yulin Festival that Lisa Vanderpump fights so whole heartedly against? Well, my friends, that horrific event is just the surface of the terrible suffering that goes on in the Dog Meat Trade (DMT) across Asia. Dogs are stolen, raised in captivity in cages and forced to breed to produce dogs that will be sold to rich people to eat. It is thought that the more the dogs suffer, the better for the individual eating the dog. It is sick. These dogs are traumatized and never know kind human affection. In some cases, random people will find stray dogs, capture them and force them to breed and keep them in terrible conditions outside their homes in hopes of possibly selling them to the dog meat trade for a lot of money. This is where The DoVe Project comes in….
The DoVe Project rescues dogs from these dog meat farms where they are raised in terrible conditions- adults and puppies a like. They shut down the farms, buy dogs…whatever they can to save as many as they can. And on top of that, they give the dog farm owners the tools they need to try to find work elsewhere because a lot of these people are in need for money and just aren’t aware there are other options. Our puppy, who we named Yuki, was rescued as a tiny puppy from a dog meat farm in South Korea. Her and her siblings were all very young and were fostered together at a rescue in S Korea and were waiting for someone to adopt them. This is where we came in…
We registered to adopt through the program and had our eyes on her. She was flown to LA via a volunteer and we picked her up at LAX airport this past Saturday! She had an 11 hour flight and was so tired and ready for a restful, nice experience by the time we got her. We got to the airport, met all of the people from the organization and greeted out new baby girl. Everyone was so nice and told us what to expect, gave us instructions etc. They really care about all the dogs they rescue and stay involved in the whole process and are easy to reach if you have questions about anything. SO, we put on her collar and leash and we took her home to meet her new brother!
Now, keep in mind…Puffin is the KING of our house and he has never had to share a home with another dog. He loves other dogs when we walk and go to the park- he’s not aggressive and either loves a dog or does a quick sniff and is bored and moves on. But, all that being said, we knew he probably wouldn’t take too well to a brand new puppy living with him in his kingdom. And we were right in that assumption! He was very confused at first and growled at her a bunch the first day (he even snapped once and got a stern talking to about it).
Fast forward to now and she has been with us for almost a week and Puffin is starting to warm up to her. He isn’t her friend yet but they go on walks together with zero problems and he’s tolerating it all very very well. Yuki wants to be Puffin’s friend so badly, but she’s also super smart and reading him well- she knows he doesn’t like it when she jumps on him and she LOVES to follow him around, especially on walks. I think with a little bit of time, they will totally be friends and Puffin will learn that she won’t take away any of the love we already give him.
OH! There is one thing we read about introducing a new puppy into a house with a dog that has been SUPER helpful and wasn’t really something we intuitively thought about!! It this: keep toy time, food time and affection from humans time separate at first, so neither dog gets territorial. Sounds super simple and it it is…but it also really works. Every moment that Puffin got upset with Yuki was one of these no-no moments….so now we make sure to split those times between the two of them so no one gets jealous or weird on us.
Now, let’s get to YUKI and her adjusting to us and her new home! So many of you wanted to know all about her so here goes!
Yuki is so good and so sweet. She is 3 months old Korean Jindo mix- we ordered a doggy DNA test and will report back with the results once we get them! She weighs 9.2 lbs, she has long legs and chubby paws that indicate she’s due for a lot of growing. We think she will be somewhere between 25-35 lbs when full gown.
She shows so much affection (she did from day one) and really loves us. When we got Puffin, it took him a couple of weeks to decide we were OK and he liked us (lol typical Puffin). Yuki spent most of her life, up until this point, without much human affection…she spent most of her time around other dogs. So we were so happily surprised by how quickly she is bonding with us! She really loves being outside and going on walks- we still have some leash training to work on, but when she walks with Puff she is SO good and just follows everything he does (so damn cute).
Potty training is going pretty well so far. She knows to do her business outside- this breed is known for being pretty easy to potty train- and she gets very excited to get rewarded when she goes to the bathroom outside. She’s actually never pooped inside (yet) which is sort of incredible in my book! BUT the one thing she is having trouble with is bladder control when she gets excited…she tends to let out little tinkles a lot when she’s excited to go out, excited for play time and affection etc. SO, to remedy this, we are staying very calm all the time around her, teaching her that the routines we do will be calm and controlled and nothing to go all wild about, and only engaging in fun play time after she has peed outside where she should. I am sure that she will outgrow this as she gets older and has better control over her situation…but for now we have the Nature’s Miracle on stand by. And a refill bottle on standby behind that one. HA!
We are crate training her at night and have her in a larger playpen during the day. Her playpen is where her bowls are, where she has her toys and bones etc…it’s her little safe place! We take her out once in the middle of the night to pee and other than that, she holds it until morning, yay!
She really is such a sweet little girl and SOOO smart. I didn’t think I would be able to make space to love another dog with Puffin in my life, but I think I am well on the way to building up just as much love for this new addition.
ALSO!!! Yuki’s siblings Pumpkin and Marshmallow are here in LA and ready to adopt. If you are interested in adopting a beautiful, lively, sweet puppy like Yuki, I highly suggest you check out The DoVe Project! You can visit the dogs that are here in LA or apply for one that will be flown over from South Korea. It is an amazing organization that I back 100% and can totally vouch for.
Have a beautiful weekend! And don’t forget to tune into my Instagram stories to see all the puppy (and Puffin) goodness!
Happy almost Thanksgiving to all of you in the USA!
We are heading out to spend the holiday with Ben’s family up north tomorrow…and are coming home just in time to pick up our new PUPPY this weekend!! If you want to know more about her and what the deal is, head over to my instagram and see all the deets! We are so excited.
Anyway back to Thanksgiving and FOOD. I know you all probably have all the dishes under control already, but wanted to provide some super easy last minute recipes here that you can make for the big meal day. Of course all of these recipes are healthy yet delicious- guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest “I don’t like healthy food” eaters. I swear.
They are also all SO easy to make…nothing fancy, just delicious, healthy and EASY. What more could you want??
Stuffing is my FAVORITE Thanksgiving dish. I get hungry and lusty just thinking about it. My mom’s stuffing is the absolute best I have ever had- she also uses 2 full sticks of butter in it. YIKES! So here is my healthier spin on Momma Bowden’s 5 star stuffing. It’s not as good as hers, but few things are HAHA! I also usually just bake it in the oven, but you can totally stuff a bird with it too- whatever floats your boat.
This dish is one of my specialties. Every time I make it for people they go crazy for it- it really is THAT good. Plus, it is super healthy and fresh unlike a lot of classic Thanksgiving sweet potato recipes- you know I’m talking about those ones with the marshmallows and butter. Swap it for this and no one will even notice!
This is my FAVORITE brussel sprout salad. Start your meal with this delicious, fresh and lively salad- it will fill you up with lots of good stuff and it tastes absolutely delicious. It’s an oldie on this blog, but still one of my absolute favorites!
UGH WAIT. OK, so while stuffing is my favorite dish at Thanksgiving, I wasn’t thinking about dessert. Pumpkin Pie may be my favorite food of all time- I literally have to fight a deep down urge to eat half a pie every time I come across one…anyone else feel me on this?? Anyway, this “skinny” pumpkin pie is crustless, but you won’t miss the crust, I swear. Besides, the filling is the best part anyway. SOO GOOD.
You know how on Thanksgiving, you spend so much time hanging around waiting to eat? Well, I am not a huge fan of that. I prefer to eat normally through the day. I may eat a little lighter to accommodate the big meal ahead, but I like to make sure I have some type of breakfast and lunch. OR if nothing else, some snacks before the main event. That is why I love this spicy pumpkin dip. It is SO yummy, healthy and a great thing to dip crunchy veggies, gluten free pretzels, or pita chips in.
This is another “for the table” snack that is always such a hit. Not just for Thanksgiving- it really is perfect for the whole winter/holiday season. Every time I put them out at a party, they go FAST. Make these, you won’t regret it!
Confession: I really like diet soda. I grew up drinking it…A LOT…before we really, fully knew it was bad for us. I’m sure many of you did too…or maybe you drank a ton of the full sugar stuff (yikes)! In my house growing up we had TAB (so retro), diet coke and diet sprite around at all times…and I drank these a lot. And into my teenage years I kept it going. I switched over to a Cherry Coke Zero or a Diet Dr. Pepper, but hey, it’s all the same at the end of the day right? A can full of chemicals. Yummy chemicals that I still do love today even though I know it’s bad for me.
Fast forward to today. I still like diet soda….I just don’t really drink it anymore. Do I have one every now and then? Yea, I do….I just don’t make a habit out of it, you know? But I have to say, it is becoming more difficult by the day for me to feel OK about drinking a can of diet soda…I get this guilty feeling because I know it’s bad. And to be honest, that guilty feeling makes me reach for them less and less often. Health Guilt is a real thing you guys! I also kind of feel like a health fraud when I drink one- like I am not practicing what I preach, you know? So that too makes me crave one less. But at the same time, I am only human and sometimes this human just needs a diet cream soda…you feel me?
All of that being said, I have found some amazing alternative bevvies for when I want a diet soda…healthier alternatives that leave me with no guilt and no “I’m a fraud!” feeling. Do they taste as good as the real thing? No, not at first. BUT, I promise you that the more healthy things you put into your body, the more your body will keep craving healthy things. But you already know that, right? The more we nourish our bodies with good stuff, the more good stuff we crave…it’s the opposite of a vicious cycle….it’s a…happy healthy cycle!
So let’s get into my favorite swaps and drink hacks for when you want something, but also want to feel good about it! They all have little to no calories too, so it’s the same vibe as a typical diet soda, without all the chemicals
*OH, I also use these drink options for when I don’t want to drink alcohol! Because for me, drinking a flat water with dinner instead of a glass of wine just feels a little boring so I like to jazz it up!
If you aren’t familiar with Zevia already, get on board. Zevia is an all natural calorie free soda that uses stevia as it’s sweetening agent. My favorite flavor is Ginger Ale. Definitely drink these cold- they taste way better that way! I like to have mine over some ice or even put it in a wine glass to get a little fancy at night. Something about a sparkling bevvy in a wine glass just feels right. I buy it at Whole Foods.
K, I’m still on the Zevia train over here, but the “mixer” collection is definitely worthy of it’s own personal shout out! They taste less like a traditional soda and more like a cocktail mixer, hence the name “mixers”, duh. The tonic tastes just like a tonic water and is so good with a splash of ginger ale or grapefruit juice. It’s great at night- feels like a night cap, sans alcohol, sugar and unnecessary chemicals. The Dry Lemon Lime is also super solid. And, well…the Ginger Beer is also delicious…so basically all of them are good.
Move over LaCroix…Spindrift is taking your place in my book! Unlike, LarCroix, Spindrift actually really tastes like the fruit that is on its label. That’s because the sparkling waters actually have real fruit juice in them- just enough to pack a punch without adding more than 12-17 calories per can. And I mean, come on…12-17 calories is basically non existent. I drink these solo or I use them to make my classic, super simple mocktail which tastes a little like a Paloma. More on that right below.
SO, I created this super simple faux cocktail this year, when I wanted something fun to drink, but wanted to lay off the alcohol. It really tastes like a cocktail- it has Paloma vibes written all over it and there are two ways I make it. The OG way is:
Fill a glass with ice, add a splash of natural grapefruit juice and fill the rest of the glass with a grapefruit spindrift. DONE! I know it sounds too simple to be good but trust me.
The second way I make it is fill a glass with ice, add a splash of grapefruit, a splash of that dry lemon lime zevia mixer, fill the rest of the glass with a grapefruit Spindrift and add a tiny dash of pink sea salt. This version tastes like a cross between a Paloma and a margarita and I am ALL about it. Add a splash of lime too if you want. NO RULES HERE!
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Chocolate
This delicious mushroom hot cocoa takes the place of my diet cream soda or Diet Swiss Miss hot cocoa I used to be obsessed with. It has that yummy, rich, dessert-like taste to it but it also is an antioxidant powerhouse. I like it with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a spoonful monkfruit sweetener and a tiny pinch of pink sea salt (this brings out the sweetness). This drink just feels so cozy and amazing at the end of the day, or any time you need a warm chocolatey treat.
Unsweetened Iced Tea
This is my go-to drink when I am out at a restaurant or on the go and craving something besides water. I usually go herbal or green with this and I always add fresh lemon wedges and some monk fruit or stevia. A calorie free sweet tea! I also love an iced mint tea after a meal to help with digestion.
Iced Matcha with Unsweetened Almond Milk
For all the caffeine lovers out these-this one is for you! Get your fix while also loading up on the antioxidant rich benefits of matcha. Forgo to typical “matcha latte” and have it plain with some unsweetened almond milk and stevia to add some sweetness. Don’t order the one with all the syrups etc- it should taste very earthy and not very yummy plain- that’s how you want it! That way you can add your own ingredients like almond milk and sweetener. Oh and circling back here, Four Sigmatic also makes a “matcha” powder I love!! Perfect for making this iced latte at home.
Do you have any drink swaps you love? I am always looking for more ideas!
Happy Friday and have the best weekend babes!
This is the lazy girls guide because I honestly don’t want to be thinking about macros all damn day. Do you? Maybe you do, but for me I’d rather have an efficient way to keep myself on track without going crazy over the exact numbers, you know? I want the results without the side dose of anxiety that goes with it. Feel me? So I found a way to track my macros and calories simultaneously that really works for me…and I think it can work for you too.
Ok, a little admission here: I do count calories.
I know we aren’t supposed to and its all the rage to say that we don’t and that we don’t care about calories, and that we only care about the quality of foods etc. But I do. Not because I feel like I need to or because I am trying to restrict my eating…but because I am just VERY aware of how many calories are in different foods.
When I was in my late teenage years I became obsessed with knowing what was in the foods I was eating, what their ingredients were and what their calories were. During that time, I knew how much of everything was in most of the foods that I ate….and I kept a running tally of calories in my head. Wasn’t the healthiest way to live my life, but I was honestly fascinated by it all.
Fast forward to now when I am way LESS restrictive with my eating and far from the obsessed late teen I was then….but I still count most of my calories, and not even on purpose. It’s like I have a funny little calculator ticker in my brain that just won’t turn off. I sort of keep a loose running tally in my head through the day, and honestly, I don’t mind it. It keeps me on track with my fitness and health goals and keeps me focused on making sure I eat enough through the day and don’t OVER indulge on other days.
So back when I was that slightly obsessed teenager, I cared about macros a little bit, but not nearly as much as I cared about calories. I mostly cared about the calorie number of a food and didn’t invest in the healthiest foods that were the best for my body (hello sugar laden fat free dressings and fro-yo filled with chemicals). NOW, I live and eat very differently, even though that weird little calculator is still going in the back of my head through the day.
I am now super interested in macronutrients and the specifics of the nutrition stats on food packaging. I focus on the calorie to carb, fiber, sugar, fat and protein ratio. If the stats on a product don’t look well balanced, I usually won’t eat it….usually! (everyone makes an exception every now and then right?!)
I think it is a good thing to be aware of your calorie intake, but also your macro intake, because you can’t really succeed with one and not the other. Being aware of your calories and macros will help you be able to figure out what you need to nourish and fuel your body properly. If you know your calorie count and macro count for the day, you may think twice about an extra glass of wine at night or a second serving of pasta etc. I have to say- little habits like that eventually really do add up.
So, the teenage me thought she was being health conscious and good to myself…but one thing I didn’t really pay attention to is this:
Not all calories are created equal.
NO. NO. NO
Let’s just say you are trying to lose weight….and maybe you are sticking to somewhere around 1,400 calories a day, K? Well, that doesn’t mean you should eat those calories however you please.
I mean, you could eat a chocolate muffin for breakfast, fries and ice cream for lunch and wine and cheese for dinner and still hit your 1,400 calorie a day goal. But that would be terrible for your body internally. But, you could technically still lose weight this way- ever hear of the Twinkie Diet Guy?
Well, other than being totally gross…if you ate this way, you would feel terrible and it wouldn’t be a sustainable way to live. You wouldn’t be able to build muscle, and your body wouldn’t be functioning anywhere close to full capacity. You may lose weight, but you will probably look flabby and out of shape- saggy butt and soft stomach. Forget intense workouts. Forget a busy day where you need to be productive. Not going to happen if you eat junk. You would be on a sugar rush and crash roller coaster ride, which is the most NOT FUN roller coaster ride that can ever exist. Your energy levels would suffer, your hormones will go haywire and your skin will probably start to look horrible.
So…would you rather eat small portions of absolute junk every day or big nutritious meals that make your body look and feel better? I would definitely go for number 2, hands down! Plus, more volume of food is a better decision in my book.
Clean eating and balanced macronutrient consumption is the way to go. You can treat yourself every now and then for sure- you need to- but keeping it clean will keep you healthy, lean and strong for the long haul.
The basics of clean eating ensure that you are eating a ton of fresh veggies and a balanced amount of protein, complex carbs (whole grains), plenty of fiber and healthy fats. These are your macronutrients I keep talking about.
Those bomb abs you want so bad? Clean eating and macronutrient counting will get you those.
I started really counting my macros a couple of months ago to see exactly what I was putting into my body. I know roughly where I was coming in calorically on a typical day but I had no idea if I was eating too many carbs or fats etc. SO typing my meals in to a food diary really helped me realize I needed to make some shifts. I don’t go absolutely bonkers with it- I’m not one of those crazy macro people YET- but I just like to know that I am eating within the areas of where I want to be. When I started doing it, I noticed I was eating too much sugar, too many carbs and not enough fats….so I made some changes and guess what? I feel SO good after making those subtle swaps! And it was easy to do! Plus, I still can drink wine, which is amazing- I just make room for it in my macros.
So, how do I do it? I mean it does sound like a lot of work, I know. But it’s not, I swear. I enter my food choices into a food diary app and make sure I am hitting my targeted macro percentages….
I use the “My Fitness Pal” app and it is super easy to use and customize…and it basically counts your macronutrient percentages for you! In a separate tab, the app breaks down where you are regarding macros every day, so you can adjust accordingly and know where your diet is lacking. It’s an easy introduction into macro balancing and can be SUPER helpful.
This little app is the reason I am calling this the Lazy Girls Guide, because it really does the work for you- it will tell you what it suggests for your current size and your personal goals, because everyone is different. When I started being more curious about all of this, I read A LOT online about what I should macro numbers I should be hitting, what I shouldn’t blah blah blah and I came to the conclusion that there were too many opinions out there and none of them were tailored to me. And I haven’t (yet) decided to go to a nutritionist to get a full analysis, so for the time being I am totally fine with the lazy girl way. Because this way…it really gets it done and I am seeing major results.
Another little thing: I have COMPLETELY shifted the timing in which I consume my macros on a day to day basis. So the combination of macro counting and shifting them to benefit my goals is giving me those great results I keep talking about. The macro shifting guidelines where given to me when I signed up for John Bentons fitness program, which is amazing and super simple to do anywhere, by the way! I’m all about the changes I have made and am super surprised by how easy they are to fit into my lifestyle.
So keep it green, lean and clean. And if you want to tidy up shop a little bit like I did, I highly suggest dabbling in the world of macronutrients! I know I am so happy I finally starting paying closer attention to them. And the cool thing is that once you get a handle on it, you don’t have to obsess over it daily- it will just become second nature to you. You will inherently just KNOW what to eat and what you are missing.
Since it is Halloween (OMG the year is flying by so fast!!) and there are all of those mini candies everywhere out there staring at us, just beckoning us to dig in, I figured it would be a good time to talk about how to curb sugar cravings. I mean, if there’s ever a time to enjoy some candy, it’s Halloween! So don’t totally deprive yourself here…I know I won’t be depriving myself! Have some candy, live it up and be OK with it. BUT, the important thing is knowing what those sugary treats are doing to your body and how to keep this sugar intake from becoming a bad habit- a cycle you can’t break.
If you follow my blog, you already know that sugar wreaks havoc on your body and your skin…if you want to brush up on all the scientific details behind this statement, please read my sugar post! If you have already kicked your sugar habit like I have, then YAY! You are a rockstar because it is not easy to do. Sugar is addictive, so if you still need a little help, I’m here to give you some tools to use when your sweet tooth rears its head. These tools can be used whenever you feel that craving coming, or when you do indulge in some sugar and don’t want it to be a whole day long ordeal.
Eating sugar will trick your brain and your hormones into telling you that you need to eat more sugar. That is why it is addictive. You know what else does this to your brain? Drugs and alcohol. So that is how addictive sugar can be- so don’t think you’re alone here! Again, that sugar blog post breaks that ALL down so you can fully understand the process that sugar goes through in your body when you eat it.
The goal here is to balance your blood sugar curve every time you eat sugar so you don’t take your insulin, hormones and blood sugar levels on a terrifying roller coaster ride that can last all day long. AND, if you are indulging today, it’s important to set yourself up to break the cycle tomorrow- kick the budding habit away before it has time to latch on, know what I mean? SO, let’s get into it…But first, some cute pics of me with Puffin
Ok, now back to it.
Don’t eat sugar alone or on an empty stomach. Whenever I eat some sugar, I make sure to balance it out with a well rounded meal. What does this look like? Some healthy fats, fiber rich greens and some protein. So if have that treat after you eat lunch- your blood sugar won’t spike AS high when you have fats, greens and proteins in your system. If you eat sugar on an empty stomach your blood sugar spikes and drops will be through the roof, your body will overproduce insulin and your hormones will tell you to eat more sugar so the insulin has something to do. So nip that in the bud by having your sugar snack with a meal or right after a meal.
Cut the fruit out of your smoothies and juices. Fruit is sugar. Period. So that banana you put in your smoothie? Not good for your blood sugar levels. Additionally, fructose actually tends to get stored as fat faster than glucose, so we don’t want that to happen, right? If you have a giant smoothie with fruit in it, you will be consuming a huge amount of sugar, which will lead you to crave more sugar shortly after. If you want to have SOME fruit in your smoothie, stick with 1/4 cup of berries like blackberries, blueberries or raspberries- these have less sugar than other fruit, are high in fiber and antioxidant powerhouses. To thicken your smoothie without using a banana, use frozen chunks of zucchini- TRUST me on this, it is incredible and you don’t taste the zucchini at all. As for juices, I typically only drink green juices with NO fruit or just a teeny bit of apple. Pay attention to the ingredients and chose wisely!
Get enough rest every night. I mean, this is important for many reasons, but your waistline will thank you for getting more good quality sleep. Have you ever noticed how hungry you feel when you didn’t sleep well? Or, how you usually crave worse foods and high carb meals when you are sleep deprived? Well, you are not alone. This is very normal, and it is our body trying to overcompensate for feeling tired. So, to keep your body out of the constant sugar craving roller coaster ride, make sure you get enough sleep. Turn in a little earlier, read in bed instead of watching TV…whatever works for you! Plus, if you aren’t eating as much sugar, you will probably be able to fall asleep faster and more normally- you’re body will be calmer and your hormones will balance out, allowing melatonin to make you sleepy.
Up your water intake and snack less. Aim to get at least half your body weight in water ounces a day- this is a minimum! I have really been focusing on drinking more water daily- between 75 and 85 ounces a day- and my cravings have subsided a lot. I love to snack, but when I drink more water, I snack way less often because I’m not as hungry. This leads to less blood sugar spiking and fewer cravings for sugar. So, what I do when I have a craving hit is drink some water or have another drink I love like iced green tea and wait to see if the craving passes. Funny enough, 95% of the time the craving passes which means I wasn’t actually hungry in the first place. This takes some willpower but I promise it really works! If you do all of this, but still have that craving, then have a snack! Just make sure it is something that will curb the sugar craving while also keeping your blood sugar in check. I like apple slices with cinnamon and Fatso (the best peanut butter blend ever), a handful of unsalted almonds, a ONE protein bar in birthday cake flavor or some Progranola (which is the best thing ever you guys!) with a greek yogurt (LOW SUGAR DUH).
Start your day carb-free. Hello my name is Katrina and I crave carbs for breakfast. Anyone else? UGH. BUT, you know what? Starting your day with a carb-heavy meal will start you’re blood sugar curve and hormones off on the wrong foot. Unless you plan to jump right into a super intense cardio workout that requires tons of energy, lay off the carbs first thing. Instead of setting yourself up for an all day sugar and carb craving-fest, set yourself up to crave all the good stuff. If you eat well for the first meal of the day, you are more likely to make healthy choices all day long. I like to have a fab four protein shake, egg whites with avocado or greek yogurt with almonds as my first meal. All of these options are high in protein, are fiber rich and provide healthy fats. They will also keep you full for WAY longer than a bowl of cereal and a banana will. Once lunch rolls around, you won’t be dying for anything carb-y you can get your hands on. A low carb breakfast breaks the sugar craving before it even begins!
Reset with greens. So tomorrow or the next day, whenever you want to stop eating the Halloween candy, I suggest a little morning reset. Whenever I feel like I have indulged too much, I intermittent fast the next day. I will still have my coffee with almond milk, but I won’t eat until around 11 am or noon if I can. Once food time rolls around I will have a fruit free green juice first, then 30 mins later I will have a big healthy meal that is balanced with tons of greens. For instance, I will have the green juice followed by a big salad with tons of veggies, lean protein like grilled chicken, olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Then, I move on with the rest of my day however I normally would. This method works for me because my body is getting so many nutrients and so much fiber that I can easily break the sugar craving and keep it at bay for the rest of the day. If you don’t like intermittent fasting (it’s definitely not for everyone) then just start your day with a green juice or green smoothie. The point is, fill up on greens!
And the most important thing to keep in mind is this: don’t beat yourself up over some candy or treats. We all need to treat ourselves from time to time! But make sure it doesn’t become a bad habit. A couple or Reese’s isn’t going to derail you, but making a daily habit out of it will.
Hello beautiful friends! If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories (if you don’t already, what are you waiting for?!?), you know that I got a facial again last Friday. Before a few months ago, I hadn’t gotten a facial in about…ummm…3 years! Yikes, I know! I’m trying to not let that happen again. My goal is to get a facial every few months to do a deep clean on my skin. And in between those facials, I will do my typical skin upkeep, which of course includes at home face masks.
It seems like everyone is on the healthy skin bandwagon which is amazing! We all have such incredible products at our fingertips in easy to use packaging that we can take home. I mean, better than a bath with a good book and a face mask on right?? Or even just a face mask on the couch watching Handmaid’s Tale- whatever floats your boat. But…are we using this plethora of masking products the right way? Maybe not.
I learned A LOT at my facial last Friday. Leah from Dermalogica HQ was a wealth of knowledge and answered all of my nagging questions about my personal skin issues and all skin in general. One of the biggest take homes I got from our time together is that hydration is literally everything when it comes to good skin. And I’m not talking about just slathering on all the oils and creams topically.
The root of the hydration problem comes from within. If you aren’t properly hydrated, it shows all over your skin in the form of:
No-Glow (the opposite of glowing skin)
and, last but not least, a general bleh look
I, as many of us are, am under hydrated. I drink a lot of water, but I also drink coffee and a glass or two of alcohol so I need to focus on balancing all of that out for the sake of my skin. What does that mean? On days when I drink alcohol or have an extra coffee, I also need to have extra water. Easy. My metal water canteen will be by my side all day long so there is no excuse. I’ve known for a long time that hydration is key with most things beauty. I mean everyone bashes us over the head with that concept so this is nothing new here. BUT I personally wasn’t aware that skin dehydration could be making my reactive skin more reactive, less calm and more inflamed. I tend to get very red- when I workout, get embarrassed, drink coffee, drink wine, eat spicy foods, am out in the heat- basically everything fun in life (except for the being embarrassed part). So the concept that hydrating myself more effectively can help reduce all of this…well that was music to my ears and such an easy small solution I can do….and you can too!
So, what about topically? That is SO important too- it’s definitely second to the whole water situation, but still a MUST do. Which leads me to the whole point of this blog post: face mask mosaic-ing. This was another HOT TIP from Leah at Dermalogica!
This will probably be a new concept but once you read the why and the how you’ll totally get it. We all know that at home face masks are everything right now- everyone is doing them and benefiting from them. I have a plethora of face masking options at home all claiming different end goals from hydrating, brightening, detoxifying etc. So how do you know which one to use and when? I don’t know about you, but I typically love reaching for a face mask that will detoxify and pull ALL the impurities out of my skin- that just sounds way more satisfying than a simple “hydrating” mask, right? I know a lot of you probably agree with me, but guys…I think we are SO wrong. Well, half wrong.
Let me explain….
We all have certain areas of our skin that tend to be congested- for me it’s my chin, around my nose and in between my eyebrows- but mainly the chin. The rest of my skin stays smooth and clear from any breakouts…BUT those clear areas also tend to run a little more dry because I don’t have as much oil production there. SO putting a detoxifying, clay type of face mask ALL over my face helps my chin area, but totally dries out the rest of my face and makes me red and sensitive. Not a cute look.
On the flip side, a hydrating mask really can be great for all over the skin, but sometimes they can be a little too heavy on my chin area if I haven’t taken care of that zone with a detoxifying mask. So putting a thick hydrating mask over that area can actually make things worse and lead to clogged pores and breakouts. It’s just TOO heavy.
So what’s a girl to do? Mosaic that shit. Mosaic your face masks to make them work for YOUR specific skin needs. For me, that means the Aztec Healing Clay or something similar on my chin, a charcoal mask on my T-zone and a calming, hydrating OR brightening mask everywhere else. OR another way I like to do it is in steps. First, I will use a clay or other detoxifying mask on my chin and T-zone and let it do its thing, rinse and dry. Then, I will use a brightening or hydrating mask all over my face. Sometimes I will skip my chin area all together with this if I feel extra congested in that pesky area. And I kind of just paint the masks onto my face like a little mosaic depending on what zones need what type of treatment. It’s totally a customized face masking experience that will benefit your individual skin tremendously!
Additionally, with an exfoliating mask like Exfolikate, which I love, I sometimes use it all over my face if my skin is looking a little lack-luster. BUT the majority of the time, I use it in my trouble zones only (chin and T-zone) to keep blackheads and breakouts at bay without making my whole face super sensitive. So, for example, I’ll do an enzyme exfoliator ALL over the face once every 2 weeks and then just address the areas of concern solo every week. I get all the benefits in a way that benefits my skin.
This whole concept allows you to cater your skincare routine to your skin type to benefit the most from what you are using. Skincare is NOT one size fits all. And a mask is really not one product fits every zone on your face. So let’s stop treating most of them like they are!
Sheet masks are a different story because most of them are very light and contain mostly serums that really penetrate the skin without clogging pores in the process. My favorite sheet masks contain collagen and/or Hyaluronic Acid.
I have linked a lot of the products I love below- some hydrating, some brightening and some detoxifying. All are great and I use how described above!
Give this whole new way of masking a try and let me know your thoughts on my Insta- love hearing how you guys are liking my tips and tricks.
Aloha! I am obviously back home in LA but my heart and mind are drifting back and forth between here and Maui…sigh. I had the best mini trip to Maui for my birthday and I got SO many DM’s about the island. It seems like you all want to know where to stay, what to do, what fitness is available, what to eat, all the hidden gems etc. SO I figured it was only fair to put up my Maui Travel Guide. You already have my Kauai + Oahu Guide, so here comes Maui…and the other islands will be next, I promise.
I will say…Kauai and Oahu are my favorite islands. Maui is my third favorite, and that is because I personally feel like there is less “adventure” available on Maui. Ben and I go to Maui when we are craving luxury, relaxation and an easy-going type of trip. I will say, I have only stayed on one side of island, so your experience may be different in many ways. BUT, we have done so many activities on the island after visiting 3 times already…so I feel like I have a very good grasp on MOST of what Maui has to offer.
Maui is more built up than Kauai. Less built up than Honolulu on Oahu. I always say that Maui feels more like the cool coastal beach town than other islands- that whole surfer dude vibe is alive and well once you get away from the lush golf courses and pristine resorts. Expect barefoot surfers walking around the local supermarket to get their poke bowl lunch (more on this later- MAJOR local tip coming at you!)
It is a pretty big island, so regardless of what side you stay on, you will have to rent a car to get around if you are going to see all the cool stuff. TRUST ME. RENT THE DAMN CAR YOU GUYS. We always drive around when we stay on Maui because unlike Kauai and Oahu, the adventure and fun times aren’t really at your doorstep. You will have to travel. Not far, but travel you will: like 20 min-5 hours type of thing (5 hours being is you’re wild and decide to do the road to Hana).
Ok, so as far as Where to Stay goes…
I have only stayed at one hotel on Maui, because it is basically heaven on earth and my perfect hotel search is over. It’s the Four Season Maui at Wailea. It’s expensive and super luxurious, as you would expect. I don’t splurge very much- I’m the type of person who looks for a deal no matter how much money I’m making, you know what I mean? That being said, hotels are usually something I splurge on. I like to stay at a nice place. I like to adventure all day, get muddy and have the most fun and then go back to my super luxe hotel for a cocktail. The FS Maui is worth it, in my opinion. The service, the location, the amenities…all of it is absolute perfection. There isn’t a high turnover rate of employees because they are all well taken care of and they REMEMBER the guests. For real, we hadn’t been to Maui in about 3 years and multiple hotel staff remembered us on a personal level- it’s the little thing you know?
As for the location- it is perfect. It is on an incredible beach in Wailea…possibly the best beach I have been to on the island. And it’s a public beach, as are most in Hawaii, so even if you aren’t staying at the FS, go to the beach and enjoy the stunning views.
I have friends who recently stayed at the Andaz Maui in Wailea- a short oceanside walk from the FS…where you will pass many other beautiful hotels and condos along the way. I love Wailea as a town to stay in- it is pristine, beautiful, close to super cool Kihei where you can take surf lessons (more on this in a sec) and a short drive from amazing local restaurants. So you really can’t go wrong with nice hotels in this area.
The other main area many chose to stay in is Kaanapali. There are many nice hotels on this side of the island, and it is near Lahaina, where there are a lot of interesting things to do! I can’t speak for any hotels over there, but do a little google research and you will be good to go.
Hiking and Active/Adventure Stuff
A lot of you wanted to know all about the best hikes and adventures to be had on Maui!
First things first, I have never done the whole Road to Hana. It’s just not for me. I thought it would be for me because there are SOO many amazing things to see, hikes to hike, waterfalls to swim in along the way…and if you know me, all of those things are so my jam. BUT the Road to Hana is long. All-day-trip type of long. It’s also very wind-y in a bad way. We started to do it on one of our trips and only made it about 25 minutes before needing to turn back- I started to get car sick the moment we started down the long road. The good thing is, you can still experience a part of the treasure that the the Road to Hana has to offer and you only have to endure a teensy bit of that drive. At mile marker 2, you can stop and park to visit theTwin Falls. Because it is so easy to get to, there are usually a good amount of other people there, but regardless, it’s still beautiful and you can swim in multiple waterfalls. BRING YOUR WATER SHOES!!! Unless you plan to get your sneakers wet, you need water shoes if you want to go anywhere near the falls or in them. The rocks are sharp and anyone who shows up with flip flops gets SUPER bummed. Also, load up on the bug spray…if you don’t you will be kicking yourself later. The mosquitoes in Hawaii yield huge welt-like bites on me…so I basically take a bath in bug spray before going toward any waterfalls (I’m exaggerating a smidge, but I spray that shit everywhere). Swimming in a waterfall is cold, but worth it. Do it!
One really unique thing we did last time we were in Maui was visiting Leilani Animal Sanctuary. We went here after attempting the Road to Hana, and we were SO glad we did. We had read a little bit about it and we are always down for hanging out with animals so we stopped by. On the day we went, there weren’t any “tours” going on but we met the owner who started the sanctuary and she was lovely enough to let us roam the grounds and give us a personal tour in exchange for some help with planting seedlings in the pig pen. Which we happily did. After about 30 minutes of dirty but fun work, she came back over holding two chickens as goats climbed the branches of a tree behind her. She was like the Cinderella of Maui- the animals loved her and followed her around. She let us hang out with animals, hold them and told us her story and why she spends all her days rescuing animals. It is heart warming and a must see if you love animals like we do!
If you were following my Stories from my recent trip, the hike we went on is called the Waihee Ridge Trail. We have done this hike before and love it every time. You can look up best times to go on the AllTrails app, which is linked right there, right above. And of course, always be mindful of rain. It is not safe to do steep hikes immediately after rainfall- so refer to the site and ask the local hotel concierge for their opinions on the trails to make sure you’ll be safe once you start. This hike is about 2-2.5 miles up (and the same amount back down) through a jungle like terrain where you will see STUNNING views of the island, waterfalls in the distance and lush greenery at every turn. As you make your way up, you will find yourself at cloud level! Walking through the clouds is insanely cool. Hopefully it will be a semi-clear day up there so that you can see the views from the tippy top. The last time we went had the BEST views up top, but sometimes you’ll just be standing inside of a cloud, unable to see anything other than what is 7 feet in front of you- either way its awesome. There’s a picnic bench up top too, so bring a snack and take a load off.
Another hike we love is the Iao Needle hike– but the off-roading one. The paved path hike is short and not even worthy of the name “hike” BUT if you break the rules (as half the people do) and walk over a little guard rail (not scary I swear) you will be on a well trampled path that will yield you insane views of Iao valley and the ocean. It’s a fun, muddy hike but totally worth the dirty shoes. Again, check AllTrails to make sure the conditions are good and for details about the hike.
One incredible thing I highly recommend anyone who is visiting Maui to do is Haleakala Crater at sunrise. This is sort of a tough one to convince people to do because it involves waking up at 2am on vacation. OR, if you’re a wild one, you may just never go to bed haha, do you. Anyway, you have this super early wake up because it is a DRIVE out to and up to the top of the crater. You can do this drive on your own in that rental car you decided to go for, but it’s super dark and a little scary to drive yourself, especially at that hour. We opted for a bus tour- the hotel set it up for us. The bus basically picks you up at the hotel and transfers you to a smaller bus at the base of the crater, which then takes you up to the top. The bus is comfortable and the driver keeps you awake with some really cool history and facts about the crater and the island in general. Then you get out with your jacket and hat (it’s COLD at the top- you must bring a jacket, gloves and a hat if you want to be comfortable) and you wait for the sun to rise. This was one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. We lucked out and got a beautiful, clear day. Some people don’t get so lucky…but if you get lucky like we did, I know you will be wowed. After the main event, the bus takes you to a bunch of other view points before heading back down. The coolest part is that you are above cloud level up there! Watching the sunrise from above cloud level is stunning and unlike anything else- photo ops GALORE. Your instagram will be on fire. Some people chose the option to bike down from the top of the crater, which sounds fun…but also a little annoying to me personally. I know a few people who have done it and most of them said that after the first 20 minutes it gets old and you sort of wish you were just in a vehicle instead. But to each their own!
If surf lessons are your speed, but you’re totally a beginner like me, Maui Wave Riders is your perfect match. They have locations in Kihei and Lahaina, the instructors are super cool dudes, the boards are easy to surf with and the waves are just enough to be fun. There’s also a yummy fish taco truck at the Kihei location right next to their check in area for some post-surfing lunch.
I have already said that Wailea beach at the Four Seasons is my favorite beach, but second to that is Makena Beach. It is very much a local spot, offers shaded areas via beautiful trees and is a wide sandy beach surrounded by beautiful rock formations. If you’re feeling a little jazzy, walk toward that rock formation and climb up it (it’s not difficult) and cross the bluff to get down to Little Beach– a NUDE BEACH in it’s own little enclave. This wasn’t for me, BUT hey…it’s not too often you find a nude beach in the USA right? We actually didn’t know it was a nude beach until we trekked there and saw it haha- little bit of a surprise!
OK, so now onto FOOD
Local tip coming in hot: poke at Foodland. Any Foodland on the island. Don’t ask any questions, just trust me. I get a 1/4-1/2 lb of avocado tuna poke, solo, and eat it with my GG crackers or put it on top of a basic greens salad from the same super market, easy. Ben orders the full poke bowl with rice. Both are delicious and you can’t go wrong.
Monkey Pod is our favorite restaurant in Maui. They rely on locally sourced, organic ingredients and everything tastes amazing!! We usually go here multiple times every trip. I love the kale macadamia salad with chicken and their tacos are also a favorite.
Maui Brewing Company is such a fun local spot to go to for lunch or dinner. The brewery itself is doing so well and their beers are becoming a favorite at all the coolest bars nation wide- you can tour the brewery too if you’re into that type of thing. As for me, I ordered a cocktail because I’m not much of a beer gal. And the food…the food is INSANE. The root vegetable dish is one of the best veggie dishes I have ever had in my life, and I have had a lot of them. Ben’s burger was incredible, my chicken was perfect and the sriracha fries we shared…I can’t even talk about it. That’s how good they were. And everything is so reasonably priced, which of course I love.
Cafe OLei is a nice spot to go for dinner. Super casual, good fish dishes. Not the best meal you’ll ever have, especially if you have already visited Monkey Pod, but very solid- their sushi is my favorite and Ben’s short ribs were incredible.
The Feast at LeLe is a luau that is not to be missed. I mean, you’re in Hawaii…you should go to a luau at least once. This one is top notch. You have dinner and drinks oceanside while watching an incredible, traditional performance. It’s touristy, but in a good way.
Ferraro’s at The Four Seasons has the most incredible sunset you’ve ever seen. When here, Ben and I get drinks at the bar right before sunset every night. EVERY night. The bar tenders will watch our drinks and hold your spot as you go to the beach to capture the beauty of the sunset. They also have the BEST bar nuts I’ve ever had. I don’t know about you, but I am ALL ABOUT a bar snack, you know? We have had dinner here a couple of times and it is very good Italian food. It is expensive, but worth it for a nice romantic sunset dinner.
Sansei is good local sushi. They have a couple different locations and it is always very good and busy!
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Iceis heaven in a cup. Skip every other shave ice place- don’t waste your time or money. Ululani’s is where it’s at. There’s a reason why there is always a line…and it is 100% worth it. I love coconut and mango, but to be honest every flavor I have tried is amazing. I once did a green apple/salted caramel combo sprinkle with coconut flakes and I still crave it to this day. Their ice is also so soft and fluffy, it feels like ice cream. Get the mochi on top.
Breakfast buffet at The Four Seasons is the best one I have ever had. They have things like probiotic coconut yogurt, organic omelets, locally sourced greens and their very own pancake mix (it is GOOD). It’s fancy, but in the best way possible. Treat yourself one morning.
So that about rounds it out! I still have a lot of Maui I want to explore so if you have any favorite places you love to go, drop them here or on my Instagram- I love getting your tips for my next trips!
You know whats better than Pumpkin Spice? Pumpkin Spice with Dark Chocolate. And you know what’s even better than that? Dark chocolate and pumpkin spice all packed into a healthy protein muffin. BOOM. Heaven in a snack.
I’m sure a lot of you have heard of Kodiak Cakes, and if you haven’t already, you really have to get on board! Kodiak Cakes makes incredible pancake/waffle mix that is super high in protein. The mix can also be used to make muffins and other yummy treats. I LOVE it because I can make delicious tasting baked goods and waffles absolutely guilt free and high in protein. A serving of this delicious mix (3 pancakes) is only 190 calories and a nice 14 grams of protein and low 3-8 grams of sugar (depending on which flavor mix you buy). Those stats are pretty damn amazing for a pancake mix!! They are also amazing stats for muffins- protein muffins that don’t taste like they are healthy, I swear!
Kodiak Cakes makes a Pumpkin Spice flavor for the season, but I like the Dark Chocolate flavor for muffins because they come out super rich and delicious. PLUS, you can get a little creative and add different flavors like peanut butter, coconut etc. BUT for this recipe we are obviously focusing on the Pumpkin Spice because it’s the first day of October and the pumpkin craze is in full swing!
And just a little side note, these muffins are also high in fiber and the pumpkin puree gives a little health boost. I love to have one post workout or any time of day when my sweet tooth hits.
This recipe couldn’t be easier too- the mix takes out a lot of the guess work so you just add in the few other ingredients, pop them in the oven and patiently wait for them to be done!
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pie mix!)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients in the bowl and mix with a whisk until combined completely. Spray a muffin pan with coconut oil spray well- you don’t want the muffins sticking!
Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups in the pan, filling each 3/4 the way full. Sprinkle a little bit of pumpkin pie spice on top of each muffin- just a dash- and put them in the oven. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Mine usually take about 19 minutes…but everyones oven is different! They are finished with a knife or toothpick comes out clean when poked.
These can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for easy snacking!
ALOHA! I am in Maui celebrating my (30th) birthday! Just got here yesterday!
Talking about fitness today…my current weekly fitness schedule, changes I have made and all the details WHY.
I get a lot of questions about my workout routines…what I do on a daily and weekly basis to stay in shape, lean and energized. I have written about my love for different workouts in detail on here but I’ve never really given out my weekly schedule. To be honest, it changes a lot week to week depending on where I am, if I am traveling and how much work I have to do etc etc. Life, you know? But I am a person who loves a routine, so I try to stay on one as much as possible. So, I’m going to give you what my average week looks like below and explain what I’m currently doing for fitnesses and why.
So about two weeks ago, I decided to make a change to the way I workout…in a pretty big way (big for me at least)! I had previously been doing a lot of HIIT workouts (3 a week!) combined with hiking (duh), BBG sweat app workouts and Lagree megaformer Pilates. I’ve cut workouts from this list and have replaced those cuts with new workouts that are SO different for me and what I am used to.
Before I get into what the new kids in town are and what didn’t make the cut (for the time being at least) I want to go over the WHY behind cutting out certain workouts.
First of all, I love to lift weights, nothing crazy but squatting and lunging with 30-50 lbs is something that really gets me going. Being able to complete sets of pushups, press heavy weights over my head…all of it just feels good to me- endorphin rush to the extreme! And I have done exactly that for years…which has built a lot of good muscle tone all over my body. In good places like my butt (yay) but also in not so ideal places, like my quads (booo!). And to be completely honest- I don’t want big legs. I want a nice butt, but big quads….yea, that’s a no thanks from me. I know most of you probably feel the same way…and that’s OK! It is 100% OK to want to be strong and fit, but still be long and lean. That’s definitely the look I am after!
Keep in mind though that for my job, I really do have to look a certain way. I need to look lean and in shape…and that equals not too muscular or “bulky”. Maybe one day it that “Hollywood Body” ideal will change, but for now small and lean still reigns supreme…and I signed up for it so I’m not complaining, just pointing out a very obvious observation. My looks and my body are a part of my package as an actor. It doesn’t matter how great I can deliver lines…if I don’t look the part for the role, I’m not going to get it. Now, not every role requires an actress to look thin or “perfect” but the great majority of them do- especially for me. Again, this is me just being completely honest here, and sometimes the truth isn’t so pretty!
AND another fun fact- I usually book more jobs when I’m thinner. Like everyone else, my weight can fluctuate over the months and years (and it certainly has) and I 100% get more roles when I’m on the thinner side of my sliding weight fluctuation scale. And I get it. It’s not how I want things to be…but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it other than observe and adjust accordingly. I’m fully aware that this topic may upset some people, especially since we are living in a progressive time where body love is such a widely embraced philosophy- a philosophy that I too embrace and am so proud of. BUT the rules for me as an actor (along with my peers) isn’t as warm and fuzzy as many people would like you to believe.
SO..let’s get into my new routines that focus on fat loss and lean muscle mass! If you read my post about “bulky” then you know this unfortunate true statement: you can’t simultaneously lose fat and weight while also building muscle. You can strengthen your muscles while losing fat…but when you lose fat, you will also lose a little muscle in the process. You have to chose one or the other…or at least be ok with some muscle loss along the way. I’ve decided I’m OK with that. I have a good amount of muscle definition that I love and now I really want to focus on losing fat. I don’t have a lot to lose, but I do have some I want to lose- my focus is losing inches in my waist and my thighs.
With all of that said and out of the way, I would love to share my new weekly routine. Well, it’s only been two weeks haha- I act like I’m a pro at this already! Far from it. I’m still in the very beginning stages of this new routine but so far I love it. I’m already seeing results and that is totally motivating me to keep it up instead of just going back to the workouts and eating patterns I lived with before.
My Weekly Workout Routine
Lagree Method Megaformer Pilates:
This I LOVE and do twice per week on non-consecutive days. This type of Pilates is HARD- not like those mat classes you may know. Lagree Pilates works my abs better than anything else. It also really targets the booty without relying on the quads in the same way a lot of floor work does. Isolated booty and ab work is a win win for me! I go to carries Pilates plus and Pilates platinum in LA. In NYC, SLT was a favorite.
I have been running 2-3 times per week, 3-4 miles each time. I love running. Many of you probably already know I ran two marathons and a bunch of half marathons. Yes, I’m one of those crazy people haha! But I fell off from running for a while because I broke my leg during my second marathon. That was almost exactly 3 years ago now! Whenever I’m away for work on location, I run run run to workout but never really do it at home….until now! I’ve been running in LA 2-4 times per week and will sometimes do a run ion the same day as a Pilates class to compliment it. A little cardio, a little strength…the perfect balance.
I still love my hikes and always will! I will do a hike about 3 days a week to get some steps in after a day spent driving around in my car. I like this because I was so used to logging so many miles on foot when I lived in NYC for 9 years. Moving to LA 2.5 years ago really put a damper on how much I walk daily!! So I add in mini hikes a lot just to keep moving. I also use hikes as times to catch up with friends, learn lines for auditions and listen to my favorite podcasts. Multitasking while also making my Fitbit happy-woo!
I’ll do this maybe once a week now, or not at all. I still love it and find it so fun so I can’t get rid of it completely! Plus, I really do think HIIT classes are so great for strengthening your cardio endurance as well as your muscles! I have just cut back A LOT.
John Benton Model Fitness:
NOW, this is the very new one…and I’m pretty much obsessed. Let me start by saying that this style of working out was pretty much the opposite of anything I thought would work for me and it’sthe type of workout I would turn my nose up at in the past. I fell into that all-too-familiar judgey fitness attitude…anyone else know what I’m talking about? It’s that “I’m way better than THAT” feeling you get when you see a girl doing inner thigh pulses on the floor instead of picking up a heavy set of dumbbells to squat with. Stupid, I know…but I think a lot of us are guilty of it. Anyway…this workout WORKS! END OF STORY!
After seeing a friends results and basically stalking his Instagram page, I decided to hit up JB and get the details of his programming and sign up. He gave me a nutrition guideline plan and workouts I can do anywhere that require minimal equipment…like super minimal- I’m talking a pair of 3 lb ankle weights and a wash cloth. I love that because I can take them with me anywhere and there’s no excuse- I can do the workouts in my living room while watching Vanderpump Rules or in a hotel room or a gym. Pick your adventure is my favorite adventure.
I’ve been doing the workouts and following his nutrition program for 2.5 weeks so far and I’ve already lost half an inch in my waist line and I look a little tighter everywhere. AND my butt hasn’t shrunk at all thus far- yay! Gotta love keeping that booty!
BTW- this is not an ad. I’m just super excited about my new fitness adventure and want to share it with you. Also, I think for me (someone who is already in shape) small tweaks to a routine can make ALL the difference. So the small tweaks I’m making in my fitness is lower weights, higher reps, MORE core isolation, twisting movements and more easy pace running (like a 6 on the treadmill). These tweaks, along with the tweaks made to the timing of my macros are already yielding results I love!
So there it is: my current plan. I workout 5-7 days a week. Sometimes, my rest day still includes a hike or long walk because I always just feel better when I do some type of movement daily. Are you interested in making small tweaks to your routine too? LMK!
Ok bye babes, the beautiful beach in Hawaii is calling my name!