Getting your greens in shouldn’t have to suck! I will be the first to admit I am not much of a salad aficionado and have only added them into my diet regularly as of recently. It has taken me a long time to figure out what kind of salads I like outside of dressing heavy take-out salads from restaurants. Homemade salads used to be a huge turn off for me mostly because I did not understand how to combine ingredients to make something that not only was good for me but that also tasted good and was filling enough to keep me satisfied post meal.
Kale has always been one of my favorite leafy greens, but it is bitter when eaten raw and can burn in the oven easily. I have experimented with kale-based salads in the past but have always felt dissatisfied with the flavor or combination of ingredients. After some experimenting and an on the fly pot-luck holiday gathering I finally created the perfect summer salad!
This salad recipe was actually one that I found on Pinterest for a 4th of July BBQ and then have modified to add some extra leafy green volume for a workday lunch meal. Here is my easy and colorful Greek inspired summer salad!
- 150 Grams of Raw, Peeled Cucumber, Chopped
- 50 Grams of Red Onion
- 50 Grams of Cherry Tomatoes, Halved (* Can sub for any tomato of choice)
- 10 Grams of Kalamata Olives, Chopped
- 1-2 Tablespoons of Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 50 – 100 Grams of Raw Kale (Depending on your desired volume/ration of toppings to lettuce)
- 12 Grams of Peppered Salami, Sliced Thin
- 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing
Simply chop and combine all ingredients, pour and mix dressing then serve!
Hope you enjoy and check out my Instagram stories for more of my daily meals and healthy recipe ideas! @who.wod.wear
I cannot hide it anymore… I am absolutely blushing and crushing for Glossier Cloud Paint! I used to be a mascara or no make-up type of girl until I found Glossier cosmetics. Mascara and some eyeliner or lip color used to be my go-to easy beauty look, until I stared getting more and more into blush!
As a resident pasty human, a healthy flush takes me from blah to babe in a second. I have tried all kinds of blushes under the sun from, cream/stick to powder and everything in between but nothing has really made me feel any kind of way. Up until now I had been using an old Clinique cream blush stick, which worked just find but was nothing magical and often looked a bit fake on my skin because of the unnatural pinkness of the shade.
Glossier has always intrigued me with their no-frills marketing and seemingly easy to use and mix/match products, but I had held out for a long time on purchasing any of their items because I am not much of a make-up guru and prefer to keep my routine simple. I also am not the kind of girl who likes to splurge on makeup because I usually sweat if off by the time I head out to my evening workout. Clothes, bags, shoes are much more my vibe when it comes to investing in high quality basics, however I have started to invest in some better beauty brands and products as of recently. Buying, clean, no BS make-up is super important to me, this stuff goes your skin for crying out loud! I also believe in supporting women owned business that do not believe in profiting off of your insecurities and systemic diet culture. Glossier does just that! Their whole brand is built on easy, no frills make-up and skincare products designed to make you feel like your most beautiful and natural self.
Enter Cloud Paint! Cloud Paint is the easiest to use blush I have ever tried, just dot a tiny amount on your cheeks, blend and you have the most natural looking fresh-faced flush I have ever seen. For my skin tone, I opted for their coral shade called “Dawn” but was super torn over whether I should go more peach or more orange, but I am glad I went for coral! The color looks so natural on me that I can barely tell the difference between my natural flushed face tone and the cloud paint I dotted on. A tiny dot also goes a long way! A pin or ½ a penny sized amount is literally all you need to brighten up your face. Just dot, blend and go! No more piling my blush brush to the brim with overly pink powder. One thing to note is that this stuff comes out of the bottle/packaging quickly and if you are not careful you will get it all over your face, body and hands creating a sticky coral mess, so be super careful when squeezing it out!
I love that cloud paint does not make me feel weighted down with powdery pinkness and does not sweat off in the summer heat. I feel cute and cool with my coral cheeks to sun, whether I am running from work to the gym or going to brunch with girlfriends.
If you are a pale friend like me, I highly recommend investing in some cloud paint! Blush and crush hard my friends and don’t be shocked in cloud paint makes you goo goo for Glossier!
Are you surrounding yourself with positive voices and a strong support network? The company you keep can have a huge impact on your habits and lifestyle choices. If your friends and family don’t support your health and fitness habits I can almost guarantee you are going to have a harder time making the chances necessary to reach your goals.
If your friends or significant other are constantly ragging on you and making you feel guilty for your choices then maybe you need to think about having a conversation with them about how their comments are making you feel. You may need to work on setting up boundaries with that person that allow you to feel safe making the choices that are best for you or consider weather that relationship is really positively contributing to your life. But also take into consideration why those comments are making you feel uncomfortable! Are they trying to help you or hurt you? Are they trying to help you find balance and let go of negative food behaviors or are they projecting their now insecurities onto you?
One space where I felt particularly vulnerable in terms of support was at my corporate office workplace. A lot of my co workers made me feel guilty when they saw me logging my food in MyFitnessPal or would make backhanded comments about how I must be some kind of weirdo with no friends if my idea of fun is going to the gym on Thursday night instead of happy hour. I eventually had to ignore their rude remarks and learned to lean into my workplace identity as the “fitness freak” and decided that if these are the people I offend with new found healthy habits then I am perfectly okay with that because clearly their remarks aimed at me were coming from a place of insecurity and frustration with their own lifestyle and habits.
This fear of negative feedback about my fitness and food habits also bled over into my romantic life when I started dating the summer after I graduated college. When I first started dating my current boyfriend Kyle I had a really hard time balancing my dating life and my fitness goals. I was scare to be so honest and open about my personal life with someone I had just met and was starting to have feelings for, and I was terrified that he would think less of me because of my disordered habits with food and exercise. The other fear I had was that he wouldn’t want to date someone who weighs their food and likes to wake up at 5 AM to workout so for a long time I tried to tone down my love for fitness and healthy eating in an effort to make myself more desirable or “date-able”.
I felt liberated and safe and supported when I confided in my boyfriend about my issues with food and my body and since then he has become my biggest cheerleader and ally! But not everyone in my life was this supportive of me and in the process of bettering myself I have definitely polarized some people. There were plenty of people who shamed me for choosing to workout on Saturday morning instead of going to bottomless brunch or who made faces when I brought my pre packed, pre weighted meals to work.
While there were a ton of people turned off by my lifestyle and habit changes, there were also a lot of people cheering me on along the way! My family, in particular was super supportive of my lifestyle changes and helped me immensely along the way. My brother helped with adjusting my macros and my dad would send me Black Iron Nutrition blog posts and healthy recipes. All around me I felt an immense amount of love and support which was so important for me on days when I felt like giving up or like my goals were too far away from reach.
Be sure to evaluate your social circle when embarking on any type of weight loss journey. You may be shocked to find out how many of your friends and family members want to help and see you succeed at your goals! Building a strong support network will help to remind you of why you started and should hopefully make changing your habits easier, you may even inspire those around you to change as well.
I hate eating the same meals on repeat week after week! Nothing bores me more than a simple chicken, rice and broccoli style dinner. I absolutely love cooking and trying new things but also like to keep my weekday meals simple and quick for busy nights after I come back from work and the gym. One go to for me is an easy stir fry dish were I can throw some protein and veggies in a pan and mix up a simple soy sauce based dressing and call it a day.
Rice is definitely a staple in my diet but there are only so many nights I can eat some variation of rice, protein and vegetables before I feel bloated and weighted down by the rice baby I am growing. Enter stage, my new favorite cooking staple, bib lettuce! Last weekend I took a trip to my local farmers market on Old South Pearl Street in the University neighborhood of Denver and found some gorgeous bib lettuce heads that I could not ignore.
Lettuce is a super tricky produce item for me to buy since it goes bad/rots super quickly in the fridge if I do not utilize it fast enough, but I was determined to make this lettuce last me for the week! My friend, Julie who is severely allergic to gluten and grains, inspired me to try making some lettuce wraps as an alternative to weekly chicken stir fry bowls or taco bowls.
Here is my recipe for an easy, Thai peanut style chicken sauté that makes for an amazing lettuce wrap or rice bowl dinner! Note, I also tried this recipe with frozen shrimp and I found that the shrimp flavor was too mild and got super lost in the toppings and sauce but really any protein option will work for this recipe, even tofu.
- 2 Tablespoons of Thai Peanut Mildly Spicy Marinate and Dipping Sauce from San-J
- 1 Teaspoon of honey
- 1 Lime or 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 3 Tablespoons of soy sauce
- 3-4 pieces of bib style lettuce head
- 6 Ounces of raw chicken breast **(Substitute protein of choice)
- 50 Grams of white mushrooms chopped
- 80 Grams of white onion chopped
- 50 Grams of sugar snap peas
- 30 Grams of shredded carrot
- 15 Grams of chopped green onion
- 13 Grams of roasted peanuts **(Substitute almonds or skip if allergic to nuts)
- First, chop and weigh out the onion, carrots, snap peas, mushrooms and chicken
- Portion out roughly 15 grams of carrot and 20 grams of snap peas for garnish and chop up the green onions and set them all aside for later.
- Grease or oil your pan with your fat of choice, I usually use avocado oil spray but any olive oil or coconut oil will work. Add the carrots, snap peas, mushrooms and onions to the pan and begin sautéing until the onions are a bit brown.
- Next, add your chicken to the pan with the veggies and start cooking and mixing it all together. Add salt, black pepper, red pepper and garlic seasoning to the pan and distribute around the mixture.
- Mix the soy sauce, honey and lime juice to create a sticky sauce and pour it over the chicken an veggie mixture letting to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Let the sauce bubble and thicken as it coats the chicken and veggies making a nice caramelization. Finish once the chicken or other protein is cooked to your desire. I personally like to get a nice crisp or burn on my chicken before I call it done!
- Weigh out your peanuts, put them in a ziplock bag then crush them up with a bottle or meat pounder for an added crispy topping for your wraps.
- Scoop the chicken mixture into your lettuce boats and top with the crushed nuts, raw carrot, snap peas and green onions that were set aside earlier.
- Pour the spicy peanut sauce in a small dish and either drizzle on top of your wraps or if you so dare, dip the wraps directly into the sauce.
This recipe is so versatile, weather you are a rice lover or a lettuce lover, this recipe is super tasty and will quickly become a crowd favorite. Simply swap the protein or opt for rice instead of lettuce wraps and you have a totally new meal. These also make for a great party appetizer! This recipe can easily be used to create a lettuce wrap bar and have guests mix and match veggies, sauces, toppings and proteins for endless options and even more customization.
For more tasty treats check out my Instagram stories and highlights @who.wod.wear
I used to think that as long as I hit my calorie goal, I was being healthy and was on track to reach my fitness goals. Prior to working my first nutritionist Jen, I had no understanding of how to properly eat for performance or health. My idea of a health snack was artificial sweetener filled Skippy peanut butter bites or a 1000 ingredient list protein bar. I had no concept of what a micronutrient was and all I cared about was hitting my protein and calorie goals.
Jen helped me understand that it is not just enough to hit your calorie goal and that if I am not getting enough micronutrients in my diet chances are I am not eating for optimal performance or health. I was blown away by how these simple changes helped me to feel better and I found that by working to eat a more wholesome and balanced diet I had more energy and felt fuller longer leading to less binging or overeating.
By working to eliminate or swap out highly processed foods in favor of whole, nutrient dense foods I found that I was sleeping better, lifting better and experiencing a lot less bloating. My cravings also went down and I found that I was making healthier choices more often because I was focusing on how foods made me feel rather than trying to just hit my calorie goal.
Eating healthy is not complicated nor should it be! Simple swaps can make all the difference in helping to get more micronutrients in your diet. Swapping fruit for chips or jerky instead of protein shakes are some easy changes to cut out unnecessary additives and sugar. The biggest shift for me was focusing on eating 2-3 different colors at each meal. By actively trying to eat a variety of whole, nutrient dense foods of various colors I found that I was creating a lot of fun meals that were not only tasty but also more filling. Now this isn’t to say that you should cut out all process foods and avoid all of the tasty snacks you love. The idea is to create more variety and balance in our eating habits and to try new things!
An example of this could be swapping your daily Diet Coke for a La Croix or making your weekday lunch turkey sandwich into a salad for a change. One change I made this week was swapping my usual stir fry rice bowl for lettuce wraps instead and trying sweet potatoes for my brunch hash instead of white potatoes. While rice and white potatoes are not bad or unhealthy at all, sweet potatoes and lettuce provide more micronutrients and add more color to my plate than their beige counter parts.
All foods have value and a place in our diets (yes, even pizza and ice cream!) however some foods make us feel better than others. I know that after eating a greasy pepperoni pizza I do not feel my best and that I do feel my best after having a well-balanced, colorful meal filled with wholesome macro and micronutrient dense foods.
You might be shocked at how much these small changes can make a big impact on your overall mood and performance! So, I encourage you to eat the rainbow and find new whole foods and healthy snacks that satisfy your cravings and add color and variety to your plate.
None likes a boring bowl of food, so get weird with your post work out eats, try something new! You might be surprised at how tasty the rainbow truly is.
Who doesn’t love a quick and easy weekend brunch! Often times my weekends are even more packed than my weekdays. Being the busy bee that I am my weekends are nearly always filled with errands, social events, workouts and outdoor activities, so finding time to make healthy meals is always a challenge!
Here is one of my favorite healthy eats that takes less than 10 minutes to cook…All you need are the below ingredients:
- ½ Cup of red onion chopped
- ½ Medium green bell pepper chopped
- 1-2 Large eggs
- ¼ Cup of pepper jack cheese
- 1 Jimmy Dean fully cooked turkey breakfast sausage chopped
- ½ Strip of applewood smoked bacon chopped
- 1 Teaspoon of olive oil or 1 spray of trader joes olive oil cooking spray
- 3 Teaspoons of pico de gallo
- 3 Teaspoons of hatch green chili
- 3 Mission small street taco corn tortillas
Recipe yields roughly ~3 street style tacos
- First step is to spray or oil your pan and chop up the veggies and meat.
- Next once your pan is hot and ready, sauté the chopped bell peppers, onions and protein until browned.
- Once the veggies are cooked, crack and add the eggs to the pan and begin scrambling/mixing the ingredients together. Continue to sauté the egg, meat and veggie mixture until cooked to your desired consistency.
- Portion scrambled mixture into the tortillas, top with cheese and salsa then serve!
What I love about this recipe in the versatility and ability to make it your own! You can sub most of the ingredients for other options, whether that be red bell peppers instead of green ones or cotija cheese instead of pepper jack. No matter what alternate ingredient options you choose is sure to be a fan favorite!
I have been passionate about fashion and style since I was in third grade. My family and friends used to call me Coco, short for Coco Chanel, when I was little because I was so vocal about my love for being fashionable and on trend. I even tried to start a fashion magazine when I was nine years old, and organized a fashion show for my elementary school! This passion grew and provided me the drive to become a campus fashion blogger in college through CollegeFashionista and eventually prompted me to intern for a fashion focused PR agency in New York City before I graduated college. Little did I know I would move to Denver permanently and become a lover of Birkenstocks!
Despite being a fashion lover, clothing shopping and picking outfits has been a sore spot for me for as long as I can remember. Being in a bigger body when I was younger was a source of a lot of discomfort and frustration for me growing up. I never looked like the models I saw in magazines or actors on TV and always felt like fashion was reserved for those in more desirable shapes than my own. I tried every diet in the book and was constantly at war with myself because I never looked the same as the girls in magazines and every time I went shopping I was crushed to find out the latest fashion trends did not look the same on me as on others. I struggled with my weight on and off throughout high school and college, eventually getting to a place where I felt like I guess I should just give up and accept that I will never feel at peace or hell ever confident in myself. Luckily, that all changed when I approached my last semester of undergrad at the University of Denver.
Three years ago I was inspired to change my life drastically. I was tired of feeling self conscious and hiding behind friends in photos and twisting my body at weird angles in the mirror hoping that I would wake up one morning magically different. I wanted to feel confident and free from the negative voice in my head that picked apart my body when I didn’t fit into the clothes I so desperately wanted to wear. In the summer of 2017 I began a journey that would soon change my life, I decided I wanted to be “healthy”. At the time I thought that meant losing the extra 30 pounds I had on my body but little did I know it would be so much more than that. Along the way I made some mistakes, treated my body poorly and lost myself a little bit however in the last year and half I have been able to find my stride.
Since 2017 I have successfully lost and kept off the pounds and have come to not only love my body but I am working towards body neutrality. I am finally at a point of acceptance with my body where it is at and am grateful for all that my body allows me to do. I have also found a sense of love and respect for myself that allows me to work towards a better me, both mentally and physically.
Crossfit and yoga have provided me a safe space to move and challenge my body with intention and love and not from a place hate. In the past I have tried to hate myself skinny to find that when you finally reach that goal number you will not be any happier with your life. Finding an exercise routine that works for me has taken me a long time and I am so grateful for my past experiences for those have all helped me in shaping who I am and who I want to become. This blog was created to help me speak my truth and share the advice, wisdom and words that have helped me on my journey to build the happiest and healthiest version of myself. Get ready for more about my healthy habits and body confidence coming soon!