What my ears are loving

My sister will be the first to tell you, I’m not hip to the music scene, however….. I just made a new playlist and it’s making me so happy, I just have to share it. This one is all alternative, sorry dancers. Stay tuned for a faster playlist soon.

ENJOY!

 

The holidays are here! I know it’s hard to believe. I put on my tights this week and now it officially feels like fall.

We have been hosting Thanksgiving just about every year since 2008. I’d like to think we’re getting pretty good at. One year we even managed to make dinner and attend the Thanksgiving Day Parade (yes, it’s totally worth going).

Before everyone runs to the grocery store/co-op/farmer’s market this week, I wanted to share my Thanksgiving favorites. I also found these printables and can’t wait to try them out.

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Pre-Thanksgiving Cocktail

  • Pumpkin-tini – I can’t find the recipe, but I make it every year so here it goes: vodka, pumpkin, vanilla soy creamer/canned coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice and fresh nutmeg. Alternatively, here is a fancier version.

Dinner

  • Turkey – we ordered our heritage turkey from 4505 Meats in the city. I’ve been told it’s great, but can’t speak to it since I’m fish and veggies only. This year, my husband wants to smoke the bird, but in years past he has perfected the apple cider brine.
  • Citrus Glazed Carrots – we leave the sugar out since the orange juice sweetens it just enough.
  • Pureed Butternut Squash – One of the easiest things to make: Roast squash with coconut oil, salt and pepper and puree with butter. Delish
  • Pumpkin Tempeh – Marinate tempeh in pumpkin butter and then grill. Okay, yes, it has sugar in it, but it’s oh-so-good and it’s my Thanksgiving protein.
  • My Mom’s Famous Stuffing – It’s not just me – everyone loves it.
    • Heat oil in a big pot, then saute’ 3 chopped onions and 1 bunch of celery. Add 2.5 boxes of veggie broth and bring to a boil (veggies should be soft, not soggy) Add tbsp of poultry season and sage and let cool. Add 2-3 bags of regular whole wheat croutons and 1 bag of cornbread croutons. Fold in to avoid sogginess. If dry, add water or more broth. Cover with foil and bake for 30 mins at 350. Remove foil, shave carrots on top and bake for another 30 mins.
  • Grain Free Stuffing – This is intensive, but totally worth it. I’d also recommend using Elena’s bread recipe which is included in these instructions.
  • Aunt Theresa’s Mushroom Gravy – I don’t know why I don’t make this every week it’s so good.
    • Here is how it’s done: Saute’ onions in oil, add chopped mushrooms (a lot), add garlic and set aside. Using the same pan, add 4 tbsp of flour and start stirring like crazy to brown it. Then slowly begin adding 4 cups of veggie broth – stir like you’ve never stirred before. Once it thickens, add the oniony mixture, grate fresh ginger and add all those Thanksgiving spices (thyme, sage, salt, pepper, etc). Add water to thin if needed.

Dessert

Happy Thanksgiving planning!

My go-to snacks

Paleo, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Raw, Okinawa….are you confused yet? Portlandia aired a hilarious skit on death by confusion. It’s definitely worth the four minutes of your time.

I’m not going to tell you how to eat, although you may find this video from MindBodyGreen debating the best diet interesting. I try to follow Paleo or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (both grain and sugar free), however, I believe you have to find what works for you.

Regardless of your preference, there are many rules that transcend every food movement. Remove processed foods, eat lots of veggies and protein, avoid sugar and make it part of your lifestyle. Agree?

The only way to successfully follow these general guidelines is to be prepared. We all know that it can’t humanly be done 100% of the time. Here are some of my go-to snacks for when I’m having a busy day.

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  • Larabars – be careful, a few of the flavors do have sugar in it.
  • Olives – I always go for green.
  • Salmon jerky – I have only found this at my farmer’s market, but I have to believe it exists elsewhere.
  • Pistachios – Try the spicy ones!
  • Plantain chips & salsa – not the best because it’s still a starch, but they are delish and great in a pinch.
  • Almond butter shake – my version is made with almond milk, whey protein (unsweetened), almond butter and a banana.
  • Spinach/Ginger smoothie – almond milk, spinach, fresh ginger, one banana and whey protein.
  • Grain-free granola – I buy Steve’s Paleo Goods and it’s like dessert – eat accordingly.

If you have any others, please share. I’m always looking to add to my list.

xoxo

No really, how are you?

How many times a day are you asked, “how are you?” Likely, it’s more times than you’d care to count (add +10 if you live on the west coast). And how many times do you answer the question honestly? It has become as common as a hello, and while it’s well-intended, it’s just not genuine.

As a pilates instructor, I was taught to ask every person, HOW DOES YOUR BODY FEEL TODAY. It’s an incredibly important question for me teaching you, but it’s also a question we should ask ourselves everyday.

Our bodies can tell us so much – tightness can equate to stress while a lack of feeling anything can be our body’s ultimate defense mechanism. Have you ever felt a wave of sleepiness suddenly rush over you during an uncomfortable situation? It literally feels like someone has just powered you off? Hello, defenses.

Days are busy and those computers-in-our-pockets sure can take up a lot of time, but can you spare 3 minutes? I try to do this short 3 minute check-in while I’m riding the bus a few times per week. Try it out.

3 Minute Check-in

  • If there are a lot of distractions where you happen to be, plug in your head phones and turn on some music.
  • Take 15 slow breaths.
  • While you breathe in and out fully, do you notice places in your body that seem to block the air? If so, try to focus on those areas.
  • Take another 15 slow breaths.
  • This time, try to focus on anything you felt from the first breaths you took. If there was tension, ask yourself why. If there was fear, let your self feel it. If there was sadness, be kind to yourself. If you don’t feel anything unusual, think about what you’re grateful for.
  • Slowly open your eyes…and smile.

You get the idea, it’s not rocket science, but please, take of yourself a little bit too – even if it’s just for three minutes.

So, how does your body feel today?

Motivate Me

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I’m often asked what my workout routine is each week. I benefit from a calming effect post-workout which makes me very motivated to move most days. I’m hoping you can benefit from some of the ideas below.

Two editorial notes. 1. I don’t belong to a gym at the moment – my schedule is too hectic to predict and I’ve been loving trying out new workouts; 2. I avoid running and jumping in order to protect the knees I ruined after 25 years of soccer. It’s a hard truth.

Here are my go-to workouts:

  • Pilates – First and foremost I do pilates at least three times per week. Needless to say, I’m totally a pilates nerd and will happily tell you why in a future post. If you can’t afford privates or even group classes, Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology offer online classes for less than $20 per month. However, I strongly suggest beginning with 3-4 private sessions with an instructor that was certified in a 600 hour apprentice program.
  • Nike Training Cluba free app that lets you choose 15/30/45 minute strength training sorted by beginner, intermediate or advanced. You can also filter by “Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, Get Focused.” And if you’re a trophy kid, the more workouts you finish the more workouts Nike will add to your app.
  • Yoga – I try to do yoga once a week although I have to be super careful to hold my core together when back-bending, but I’m a sucker for handstands. San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral offers a free yoga class on Tuesday evening if you’re around.
  • Videos, leotard not mandatory – I have a few go-to videos in order to mix it up. I’m currently rotating between The Brazilian Butt Lift and the Dailey Method dvds.
  • Rock Climbing – I try to climb at least once a week, although I’d love to make it twice. You cannot climb without your core, enough said.
  • Spin/Barre/TRX – I usually switch off between one of these each week or so. I pay per class which may not be the most economical, but I need a little group motivation at least once a week.

What are your go-to workouts? #motivateme

Hello world

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I am so excited to launch my new blog, Sweat Laugh Love.

This small slice of the world is dedicated to fitness, health and happiness. I am a sharer by nature making this a prime blogging adventure.

Before you commit to following, let me tell you a bit more about myself.

  • I love to move, like really love (verb chosen carefully). I climb, bike, ski, hike, kayak, SUP and swim. I’m always exploring new exercise classes for HIT, pilates, yoga, bar and TRX.
  • I fight a daily battle to eliminate grains and sugar (note: does not include alcohol).
  • In 2011, I decided I wanted to work in the fitness industry so I began my two-year apprenticeship in New York studying classical pilates. I finished my certification in 2013 and have been teaching in the Bay Area ever since.
  • My perfect weekend would include great food, friends, camping and dancing. Let me know if you want to join me.

Enough about me, I’d love to hear about you. Please comment or send me a note (pilates love at icloud dot com) to introduce yourself and let me know what you’d like to see, hear and click on from this space.