Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Scoop on Healthy Living: Spin Class at Home!

I hope you feel like sweating because I have a quick but intense workout for you! A while ago I discovered my new favorite cardio routine, which can be easily done at the gym if you don't have the equipment at home. 


What to bring:

Smart Phone
Small Towel

Part One: Interval Running and Jogging

I start off my workout on the treadmill, jogging at a brisk pace. I am not a runner, nor can I run fast (seriously ... it's sad), so my goal is to jog a mile in about ten minutes. I find that if I jog before Part Two I am able to work harder and more effectively. I like to include short bursts of running, and return to a jog or quick paced walk. The important part is to warm up your entire body!


Part Two: Spin Bike

Below I've embedded a 20 Minute Interval Training Spin Class by the Global Cycling Network. I'm a total beginner to cycling so I find this video plenty challenging. Also, as soon as it gets easy, you can simply turn up the resistance on your bike to make it harder. Therefore, I think it's the perfect 20 minute cardio workout to work into your day! Check it out below and give it a try next time you're at the gym!

If you're new to this like me, then check out the video below for an explanation on the effort levels.

What's your favorite summer workout? Share it with me on Twitter @danielle0090.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 3-Day Raw Vegan Cleanse (REPOST)

Photo Credit: Kaeng Raeng
It's the new year, which means a lot of us are setting goals for a healthier body and soul. Below, you'll find the most-read post from this blog. I highly recommend the Kaeng Raeng Natural Detox Cleanse and hope this helps you in your new year resolutions.

I wish I was one of those intensely dedicated types that could have done this without the assistance of meals, but I just feel so much better with meals I can chew. I recommend the Kaeng Raeng detox smoothies for anyone struggling with lack of energy, acne, or sleep problems.  It helps me cut back on caffeine, clears my skin, and gets rid of my insomnia (because I drink way too much coffee!)

The best thing about this cleanse is that it makes you think about EVERY single thing you put into your body.  I usually eat super healthy for a month or so after because I get into the habit of avoiding processed, unhealthy foods during the detox.

Here's what you're supposed to do:
Have three smoothies a day, each mixed with 24 to 34oz of water. You can add in ice, raw fruits and veggies to blend to give the shakes more substance (which I recommend). Just make sure you're drinking at least 24 oz water each time!  The shakes replace your meals, so in between shakes, drink lots of water and snack on raw veggies or fruit to get through the day (I recommend apples, snap peas, carrots, and almonds.) The reason I recommend Kaeng Raeng for a detox instead of  home-made green smoothies is because the packets have all the nutrients (probiotics, vitamins, minerals, protein) you need on a daily basis--which is why detoxes that only involve lemon juice, water, and syrup are NOT healthy. You don't want to deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to function, even for a few days!

Side effects:
Be prepared to use the bathroom more frequently since you're drinking more water. Also, if you're anything like me, be prepared for some weird food dreams! If you're addicted to caffeine, you're going to have a headache the first day. I didn't find myself craving "bad" food (brownies, ice cream, cheese-its), but rather flavorful "good" warm food (roasted tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and veggies, etc.)

There are PROS and CONS to going raw for a few days. 
The PROS are pretty obvious: it is so good for you and it takes barely any time to prepare meals. It's also only THREE DAYS of your life. This is a very achievable and realistic goal.

The CONS: It can be expensive if you don't already have a lot of the ingredients on hand (kaeng raeng starts at about $50 and raw produce can especially add up when you buy them all at once). For me, it also felt restrictive -- you probably won't want to eat with friends during the detox to avoid temptations.

My Experience:

What I did:
I went on a raw vegan diet for three days and only had two smoothies a day. My roommate did the detox with me, making it 1000 times easier than the first time. It is so much easier if you have someone for emotional support, even it is just so you can laugh about your weird food dreams together.

Breakfast and Lunch:
I had a Kaeng Raeng smoothie mixed with 32 oz of water and a fruit (pineapple or apples) and veggies (spinach, kale, carrots). Each smoothie took me about an hour to drink and filled me up! However, by dinner I didn't want to drink any more. I'd drunk water and smoothies all day and needed something I could sit down and chew.

Remember, the smoothies replace meals, so if you're going to have one raw vegan meal a day like I did, you will only need two smoothies a day (or you'll probably take in too many calories).

Day 1: Sweet and Sour Veggie salad
I used any raw veggie I had in the fridge: carrots, cucumber, spinach, kale, romaine, cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet onion. I also added some strawberries and apples. I chopped it all up and squeezed some fresh lemon juice over it and sprinkled on some pepper.

Day 2: "Couscous" salad
Throw some cauliflower in a food processor and blend it until it is the texture of couscous. Add garbanzo beans and finely chopped carrots, cucumber, and crimini mushrooms. The dressing was a mixture of nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), olive oil (raw, cold-pressed), and raw agave nectar. This recipe was modified from Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less . This was seriously delicious, I will be making this again for dinner at least once a month. [EDIT June 2012: this does not keep well in the fridge, best to eat it the night you make it, or eat without the dressing the next day]

Day 3: "Creamy" Mushrooms Soup 
Also adapted from Everyday Raw Express. In a food processor or blender, combine two handfuls of mushrooms (baby bellas, criminis, what ever your have), 2 handfuls of cashews, handful of walnuts, some fresh taragon, spoonful of olive oil, 1/4 cup of white miso, and cold water until consistency is to your liking (around 2 Cups). Add salt and pepper to taste. After blending, I chopped up more baby bellas to give the soup more texture. This soup was pretty good taste wise, but I found it too watery. My recommendation is slowly add in water until you reach the desired consistency. The original recipe called for 6 cups.

Major KUDOS to those of you who eat raw all the time (or even vegan). You are super humans! 

Have you ever done a cleanse or detox? I want to hear about your experience! Tweet me at @danielle0090.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Beauty Scoop: Josie Maran Argan Oil


In the spirit of the whole "new year, new you" theme that takes over our lives this time of year, I wanted to share this beauty scoop with all of you.

Over the past few months, I have used a bunch of Jose Maran products. I find the best price for this brand is usually when it is on QVC. (Like most beauty junkies, I love QVC!)

The one product that has really stuck out to me is the Argan Oil.

Lately I have been using Josie Maran Argan Oil along with a retinol cream on a nightly basis as my skin treatment. That's all! I wash and exfoliate my face, and then apply it.

Here's how I do it:
- I squeeze out a pea sized amount of retinol cream
- I squeeze about 2-3 drops of Argan Oil
- I mix the two between my finger tips
- I apply it to my face and neck, dabbing in small circles.

This has been working wonders for me. Other than a breakout from too much sugar and junk around Christmas, I haven't had any major breakouts since starting this routine and I feel like I am finally able to get the retinol cream to cover my entire face by mixing it with the oil. Before, I would get concentrated amounts in one spot and this would cause peeling. I've been using this routine since October so I feel confident in saying that it's working well.

TIP: If you have sensitive skin like me, try to fight the urge to exfoliate every day. I find that exfoliating every other day with my Prosonic actually makes my skin look better than doing it every day. Just make sure on your in between day you're washing your makeup off really well. I've been using the St Ives "Blemish Control Green Tea Gel Cleanser", but any basic cleanser that doesn't leave your skin feeling dry and tight will do.

What are your go-to skin products? Share then with me on twitter @danielle0090

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year! Strive for a Better You!

Photo Credit: MSN News
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2014. I can't believe how fast 2013 flew by. I don't know if you all set resolutions every year, but I definitely do. This year, I tried to aim for smaller for accomplishable goals so that I don't feel overwhelmed.

Here they are:
1.) Hike with my dog more often, in more places.
2.) Make healthier lunch choices

If you'd like some guidance on setting goals, then check out this article: "New year, new you – how to achieve your goals in 2014" by MSN News.

If you're up for more substantial reading, then I'd recommend reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. There are tons of great tips regarding planning and motivation that you may find helpful.

Good luck in 2014! May you realize all your goals!

Feel like sharing? Send your resolutions to me on Twitter @danielle0090!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Sevilla Travel Tales

Maybe I should start calling these Travel Thursday since that seems to be what I always want to throwback to! I wanted to share my trip to Sevilla with all of you for a couple reasons. 1. It was super warm there, and I am currently freezing. 2. It was one of the first places I visited in my entire life that took my breath away.

I took hundreds of photos in Sevilla because I was there for four days, and here are a few. Man was it hot there! It was in the high 80s and mid 90s all week and it doesn't cool down much at night. I learned the importance of siesta in Sevilla, its almost required to deal with the heat. Also, everything closes so napping or walking around were my only choices. Overall, I absolutely loved Sevilla and hope I can return someday for a longer stay.
View from Seville Cathedral

View from Seville Cathedral
Plaza de Toros

Inside Alcazar

Inside Alcazar

Plaza de Espana
Plaza de Espana
Have you been to Spain? Tell me about your experience below!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Scoop on Healthy Living: Weekly Round-up on Healthy Eating

Winter is here. It's in full swing, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. I don't know about you, but winter is my hardest season when it comes to making healthy decisions. I struggle with all the yummy, hot comfort food that makes those oh-so-cold days so much more bearable. And don't even get me started on exercising. When it's cold, all I want to do is bundle up on the couch with my dog and watch movies.  For the much needed motivation to stay healthy during the holidays, I turn to my magazine subscriptions and newsfeed on Twitter for inspiration. Below is a weekly round-up of articles to help us all keep on making healthy decisions.

Reader's Digest : "How to Make These 8 Superfoods Even Healthier"

A good reminder of why blueberries, garlic, olive oil, broccoli, yogurt, oats, flaxseed, and cinnamon are great additions to your everyday diet.

Self Magazine: "Lightened-Up Comfort Food (Under 400 Calories Each!)"

Did I mention I am all about comfort food in the winter months? Well I fully believe those foods can be enjoyed, as long as reasonable portions are eaten. In this article, Self provides 15 lightened recipes that let us indulge without growing that winter bulge.

Read it here:

Beautylish: "Juice Your Way to Detoxification" 

I am a huge fan of juicing. Not only do I feel like I'm getting a ton of nutrients and vitamins from the source, it also gives me so much energy! I am looking forward to giving this recipe a try.

Read it here:

Where do you turn for motivation to stay healthy during the holidays? Share it with me on twitter @danielle0090

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Travel Temptation Loire Valley

I think the castles in Loire Valley must have been the inspiration behind many of the Disney princess movies. I definitely felt the child inside me perk up at the sight of grand and historic Chateaus. Loire Valley was my favorite place on my two month trip through Europe. Check out the photos below:

I hope I can go back to Loire Valley and visit the other dozen or so chateaus. I had so much fun exploring this area, and recommend that if you go in the summer to take one of the many bike routes between the chateaus. The country side is just as beautiful.

I have such a strong urge to go back here! I seriously fell in love with this part of France and can't wait to go back. Guess I will be spending the next year saving pennies again! I'm going to make this happen!

What is your favorite place in the world? Is there a place you've been you're dying to go back to? What about a place you haven't been? Share it with me in the comment section!

Thanks for reading!