fitness

How to Keep It Clean on Vacation

Summer (aka Open Season for Rosé) is upon us; long beach days with seafood and drawn butter, naps instead of workouts, Chardonnay instead of smoothies, sunning instead of swimming, tan lines instead of TRX, the list goes on. It’s part of what we all love about summer right?  Kids are out of school, alarms don’t have to be set, life is slower. But that doesn’t mean we want to undo all of our hard work; after all it’s also bikini season.

I have a few ideas to help us all stay on track this summer.  Let me know if you have any for me to add to the list!

  1. HYDRATE– Like for real, y’all.  I cannot explain to you how much better I feel when I drink TONS of water. Throw in some cucumbers or citrus for added hydration and flavor. Note: seltzer, la croix, iced tea…these are NOT replacements for the real deal h20.  So make sure you have water in you and on you always.
  2. Exercise– I know, I know. You’re on VACATION. But I always feel SO much better when I start every day, even vacation days with some sort of sweat session. Mix it up this summer.  If you’re in a new city, try a new studio or workout. If you’re at the beach, go for a run, swim in the ocean, standup paddle board or give surfing a try. Go on a hike, walk, or just hit the gym for a bit everyday and you will thank me (especially when you’re DONE and those endorphins are flowing!)
  3. Stick to Your Healthy Routine– I needed to remember this on a recent six day trip with my husband. I came home feeling so sluggish and couldn’t understand why. I slept a lot (no baby!), ate well, and exercised regularly. I thought about it later and it must be because I broke from my usual healthy morning routine and my body got a little out of whack wondering what was going on. I start every morning with a TON of liquids. I chase a shot of chlorella and coconut water with warm lemon water mixed with cayenne and turmeric. This is followed by a big glass of ice water, hot green and dandelion tea with Vital Proteins collagen, and finally, a green smoothie with Apple Cider Vinegar.  Well, I didn’t have ANY of these on my trip and started each day with bottled water and the buffet at our resort…not my smartest move. So my advice is if you have some healthy, daily routines and rituals, bring them with you on vacation.
  4. Drink with Caution– It’s vacay, duh, you’re going to want to booze a little (lot).  But be smart about it.  Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris look so good whizzing by your pool chair on a silver platter BUT DON’T DO IT. They are full of sugar, chemicals AND alcohol and loaded with tons of crap and calories. Opt for your liquor of choice mixed with ice water and fresh citrus (detox!) or a white wine spritzer (half wine, half sparkling water). Also see rule 1, HYDRATE while you booze.
  5. Eat What’s Fresh– This is a good rule of thumb for every day life but especially on vacation.  We were in Turks and Caicos where the local delicacy is conch. Sure, you can get it fried but we chose to have conch ceviche everyday. Loaded with veggies, citrus, and conch, it was cold and refreshing and super healthy.
  6. Wear Sunscreen– I had to throw this in there. Y’all.  WEAR SUNSCREEN.  That is all.
  7. Jump right back into your fitness and clean eating routine when you get home. I used to think I needed (deserved) a day or two to ease back into the crazy of life after a vacation. Maybe that meant ordering pizza the night after we return. NO! Try to get back to “the real world” and head straight to the grocery store or farmer’s market and stock up on your healthy essentials so you have no excuses!

I only nag you because I love you!  <——-I say this to my husband, what a lucky guy!

Photo:ammothedachshund.com

Happy Summer and thanks for all the love!

xo

rachel signature

Introducing…Health & Wellness Advocate Kristen Blake

First off, thank you to the BEAUTIFUL, brilliant, clean eating genius that is Kristen Blake for taking some time to talk with me about what makes her tick.

I “met” Kristen on Instagram (the starting place for all healthy relationships) when I read her idea to use frozen zucchini instead of frozen banana in a morning smoothie.  All the creaminess of the banana without the sugars.  Mind. Blown.  Especially after I tried this tip and it is amazing! (I cut the zucchini into thirds, use one third per smoothie and it’s perfect!).

After following her for a while I realized I wanted to know more!  She was generous enough to answer a few questions and share some pictures with me.  I think you will find her as inspiring as I do.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, your family, and where you live.

My name is Kristen Blake. I have 3 boys, ages 6, 8, and 10, and have been married to my awesome husband for 12 years. We have FINALLY settled down in beautiful West Linn, Oregon after moving around the country for the past 14 years while my husband played in the NBA and I must say, it feels good to be settled!

2. I saw that you studied at Institute of Integrative Nutrition, awesome! Tell us about that experience and some of your biggest takeaways.

I have absolutely loved my education from IIN. The topics we’ve covered have been so incredibly diverse that I feel ready and willing to tackle any challenge a client might present. There’s so much goodness that has come out of my experience with IIN it’s hard to pick just a few of my favorites but I think my two biggest takeaways are bioindividuality and the mind body connection.

Bioindividuality is the belief that every body is different and just because MY body does better on a grain free paleo diet doesn’t mean that YOURS won’t do better on a vegan grain rich diet. There are just too many differentiating factors in an individual’s body like heritage, genetic shifts in single nucleotide polymorphisms, intestinal permeability, whole blood histamine and more. Although we studied over 100 dietary theories at IIN, I love that they don’t preach strictly following one or the other, it’s really important to find what works for YOU and to listen to your body as it guides you.

The mind body connection is something I hesitantly avoided for years. Deep breathing and yoga seemed way too far out there for me. I’m a total science nerd and it all seemed far too “woo woo”. I’m so thankful IIN brought these two worlds together though and helped me to see the science behind the breathing and yoga and more. I feel so much more tuned in to this vitally important aspect of health and wellness thanks to IIN.

3. What’s a typical day of eating like for you, from sun up to sun down.

First of all, my life is busy, frantic and hectic at times so meal prepping and keeping it simple are vital for me! You won’t see me creating beautiful artisanal acai or veggie bowls to instagram any time soon. Don’t get me wrong, I adore looking at them on other people’s feeds and love eating them….if someone else takes the time to prepare it for me! But I just don’t have time for a lot of extra steps. What you’ll see on my IG feed are practical, easy, simple meals.

I always start my day with a Bulletproof coffee, if you’re not familiar with it make sure you subscribe to my blog, I have a post coming up with the ins and outs of the perfect bulletproof coffee (perfect for YOU of course with lots of customizable options to fit your bioindividuality!). I use Brain Octane oil and a splash of coconut milk in my Bulletproof beans coffee. This gives me energy to get the kids up, dressed, fed and off to school and gets me through an early morning workout too! This is part of my intermittent fasting routine.

Next up, after my workout, I almost always have a smoothie, it’s just so fast and easy and I can drink it on the go. I use almond or coconut milk most often as a base and throw in whatever fruits and veggies I have on hand at the time from blueberries, avocados and strawberries, to kale, spinach and cauliflower.

Lunch is usually a giant salad of some sort. I always go for the darkest leafy greens I can find, you won’t see iceberg lettuce on my plate, and I pile it high with whatever veggies I have on hand. Sometimes that’s leftover roasted veggies form the night before, a glob of fermented cabbage sauerkraut I’ve made, anything really! Of course I add healthy fats too like olive oil, olives, nuts, and avocado to keep me full until dinner.

Dinner is usually a giant pile of steamed veggies, covered with grass fed butter or homemade healthy salad dressing and a small amount of fish, chicken, beef, eggs, or some other kind of protein. I love to play around with fresh herbs and spices to really add flavor as well as add phytonutrients!

4. You’re married to a professional athlete, does that affect how you feed your family? How you exercise?

About half way through my husband’s career we started to see guys around his age dropping like flies. It was sad and horrifying to see how rapidly their bodies were breaking down, rendering them unable to continue doing what they loved, and losing their jobs at the same time. I knew we needed to really kick it up a notch with the fuel we put in his body and luckily around that same time Dr Cate Shanahan was hired by the Lakers to overhaul their nutrition program. I was able to work with her on implementing her nutrition practices in my family’s lives and also helped to introduce it to the other wives as well. We gathered around the island in my kitchen in LA and had cooking lessons and meal planning sessions. She is an incredibly smart and talented doctor and I learned so much from her. Some of the key points from her work are to avoid inflammatory oils and processed foods and keep nutrients high from a variety of plants and healthy animals.

My husband had several freak injuries that year (one of them his arm got stuck in someone’s jersey and it ripped the ULC off the bone in his elbow) but he recovered at an incredibly rapid pace thanks to the nutrition program he was one (hint: bone broth was crucial in the recovery!) so we knew we were on to something.

All of the principals that work for fueling an athlete’s body apply to fueling the body of growing children so it was comforting knowing we were feeding the whole family the best way possible.

5. You gave me the best TIP I have ever received: using frozen zucchini instead of frozen banana in my morning green smoothies. Insane. I have been doing this ever since and feel like I have lightened my load! Do you have any other quick tips or tricks up your sleeve?

Try fresh or frozen cauliflower next – it’ll blow your mind too! And if you don’t do this already, load that smoothie up with spinach. It looks super green and creepy but you honestly won’t even taste it. Spinach is shockingly mild! I used to make spinach filled smoothies for my kids when they were tiny and called it “monster juice”, they thought it was so fun!

6. You have THREE kids, amazing. I have a nine month old who is just about perfect but I cannot imagine having two more running around. You’re my mama hero! How do you keep your kids on track with all the temptations to eat processed junk around every corner? What do you pack for them for lunch? Any special ways to get them their veggies?

It is no small task keeping our kids eating healthy, I won’t lie. All kids today are so pressured by marketing and their peers to eat junk, it’s certainly an uphill battle. For starters we keep no junk in our house, so that temptation is gone. Second of all I think education is key. I teach my kids that if something is florescent orange (like cheetoes and gatorade!) that means it’s full of chemicals. We talk about how that color doesn’t exist in nature and what God made is perfect for our bodies, and chemicals harm our bodies. I’ve also taught them how to read labels and again we discuss that if it’s a word we can’t pronounce, it’s a chemical and if you know what it is, it’s good. For example although I’m not a fan of any processed food I do occasionally let them have things like potato chips – but only the healthier version. I’ve found Honest Jackson brand has potatoes, coconut oil, and sea salt as their only ingredients. You can’t get a cleaner chip than that. For us one of the keys to keeping them on track is to occasionally give them treats like this…but a healthier version so they don’t go crazy and try to eat the dreaded cheetos their friends have at lunch!

7. Do you cook at home most nights? If so what are some dishes you prepare. When you dine out, what do you usually order to keep it clean?

Yes. I cook 99% of my family’s food. We very rarely go out to eat because it’s just too hard to find anything healthy out there! The biggest reason why is most restaurants cook with dangerous inflammatory oils (like canola oil). We certainly keep it simple around here but some of my family’s favorites are things you’d see on the kids menu at a restaurant, but made in a healthy way like grass fed burgers cooked in bacon fat, homemade french fries cooked in coconut oil, and my little one’s favorite is roasted broccoli.

8. YOU look fantastic! What’s your workout routine?

You’re too kind, thank you. I absolutely love working out, it’s my “me” time and my stress relief all rolled in to one and if I miss a day, it’s quite obvious. My husband’s been known to say “why don’t I take the kids to the park so you can go to spin class…you seem a little….stressed today” ha! I like to switch it up to ensure I’m not bored, and I’m hitting all the areas of my body. No one needs giant biceps and weak back muscles right?? I like spinning, running, pilates, kick boxing, barre and hot yoga. I work out 6 mornings a week, Monday through Friday I squeeze it in right after the kids go to school and before I sit down to get to work and Saturdays sometimes involve waking up insanely early to get it in before the kids wake up and we start our day of sports! My kids do basketball, baseball, soccer, track and karate so we’re always involved in some kind of sports on a weekend!

9. I have read a lot about you and know you’re a pretty awesome human. You find time to give back, think of others, and still be busy a wife and mom. Do you believe there’s a way to balance everything or are some weeks just better than others?

Thank you again – you’re very kind to say that! Giving back is a crucial non negotiable in my life. I’ve been incredibly blessed with this beautiful life and I adore giving back however I can. One of my favorite ways was when my husband and I traveled to Guatemala to build a well for a small village wracked with disease from drinking dirty water from puddles. It was so gratifying to be able to help and super fun to operate a drill rig!

I think my answer to that question though is yes and yes. You absolutely need to find a balance for things and find what works for you and what doesn’t but also some weeks that works and some it doesn’t! You have to give yourself the grace to say “you know what, I didn’t rock it this week, but that’s life, and that’s ok!”

Being a former gymnast myself I love what Jen Hatmaker said in her book “For the Love” about the balancing beam. You can’t balance EVERYTHING on the beam and you need to find out what you can carry while walking across that beam and what you can’t! Some things just plain ol need to come OFF the beam. If you try to juggle and balance everything, you’ll fall down and if you fall down, it all comes crashing down with you. She goes on to explain how social media has made it hard for us to figure out what to put down. We might follow one mom on Facebook that sews amazingly and one on instagram that cooks perfect meals and one on twitter that is a huge philanthropist and we TOTALLY FORGET that this is 3 different women and we try to be all three ourselves! It’s totally unrealistic. I try to follow that principal and realize where my strengths lie and where there don’t. And areas where I’m not as strong, or not feeling empowered or served by something, I just take that thing right off the beam!

10. Anything else you would like us to know?

My website is JUST finally now ready to go and launching so I’d love it if your readers could go check it out and subscribe to my newsletter and blog and stay in touch with me. I love to hear from people out there about what they want to learn more about so I can write specific blog posts to help them out!

They can follow this link to do just that!

Guys!  I told you!  She is my hero.  Kristen we can’t thank you enough and appreciate you squeezing us in somewhere between a workout, cooking up a healthy meal, or spending some QT with your gorgeous family.  YOU ROCK!

xoxo,

rachel dalton

So, How Are Those New Year’s Resolutions Going?

We’ve made it to March.  Has anything changed since you made some healthy promises to yourself back at the beginning of the year?

Yes? Awesome, good for you.  NOW is usually the time that our motivation starts to dwindle, our progress may seem to plateau, and we sort of get a “whatever” attitude and slip back into old bad habits.

No?  Still struggling with drinking more water, less booze, more greens, less processed junk, moving more, sitting less aka the usual?  I hear ya.  Me too!

 

It is a constant work in progress.  And don’t you feel like there is always “something”?  Like an excuse? An event? An occasion?  To splurge and overindulge?  That’s what it always seems like for me.

And that’s ok!

 

Only one things matters as we try to get back to whatever we were aiming to improve a few months ago. BALANCE.

The point of this post isn’t to make you (us) feel worse about maybe not reaching certain goals just yet or “dropping the ball”, it’s to try and keep us all motivated, accountable.

Throw in an extra salad today, eat an avocado, stop by Millie’s for a dragon bowl, go for a walk at lunch time, soak up some Vitamin D when you can.  You deserve to put yourself first, to make your health a priority, and to feel and LOOK like the best version of you…ever.

 

 

Ok, enough with the feels!

Have a fabulous day, friends.

xo,

rachel signature

 

Happy New Year (Resolution Time!)

2016 was the best year of my life.  I had my little boy, who made me a mother, and he makes me happier than I ever knew was humanly possible.  But a lot of people close to me didn’t have such an awesome year whether they dealt with the death of a loved one, illness, or any number of difficult things.  No matter how 2016 treated you, it’s always exciting to close the door on one chapter and start fresh.

Do you make resolutions?  You know, set a goal for a positive change in your life for the upcoming year?  It’s like a clean slate, right? There’s no better time to make a promise to yourself but a lot of times these promises are broken by say mid March.  I have a few suggestions on how to make attainable, reachable, DOABLE New Year’s resolutions for a fabulous 2017, something we all deserve.

  1. DRINK MORE WATER.  Duh.  Sort of a no brainer.  But it’s something we can all do, all the time.  Buy a nice water bottle that you will want to carry around with you ALL THE TIME.  And do.  Fill it constantly and chug chug chug.  It’s good for everything but especially your insides, your skin, your digestion, and can even help fill you up if you’re feeling ravenous.
  2. MOVE every day. I have a goal to work out every single day.  It doesn’t happen but if I shoot to exercise every day, when I miss a day, it’s NBD.  On days that I don’t attend a class or break a sweat, I still have a mini goal to at least move. I walk my dogs, push Aubrey in his stroller (uphill as much as possible), plank on my bedroom floor, squat while I am holding the baby, whatever.  Something is better than nothing.
  3. Cook More, Dine Out Less.  No one loves to go out to dinner more than me.  Like, for real.  I LOVE RESTAURANTS.  Especially now that I have a baby.  I can sit down to eat?  Someone will bring me my food?  I don’t have to load the dishwasher after with one hand?  Sign me up.  BUT even when you’re eating out and making healthy choices, there are so many unknowns.  What sort of oil was your food cooked with?  How much salt was used? Is anything organic?  Is this a reasonable portion?  When you cook at home you know the answers to these questions and can control all of the factors. You will also save a ton of money.
  4. EAT MORE GREEN.  In fact, make it a goal to eat something green at every meal.  Breakfast and dinner are easy for me.  I have the BEC green smoothie every morning and some sort of salad for or with dinner.  Lunch is tough because I am usually on the go.  I am going to try and do better this year!
  5. ORGANIZE.  Say what?  I know what does organization have to do with it?  A lot, actually.  The more organized I am, the better I am doing at the life game.  I have a grocery list with healthy food on it, I have meals planned for the week, I am using my time in the best way possible, I am making it to all my classes this week, etc.  Get organized and stay that way.
  6. Cut Down on the Booze.  I know. I know.  I am like, zero fun. I didn’t say cut it out completely!  Just cut back when you can and preferably where you won’t miss it.  Sometimes after work Douglas will ask me if I want a beer (so crazy, I always hated beer but I love dark stouts after having a baby) and I want to respond YES every time but do I really need the empty calories?  No.  But when we are out with friends for happy hour or dinner or a cocktail party, then YES I really do!  Pick your poison they say, just don’t pick it too often.
  7. Be Nice. No this isn’t going to clean up your lifestyle but it will make you an all around happier person. Times are tough and people can be mean, so take it upon yourself to talk to strangers, hold open the door, don’t beep your horn, return someone’s grocery cart…come on y’all.  We could all stand to be a little nicer!

CHEERS to a happy and healthy 2017!

rachel signature

1 2 3 7


Website design by Cindy Vener Art and Design LLC