Complete Lower Body Workout
I love leg workouts! For runners (and for literally anyone else) it is so important to stay well rounded to try and prevent muscle imbalances and help keep injuries away. If you are looking for a complete lower body workout, give this one a try! It can be done anywhere because you don't need weights or much space :)
Complete each exercises for 60 seconds before moving on to the next one. Go through all 9 of the exercises in order for one set. *If an exercise needs to be done on both sides, complete each exercise for 30 seconds on each side for a total of 60 seconds for that specific exercise.
Beginners: 1 set of 10 reps
Intermediate: 2 sets of 10 reps
Advanced: 3 sets of 10 reps
Aim to not take too much time to recover between each exercise, just enough to feel ready to start another one again. Do what feels best for you at the stage you are in right now. Progress further as you feel necessary. The goal should be to eventually complete 3 sets for a 30 minute workout with only a few seconds of rest in between exercises.
Videos of the exercises are posted below. Always keep a slight bend in your knees and engage your core (picture pulling your belly button in towards your spine).
Don't forget to warm-up, cool-down and stretch!
Chicken Fried Rice
Prep/Total Time: 20 minutes
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5 Autumn Self-Care Tips
While I am still sad to see summer go, I am also ready for the cooler weather and everything else that comes with it. When I think of fall I think of nice weather, everything pumpkin, apple and cinnamon flavored/scented, bonfires (or fireplaces), warm foods and drinks, being cozy and...perfect running temperatures = racing season.
What does fall mean to you?
Depending on what area of the country you are in, it might be really cold or it might not be much different than summer (Texas friends and family, I'm thinking of you). I feel like no matter the temperature though, something that starts to happen around this time is stress from a busy work load/school during this last quarter of the year, especially as we gear up for the holiday season - which face it, starts on Halloween. Does time seem to speed up during these fall months for you (especially with the shorter days)? It's easy to get caught up in everything going on and preparing for the holidays - which unfortunately for a lot of people tends to mean giving up on self-care for the next 3 months and starting over again in January. Please, don't let this be you this year!
Fully enjoy the fall (and winter) this year. Let's make this the time of the year where you instead create space for those things that you actually WANT to do, and do less of the things that you don't! Self-care is so important for many reasons. Did you know that with self-care we are more resilient and able to handle life's stresses when we are feeling our best physically, emotionally and mentally AND it makes you a better caregiver (no, self-care is not selfish, it is necessary so you can give your best self to others - and yourself)?
Self-care is needed year-round but your needs change a bit with the seasons so you can explore different interests and go with the energy you are feeling. When trying to decide what you need to do to practice better self-care, just ask yourself "what would make me feel happier/more restored/healthier/energized/etc.?" For example, if I am feeling stressed I know that I need a little down time by myself (and to say no more often) or if I am feeling lonely I know I need to make plans with my husband or a friend and get out of the house. The following is a list of ideas to practice better self-care this season, but remember to do what feels best for YOU.
1. Do the fall things that excite you. Get creative and do what you enjoyed as a child (or still do now): go apple picking, buy a scented candle, bake a pie, visit a pumpkin patch, decorate, view the fall foliage, have a football watching party, read a book by the fireplace, etc.
2. Get active outside. Use this cooler weather to your advantage before it starts to get really cold! Take a hike, go on a walk, go running, ride your bike. Do whatever you enjoy that gets you moving outdoors and try and get as much sunlight and vitamin D as possible (with proper protection and SPF of course)!
3. Cook something new. Now is the time to start trying different slow cooker recipes, cook over a bonfire or just bake something fun! It is the season for warming comfort foods - which can be delicious AND healthy too!
4. Drink something warm. There is just something so nice about sipping on a cup of hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider, etc. at the end (or beginning/middle) of a long day!
5. Set boundaries. There is so much going on and so much FOMO (fear of missing out) between different holiday parties, events, traditions and work/school obligations during this season. Prioritize what YOU want/need to do and don't over-commit to things you don't like/want to do. Don't drain your energy. Choose things that fill you with joy instead AND make sure to get enough sleep!
Take care of yourself. YOU are important. Always be willing to ask for help!
Also, don't forget that flu shot...and wash your hands often ;)
Enjoy this beautiful fall season!
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Fall Charcuterie Board
I was asked to make something "fall-like" with fruit for an open house fall event last weekend for two different houses. They were already planning on having cookies and donuts so I decided on making a charcuterie board to also include some savory options with the fruit. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what kind of things to put on a board and how to make it look pretty so I wanted to show you how I did it so you can use it as inspiration to make your own! It is October now...it's the perfect time to start making these for parties!
I ended up spending around $135 to make the 2 different boards and that included the trays and dishes I needed for them. I think it ended up something like $45 for the food on each tray - and the trays were huge and could definitely feed a crowd. I started my shopping at Tuesday Morning where I picked up the trays and dishes. I also bought most of the non-fruit/cheese/meat items there. The rest of the food came from Aldi and the mini gourds/pumpkins were from Sprouts. Feel free to mix and match any of the items below to add your own unique spin!
Shopping List for 2 Large Fall Charcuterie Boards
To make the trays, I started with the meat. I folded each piece in half, and then in half again so it looked prettier and then arranged them in the bottom left and right side of the tray. Next, I cut and spaced out the cheese in 3 different areas around the board by laying them down in a circular pattern. I added in the 3 dishes to help balance everything out. Next, I placed the red grapes on the tray in a wavy pattern with the green grapes on the bottom. I tried to tuck in some of the grapes to fill up the big void spaces on the tray. I added the cucumber slices on the upper left side of the board and then filled in all of the holes with the blackberries and raspberries. I lined the top and bottom of the trays with the cashews and apricots and then filled the bowls with the candy corn, pickles and fruit spread/apple butter. I then put the gourds and rosemary in the corners and even added little sprigs on top of the brie/camembert and cheddar/havarti. I ended up using additional dishes that I had on hand to lay out the crackers and maple meringues.
While the trays were pretty similar, each one had their own unique cheeses, salami, jams and gourds. It took me about an hour to assemble both trays (which I did the night before) and then I just tightly saran wrapped the trays and kept them in the fridge until it was time to go (or 30 minutes before serving). Everything still looked perfect and made for an easy, yet elegant looking snack on the day of the event!
They seemed to be a hit, they looked beautiful and most of the food was gone by the end of the day! These trays are so great to bring to events, parties or just to have at home on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Eve before the main dinner! Tag me in your post if you decide to make one, I can't wait to see your own little twists!
Note: You can use whatever crackers you want - I chose gluten-free crackers for those who needed them and regular whole-grain for everyone else. For the dairy, you could choose dairy-free cheese options or replace them with nut butter and avocado. Since you can design these however you want, nobody has to feel left out with a charcuterie tray!
BONUS: To make preparing this even easier, download the Prepear app and you can access this recipe (along with all of my others) and order all of these items through Walmart!
I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
Looking for something specific? Everything can be found by category under the "Life" and "Recipes" sections on my website or you can search below.