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What’s In My Gym Bag

There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym and realizing you’re missing something that you need. You feel like the whole trip was a waste and it totally throws you off! Below is a peek into my gym bag so you can see all my essentials.

What's In My Gym Bag Fitspo Fitlife San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

What’s in YOUR gym bag?

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My Evening Routine

During the week I’m up pretty early, and I truthfully don’t have much in the way of a calming or mindful routine in the mornings. It’s more about getting up and getting out the door. I do, however, have a lovely evening routine most of the time.

I’m a creature of habit, and while I may not do all of these every night, I do most of them, most of the time. What I love about having a relaxing evening routine is that as soon as you start it, your body immediately starts to calm down.

What I’ve found is that the more stressed and anxious I am during the day, the more I benefit from this nighttime regime. So, read on for a peek into an evening at the MCLV headquarters…

Evening Routine San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Bath: After making dinner and leaving the dishes for the boy, I head back to the bedroom. I start the water, add the Dr. Teal’s Epsom salts, and then pack my bag for the next day while the water fills up the tub. Once the water is ready, I either light a candle {currently addicted to Nest Grapefruit} or turn on the PureSpa Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser {favorite oils right now are peppermint, lemongrass, and Nature’s Shield, which is AMAZING}. I usually soak for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on what time I hop in.

Skin Care: After my bath, I do my evening skin care routine. You can read a full blog post on my favorite products and routine here. Here’s a super quick breakdown of the products that I use post-bath:

Yoga: Now that I’m relaxed and warm and happy, I like to do a few minutes of yoga. I usually just pull up a Boho Beautiful video and follow along, but sometimes I’ll try another instructor or use the Tone It Up app. Sometimes I only have the time or energy for 5 minutes, sometimes it’s 20 minutes. It varies.

Meditation: Guided bedtime meditations are a favorite of mine. While I don’t always love guided meditations, I’ve found that they’re a good option for me at night because my mind is so busy. If I’m left to my own devices, my mind is racing through my to do list and wedding plans and what I forgot to do that day. A guided meditation is a great way for me to focus on the meditation and get out of my own head. I actually don’t have a favorite, I just search on YouTube for what I need at a given moment, and lay back for 5-10 minutes of meditation.

Bedtime Prep: I used to hate lavender, but now I’m completely obsessed. Before bed I always use a lavender pillow spray, my current favorite is This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. And, speaking of pillows, I’m totally obsessed with my Slip For Beauty Sleep Silk Pillow Case. I’ve been using Slip for years and just got a new one, and I look forward to laying my head down every night.

Reading: I try not to be on my phone in bed as much as possible, though some nights I do better than others… But in general, I read a real live physical book before bed. With my anxiety levels it’s easy to lay in bed worrying and stressing myself out. What I’ve found is that reading something empowering and though provoking before bed helps set a healthier mentality going into the night. I have a tendency to have multiple books going at a given time and here are a few of the items on my bedside table:

I generally like to read for 20-30 minutes before switching off the light. 🙂

What do YOU make a part of your evening routine?

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MCLV Mange| Blueberry Banana Bread

I love zucchini and banana bread, and I’m always looking for yummy new variations to try out. So when I had some leftover blueberries in the fridge and some ripe bananas in the fruit bowl, I decided it was time for a new banana bread recipe!

Blueberry Banana Bread Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Recipe

Blueberry Banana Bread {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Make flax eggs and set aside (Combine warm water + ground flax seeds in a large bowl and let them sit)
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium bowl
  4. Add the lemon juice, coconut oil, sugar, and mashed bananas to the flax mixture. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Finally, fold in the blueberries, just mixing until combined.
  5. Spray + line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Cook for 1 hour, and check if they’re done by inserting a toothpick or fork. If they come out clean, you’re done. Otherwise leave in the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven, and then remove from the pan to finish cooling on a rack.

Happy Baking!

Stay tuned for the next MCLV Mange installment and check out the previous posts from this series here to see what you’ve missed so far.

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2019 Kaiser Half Marathon

I was thrilled to kick of 2019 with my third Kaiser Half Marathon this weekend. It was a great, no-nonsense race, as usual, and I had a great time.

  • Course: This is one of my favorite courses in San Francisco. Mostly because it’s flat, but also because it’s beautiful. The Golden Gate Half and San Francisco Half are similar courses – Hilly with a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge. The Kaiser Half takes place in Golden Gate Park and includes a gorgeous few miles along Ocean Beach on Great Highway. Always a pleasure!
  • Organization: This is always an easy race. No expo, have your bib delivered, and minimal extras. But it’s well run and goes smoothly. There’s not much more than you could hope for!
  • Race Day Vibes: Our 8am start time was foggy and misty, but no rain. After 5k and 10k runners took off, it was time for the half marathon runners to cross the starting line. Lots of organizers and race day helpers around. TONS of people out on the roads cheering with signs and handing out waters. Great vibes all around.
  • Personal Performance: I like to push myself and have a great race, but with spinal and foot injuries, I don’t want to do any damage or hurt myself. I usually go out with a goal, but listen to my body. Yesterday I felt great, which was a pleasant surprise. I averaged ~8:26 and felt pretty strong throughout, even sped up a bit for the last three miles. I finished exactly 5 minutes faster than this course last year!

Next up – The San Francisco Half in July. Right after my wedding and before I head off for my honeymoon. 🙂

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2019 Intentions | Goals & Ambitions

New Years resolutions are something that people either love, or hate. I for one really love setting goals and having a to do list to help me stay motivated and on track. That being said, this year I’m reframing my approach to the start of the year by setting intentions rather than resolutions.

So what does that mean? It means that I’m focusing on my present rather than fixating on past mistakes or future resolutions.

Intentions Resolutions New Year San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

My 2019 intentions:

Be in the present: I can get caught up in worrying about future events or stressing about past behaviors rather than appreciating the moment, so I really want to start 2019 by making a conscious decision to be in the present and appreciating the now. A few of the ways that I can help achieve this is through daily affirmations and writing in a gratitude journal.

Be kind to myself: Making time for self care is important and something that I would like to make a priority in 2019. I have a tendency to think of other people’s needs before my own, but I can make small changes to ensure that I’m giving myself some time and attention each day. A relaxing evening routine with a bath is a great way to give yourself some love, as well as meditation and yoga.

Feel joy: As I mentioned above, I can get caught up in both the past and the present, rather than truly enjoying the present. For 2019 I will work on fully experiencing the joy in everyday life, rather than looking forward or back.

What’s YOUR intention for 2019?

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