MCLV Guide to Coping with Stress

Hi! If You’re new to MCLV, here’s a few facts you should know about me:

  • My name is Caity
  • I’m a Type A control freak
  • Whenever I feel overwhelmed I stop sleeping

So… Guess what happens when I start planning a wedding?

Never not stressed.

Even though I had tons of support and help, and a partner who was there every step of the way, I still went into complete overdrive. At one point I had a nightmare where I was being chased by placecards, so clearly there was some stress at work. My subconscious always wants to finalize all the details of an event immediately. This is the adult version of doing the group project alone on the first day it’s assigned. Yes, I was that kid.

So how did I cope?  

Well, first I wallowed and whined. What? It’s cathartic.

Then I got serious. I realized that I had over a year of stress ahead of me and I wanted to enjoy that year of my life, so that meant problem solving and finding ways to cope.

Enter – The MCLV Guide to Coping with Stress:

  • Meditation: Guided meditation, even for just 5 minutes a day, is a great way to quiet the mind. If you don’t have an app that you like, YouTube is a great way to explore different meditation types.
  • Breathwork: There are some easy and quick tricks that can help you calm down and de-stress before bed. I’ll practice this before a stressful meeting or public speaking as well. Immediate relief.
  • Yoga: Like meditation and breathwork, the huge benefit of yoga is getting you outside of your head. My focusing on your body and breathing, you let go of the rest of the noise. 
  • Journaling: Right before bed I write out a little to do list to get things off my mind before I lay down. I also love the Happiness Project’s One Sentence Journal to jot something down.
  • Affirmations & GratitudeI’m a huge fan of writing affirmations and expressing gratitude. I keep a gratitude journal and start each day by writing down at least one line about what I’m grateful for. 

Do YOU have any tips for dealing with stress? Share below!

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Links You’ll Love | Health, Nutrition & Fitness

Below you’ll find a great round-up of recent posts cover a range of topics. From food myths and delicious Summery recipes to outdoor workouts – Read on for more!

Health:

Nutrition:

Fitness:

What do YOU want to see more of? Let me know below!

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Getting Fit | Sleep Tips

You’ve set yourself some goals and started making better daily choices – So what’s next in your journey to get fit? Making sure that you get enough sleep.

Good health and good sleep are inextricably linked. Not only does a good night sleep improve your memory, productivity, and mood, it can also improve fitness performance, and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. When it comes down to it, sleep is as important as food and exercise when it comes to creating a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

So, without further ado, here are my top sleep tips, learned from books, years of experience, and many conversations with doctors.

Food – Try to avoid eating too close to bedtime. It can keep you awake or cause tossing and turning. You also want to avoid super spicy or highly acidic foods in your final meal of the day. If you can finish eating an hour or two before bedtime, that’s ideal.

Caffeine & Sugar – Everyone has different sensitivities to caffeine and sugar, but even if you don’t think they impact your sleeping patterns, they can hurt your quality of sleep.

Fitness – Getting your sweat on during the day is a great way to ensure that your body is fatigued, which will aid the falling asleep process. If you have a busy day or you’re traveling and can’t make it to the gym, a quick walk outside or a stretching session on your bedroom floor can help.

Lights – Our bodies are programmed to equate darkness with bedtime, so you want to start reducing your exposure to light as you wind down for bed. That means dimming overhead lights and turning off TVs, phones, and laptops. If you use your phone or a tablet to read in the evenings, download a red light app. These will give your screen a darkened, reddish hue and eliminate the blue light that stimulates your body and can keep you awake.

Routine – Our bodies crave routine when it comes to sleep so you should try to go to sleep at the same time each night. If you go to sleep at 9pm one night, 1am the next, and then 11pm the following night, your body doesn’t know when it’s supposed to sleep. Try to develop a consistent sleep routine. One thing that can help with that is creating an evening wind down routine to help you destress and prepare for bed – Calming Night Routine.

What’s YOUR top tip for getting good sleep?

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MCLV Style | Prints + Pants

A great way to set off a printed piece is by pairing it with a neutral hued, slimmer piece. One that doesn’t draw attention to itself. In this instance, I wanted to let my printed black & white sweater do all the talking, so the perfect accompaniment was a pair of sleek black pants.

Et voila!

Prints Pants Bold Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Skinny Crop Pants – Who What Wear from Target

Short Sleeved Sweater – Derek Lam

Pandora Box Bag – Givenchy

Metallic Pumps – Sam Edelman

Prints Pants Bold Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Photography by Garry Alexander}

Prints Pants Bold Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

A while ago I shared that these pants were becoming a uniform for me and I’m clearly still in the honeymoon period.

Full disclosure, I have three pairs now. A slightly more fitted pair for evenings out, and a size up for business casual settings. It’s great to find an affordable, quality item like this!

Do YOU have a favorite pair of pants?

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MCLV Mange| Apple Zucchini Bread

I’m a big fan of zucchini bread. Actually, I’m a big fan of anything were you can sneak in some extra servings of fruit or vegetables. One part of zucchini bread I’m not overly fond of? The huge amount of sugar that’s added. I wanted to play around with a traditional recipe for zucchini bread and try to make it a bit healthier and heartier. I added some fruit and nuts to bulk it up and add some sweetness, and the result was delicious. Crunchy, spicy, and filling, but not overly sweet.

Apple Zucchini Bread Healthy Treats Fitlife Fitspo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Apple Zucchini Bread – Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of flour {I used 1/2 almond meal + 1/2 GF blend}
  • 2 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of apple chunks or 2/3 cup of apple sauce {you could also use banana or a stone fruit like peaches, I just happened to have apples on hand}
  • 2 flax eggs {2 tablespoons of ground flax seed or flax seed meal combined with 5 tablespoons of water. Stir and set aside for ~5 minutes until it gels}
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated zucchini {1 large or 2 medium zucchinis – grate & squeeze out excess water using a towel or paper towels}
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts and/or seeds {I did walnuts & almonds with some shelled sunflower seeds}
Apple Zucchini Bread Healthy Treats Fitlife Fitspo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF {this is a wet, dense loaf so you want to give it time to cook all the way through without burning on the top or bottom}
  2. Make flax eggs and set aside
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl
  4. Add the flax eggs, water, lemon juice, and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and use a hand mixer to mix on low {you can do this by hand if you don’t have a mixer, don’t worry}
  5. Lastly, add in your fruit, zucchini, and nuts/seeds, just mixing until combined
  6. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Cook for 55-60 minutes and check if it’s done by inserting a toothpick or fork into the center. If they come out clean, you’re done. Otherwise leave in the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
  7. Alternative: You could make mini loafs, just bake for 25-30 minutes
  8. Cool for 10-15 minutes after you take it out of the oven, and then remove from the pan to finish cooling on a rack

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