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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Skin Care Junkie | Hydrating + Calming Winter Skin

Today we’re here to talk about Winter skin and some products that are great for hydrating and calming your skin this Winter. Between the low temperatures, snow, rain, and wind – This isn’t the best time of year for your face, neck, and hands. To avoid dry, irritated, or cracking skin, here are some of my tips, tricks, and favorite products.

Drink more water – Seems like a no brainer, but this time of year it’s easy to cozy up to your coffee mug and forget to add water to the equation. If cold water sounds awful, try warm water with lemon or adding some other fruits. Spa water, if you will. 

Cream Cleansers – Swap your gel or foam cleanser for a cream cleanser. It’s a great way to give your skin a little TLC. Try some Korres.

Add a Serum – Using a serum with hyaluronic acid can help your skin retain moisture and give it all-day hydration. I love this Drunk Elephant Vitamin C Serum.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize – You don’t want a lightweight moisturizer this time of year, you want a heavy duty cream moisturizer. When in doubt, turn to the experts – Kiehl’s.

Add Oils – It took me a while to get comfortable with facial oils. I worried about looking greasy and getting break outs. But I have to say that adding an oil to my regime has made a world of difference. My current favorite is the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. It’s amazing!

Night Cream – Your body does a lot of healing overnight so you want to treat your skin and use a rich, luxurious night cream before bed. My go-to right now is REN Overnight Recovery Balm.

Are you a big fan of skin care and beauty products? 

Check out some of my other Skin Care Junkie posts: Alaska Glacial Mud Mask, Sibu Sea Berry Seed Oil, Musely Hydrogel Eye Mask, Raw Beauty & Coconut Oil, Natural Beauty & Hair Products, Mix Rx Apothecary Collection, Balanced Guru Facial Toner, FRE Skin Care, HerStyler Hair Styling Products, Favorite Anti-Aging ProductsTravel Beauty, Current Beauty Must Haves, Daily Beauty RoutineSelf Tan Luxe Face Oil, My Latest Sephora Order, My Favorite Cleansers, 5 Minute Makeup Routine, Monthly Favorites, and Evening Skin Care Routine

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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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Project Comeback | Foods to AVOID + Foods to Add

Welcome to my Project Comeback series! Today we’re taking about foods to avoid and foods to add to your daily life while you’re trying to achieve your healthy living goals. If you’ve missed out, you can check out these previous posts: Project Comeback | A Week of Workouts, Project Comeback | What I Eat in a Day, and Project Comeback | Activewear Loves

Since I started my healthy living journey nearly a decade ago, I’ve tried many different ways of eating. I’ve succumbed to trends. I’ve tried new foods. I’ve cut out other foods. But most of all, I’ve tried to keep an open mind. What works for one person may not work for another, and what works for you one year, may not work for you the next. Now after that little introduction, I wanted to give you a quick and dirty break down of foods to add to your diet, and foods to AVOID.

Project Comeback What To Eat What Foods to Avoid Venag Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food FItness Lifestyle Blogger

Foods to GIVE UP:

  • Fried foods – Fairly self-explanatory 🙂 
  • Heavily processed foods – Simply put… Does it come in a package? Try to cut it out. Long list of ingredients? Try to cut it out.
  • Foods/food-like substances with no nutritional value – Packaged sauces, dressings, and condiments, pre-made meals, snack foods, fruit juices etc.
  • High sugar foods – Cut out the candy, baked goods, and definitely cut out the sodas
  • Refined carbs – Pasta, white bread, packaged pastry products… You know they’re terrible for you, time to ditch them

Foods to Add:

  • Whole foods – ALL the fruits & veggies
  • Whole grains – Don’t worry, you can still have pasta. Just swap your refined white flour pasta for quinoa, chickpea, brown rice, or lentil.
  • Water – Start increasing your water intake each day
  • Spices – Worried that you won’t enjoy your food once you give up sugary, high-fat dressings and sauces? Try adding fresh herbs and dried spices
  • Healthy fats – Swap processed, pre-made foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, for healthy fats like avocado, eggs, nuts, seeds, and beans
  • Green tea – High in antioxidants and great for weight loss, including green tea in your day is a win-win

I’ll be back for another installation of Project Comeback so stay tuned!

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