Tag Archives | Bay Area

MCLV Mange|Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins

I can’t seem to stop baking. Our shelter-in-place has been filled stress baking and since I seem to have no self control when it comes to indulging in my homemade treats, I decided I needed to dedicate some time to making healthier recipes.

Enter these delicious vegan, gluten-free blueberry chia seed muffins. They’re light and just sweet enough, filled with tangy, antioxidant packed blueberries. You could easily substitute another berry if you have them on hand, or add nuts or shredded coconut. You can also play around with the flour and find a mix that you like.

{Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins – Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffin Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour {I used a combination of buckwheat flour & almond meal}
  • 1/2 Cup of Oats
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup
  • 2 Chia “Eggs” {2 Tbsp Chia Seeds + 4 Tbsp of Water}
  • 1 Banana – Mashed
  • 1/4 Cup of Plant Milk or Water
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tsp White Vinegar
  • 2 Cups of Blueberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a small bowl make chia eggs and set aside {~5 minutes}
  • In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients including the chia eggs, which should have gelled.
  • Combine the wet and the dry ingredients. Add in blueberries. Don’t over mix.
  • Spoon batter into muffin tin
  • Bake for ~20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
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Self Care in the Age of Quarantine

It’s easy to dismiss self care as Instagram models applying face masks, but in reality it’s something that everyone could use a little of right now. For some, self care just means doing nothing. Letting their brain turn off an enjoying a movie or video games or a book. For other, they need to turn inward and think a bit about how they’re feeling, what is impacting their moods, and how they can improve things for themselves.

Below are some of my favorite ways to give myself a little boost:

Working Out: I wouldn’t feel like myself without a chance to move my body every day. It’s an ingrained part of my life and while it’s changed and may not look the same, I am able to move each day. While treadmills and weight machines aren’t part of my daily life any longer, I’m able to stream workouts online and go for walks in the sunshine. Not sure about workouts? Check out this post – Home Workouts & Apps.

Journaling & Gratitude: I’ve been doing daily affirmations and maintaining a gratitude journal for years. It’s a great way to check in with yourself and start the day on a positive night. I also like to draft little to do lists before bed so that I’m not kept awake thinking about what needs to get done the next day.

Meditation: Apps like Calm can be lifesavers right now if you’re someone who benefits from daily meditations. It’s a great way to clear away the crazy in your head and release some stress. Sometimes I’ll just type 10 minute guided meditation into YouTube and try a new one before bed.

Create a Routine: One thing that I’ve heard a lot the past few months is people feeling listless or unsure what they’re supposed to be doing. Getting thrown off your routine can cause a lot of stress so try reestablishing a home routine. And stick to it! That means getting up at the same time, scheduling your workout or walk for the same time, eating at the same time, and most importantly, trying to go to bed at the same time each day.

Find Enjoyment: You may feel as though nothing can help right now, but put some time and effort into finding alternatives to things that make you happy. Miss restaurants? Try a cooking Masterclass or ordering a do-it-yourself kit from a local restaurant. Miss socializing or your family? Trying setting up Zoom dinners or Houseparty cocktail events. Not exactly the same, but you can feel connected. Miss group workout classes? Join a live class at an online studio.

If you’re facing abuse or violence please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. You can go to their website, chat online, or call them – 1 800 799 7233

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Home Workouts & Apps

In an era of shelter-in-place and social distancing, gyms are simply out of the question. So what’s a person to do? Skip their workouts for a few weeks before gyms open again? Hardly! It’s time to turn to home workouts and workout apps for your fitness needs.

For most of these programs and apps you can get a great workout with just bodyweight. But if you have a home gym or some basic equipment you can add to the burn or try different types of workouts.

I definitely do not have a home gym, but I do have some basic gear that’s come in handy this past week. If you’ve still got Amazon on speed dial, some of these basics may be good add ons to your next online order!

What’s next? Finding the right program for you!

  • Tone It Up – This is my go-to program since it’s so versatile. You can choose workouts based on muscle group, equipment/no-equipment, or workout type. They have everything from yoga & kick boxing to weight training, pregnancy programs & barre . (Free trial + $12.99/month)
  • Tracy Anderson – Dance-based workouts reverved by celebrities. I’ve done a few workouts and loved them, lots of reps and repetitive movements. Downside? This is a pricey program. (Free trial+ $90/month)
  • Megan Roup – New York based trainer’s newly launched Sculpt Society app was timed perfectly. It’s a dance cardio/sculpting workout at a good price. (Free trial + $19.99/month)
  • SWEAT with Kayla Itsines – Former known as Bikini Body Guide, Kayla has expanded her fitness empire with this new app. Includes nutritional recommendations and recipes if you’re interested. (Free week + $19.99/month)
  • CorePower Yoga – Yoga on Demand with new classes every week. (Free week + $19.99/month)
  • Alo Moves – Do anywhere yoga, fitness and meditation programs. (Free trial + $20/month)
  • Daily Burn – Large variety of workout videos (60 day trial + $14.95/month)
  • Physique 75 – Over 100 videos and new classes each week, high energy sculpting workouts (7 day trial + $24.99/month)

Do you have a favorite home workout program or app that I haven’t mentioned? Share it in the comments below!

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MCLV Travel Diary | How to Beat Jetlag

I still remember my first terrible jetlag experience. I flew to Tokyo for work and didn’t get on local time for the entire trip. It was awful. Though getting back on San Francisco time was a breeze…

Luckily I’ve done a lot of traveling since then and I’ve picked up some great tricks and tips to help beat jetlag.

Today’s essentials.

Flights:

For international travel I highly recommend an overnight flight. Arriving at your destination in the morning is a great way to give yourself a fighting chance to get on the local time. If that’s not an option, try to schedule a flight that arrives during the day. Which leads to my next tip…

Light:

When you land in your destination – Go outside! The most basic way that your body knows what time it is, is light. Your body is used to being awake when it’s light out, and asleep when it’s dark. So head outside for a walk, sightseeing, or laying on the beach/pool deck. Let your body know what time it is after all those hours in the clouds.

Exercise:

Getting in a sweat session once you land in your destination is a must. You’ve been seated forever for a while so the movement will help get your blood moving and loosen your muscles. Walk, run, swim, gym session – Whatever you have the time and energy for! Even 10 minutes of stretching can be super beneficial. I love to travel with booty bands since you can do so much with them and they take up zero space.

Hydrate:

It’s so tempted to start the flight with champagne or start drinking coffee the moment you wake up. Fight the urge and order water. Staying hydrated will help you in so many ways – Keeping your muscles from cramping, helping you fight off what the guy coughing next to you has, hydrating your skin… It works wonders. I like to pack a water bottle on my travels and refill it throughout the day so I’m not relying on single use plastic.

Stay Awake:

Naps are SUPER tempting when you’re in a new time zone, but don’t give into the urge. In fact, try not to sit down! If you sit on a comfy hotel bed you’re toast. Try as hard as you can to stay up until a reasonable “bedtime” in the local time zone. I always have a plan for after I land to help me stay moving. On our recent trip to Australia we had a field trip planned for as soon as we unpacked our suitcases!

Magnesium:

You’ve gotten light, you’ve worked out, you’ve stayed awake – Now what? Now you have to try to sleep through the night! Melatonin or magnesium can help you stay asleep once you’re down. Working out will also help wear you out!

What’s YOUR go-to jetlag tip?

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MCLV Travel Diary | Healthy Preparation Hacks

While it may be a little TMI, we all know how quickly an upset stomach or digestive issues can ruin a trip.

Real quick.

And since I have a finicky system to begin with, I take a lot of care when I’m traveling. I also have a few tried and true healthy hacks that I start before I leave for a trip, that I thought I’d share. Any and all of these tips can be started a few days before a trip and continued through the trip if you’d like.

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Water:

Drink ALL the water. Travel is dehydrating. Flying is dehydrating. Hot locations are dehydrating. It will help your skin, your digestion, and your jetlag. So drink up. And sadly, that doesn’t mean coffee or champagne. Water is where it’s at. Can’t make yourself drink water? Try adding fruit for a spa water treat or a sugar-free electrolyte mix.

Liquids:

Another way to get and stay hydrated is enjoying smoothies and/or low-sugar juices. I tend to favor smoothies since you’ll get all the great fiber from the fruits & veggies, but to each their own!

Probiotics:

I always start taking a daily probiotic a week or so before a trip. A non-refrigerated variety is great since you can bring it along on your trip.

Ginger & Lemon Tea:

Nothing soothes an unhappy tummy quite like ginger tea – And bonus points for a lemon ginger mix. I frequently have a tea at night so before I trip I just swap whichever herbal tea is on rotation for lemon ginger.

Magnesium:

I’m a huge Natural Calm fan and it’s especially helpful for travel. Magnesium is calming and helps your body prepare for bed, which is extra helpful if you get thrown into a new time zone. I take it every night and bring packets with me when I travel and even on the plane. You can also try magnesium-rich foods in the evenings – Nuts, dark chocolate, spinach, tofu, avocados, and legumes are good sources.

You can see more about how I stay healthy while I travel here:

Do YOU have any travel tips?

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