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Mindful Morning Routine

One of my favorite parts about the weekends is being able to have a relaxed, mindful morning routine. During the week I get up before 5am and scurry around in the dark getting ready for work, so  I really enjoy the calming nature of my weekend routine in the mornings.

Mindful morning routine san francisco bay area fashion food fitness lifestyle blogger mindfulness

First up – Make the bed. In our house we have a “last one out of bed makes the bed” rule, but in truth we usually make it together.

Next up – Water! I know that I talk about this a lot, but it bears repeating in my mind. You should be consuming 1/2-1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. That means we each have a perfect amount of water. So, I like to start first thing. I keep a water bottle on my bedside table and I usually finish it before I leave the bedroom.

The next item on my morning to-do list is waking up my skin. Here’s a quick rundown of the steps in my morning beauty routine:

After my face is refreshed and moisturized, I’ll put on the kettle for tea while I get myself ready for the gym or a run. Generally, I head downstairs to my building’s gym on either Saturday or Sunday morning, and head out for a run on the other day.

Gear-wise, I have multiples of all my favorite pieces and tend to wear a variation of the same thing to the gym everyday. And while I love my Lulu leggings, my current obsession is the Fabletics Powerhold High Waist Leggings. They’re sooo good. Throw on a Sweaty Betty tank top and Brooks trainers, and I’m good to go for whatever workout I’m headed to.

Post-workout means breaking my fast and getting some healthy protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It’s also when I take some supplements to start the day on the right foot. Weekend breakfasts can be anything from scrambles to smoothies to protein pancakes.

What’s YOUR morning routine like?

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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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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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MCLV Running | 3K, 5K & 10K Challenge

Welcome to the new MCLV Running series! I’ve posted about running quite a bit in the past, see the list of posts below for more, so I thought it was time to start a series to celebrate my favorite pastime! Today I’m sharing the new challenge that I’m setting for myself. I mentioned it my 2018 Golden Gate Half Marathon post as well as in a training-for-the-injured post last year, but as a result of my injuries, I can’t follow a traditional training program. I can’t run three times a week, let alone four or five. What I can do, is one longer run on the weekend, and one Barry’s Bootcamp session with ~2 miles of intervals on a treadmill each week. This is a good combination for me and has worked well in the past.

Running Runner Race Challenge 3k 5k 10k San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food FItness Lifestyle Blogger

The challenge that I’m setting for myself is with the weekends runs is to work on hitting specific distances under set times. Below is a breakdown of what I’d like to accomplish before the Kaiser Half Marathon in February.

3k Challenge: (1.86 miles)

  • First – Hit 16:10 minutes, which is 1.86 miles at an 8:40 pace (If you check out my last race post, you’ll see that my latest Half Marathon pace was slightly below 9 minute miles)
  • Second – Hit 14:55 minutes, which is an 8:00 pace

5k Challenge: (3.1 miles)

  • First – Hit 25:52 minutes, which is an 8:20 pace
  • Second – Hit 24:50 minutes, which is an 8:00 pace

10k Challenge: (6.2 miles)

  • First – Hit 54:52 minutes, which is an 8:50 pace
  • Next – Hit 50:44 minutes, which is an 8:10 pace
  • Finally – Hit 48:40 minutes, which is a 7:50 pace

I’m not particularly fast, but this is a challenge that’s fun and exciting for me, and gives me something to reach/train for, that my body can handle.

Love to run? Check out some previous posts to get inspired!

And, if you’re interested in racing, check out these posts:

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Surviving the Holidays | 10 Day Cleanse

While I love the holidays, and look forward to them, they can be fairly hard on your body. Between all of the late nights, indulgent treats, and cocktails, you start to feel pretty low energy by the time New Years rolls around. This 10 day cleanse is easy, quick, and you still get to EAT. Well… Maybe easy isn’t the best word. But it’s definitely worthwhile. It’s a great way to give your adrenals and gut a break, and you’ll be able to put your best food forward for all of your holiday engagements this year.

Cleanse Detox Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Here are the do’s and don’t’s for the 10 day cleanse:

Don’t consume:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar/Sweeteners (including natural added sugars like agave or honey, but excluding fruits and veggies containing sugar, those are fine)
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Peanuts

Do consume:

  • All the whole foods – Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. (Non-processed meat as well if you’re an omnivore)
  • LOTS of water
  • Pre/probiotics
  • Fermented foods without added sugar

Caffeine is one of the hardest things for most people to give up, but you can ease your way into it by starting to cut back a few days before officially starting the cleanse. That way there isn’t quite as much of a shock to the system. Below are my thoughts and experiences with some of these factors to give you an idea of what to expect and how you may feel.

Caffeine – I was worried about this one to be honest. I generally drink 3-4 cups of tea a day, but I rarely keep track and I’m sure that sometimes it’s higher. Turns out, not much to worry about. I was a little headachy the first day, but woke up bright as a button the second day. (Also – What in the world does that expression mean?)

Alcohol – Let’s be honest, we all feel better when we don’t drink. The end. 🙂

Sugar/Sweeteners – This is the item that had the biggest impact on me. Start reading your labels and you’ll realize you’re consuming much more sugar than you expect. Dressings, marinades, sauces, protein powders, protein bars… Basically anything packaged. They’re all filled with sugar or sweeteners. Cutting out these items really forced me to look at my meals more critically and make more informed choices. It also meant planning ahead because I couldn’t reach for a quick bite like a protein bar.

Soy – I’ve gotten into the lazy habit of having store-bought veggie burgers and sausage patties when I’m too tired to cook. Yes, they’re great convenience items, but this was a good wake up call that I should make/keep whole food options around as well. This also meant that between no soy and no sugar (aka my protein powders and bars) my protein intake was much lower than normal. Once I got into the swing of it and actually did my meal prepping, I was fine.

Overall I thought this was a great cleanse. You still get to eat but you see and feel results. PLUS it’s a great reminder to pay attention to your food and to help get you out of bad habits. That was my biggest takeaway, that I get lazy and reach for foods that are more processed than what I should be eating on a regular basis.

Stay tuned for some fun recipes that I came up with during this cleanse!

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