Eat Well at Any Outdoor Party

655b66bb81f97135149edabf3168f490As springtime settles in and the weather is consistently warm, our typical get-togethers with friends and family transition from indoor festivities to outdoor soirees. Surrounded by the smoky smell of the grill, fresh greenery and the people you love most, these outdoor gatherings make the warmer months the best of them all.

These days of sunshine and merriment also come chock full of food… and some of this food is better for us than others. We’re all for spoiling ourselves on the weekends, having a bit of what makes us happiest – a chilled glass of white wine, some decadent chocolate, or your favorite type of pizza. These parties, though, can be filled with not-so-good-for-you choices… and there are certainly tactics you can use to get the most delicious foods at the party while staying healthy!

Step One: Fill Up First
Going to one of these fun social events when you’re ravenous is guaranteed to make you run straight for the food and fill your plate without a second thought. If you find you’re super hungry beforehand, eat a small salad, apple, or other healthy snack before you go. This ensures that you’ll only go for the stuff you really want when filling up your plate.

Step Two: Roam the Perimeter
When first approaching the food table, peruse the perimeter once before making your selection, eyeing the foods you absolutely need. This way, you pick the best of the best (you’ll see delicious stuffed peppers, for example, before you see the lumpy corn dogs), and can pick and choose from the full selection that’s available – both health-wise, and taste-wise.

shutterstock_255334864Step Three: Fill Your Plate Wisely
When filling your plate with scrumptious foods, pack wisely. Start with the fresh fruits and veggies, which take up a good amount of room, and then move on to the cooked stuff. Choose things you don’t normally make at home to take full advantage of the event, spoiling yourself with the foods you love most!

Step Four: Drink Well
If you’re going to be diligent about your eating, you may as well watch your drinking too. Limit yourself to a few glasses of your faves to keep your intake in check. And the less sugar the better – splash some soda water in your favorite cocktails to lessen the sugared-up juice factor.

There you have it! Four steps to a healthy backyard BBQ. How do you remain steadfast to your healthy lifestyle during summer soirees?

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Take a Hint from the Past in Retro Sneakers

casual retro sneakers

From left to right: Saucony Bullet  | MOVMT Cochise Jogger | Asics Mexico 66

There’s a new trend hitting the streets this spring… and you may already be on board! Retro sneakers are the new flats this season, and we’re loving this switch to comfortable casual.

Paired perfectly with jeans, dresses, skirts and shorts, these brightly colored sneakers keep you fashion-forward and super comfortable. The fashion world tells us that we are suddenly on-trend while wearing what we normally do? Couldn’t love it more.

In cool greys, whites and blues accented with bright pops of color, these sneakers aren’t just your everyday casual shoes: they stand out. And they help you stand out… not because of the bright colors or fashionable styling, but because the confidence they help you exude. Because if you’re anything like us, you feel your best when you’re comfortable… and these shoes certainly fit the bill!

With classics from Asics, New Balance, Saucony, and new brand MOVMT, we guarantee there’s a causal sneaker that fits your foot perfectly. Unique styling, different fits and interesting patterns assure that there’s a go-to new sneaker out there for each and every one of us!

Shop our casual, retro sneakers this weekend to add a new spin to your classic, unique look!

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Strap into Yoga Mat Sandals with Sanuk!

sanuk-yoga-slingIf you’re anything like us, life tends to get busy. As much as we’d love to take the time to sit down and do yoga each day, some days don’t allow us to. But what if there was a way to feel the comfort of a yoga mat with every step you took?

Sanuk, one of our spunkiest, quirkiest sandal brands, makes some of the most comfortable sandals we’ve ever walked in… made out of yoga mats! That comforting feeling of sinking your toes into a yoga mat at the end of a long day, or if you’re an early bird, at the beginning of a beautiful new sunrise, never needs to go away with these funky sandals.

Coming in a plethora of styles and colors, the Yoga Sling is guaranteed to become your new go-to summer sandal. Strapping onto your foot with pajama-like cotton straps, these sandals bring your feet pure joy.

sanuk-yoga-slingAnd not only that, they’re great for the Earth. By taking old yoga mats and making something new, Sanuk saves on the creation of virgin materials that use a wide array of energy and resources.

These are the perfect shoes to slip on before a trip to the beach, for staying comfortable on city streets, and even more ideal when meandering over to join girlfriends at a sunset yoga session in your local park. Take a deep breath, slip on your Sanuk sandals, and revel in the springtime air. Your calmed mind will thank you!

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Maximize Your Smoothie Game with these Add-Ins

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.26.37 PMWhat’s super healthy, cools us down in the summer, and is absolutely scrumptious? No, not ice cream (we wish!)… smoothies! Completely customizable to your taste buds and nutritional needs, these whipped up concoctions are ready in 5 minutes, making them a great way to start your morning in the most relaxed and nutritious way possible.

A little fruit, a creamy mix-in (yogurt, milk, or banana), and you have yourself a delicious on-the-go breakfast. This easy base is the perfect start, and there are millions of ways to customize your smoothie from there. Need more protein in your life? Add nuts, protein powder, or Greek yogurt. In need of some extra vitamin C? Add a few slices of orange. The possibilities are endless!

There are a couple ingredients you can add, however, that really boost your smoothie game. Filled with vitamins and nutrients your body craves, these six additions will make you feel-good all day long.

Smoothie Must-Adds

Chia seeds
These mighty little seeds pack a powerful punch. Complete with over 10 vitamins, 4 grams of protein per serving, more omega-3 fatty acids than a piece of salmon, and 100% more potassium per serving than bananas, these small seeds are nutritional powerhouses. A few sprinkles of chia seeds per day will have you feeling wonderful.

Your favorite greens
We all know how healthy greens are for us, but some are scared away from putting them in smoothies due to the not-so-appetizing color they can create. Not to worry – we promise, with the right mixture, your smoothie will still taste great. Whether you love kale, spinach or swiss chard, greens mix into smoothies flawlessly. You can hardly even taste them – unless you want to, then pack your concoction full of them!

Flax seeds
For a subtle, nutty flavor with not-so-subtle nutritional benefits, add a spoonful of flax seeds to your smoothie. Filled with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, these small seeds play a big part in regulating digestion and are said to contribute to the health of your immune system.

Hemp protein
Whether in the form of hemp powder or hemp hearts, this superfood functions as a slow-release energy source, keeping you fuller, longer. Helping to stimulate the metabolism and eliminate toxins, this nutritional powerhouse starts your morning off with a bang.

Cacao Nibs
Yes, that’s right – cacao is the plant behind chocolate, so you know you’ll enjoy adding these nibs to your smoothies. Best known for being full of antioxidants, this addition will promote a healthy immune system while giving your smoothie the decadent flavor you crave.

Avocado
Speaking of decadent – avocado makes for a wonderful addition to any smoothie, increasing the creamy factor tenfold. Forget dairy; you don’t need any when you add avocado! Plus, we probably don’t have to convince you to add this fruit to everything you can… it’s absolutely scrumptious!

What do you add to your smoothies? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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Hearty Spring Salads to Fill You Up the Healthy Way

hearty-summer-saladsWhen the air gets warmer, salads just feel so much more inviting. Crunchy, fresh produce that was a hit in our winter soups gets even better when kept in its natural state, mixed with a bunch of our favorite fruits and veggies, and topped with a homemade dressing.

Salads have a rap for being delicious, but not all that filling. The key is to add a few different food groups to your favorite combinations – adding grains, a variety of proteins, and a plethora of hearty veggies make for a substantial salad you’ll become addicted to.

Some of our favorite salad add-ins? Beans, chickpeas, eggs, quinoa, barley, and thick, rich veggies like sweet potatoes give these healthy meals some substance. Check out a few we’re dying to try this spring below. What are your favorites?

1) Heirloom Tomato Avocado Wheat Berry Salad
2) Grilled Panzanella Salad with Poached Egg
3) Charred Corn and Quinoa Salad
4) Summer Pesto Barley Salad
5) Pomegranate, Persimmon and Pistachio Summer Salad
6) Lentils with Brown Rice and Feta

How do you make salads more filling? 

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The Ultimate Ab Challenge

Abdominal workouts are one of those things that make you feel so sore – but good sore – and that sense of accomplishment is just riveting. A twenty minute ab workout always has us sore in the stomach… so much so that it even hurts to laugh! It’s that feeling that you’ve truly accomplished something, bettered yourself, and made definite progress.

Thanks to Nicole from Pumps and Iron, we have a killer ab workout for you this weekend that’s guaranteed to up your soreness ante and give you amazing definition. If you’re new to these types of workouts, you may need to alter some of these moves – and that’s totally okay! It will only make you feel even better when you’re conquering the longer, tougher moves in a few months’ time.

With this workout, you pick the interval length and number of times your repeat each sequence to best work with your fitness level. Beginners, for instance, should go through this sequence once at 15 seconds per move, while ab-workout-extraordinaires could probably tackle the sequence a few times, at 30 second intervals. Do each move for whichever amount of seconds you choose, moving from one exercise to the other without stopping.

Challenge yourself each time to add five seconds, or to go through the moves just once more. Your progress will astound you!

plank-a

For detailed instructions for each move, see the original post. 

What are your favorite ab workouts? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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