I'm BACK and you're INVITED!

I'm back and I've missed you all.  My deepest apologies for my almost two month hiatus.  I have been very busy teaching Pilates, Shred415 and working on a new and exciting project...more to come very soon.  I wanted to invite all of my Chicago readers to a very special class my good friend and amazing yoga teacher Kelly and I will be teaching this Sunday, March 22 at 9am at Lululemon Southport. Class is free and mats are provided, all you need to do is show up! The class is a combination of the best of both worlds (in my book), Yoga and Pilates. In an hour long class you will flow from Pilates to Yoga, seamlessly transitioning your breath and your body through strength, balance, endurance and stretches.  We would love to see you there and bring your friends too!

WHEN: This Sunday, March 22nd at 9am
WHAT: Flow Fuel 
WHERE: Lululemon Southport
COST: Free
*all fitness levels and experience welcome

Have a wonderful weekend, see you Sunday ;-)

Cauliflower, 2015 Vegetable of the Year.

Until recently I did not each much cauliflower besides on a crudite tray. I found it to be fairly flavorless and boring, but in November I started playing around with the fact that it is pretty flavorless and that is actually great because it makes it very versatile.  I'm calling cauliflower the vegetable of 2015 for many reasons, primarily because most of us are always looking for a way to replace the carbohydrate portion of our plate without losing the satiation of eating those delicious comfort foods.  Back in November I created a lightened up cauliflower mash that replicates mashed potatoes pretty well.  My latest cauliflower endeavor has been cauliflower rice and we are very in love!  The husband and I both love Mexican food which can be very carbohydrate heavy, and don't get me wrong I enjoy carbs but the nutrient rich ones not the empty ones like white rice and flour tortillas, so using cauliflower rice is an amazing way to replicate a burrito bowl but with healthy ingredients and no empty calories or sugar.

Before we get to the recipe let's chat all things Cauliflower. Cauliflower is part of the brassica family, more commonly known as a cruciferous vegetable. 

  • Contains antioxidants and phytonutrients that prevent cancer.
  • Fiber rich which helps with satiety, weight loss, and promotes healthy digestion.
  • Packed with choline, a nutrient that helps with memory and is essential for learning.
  • Nutrition breakdown: 1 cup of chopped raw cauliflower contains 27 calories, 2 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, 0 cholesterol, and 2.0 grams of fiber.
  • 1 cup of cauliflower provides approximately 77% of your daily vitamin C needs, 20% vitamin K, and 10+% B-6 and folate needs.

Cauliflower Rice Swiss Chard Burrito
This dish is perfect for everyone, it is gluten free, dairy free, and can be made vegetarian or vegan all at the same time by just serving it without the meat!

(makes approximately 4-6 servings)
Chicken Carnitas (recipe from my good friend Elle)

6-8 large Swiss Chard Leafs or none, if making bowls
1 16 oz. can sodium-free Black Beans
2 medium Tomatoes diced

2 medium Avocados
handful of chopped fresh Cilantro
juice of 1 Lime
Sea Salt to taste
(optional small green jalapeno diced for extra kick)

Cauliflower Rice
1  large head Cauliflower
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Scallions finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves diced
Sea Salt

To prepare the guacamole; mash avocados, add chopped cilantro, salt and lime juice and mix until one smooth consistency.

For the cauliflower rice, remove the stem and chop into medium sized florets. Place cauliflower florets into food processor and pulse until a quinoa like consistency, set in a mixing bowl to the side.  Using a large saute pan, heat olive oil on medium heat and add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add scallions and cauliflower. Saute for 5-7 minutes and add salt to taste. 

You can serve this two ways; using a large Swiss Chard Leaf place all ingredients on the leaf and roll. To secure roll you can tuck in the end or use a tooth pick. Or, serve cauliflower rice, black beans, tomatoes, chicken and guacamole in a bowl & garnish with a squeeze of lime juice and some fresh cilantro. 

Pilates & O+A Event Recap!

Happy Monday! I am so excited and energized on this Monday after a super inspiring event yesterday. Yesterday I hosted a mat Pilates event followed by an educational talk about the health benefits of juice by the lovely Rose of Owen & Alchemy. 

After an hour long mat Pilates class we enjoyed a variety of juice while Rose answered a plethora of questions and I am so happy to say I learned a lot! 

Enjoying our juice post Pilates class.

Enjoying our juice post Pilates class.

How beautiful!

How beautiful!

Everyone received their own juice but we all wanted to taste all of them!

Everyone received their own juice but we all wanted to taste all of them!

Here is some information I thought you all should know:-)

  • O+A has a partnership with the Raby Institute for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern and has helped them assemble and endorses their cleanses.
  • They cold press all of their juices. Cold pressing yields the highest amount of juice and nutrients possible from each raw fruit or vegetable. Each bottle of juice contains 5 lbs of organic produce! 
  • Think about juice as a supplement to your diet, aiding in reaching your daily nutritional needs.
  • They deliver with a $15 minimum (that's just two juices!)
  • Check out this amazing informational sheet they have put together about their cleanses!

A huge thank you to O+A for collaborating with me for this amazing event! 

If you have interest in attending a workshop, please feel free to reach out or leave a comment below, I am hoping to have another one soon!

Workout Plan for the Week:
Sunday: Hot Vinyasa Yoga
Monday: Shred415 Arms and Abs
Tuesday: Teach Bootcamp
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Shred415 Shredded Abs and Pilates
Friday: Hot Vinyasa Yoga
Saturday: 8 Mile Run

2015 Thoughts.

Happy 2015 everyone! I know I've been a little M.I.A. my apologies.  I hope it has started on a healthy foot. I was a little shocked the past two Sundays at 10am to find NO kale, spinach, swiss chard or salmon available at the grocery store.  I was a little annoyed at first but I applaud everyone who is trying to make changes to their diet in 2015, keep em up! Statistics say, only 7 days into the new year and 30% of resolutions are given up, and by the end of the month 70% of people will have given up.  So why does that happen and how do we make these resolutions stick? I have a lot of ideas as to why people drop off so fast and the biggest ones are that the goals are unrealistic, there is no plan in place on how to achieve them and people like immediate results and some things take time! 

Ideas for how to make your resolutions work:
1) Devise a plan on how you are going to make your resolution happen. Don't just say you want to make it happen, know how you are going to make it happen.

2) Break it down into daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Small changes are easier to attain than big ones all at once.

3) Create a support team. Let people in on your goals that will help you stick with it; motivators, positive influencers in your life, and maybe even some tough love people.  Letting others know about your goals often times makes you work harder towards it due to fear of failing.

4) Set up a reward system for holding onto your resolutions. 

5) Create a "why" list. Write down the benefits you hope to gain from the changes you are making. This is super motivating and re-reading this list will help you stick to it.

6) Change your surroundings. Remove triggers for your old habits you want to change; for example clean out your pantry of any foods you are trying to eliminate (cookies, chips, snacks foods that you just can't control yourself around). 

My 2015 Goals:
1) Cook even more, get more creative in the kitchen and cook using more superfoods.
Here are some blogs and cookbooks I've been obsessing over to help with these goals:-)

Nutrition Stripped : A guide to living whole and well written by a dietitian/nutritionist McKel.

JulieMorris.net: Savoring the Superfood Lifestyle by Julie Morris, tons of mouthwatering recipes using superfoods. 

2) Curb my sweet tooth. Only indulge when it's really worth it!

3) Limit eating out to 1x per week. (We are pretty good but over the holidays it went up to 2, maybe even 3x per week).

4) Run a minimum of 50 miles per month.

5) Take vitamins and probiotics EVERYDAY.

6) Watch less,

7) Run a sub 1:40 half marathon.

8) Set a budget for clothing and stick to it!

9) 3-4 hours of Restorative Exercise/Self-Care each week. This includes and is not limited to Pilates, Vinyasa Yoga, and Acupuncture.

10) Stay INJURY FREE! Listen to my body, when it asks for rest listen to it. 

I would love to hear your New Year's Goals & Resolutions, hopefully you're still with it 12 days in:-)

Workout Plan for the Week:
Sunday: Hot Vinyasa Yoga
Monday: Shred415 Arms and Abs
Tuesday: Teach Bootcamp and Pilates
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Shred415 Shredded Abs
Friday: Hot Vinyasa Yoga
Saturday: Shred415 Total Body