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Spring Time Running Playlist and Sporteer Running Arm Bands

Brit’s Spring Running Playlist

In case you can’t tell, I’m SO excited that Winter is over!  This Spring I’m taking a personal vow to switch up my workout routine by adding in a weekly 5K run.   Obviously, I made a heart-pumpin playlist to energize my stride!  Go ahead and download these tracks for yourself – you will love them :)

Also, I want to give a huge shout out to Sporteer for hooking me up with this sweet running armband.  It has a little pocket to store my credit card and my iPhone fits perfectly.  It’s super durable and stays in place during my run.  Sporteer gave me an extra armband for one of you lucky blog readers – woo hoo!  Just post a comment below telling me your favorite running song and I’ll pick a pick a winner this weekend!  Enjoy!  xoxo, Brit

sporteer running arm band

Sporteer Velocity Series V2 Armband for iPhones and Smartphones (Pink)


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Healthy Breakfast Idea: Brit’s Perfect Power Protein Parfait

Recently I tried (and became obsessed) with Ladera Natural Almond Pecan Granola.  Ordinarily I try to stay away from granola because I tend to overeat it and consequently consume way too much sugar.  However, I do enjoy a Greek yogurt parfait occasionally because I can set some healthy boundaries and control the granola portion.  When I tried Ladera granola I was instantly hooked because it tastes amazing – the original almond pecan flavor has a delicious, cinnamon, maple nutty taste.  Better yet, 1 serving  has only 4g of sugar – YAY!  So this morning I whipped up my own “Perfect Power Protein Parfait” for breakfast and of course I have to share the recipe with you guys.  Altogether it’s only 300 calories, loaded with protein and kept me feeling full throughout the morning.  Try it for yourself this week by following these 4 simple steps…

Step 1: Start with a single serving of Greek Yogurt

Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt (100 Calories, 12g Protein, 7g Sugar)

Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt (100 Calories, 12g Protein, 7g Sugar)

Ladera Granola (150 Calories, 4g Protein, 4g Sugar)

Ladera Almond Pecan Granola (150 Calories, 4g Protein, 4g Sugar)

Step 3: Add Berries

photo 5

1/2 cup Raw Strawberries and Blueberries (50 Calories, 5g Sugar, 1 g Protein)

Step 4: ENJOY

Brit's Perfect Power Protein Parfait

Brit’s Perfect Power Protein Parfait

 

Here’s to a Hearty Healthy Breakfast!  xoxo, Brit


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Onzie – Trendy Yoga Clothes and Workout Apparel

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Yay for cute workout clothes!  I just caught wind of this awesome yoga clothing company, Onzie!  Based in California, Onzie reached out to me a few weeks ago to review some of their yoga apparel.  The minute I saw their bright colors and modern designs, I was like “gimme gimme gimme!”  As icing on the cake, the clothes are  really high quality.  I was expecting some “Forever 21-level” workout clothes, but the apparel is extremely well made and can endure a sweaty power yoga session.  I love my pieces so much, I’m actually hosting a giveaway for a $75 Onzie gift card!  To participate in the contest, just post a comment below and tell me your workout plans for the weekend and describe your favorite workout outfit.  I’ll pick a winner on Sunday evening (4/13/14).  Enjoy!  xoxo, Brit

onzie apparel

Onzie Elastic Tank – Grey & Turquoise
Onzie Elastic Bra Top – Yellow & Black
Onzie Track Legging – Titanium / Turquoise / Sunset

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Weekly #Fitspiration

Postcard - no one

This is my favorite “fitspirational” quote.  Hopefully it provides some mid-week motivation to move!

You’ll never regret a workout.  xoxo, Brit



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Soup Up to Slim Down: Delicious High-Protein Spring Soup Recipe

It’s Spring – yippee!  In warmer weather I often feel weird eating soup because it seems like such a “cold weather thing.”  However I’d like to keep up my soup consumption because doing so is great for weight management.  Studies show that people who sip on soup before their meal are more likely eat fewer calories at their meal.   Better yet, soup eaters often skip on dessert because they feel full.

Unfortunately, I can’t get down with most Spring inspired cold soups like gazpacho and chilled veggie puree concoctions – just not my thing.  So I researched some nutritious and delicious, hot “Spring Soup” recipes to share with you guys.  The following Spring Minestrone by Hank Shaw intrigued me because it’s low in fat yet high in protein.  More importantly it sounds light and tasty and seems pretty simple to prepare.  If you don’t spend much time in the kitchen (no judgement here) I highly recommend the soup bar at Whole Foods – particularly the Moroccan Lentil and White Bean Kale.  Try to avoid cream based soups since they are higher in calories and fat.

Hope you like – let me know! xoxo, Brit

Spring Minestrone Soup from Simply Recipes

spring-minestrone

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

You can either make fresh pesto for this recipe, or you can just buy some high-quality pesto in the market.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 green garlic stalks, or 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen), chopped roughly
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups greens (dandelion, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), sliced into thin ribbons
  • Up to 1/4 cup pesto
  • Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish

METHOD

1 Chop the green onions and green garlic and separate the white and light green parts from the green tops. If you are using regular garlic cloves, put them with the white parts of the green onions. Slice the potatoes and artichoke hearts into chunks you would want to eat with a spoon.

2 In a large pot set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the white parts of the green onions as well as the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir to combine and cook 1 minute.

3 Add the diced tomatoes with their liquid and the quart of vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, add salt to taste, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

4 Add the artichoke hearts and cook another 5 minutes, then add the chickpeas and green peas and cook another 5 minutes. Remove the cover from the soup and add the asparagus. Cook 2 minutes. Add the greens and the green parts from the green onions and green garlic, if using. Stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.

5 Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Serve topped with grated cheese.



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Outdoor Fitness Fun for Earth Month: 10 Minute HIIT Workout then #ParkYourThirst with Honest Tea

In honor of Earth Month, I’m encouraging you to spend some time outdoors especially at your local parks!  Here’s a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout I filmed in Central Park – NYC around this time last year.  Try it for yourself during your next park visit.  Outdoor workouts provide  several added benefits over working out indoors.  Not to mention, in great weather they’re just more fun!

Also, here’s a cool info-graphic I received from my sponsors at Honest Tea.  They surveyed over 2,000 people across the US seeking to learn how our parks (both local and national) impact us today.  They learned over 54% of Americans wished they spent more time outdoors, and 41% said they go to the park to get away from the hustle and bustle, and restore mental clarity.  With that knowledge, me and my Honest Tea sponsors are challenging you to return to the parks this spring to refresh—mind, body and soul.  Our goal is to see people empowered to become advocates for their park—be it a national park, or the one just around the corner.   Honest Tea will be rewarding people for taking a “selfie” at any park via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and tag it with #ParkYourThirst.

ParkYourThirst_InfoGraphic-FINAL4Have an awesome time outside! #ParkYourThirst

xoxo, Brit

 


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Nutritional BANG for your BUCK: Tips for healthy grocery shopping on a budget

Nutritional BANG for your BUCK

Guest Post – For more nutrition advice visit www.lknutrition.com

As a self-proclaimed “FalafeLover” (and “many-other-foods-lover”) in Brooklyn, grabbing a yummy meal at one of the Big Apple’s thousands of amazing eateries is pretty par-for-the-course when it comes to socializing & enjoying New York City life.

BUT, eating out’s not always super budget friendly…

(9 bucks for a measly chicken sandwich… Say what??)

In an effort to save some moola, I committed to avoiding (*almost* all) restaurant-dining in March – as part of my FalafeLover in Brooklyn blog series, where I challenge myself to add or eliminate a new “habit” each month. My overall goal for this challenge was to food shop and cook more frugally, without sacrificing the nutritional quality of my meals.

One major take-away has been learning how to better navigate the aisles of my local grocery store, and identify the most low-cost/nutrient-dense foods. News flash to the health-and-budget conscious: healthy home-cooking can still be quite expensive (especially in the city), IF you’re not savvy about it….

….But have no fear, Falafelover is here! To let you know that it IS possible to eat well without breaking your bank account.  And now presenting…

FalafeLover’s TOP HEALTHY/CHEAP GROCERY LIST

Grains/Starches

  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes (white or sweet)

Protein

  • Canned beans (any kind – but my fav is Garbanzo, obviously, being a Falafelover, and all :))
  • Tofu (extra firm for highest protein content)
  • Eggs
  • Canned tuna or sardines (in water)
  • Cottage cheese (plain, low-fat)

Fruit

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears

Non-starchy veggies

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots

Healthier fats

  • Peanut butter (without added sugar/salt)
  • Avocados
  • Raw nuts (unsalted, in bulk – more cost-effective)

Bonus tips for getting most nutritional bang for your buck:

  • Go for the generic brand whenever you have the option– there’s almost always no difference in the quality
  • For canned beans, make sure to rinse out the excess salt
  • Cook a big pot of rice or pasta for the week, and then portion it out and use as a base for different stir-fries, soups, etc.
  • Produce prices ebb and flow big time depending upon what season we’re in. Berries are cheaper in summer, and squash is cheaper in fall/winter, for example. Go for the produce that’s in-season when you can (it’s fresher and yummier, too).
  • Don’t worry about buying organic. It’s not worth it, in my opinion. Just wash your produce well, and you’ll be good to go.
  • Skip the protein/granola/energy bars and make your own healthy snacks, like a DIY trail mix with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and little pieces of chocolate.
  • Invest in a water bottle and enjoy nature’s healthiest and cheapest form of hydration, H20! Skip the vitamin-infused stuff (way over priced for the lack of nutritional value it offers) and the juice (fresh fruit is cheaper – 30 cents for an orange versus 1 or 2 bucks for a bottle of OJ).