Using Instagram to get fit!

I get it. Social media isn’t for everyone. However, in today’s tech driven world, social media can be so much more than reading about celebrity news, new apps, or looking at pictures of someone’s new puppy or baby (guilty of this on about 1000 levels). Have you considered using Instagram to help you get healthy and improve your fitness?

If you are getting to that place where you’ve hit a wall and you know it’s time to make a change in your life with regards to your health, I strongly encourage you to explore the health and wellness space that’s incredibly abundant on Instagram. Especially, but not only, if you are on a weight loss journey. Now, just like with anything you read or see on TV, you’ll need to be a smart consumer, take things with a grain of salt, and be critical of what you see and read. There are many people out there from trainers to nutritionists that are wonderfully qualified. There are doctors, TV hosts, instructors, bloggers, health coaches, and a whole heck of a lot of fitness and health loving people on Instagram. Being critical here only means thinking carefully about how advice, workouts, or products recommended may fit into your life. Of course, a smart consumer, particularly someone with a medical condition or who takes medication regularly, should ALWAYS check with their medical doctor before implementing something new into their life.

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So, what exactly am I saying here?

I’m saying this — There are some insanely amazing accounts out there for you to follow that will provide you inspiration, motivation, and education. You can use Instagram in your journey to getting healthier, stronger, smarter, and feeling positive about yourself. Here’s how:

  1. Create your own account (if you don’t have one already). You can create an additional account solely focused on your goals or use your current one.
  2.  Start following health, fitness, nutrition and wellness related accounts. You’ll find there are a ton of fabulous accounts by well-known trainers, chefs, and gurus galore. Try searching different hashtags such as #fitfam, #fitspo, #eatclean.
  3. Track your progress. Be bold and confident– take selfies!
  4. Gain support & make friends. I love this about Instagram. There are so many positive people out there giving kudos and love to each other for their hard work. If someone negative comments—block ‘em! There’s no room for that in the #fitfam !
  5. Learn! Your journey will only get more enhanced by the information you get from the accounts you follow. You may find a great recipe or workout tip that fits easily into your life.

Lastly, please join me on my Instagram account if you aren’t already a follower.
instafit3I am often connecting with other great accounts and you can easily link to them from many of my postings! I’m always looking to educate, inspire, and motivate my followers. I’m always real which means you get the real deal ;0)

If you are looking for more one-on-one support, personalized health and wellness coaching may be perfect for you. I occasionally offer free consultations so make sure you look out for those. Otherwise, you can always contact me to schedule a consult in person (NY/NYC/CT area) or online through FaceTime!

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Getaways for Couples: Sleep. Eat. Move.

Guest Post: Alexandra Hynes of “The Hitch List” shares some health-focused vacation spots for your next getaway!

Like just about every other couple, my fiancé and I have a hard time slowing down and checking out. We jump at the chance to travel, even if work is involved, because it means we’ll steal time away from email and for an adventure. The best vacations to me, no matter how brief, combine beautiful scenery with great food and healthy activities.

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Here are four locations we’ve traveled to this past year that led to total mind-body relaxation. Some are easier on the wallet than others, but all are worth every penny and so memorable that you don’t need more than a few nights to reap all of the benefits.

1. BIG SUR:

Big Sur

In a word, Big Sur is majestic. The views. The winding roads. The deep, deep blue ocean visible from nearly every corner. The dramatic heights. And you have to love a place that still doesn’t have good cell service; it’s the perfect way to have an interrupted getaway.

SLEEP: We stayed at Ventana Inn & Spa, which is a stunning cliff-top garden oasis overlooking the ocean. The room was one of the best I’ve stayed in, the definition of rustic luxury. It also has tons of winding pathways meaning a walk or hike is built into breakfast, pooltime, and wine tasting. Deer and wildflowers are in abundance.

EAT: Big Sur Bakery was incredible for a chill outdoor lunch with enormous sandwiches and salads.

MOVE: We hiked through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park with 3,000 foot ridges and redwood trees. You could get lost all day in here. I loved it.

2. NOSARA

Nosara

SLEEP: This surf town is the perfect balance of chill and active. We stayed at Harmony Hotel which blew me away! It is full of lush, winding paths lined by soaring Palm trees, most with monkeys howling from them. Each room comes with its own patio, complete with a hammock and outdoor shower.

EAT: It’s not all that often that I’ll opt to eat at a hotel over local restaurants, but to be totally honest, Harmony is where it’s at in Nosara. It has the freshest food in town. Its juice bar is incredible, made all the better but it’s shady thatched roof, and its sushi and fish entrees were addictive.

MOVE: It’s hard to choose just one, so here are two! Harmony has a fully programmed yoga studio overlooking a lily pond. Even the inflexible anti-yoga is bound to fall in love with it; it really is that pretty. Nosara is also a known and loved surf spot, which is what drew us to the area. The waves are challenging for advanced surfers and gentle enough for beginner surfers. We booked lessons with a local legend named Pio. He was intense and fierce, but his technique guaranteed improvement.

3. NANTUCKET:

Nantucket

Being from Boston, I have a soft spot for Nantucket and find it impossible to leave once I get on its island clock. We recently went for a 2-night vacation in September and I highly recommend visiting this time of year when the droves of tourists clear out and those more in the know hang in.

SLEEP: We stayed at the White Elephant Residences. I like these much more than the famed main hotel- they are much airier, modern and chic.

EAT: Our favorite spot by far was Nautilus, with modern Asian fusion and fresh New England seafood. Asian food is certainly not the first thing you’d think of on Nantucket but holy. It is unreal with big bold flavors and surprising combinations like corn with nori. Most of the vegetables are sourced from the island’s Bartlett’s Farm and it shows.

MOVE: We biked from our hotel in town to trails in Madaket, then did a 5-mile run through trails and to the beach, and then biked home. It was a perfect way to see some of the island’s outer beaches and marshes.

4. BEAVER CREEK

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I’m very partial to this one since it is the destination of choice for our wedding this April!

SLEEP: My two favorite hotels out there are The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, nestled in its own mountain ridge, and The Park Hyatt, right in town. Both are ski-in and ski-out gems. Booking before ski season can deliver rates at 35% off.

EAT: I love Beanos Cabin. You take a sleigh up to the restaurant, which in and of itself is magical, but then you’re treated to an amazing five-course meal. It is not cheap but it is worthwhile, especially for special occasions. We went as a Christmas gift to one another.

MOVE: Skiing or snowboarding! Until I skied out west I had no idea that skiing could be such a cardio workout, particularly if you do moguls. Also, you work such different muscles that it’s very easy to justify springing for a massage. The Park Hyatt tends to be my go-to choice.

AlexandraHynes,cropped copyAlexandra Hynes is the Founder & Editor of The Hitch List, a new wedding website devoted to trading insider secrets, tips and reviews.

She dreamed up The Hitch List after she got engaged last fall and launched it shortly after in June 2015. Having been a bridesmaid, maid of honor or wedding guest about 45 times, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that weddings were a topic that sparked immediate conversation, creativity and generosity. She also realized one would be hard pressed to find a married person, bride or groom, who did not want to tell you every detail about his or her wedding… she even noticed mothers, and yes, even fathers of brides and grooms, loved telling her how the wedding planner saved them money, the chef made the best filet ever, or the band played well over their 4-hour contract.
Thus, The Hitch List is a place that makes these very kinds of conversation limitless and effortless; it channels how happily and freely people want to share information about one of the most important days of their lives, and in doing so, Alexandra hopes to make the wedding planning process a whole lot easier and more fun!

Follow the site online and on social media at www.the-hitch-list.com; Instagram: @hitch_list; Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheHitchList and Twitter: @hitch_list

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Eating Healthy in College

Tips on eating healthy in college (including sample recipes!) by Maggie Russell

Hi! My name is Maggie and I’m super passionate about healthy living and healthy eating. I’ve made it my goal to make healthy eating both easy and delicious. I’m still in University and working so I know the struggle of wanting to eat well but having no time! I hope these simple recipes and tricks will help you achieve your health goals. 

Being healthy and being a student is the ultimate struggle. As students, we are forced to eat at the school cafeterias, the local pizza joint, or the local burger joint and if we do eat a meal we made ourselves… well, it’s usually made with our microwave. So, what is the solution? Thankfully with the way our society is going it is actually easier and easier to eat clean. I personally have faced these challenges being allergic to gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. In my first year of college I was terrified of what I was going to eat because I knew I had to eat in the dorm cafeteria. These are some simple things I did to make my life easier:

  • Buy a mini fridge, you will be amazed at how helpful it is.
  • Stock the fridge with easy healthy snacks like fruit, yogurt and veggies. 
  • If your lucky enough to have relatives near by, USE THEIR KITCHEN! I would go on the weekend and make meals to last me for a couple days.
  • Keep milk, organic granolas, and cereals as they are an easy way to have a healthy breakfast.
  • When in the cafeteria, ask for simply olive oil as the dressing to everything. This way you know there’s no contamination from sauces.

After following these simple tricks I’m sure that you’ll find it easy to stay on track!

Now that I’m out of a dorm, I’ve faced a whole new problem – easy cooking and navigating the grocery store. I recently have launched my own food blog and instagram to help people who are trying to figure out how to eat healthy as well. The first step to eating clean is knowing what to buy. Recently the whole ‘eat organic’ fad has blown up but there’s more to it than just eating organic. If you are really dedicated to giving your body the best, you should also be making sure the products you are buying are GMO (genetically modified organisms ) free. This means that product was not chemically modified by humans, which surprisingly enough can happen even if a product is organic.  So now that you know what your looking for, what should you actually buy? FRUIT AND VEGGIES !! If you are eating for just one, make sure you only buy a small quantity at a time otherwise they’ll go bad. Buy things like lettuce, potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchinis, carrots, etc. They are all veggies that turn into a very simple meal. As for the other stuff, stock up on chickpeas, red lentil pasta, paleo bread, chia seeds, almond spread, GF rolled oats, nuts and eggs. Obviously, you can buy what ever you want but those are my basic recommendations. 

Here are some breakfast recipes I want to share including dinner ideas as well.

Breakfast:

Over night oats: Grab a mason jar and combine one cup of oats, one cup of almond milk, some chia seeds and raspberries. Shake the jar and place in the fridge over night. 

Almond milk: Place one cup of almonds in a mason jar with water over night. The next morning drain the water and rinse the almonds. Place the almonds with 3 cups of water in a blender. Blend until pulverized, then pour into a milk bag to get rid of the almond bits. To make milk flavored,  simply blend the almond milk with cacao or any other flavors. 

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Buckwheat pancakes: ½ cup buckwheat flour, ½ cup almond milk, 1 egg. Combine and Voila! maggie pancakes
Dinner: 

Chestnut crepes with sautéed chicken:  This is a great recipe to change up the usual “boring chicken dinner.” The crepes are very simple to make. Simply combine 1 cup of chestnut flour, 1 cup of coconut milk, 2 eggs, ¼ cup of parsley and ¼ stick of melted butter. For the chicken just chop up the breast into pieces and cook them in a fry pan with onions, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil. Serve together. 

Baked chickpea stir fry: This is one my fave meals for dinner. Simply toss your raw chickpeas with turmeric, cayenne, olive oil and salt and bake at 350 for 15 min. Combine with quinoa, wild rice or brown rice and some veggies.

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maggie profileTo learn more about Maggie and her other unique health focused recipes, please visit her website at www.friesoverguys.com and take a look at her active instagram page @friesover.guys !

 

Farmers Market Lovin’

Are you missing out on the glory that is The FARMERS MARKET?!

I was spoiled rotten while living in Ithaca, NY where the farmers market is totally UNREAL. Luckily, in my new spot of Bronxville I’ve been able to hit up the farmers market on a few Saturdays and have been pleasantly surprised to find some great people, produce, and postivitiy! Yeah baby!

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If I sound overly enthused about this it’s because I am. The farmers market is a wonderful place and it’s more than what we often think. While I absolutely love to pick up fresh berries and dark leafy greens, it’s also a fantastic place to find unique items and gifts. During my last two trips I picked up awesome homemade spicy tomato chutney by Bombay Emerald Chutney Company, raw coconut graham crackers by Healing Home Foods, and an incredible spicy habanero ketchup by NY Chup. I’m dying to get back for some of the homemade kombucha that caught my eye as I was leaving.

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RomeopopsicleIt is a great place to take the kiddos because there are samples galore! Here’s my son enjoying a dairy-free avocado lime popsicle. It got ALL OVER HIM and the stroller but he was so happy I just let it go. The sun was shining and he was enjoying a health conscious treat so I was a happy mama bear.

Have you tried your local farmers market? Hit up a google search and find the closest one near you. Check out my youtube video below where I chat more about this awesome way to spend a weekend day.

 

Healthy Snacking Tips

A short youtube video where I share some snacking tips! Don’t let a crazy busy day derail you from your healthy eating goals. Prepare! Bring healthy options to work so that you stay on track. Questions? Email me through the contact page!

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