blogilates

 

Back in August, I did a post called Exercise for Lazy People. You can read it here. 

Now I bring to you, Part Two of Exercise for when you want to play on Pinterest or watch some BRAVO TV  rather than get a little exercise in  your day.

I don’t go to a gym(basically because I find that I spend an hour getting ready to go to the gym, a  half hour to drive there and less time actually working out) and prefer to do my workouts at home which is why I have all kinds of neat little things at home like a yoga mat, Pilates Magic Circle, foam roller, dumb bells, kettle bells, a workout set, treadmill, bike. Basically I don’t want to leave the house, ever. So I do absolutely everything I can to stay at home!

I find it best to get in about 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, I rarely skip a day (unless Ive eaten gluten and am sick in bed). I plan my day and usually I like to schedule exercise in the evenings so I can take a shower and get ready for bed right after I’m done. This is what works for me, you have to find what works for you. My best piece of advice is to be consistent, don’t worry that you aren’t putting in a full hour of exercise every day. Just do a little something for as long as you can. A twenty minute walk, thirty minutes of yoga, an ab routine you found on YouTube…just get moving.

I love workouts via my ipad. I have done many yoga workouts from the app called “Yoga Studio” and have written about it before. You can choose the length and difficulty of your yoga workouts from 15 to 60 minutes. While I did a lot of yoga in the past and loved it, I decided I really wanted to get in better shape so I incorporated other workouts into my routine. My goal this year was to dedicate time to firming up!

My favorites include Fitness Blender workouts which range from five minute routines (don’t think these are easy- they aren’t!) to high intensity workouts that will leave you sweating, swearing and out of breath. I like the more low intensity exercises mostly because Im lazy,  and depending on how much time I have, I will do a few different workouts. My favorite one lately is the 17 minute ab routine which may make you cry at the end.

You can learn more here. Daniel and Kelly are the married couple who do the workouts and they are really down to earth and fun. No bells and whistles and crazy music, these are straightforward workouts that top my list!

Tone It Up features Katrina and Karena, best friends and workout buddies who are personal trainers and run the Tone It Up empire together. I like their workouts a lot too, the kettle bell workout is probably my favorite. There are all kinds of workouts to choose from, they are quick but rather difficult. Your legs will be shaking, your abs will hurt! In a good way.

Blogilates is the other YouTube workout channel I follow. Cassey Ho is the very energetic trainer in these videos who will kick your butt with her pilates inspired workouts. I can always find a workout here that hits my trouble spots. Cassey talks a lot which makes the time go by fast- and that’s a  bonus! Its kind of like working out with a friend!

 

frank_orig

And to cheat a little and give your body a sloughing and a more smooth appearance, you can try this magical Frank Body Scrub!  This coffee scrub improves cellulite, stretch marks, acne. It contains ingredients such as brown sugar & sea salt, sweet almond oil, and use vitamins & minerals to work wonders from the outside in. 

It smells amazing and contains all natural ingredients. I use this immediately after getting in the shower, I scrub my skin and try to leave it on as long as possible.  Its a little messy but washes easily down the drain so don’t panic!

A little lotion (or natural oil) on your legs after this scrub makes legs look magnificent!

 

tenbrands

 

There are some brands that I see over and over again on green beauty blogs. Check out your favorite  green beauties and see if they mention these brands, I bet you that they do. And there’s  a reason these brands are popular- they consistently create awesome products that use natural ingredients and most importantly, the products work so well that many of them have earned a cult following!

 

I have so many products that I love and use on a regular  basis, I’ve highlighted and linked them so you can get more information.

 TOP TEN BRANDS THAT GREEN BEAUTY BLOGGERS LOVE! 

1. Josh Rosebrook

We all love Josh’s amazing formulas, clean and pure products. I personally cannot get enough of the Cacao Antioxidant Mask that leaves skin glowing and radiant.

2. Acure Organics

This brand has a big following thanks to the non toxic ingredients and affordability! I’ve tried many products from Acure but if I had to pick a fave, I’d recommend the new lip glosses. The makeup removing wipes are pretty spectacular too, especially for travel!

3. One Love Organics

Everything is incredible here- light, natural, smells delicious and works really well. My favorite has to be the Gardenia Body Serum! Its my after-shower treat that leaves skin soft and smelling delicious.

4. Osmia Organics

I’ve long been a fan of this brand! Lots of natural soaps and oils, these products surely live up to the hype. If you try one product, try the Black Clay Facial Soap, which will clean skin and leave it soft. If you try two products, throw the Sunset Body Oil in your shopping bag. The scent of this is magical.

5. Kjaer Weis

From natural lip colors to a foundation that makes skin look flawless, there’s a lot to love here. The cream blush in Sun Touched is flattering to everyone and make you look sunkissed and natural.

6. Laurel Whole Plant Organics

Think about the beauty of nature, now bottle it up and use it for all your skin concerns. There, you have this brand! Utilizing the best of plants, Laurel’s products blow my mind. Two must- haves – the Cleanser and the Body Oil!  Clean luxury.

7. Celtic Complexion

Want gorgeous clear skin? Like using totally natural serums and cleansers? Try this. Loved by all who try it, Celtic Complexion had me hooked from the first time I tried it. I highly recommend the Youth Infusion Serum 7!

8. Lina Hanson

When I first tried this brand, I tested the Global Face Serum and instantly loved the way it made my skin look so much better without any harsh chemicals. This was probably one of the first natural brands I tried and fell in love with. Since the Face Serum, Lina has also launched a Body Serum and  Baby Serum. We all love her serums and look forward to more products!

9. May Lindstrom Skin

May comes up with the most unique natural skincare products! Everything is different and amazing.  I am hard pressed to pick a fave but when my skin is distressed, I reach for the Problem Solver, a bamboo charcoal mask that treats a host of skin problems.

10. RMS Beauty

I am embarrassed to tell you how many little pots of RMS Beauty products I have. The lip & cheek colors give a wonderful burst of color, the lip glosses are nicely pigmented and shiny but my fave is the Un Cover Up. This miracle product covers up any blemishes or skin imperfections but in the most undetectable way. No one will ever know you have it on!

eu

Youthful, Beautiful, Natural: Eu2Be nourishing skincare!

by Caroline Leavitt

Eu2Be is a great new line. All of the products are made in small batches in the USA, and they feature ingredients sourced from Brazil. There’s no parabens, petroleum, GMOs, gluten free, and there’s only a whisper of fragrance, which is great for all us women who sneeze at scent.

The shower and soak soap is beautified with oils of olive, palm, coconut, babassu and passiflora. It made my shower feel more like a spa. I also loved the Enrich & Radiant Oil which has 15 conditioning oils to moisturize and heal, like avocado, macadamia, broccoli seed oils and more. the oil glides on and made my skin feel pampered and sleek.

“Who are you destined to be?” the bottles ask. I think the answer just might be: beautiful.

Find more lovely skincare goodies by going here!

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While I was on vacation, I took advantage of all the time I didn’t spend doing things like dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, feeding the dogs, answering the phone, getting the mail and running various errands, most of which include a trip to Super Target.  How did I spend this free time? By reading of course!

Here’s what I dug into:

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Kate Gosselin- How She Fooled the World by Robert Hoffman

I don’t have an opinion on Kate Gosselin one way or the other but was intrigued by this book, an unauthorized biography of the reality show star. I was equal parts disgusted and shocked by what the author uncovered. I kept turning the pages until the very end. I hope it’s not all true because…just…wow. She’s pretty awful if its a factual account of how she treats not only her children but other people and her pets.

By the way, if you have Amazon Prime, you may borrow books from the Kindle Lending Library which is how I got my hands on this one!

 

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I’m always excited to see what Jennifer Weiner comes out with- so far nothing has struck a chord with me like In Her Shoes which I just loved! This new novel was good- and dealt with a topic that I haven’t read much about- addiction to pain pills and the serious repercussions of hiding ones addiction.  Allison Weiss is a busy mom and wife who is also trying to care for her aging parents. Sometimes life just gets really tough and there’s little we can do about it to soften what’s coming at us. Allison deals with her life by popping painkillers. Eventually Allison must head to rehab and try to put everything back together again. A serious subject matter within an entertaining novel.

 

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In Daisies by Josh Senter, the year is 1954 and the setting is Oklahoma. We meet young Gwen who falls in love with Willie in 1954, they marry and have a little girl named Sheila. Twenty years later, Sheila marries Darrel but that’s a rocky road and their love can’t make it through the tough times like her parents. Its up to Sheila’s son Lonnie to understand what love really means and not repeat his mother’s mistakes.

I enjoyed the book but really wish there was more about Gwen and Willie’s love story, I was totally getting into their lives when the story changed to focus on Sheila. I love a story set in the 1950′s especially out on the plains of Oklahoma with two young lovebirds! Great writing and a good, solid novel for the summer (or anytime!).

 

Here’s what I will be reading soon:

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

*In 1875, Sisi, the Empress of Austria is the woman that every man desires and every woman envies. 
Beautiful, athletic and intelligent, Sisi has everything – except happiness. Bored with the stultifying etiquette of the Hapsburg Court and her dutiful but unexciting husband, Franz Joseph, Sisi comes to England to hunt. She comes looking for excitement and she finds it in the dashing form of Captain Bay Middleton, the only man in Europe who can outride her. Ten years younger than her and engaged to the rich and devoted Charlotte, Bay has everything to lose by falling for a woman who can never be his. But Bay and the Empress are as reckless as each other, and their mutual attraction is a force that cannot be denied.

 

Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes

*Ivy and Rose Adams may be sisters, but they’re nothing alike. Rose, the eldest, is the responsible one, while Ivy is spirited and brazen. After the unexpected death of their father, the women are left to reconcile the estate, when they make a shocking discovery: not only has their father left them in financial ruin, but he has also bequeathed their beloved family house to a brother they never knew existed. With only a photograph to guide the way, Ivy and Rose embark to New York City, determined to find this mysterious man and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.


Once in New York, temptations abound at every turn, and soon the sisters are drawn into the glitzy underbelly of Manhattan, where they must overcome their differences and learn to trust each other if they’re going to survive in the big city and find their brother. Filled with unforgettable characters and charm, Empire Girls is a love letter to 1920s New York, and a captivating story of the unspoken bond between sisters.

 

I am a big fan of author Rochelle Jewel Shapiro and really enjoyed her other novels so Im looking forward to this one called What I Wish You’d Told Me. 

*This is  a collection of three stories of women of various ages grappling with the wacky and the tragic in their lives. “Secrets,” set in the ’60s, is the gripping story of a teenage girl whose illusions about her best friend’s family are blasted along with her faith in Kennedy’s Camelot. “A Sympathetic Listener” is the hilarious and heartbreaking story of a 24-year-old woman with cancer who, on her healing odyssey, finds connection and support from a most surprising source. In “Great-aunt Mariah and the Gigolo,” a 70-something widow rocks the family when she brings home her young beau. 

 

 

 

*Goodreads synopsis!

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summer

We are in the midst of summer and I have a few favorite items that I am obsessed with…take a look!

 

1. I am loving the vanilla powder from Bulletproof! I read about Bulletproof coffee and was instantly intrigued. I decided to buy a bag of this vanilla to add to my morning coffee. WOW, its good. High quality too. A scant spoonful in my morning coffee adds a bit of vanilla flavor.

Check it out: Vanilla contains compounds called vanilloids that are similar to capsaicin (the hot part of hot peppers), which has been used throughout history as an anti-inflammatory and cognitive enhancing agent. Vanilloids work in the body to reduce inflammatory responses. 

It’s pure vanilla beans- I expected a white powder and it’s a black grit. This is the real deal. Can’t wait to add it to my almond flour scones!

2. I wanted a big  tote for the summer that was neutral in color and had a zipper. This one from Old Navy is perfect! I took it on vacation and shoved some snacks, my kindle, magazines and my usual stuff in my bag with no problem. Plus, its not super expensive and will probably never go out of style thanks to a simple design.

3. One Love Organics offers scrumptiously natural, clean  beauty products.  I tried the Rose Serum and loved it so naturally I wanted to check out more from this brand. I am in love with the Gardenia Serum, the spray is genius. I want this scent in a shower gel, powder and perfume. The gardenia is not to heavy or sweet, its very subtle. I just used the Hair Powder this morning, worked like a charm! Smells like honeysuckle, another favorite scent of mine. Instantly refreshes hair. I shake a little in my hands then run through my scalp and hair. Blast with a blow dryer and hair is clean!

The Easy Does It foaming cleanser is a gentle cleanser that removes makeup and impurities quickly and easily. The gel turns into a foam and leave skin fresh and clean.  I cannot get enough!

4.  It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye & Hello Light Liquid Brightener- this is a must have for tired eyes with dark circles around them. YES I am green, clean and love natural products but sometimes a product will come along that’s not totally pure and from the earth but it works so well that I use it sparingly and I am okay with that. This is such a product.

I dab tiny dots around the eye area and I look well rested, younger (hopefully) and can use the Under Eye Concealer on dark spots and pimples to cover up completely! If you know of an eye brightener that’s all natural, let me know!

5. Canon EOS Rebel T5i, my favorite camera ever! Its so easy to use, takes amazing shots and lenses are simply removed and swapped out for other ones. When I go on vacation, I have this with me constantly. Recently I upgraded to a nicer more professional lens which enabled me to carry only one lens, not several. I bought this one and cannot recommend it highly enough. This camera is ideal for those of us who do photography as a hobby!

6. Alterna Bamboo Thermal Heat Spray is what I’ve been using to keep my fragile hair strong! I wanted a heat protectant since I often heat style so I gave this a whirl and really like it. Don’t overuse it, a few spritzes will do the trick. This product is free of gluten, mineral oil, DEA, TEA, petrolatum, and PABA and contains some organic ingredients. Makes my hair less frizzy which was the goal! 

What are you obsessed with this summer? Tell me!

 

*this post might contain affiliate links*

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celiactravel

 

For the past two weeks I’ve been traveling. I’m finally home now and even more exhausted than before I left! We went on a cruise which was great but prior to leaving, I had terrible anxiety over food!

Disclaimer: I haven’t been officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease although I have symptoms. I don’t call myself a Celiac however for the purpose of this article, I will refer to all Non Celiac Gluten Intolerant as Celiac.  Okay? Good. If you have gluten issues, allergies or digestive troubles, keep reading!

I have some tips for those of you who have food allergies that render you unable to eat anything and everything. And let’s face it, when you’re on vacation, part of the fun is eating out, right? But when you have serious issues with certain foods, the joy of chowing down escapes you. There’s nothing worse  than watching your entire family enjoy a meal full of gluten when there is nothing you can eat and your stomach is rumbling.

That is exactly what happened to me at the airport prior to leaving. We waited until we reached the airport to have dinner and lo and behold, there were two places to eat, both heavy on the gluten. My family ate hot turkey sandwiches smothered in cheese while I had a bowl of lettuce. By time we arrived in Seattle, I was ravenous.

I walked through the Seattle airport with my phone out, googling “Gluten Free Eating At SeaTac” and discovered that Wendy’s offers a few things, specifically the chili and baked potato which was gluten free and delicious in a pinch.

Before leaving for my trip, I packed several snacks that I could easily throw in my pack or backpack and eat quickly and conveniently.

*several single serve packs of Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter. This not only satisfies the craving for something sweet like chocolate but has protein which I knew would help keep me full.

*Blue Diamond Almond Thins. A handful of these will keep the hunger pains away for a little while. They are quite tasty and good to grab for a quick snack.

*Enjoy Life Snack Bars. I tossed some of these in my bag and I often keep one in my purse when I’m home. My fave is the Cinnamon Bun.

*Grab and Go Almonds. I do have a nut allergy but thankfully I can eat almonds and peanuts although Im not supposed to consume peanuts on my FODMAPS diet! (What’s FODMAPS? Go here to learn!)

*Bakery on Main instant oatmeal, Apple Pie flavor. I knew we’d be staying at hotels that offered a continental breakfast which is usually yogurt, fruit, pre-made eggs, waffles and breads. Since I try to avoid dairy, I knew I would have nearly nothing available to eat so I brought these packets of oatmeal with me. This was a smart thing to do….I ate every packet I brought!  It was handy to have this at the airport for my early morning flight when I wanted breakfast but again choices were very limited. I just needed a cup of hot water. I will not risk oatmeal anywhere due to cross contamination of oats and wheat.

I opt to order salads when I am out but always double check to make sure the dressing is gluten free. It’s really hard for me to speak up at restaurants and do my whole “I have a severe gluten allergy/Celiac” spiel. Which is where the Find Me Gluten Free app comes in. Its an app for the smartphone which finds restaurants that offer gluten free foods near your location. This was a lifesaver. I wasn’t accidentally glutened AT ALL during my two weeks away.

Here’s where I ate while in Seattle:

Denny’s, here I requested fresh cracked eggs. I wasnt sure about the hashbrowns, I had read conflicting reports on gluten content. I ordered red skin potatoes instead.

Bob’s Burgers and Brew, this is where I had a hamburger with a gluten free bun which I have not eaten in over one year! It was heaven! They fry their french fries with breaded fish so I had to say no to the fries. Ate salad instead.

Red Robin, got a lettuce wrapped burger and fries. I usually don’t eat red meat but was craving burgers this trip.

Garlic Jims, got a gluten free pizza which was amazing!

BJ’s restaurant, while I usually strive to avoid chain restaurants while I am on vacation, I made an acceptation because I knew that Red Robins and BJ’s offered GF foods. I had a salad with oil and vinegar (go for the red wine vinegar because balsamic can contain gluten) and a pizza.

We ate at an Italian restaurant where I had gluten free pasta- the name escapes me but I had found it on my Find Me Gluten Free app. I took a chance on a Vietnamese restaurant and ordered a bowl of pho which is normally gluten-free made with chicken broth and rice noodles.

On the cruise:

We sailed on the  Celebrity cruise line. Before we left home, I made sure to let them know that I was gluten free (this probably falls under ‘special needs’). There was a notation by my name so our dining room waiter knew and could help me with my choices.

The menu in the dining room has notations next to each entree so you know if food is gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian. There were always gluten free choices, though not many. They have really good gluten free bread so I was able to enjoy that. For dessert, there was usually only one option if you were gluten free. I would love to see more gluten free options on the menu because the choices are very limited. I guess you can always ask for specially prepared food but I personally hate to call attention to myself any more than I have to!

I always asked for fresh eggs for breakfast. Places that serve a large volume of eggs usually use an egg mix which contains gluten.  I stuck with eggs, fruit, gluten free toast every morning.

There are many, many options…but not if you are strictly GF. However, there is always something you can find to eat. I didn’t venture out of my comfort zone. Once I knew something didn’t make me sick, I stuck with it.

Lunch was tricky. Things are not labeled clearly so its really  hard to know what sauces contain gluten and I didn’t even try to find out if the cold cuts were gluten free, same with the hot dogs. I went with what I knew- my dark leafy greens, cucumbers, sun flower seeds, Parmesan cheese and tomatoes – this was my lunch every single day. There is an area that serves spa foods and I found some nice little gluten free stuff there, plus they make juices and smoothies.

I hope in the future, Celebrity will make notations of GLUTEN, DAIRY, WHEAT, NUTS next to each questionable food option in the buffet. There may be a small  number of Celiacs out there who go on cruises but we do matter and we don’t want to get sick, especially on vacation! It would be great to know that the fries were cooked in a dedicated fryer, same with hash-browns and if the cold cuts contain gluten, is the bacon gluten free? How about salad dressing? Ice cream?

In closing, if you have Celiac and are traveling, planning ahead is a must. You just have to get online, check out the airport food courts, pack snacks, do your research, call the cruise line if you are cruising and ask questions. You cannot fly by the seat of your pants like everyone else and eat whatever you stumble upon. Sad but true however, I always remind myself that it could  be much worse!

 

*this post may contain Amazon affiliate links.  I only link to what I use and love!*

 

 

 

 

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