5 Tips to Feeling Good This 4th of July

To me, the 4th of July marks the height of Summer. A chance to spend time on the lake, soak up the sun and be surrounded by family and friends. It also means lots of day drinking, BBQing and treats. It is easy to fall off your normal schedule and throw caution to the wind. There is nothing wrong with that! But, if you want to try and have a balanced weekend where you have fun, enjoy some treats and cocktails but don’t totally sabotage all the hard work you’ve done, below are 5 tips to feeling good this 4th of July.

Five Tips For Feeling Good This 4th Of July

1. Drink water.
On the 4th, typically you are out in the sun, lounging by the water which makes is easy to get dehydrated so it’s extra important to drink water. My dad always says, “One drink. One water.” That’s how you can last all night, and feel good in the morning. I try to stick to this as much as I can, especially on weekends were we are drinking and celebrating a lot. Staying hydrated also helps to keep you feeling full, debloated and looking bikini ready.

2. Eat a good breakfast with lots of protein and fat.
The food you eat first thing in the morning typically sets the ton for the day. I find if I have a bagel, I want sugar and carbs all day. If I just eat fruit, I am hungry in an hour. Since there will be a lot of process foods, sugar and BBQ treats around all day, try to start your day with a good breakfast that is high in protein and fats. I love having scrambled eggs and avocado with a side of strawberry or watermelon.

3. Make sure to eat a meal.
Don’t snack through meals. Often times, especially on long weekends or holiday’s I find myself snacking a ton and then I’m like, “I just ate so many chips and cookies, I don’t need lunch.” So I skip it. But then 2 hours later, I am hungry and start snacking again and end up eating way more calories, way worse food, and feeling shitty. Whereas, if I just sat down and made myself a big salad or light sandwich with healthy fats, protein and carbs I would be so much more satisfied.

4. Move your body.
Don’t stress too much about getting a killer workout in, but try to move your body at least for 30 minutes (preferably in the morning). I find that when you move, you feel better about yourself, you feel lighter and it helps you make better decisions through out the day.

5. Don’t over think it.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in “staying on track” that it is all we can think about but that makes it so much worse. Not only does it make it hard to enjoy yourself, it makes you feel guilty every time you have something “you shouldn’t”. And then you just say “F* IT” and dig into the treats making you feel more guilty, bloated and discouraged. Try to avoid this cycle. Enjoy yourself, let go of all the pressure you put on yourself and spend time with family and friends (preferably on the water, and not around the snack table!!)

I hope this helps! Remember to have a fun 4th of July and enjoy yourself.

What are some tips you are going to try to practice this 4th of July?

Sleep Like A Champion

Sleep is a big topic of conversation these days. It’s usually the first question I get when someone meets Emerson. “Is she sleeping through the night? Are you getting any sleep?” The short answer is yes, she is a good sleeper and I am doing ok with getting up once (maybe twice) a night to feed her. I feel pretty rested – with the exception of the afternoon slump, but, I am not doing a whole lot else these days. The amount of time and energy I spend working out and training has significantly decreased.

Right now, it’s too much for me to get up at 5am to squeeze in a workout and when I get home at night I want to hang out with Emerson, not workout. However, that needs to change, I need exercise in my life for my own happiness and well being. I have been an athlete my whole life and not getting those endorphins is going to catch up to me…

The first step in gaining more energy to workout is getting enough sleep, which I know is hard with a baby, but it is important. Letting your body rest and recovery not only helps to give you more energy throughout the day, but it will also helps your body heal from pregnancy and delivery (and lord knows I am still working on getting my pre-baby body back!)

The nice people over at Casper sent me this cool Sleep Like A Champion graphic. It shows the benefits of getting enough sleep, and provides tips for making sure you get enough rest.  While my days of being a Division 1 athlete are gone, I feel sleep is still so important for me. If I am well rested, I am a much better mom, employee and quite frankly a happier person.

Casper Athlete Sleep

I found the impact of a lack of sleep to the athletes performance staggering. We are not all shooting hoops or football players, but if reaction time can be reduced by 300%, due to lack of sleep, that is something to look into and try to fix. Think about how that would affect you while driving a car or playing with your kid. It is worth trying to finagle a good 8-10 hours of sleep. Get a good mattress, turn off your electronic devices 30 minutes before bed, start to get ready for bed 30 minutes earlier than normal, nap when you can and take time to relax and decompress so your mind doesn’t race while laying in bed. Casper has created a sleep cool mattress that allows you to get a comfortable night’s rest while staying a cool and comfortable temperature that can also optimize your sleep quality!

I am going to try to go to bed earlier, not bring my phone to bed and maybe even read a little so I can relax. Sleep is so important as the above graphic shows, it’s worth taking the time to make it a priority.

Tell me, are you getting enough sleep?

Confessions on an Elimination Diet

I am slowly starting to add back in diary to my diet to see how I feel. It’s been touch and go – to say the least. I am trying to do it slowly with smoothies and adding cream or milk to my coffee. I am still avoiding eating lots of cheese or making super diary-filled meals.

Every morning this week, I have been having a protein smoothie made with Milkwise milk, chocolate protein powder, a scoop of peanut butter, chia seeds and cinnamon. Milkwise was nice enough to send me a variety of their milk options so I have been switching it up a bit to see what I like best. I am a big Unsweetened Almond Milk fan, so I gravitated towards the Reduced Sugar Vanilla flavor. It was good, has the same amount of calories and calcium as the Almond Milk I drink so it really is a toss up between the two. If you are looking for more of a diary option, Milkwise is a great alternative to all the Almond Milks out there. 

Milkwise Milk

As I start to incorporate more diary into my diet, I have been thinking about what I have learned along the way while doing this Elimination Diet. Check it out!

Confessions and Things I’ve learned:

  • I have to admit I haven’t been 100% perfect. I have slipped up for sure. I still get frequent headaches and bloating – but not nearly as much so I am making progress
  • Preparing and doing meal prep is a life saver. The days I didn’t pack enough food are the days that I cheat and end up eating something I shouldn’t.
  • Peanut butter is my best friend.
  • Package foods sneak in a lot of crazy ingredients you would never expect to be included. I have been checking the ingredient lists on everything to make sure there are no sneaky add-in’s I wouldn’t expect. And there absolutely are! FYI…flavored potato chips have a CRAZY amount of artificial flavoring and coloring. I had no idea! Plain old, regular chips are fine – they have like 3 ingredients. But, flavored chips are a different story.
  • Not drinking beer is really hard. I don’t like cider much and more than a couple glasses of wine leaves me with a big old headache the next day.
  • Asking what is in food is crucial. It awkward at first, but it’s so important to your health, diet and digestion, it is worth doing. And, after you do it once or twice, you get over it and it is a-ok.

Running in a Snow Storm

In case you were wondering, it’s still snowing in Boston. We are going on 3 days straight. I have my moments of wishing for spring but then there are also moments like the picture below where it is incredibly beautiful and peaceful. What I really need to do is get up to the mountains so I can go ski!

Running Outside In A Snow Storm1

I mentioned yesterday, that on Sunday I ran my long run outside during the snow storm. There was not nearly as much accumulation then as there as now. I am not sure I would be able to run outside now. My decision to go outside was based on a few things:

  • Running on a treadmill for 2 hours sounded miserable
  • I run much slower on a treadmill then I do outside
  • The gym is a sauna and the air is terrible
  • I wanted fresh air and Vitamin D

Running Outside In A Snow Storm

While running in a snow storm doesn’t typically mean the sun is out and shining but I am a firm believer that just being outside and breathing fresh air helps improve your mood and attitude. I am one of those people who NEEDS to get my Vitamin D. In college my mom bought me a UV lamp that I could put on my desk and use while I was studying. It worked, but I prefer natural sunlight!

I didn’t make the decision lightly; I weighed my options and considered the safety risk but ultimately decided to give it a go on the snowy sidewalks.

Even though I wanted to go outside, I knew it might be totally unrealistic and miserable. So used my tips for running outside in the winter. I dressed in layers. I put on gym clothes under my winter running clothes in case I needed to go with Plan B and go to the gym. I wore a tank top and a pair of capri’s underneath all my winter running apparel.

Running Outside In A Snow Storm3

LuluLemon Tank Top // Saucony Long Sleeve Shirt // Patagonia Adze Hybrid Jacket // Sperry Top-Sider Vest // Saucony Capri Pants // Lululemon Grove Pants // Darn Tough Socks

I ran a figure eight around my house so that I could shed layers and not get too far away from the house in case the weather got worse or the sidwalks were too snowy.

Sides During Snow Storm

For safety, I stayed on the sidewalks as much as possible.  I also did not wear my favorite headphones. It was actually quite nice and peaceful running in the snow and simply listening to my breathing and the thoughts in my head :).

In general, the sidewalks were snowy and slushy, some spots worse than others. That wasn’t the worse part, the worst part was how wet and soggy my feet got – they were squeaking and super heavy by the end. But I managed to trek it through the snow and completed the 12 miles in right around 1hr 40min.

I was pretty exhausted after my run, starving and cold. I quickly made a protein smoothie, chugged it down and jumped in the shower. Shortly after I made a big wrap and then relaxed on the couch for a while.

I have to say, running outside on snow covered streets is not for everyone, but it was exactly what I needed. I was so happy to be exploring the snowy city and traveling somewhere (instead of running in place on a treadmill). In my opinion, I am way more motivated to run outside in the snow than if it is super cold.

Running Outside In A Snow Storm2

Would you run outside in a snow storm? Do you run long on the treadmill?

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5 Ways to Get Outside and Be Active This Winter

 I dont know about you but it’s been a crazy few weeks of snow, ice and cold in Boston. We have had a record amount of snowfall and today the temperatures are in the single digits (with wind chill it is about -10 degrees). It’s been so tough to get motivated to get outside and exercise.

But, for me especially, it’s so important to get out in the sun, feel the cold air against my face and breathe the fresh air. In order to do that, I have to find creative, fun ways to be active in the cold snowy temperatures. I have put together a list of my 5 favorite winter activities that I like to do when the winter weather is working against me.

5 Ways To Get Outside And Stay Active This Winter

Snowshoe – Bundle up and go explore! After a fresh snowfall it is incredibly beautiful to see all the treetops covered in snow and it can be very peaceful and quiet with nature being very still.

FAmily

Sledding – A fun way to stay active in the winter is grabbing a sled and finding a hill. Sledding is great because not only does it bring back childhood memories, you get a good workout from climbing up and down the mountain, over and over again.

High 5 Foundation Ski A Thon Fisher Skis

Skiing – Hitting the slopes for a day of skiing is a great way to get outside in the winter. I equate it to golfing in the summer months because you can be active and outside for hours on end. You can spend up to 8 hours enjoying the fresh air against your face. Added bonus: you can take hot coco breaks if you get too cold!

Make a Snowman – Who doesn’t love making a snowman? When it snows, don’t hide inside, put on your hat, scarf and gloves, grab some friends and go outside and play.

Ice Skate

Ice skate – With the temperatures so low, the local ponds and lakes are definitely frozen. Grab a shovel and clear an area to go ice skating. It is a really fun way to spend time with friends, share a few laughs when someone whips out and be active.

With more weather coming this weekend, it’s even more important to take advantage of these tips.

What are your favorite ways to stay active in the cold winter months!?

Super Bowl Foods

I am so excited for the Super Bowl. I love football, it’s been a big part of my life since I was a little girl. My dad is a diehard sports fan and has been a football coach for years. My family loves to watch the Patriots games together and talk about our favorite plays and players. This season, Vinnie and I have been going to my grandparents house, whenever we are around, to watch the games and that is where we will be camped out for the big game on Sunday. [I am so nervous…. go Pats… I love you Tom Brady!]

Did you know that the Super Bowl is the second biggest food holiday of the year behind Thanksgiving? Crazy right! At Super Bowl parties you get all sorts of different foods and appetizers and snacks and drinks. It can be a challenge if you’re trying to eat well and stick to healthy diet, but there are always ways to get the best of both worlds. My plan is to bring my own healthy appetizer, go for a long run in the morning and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink I consume.

I have been searching the World Wide Web for a recipe that I can bring to my grandparents for the game. I found so many good ones I thought I would share with all of you and maybe you can help me decide which one I should make on Sunday.

Super Bowl Snacks

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Sweet and Sour Meatballs via Eating Well
  2. Tator Tots via Cupcakes & Cashmere
  3. Sweet Potato Nachos via Peas & Crayons
  4. Ceasar Salad Spears via Food & Wine
  5. Mini Corn Dog Cakes via Iowa Girl Cooks
  6. Healthy Avocado Artichoke and Kale Dip with Whole Wheat Garlic Rolls via The Yooper Girl

Don’t they all sound so good! Which one should I make?

Where are you watching the big game? Are you a football fan or will you watch more for the commercials?

How I Get Back on Track

I just got back from an epic ski trip out to Utah! It was so amazing and super fun to spend some time in the big mountains skiing with my brother, cousin and Vinnie. I will post a picture recap soon, I promise.

Skiing at Solitude

The only bummer about the entire trip was that my IBS flared up and my stomach was killing me. I hate when my stomach hurts; it’s so uncomfortable and crampy and for some reason, when it does hurt I want to eat more. Not sure why but I think it’s because I think eating will make me feel better even though in reality it doesn’t help at all.

Smoothie and Special K
Banana and Berry smoothie with Special K on top

After skiing all day I was exhausted and I kept snacking to try to get some energy but it actually made my stomach feel worse so I ended up feeling super crappy for eating a bunch of junk. I didn’t let it get me down because I was with family and friends but now that I am back home I need to get back on track and really focus on my diet and nutrition.

Breakfast: eggs, toast and coffee
Breakfast #2: eggs, toast and coffee

To do that, I am going to try to track my food with myfitnesspal to hopefully reduce my snacking and make me be more mindful. I find myfitnesspal to be super helpful when I really need to kick myself in the pants. The hardest thing for me when tracking my food is when I cook meals or go out, because I never know what to enter or how to make sure it’s accurate. Occasionally I will enter the recipe but when I don’t have time or know the recipe I’ll just find one that’s similar. However this is what I need to get better at because sometimes I’ll just not enter anything and it throws off the whole day. The weekends are the hardest, for sure. Anyway, I’m rambling but the point is I need to get on track and I need to do it now so I’m going to use myfitnesspal to help me.

Bagel World Bagels
Breakfast #3: Bagels from the most delicious bakery every, Bagel World, so of course I had to have one!

Tracking my food also helps me recognize the foods that make my IBS worse and my stomach freak out. I have not done a big deep dive into my diet to see what foods make me feel sick and cause cramping and bloating but I need/want to. Maybe nows the time!? I push it off because sometimes feeling sick is better than the thought of having to eliminate my favorite foods from my diet like yogurt, crackers, sugar, granola bars, nuts, pasta, cheese, cereal and more… I will figure it out. No, I need to. I’m too uncomfortable not to.

Packed Lunch for a Day at the Mountain
Packed Lunch for a Day at the Mountain – Ham sandwiches and Clif bars
Apres Ski IPA's
Apres Ski IPA’s
Chicken Skillet Tortilla Pie
We made Pinch of Yum’s Chicken Skillet Tortilla Pie – SO GOOD!

I am linking up with Jenn and What I Ate Wednesday today! On a brighter, healthier note, I have had a super fun few days skiing in Utah and I am excited to really start my half marathon training. I got some good long runs in last week and now it’s really time to focus and start to build up my endurance.

I hope everyone has a great day of good eats and better workouts!

How do you get back on track? Do you have tips for tracking your food?

How to Stay Healthy while Traveling

Today Kara is gracing us with her fabulous presence to share a workout she did in collaboration with cheapflights.com. It couldn’t come at a better time because today Vinnie and I are jetting off to Utah to visit my brother and get some big mountain skiing in. We are going for a long weekend and I can not wait. Since Willie moved out west we have not gone to visit so this is looooooong over due!

Tips to stay healthy while traveling

Hi Everyone! Last week I had the pleasure of working with Brittany Dietz who is the Content and Social Media Executive for cheapflights.com to produce an informational post on tips for staying healthy and active while traveling.  I designed a quick hotel workout that you can do in very small spaces, gave nutrition tips while flying and eating out at restaurants and general information on making travel a bit easier on the body. I designed the workout to be as quick and efficient as possible with no weights necessary and boy did it work! I got an awesome workout that felt good and had me sweating and breathing heavy by the end. It was a much needed kick in the butt given the holiday treats I was consuming!

The best part about this workout is that you can do it anywhere, you don’t have to be traveling to do it. I give it to my clients on their lighter workout days to keep their blood flowing and to prepare them for their harder workout days with me. In the article I did give specific reps but you can make it as hard or as easy as you want depending on your energy level and time constraints.

Click here to check out the post and let us know what you think!

Digging Deeper into Acheiving goals

Today we have a great post from Kara! She took a look at my goals for 2015 and is pushing me to go deeper, think harder and take steps to help me accomplish everything I want to in 2015. Read on… its very helpful and interesting!

~~~~~

Driving through Salt Lake City

Goal setting. 2015 here we come! Mattie’s goals for the following year are awesome and I will tell you it is crucial to write them down. In my 5 years of being a personal trainer I have learned the difference between two types of goals: outcome goals (long term goals) and behavior goals (short term goals).

Outcome goals are the goals that you realistically cannot control unless you change something about your current actions which we all know is really difficult to do. So now you’ve set a goal but how do you get there? What is your action plan? Insert behavior goals. They are the every day or every week goals you set in place that you CAN control with the outcome goal in mind. Create a specific and manageable action plan.

The personal trainer in me has added some examples to Mattie’s goals to not only help her reach them but to give everyone an idea of how to be more specific so that when 2016 rolls around you can read back and see that yes, you accomplished every goal you had.

1. Practice more yoga – I love yoga but I always struggle getting to class. I am a happier, healthier and  more balanced person when I do yoga so I want to make an effort to incorporate yoga into my weekly routine.

How are we going to ensure that you go to yoga? What does more yoga mean? How much? This is where behavior goals come in. I am going to practice more yoga by buying a yoga package that expires in a short period of time. Or going to yoga with a friend (me?). Or telling everyone on the blog that you are attending a yoga class at X location at X time and would love if people joined AND taking a photo at class to show you went. (Just an idea 🙂 ) {Wanna go to North End Yoga with me? Pleeeeaaase}

2. Run more races – Running is my go-to form of fitness. It instantly boosts my mood and clears my mind. In 2015, I want to run more races (I am thinking a half marathon, and a few short distances too) and work to improve my speed and endurance.

Running is an amazing form of exercise but what races do you want to do? (Run to Remember 1/2 marathon Memorial Day weekend?? I’m doing it!) What running plan will you be on to improve speed and endurance? Check out the calendar and register ASAP. That way you can plan your running schedule and you are much less apt to bail especially if there is an entry fee. Also set a goal time! {ok ok, I am going to sign up for 2 half marathons today…}

3. Volunteer – I would love to give back and help others in whatever way possible.

What organizations would you like to volunteer for? Who are you going to contact? Start with one location to volunteer at, schedule it and blog about it. {done and done… I just signed up to be a volunteer with the YES Foundation to ski with inner city kids a few weekends this winter}

4. Take a trip (on a plane) – Vinnie and I drive all around New England but I would like to go on a plane, take a trip and really experience another part of the country (or world!) with him

Where do you want to go? (Insert awesome honeymoon location!) Pick a week or weekend, book the flight and make it happen. Two months ago I decided to book a 10 day trip to Italy in June 2015 after 10 years of saying I was going to do it. I about had a heart attack but it was important enough for me to have talked about for 10 years and it was (is) a goal of mine so I am making it happen. {Yes, we need to plan and go on our honeymoon.}

5. Grow the blog – I have high hopes for Comfy & Confident in 2015. I want to connect with more people in the blogging community, grow my readership and continue to enjoy sharing my journey!

How are we going to grow the blog? Who are we going to affiliate with, contact, represent, etc? A great way to grow the blog would be to have a fundraising team for an organization that we believe in. A Comfy and Confident TEAM that would ideally include all of you! {I like that idea!}

Make your goals as specific as possible. Write out a schedule, check list or create a calendar and at the end of the day or week, make sure you are staying on track. Changing your behavior and your mindset to what you can do in the moment to reach your goal is the key to getting there. It’s worked with my clients and I know it can work with all of you!

Mattie and I would love to see what goals you have planned for 2015 and the specific steps/actions you are taking to get there!

~~~~~

Success is the sum of small efforts

I am going to have to take a closer look at my goals and really take action towards accomplishing them. Off I go… ~Mattie

 

 

Goal Setting for 2015

Happy New Year

It’s that time of year again! Time for New Year resolutions and new goals. A lot of times, I find myself considering unrealistic goals like lose 20 pounds (even though, I haven’t lost a pound in the last year)… or do Crossfit, and yoga, and a run a marathon, and a Half Ironman (that’s not humanly possible while working a 9-5, blogging and having a life!)… or stop drinking (… ya, ok!).

When thinking about setting your 2015 resolutions, we need to be realistic and reflect on the previous year to help guide our goals. Set challenging goals, but not ones aimed so daunting that you’ll feel overwhelmed & defeated before you can even see results/improvements. A person’s motivation for change lasts about 2 weeks, so we need to make goals that will allow us to push past that barrier and continue to improve.

Goal Setting Tips

Here are a few ways to set challenging but achievable goals for 2015:

Be Realistic: I touched on it above, but if you’ve never worked out before, setting a goal to run a marathon is probably not the best place to start. Not to say such things can’t be done, but lofty goals often fall to the wayside for other more achievable ones. Set challenging goals, but not so daunting that you’ll feel overwhelmed & defeated before you can even see results/improvements.

Visualize: Visualization is essential in reaching your goals! Start now by seeing yourself exactly where you want to be: happy, healthy, vibrant, comfortable, confident and achieving your goals! Create a mental picture of what your best year will look like and visualize it every morning, throughout the day and every night.

Create a Pinterest Board: One of the best ways to help with visualization is to create a vision board. This helps keep you focused, motivated and accountable. Find inspirational quotes or motivational images that resonate with what you desire to do and pin them to a Pinterest Board – mine is called Get Lean & Fit Motivation! I am sure you can be more creative than that! {you can always make a secret board and have it private if you don’t want to share your vision board. 

Write Down your Goals: Putting your goals down on paper helps make it feel real! Read your list often, and don’t be reluctant to change, alter or add to it whenever the mood strikes!

Relax: Everyone is their own worst critic and don’t fall into that trap. Be easy on yourself! No one changes overnight. Goals are set because they take time & effort.

Ford Truck with a Sunset

With that, here are a few of my goals for 2015:

  1. Practice more yoga – I love yoga but I always struggle getting to class. I am a happier, healthier and  more balanced person when I do yoga so I want to make an effort to incorporate yoga into my weekly routine.
  2. Run more races – Running is my go-to form of fitness. It instantly boosts my mood and clears my mind. In 2015, I want to run more races (I am thinking a half marathon, and a few short distances too) and work to improve my speed and endurance.
  3. Volunteer – I would love to give back and help others in whatever way possible.
  4. Take a trip (on a plane) – Vinnie and I drive all around New England but I would like to go on a plane, take a trip and really experience another part of the country (or world!) with him
  5. Grow the blog – I have high hopes for Comfy & Confident in 2015. I want to connect with more people in the blogging community, grow my readership and continue to enjoy sharing my journey!
  6. Cook more – I love to eat healthy and try new foods, but I find myself eating the same thing over and over again. I would like to challenge myself to try new recipes and explore new and different foods in 2015.

What are your goals for 2015?? I would love to hear them!
Sharing always helps to hold me accountable!