Vacation and moderation aren’t mutually exclusive

Posted on July 6, 2015

In my early twenties I went to Vegas for the weekend with Isaac and two of our best friends. It was after weddings, but before babies and careers. So, there wasn’t much standing in the way of us and all that Vegas has to offer. Well, not everything… just food, booze and classy Irish casinos.


On Friday night we cruised the Strip and the live band at O’Shea’s Irish Casino drew us in. Ever heard of it? No? Well, it’s nestled right between the Flamingo and Venetian. Real classy place. If my memory serves me correctly (questionable), we walked in sometime before 10pm and skipped out the next day around 6am. And if Jesi’s memory (and photographic evidence) serve me correctly, as we walked to our car (wait, that doesn’t sound right), I picked up a pink flamingo made of pipe cleaners off the sidewalk and stuck it in my mouth. Then we named him pinky and he lived in the glovebox of my car for a few years.


It was all time. One of the best nights of my life.


And then we all paid for it the next day… and the day after that.


It’s not just a Vegas thing. I have a story like that for Amsterdam, Boston, Bruges, Chicago, Lahaina, LA (a dozen times over) Palm Springs and San Diego. They all involve indulgent food, several drinks, little or no sleep and TONS of fun.


Because vacation mode is just that way, isn’t it? It convinces us to take full advantage, ignore the need to sleep and eat forsaken Casino swag off the sidewalk. It’s no wonder people return from a trip and have the gal to declare they need a vacation to recover from their vacation.


But, we can still maintain moderation while in vacation mode – maybe just not when we’re 23 and in vegas. As I’ve matured, I’ve invited a healthy balance of moderation into my “vacations”. Gone are the days of flamingos in the mouth. But gone also are the days of feeling totally wiped out from a two-day vacation.

vacation and moderation aren't mutually exclusive

We’ve been living in Portland for 5 months now. And in those 5 months we have had 13 visits from family and friends. 21 people have come to see us up in our PNW home – man, do we ever feel special! It’s been so nice to have people we know and love in our house and to share our new city and state with them. And since Oregon is still very new to us, it has been great to play tourist with our friends and family – taking in new sights, testing out new restaurants, tasting our way through the PNW wine selection at the grocery store.


When I have guests in town, I get pretty festive. Because it’s not everyday that my best friends/dad/mom/niece/brother/in-laws are in town!!! Cheers! So, over the course of five months, I have been in a vacation mode of sorts. While I may not be out of town, it has felt like a bunch of special occasions all strung together.


Well, as a person who is committed to always being fit, it’s required some discipline to maintain a solid level of fitness during the busy visitor season. But, it wasn’t at the cost of any fun or festivities. I don’t feel like I missed out on any opportunity or celebration. I truly enjoyed it all, but not at the expense of my health. I didn’t go overboard. I didn’t go crazy at Salt & Straw or neglect my morning workouts. I achieved moderation! Because, for most of us, it’s possible to enjoy it all without slipping into some unhealthy abyss.

Vacation and moderation are not mutually exclusive

The key to my success was focusing on three things: sleep, food/drinks and exercise. While I stretched the limits of my healthy habits (mini scoop of ice cream, couple of glasses of wine, post-run scone, etc.), I was sure to not fall off the wagon in any of these three key areas.

  • Sleep: Like anyone, busy days and festive nights ware me down hard core. I made an effort to be in bed around 10pm. And there were a few afternoons that I snuck in a nap, even with guests in town. Because being rested makes sticking to healthy choices (and everything else) much easier.
  • Food/Drinks: I keep the food in our kitchen very healthy, with or without guests in town. And to keep the sweet teeth happy, I kept a good stock of dark chocolate (Theo is my current favorite) in the pantry. Of course we explored some new restaurants with our friends and family and whenever we did I tried to pick options fully of veggies and proteins. The area I think I splurged the most in was wine and the occasional beer.
  • Exercise: I am lucky to have friends and family who don’t mind a good sweat session, even if they’re on vacation. We did a lot of hiking, running, walking and yoga-ing. Seeing the city, forest, waterfalls on foot is the best way to go anyways. And for those days that our plans didn’t include much activity (like a long drive and day at the beach), I fit the workout in before the day started.

Our visitor season is over and now we have some trips coming up – a few camping weekends, a longer visit to California and a mini (kidless) getaway with friends. Weather we are camping for the weekend or enjoying the California summer life, I plan on maintaining my fitness. Because vacation and moderation are not mutually exclusive.

What about you? Do you let the reigns down on vacation or stick to healthy habits? Any tips to share?


Dreaming of a girlfriend’s getaway…

Posted on July 1, 2015

We’ve been having some seriously warm, sunny, summery weather up here in Portland. Which makes me smile – and think of the beach, girlfriends and long days in the water. While a girlfriend getaway isn’t exactly on the books, I’m not above daydreaming about one…


I’m thinking something along the lines of a Wellness Escape. You know, a getaway with fitness, fun and relaxation as the focal point. What a dream! While there are killer no-opt-out fitness programs, I’m less of a follow-their-program gal and more of a choose-my-own-adventure type, so I think I will steer clear of anything too scheduled. Plus, since I want a mix of R&R, fitness and fun, coffee and wine aren’t negotiable. Capisce?


Here are a few that caught my attention. P.S. Fun Fit Friends, we better start saving… these getaways are going to cost us an arm, leg and booty. But since we’re daydreaming here I figure, airfare shmarefare!

Aruba Yoga Retreat with Rachel Brathen

Rachel (@yoga_girl) is a self described “yoga gypsy, island baby, hippy girl, warrior woman”. And, for those reasons, I want to spend a week on Aruba hanging with my friends and taking classes with Rachel. Plus, I have never been to Aruba. So, whose with me? Lynzi?


Tarranea Resort

Some best buds and I spent two nights here two summers ago. Let me tell you, it could not have been better. First off, the nice people greet you with champagne, like right away. No need to drive anywhere, the gorgeous trails, lovely beaches, spacious pools, fitness classes, awesome spa, tons of activities and a number of delicious resort restaurants are all you need. It was truly the perfect place for a girlfriend getaway. I hope to go back soon… is next weekend too soon, girls (you know who you are)?


Montage Kapalua Bay

A few visits to the Spa Montage in Laguna Beach makes me think that a long weekend at it’s sister on Kapalua Bay would be absolutely heavenly. We could craft our own fitness adventure betweens hikes in the Iao Valley, fitness classes, gym time and yoga on the beach. I mean, how can you go wrong with Maui?


The Standard Spa in Miami Beach

If you’ve never been to The Standard Spa in Miami Beach, just google it (which is all I’ve done). It has fun, tipsy girlfriend time written all over it. The fitness class schedule and spa menu makes has me wishing for the riches big time.


The Bodyholiday

This St. Lucia resort is an all inclusive gem offers all the goodies – fitness, food and island perfection. And who wouldn’t want to cycle in their treehouse spin studio?

And if all else fails, there’s always Tara Stiles at W Barcelona! Or we could do a week with Tiffany Cruikshank at Maya Tulum!

But really, we don’t need all that fancy business. I mean, a couple nights at Martini Palms with some Bobbies would suit us just fine. Because what girlfriends really need is each other (sniff sniff).

BYOT (bring your own toilet)

Posted on June 24, 2015

This weekend we’re heading out for our first camping adventure in Oregon! I’ve yet to camp north of the Redwoods (Santa Cruz mountains) and I can’t wait to explore a new plot of PNW land. We’re headed to Cape Lookout State Park on the coast. I’ve read great things about the hiking, old growth trees and whale sightings. And I’m crossing my fingers that I can suit up in my bikini if the weather forecast holds true.


We haven’t gone camping since the move from California. The moving company was super thorough and actually went through our camping containers, wrapping the contents in enough paper to stuff a king size mattress. Anyways, I’m sorting through the contents, taking inventory and making a list of anything I need to grab before we head out on Friday.


Truth be told, as long as we have a tent, blankets, firewood and mini toilet, we will be just fine. Yes, a mini toilet is now a Bodie camping staple. This is the world we live in.

Isaac, my genius husband, brought the mini toilet with us the last time we camped and it was a game changer. Because camping with kids is awesome. But walking kids 100 yards to the campground bathroom in the middle of the night is not. 

Picnic Staple: the Summer Roll-up

Posted on June 23, 2015

If you’re anything like me, Summer means lunch and dinner on-the-go. Because, who wants to go inside when the sun is shining down? Whether it’s lunch at the park or dinner at the beach, I opt for easy options that don’t sacrifice taste or nutrition. A staple for us lately has been the Summer Roll-up – delicious fillings wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

The Summer Rollup

It’s great because it can either be made a head of time or assembled onsite. And anything goes with it – the combinations are endless. Last weekend we headed to a waterfall with my mother and father in-law and I threw together roll-ups for all of us by wrapping leftovers from the night before (sweet potatoes and chicken from the grill and leftover salad) in whole wheat tortillas. It wasn’t fancy, but it sure didn’t disappoint either.


My kids seem to like assembling them with me, making my prep job at home even more simple. I just toss our ingredients into the cooler and we make the roll-ups together when we’re ready to eat. We recently headed to the coast for a late afternoon/evening session. Since the sun is still high in the sky at 7pm, we decided to bring our dinner to eat on the beach. At home I prepped the fixings and then we made the roll-ups together down on the sand. This particular roll-up was spinach hummus, salami, carrots and cucumber. The kids added edamame and cheese to theirs too.

the fixings

the fixings

onsite assembly

onsite assembly

Other winning combinations:

  • avocado + grilled chicken + mixed greens + feta cheese
  • hummus + smoked turkey + red peppers + mixed greens
  • roasted veggies + avocado + quinoa + balsamic dressing


We are camping this weekend and the Summer Roll-up will surely make a campsite cameo.


What about you? Do you have a picnic staple?



A workout worth repeating

Posted on June 16, 2015

Last Friday (four days ago) I did a workout that I only just recovered from yesterday. Whew weeee! I wanted to really focus on my lower body and keep my heart rate up the entire time, so I paired some treadmill work with 2 different Nike Training Club workouts. The result was killer and left me so very sore for 3 days. So, I decided it was good enough to do on a weekly basis… and to share with you all of course.

Nike Training Club has a variety of workouts to choose from, varying in length and type. (See other posts here here and here for more on NTC.) Since I have been doing most of my strength training at the gym, instead of at home, I am able to mix treadmill intervals in with my weight training. (These are my favorite types of workouts because they are do damn efficient and do not leave you wondering, “is this workout doing anything?” There is no wondering, just lots of sweating.) I create hour-long workouts by combining two 15-minute routines from NTC and 3 rounds of treadmill work:

 Treadmill + NTC + Treadmill + NTC + Treadmill

The result is something fiercely awesome. Instead of going back and forth from the cardio area of the gym to the weight room, I do the NTC work right next to the treadmill I am using. I look for the most out of the way treadmill that allows me to be somewhat out of the way of other people. Now, you may not be comfortable with this, but it sure makes things easier and allows for quick transitions from tread to training. I even do some exercises on the actual treadmill (ex. bridge lifts). But if the gym is crazy busy and I can’t carve a spot in the cardio room, I end up going from the cardio area to the weight room. Either one works.

Do you want to give it a shot? Oh, great! Here’s the drill:

  • Treadmill 1: 12 minutes – 1 minute warm up at jog pace (6.0 mph), 30 seconds at +.5 speed (6.5 mph), 30 seconds at +1 speed (7.0 mph), 30 seconds at +1.5 speed (7.5 mph), 30 seconds at +2 speed (8 mph), 30 seconds at jog pace, 30 seconds at +1 speed (7.0 mph), 30 seconds at +1.5 speed (7.5 mph), 30 seconds at +2 speed (8.0 mph), 30 seconds at +2.5 speed (8.5 mph), 30 seconds at jog pace, 30 seconds at +1.5 speed (7.5 mph), 30 seconds at +2 speed (8 mph), 30 seconds at +2.5 speed (8.5 mph), 30 seconds at +3 speed (9.0 mph), 60 seconds at jog pace, 30 seconds at +4.0 speed (10.0 mph), 60 seconds jog pace recovery, 30 seconds side step on right side at 4.0 speed (+/- 1.0), 30 seconds side step on left side at 4.0 speed (+/- 1.0), 60 seconds backwards run at 4.0 speed (+/- 1.0).
  • NTC 1: Leaner Legs (15 minute routine in the “Get Focused” section)
  • Treadmill 2: 12 minutes – 2 minute warm up at jog pace (6.0 mph), 30 seconds at 3% incline, 30 seconds at 5% incline, 60 seconds at 0% incline and +1 speed (7.0 mph), 30 seconds at jog pace, 30 seconds at 4% incline, 30 seconds at 6% incline, 60 seconds at 0% incline and +1.5 speed (7.5 mph), 30 seconds at jog pace, 30 seconds at 5% incline, 30 seconds at 7% incline, 60 seconds at 0% incline and +2 speed (8 mph), 60 seconds jog pace to recover, 30 seconds side step on right side at 4.0 speed (+/- 1.0), 30 seconds side step on left side at 4.0 speed (+/- 1.0), 60 seconds backwards run at 4.0 speed (+/- 1.0).
  • NTC 2: Butt Buster (15 minute routine in the “Get Focused” section)
  • Treadmill 3: 5 minutes- 60 second warm up at jog pace (6.0 mph), 30 seconds at +1 speed (7.0 mph), 30 seconds at +2 speed (8.0 mph), 30 seconds at +3 speed (9.0 mph), 30 seconds at jog pace, 30 seconds at +1 speed (7.0 mph), 30 seconds at +2 speed (8.0 mph), 30 seconds at +3 speed (9.0 mph), 30 seconds at jog pace to recover.
  • Cool down and stretch it out


And, if you’re the music listening type (I mean, who isn’t?) then check out this NTC playlist on Spotify. It’s what got me through that booty burner.



I will be doing this workout again either tomorrow or Thursday – whose with me?

Team Vitamix!

Posted on June 11, 2015

Celebrating the Vitamix's return with Hello Day Cakes

Celebrating the Vitamix’s return with Hello Day Cakes

A few weeks ago I was moving and grooving in my kitchen. I had just gotten home from the gym and was making lunch for the kids while trying not to eat everything in sight. Food could not come quickly enough, so I started to whip up a quick smoothie for myself. I tossed in the banana, almond milk, protein powder, almond butter, spinach and spoon. I set it on the smoothie setting and hit go. The Vitamix started up and I went back to dishing up sandwiches and fruit. And just like that, I was the multi-tasking idiot that effed up her Vitamix for the second time in a year. Shit shit shit.


Unlike last time, I damaged the actual machine – 3 different components actually, including the blender container itself. Ugh. But, just like last time, I called Vitamix and they rescued my appliance-busting ass. They sent me a pre-paid UPS shipping label via email, I boxed the damaged machine up and dropped it at a UPS store. Vitamix fixed it within a few days and emailed me when it was on it’s way back to me. It was on track to be back in my kitchen within 10 days of my screw up. Not bad, not bad at all.


And that’s when things got weird. Long, boring, logistical nightmare story short, the repaired Vitamix ended up being delivered to an address I lived at 10 years ago. Strange. Luckily the current resident is beyond cool and actually called Vitamix to let them know of the mix up. Vitamix contacted to me let me know the dude was going to ship it back to Vitamix. Okaaaay. Then, I get an email from my tenant at our Newport house saying that some dude just delivered a Vitamix to the house… the kind dude decided to bypass UPS and actually hand deliver the Vitamix to what he thought was the correct address. Weird. Are people really that nice to go out of their way like that to return a blender to it’s rightful owner. Sorry do-gooder-dude, but you should have just left it to UPS. 


I called Vitamix Monday morning and explained the strange series of events and the fact that I am in Oregon and my repaired blender is in California. And after a few questions and apologies, Vitamix told me that a brand new blender was on it’s way to my house (in Oregon). THE NEXT MORNING I received an upgraded Vitamix on my doorstep.

Special delivery!!

Special delivery!!

It’s shiny, it’s new, it blends like a dream. And the 7 year warranty that covers things like the blending of spoons and lids and hard objects just started all over again.

Shiny, new Professional Series 500

Shiny, new Professional Series 500

Thank you Vitamix. You are the best. Really, your machines and customer service cannot be beat. I’m forever a fan.

I use my Vitamix on the daily, so being without it was a bummer. The Bodenettes didn’t let me forget it, reminding me (at least once a day) that we couldn’t make pancakes/smoothies because I broke the blender. Here are a few of my favorite recipes I use my Vitamix for:

Banana Muffins




Fun Balls

Chocolate Mousse


My Go-To Slow Cooker Recipe

Posted on June 3, 2015

The easiest slow cooker recipe ever

In our house, we often wish for little gnomes that go around getting all the shit done we don’t want to do. You know, clean the floors (at the top of my wish list), wash baseboards, wash the fridge, tidy up the playroom… I could go on and on. And while I’ve yet to come home and find an 18″ pudgy dude with a purple pointed hat going to town with a swiffer, I do have one secret weapon that helps out huge in the dinner prep department. The slow cooker.


The slow cooker is an amazing thing. It does the thing I don’t want to do – spend hours in the kitchen babysitting food while it cooks.


Well, just when I thought slow cooking couldn’t be any easier, one of my longtime best friends (and person extraordinaire) wowed a few of us friends with a simple chicken chili at her house one Tuesday night. For the past few years, I have been making it on the regular and it’s a home run hitter every time.


5 Ingredient + 4 Hour Chicken Chili


  • Jar of green salsa. I use the Salsa Verde from Trader Joe’s.
  • 1.5 pounds of chicken breasts or thighs. I prefer thighs for this recipe, plus they’re cheaper.
  • 1 can of beans. I switch between black, cannellini (white) and pinto. Any of them taste great, but cannellini are my favorites because of their texture.
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes. I use fire roasted with chilis for added flavor.
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin


  1. Pour the jar of salsa into the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. This is the best part… are you ready? Add the FROZEN chicken. Did you catch that? You can make this dish with frozen chicken!! I can hear the angels singing and it’s lovely.
  3. Add the can of diced tomatoes and cumin.
  4. Stir things up so the chicken is coated, not necessarily covered, but just coated in the salsa and tomatoes.
  5. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  6. After 3 1/2 hours, use a fork to shred the chicken up. Then add the can of rinsed beans and cook for 30 minutes more.
  7. Give it a good stir and dish it up over brown rice or just a la carte.

I top mine with a dollop of greek yogurt (don’t knock it until you try it), avocado and cilantro. For the Bodenettes, I also add shredded cheddar cheese.


This dish is great for large groups too. A few weeks ago my dad and his running buddy Keith came over for dinner. Knowing that they were going to have run 30+ miles over the course of two days leading up to dinner, I went ahead and doubled the batch and made 8 cups of brown rice. It was a good thing because these dudes showed up to my house (after running a marathon mind you) starving. This simple chili saved the day and those guys ate to their heart’s content. P.S. Keith, here’s the recipe you wanted.


Now, would you do me a solid? If you have a simple slow cooker recipe you love, would you share it with me? 


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