Count Your Blessings & Be Thankful

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving and it is going to be crazy (which is why I will not be around to write a post).  I am spending this holiday with my boyfriend D and his family in Minnesota, but I am also battling a horrible cold bronchitis that I am wishing will go away by Wednesday.  Still I am not planning in letting a bronchitis ruin this holiday.

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish: Harvest Moon Quinoa

Oh Thanksgiving, that blessed day of the year when we all gather around the table to give thanks for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us during the year...then we stuff our faces.  Come on, you know there is no other way to say.  It is a stuff-athon.  I am not going to lie, I don't even feel guilty, but next day I am usually feeling sluggish and with that Nyquil buzz feeling when you are sick.  I know some of you have experienced this.  How do we make sure this does not happen again?  We make healthier choices like my beautiful Harvest Moon Quinoa. 

 Quinoa is by far, my favorite grain and I can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Even though it can have a nutty flavor (especially the red quinoa) it is easily adaptable to many flavors, making it one versatile protein packed grain.  This side dish which I originally posted when I had my previous blog, Fitness Girl Kitchen, would make a perfect main dish to your vegan or vegetarian friends.  It is colorful, healthy and delicious.  And while everything is delicious, the one thing that brings it all together is the dressing.  When I first made this (sans dressing) it needed something to bring all the flavors together.  And this dressing worked like a charm!  This dish is so easy that it barely needs a recipe but here it is one should you require one.
2-3 cups cooked quinoa
1 can corn, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 cups roasted sweet potatoes cut into small chunks
1 roasted apple, cut into small chunks
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. honey
Juice from 1 large lemon
1-2 tbsp. honey ginger vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt & pepper to taste
Steps:  This dish is about assembling.  With prior preparation this can be assemble pretty quickly.  Roasting the potatoes and apple can be a little time consuming but so worth it.  Combine everything in a bowl and the add the dressing.  Toss and serve.

To me, this recipe is better served warm to fully appreciate the layers of flavors.  If you make ahead of time and refrigerate it, just warm it in the microwave for a few minutes before serving.  I love that this quinoa truly brings together the flavors of the season making it a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table.  Enjoy!

Holiday 2013 Must Have Fitness Gear {Part I}

Can y'all believe that the holidays are just around the corner?  It seems like fall went by really fast!  But I am not complaining because I also love the Christmas season.  It is a great time to reminisce about childhood, make new memories, and spend it with family and friends.  It is also the uber gift giving time of the year.  And I love a good gift especially if it fitness related!  So, it is that time of the year when I like to share some gift ideas for the fitness enthusiasts, whether it is for someone or even for yourself.  We do have to pamper ourselves sometimes too.  You will probably see a few more of these posts as we get closer to Christmas but here it the first iteration of my must have's for the season.


first column

 // oakley, break point sunglasses // I ♥ ♥ ♥ Oakley glasses because they are stylish, protective and last FOREVER. The Break Point style offer comfort with a chic factor which makes them perfect to go from a run outdoors to a trip to the mall or a restaurant. 

// thought blossom, half marathon bracelet //  I first heard of this company through a giveaway and love ALL of their cute products on Etsy.  This particular bracelet I love because of its understated yet stylish look. 

// athleta, spring gym bag // Y'all know I am an Athleta fanatic and this bag is one of my favorite gym bags I own.  It is big enough to carry all of my gym accoutrements and because of its stylish sleek designI even use it when I go away for day trips. 

second column

// oiselle, flyte long sleeve shirt // If you are looking for a soft and light layer to add to your winter wardrobe, let me recommend the flyte top.  They are so soft, I actually have one that I use to sleep in.  I love that it is not clingy and that it has thumbholes. Whoever invented thumbholes: I love you!

// north face, chunky knit visor beanie // Ok, so this is a male beanie but I love the color and the chunkiness of it.  You will definitely be a trendsetter with this stylish and warm hat during the winter cold months!

// under armour, cold gear infrared ua storm stealth //  These gloves really have me going.  I will be spending my holidays in Minnesota and after last year's experience I need some warm gloves, and these do not disappoint.  With a fleece finish that is highly waterproof, these gloves are soft and warm.  And I personally love the extra wide wrist construction that keeps the wrists warm and toasty too.

third column

// oiselle, rundie //  Seriously, how high is the cute factor of the Rundies, Oiselle's underwear with running workouts printed on the back.  Because nothing says I am a runner like having your workouts on your bottoms!  Update: I hear from the peeps at Oiselle that the Rundies are almost out of stock, but the RANDIES are not!  Randies are the same style underwear but with more attitude and motivational spirit.  I wonder if they would make a custom pair for me that says "Eat My Dust!". Ha!  Can you tell I'm a bit competitive?

// moving comfort, mix it up scarf //  This next item is near and dear to my heart because when I am running there is one thing I cannot stand: a cold neck.  Brrr... I can be wrapped in the warmest clothing and if the neck gets cold, forget it; I am done.  This scarf from Moving Comfort is a butter-soft infinity scarf which will not scratch your neck (don't you hate scratchy scarves?) and will make a perfect addition to your pre- or post-workout outfit.  And in my case, to my actual workout.   

// kor, nava filtering water bottle //  I am a sucker for water bottles and I am really loving the Nava bottle because it makes tap water taste great by filtering as you drink.  The push-button cap opens with a click, and the filter system consists of coconut shell (which exceed the standards for chlorine taste and odor removal).  The Nava is truly a stylish, convenient and fun alternative to bottled water.  Plus is better for the environment.
As you can tell from my list here is something for everyone in your holiday list.  Some of these items are are great ideas for people who are not into fitness.  Just remember that when picking a gift the more personal you make, the more thoughtful it is.   Toodles!

 Joining Five on FridayFriday FavoritesFitness FridayThe Fitness Friday Linkup.


Obsesssing Over Statement Necklaces

Once in a while I have to get out of my gym clothes {because I love my gym clothes} and get dressed up whether it is to attend a work event or a special occasion.  Do not get me wrong, I love fashion but I do not go out enough to merit getting all dolled up all the time. :-)  Having been in the modeling industry for many years {when I was a lot younger}, it always surprises people that I am not a jewelry person, not even during the time I was modeling.  I am a "stud earrings and maybe a ring" kind of girl.  As you can probably imagine this drives my very Hispanic, jewelry loving mother crazy.  I love her to death but my mom LOVES jewelry, she loves layering necklaces, statement earrings, big stones.  And darn it if she doesn't always looks fabulous!  But it is not my style.  

One of her biggest disappointments, is the fact that I do not do necklaces.  Maybe a little silver chain with a diminutive charm but that is it.  So imagine her surprise when I ordered and wore this beautiful bubble necklace inspired by the the JCrew necklace that is all over the magazines.  I cannot tell you what it is but when I saw it, I fell in love with it.  I originally bought it for Thanksgiving but as soon as I got it, I had to wear it!  


Needless to say I am now obsessed with statement necklaces, plus I figured I better put this long neck to use, right?  Here are some other necklaces that I am loving and have made it to my wish list.  They are funky and stylish...some more than others.  But they all have one thing in common: they are tons of fun!

I can tell you from experience that the most intimidating thing about wearing statement necklaces is the "too much?" factor but also how to wear them.  Well, these ladies show us how to wear them adding an instant wow factor to any ensemble.  

What do you think?  Are you into statement necklaces?  If so what is your favorite way to wear them?  If not, why aren't you into them?

Bonjour, Monday!

Well, it is the start of a new week again and while it is Monday, that means I am one week closer to Thanksgiving and I'll get to spend a wonderful time with my boyfriend and his family.  And since I love them all, it is a perfect way to spend the holiday.  Speaking of holidays, who else is happy that Christmas has arrived at Starbucks?  I always get giddy when they display all the red merchandise because that means the arrival of the Eggnog Latte.  Yeap, I'm one of those peeps who is obsessed with eggnog in every form. But that red is also so festive!  Let the holidays begin!

On Friday, I went to see Thor: The Dark World and I loved it, not only because of Chris Hemsworth but it was actually pretty good plot! It had the right mix of action, comedy and drama.  I am sticking with that is why I am including a pic of Thor for your viewing pleasure.  I think the boyfriend was on to me when I told him I wanted to go see it a second time. ;-)

One of the craziest things this week was how cold it got here in Kansas but even worse was when I realized all my winter clothes are back in my house in North Carolina (and there is no one there right now) so I had to go searching for a fashionable coat which is quite a feat when you have long arms like I do.  But after much searching I went to TJ Max and found a beautiful Guess toggle jacket which is comfortable yet very fashionable.  This photos does not do it justice.

The rest of the weekend was very low key.  I did some more running and I was so happy with how my foot recovery is coming along.  It has taken a lot of discipline to not go further than the one mile because I honestly feel like I am up to running 2-3 miles but I do not want to undo all the goodness this surgery did.  I also picked up the latest issue of Runner's World and is it me or is this one of the best issues in a long time?  And I love how they did a feature on how running has become this social media movement connecting people all across the country and globally.  Many brand like New Balance have capitalized on that through their ad campaigns and it was about time that "the bible" acknowledge this movement too!

How was your weekend dears?  I hope it was fabulous!

 Marvelous on Monday. Monday Morning Gossip. 

I Can Run Again... Therefore I Am Happy!

Today was my first day "running" post recovery from surgery!  And I use the term running very loosely because it was more of a jog/walk deal.  My doctor's instructions were to run on a track, run no more than 1 mile, go at an easy pace and at the first sign of discomfort revert to walking.  With instructions in tow, I made my way to the track, which is synthetic and has that rubbery surface and slowly made my way around the track.

This was more of an experiment to gauge how my foot was feeling and I was pleasantly surprised to feel no actual pain.  Until I hit about 1.4 miles (yeah, that happened before I realized it) when I started feeling a slight pull in the area where I had the surgery.  At that point I stopped a walked for a little bit.  The run was REALLY slow, but it was good to just be back doing what I love.  So what is next?  I am continuing with my strength training but also incorporating some running into it.  I am using a Couch Potato to 5K running program, to get back into it slowly. I know it is going to drive me insane at first but really need to ease into running or I will end up where I was. 

The cool thing is that this program will also allow me to get strong and ready to focus on 5Ks next years.  Maybe I'll try a 10K but honestly I am happy for now to do 5Ks.  So I am joining Jill @ Fitness Health & Happiness with her 14 on 2014.  I love that you can choose the distances you want to run, and I'll be focusing on the 5Ks.  Click on the button below for more details.

I tell you, one thing I have learned from this surgery is that I LOVE RUNNING and I will never take it for granted.  Running is my happy place but I have to take care of my happy place before moving forward.  

What I Am Loving...

Hello dears!  Wow, it seems like this week is flying by!  This past weekend I was in Minnesota and had such an amazing time that I did not want to leave!  But I had to come back home and so I haven't had much chance to blog.  So, today I am sharing my favorite things right now {because I watched the Sound of Music last night and have My Favorite Things song stuck in my head}.