Motivation Monday #4

Welcome to the start of another exceptional week friends!

yoga-photography workshop-5.jpgWhile my family has been in town we’ve been keeping busy with long walks around the city, bike rides over Golden Gate Bridge, Paint Nite, rooftop dinners, and awesome city meals! I feel like Phil and I took a mini vacation even though we never left the Bay Area.IMG_0533.JPGWe have one more day until Mom & Dad fly home which isn’t keeping us from staying committed to kicking butt and keeping healthy for the 4th of our 16 exceptionally motivated weeks. My day started bright and early with a bike ride, yoga class, and some meditation. Then its a little more family time and crossing my fingers the weather holds out for my parents. I also have to squeeze in some work because there are some great projects in the works this week that I am super excited to share with you…soon!IMG_0540For now, you’ll have to be satisfied with another week of healthy eats and awesome exercises to stay healthy, motivated and feeling like your best! There is nothing quite like time with family to leave you feeling full of energy and ready to tackle another week!

Week 4

“Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger!” 

Weekly Exercise: Yoga Daily, 45 minutes cycling 2x week, and HIIT 2xweek

Routine: Pyramid Style  (2x week)                                                                                                                     (10sec, 20 sec, 30sec, 40sec,30sec,20sec,10sec rounds w/15sec rest btwn)

  • burpees
  • lunges
  • mountain climbers
  • skaters
  • plank

Breakfast: scrambled eggs whites with cheddar cheese & spinach on sprouted toast and orange juice OR oatmeal with banana and walnuts

Lunch: tuna salad with mixed greens OR tofu bowl with veggies and quinoa

Dinner: cauliflower pizza, fish tacos with zesty slaw, OR whole wheat pasta w/roasted veggies & marinara.

Snacks: Health Warrior Chia Bars, Trail Mix, Hummus w/cucumbers, carrots & pita chips, and apple w/peanut butter


’til next time, keep smiling 🙂


Foodie Friday

Welcome to the Weekend!

I am so excited for the 1st Foodie Friday of the month. This and every 1st Friday of the month will be a special Plated edition. Phil and I have used Plated a few times in the past with a lot of success, so this year, I thought it would be cool to highlight some of the interesting recipes they come up with and share them with all of you!plated 1-1Some of you might be thinking, “what happened to this week’s diet regime?!?!?” and I want you to rest assured the only deviation is dinner and each of these recipes definitely healthy. There will also be more details of the weekly diet specifics revealed from week to week…now, back to the deliciousness we’re consuming for dinner this weekend. plated 1-2

On the menu: 

  • Pan Seared Pollock w/blood orange, grapefruit, fennel, arugula and olives
  • Whole Wheat Pizza with gruyere, mushrooms, arugula, and ricotta
  • Cauliflower and Chickpea tacos with lime crema and red cabbage

plated 1-3All of these delicious meals are between 425-625 health dense calories and I can’t wait to cook them all. Find these and the other recipes of the week here and send me your email in the comments below for a free promotional offer on your own Plated box!


’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Making it work

Getting back into a groove with my diet & exercise regime has been challenging – I recently started a new job at an artisan Italian shop where the hours can be long and the food is incredible. Pasta Gina focuses of fresh pastas, raviolis, sauces, spreads, soups, salads, and classic entrees; so as I am sure you can imagine, taking home dinner every night is quickly becoming routine. I have been careful to avoid the tiramisu, cannoli, and other tempting treats BUT still need to be sure our pasta dinners are carefully balanced with the right amount of cardio and less wheat/grains throughout the day.

Today I woke up with some yoga, road my bike to work, and plan to squeeze some mid afternoon yoga in as well…I may not be able to dedicate 90 minutes to practice or 60 minutes to cardio but 30 minutes a few times a day adds up!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Getting over the hump

Happy Hump Day Friends! The work week has gotten off to a busy start but thankfully, this weekend was anything but! imagePhil and I were able to really relax, wander the city, watch the Eagles win their third game of the season (GO BIRDS!!), and enjoy the last official weekend before fall! We checked out the fall festival along South St – taking time to listen to the different bands/musicians playing on the street & picked up some tasty treats from our favorite guilt free sweets spot.

Sweet Freedom Bakery Treats
Sweet Freedom Bakery Treats

image_3In honor of the leisurely weekend I whipped up a batch of homemade whole wheat pasta with my healthy adaptation of alfredo sauce (greek yogurt instead of butter or cream). Its been awhile since I’ve made some homemade pasta, so I was a little nervous about how the batch was going to turn out but it was delicious! Similarly, I haven’t made the healthy alfredo since my initial experiment but it was just as yummy as I remember, in fact, it all was a perfect compliment to the Sweet Freedom goodies we purchased for dessert…talk about deceivingly healthy indulgences!image_5

I got a fair amount of practice in this weekend but with only 18 days left until I leave for Tulum, I’ve really gotta hit the mat. I mean, I know yoga isn’t a competition but I certainly would prefer not to be the weakest in my Yoga Medicine teacher training, haha!

Yoga on our Skagway Alaska Hike!
Yoga on our Skagway Alaska Hike!

We’re half way to the weekend friends and I for one, CAN NOT wait!

‘Til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

Welcome to the weekend lovers! I am so excited for a weekend of fun – celebrating graduations, spending time with my Dad, going on a long ride with Phil & hopefully sneaking in lots of little yoga sessions!

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This week’s Foodie Friday is a restaurant spotlight on one of the most delightful meals I have ever had! Vetri is a world renown restaurant tucked away on a townhouse lined street in center city that I have been dying to go to for about a decade. When I started this blog, Phil promised me we’d go to Vetri when I reached 250 followers…thank you ALL for your support because Phil & I enjoyed a SPECTACULAR meal!

Course after course was absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t help smile a bit with each bite. From the complimentary prosecco and small bites while perusing the menu…

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…to the pasta and main courses, each plate tasted devine. We had tuna involtini w/pickled fiddle head ferns, a morel sandwich, sweet onion crepe w/truffle fondue, salt baked quail, capretto w/stone milled polenta, & whole fish ‘secondo il mercato.’ And then there was the pasta….

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…ramp ravioli, tavalde paccheri w/octopus, spinach gnocchi w/brown butter, almond tortellini w/truffle sauce & ragu bolognese w/pappardelle. And just when I thought there was just no more room, they brought out the desserts…

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…cheese plate w/milk toast, pistachio flan w/milk chocolate gelato, chocolate polenta souffle, piccolo pasticceria & strawberry sorbet. If the meal wasn’t amazing enough, chef came out to the table and introduced himself! I am in total awe of Mark Vetri that having the chance to dine at the gem of his restaruant empire was enough, but then to be able to shake his hand…HOLY AWESOMENESS!

I have had some incredible meals in my life & this ranks right up there in my top 5 meals ever! I can’t wait to go back!


Happy Friday!



More than Fond

Happy Monday ALL! I hope your weekends were as wonderful as mine! I guess I have to rewind as far back as Thursday night…just SO much to share!

Thursday night was our anniversary dinner @ Fond. I got an awesome ride in before hand which made indulging in dessert an easy decision! While it was beautifully sunny, the intense winds made for challenging ride.kelly I was all geared up for this pleasant ride, intending to push myself after a nice leisurely warm up but mother nature had other plans! I was riding directly into the wind for the first 40 minutes and felt like I was crawling…this was NOT the work out I was looking for..but turning that corner back towards home felt so good and made the initial push SO worth it! It just goes to show that even though things may not turn out the way you intend, its how you handle it that makes all the difference!

Anyway, back to dinner…

While you’re welcome to BYOB, Fond does in fact feature a full bar to compliment their Amazing American cuisine! Phil and I opted to bring our own wine (no corkage fee Tues/Thurs) and were pleasantly surprised with a delightful amuse of wild mushroom soup to start the meal! We ordered yellowfin crudo and a roasted acorn squash salad to share but opted to pick our own main courses (mainly so my man could have some meat!). My salmon was one of the best plates of fish I’ve ever had, and Phil was silent as soon as his fork hit the plate, so I’m pretty sure he enjoyed the short ribs! Of course, no meal is complete without a sweet treat! We picked the pistachio tart with vanilla ice cream and poached cherries…DIVINE! All and all we had a marvelous meal that topped off our anniversary celebration perfectly!fondI managed to get three incredible yoga classes in this weekend, two of which were with new instructors that introduced unique sequencing that was challenging but effortless at the same time! The other was the mala (108) class I mentioned Friday for the Spring Equinox! I had an energizing salad and motivating meeting before class to put me in the mood – talking about health and wellness always fires me up! Kristin broke the class into 4 sets of 27 Sun Salutations, dedicating each set to an intention for you, your family/friends, the community at large, and your biggest challenge, respectively. Kristin had us write out each of our intentions and tuck the piece of paper under our mat as we practiced. Once practice was over Kristin asked us each to burn our intentions sheet as a way of releasing them into the universe…talk about an awesome way to kick of spring!A108 Phil and I spent the rest of the weekend doing our best to take in the wonderful weather. The farmers market is back so we took a stroll through the park and picked up some glorious goodness before making our way to an early dinner with Phil’s family!us It was his brother’s 29th Birthday this week so his parents took us all out to Capital Grille – I love any excuse to share a meal with family!!! I used to prefer dining around 8pm because that was the popular time to be out and about but let me tell you, early seatings are where it’s at!!! We were on our way home before 8pm which made for a much more chipper…and productive…Sunday morning!

What are some of the things you are more than fond of from your weekend?!?!?


Foodie Friday

Happy Friday Folks! As promised, today’s post is my spicy seafood fettuccine alfredo and I am so excited to share!! I’m actually making it again tonight Phil loved it so much!pasta 2

Spicy Seafood Alfredo

  • Whole Wheat Pasta (buy fresh or make: 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup semolina, 1 tbsp EVOO, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 lb scallops
  • 1/2 lb shrimp
  • 8 oz crab meat
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 small hot red peppers
  • 1 bag/bunch of spinach
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1/4 cup aged parmesan
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  • seasoning to taste: salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, red pepper flakes, cajun seasoning

The pasta is easy to make but if you don’t have a pasta roller, or if you just don’t feel comfortable making your own, you can always buy it. If its fresh, pasta only takes 3 minutes to cook, so have a pot of boiling water ready on the back burner. Cut the shrimp in half length wise and chunk the scallops into similar sized pieces. In a dry, med/hot nonstick pan, put the seafood down and let it sear for a minute or two. Turn the heat down to med/low and put 1.5 tbsp butter into the pan to loosen the seafood from the pan, add some lemon zest and lemon juice to deglaze and toss in the crab meat. Continue to cook for a minute and put aside to cool. In the same pan, turn the heat to medium and swirl some EVOO. Once the oil is hot, add shallots and garlic (save some for your sauce) and cook for 2 minutes before adding the peppers – stir often for 5-7 minutes. As the peppers are cooking, sprinkle in some red pepper flakes and start working on your alfredo sauce.pasta 1 In a separate sauce pan, turn the heat to med/low &  add remaining butter, garlic and shallots. Once the butter is melted add your tablespoon of whole wheat flour and stir until totally combined. Turn the heat down a little, add the milk – stirring until well incorporated – then add the Greek yogurt and combine evenly. Once the dairy ingredients are well combined, add your spices and the 1/4 cup of fresh grated parm. Allow the cheese to melt thoroughly and the sauce to thicken before adding to pasta and veggies. While you’re getting the sauce together, splash some white wine into the peppers to deglaze the pan before turning off the heat and adding the spinach to wilt (stir gentle once or twice). Once the veggies and sauce are ready, toss fresh pasta in the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes – remove/strain promptly. Toss pasta, veggies and sauce together and cook together over low heat for about a minute. Top with chopped parsley and serve!

All and all (if you don’t count the 45-1hr to make the pasta) it takes about 30 minutes to prepare and about 30 seconds to devour! Growing up, my mother made the most amazing fettuccine alfredo – its one of those dishes I crave! My mother didn’t cook A LOT but everything she made was always so comforting and delicious it would take me to my ‘happy place’ with every forkful! So many dishes just like this one are tied to memories, and I get so excited when I make a healthy adaptation that doesn’t sacrifice flavor!

What are some of your favorite childhood dishes??



Pocono Weekend Round Up!

As promised, today’s post is all about our weekend up the mountains! Phil and I had an amazing time with friends and family as we said goodbye to the winter season…well, hopefully!

Friday was a low key night since we planned to spend the day skiing Saturday…well, we tried to keep things low key! If you’ve ever played played cards for humanity than you understand how an innocent few rounds can turn into several hours of insanely irreverent fun!

Our intended early morning start turned into more of a late breakfast and yoga hour to stretch things out!

We finally geared up and made it to the mountain in the afternoon. While my inner child was bursting at the seams with excitement, mainly because I was 12 the last time I strapped on a set of skis, my paranoid adult mind was petrified I would re-injure my still fragile back.

20140311-014239.jpgWell, I only made it down a few times because my back couldn’t handle it, BUT we had a blast and what was waiting at the lodge was well worth it!

20140311-014739.jpg We ended the day with some homemade pizza, red wine and The Wolf of Wall Street. Truth be told, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the movie but the pizza was yummy and red wine rarely disappoints!

We all used daylight savings as an excuse to stay in bed just a little later than usual. I for one could’ve stayed in bed ALL day but we were headed to grab a bite at the gem of the Pocono restaurant scene, The Jubilee!

After brunch we packed up and were all ready to hit the road, except for one tiny hiccup…

20140311-020015.jpg…Phil’s car wouldn’t start…whomp whomp! God bless AAA and the tow truck driver, Pocono Joe!

In keeping with my ‘find the good’ theme from yesterday, the inevitable tow did have an upside…

20140311-020319.jpgPhil and I got to spend the whole ride back holding hands…I love this man more than I can even attempt to put into words!

All and all the weekend was wonderful! I feel so blessed to have such a loving and supportive partner in life who challenges me and brings out the best version of myself!

Bye bye snow…Hello Sunshine!!!

Bulu Reviews

It’s almost the weekend and the weather in Philadelphia is finally turning around! Phil and I will be heading to visit my girlfriend from college tomorrow and celebrating St. Patty’s Day as only Rockaway New York knows how! For the record, we are ALL fully aware St. Patty’s Day isn’t until the 17th!

AnYwAy, I was so excited about all the samples from my bulu box, I’ve tried them all already! Out of the 5 samples provided I ordered 2, which I think is pretty good! As promised, I did a quick review of each of the products below. Since everyone’s body is different, I encourage you to try something yourself if you’re curious, but I feel strongly that we all learn from each other, so maybe one of these products will spark someone’s interest.

1) Power Crunch Protein:

  • While I was really excited about the vanilla cafe flavor, and it dissolved really well in water, I didn’t think I would be a big fan of the added energy enhancers and metabolic boosters. To be quite fair, I didn’t notice too much of a boost or buzz from the caffeine & taurine. I liked the fact I wasn’t starving by the time I made it home from coaching too… I imagine before a work out this would be awesome! I need to research all the ingredients…it looks natural but you can never be too sure! All and all, worth looking into for pre-work out nutrition .

2) Plant Fusion:

  • I am usually not a huge chocolate protein fan but I enjoyed this after my workout! It totally refueled my body and kept me feeling satisfied until dinner which was hours later. While the protein didn’t fully dissolve, the flavor was still delicious and I felt good about what I was putting in my body. I have a lot of protein powder at my place right now, but if I didn’t I would totally buy this full size product, loved it!

3) SoyJoy Bar:

  • This was probably the least satisfying sample in the box. The bar was the size of a steak fry and it was dry. Since there is little protein for the amount of sugar, its totally not worth it. I expected I would like it, as this was the one brand I was most familiar with in the whole box, but I guess it goes to show you never really know until you try!

4) Chosen Foods Meta Fiber Sticks:

  • This is one of the two products I purchased through the website. I was really happy with the favor, even though the powder didn’t fully dissolve into the water. I felt as though it gave me a boost during the end of my work out and really helped with my recovery. As an added bonus, I felt fuller sooner when dinnertime came so I didn’t over eat. The product is a little pricey for something I would use every day, but I’m going to give it a try and see if it’s worth the cost.

5) Shapeology Burn Blend:

  • I ended up ordering a bottle of this and will admit it was the product I was most skeptical about trying. After reading the label thoroughly researching a few ingredients I wasn’t familiar with, I felt comfortable enough to give it a try. The first two days I took two, doing as the bottle recommended and taking one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This was way too much for me, so I have been taking one in the morning with my vitamins and I’m really enjoying the results. I recently switched my multivitamin pack and the energy supplement I previously had each morning is not in the new pack. This is a nice replacement and I feel like it gives my work outs a boost.

On the whole my first bulu box experience was a success! Through the ordering process the customer service staff was helpful in addressing my questions, and whats really cool is if you review the products on the site, you earn points towards future orders. Just by reviewing the five samples I received I earned 50 points, enough for $5 my next order!

It doesn’t have to be bulu box, but I invite you to step outside your box and try something new!! What have you been doing or trying differently these days that you’re really enjoying? I’d love to hear about it!

sO mUcH sNoW!!

Howdy word press world! Remember me? The end of diving season is days away and with all this snow, the chaos of the season, and work, I feel like I have been spinning in circles! Summer doesn’t seem to mind though…20140219-132735.jpg

I know they’re about a week or so late, but in keeping with my New Years goal, here are photos from week 6. I have not been able to ride nearly at all with the past few weeks of snow, but I have been doing my best to work out a few times a week.20140219-132906.jpg

My Brother-in-law’s Birthday, Phil’s promotion celebration and Valentine’s day definitely took me a little off track but every day is another shot at being your healthiest self! Plus, all those stellar meals were well worth it, especially Valentine’s day!tinto

I may not be setting the world on fire with my weight loss goals but I am enjoying every bite! I am feeling stronger each day (minus the stiff neck I woke up to the other day!), and as soon as this snow melts a bit  more, I will be able to ride again – CAN’T WAIT!!!!

Happy Hump Day!