Sportello

Rachael, Rebecca and I get together almost bi-weekly to catch up over apps & drinks.  We realized, as of late, that we've been hitting our usual favorite restaurants over and over again.  In the new year, we committed to trying places that none of us have been to yet.  

Tonight, we went to

Sportello

in South Boston near Seaport. 

I talk about "health in friendships" a lot. Having healthy relationships should really be the foundation to your healthy

lifestyle.  

My friends and family mean the world to me.  Fitting in quality time with the people that mean the most to you... is healthy.

Let me tell you about the food... here's how we started: 1 red, 2 Proseccos. Bread.

Rachael and I have VERY similar palettes and even usually share a couple of different appetizers rather than getting our own meal.  Here, we both got separate portions of butternut squash angnolotti. Becca got the tagliatelle bolognese.  (She always gets that (or a steak) and we always take a bite). Both were amazing.

Dear Boston, what's the deal with your black puffy jacket? (I'm guilty)

I end most nights with peppermint tea.  My mom always told me that peppermint aids in digestion.  She was/is correct.  I absolutely love it.

Have a fabulous friday. xo.

Favorite beauty fake-outs

First and foremost, a healthy diet, 4+ days/week workouts, and lots of water is the number one beauty "secret".  There are, however, some topical products I swear by when it comes to looking and feeling beautiful... even in the dead of winter.

I love living in Boston, it is a fantastic city.  The months of January - March can, however, be a little tough both mentally and physically.  The right attitude and some key beauty products can make these months a bit more bearable. Plus, the city is really quite beautiful after it snows :)

Here are my favorites: Clarisonic Mia. I've turned a lot of people onto this little life changing device. It works by 'swooshing' the bad stuff out of your pores, rather than scrubbing them. It works wonders! I started using it about a year ago and have never had smoother skin.

Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer.

 I use this daily. I love it even more in the winter because the antioxidant-rich mangosteen extract provides for a natural tanned tint. I don't like to wear a lot of makeup so many times after I put this on in the morning, the only addition I make to the skin on my face is a little blush.

Speaking of tan, don't go fake tanning. It is terrible for your skin and you'll kick yourself later in life when you start to look like an old lady at 35. Plus, you know it causes cancer... don't do it.  St. Tropez makes (in my opinion) by far the the BEST faux tan lotions.  The one on the left is for a dark tan (I don't use this too often), but, it works like a charm.  Don't be scared when you first put it on, as your skin will turn green and then fades.  The end result, is fantastic. You will not be orange and you will smell delicious.  Their products provide a natural glow, not the oompa-loompa look. The one on the right, I use almost daily.  It's a gradual tanning lotion and won't leave your hands a crazy color.  It works amazingly well. Plus, they are formulated with natural ingredients.

Last but not least, NARS orgasm blush.  Rosey cheeks are the 2nd best accessory in the winter (aside from a bright white smile).  The NARS orgasm blush is just the right color that doesn't look too crazy pink or too light.

Have a wonderful week... stay warm. xo

Girls Night

Well, I've been teasing on social media all week that I'd be back to blogging... so here is my first post since August.  Why did I stop for so long? Quickly, I started a new job, bought my first home, and felt as though if I was going to continue blogging... I needed to update the style.  Moving forward, you will find simplified posts that tie back to the description....

achieving a healthier lifestyle

. Not all posts will revolve around exercise and recipes... the focus will be on my lifestyle. I hope you enjoy.

Moving on, last night I had all of my girls over to catch up, drink wine, and of course, eat. We had a lot of catching up to do which, of course, resulted in a lot of laughs.  I prepared a few of my entertaining staples. You'll see where I incorporated healthy options.

First, cheese.  You can't have a girls night without cheese.  Kim gave me this fabulous slate cheese chalkboard as a housewarming gift and I couldn't wait to use it.  When serving cheese, it's always nice to label what exactly is being served.  I always include a brie, hard cheese, and a semi-soft.  Last night, double-cream brie, Jarlsberg swiss, and manchego were served with a side of fig jam and whole wheat french baguette from a local bakery (fig jam will change your life).  The manchego and the brie are pretty much gone.

Next, homeade baked potato chips.  No need to fry when the oven will do the trick (and so much healthier).  Simply either use your mandolin or thinly slice a variety of potatoes (I used sweet and baby gourmet red potatoes).  Soak in water to remove the starches (thanks,

Krista

for that tip!), pat dry, douse in o/o, salt, pepper, and thyme (any herbs will do). Bake on parchment/baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.  These were a hit and are also all gone.

Last but not least, my specialty, antipasto.  If you know me, you know I am professional antipasto maker. I enjoy every second of putting this together, I put a lot of love into my antipasto.  You can use any Italian meats/cheese and marinated vegetables.  I always build around prosciutto, hard salami, and hot capicola. The beauty of this is that you don't have to cook it, you can prepare it while you chat, and there's something for everyone. Just serve it with a slide of Italian or French bread and everybody is happy, very happy. 

Other healthy options served: Tabouli, baked mushrooms, yogurt spinach/artichoke dip.

Have a fabulous weekend. xo.

7 Quick, Everyday, Easy Health Tips... Part 1

I'm going to keep it simple tonight. Understanding that if you are reading this blog, you are likely looking to find a few tips here and there that you can implement into your every day life. Here are 7 of my best tips for being

healthy every day

.  I labeled it "part 1" because I plan to make this a series. Enjoy!

1. Buy lemons.

I start most days with a glass of lemon water, it revs metabolism and is great for the digestive track.  To make it easy: Slice and put in a baggy for the week.  I also use the slices for dressing, etc. throughout the week.

2.Make your friends a priority and have fun.

Do I need to explain this? Probably not, but laughter and close relationships result in a longer life span, greater confidence, and (of course) overall happiness. My friends mean the world to me.

3. Work out at least 4 times per week. Mix it up and find what you love.

If you don't work out, start. Period. Get off your ass! Start with 2 days. If you work out 2 days, add a day, and so on.  I simply do not understand  how people can care so much about a their car; making sure it has the premium gas, the oil is changed on time, and scrapes are fixed immediately. Yet, they don't work out.  Your body is your machine, use it or watch it deteriorate.  I know, I'm being aggressive, but, it's so important. Start with going for walks and build up from there. I'm not telling you to jump into a boxing class or run a half marathon right away. Get up, walk, lift, do jumping jacks, run up and down your stairs 10 times, etc.  Start small and build up.

pwgsouthboston.jpg

4. Save the Drama for your Mama.

Have a rough morning? Annoyed with traffic, your boss, your neighbor? Leave it off facebook and don't complain.  First, no one wants to see it. Second, and more importantly, people start commenting and then you are reminded of your shitty morning.  Just move on... and remember "This too, shall pass". Before you know it, your day will probably have turned around and you

won't be stressing and miserable all day

(relating it back to health ;)

5. Indulge a little bit.

The healthiest people I know never deprive themselves.  They eat healthy most of the time and truly enjoy food. And, they never beat themselves up for it.  I eat frozen yogurt or a piece of dark chocolate almost every night after dinner.  Just make sure whatever it is, is in a rational serving and isn't loaded with fake chemicals.

6. Eat the healthiest at work.  

My cousin, Jenn and I talk about this all the time.  Why in the world would we eat unhealthy at work? 1) I like to indulge when I'm out to eat with my friends or on the weekends... not at work. 2) Unhealthy food leaves me feeling lethargic and ready for a nap.  That is no way to spend the work day.  Pack a lunch or order healthy meals.  Bring snacks such as fruit, nonfat greek yogurt, and almonds.  This should be easy.

7. Drink your coffee.

 Who is spreading the nasty rumor that coffee is bad for you? It isn't.  Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and a caffeine boost gets your body revved up.  Just don't load it up with tons of cream and sugar.  Keep it simple... two tsps should be fine.  And, try not to drink more than 2 cups per day.  Caffeine overload can have negative side effects.  Plus, a cup before a workout has been proven to increase athletic performance.  Yes!

Have an awesome week!

Try something new...

Yesterday, I went to a boxing gym in Southie with my best friend.  I've boxed a little bit in the past, but, it's been a while.  I've been looking forward to checking out this gym for a while. Well, let me just tell you - it was awesome!  I've always enjoyed boxing workouts and  my favorite class to teach is cardio kickboxing.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to check this place out, but, I'm so glad I finally went.  We started out jump roping then moved on to boxing circuits with a heavy bag alternating shadow boxing and strength moves.  We then moved on to free weights (ah, at this point I had to grab lighter weights than I usually use).  Then, we finished with medicine ball partner work. Then, see ya later - go stretch when you get home. 60 minutes of intense cardio and strength work - I'm hooked.  

My friend and I are both pretty sore today... which is what leads me to my point with this post.  When is the last time you challenged yourself? Not only is it important to switch up your workouts on a regular basis, but, it's also important to really challenge yourself every once in a while... even once a week.  First, it's great for your body (obviously). I lift, run, plyo-jump on a regular basis, but the last time I hit a heavy bag? Ah, it's probably been a year... even my forearms hurt today! Next, it's good for your self esteem.  You'll be surprised at what you can do -  don't ever assume that you cannot do something... be confident and try it.  Third, it's also healthy for the brain. Yes, challenging your body also challenges your mind and keeps you sharp.

There are so many cost free ways to try a new, exciting powerful workout without spending extra cash.  Here are some ideas:

1) Check out a new gym class... most offer a free trial

2) Try a class at a local dance studio... again, most offer a free trial

3) Drive to the hilliest part of town and go for a run and hit every hill you can find.  Sprint up each hill.  Tell me you don't feel that the next day.

4) Go to a track and do sprints, run up and down the stadium. Do sprints on the field.

5) Try a crossfit workout

6) Ask for a trial with a personal trainer at a gym - most gyms will give you a free first trial (this will also give you ideas for workouts and help improve form)

7) Go to the beach and run on the sand

8) Try a boxing gym! ;)

9) Sign up for for a Heat Management race (spartan races, mud runs, etc)  They are so fun - I did one back in the fall with my best friend (Lucky me that I have a friend who's down for any challenge)

10) Pick up some new equipment at a store (even "5 Below" has kettle bells, medicine balls, etc) and create a circuit with a friend.

Obviously it will cost money if you sign up, but, won't it be worth it? I'm joining this gym in southie - it rocks.

Onto the recipe of the day...

This is super fast, healthy, and delicious!

Need:

- 1/3 Avocado

- 1 1/2 Tomatoes

- 1 Chicken breast (or two tenderloins)

- 3 mini mozzarella balls (ciligiene)

- Olive oil

- Juice from 1 half lemon

(TIP: I always have a lemon cut into wedges and ready to go. I buy a bag a week and always have the slices ready for my water and for cooking)

- Garlic

- Salt, crushed red pepper, parsley flake, FRESH basil

First, pound the chicken thin in between two pieces of parchment paper or saran wrap.  Spray or drizzle with olive oil and coat with garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, and parsley.  

Throw it on a grill or saute pan (it will cook very fast because it is so thin). Then flip to cook the other side.

While this is happening... Chop tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella, and basil and put in a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt and crushed red pepper. Mix it up.

After that, put the chicken on a plate and in a small bowl put a squeeze of lemon, tsp of olive oil, tsp of parmesan, and minced basil... mix and spread on chicken (pesto flavor without busting out the cuisinart food processor.

Lastly, pour the mixture over the chicken, serve & eat!

Hope you all have a great week!