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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ranch Hummus Recipe

Hummus is so tasty! It's one of my favorite snacks to have with vegetables or pita bread.  I wanted to mix up my favorite snack and add a twist to it! I added Cottage Cheese to it! Who knew that Chick Peas and Cottage Cheese could come together and make such a delicious duo?

I chose Daisy because it's not just delicious, but it doesn't have all those additives and preservatives which if you know I am quite obsessed with learning about food lately.  I read basically every label of food that I consume.  I am not crazy and eat only clean food, but I like to know what exactly certain things are since most of them aren't even real food.  Well, back to the recipe.  

What you will need:

1 can of Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Ranch Packet 
(I know ranch isn't the cleanest, but everything can't be perfect)

Then blend all the ingredients together in a blender.  I used my Blendtec to get the thick consistency that hummus is known for.  After about 1-2 minutes of blending, it's done! I love to eat this with vegetables and even pretzels.  Click here to check out more delicious recipe's with Daisy!

This post is sponsored by Daisy, but opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Surviving the Holiday Season

If you are like me, then you have been gearing up for this season all year round.  You have been thinking in the back of your mind how you are going to approach Thanksgiving dinner, neighbor treats and work parties, and Halloween candy especially when it's on clearance November 1st.  As much as I wish I could just go into this season with the willpower of an army, I know I can't.  I spent many holiday seasons of my life enjoying myself without boundaries.  I ate and ate and ate, then ate some more.  I loved going to parties and having the food in the abundance.  The cookies delivered at my door were delicious and I could eat a whole bag of reeses'.  The only thing that these things got me was a size 22 pant and high blood pressure.  It also made me feel incredibly awful about myself.  I tried to pretend that who I was, was someone that I didn't mind being.  But deep inside, I really hated who I had become. I was sluggish, overweight and felt very unattractive.  I wish I could just go to a party and not worry about what food is there.  I always have to constantly remind myself that the food on the table doesn't need to be consumed by me.  I am pretty great at staying on my eating plan at home, but at parties, I get some sort of pressure to eat and eat, just like old times.  It scares me, but I know that I just have to find ways to cope with it and realize that food is meant for fuel and not fun or entertainment.  It can be and I don't have a problem with socializing around food, it's just when we abuse that.

As much as I wish I could just head into this fun exciting season without any guilt and eat every last piece of chocolate, I know that I can't.  Last year was my first year in my entire life that I can remember where I watched what I ate.  I was really dedicated and I even lost weight! This year I plan to do the same and every year after that.  I do this because I am not on a diet, I am on a thing called life.  I want a healthy life for myself.  I want to feel great in my jeans and I want that confidence that cookies cannot bring me.

This holiday season has been okay so far.  I will admit, I have had some splurges that were not planned, but honestly thinking about it and mulling over it makes it worse.  My best advice for unplanned splurges especially when you have more than you planned is just move on! Drink lots of water and realize that you can just move on and forget about it.  I also want to point out that you don't need to perfect.  Thank goodness for that! You don't have to be 100% every single day all day! Stop beating yourself up and be proud that you actually feel guilt because there may have been a time you didn't.  I can remember the times eating myself sick and just thinking that was normal, never weighing myself and not even realize that my pants were getting tight.  Thankfully now I am aware and know when I need to back off or step it up at the gym.

If you need extra help with the holiday season, make sure you download my Healthy Holidays Chart.  Just mark off the days in advanced that are planned splurges like parties, holidays, or just a cheat day.  Then hang it in your home or office.  I hang mine in my kitchen and cross it off at night when I have done good! It really helps me to stay on track because that X at the end of the day is so gratifying!

I also found this post very interesting on the eating disorders of the holiday season and how to cope with them!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

30 Minute Stair Master Workout

If you have ever been on a stair master, you know that those suckers make you SWEAT! I love the intensity I get from that machine that I don't get anywhere else! This workout is perfect for a cardio workout to combine with weights.  You can get in a great burn in just 30 minutes and I know you will  be dripping wet when you are finished.  Bring a water bottle with you while you use this machine! I promise you will need it.  Adjust the intensity if needed to your level.  If it isn't a good enough burn or it's too hard, then turn it down.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nena and Co. Bag

Have you seen these bags all over the place lately?  I mean they are just beautiful! When I first got it, I couldn't stop staring at it because all the colors are so beautiful and vibrant.  

I was also lucky enough to go workout with the amazing Ali who started Nena and Co. this past week up in the canyon near my house.  We went running at 6 in the morning when it was super cold and dark! I am so glad she trusted me because man it could have been creepy! Luckily, we just clicked and had the best time together.  I just love her drive and goals as a business owner.  Beautiful person with an amazing company!

She has graciously offered my readers a discount of 15% off her store with the code: LIVYLOVESNENA which is good until October 30th! These bags are quality and beautiful! Worth every penny!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Eat Clean and Get Outside with LÄRABAR

Thanks to LÄRABAR for sponsoring today's discussion!

Since I have gotten into weight loss, food has become so much more interesting to me.  I am constantly looking at the back of food labels to see what exactly is in my food. I always try to see what certain ingredients are if I don't recognize them.  It has become quite interesting to learn what they fill our food with sometimes and can be a little scary since a lot of it isn't even food.  Well, I won't go into too much detail about the epidemic on the food industry, but I do want to talk about the amazing company of LÄRABAR.  It was first started by Lara Merriken who was wanting some sort of food to take with her while she was out hiking that was whole clean delicious ingredients that were good for you.  She came up with the LÄRABAR and has created tons of flavors using simple clean ingredients.  

I have tried several of the LÄRABAR flavors and each one tastes amazing.  So far, my favorite has been the Blueberry Muffin one and Apple Pie.  My kids loved the Peanut Butter and Jelly one which is a huge win in my book!  I just love that they are clean snacks that taste amazing! They are gluten-free and have fruits, nuts and spices with some flavors including coconut oil, chocolate chips, and simple ingredients.  All the of the LÄRABAR include less than 9 ingredients.  I love that! There is no guilt and you get are getting great nutrition! I love taking these bars with me on a hike up in the mountains where I can see the beautiful scenery and have a little snack along the way.  I am so excited because National Hike Day is coming up on November 17th and hiking has been a huge part of my weight loss journey! I have been hiking all over the state of Utah and for me it doesn't even feel like exercising because the views are beautiful.  I always get a great calorie burn and I just feel really happy being in nature.  

Want to try a LÄRABAR for yourself?  Here is a $0.50 off coupon that you can print out!  Here is a list of stores that carry LÄRABAR.

They also have amazing and healthy granola products called RENOLA! I love that they taste great without all the sugar.  Granola is such a great little snack to have at any time of the day to give you that extra boost of energy, but a lot of times they have so many additives and usually they aren't even healthy! I love the RENOLA because they are aiming to reinvent granola.  Each RENOLA is grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free!  I LOVED the berry flavor.  It was really tasty!  You have to try it! I would love to have it on top of some greek yogurt.

Now the fun part! LÄRABAR  has offered to give one of my readers some LÄRABAR  (16 bars) and RENOLA! Please answer the following question in a comment on this post and I will pick a winner next Sunday! Good Luck!

 Which flavor of LÄRABAR they are most excited to try and why? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The low-down on sports supplements

The path to getting fit and healthy can be long and arduous, and there’s a tendency to look for shortcuts. For people looking to lose weight, or get in better shape, sports supplements are a tempting offering. Just like anything else, supplements should be used in moderation, but if used wisely, can help you towards your goals a bit faster. Here’s how.
Keep it balanced
This may not come as a surprise, but even the latest and greatest nutritional supplement will not work without a balanced diet and exercise. The key word is supplement; it’s used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, and not as a replacement. Nothing will ever replace healthy eating and exercise, but sport supplements can help you along the way.

What’s in them?
There are many different kind of supplements out there, but at their core they are designed to give you more energy and stamina. Depending on the supplement, it may include ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, or a combination of these.

How should they be used?
The key to taking any type of sport supplement is knowing why you’re taking them. A vague reason like, “getting more energy”, is not enough. You need to know exactly what it does, and how that lines up with your fitness goals. For instance, if you’re looking to lose weight and stay lean, a supplement like creatine, which adds muscle and bulk, would not be exactly useful.

How they help
The biggest benefit of supplements is that they help you get the most out of your workout. If, for instance, you have an especially rigorous workout, a recovery drink/supplement can supply carbohydrates and amino acids that replace and rebuild the muscle fibers that are broken down during this training session. Sport supplements can also help keep your body healthy and better able to withstand the rigors of training. Even with a healthy diet, you may not be getting enough nutrients that help you recover (think iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids). Some studies have shown that these may help reduce post-exercise soreness and boost recovery times.
As you can see, sports supplements can help you towards a healthy lifestyle, as long as you’re smart about what you’re taking. Exercise and healthy eating are irreplaceable, but supplements sure can help.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beauty products I can't live without

Top | Skirt | Necklace: Similar| Sandals

Just a few weeks ago, I spent 5 hours on YouTube looking at tutorials on how to put on false lashes.  I have done the lash extensions and I don't like the look of the Younique mascara, I wanted to try lashes since I can take them off whenever I want plus they are much less expensive than other options.  I tried the Kiss Lash brand and have been obsessed ever since! It took me a few (hundred) tries to get it just right, but now I am like a pro! I wear them almost every day! I just love the extra thickness it gives.  My favorite glue for them is duo which I bought at Target.  

Another product that I have been loving is not really beauty related, but more skin care related.  Ever since I have been really serious about running, I get really dry skin around my nose.  I don't know if it's just dryer weather or I wipe my nose more, but it was really bothering me! I tried lots of products to see if they would help and most just irritated it.  I started using Cortizone 10 Eczema cream.  It has cleared up so much and I feel so much better! 

My last beauty product that I just love and I have mentioned it on here before is Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade.  I purchased mine in blonde which is actually a little darker than I thought.  I posted my tutorial in a post if you want to check that out. Brows really frame the face and if you have a thin over plucked brows like me, the pomade helps to fill them in and make them look full without looking unnatural.  

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