Red, white, and blue…and don’t forget the greens!

By day, I’m a personal trainer. I spend hours at the gym each day with my clients. I motivate, listen, challenge, & inspire this incredible group of people who I consider my team.

By night, I’m a home cook & damn proud of it. There’s something fulfillingly gritty about that term. It denotes this specific type of confidence in the kitchen that isn’t fueled by a perfect mis en place or outrageous loans from culinary school (just outrageous loans from a private liberal arts college, ugh).

Every so often I have dreams of working in a high energy kitchen, filling tickets, working the line, perhaps even designing the menu, etc. However, these dreams are fleeting & shortlived as the comforting rawness of my kitchen brings me back to what I really enjoy about cooking.

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While I may frequently post about indulgent meals and/or some “not so healthy” treats, the truth is my day to day meals are quite calculated, strict, and even…maybe…boring…(gasp!) During the Monday-Friday work week, the majority of my meals consist of a cup of whatever vegetables I have on hand, a palm sized serving of protein, a 1/2 cup of cooked whole grains, a splash of olive oil or handful of nuts & voilà!

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Some of you may know that over the past 3 months, I’ve been working away at a nutrition counseling certification with the help of the masterminds at Precision Nutrition. I have one more month till completion & very eager to begin offering nutrition coaching services to current & new clients!

While I feel completely inspired & somewhat overwhelmed at all the information that has been thrown at me over these months, it has greatly enhanced my knowledge of nutrition & made me fall further in love with food & how it fuels our moving/active/breathing/living bodies.

As most of us (myself included) are about to embark on some wonderfully patriotic & indulgent July 4th vacation, holiday, party, picnic, BBQ, cookout, shitshow, etc. try keeping these three handy habits in mind…

1. Exercise

While this may sound easy, and may seem like a “give-in” for some, it’s extremely tempting to ignore a good workout while on vacation or day of a big summer picnic; opting to start crushing glasses of rosé at 11am instead is easy to convince yourself to do . These workouts don’t have to be epic feats of your fitness & most likely they aren’t going to be (you’re on vacation, relax!), but get a challenging hour of moving and sweating in before the big festivites begin. If you come from a family like mine, where July 4th and other summer celebrations are day long events, keep yourself active throughout the day. Swim, kayak, chase around your little cousins, etc.

2. Eat slowly & until 80% full

It takes roughly 20 minutes for the body to register fullness & send signals of satiety to the brain; allow yourself that time to really savor and enjoy each meal. Pace yourself, the chips & guacomole aren’t going to disappear behind your back, no need to consume as much as you can in 10 minutes. Not to mention, the feeling of being stuffed is never enjoyable (except in the comfort of your own home, while binge watching crap tv & wearing sweat pants). Same rules apply for alcohol, pace yourself, don’t drink yourself silly, & savor each adult beverage of your choice…it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

3. Travel with a greens powder blend

When traveling or on vacation it can be challening to maintain any type of normalcy to what you’re eating. I frequently find myself not consuming as many vegetables as I usually do in an attempt to save my calories for other things (and maybe that’s alot of chardonnay). For every day that you’re not on your A-game eating regimen, have a scoop of greens powder mixed with water to kickstart the day. While a supplement is never going to provide you with the same nutritional punch that fresh and local fruits & veggies will, it’s a great backup when consumption quantity is at a low.

May your 4th of July festivites and summer parties be filled with plenty of sunshine, fireworks, delicious food, good workouts, & some serious red, white, and blue pride. ‘MERICA!

-ttfn

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