Travel, but don’t derail

I always used to think travel days meant bad airport food, lots of sitting, and swollen fingers for hours. Now with several years of working a traveling job under my belt, I have started to welcome these “off days” from work.

Usually a travel day means my one of two off days for work traveling home and then back the next day to the next production location. That’s not a lot of time on the ground at home. For instance, just now I am in Richmond, Virginia after flying home from Darlington, South Carolina yesterday afternoon. I spent the night at home though, did three loads of laundry and ate food from my own pantry. Oh the simple pleasures in life, right? Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.21.01 PM.png

With so much time spent on the go in terms of travel, it can be hard to eat right and get active, but I’ve come up with a few key things I do every time I’m airport bound to feel my best when I get to my next destination. Continue reading

My Chat With A Vegan

J.D. Goldschmidt is a busy husband, father, actor, producer, model and healthy living advocate. Based in New York City, he’s kept busy over the years working on independent films and web series, while most currently working as the stand-in for Aaron Paul (see Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad) in Aaron’s new show. With such a hectic career, J.D. needed optimal nutrition to feel his best and maintain his busy schedule. After stumbling upon a YouTube Channel called Vegan Gains, and exploring further into the subject with documentaries like Forks Over Knives, J.D. had learned enough about animal cruelty, plant-based nutrition and the healthy lifestyle veganism could offer to completely change up his diet and refocus his nutrition to assume his new nutritional quest as a vegan.

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J.D. was kind enough to chat with me and give me a little insight over his lifestyle, the changes he has made, and how it affects his daily life. Keep reading for more information on how and why this multi-threat SAG member maintains his vegan lifestyle with his busy schedule. Continue reading

Let’s Eat: Mango Salsa

Our grocery cart was filled with TONS of fruit this week… kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas and mango. Normally, I don’t buy mango even though I happen to love it. I guess the whole peel and eat thing really gets in the way of enjoyment so I tend to eat it more often when I’m outside the home.

However, this week I was craving mango salsa. I told my husband that and he said, “mango what?!” I thought mango salsa was a pretty popular dish, but apparently I was wrong. Now that he knows what it is, he thinks it should be available everywhere, served somehow with alcohol, eaten by itself, or enjoyed how we did– on top of grilled chicken.

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Let’s Eat: Healthy Crockpot Mexican Chicken and Rice

It’s been quite a while since I have been able to sit down and put together a post. I haven’t been home in a few weeks, traveling to Michigan for a family vacation and then Pennsylvania right after for work. However, I’m happy to report that I’m back for a few weeks and will be trying to hunker down and actually put forth some quality posts.

Eating while traveling can mean a lot of unhealthy options and dinners out, so when I get to get home for a few days, I try to meal plan some healthy dinners straight away. Having made this dish by accident once before when I was in a jam and didn’t know what to serve, I am happy to announce that it’s become a repeat entree and is easy, healthy and very filling. It’s delicious with a dollop of sour cream and a few dashes of hot sauce!

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There’s Kale in that? Smoothie.

Getting up (on purpose) before sunrise has its perks. Like getting a morning walk in without the oppressive Atlanta heat rocking its full potential. There’s also time for coffee, the news, and making breakfast before the ripe old time of 7:30am. Since I have completely exhausted myself of eggs as an option, I have moved back to an old favorite of mine, kale smoothies.

High in Vitamin A, C, and K as well as intensely packed with fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties, Kale makes a great way to fuel your metabolic fire and satisfy your stomach. While I personally don’t want to eat a Kale salad for breakfast, I have no problem heaping handfuls into the Vitamix for a morning smoothie. If done right, you can’t even taste the kale (hence, the title “there’s kale in that?”) however, the smoothie is mighty green, so it’s obvious its there.. and a lot of it! Read below for my recipe!FullSizeRender.jpg

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Product Review: Enlightened Crisps

Apparently I’m on a product review kick. It’s usually food items and today is no different. I am a big advocate of snacking, but I do also advocate for healthy snacking. This blog has allowed me to form relationships with companies of my choosing and discover new and amazing products out there. My latest, greatest find has been products from Englightened.

Englightened was launched in 2013, with ice cream products that promised taste, fiber, protein and all natural sweeteners while remaining low in calories. More recently, they have ventured into the savory snacking business, coming up with “crisps” made from broad beans. Broad beans are part of the legume family and also boast high levels of protein, fiber, potassium and Vitamin B. These beans have been cultivated in the Middle East for over 8,000 years and have since made their way West. They’ve been used as food, voting tokens and even had a place in funeral rites over the course of time. Today, Englightened roasts them with sunflower oil and sea salt and packages them in pretty little bundles for you to enjoy. IMG_2936 Continue reading

Product Review: Lenny and Larry’s Snickerdoodle Cookie

If you could have seen me trying this cookie, you would have seen my happy dance. While my chocolate chip review was favorable, this one is better! I even split this cookie with my husband for a little dessert date and though he knew it was “vegan” and “healthy” beforehand, he still thought it was delicious.

All the benefits of the previous cookie hold true:

  • 16g of protein, 8g of fiber (per whole cookie)
  • No dairy, eggs, soy, trans fat, artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher

Those stats alone are enough for a happy dance, but let’s talk about taste. Snickerdoodle has always been one of my favorite types of cookies. With this one, I was looking for flavor, texture, presentation, satiety, etc. IMG_2975

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Friday Favorites: Airport Time

I know, I kind of sound like a freak when I say I actually like the airport. I think I like the idea of going somewhere more than sitting in the building, but still, airports have come a long way in what they offer passengers.

Since Jarob and I are heading on a brief trip down to Fort Meyers today and driving my parents coach back tomorrow, we get to experience Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport yet another time. Although security can be a drag, here’s my list of favorite things ATL has to offer.

  • Ample ability to get your “steps” up. If you neglect taking the train from security to your concourse, you can add at least five minutes of walking between each terminal (T, A, B, C, etc.) that adds up quickly. We flew out of C today and from the moment we left security we added about 4000 steps with some meandering before heading to our gate. 
  • Tons of restaurants. Sure, there’s your typical fast food chains like Five Guys or Chic-Fil-a, but there’s also local Atlanta favorites brought in, like Willy’s Mexican Grill, The Varisty, Ecco, Grindhouse Killer Burgers, and Varasano’s, among others. Our favorite is Juke Joint. They have the best chicken and waffles. 
  • Parking options. Maybe its because Chicago charges crazy amounts for parking, but on or off-site parking is usually very affordable. For off-site parking, we tend to go with Peachy Airport Parking. We never have any issues with it and the way Atlanta has the off-site parking shuttles line up is much simpler than going to the basement of O’Hare, through a shady tunnel and out to area across from the Airport Hilton looking for you bus that only comes every 20 minutes.
  • Water stations. I love carrying my own water bottle and filling it up at the hydrating stations. You know, those automatic ones where you just put your bottle under the blue light and it fills, while telling you how many plastic bottles you’re saving by doing so? There are TONS of these in ATL.
  • People watching. Often hailed as the busiest airport in the world, it’s easy to pass the time looking at fellow passengers. People from all over the world just trying to get to their next destination can provide plenty of entertainment for a long layover, if not, there’s also plenty of bar space to explore and have a few drinks.. Speaking of drinks here’s a shot of mine:Positivity keeps you happy, right? So I guess traveling with this mindset will allow me to keep on keepin on the best I know how.

Stay tuned, cause one thing I’m not so fond of is car rides. And this upcoming one from Florida to Atlanta might be a killer. Perhaps I’ll post about that. Anyone have a million and one ideas preventing boredom while co-piloting a car back home?

Enjoy your weekend! 

Holiday weekend recap

Hi all, happy Tuesday! I hope you’re having a great start to your week and enjoyed your holiday weekend even more. 

We decided to stay local for this holiday, which left us in the same boat as Easter time. No family around, so up to us to make it extra special. It was also our first 4th as a married couple so I wanted to do something we would definitely remember. 

About a month ago, I purchased tickets to the Georgia Aquarium’s Red White and Brew fest– which included entry into the aquarium, dinner, unlimited beer samplings and live music all for $50 a ticket (if you were members $65 if not). Since we wanted to make sure we could go all out and make our lives easier we opted for a hotel room using some travel points at the Embassy Suites. The hotel was right across the way from the aquarium and made life super easy. 

The event was hosted in the Oceans Ballroom, where two walls were made of water tanks from floor to ceiling, giving you a special view of whale sharks, rays, and other underwater creatures while you at dinner and sipped your brews. And no, sushi was not on the menu, we actually had delicious barbecue catered by Wolfgang Puck. The macaroni and cheese was a definite favorite of ours.  

The event was packed and every ticket was sold. When you entered you received a commemorative glass with a noted fill line to take to any and every beer vendor you wanted all night long for samplings. I think next year they should add trivia or another activity just to keep the activity level high. All in all, it was a neat idea and I’m glad we went. Plus, we took some pretty cool selfies.  

   
A few days prior to the weekend, we made a last minute decision to book a hotel in North Georgia and kind of recreate our Easter getaway. This time, I found a deal for a hotel on Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia. The pictures looked great and the reviews were favorable so we decided to head there. We were definitely not disappointed. For just over a 2 hour drive we were greeted with this view outside our hotel room window. 

  
We did everything super easy this trip– packed our own supplies of food, alcohol, etc., and “camped.” Except not really we had a hotel room, but Jarob’s birthday Yeti Cooler got its first use and all we purchased when we got there were two beach towels because that aspect slipped our minds. Planning ahead made for an extremely affordable trip!

We got some swimming in and even got a short hike on the Appalachian trail done before we settled in for the evening to watch the sunset. 

     

 
The next morning, we decided to stop in Rabun County and hike at Tallulah Gorge State Park. So did everyone else, the place was packed! For good reason though… For just $5 you could hike as long as you liked and see tons of wonderful views, some waterfalls, a suspension bridge, water damn and more. We opted for a 3.5 mile hike (inclusive of 221 steps down and back up the gorge which was easily the most challenging part). We left the hike sweaty messes, but a brief costume change from our luggage in the car changed all that.  

    
    
 Seriously, the views from that park are amazing… The video probably depicts in the best. 

It’s just incredible that so many cool places exist just two hours from Atlanta. Rivers, lakes, falls, the Appalachian trail, mountain views, wineries you name it. We love Rabun County more and more each time we visit. I think a fall trip is definitely in the works. 

By the time we got home we were exhausted! We caught up on grocery shopping, laundry and some cleaning before settling in for a relaxing evening. I absolutely cannot wait to go back and explore more of North Georgia. 

Friday Favorites: At home HIIT

Usually I follow online videos when I don’t feel like driving to the gym. I can do them in my living room with minimal equipment and get a great workout done in half the time (if you count the approximate 30 minute round trip gym run). What’s better than getting your workout done in less total time?

Also, what’s the best way to create maximum calorie deficient in the least amount of time while working your entire body? In my opinion, that would be HIIT routines. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. In this format of exercise, you rotate between intense aerobic exercises with short periods of rest. HIIT has so many great benefits outside of being time friendly including:  Continue reading