5 Tips to Keep up Heathy Habits While Traveling

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Healthy|traveling|fit|eating well|I’m heading out with my family on vacation this weekend so I thought it was the perfect time to write up a little plan on how I  intend to stay on track all week. I admit I’ve been having a little bit of a harder time this past week so I need a strategy for how to tackle being away from my routine. We are going on a cruise so lots of challenges but also lots of opportunities.

1. Sign up-I like to check to see if there are any races where I am traveling to. Running through a city is a great way to see the sights and increase your fitness. No race? I check out local fitness studios to see if there is a class that might be different or fun. I am going to be in NYC for 2 days so I signed up for a Soul Cycle class. Knowing that I’ve paid in advance for a race or class, guarantees that I will show up.

2. Healthy Snacks-My husband loves to  make fun of me for this! I always pack a few of my go to healthy snacks in my bag. “What they don’t have granola bars in NY?”, he would say. Yes of course they do however, when I am hungry I don’t want to have to go off and find exactly what I am looking for when I want it. It’s too easy to stumble into say a cupcake store-LOL.

3. Don’t drink your calories-Sure it’s totally fine to have a glass of wine with dinner, cocktail at the pool or Holiday party but those calories can really add up over the course of a week.  I plan to budget my lattes and wine and make sure that I still drink plenty of water.

4. Pack it in-My husband makes fun of me for this one too but I always pack a resistance band and a mini foam roller in my bag. I am never sure what a hotel gym might have. I know I can do lots on my own with a few resistance bands and my own body weight. Having a few go to exercises and the never ending ideas on Pinterest, I have no excuse not to exercise.

5. Bump it up-Maybe you usually do a morning run so why not add in an afternoon walk with your family?  Check out the neighbors holiday lights. Headed to the mall? Park even farther away and get in few more steps on those trackers. Adding in a little something extra can make a big difference.


Have fun! The Holidays are all about family and fun after all!

I’m linking up with the DC Trifecta-please check out Courtney, Mar & Cynthia for some fabulous tips.


Traveling this Holiday Season? Any tips for me?


December Dare You To Share Campaign

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I am trying really hard to stay on my healthy eating and exercise plan throughout this Holiday Season and actually do all of things I talk about here on the blog. “Confession”-This year, I am feeling a little more challenged by the candy canes and chocolate kisses that keep calling my name.

I’ve been participating in a few Holiday Health challenges and that certainly helps to keep up the momentum and the accountability. I was introduced to a fun, easy challenge/contest I wanted to pass along to you all. Read on…there are cool prizes.

United HealthCare is having a December “Dare you to Share” contest/giveaway encouraging “taking a small steps everyday towards a healthier life”. It’s pretty simple go here to participate.  It’s super easy to enter and I know you all do these things anyway so you might as well enter to win right?

Share a Photo

Take time to relax. Share your photo to win.

Head over and send a pic of you relaxing after your workout and you might win a $400 spa gift card. Bring on those Holiday party pics! I look pretty relaxed here don’t I?

hanging out with the girls

Test Your Smarts

Take the healthy lifestyle 1 question quiz to win. Woohoo I just answered the nutrition question correctly-can you? You might win $400 Amazon gift card.

Fitness Challenge

Get up, get out
and get active to win. You are already doing it so enter to win a $400 sporting goods gift card here

I love finding little challenges like this to keep me moving and on track during this hectic time of year. This was fun to do and who knows? Maybe one of us will win?

Are you doing any Holiday Challenges? What small steps are you taking to stay on track this month?

[Disclosure: I was compensated by United HealthCare for this post however all opinions and comments are my own.]

Be Your Own Master Chef with Hello Fresh

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Ever heard of Hello Fresh? I hadn’t either until I was contacted by them to do a review. You all know I love to cook and so my kids so we were happy to oblige. Here’s how it works:


HelloFresh creates the recipes

1. We create amazing recipes

Each week our chefs create amazing recipes for you that are easy to prepare. Our meals are interesting yet simple. And we ensure that your diet is balanced and varied.

We go shopping for you

2. We go shopping for you

Sit back and relax while we do all the work. We source only the highest-quality and freshest produce. We’ll also introduce you to ingredients that you won’t find in your local supermarket.

3. We deliver to you for free

We deliver from our kitchen to yours each week on the delivery day of your choice. It’s happiness in a box.

We deliver to you for free

4. You cook amazing meals in your own home

We take easy cooking to a new level. Recipes typically take only 30 minutes and don’t require fancy equipment. Our mission is to help people make nutritious and delicious meals in their own home.

The first meal we tested was Lemony Shrimp Linguine. As you can see, we received wonderful looking peppers and lemons with a generous amount of seasonings. I prepared the recipe in less than a half an hour. Because I am a vegetarian, I took half out and put it into a second pan without the shrimp for me. I added in some tofu that I had and Voila! I had 2 meals ready to go. My kids loved their shrimp and asked if we could make it again. Hello Fresh|Lemony Shrimp Linguine|Meal delivery|

Hello fresh|Lemony Shrimp LinguineThere was  plenty left over for someone to have the next day for snack. We did supplement the meal with fruit.

Next we created the Steak & Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry. We had to leave the sprouts on the side because my kids would never eat those! I was again impressed by the quality of the steaks, the freshness of the veggies and generous amount of spices.

Hello Fresh Steak & Brussels SproutsHello Fresh Steak & Stir Fry

So who is Hello Fresh good for?

-Busy professionals who really want to make healthy, home cooked meals but may not have the time to search for & buy ingredients.

-People who really need some inspiration coming up with “Fresh” ideas each week (“Hello, MOM”)

-Families who’s kids like to play “Master Chef”

-Makes a great gift for a friend who just had a baby and is trying to eat healthy but doesn’t have time to shop

-Fun gifts to give for newlyweds and birthday gifts

-Holiday gifts for that person who has everything

-Singles looking to impress on date night

All of the recipes are listed here so you can choose ingredients that you like each week. You would receive a box of 3 meals to serve either 2 or 4 people for the week for around $69. There is no minimum number of weeks so you can try it out for a week and see for yourself what Hello Fresh is all about. [Disclosure: I received a sample box of Hello Fresh to review however all opinions are my own.]

Want to check it out for yourself? Get 25% off of your first box with code “HELLOMOTHER”

Wow workout link up

Have you ever tried a subscription meal box? What did you think?

Wild n’ Nutty “Family” Holiday Salad-Meatless Monday

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This Monday I decided to have a little fun with my post. With so many family members dropping in and out, the need to feed them can seem ever ending. I created this hearty salad full of powerhouse veggies sure enough to please all of your guests. Combining wild rice, Farro, squash, kale, walnuts & pumpkin seeds you’ve pretty much got every vitamin covered. Bonus: it’s Vegetarian, Gluten free & Vegan.

Please join Tina Muir and I as we link up with some great Holiday Meatless Monday dishes.

Meatless Monday|vegetarian

wild rice, Farro, squash, cranberry, kale & pumpkin seed salad

Wild n' Nutty "Family" Holiday Salad-Meatless Monday
Prep time
Total time
With wild rice, Farro, squash, cranberry, kale, pumpkin seeds you've got one great super food salad
Recipe type: Meatless Main dish or Holiday side
  • 1 C Brown Wild Rice (prepare as directed)
  • 1 C Farro (prepare as directed)
  • 12 oz Butternut Squash-cubed
  • 1½ C Baby Kale-coarsely chopped (can sub spinach)
  • ¼ C Olive Oil
  • ¼ C Apple Cider vinegar
  • ½ C Pumpkin seeds
  • ½ C chopped Walnuts
  • ½ C dried Cranberries
  1. Prepare Farro & Wild rice as directed set aside
  2. Preheat oven to 375
  3. Roast squash with drizzle of Olive oil, salt & pepper until tender
  4. In a large bowl combine: Farro, Wild Rice, squash, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cranberries, and kale
  5. Drizzle on Olive oil and vinegar
  6. Season with kosher salt & pepper
  7. Serve room temp or chilled

 This satisfying, healthy salad is sure to please whoever drops by this Holiday Season & also makes a great party dish. Hope you enjoy!

What’s on your Holiday Menu? Do you have lots of family visiting?

Drinking My Veggies with Alive Juices

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As a lifelong vegetarian, I’ve not really given much thought to the whole juicing phenomenon. Many of my friends, are religious “Juicers” and swear by the results and positive effects they glean each day. I don’t have my own juicer and never felt the  need to rush out and buy one. When I was contacted by Alive Juices in Washington, DC to test out some of their products, I was intrigued.

Alive Juices|review|DC|juice|cleanse\supplement

Rachan Malhotra started Alive Juices after his father’s stroke in an effort to literally nurse him back to strength. He’s now on a mission to do the same for local DC residents. Unlike juices you might find at your grocery store, these juices are literally made for you shortly before they arrive at your door. Oh yes, you read that correctly they actually have free delivery of the juices right to your home or office.

I was given 4 juices to try out. I opted to drink them as supplements rather than do a cleanse because this girl is not going without food for 3 days! As I mentioned, they were delivered to my home (in 16 oz. Mason Jars) personally nice touch. Each juice has approximately 200 calories as reported by Alive Juices. They are made without added sugar and with local, organic produce. They cost around $8 a jar depending on which plan you purchase.

Juice #8 “Morning Sunshine” Squash, Cilantro and Pineapple. Opening the jar, I could really smell the Cilantro. I was pleasantly surprised this juice was phenomenal tasting. I couldn’t taste the Squash at all but loved the Pineapple. I had this before a morning spin class in the hopes of an energy boost. While I didn’t feel full for hours, as some people have reported, it was a nice pre workout snack and kept me going throughout my class. This was my favorite of the juices.

Alive juices|DC|juicing|CleanseAlive Juices|DC|juice|cleanse|supplement

Juice #4Detox Mantra” made of carrots, beet, kale and Cilantro was an interesting yet tasty combination. Again the smell of Cilantro was evident and the taste was very nice yet not as sweet as the first.

Juice #1 “Positive Karma” made of cucumber, celery, spinach & cilantro again smelled of cilantro but tasted a lot like the cucumber flavored water I make in the summer time. It was light and crisp and not at all sweet. I drank this one as a recovery drink post workout. I felt I needed more food about 30 minutes later.

Alive Juices|DC|review|cleanse

Honestly, these juices tasted fabulous and much better than I imagined. They were fragrant & fresh and looked like they were just made from my kitchen. If someone was standing here each morning making me a juice like this, I would probably drink it. I have a hard enough time keeping enough veggies and fruit in the house to last a week as it is let alone putting 2 whole salad bowls into a drink.

A few reasons Alive juice may be for you:

-Do you really eat all the recommended servings of veggies in one day? When was the last time you had kale and squash for breakfast?

-Are you really going to buy, prepare and juice all of those veggies on your own?

-Do you like the convenience of home delivered juices on your schedule?

(If you live in the DC area, check out Alive Juices and tell them I sent you for 10% off)


I’d love to know, do you use Juicing as part of your regular diet? What benefits have you found?



I’m linking up with Jill and Nicole today so please check out their fabulous posts as well.



Fitful Focus


Jingle All The Way 5k

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Jingle all the way|Pacers|5K

Run Pacers

The Jingle all the way is always one of my favorite races to run of the year. I am not a 5K person by nature so I was a little disappointed that this was reduced from an 8K to a 5K this year. It turns out that because of that, so many more families participated as well as lots of newer runners.

Our MRTT group always has a huge presence at this race and it is so much fun to meet up with the other chapters. My husband likes to call us a cult-LOL because no matter what race we are at there is always another MRTT mama who passionately wants to come up and talk to you about MRTT. We must have had over 100 moms and their families there. I even convinced my 14 yo son to run it with me this year.

jingle all the way 5k|DC|running|races|pacesetter skirt

Proud to be sporting my Hanukkah shirt! And staying very warm in my Heatbreaker tights/skirt.

Jingle all the way|5K|races


Even though I have done lots of races in downtown DC, there is something so powerful and patriotic about running down Pennsylvania Avenue and  seeing The Capitol building. It is especially beautiful this time of year with all the decorations and lights. Runners go all out on their holiday themed outfits every year and this year did not disappoint. Our mamas love their outfits. See for yourself.

jingle all the way|5K|running|DC|racing|MRTTjingle all the way|5K|DC|races

jingle all the way|5K|DC|running

Lexie loves to run

Lexie loves to run

Post race hot chocolate and coffee after a very cold race day

JIngle all the way|5K|racing|DC

Of course the best part of any large race is the MRTT group picture!
It was so great to see so many kids running with their moms this year.

MRTT|Group photo|Jingle all the way|5K|DC

It was very crowded at the start and I had a little bit of a time breaking free from the crowd. This race wasn’t about trying to get a PR for me it was all about holiday fun and running with my son. The best part of this race was that many of our newer runners completed their first 5K today. It makes me so happy to see this! The proud, accomplished looks on their faces are priceless. You never forget that feeling of crossing your first finish line.

Although he won’t admit it, I think my son had a  pretty good time and I’m hoping I can get him to do some more races with me.

I knew a few of my blogger friends would be there but wasn’t sure if I’d recognize them. So great that Jenny from Run Jenny Run found me and we got to meet in person. She was so sweet!

jingle all the way|5k|DC|Pacers

Holiday Themed races-Love ‘em or leave ‘em??

I’m linking up with Erika and April so check out their great posts today too!

Tuesdays on The Run link up|Running|exercise

Sweet Potato & Zucchini Latkes-Meatless Monday

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Welcome to another Meatless Monday link up! Throughout the month of December, I will be bringing you Holiday Favorites made healthier. Everyone loves the Hanukkah favorite, Potato Latkes. I’ve made them a little healthier by reducing the oil and swapping in sweet potatoes and zucchini.

Please join Tina Muir and I as we bring you some of the best Vegetarian recipes out there each Monday. Feel free to add your own link and check out all of the great recipes below.

Meatless Monday|vegetarian

The traditional Potato Latke contains lots of white potatoes, white flour and oil. Not so healthy of a choice these days. I’ve subbed in Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini and used whole wheat bread crumbs and whole wheat flour and reduced the oil. I added some Chipotle peppers to spice it up a bit. They were amazing! (much better than the pictures). I ended up eating the leftovers with an omelet the next morning in a hash brown style. They were perfect. Hope you give them a try.

Sweet Potatoes|Zucchini|Latkes|Hanukkahsweet potoato|zucchini|latkes|Hanukkah

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet Potato & Zucchini Latkes-Meatless Monday
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A healthier twist on a Holiday favorite
Cuisine: Holiday
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes (peeled)
  • 2 Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce (w 2 tsp of sauce)
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Panko bread crumbs
  • 2-3 Tbl of whole wheat flour
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • Olive Oil for cooking
  1. In a food processor: shred onion, zucchini, chipotle and sweet potatoes
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl
  3. Add eggs, panko and flour as needed
  4. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder
  5. Shape into patties and arrange on a plate
  6. Heat a large skillet to medium high with Olive Oil (enough to cover bottom of pan)
  7. Pan fry the Latkes until browned and flip to repeat
  8. Remove from heat and place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil
  9. Serve warm and enjoy

 These turned out incredible! I tried them topped with avocado and Greek yogurt-yum! I also served them with my omelet the next morning for a delicious breakfast.


What Holiday foods are you enjoying these days? Any favorites you’d like to see me make over healthier?

The Ultimate Coffe Date-December

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I’m so excited that we’ve restarted the Ultimate Coffee Date! It is always one of my favorite posts to write. So I hope you will join me and Coco and Lynda for our monthly virtual get together. We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this past month.

Coffee Date link up|virtual|coffe date

So please pull up a chair, relax and join us with your favorite cup of coffee.

If we were having coffee,  I’d tell you… I think I am enjoying my my new Keurig too much because my dentist just asked me if I’ve been drinking more coffee. What? Me? I have no idea what he’s talking about.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… While I am trying to write this my kids (14& 17) decided to make chex muddy buddies on their own for a bake sale and lets just say that putting warm chocolate in a ziploc is probably not the best idea they’ve ever had. When you hear, “Oh no! Go get the mop” things are never good. Not sure the kitchen floor will recover anytime soon. Love their initiative though!

big huge mess

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…I can’t believe it’s December already! I feel like there needs to be more time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah. Things just seem to go at whirlwind speed this time of year. So, who has started their shopping? We are having our family Hanukkah party this week and I am debuting my healthier Potato Latkes. Look out for the recipe this Monday.



If we were having coffee, I would tell you…I am running The Jingle All The Way tomorrow with my son and my MRTT friends. Last week, I couldn’t keep up with him on our run so we will see if he can finally beat me! It’s such a fun race to do because everyone gets so into the holiday outfits and there is such a great festive feeling. Last year it started snowing just as we were finishing and it was so beautiful. DC is a great city to run through and it’s so pretty this time of year. This is last year’s photo so stay tuned for an update this week.

Jingle all the way|8k|2013|MRTT|Pacers run

If we were having coffee, I would tell you...I am trying really hard to stay on track with my eating and exercise this Holiday Season. I’m participating in The Holiday Sweat Challenge and a Virtual Elf Run to help me stay accountable. I love having support from others and getting ideas from them as well. I am doing pretty well but “Hi my name is Deborah and I am a chocoholic”.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… I am so proud that my daughter was just accepted to Indiana University so we are now Hoosier fans! WooHoo!

IU acceptance

If we were having coffee I would tell you…I finally joined Instagram and I am having fun learning how that works. I’d love to connect with you there too. Find me here

What are you most excited about this Holiday Season? Anybody doing any Holiday Themed Races? Who else is doing a Holiday Challenge?




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My Favorite Winter Workout

Comments 65 Standard

I love to run outside and I will do it all year around to avoid the “dreadmill”. Even with the challenging DC weather, there are only a few days that we can’t run outside with proper clothes. As much as I love to run, I also appreciate the benefits of cross training. I’ve learned that I need to keep my running to 3 times a week to avoid injury. In the summertime, you will find me riding my bike to cross train but in the winter I take it indoors.

My favorite way to cross train in the Winter is indoor cycling.

Top 5 reasons to give indoor cycling a try

spinning|indoor cycling|benefits

1. It’s warm-

You don’t have to worry about dressing in layers or wearing gloves. You just need to get there.

2. Minimal equipment needed

Sure having cycling shoes and shorts helps but they are entirely optional. All you really need is your water and a towel.

indoor cycling, spining|exercise

3. It’s social!

You all know that I love to run with my BRF’s but we also like to spin together. Having friends to go with makes it so much more fun.

spinning|indoor cycling|friends|exercise|benefitsspin class|friends|benefits| exercise

4. Low impact Cardio & Psychological benefits: You are getting 45-60  min of pure cardio & increasing the strength of your heart and lung capacity. Your metabolism is increasing by the moment. There is no impact so great for runners. The psychological benefit of endorphins rushing through your body is a great stress reliever.

5. Sweaty Mess-How else can you burn 600-800 calories while sitting on your ass?! I love leaving class dripping in sweat and feeling great.



I’m linking up with Cynthia, Mar & Courtney DC_linkup and Jill so please check them out  Fitness Friday linkup


What do you like to do in the winter? Do you change it up?

The day I did all the Pinterest workouts I pinned

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So if you are anything like me, you’ve been “pinning” away all kinds of great looking workout routines onto your Pinterest boards. You may have spent countless hours wasting time searching through your home feed for months to find the perfect routines. You’ve got “rock hard abs”, “amazing legs” “cardio killer” etc cued up and ready to go. Have you ever actually done any of the workouts you’ve pinned?? Ha! Me either! Until today when I was motivated by my Thanksgiving over indulgence to do as many as I could. Sometimes you are just in the mood to do something new and I figured the day after Thanksgiving was a good day to give it a go. Here’s what I did:

The Warm Up-I love this routine designed by my friend Tina. It’s great before a run or any workout. She has some great advice and demonstrates proper form on her youtube channel as well.

Active warm up

found on TinaMuir.com

Time to “Hitt” the elliptical. I had to modify this a tad because my elliptical doesn’t incline. I did the first 45 min of this one. Seriously, was a much harder routine than I expected. I was sweating buckets after this one. Found on HeandSheEatclean

I seriously could have stopped here but I was determined!
Up next:
Medicine Ball Core Workout from Pumpsandiron
Medicine ball workout}|core

found on PumpsandIron

I loved this routine! I was challenged in a good way and really felt my abs working. I will be doing some of these moves again. The only one I had trouble with was the plank roll out with the medicine ball. Need to work on that.

Next up: “14 Moves for the perfect Bubble Butt” (A girl’s gotta dream right??) found on Skinnymom.com


found on Skinnymom.com

found on Skinnymom.com




The wall sits were a lot harder than I remember. I felt my hamstrings and abs a lot too perhaps because I had already done the previous routines. This site has great instruction on the exercises and helpful photos. I will be doing this one again. It is staying pinned on my board.

And finally, just to burn the arms out I did the “20 Epic Battle Ropes” exercises. I’ve been a fan of battle ropes for about a year (read my post here) and love the way they burn my arms out at the end of a workout. It’s like doing sprint training for your arms. They are easy to add into a home or gym routine and have I find have a big return. I learned a few new ways to use them with this routine from Greatist.

Battle ropes|workout|arms|exercises

 All of this took me well over 2 hours to complete. I was completely exhausted/feeling pretty bad ass! I am pretty sure that these were not meant to be done back to back like this but I’m crazy like that so you don’t have to be! I feeling very accomplished and pretty sure that I am on my way to six pack abs and “bubble butt” what ever that is. So I will be keeping these routines on my boards just in case I am feeling ambitious.

So tell me, do you do any of the exercises you pin on Pinterest or is it a colossal waste of time? Inquiring minds want to know?

Wow workout link up