AM I ENOUGH?

What would you say if I asked you to name one thing you do better than anyone else? This was a question a friend asked me a few weeks ago and it left me rather stumped. I could easily compile a long list of things that I excel at, but “better than anyone else?”

Crickets.

At 24, I am beginning to enter the “quarter life crisis” that plagues my generation. Am I working for the right company? Am I making enough money? Have I traveled enough? Have I lived enough? Do I have enough friends? Do I have the right friends? Do I live in the right city? Is my youth running out? Am I enough?

I am constantly working to deepen my self-awareness. Thus, for the last few weeks I have begun studying myself in various situations. It is so important to get to know yourself. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know that my life is only just beginning. And yet, like the rest of my generation, I am suffocated by the notion that I must have it all figured out. Right now. Today.

The truth is that while I still cannot tell you what I do better than anyone else, I am getting there. I am very much lost in the right direction. I know what exhilarates me. I know who and what is toxic to my life and have begun making adjustments accordingly. Do not be afraid to ask yourself what you want and use tunnel vision to get there.

“The more you let go, the higher you rise.” -Yasmin Mogahed  

LUNCHBOX WORKSHOPS

Hosted my first lunchbox workshop tonight with the help of a fellow health enthusiast who has two of her own munchkins that she aims to constantly nourish. More recently I have begun combining my two biggest passions-children and holistic health! I could not be more excited to share the projects I am working on as I strive to create my brand, Lean Life Inspire. 

Parents and caregivers are invited to come assemble balanced, wholesome and creative lunches once a month at Holisitcally Well in Guilford, CT. Packing healthful foods for fussy eaters is not an easy task. We offer tips and tricks to energize your child(ren) through their summer activities and conintue building healthy habits!

Register for the next workshop by emailing info@leanlifeinspire.com! 

  

POUNDING PAVEMENT

Three and a half weeks ago, I laced up my sneakers and began my annual 3 season sport of pounding pavement and I struggled. I truly struggled to get through the 3 mile route I had mapped out. After a winter solely focused on weight training and minimal cardio my body was no longer the long and lean machine it had been last summer. However, one of the biggest lessons running has taught me is one of perseverance. My mind always tries to chicken out before my body does and it’s pushing through these moments where the magic happens. This is where I grow.

Once again, I am reminded how quickly the body adapts. We evolved from athletes. While some of us are more athletically blessed than others, we are all programmed to physically adapt to our climates. Three and a half weeks ago, I finished my 3 miler with every muscle in my lower body aching, my heart pounding, and my lungs starving for oxygen. I had pushed myself to the point of nausea and I felt like a failure. Fast forward to week four (this week) and I am pushing through 7 milers with strong stems, a steady heartbeat, and abundant air in my lungs. This is a big win for me because I tore both of my iliotibial bands in high school and long distance running has always been out of the question.

Last night I finished my run with a .25 mile sprint and literally had to force myself not to keep going. The truth is though that while runners look forward to the runs where they feel literally feel invincible, we immediately start formulating a way to create complete exhaustion again. We have learned that pain equals reward. Running is a hard sport. It requires self discipline in the purest form, a lot of heart, commitment, and a tad bit of crazy.

This year I have decided that I wanted to run for more than just exercise and endorphins. I want to run for self-awareness. I want to learn my physical and mental “limitations” and then surpass them.

ZUCCHINI CHIP NACHOS

Ingredients:

  • 3 Zucchinis
  • Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 ounces Ground Chicken or Turkey Breast
  • Light Sour Cream
  • Hot Sauce
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Fresh Salsa/Guacamole (optional additions)
  • Baking Sheet(s)
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • Frying Pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Slice zucchini into thin chips.
  3. Line baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with Olive Oil.
  4. Cover trays with zucchini chips. Do not overlap zucchini.
  5. Bake until fully cooked, then flip and broil until crispy!!!* Cooking times vary depending on chip slice width and ovens. Unfortunately you will have to watch them ;).
  6. Spray frying pan with olive oil and brown meat on medium high. Finely chop and add hot sauce (optional).
  7. Combine chips on one baking and sheet layer with cheese and meat.
  8. Turn off oven and let sit until cheese melted. Oven will already be hot!
  9. Top with lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Serving 2-3

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PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Organic Pumpkin Pure
  • ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 cups Almond Butter
  • 1 cup Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Baking Sheet
  • Olive Oil Spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet with olive oil spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine pumpkin puree and almond butter. Mix well.
  4. Add pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, pure maple syrup, vanilla, and chocolate chips (if desired). Mix until batter is a consistent paste.
  5. Place teaspoons of batter onto baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Servings vary

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MAPLE SUGAR ACORN SQUASH

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of Water
  • 2 tsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ginger
  • 1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Acorn Squash
  • Glass Baking Dish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse squash, cut in half, and scoop seeds.
  3. Place face down in 1½ cups of water
  4. Bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Combine butter, cinnamon, ginger, and pure maple syrup in a small bowl.
  6. Remove from oven, drain water, and flip squash.
  7. Pour combined ingredients into the center of each half, dividing them evenly.
  8. Bake 10 minutes.

2 Servings

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CHICKEN SAUSAGE VEGGIE “SPAGHETTI”

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • EVOO
  • 1 medium Zucchini
  • 1-2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Applegate Organic Chicken Sausage Links
  • Organic Garlic cloves
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Baking Dish
  • Frying Pan
  • Large Bowl

Directions:

  1. Rinse spaghetti squash and carefully stab with a knife to allow heat to escape.
  2. Cook spaghetti squash in the microwave (cuts cooking time in 1/2). Approximately 6 minutes on each side. The squash will be soft when cooked.
  3. Once squash is done, carefully remove from microwave, cut in half, and let cool (15-20minutes). Squash will be extremely hot. I would recommend using oven mitts.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Heat a teaspoon of EVOO and garlic, add chicken sausage, and cook until brown.
  6. Rinse zucchini and tomatoes. Slice Zucchini (1/2 inch thick) and cut tomatoes into halves. Finely slice onion. Roast in baking dish with 1 tbs of EVOO for 20 minutes.
  7. Scoop seeds from spaghetti squash and fork into large bowl.
  8. Once veggies are done add to spaghetti squash with 1tbs of EVOO and sea salt & pepper to taste. Toss dish.
  9. Slice chicken sausage and add to dish.
  10. Enjoy!

2-3 servings