Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest Post: Jessie Shares Her Fave Easter Recipes

Hey y'all! Derek & I are probably at Opry Mills Mall in Nashville right now getting in some retail therapy before we head over the Opry House for our first Grand Ol' Opry experience tonight. My sweet friend, Jessie, has prepared a post with tons of mouth-watering Easter recipes for you.
Hi guys! My name is Jessie, and I blog over at Jessie Loves To Run. When Andrea first sent me an e-mail asking whether or not I’d do a guest post for her while she’s off having a fabulous vacation in Nashville (jealous), I was filled with happiness, and felt so honored. Not only do I absolutely adore reading Andrea’s posts, but she is such a sweetheart.
I feel like more times than one, you often see Guest Posts revolving around Healthy Eating and Fitness related talks. So for today, and since It’s close to Easter, I thought I’d steer away from either one of those topics & simply share some fun Easter recipes with all of you. Enjoy!
Baked Goods and Sweets

Easter Meals

 ...and those are just a couple Easter Recipes that I guarantee you’ll love. What you waiting for?? Make a list, head to the grocery store for ingredients, come home, turn on music & start cooking!
Wow! I am totally drooling over all of those sweets!! Thank you so much Jessie for filling in and sharing some of your fave Easter recipes with all of my Vegvacious readers!
Wishing you all a lovely Good Friday.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Healthy for the Holiday

Yesterday morning as I drove to work, there was snow in the air. Am I the only person who is SO ready to bid winter adios?! I love the cold, crisp days of winter and a clean, beautiful winter landscape, but come on!!! Easter is just a few short days away and I am ready for some sunshine and some warm Springtime temperatures!!

Speaking of Easter --- can you believe it's this coming weekend?! It seems like we just got over the Christmas break and here we are at the next special holiday.

Last year I went totally crazy on the sweets for Easter, but this year I am going to try really hard to stick to my clean eats plans as much as possible. It so easy to go crazy over the holidays - especially a holiday that promotes chocolate eggs and sugary jelly beans as the food of choice. That's not to say that I'm not going to indulge in a creme egg or the peanut butter/chocolate/oreo dessert I've heard is being made for my family dinner, but I am definitely going to focus on my long-term goals and try to stay on track as much as possible.

Here are a few of the tricks and tips that I'll be using in my effort to stay on track this Easter Long Weekend:

*Drink my 8 glasses of water each and everyday - I tend to sip on coffee and wine on long weekends and holidays. I probably will still enjoy both, but my water intake won't suffer as a result.

*WORKOUT!!!! - It's so easy to relax the workout schedule over the holidays. If your gym has reduced hours or you're going to be out of town, throw your sneakers on and go for a walk/jog, or better yet, encourage the whole family to get out and take a stroll around the neighbourhood.

*Remember what the holiday really is about - holidays do not = food!!! Family, friends and celebration  are what the holidays are all about for me. Just because it's a holiday does not automatically give me the green light to gorge myself on every piece of food that passes my way.

*Moderation is KEY - Do you love Cadbury creme eggs as much as I do? Well then eat one...but don't buy out your local convenience store and eat five. The same goes for your favourite Easter dessert. Have one serving and savour every delicious bite. Don't go back for seconds and don't eat it for breakfast, not that I've ever done that before ;-) Enjoy the taste of decadence and move on.

*Get back to your normal routine asap - Come Monday morning, I will be back to my healthy, clean eats. The indulgence won't be lingering around because the longer that I'm off my routine, the harder it is to get back to it.

*Contribute healthy dishes to your holiday meal - Instead of my usual Skor Bar Trifle (which admittedly is amazing), I've offered to contribute one of my favourite salads and clean desserts to our Easter meal this weekend. I know that my brother's girlfriend is making something decadent (remember that peanut butter/chocolate/oreo concocotion I mentioned above?), so we won't be missing out, and now we'll have a couple of healthier options as well.

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Source via Pinterest via Elisa Walsh

Here's a few clean dishes that I think would be perfect for your holiday table:

Martha Stewart's Easter Salad

What's your favourite Easter dish? Link up to share with my readers!

Do you have any tricks or tips to staying on track after the holiday long weekend?

Have a great day,


Food for Thought:

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Getting Back On Track: Revamp Your Resolutions

Hiya friends! TGIF!! I was contacted recently by Brittany who was interested in sharing a guest post about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She did a really great post on re-evaluating our New Years goals and getting back/staying on track.
Check it out!!!
It’s already March! Can you believe it? The snow is melting, the Spring is just around the corner, and soon enough shorts, skirts and bikinis will be in season.  The real question is- how are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  You know, all those diet and fitness resolutions you promised to keep a little while back? Well whether you tried your best and things fell apart, or you gave up on giving up carbs January 2nd, hope isn’t lost.  Only about 8% of Americans that make resolutions actually follow through and complete their initial goals.  Sadly, by this time in the year, many of us have probably forgotten what we vowed to accomplish.  But with swimsuit season staring us in the face, it may be time to grab that list of resolutions that you shoved into a desk drawer. 
Figure out why it failed.  I hate to use the “F” word, but it’s important to determine why your resolutions didn’t work out in the first place. People tend to set very lofty goals for themselves and are extremely disappointed when they fail to meet their expectations.  Sit down and try to figure out whether your goals are reasonable.  That isn’t to say that you’ll never achieve your ultimate fitness or weight loss goals, but you may need to rethink your means of attaining them, as well as the amount of time it takes.
Forget about the short term. This step is key.  A huge reason people have issues following through with diet and fitness changes, is that they expect instantaneous results.  Unfortunately, this leads many to make poor dieting choices for the sake of slimming down.  Any fast or program that promises drastic results, with little to no exercise is unhealthy and unrealistic.  These fads have pretty much skewed success rates, often leading to yo-yo dieting, which usually does more harm than good.  Taking your body on and off starvation mode actually causes you to gain more weight.  Your body begins to break down muscle for energy, but once you resume a regular diet, there is less muscle mass to burn calories and your body stores it as fat.  This is a classic example of how short term solutions can lead to more severe health problems in the long run.
 Rethink the word “diet”.  I’ve already thrown this word around quite a bit, but I mean it in the most basic definition of the word – “the kinds of food a person habitually eats.”  I’m not talking about talking about trendy, fad “diets” and cleanses.  I’m talking about the types of foods we eat on the day to day.  Dieting should not be a quick fix; it’s a way of living! You should make consistently healthy choices that are beneficial to your overall wellbeing.  
Reevaluate Your Options:  Now that we’ve established that crash dieting and short term solutions rarely work, let’s brainstorm.  If you’re dedicated to improving your health, then now is a good time to look at your eating habits and determine where you need to make permanent changes.  Are you eating enough veggies?  How lean is the protein you eat? Think about making substitutions rather than completely cutting things out.   Meal planning is also an excellent way to that you’re maintaining a balanced diet.  Not every meal needs to be elaborate; there are numerous options for quick healthy meals and snacks.  Look for products with substantial fiber and protein to diminish hunger throughout the day.
Use the Buddy System! As I struggled to get on track with a fitness and diet routine, I’ve come to find that it’s exponentially easier when you do it with someone else.   When you are being held accountable by a fitness partner or group, people tend to be more committed.  Sometimes this can be even more rewarding!  Dieting and exercise can feel like much less of a chore when you’re cooking meals with your husband or going for jogs with a close friend. 
But of all the tips and tricks I can give, the most important one is to remain positive.  The greatest rewards take time and effort.  So remember, even if the start seems slow and arduous, you can and will reach your goals.
Author Bio:  Brittany writes about healthy living and fitness on behalf of Healthy Choice.  For more information about low calorie meals and healthy desserts visit  Remember- don’t diet, live healthy!
Thank you so much Brittany for the motivation!!! As I read through the post, I realized that it really isn't hard to be healthy and stay healthy. We can all do it; especially when we work together and support each other on our journey to a healthier life!
Enjoy your weekend my bloggie friends, 
Here's a little Weekend Motivation for ya:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Celebrating Celery

I read somewhere recently that March is National Celery Month.

Celery is one of those veggies that just doesn't get enough credit.

As I started to search around for some mouth-watering and healthy recipes, I was surprised to find that celery actually has several impressive health benefits.

You will almost always find some celery stalks in our crisper because it's one of Derek's faves --- give him a bag full of chopped celery and fresh radishes as a snack and you've got one happy man. I don't get quite so excited about this veggie. It's one of those foods that I feel sort of <meh> about. I like the crunch factor, but it certainly isn't the first thing I reach for when I'm searching for something satisfying to eat.

When I saw that it was a month of celebrating celery, I thought that I needed to give celery another chance, so I started a search for some clean celery recipes to try ---- of course, I headed straight over to Pinterest :) Here are some of the pins that made me drool the most.

I'm going to give these a try and I'll let you know what I think!

Do you like celery? What's your fave way of eating it?

Have a great day,


Monday, March 11, 2013

Plans for the Week of March 10th

Hi! How was your weekend? I hope it was fabulous!

I had a lovely weekend. We went out with friends to a karaoke bar on Friday, which was so much fun, and the rest of the weekend was spent doing just the "usual stuff"  (groceries, house cleaning, watching Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy {LOVE!!!} etc). Yesterday, I spent some time in the kitchen doing food prep for the week. Last week I was really successful in sticking to my clean eats goals and I am determined to be just as good this week.

Yesterday I made:

 * Baked Blueberry Banana Oatmeal
 * Hard-boiled Eggs
 * Homemade Tater Soup - for Derek & his dad
 * Quinoa (to add to salads, roasted veggies, etc)

Now here is where I should be inserting a pic or two of my food prep, but someone <cough, me, cough> has misplaced her cord and cannot download any photos right now :-/

I'm planning for the following dinners this week:

 * BBQ Tofu with Roasted Balsamic Broccoli
 * Lentil Veggie Mac 'N Cheese
 * Toasted TLT (tempeh, lettuce & tomato)
 * Spaghetti Squash with Veggies
 * Veggie Omlets with Sweet Potato Homefries

I also bought a ton of fresh veggies that I'm planning to wash and chop tonight because the one thing I'd like to improve on this week is adding more salads to my daily eats - I'll be having salads for lunch or adding them as a side to our dinners. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, I crave fresh greens so much more!

In addition to my eats, here's what the workout plans are looking like this week:

*Sunday - Rest
*Monday - Bootcamp (new love that kicks my butt!!)
*Tuesday - Spin
*Wednesday - Rest
*Thursday - Zumba
*Friday - Active Rest or a new lunchtime Bootcamp
*Saturday - Yoga

So here's to another successful week my friends!

What do you have planned for the upcoming week? 

Have a great day!!


Today's Motivation:

EAT well. MOVE daily. HYDRATE often. SLEEP lots. LOVE your body. REPEAT for life.

Friday, March 1, 2013

28 Days

Hi Friends!

TGIF!! Do you have an exciting weekend planned?! Tomorrow is a busy day and then I have absolutely NOTHING planned for Sunday except hanging around the homestead. I've been looking forward to a PJ Sunday all week!

As you know, and I'm sure it's been obvious from my lack of posts lately, I have been busy. Both Derek and I have been moving at warp speed with barely a moment of peace. I keep thinking things are going to slow down, but they don't ---- so we are just starting to accept this busier lifestyle as the norm.

We are in need of a break and a mini-break we shall have at the end of March. We just booked ourselves a mini-vacay to Nashville followed by Easter with my family. I am beyond excited about the thought of getting away for a few days; especially to one of my fave places!!

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 Derek & I rarely get away by ourselves, so it will be so nice to spend some QT with each other and I always love a visit with my fam! Have you ever been to Nashville before? We're planning to hit some of our fave hotspots, as well as a Nashville Predators game, the Grand Ol' Opry and shopping is a must at Opry Mills Mall!

March 1st marked 28 days until our little getaway, so I've set some goals for myself for the next 4 weeks:

*Eat clean every snack/meal except one free meal over the weekend.

*5 workouts per week

*8 glasses of water per day

*Unplug & be in bed by 11 p.m. (7 hrs of sleep/night is the goal!)

*Maintain a food journal

*Try a new workout once per week to keep things interesting

I do so much better with short-term goals; especially when I have a *reward* at the end. I hope you don't mind, but you're going to be seeing a lot of meal plans, clean eating photos and fitness updates over the next 4 weeks!

What short-term goals do you have set for yourself right now?
Do you love vacationing or do you prefer downtime at home?

Have a great weekend and I will see you with a meal planning post on Monday!


Food for thought:

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