My Mini Trampoline Obsession & 10 Minute Workout

This post and video are long overdue (and just long in general). I have been blabbering on about how much I love my little trampoline for months now so here we go!

Short backstory: I broke my hip in 2018 at the age of 38 (not good). I had my first bone scan and it showed I had osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis). Also not good. I researched methods for increasing bone density and came up with 2 forms of exercise I wanted to incorporate into my routine:

  1. Walking while wearing a weighted vest. Making the skeleton carry extra weight signals the bones to toughen up so to speak.
  2. Jumping on a mini trampoline. Bouncing on a mini trampoline AKA rebounding, gives you the impact your bones need to grow whilst still being a fairly low impact exercise.

I bought a mini trampoline (a JumpSport brand) either right before or right after I had the screws removed from my hip (December 2020). Either way, I wasn’t really able to use the trampoline and it just sat in the basement for a year because I didn’t know how to properly use it.

Eventually I figured out the best, most effective, most efficient way to jump and in this post I’m sharing all the details. I started regularly using my trampoline in (I think) January, 2022. I have now been jumping regularly for 7 months and I jump 10-30 minutes most days (usually just 15-20 minutes).

Here are the things I love about bouncing:

  • The main reason I bounce is to build my bones. I haven’t had another bone scan but I’m due for one this fall and all I fully expect to see an improvement in my bone density. Rebounding is also fantastic for building muscular strength, improving cardiovascular health and weight loss.
  • Jumping has tightened my core like crazy. After only one month of jumping for 10 minutes a day I noticed my core was so much tighter and firmer which is something I have never gotten from doing abdominal exercises.
  • 10-20 minutes a day is SUPER effective. No other exercise can deliver this kind of results with such a small time commitment.
  • Results come FAST. After just one month I could see and feel noticeable changes.
  • Firms the thighs. This was an unexpected but welcome change. In only a month I noticed my thighs had a new firmness that has never been there even though I do strength training regularly and am overall very active. They weren’t even this firm when I could run 26 miles.
  • Bladder and pelvic floor got stronger. Yep! When I first started jumping I was surprised how weak my pelvic floor was. Within a month I could tell I had built up strength.
  • Firms and tightens skin on the entire body. You see a theme here. In addition to my thighs and core getting more firm, I noticed my whole body started to feel tighter, including my skin.
  • No more puffy face!!! This might be the best side effect. I always wake up with super puffy eyes no matter how much I sleep, how much water I drink and how healthy I eat. 10 minutes of jumping makes the puffy go away!
  • Incredible mood booster! Spend a few minutes bouncing and it will totally lift your mood.
  • It can be done year round and indoors. I love this aspect! As a runner I would always get stressed when it rained or snowed or when the air quality was bad or there were wildfires burning and I couldn’t run outside. I love that I can get on my trampoline any time of day no matter what the weather is like outside.
  • You only need 4 square feet of space and a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment.
  • It’s so fun! It doesn’t feel like “exercise” even though it burns a ton of calories. This is seriously the best part because what I’m saying here is that jumping delivers amazing results in a short amount of time and it doesn’t ever feel HARD. It just feels fun which means I don’t ever dread my trampoline time and in fact I look forward to it every day.

My best tips for getting started:

  • Any trampoline is good to get started. Just be aware that cheap trampolines might break or stretch out but just use what you have! Once you know you love rebounding and are ready to invest a few hundred dollars the best brands are JumpSport, Cellercise and Bellicon. Check facebook marketplace for used trampolines. I now have a Cellerciser and a JumpSport and I like both. I have a handlebar on the Cellerciser but not the JumpSport. It’s nice to have but not a necessity for me and the way I jump.
  • START SLOW. Bouncing is really fun and it doesn’t feel hard so it’s really easy to overdo it! I did this and then I would have to take several days off to recover. You have to remember that bouncing is working the body on a cellular level and it’s strengthening bones and connective tissue. So ease into it, otherwise you can get injured. Start with jumping for just 1-3 minutes and increase every few days as you feel ready.
  • Take rest days. Just like easing in, it’s important to take rest days. I find my body likes to bounce 3 days in a row and then take a day off. Some people like to bounce every day so it’s a matter of personal preference and health history.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes. You want your skin and muscles to be able to wiggle and jiggle. This is very unscientific (!) but hear me out. As you bounce, every cell in your body gets compressed and then it expands, about 60 times every minute. This flushes the cells and lymphatic system. By letting the skin, muscles and other tissues bounce and jiggle they are getting the maximum flush! And loose clothes are just more comfortable.
  • Put some Kleenex in your pockets. When I first started out my nose would run like crazy when I bounced. It no longer runs which I take as a good sign. Apparently I’ve strengthened my sinuses.
  • For hair I like to put my hair in a low ponytail and then braid the rest so that my hair doesn’t stick to my back or get all ratted.
  • Feeling like you need to go to the bathroom is normal (and it gets better)! I suspect everyone feels this way when they start jumping but nobody talks about it. But yeah, in the beginning you might feel like you need to go to the bathroom even if you just went. It’s fine. Just take a break, use the bathroom and then get back to jumping. Over time the pelvic floor muscles strengthen and you will be able to go 30+ minutes without feeling like you need to “go”. If this is a particular area of concern for you please be sure to start slowly with just a few minutes a day and do not overdo it!
  • Be sure to include yoga or stretching as part of a well balanced fitness program. As much as I love bouncing I don’t think it replaces all other forms of movement. I think it’s still important to include walking, strength training and stretching.
  • Consistency is the most important part. That’s why I think having a 10 minute routine is the key to success. We all have 10 minutes and it’s not such a hard workout that you will be exhausted. I actually bought a second trampoline so that I could have one at work on days I don’t have a chance to jump before work.

And last, as promised, here is a video of the 10 minute routine I do! I came up with these exercises by watching YouTube videos of Dave Hall, the founder of Cellercise. He is famous for a 10 minute workout he developed in the 1980’s! I really hope you will play some music and follow along with the video and not listen to me talk, haha!

In this video I am jumping on my JumpSport fitness trampoline. I believe it is the 350 model and I remember is cost about $350. It is a bungee style trampoline and on the model I have there are 3 different tension settings. When I first started I used the softest setting but now that I am stronger I have it on the highest tension setting so that I get the most impact and the least amount of bounce. This is a fantastic feature in my opinion.

10 minute daily rebounding routine

  • Health bounce 2-3 minutes
  • Run in place as fast as possible (or however fast you want) 1 minute
  • Front kicks 1 minute
  • Side kicks 1 minute
  • Back kicks 1 minute
  • “Moguls” jumping side to side keeping knees bent 1 minute
  • “Jamba Run” feet wide shifting weight side to side, running fast 1 minute
  • Health bounce another 1-2 minutes

The end. But usually I’m having fun and want to keep going at that point.

20 minute workout will be coming soon. 🙂

Bye for now!

Laura

BEST Oil Free & Vegan Salad Dressings

Hello!

I love thick salad dressings that really stick to my vegetables. I really don’t like runny salad dressing that runs to the bottom of the bowl! So today I am sharing my two favorite salad dressing recipes that I constantly have in rotation. I have been making these dressings for years and I never get tired of them. Because I like to use the same dressing every day these recipes make enough to last all week. If you don’t want 2 cups of salad dressing then cut the recipe in half. I love that these recipes only have a few simple ingredients and I can make them in a couple minutes.

Creamy Mango Lime Dressing
I love the sweet-tart combo of this dressing and the hemp seeds give it a creamy consistency. Such a good one in the summer months. I never measure this one any more. It’s so easy to just throw everything in the blender and it always turns out good!

  • 3 cups frozen mango, thawed (it ends up being about 2 cups once thawed)
  • 3 Tablespoons hemp hearts/ hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • water to get to the desired consistency

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator. The hemp seeds do make this dressing thicken so you may need to add more water later on.

Vegan Honey Mustard Dressing
Sweet, tangy and oil free! I really like this dressing on cooked veggies. Makes broccoli so easy to eat!

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

And since this is such a short post I’ll include a picture from last summer when we did the dog painting thing that was going around the internet. You take a small canvas, put some globs of paint on the canvas then cover the canvas with plastic wrap or place it in a ziploc bag. Then smear some wet dog food on the plastic wrap and have the dog “paint” by licking the food. By licking the plastic wrap they end up smearing the paint around. I have to say, Rocco wasn’t as amused as I was but his painting turned out great!


Bye for now!

Laura

Spicy Vegan Sweet Potato Instant Pot Soup

Alright, 2 firsts for me in todays blog. 3 if you count the fact that this is my first blog post in a year. The real firsts are that 1) I learned how to enter shortcode so that recipes will now be printable (yay!) and 2) this is my first time to post an instant pot recipe!

I have made this recipe 5 times now so I feel like I have it perfected. It started out as more of a chili but I wanted to make it 50% vegetable and 50% starch so that is what I did. The result is a filling yet slimming soup perfect for winter. I absolutely love that with the Instant Pot you can just dump all the ingredients in, press a few buttons and then walk away for 20 or so minutes. It frees up so much time! Yes I know I’m missing out a little by not sautĂ©ing the spices to open them up but I’m opening up some free time so I’m ok with the trade off. I put my IP in the garage while it cooks so that way my house doesn’t get filled with food smells-another win.

I have been a real slow adopter of the Instant Pot but my slow cooker died so that forced me to start using the IP. Turns out I love it and I use it every week for all sorts of things! I use it to cook beans, soups, rice and one pot meals. More to come for sure.

Without further ado here is that recipe embedded in code!

Spicy Vegan Sweet Potato Instant Pot Soup

  • Print

A slimming version of chili with lots of veggies. Thanks to the Instant Pot this recipe will make a week’s worth of dinners with just a few minutes of prep time.

Ingredients


-2 lbs of yams (2 large yams), peeled and cut into 1/2 in dice
-2 medium zucchinis, peeled and diced
-1 yellow onion, diced
-2 serrano peppers, seeded and diced
-1/2-1 teaspoon crushed garlic
-1 28oz can fire roasted crushed or diced tomatoes (run them through the blender if you don’t want any tomato chunks)
-32oz vegetable broth (1 carton)
-2 tablespoons chili powder
– 2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
-salt to taste but I recommend no salt
-3 tablespoons lime juice (added at the end)
-1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (added at the end)

Directions

Use a food processor to dice the onion, peppers and zucchinis. Run the tomatoes through the blender if you prefer zero chunks (that’s what I prefer). Cube the yams. Add all ingredients up to the lime juice to the Instant Pot and give it a stir. Make sure the sealing ring is in place and the lid is securely on and set the valve to sealing. Set the IP to manual 5 minutes and then let it naturally release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes of natural release go ahead and release the rest of the pressure (this may take a couple minutes). Add in the lime juice and chopped cilantro and you are done.

Bye for now!

-Laura

How I Started Eating Healthy Part 2

Alright, I’m back with more of the story of how I transitioned my diet from processed food to health food!

As I mentioned in the last post, I used to eat out a lot and I was generally very clueless about what food I was putting in my body. Once again, I’ll give credit to the Quantum Wellness Cleanse for spurring the healthy change because it was that cleanse that made me start to eat a Whole Foods Plants Based (WFPB) Diet. Now, a cleanse is not needed at all to make healthier choices, it’s just my path and my story. I don’t think a WFPB diet was even a thing back then (at least I had never heard of it) so I didn’t know that what I was doing had a name. I want to be clear though, cleansing is not necessary! But for me, when I removed sugar, wheat, animal products and caffeine from my diet I wasn’t left with much…ok, I wasn’t left with anything at all! I had to figure out what I could eat and I had to do it fast. So…I bought a cookbook! A revolutionary idea I know. This was in a time before instagram and pinterest and just being able to google “healthy recipes”. The first cookbook I bought was “Veganomicon” and through cooking the recipes in that cookbook I really learned how to make vegetables, beans, potatoes and quinoa delicious. In fact, I found all the recipes in that cookbook to be far more exciting and fun to cook than what I had been eating on my standard American diet! That was actually what got me so into cooking and creating food. I never enjoyed cooking until I started cooking healthier. I guess it was just part of getting more invested in my health.

So how did this go exactly? First I started making my own Pad Thai instead of going out for it. Easy enough. Then I started making potatoes. Also easy. I just started cooking recipes that looked healthy to me but that also sounded good. This up leveling took a long time because I had to start by incorporating only the vegetables I was comfortable eating like green beans and carrots. Eventually I tried more and more vegetables and learned the vegetable secret that would change my life: dice the vegetables up very, very small. This was a complete game changer! I still to this day do not like big chunks of onion or broccoli but if it’s diced up small it’s fine. This is a classic vegetable lentil soup that I actually ate every day last week. It’s full of vegetables but it actually tastes good and has good texture.

The last piece of advice I have for transitioning to a healthier diet is this: eat whole plant foods in abundance and do not stress over calories. I had been a calorie-counter on & off prior to switching up my diet so I was very used to having to limit serving sizes etc. Or I should say I was aware of serving sizes, haha! The thing I absolutely loved when I switched to eating whole plant foods is that I could eat and eat until I was satisfied and continued to lose weight until my body reached it’s natural weight.

If you are still not sure where to start, give this pesto pasta recipe a shot (that post is old and the photos are bad but don’t let that stop you). I have been making this pesto pasta for at least 10 years. It was actually the first thing I ever cooked for my husband and it is still his favorite! He’s having it for lunch this week actually. It’s easy, it’s delicious and it’s healthy.

Well I hope this information is helpful. I do have some new recipes I am excited to share.

Take care!

Laura

How I Started Eating Vegetables (as a veggie hater) + The Lean Green Smoothie

This week someone asked me how I first started eating healthy and I thought that was worthy of a blog post because it’s a great question! I started thinking back on what my diet was like in college and in my twenties. It was…not good.

In college I ate sugary breakfast cereal, huge bowls of pasta, pb& j’s, mac & cheese, pizza from the pizza place next door and the occasional apple with peanut butter. Mostly processed food for sure. After college I moved to Los Angeles where I was suddenly surrounded by fast food chains which I hadn’t really had in my small college town. On the weekends I loved going to the beach and on beach days my diet looked something like this:

  • Breakfast: White chocolate mocha + lemon loaf from Starbucks
  • Lunch: Cheeseburger and fries from In & Out
  • Dinner: Pad Thai from Pick Up Sticks or orange chicken from Panda Express

I enjoyed my time living in LA and I honestly wasn’t concerned with my diet or my weight at all. I guess at that time I didn’t see anything wrong with eating that way and I thought I felt fine. Plus I really enjoyed trying new restaurants and living via my taste buds. It wasn’t until I had been living in Utah for a few years that I really started to improve my diet. I was such a non-vegetable eater that I was the person who would say “plants are what cows eat”. I can’t underscore this enough, I did not eat vegetables.

So what sparked the change? It’s a good question and the first thing that comes to mind is the very first Quantum Cleanse I ever did back in ~2008. Even when I did that cleanse I just lived on potatoes, oatmeal, corn chips (!!) and fruit juice (!!!) and sadly that was an improvement over my standard diet and I lost 10 pounds. But once I started to get a little more into the swing of a plant based diet I finally took a huge giant leap and started making…wait for it…

FRUIT and KALE SMOOTHIES.

Very little kale at first but once I learned the kale was undetectable, I started adding more & more.

This is the original smoothie recipe that started it all:

Ingredients (I estimate everything)
1 frozen or fresh banana (hint: peel the banana, cut it up, then freeze it in a baggie. I learned that the hard way)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
1-3 stalks of kale, leafy part only, not the stalk (about 2 handfuls, more depending on brave you feel)
1/2 cup almond milk (whatever milk you want to use is fine, or use water)
1/2 – 1 cup water

Blend away!

That smoothie up-leveled my diet more than anything and gave me confidence to try more vegetables.

Let’s fast forward to 2021 and get into the smoothie I have for breakfast every day now. It’s the Lean Green Smoothie from http://www.hauteandhealthy.com (an amazing podcast too btw!).

Lean Green Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana (peel and cut up before freezing)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or 1/4 cup mango/pineapple or other fruit)
  • 1/2 an apple
  • 3 cups of spinach which ends up being a massive fist full
  • about 1 cup of water

This smoothie isn’t pretty by any means because the blueberries muddy up the color. If you want it to be bright green use mangoes instead of blueberries.

So, the two recipes are pretty similar so not much has changed in the last 13 years for my breakfast smoothie.

I will be back soon to share how I went from eating panda express to vegetables for dinner.

And now, because it’s been 8 million years since my last blog post I will leave you with a picture of Rocco who is now 6 years old and is (still) very, very cute. This is one of my favorite photos of him. Every blanket I buy for the house instantly becomes “his”.

Workout Video + Check In

Hiiii!

Happy Quarantine Times to everyone. Now that the shock of everything closing down has settled a bit hopefully we can all fall into a rhythm.  Today I have some updates and also a short workout video, ahhh!

  • The 75 Hard goes on: I got to about day 15 and then decided to have a couple glasses of wine with a friend. It wasn’t a moment of weakness, it was just like, eff it, my friend is more important. So I started over and I think I’m on day 7. Honestly, #quarantinelife makes doing this challenge really easy. Drinking a gallon of water every day? Easy. Walking outside for 45 minutes every day? Easy. Reading 10 pages? Definitely easy. So maybe someone else reading this will also want to give it a go?
  • The 75 Hard “Diet”: The diet aspect of the 75 hard is the most puzzling for me because you get to create your own rules. My “diet” if you will is to eat a whole foods, plant based diet. Once again, quarantine life makes it pretty easy to eat healthy because I’m just home cooking my own food.
  • Favorite things about quarantine life: Not having to meal prep! I think I’ve been packing lunches and snacks since Junior High so this is the first time in my life that I can make lunch…when it’s lunch time. My second favorite thing is being able to do a random load of laundry in the middle of a weekday. I’d say spending time with Rocco is a favorite but he spends most of the day looking out his window.
  • Least favorite things about quarantine life: I miss seeing the people I like. Duh.
  • Yoga Teacher Training: I haven’t mentioned on here that I started a 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training back in February and I have been beyond impressed with how seamlessly they transitioned to all online. They already recorded and streamed all the classes so they made the change look easy. I feel so grateful I happened to choose this training over doing an immersion course in another country. I’m doing the training through InBody Academy in Salt Lake City. In my opinion, the instructors are a real collection of the best of the best in Utah. Oh and it’s a Yoga Therapy program which is right up my alley in terms of being able to help people with physical injuries or mental health.

I filmed a little workout video and I will continue to film more.

Alright, that’s all for now, I hope you enjoy the video!

Laura

75Hard and the Importance of Personal Goals

Wow…I wrote a post a couple weeks ago and intended to publish it this week but then, obviously, a pandemic broke out and it then it just made sense to start a fresh post.

So let me start with what I’m up to. I am currently tackling the #75Hard. This is a 75 day challenge that is meant to be, well, hard. It’s meant to build mental toughness. I had planned to start on Monday, March 16, 2020. Pretty much all hell broke loose in the days leading up to my start date but I started anyway and I’m hoping anyone reading this will consider doing this challenge with me or at least do some other personal challenge during this crazy time.

What is 75Hard?
I just barely caught wind of this concept created by Andy Frisella a couple weeks ago and knew I had to give it a go. Only 2% of people who start it will actually finish…or so the legend goes.

  • 75 days
  • Follow a diet (you get to set your own parameters for that one)
  • Drink 1 gallon of water a day
  • Take a progress picture every day
  • Actively read 10 pages of non-fiction/self-improvement every day (not an audio book)
  • Complete two 45 minute workouts every day (one of those must be done outside)
  • No alcohol, no cheat meals, if you mess up you go back to day 1

75hard

I’ll do a follow up post outlining what I’m eating etc, but I wanted to chat more about the importance of having personal goals amidst everything going on right now.  When things outside our control feel chaotic it’s easy to start feeling hopeless. Without our friends, jobs, gyms, social support and even just the normal stressors of life it’s easy to feel like you are just lost and floating around without any destination. Unfortunately, this thing doesn’t look like it’s going to be over any time soon so that would be a long time to be floating around in limbo. I know for me, I started looking at a calendar and how long it is until June and just thought: I need to do something.

Participating in a personal challenge give us a sense of purpose. A reason to get out of bed. A reason take care of ourselves (in the case of the 75 hard that is literally the entire challenge).

I started only a few days ago and in that time I have been through the following:

  • The gym I work at shut down due to the pandemic
  • A major earthquake that scared the pants off Rocco & me
  • A minor cold (brought on by stress no doubt)
  • Rainy weather
  • Hectic schedule where I just didn’t think I would have enough time to get all the things in

But what I find I’m really enjoying is that every day that I’ve thought I wouldn’t be able to complete all the tasks, I did complete the tasks and that feeling of success has helped me feel so.much.better and overall better equipped to handle the things going on around me. It’s nice to have some personal betterment to focus on instead of all the doom & gloom on the news. Obviously it’s good to stay up to date on current events, but in my experience listening to too much news can also cause anxiety.

Alright, that is all for today. If you are still reading, I’d love to know what sort of challenge you have just formulated for yourself while reading this.

Laura

 

Need a Re-Set in 2020?

Happy 2020! We are in the 20’s now, how cool is that?

A couple weeks ago one of my co-workers suggested a few of us do “Laura’s 3 week cleanse” in January. I haven’t done the cleanse in YEARS so I was like YAAAAAS!

We’re doing it.

So I thought I would do a few posts on what I’ll be doing to prepare for the cleanse (as I type with chocolate in my mouth just thinking about it), what I’m eating and how I’m feeling.

And also, WHO ELSE WANTS TO DO IT WITH US???! 

We start Monday, January 13.

Here are the details of what the cleanse entails. In that original post I say “no gluten including oatmeal” but I would like to change that to just “no gluten, oatmeal is fine” because oatmeal is gluten free. There is the risk of some gluten contamination but I think most of us are fine eating that trace amount. Or if you want to be sure serious you can buy certified gluten free oats.

A few notes:

  1. The first time I did this cleanse I did it only as a challenge because a couple of my clients were complaining about how hard it was and I wanted to prove them wrong. So if the thought of a cleanse sounds scary, just tackle it from a place of curiosity. Like, how difficult can this really be?
  2. It’s not about starvation!!! Eat fruit, eat rice, eat potatoes, eat rice pasta, eat tofu, eat tempeh, eat beans. Make a chili using some of those ingredients. Make rice pasta with marinara sauce. Make a smoothie. It’s not about just eating salad and raw vegetables and being hungry. No way!
  3. If there is something you can’t stand the thought of giving up…don’t give it up. Any time we put ourselves in a state of deprivation we are setting ourselves up for a big binge later on down the road. So don’t get to a state of deprivation! Eat an abundance of healthful food.

How I’m preparing:

  1. I’m thinking about the reward. I have done many, many cleanses in my life and it’s not all fun all the time, but one thing I know I can look forward to is feeling better. Having fewer aches and pains/ less stiff joints. Clear skin, less puffy eyes, improved sleep and more energy to name a few. Thinking about how good I will feel is really what motivates me! Of course, the first time I did this cleanse I lost a good 10 pounds in 3 weeks which is a powerful motivator too!
  2. I’m figuring out what I want to eat during the first week. I’m still deciding but it will look something like this (subject to change):
    1. Smoothie with frozen fruit, greens, protein powder and flax oil
    2. Piece of fruit and/or some almonds
    3. Probably a big salad
    4. Edamame, chia pudding or another protein shake (if I’m on the go)
    5. A soup, possibly the red curry soup or Thai Red Curry.
  3. Sunday I will go grocery shopping and chop veggies, prepare soup, tofu etc.
  4. Mentally prepare. I already don’t eat animal products, alcohol or caffeine so the thing that will be most difficult for me is: SUGAR! I know the first 3 days will be difficult but I’m thankful to have my co-workers to lean on during difficult moments.

Alright, that is about it as far as preparation.

And for posterity, here are a couple pictures. Here I am from a recent vacation.

stubai

And here is Rocco laying in front of the heat vent to stay warm!

Rocco

Bye for now!

Laura

Favorite Things of 2019

Woo Hoo, it’s a new blog post! This has been on my to-do list for MONTHS and my big goal was to get this out in time for anyone who is looking for some shopping inspiration before the Holidays! Obviously nothing on here is sponsored in any way, these are all items that I bought and have been using for several months and want to shout from the rooftops about how much I love each and every item on here. I am seriously so excited.

Let’s get to it, going clockwise, starting in the top left corner.

favorite things

  1. Athleta Elation Leggings
    Of course my first pick would be leggings. I am somewhat of an expert of course considering I wear leggings at least 5 days/week and now that I have these it’s closer to 7 days/week. So let me tell you why they are perfect. I used to buy the Lululemon Align Leggings but 1) they pill and 2) they show every lump and bump on your bottom which isn’t a professional look for me. These Elation Leggings have the same buttery soft feel as the Aligns, but they smooth you out and they offer just the tiniest bit of compression but without feeling like the life is being squeezed out of you. Mine have not pilled and they are not see through (why is this something we are even still having to talk about? Shouldn’t all pants be not-see through?) I wear these leggings for all activities including hot yoga. Yes, that’s right, they are even good for the hot sweaty type workouts. They are soft and comfy though so also great for travel. They run true to size.
  2. Marley’s Monsters UnPaper Towels and Napkins
    We’ve gone paperless in our household! Yes, that’s right, no more paper towels or paper napkins in our home and we love it!! We realized UnPaper Towels are just towels really. I thought it might be a pain having to wash napkins and (unpaper)towels but it isn’t inconvenient at all. I just throw these in with the rest of my towels. They don’t wrinkle and haven’t stained like I thought they would. I think these would make a great gift for anyone who is trying to be more environmentally conscious. We love them. Plus they come in a ton of different prints and colors. Very fun.
  3. Spin Pins AKA my hair secret
    These hair pins are the secret to my hair buns that will withstand spin class or sweaty downward dogs without budging at all. Twist hair up into a bun, insert 2 spin pins, remove after class or once hair is dry and enjoy wavy hair. That’s my big secret!
  4. Moldex Ear Plugs
    Only this last year or two did I start sleeping with ear plugs and in the process I tried out at least 5 different varieties before finding these and dubbing them “the best”. They seem like denser foam than the others I tried. I do trim the ends down so they don’t stick out of my little ears (aw, how cute).
  5. Bathroom Organizer
    Please note this is a stock photo and not an actual picture of what my organizer looks like. If you think I own lip gloss and Versace perfume you’d have me confused with someone else. I saw this on Amazon and thought it was brilliant. Cleans up the bathroom counter top nicely and looks like a display case to show off all those lovely skincare items that bring me so much joy.
  6. TheraGun G3
    We debated this purchase for MONTHS then finally decided to make the investment ($$$). Within 2 weeks we had a second because we each needed one as my hubby travels often and takes the TheraGun with him. This thing might seem like such an excessive splurge, but it has made a huge difference in the tissue around the screws in my hip. I can go from being in a lot of pain to almost no pain after using this. It’s also really helped my tight calves and shoulder pain I’ve been dealing with since I can only lay on the left side of my body now. I definitely recommend to anyone with injuries! It looks like it would be painful but I promise it isn’t. It’s a zillion times more enjoyable than foam rolling (which I despise). Side note, I did order the Liv and returned it. I didn’t like that it only has one speed and it was louder and ran a bit rough in my opinion. We have also tried the Pro but we didn’t feel like the features on the pro were necessary and worth the extra cost.
  7. Athleta Breathe In Bra
    This bra says it’s low support and also low coverage but I have to disagree. I’d say it has perfect support and fairly high coverage (goes higher up in the front). I do like it for yoga but I find I reach for it for daily wear as well and it would be fine for hiking and biking. It is overall just very comfortable. And the buttery soft material is the same as those elation pants I mentioned earlier. The best I’ve worn to this date.
  8. Sleep Mask
    In addition to wearing ear plugs, I also now sleep with an eye mask and don’t know how I’ve survived without one. I’ve tried several and the thing about this one is that it is hollowed out around the eyeball area so your eyes and eyelashes don’t get smashed. Completely blocks out all light and the strap is wide and adjustable and doesn’t tangle up in my hair like straps with velcro will do.
  9. Rothy’s Slip on Sneaker
    Cute shoes made from recycled plastic! They are also machine washable and comfortable. I hemmed & hawed over these for a good long while and now I wish I had bought them sooner. And I want the leopard ones too. They do run a little small/narrow. My foot is a super consistent size but these I had to exchange for a half size larger.

Alright, those are my top 9 favorite “things”. But would you believe I have a separate list already prepared for my Favorite Skincare & Beauty and also Favorite Haircare products?! It could be several months before those come out so I’ll just say Happy Holidays now, ha!

But really, I hope the rest of 2019 is amazing for you!

Laura

 

Avocado Cilantro Dressing + The Salad I’m Loving Now

Hello, hello!

I’m popping in to document the salad I have been eating pretty much most days of the week all summer. Super simple, super easy to make, super satisfying, super yum.

So here we go. This is what it looks like:

avocado cilantro dressing salad

And this is how to make it:

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2-1 bunch cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Mild green salsa

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. I didn’t list out quantities for the lime juice or salsa so I’ll just say the amount is *some*. Start with the avocado and the the cilantro. I probably  use the equivalent of 3 limes but it depends on the size of the lime. And then I pour salsa in until the dressing reaches the desired consistency.

Salad I’m loving

  • Spinach
  • kale
  • red cabbage
  • shredded carrot
  • red or green onion
  • beans
  • quinoa
  • corn

I pretty much just toss in whatever I have, mixing and matching different vegetables. I do subscribe to a CSA so it’s fun to pick up my produce box every week and to then incorporate those fresh veggies into my salad.

That’s it and I haven’t gotten sick of eating it yet!

Other updates: I haven’t been up to anything too terribly interesting these days, just enjoying the amazing summer we’ve had here in Salt Lake! We did take a trip to Germany, Austria and Italy this summer which was AMAZING. We went so my husband could attend the paragliding festival we went to last year and then we added some different stops this time around. We spent a few nights in the Dolomites, here is a photo from that area. Photos really don’t do this place justice.

dolomites

After returning home from Europe we’ve just been having a real low-key, fun-centered summer. We’ve gotten out hiking and mountain biking which has seriously been SO FUN. The last probably 5-6 years I’ve been so consumed with running that I wasn’t able to really do anything else and now it feels like there’s a whole new world out there for me to explore! I’ve lived in Utah for I think 14 years and I have hardly done any hiking. Turns out, hiking is actually really hard. Harder than running at times. Who knew?

It’s been 11 months now, since I broke my hip! The only activity I can’t do is run which is totally fine. Actually last week I did secretly go for a run and didn’t tell anyone, ha. I just used an interval timer and ran for 30 seconds and walked for 30 seconds for 30 minutes total. It definitely felt better than the last time I went for run so I’m hopeful that another year from now I might be able to run a 5K here and there. Maybe.

I’m really on pins and needles waiting for the 1 year check up just to make sure everything looks good and I will be sure to update at that point!

Rocco is doing great. He’s just funny and smart and lazy and snuggly and just the best little pal. He loves to get inside pillowcases and blankets even if it’s 100 degrees outside. Here is a collage:

rocco is cute

Alright, that’s all for now!

Laura