Instagram Challenge: Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of October! This is my favorite month of the year. I love it for many reasons … those first few crisp days when you realize need a sweater or a blanket, noticing the leaves changing colors, but mostly because it’s my BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!

Starting today and continuing through Thanksgiving, I’m setting a goal for myself each day to find one thing I’m thankful for. Scientists who study happiness have found that people who keep gratitude journals (daily or even several times per week) consider themselves happier than those who did not.

Think about it … Don’t you always feel good when you focus on something positive? What is more positive than recognizing something that you consider a blessing?

Attitude of Gratitude Instagram Challenge | thewellnessscientist.com

I’ll be posting my daily “Thank You’s” on my Instagram page & using the hashtag #attitudeofgratitude.

Join me and discover if this boosts your happiness quotient for the next month!!

 

 

Active Nation Day is September 28th!!

Active Nation Day is a movement created by the amazing Lorna Jane Clarkson to help women live an active lifestyle. You may recall my post about Lorna Jane’s new book, NOURISH. If you haven’t checked out this gorgeous lifestyle guide, I suggest that you do!!

Today is Active Nation Day, my friends! It’s a day to get up, throw away your old excuses, and get moving!

Want to get involved? Here’s how!!

  1. Join the movement by signing up to the Active Nation Day event in your closest city. Find a city near you by clicking here.
  2. Download the Lorna Jane app so you can track your Running, Walking, Cycling, and other active moves during and after Active Nation Day.  (App store download click here.)
  3. Learn the LJ Move for a chance to win $1000 Lorna Jane active wardrobe!! (Details below)
  4. Attend Active Nation Day by tracking your movement with the Lorna Jan app 

Here are a few screenshots from the Lorna Jane app. It is full of GREAT inspirational & motivational quotes!

Active Nation Day | thewellnessscientist.com

Now, about that $1000 Lorna Jane wardrobe!!! Here are the deets:

1. DO THE #LJMOVE  – take a photo or video
2. UPLOAD your video or photo to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook
3. HASHTAG #LJMOVE #ACTIVENATIONDAY
4. INSPIRE others – tag one or more of your #fitfam sisters to do the #LJMOVE too!

Watch the video below to learn how to do the LJMOVE: 

HAVE FUN!!! And Tag me on Instagram and/or Twitter (@WellnessScience) when you post your #LJMOVE! I want to see & LIKE all of my #sweatpink and other fit sisters doing their thing!!

Motivation Monday: To New Beginnings!

Life Starts All Over Again | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

Happy Monday, peeps! The fall is my favorite time of the year, and while I am sad to see the summer go I am embracing this new season and the new beginnings that fall will bring.

Fitzgerald was always one of my favorite authors, and this quote from The Great Gatsby: “Life Starts All Over Again When It Gets Crisp in the Fall” has a whole new meaning for me this year. I am truly motivated to be the happiest that I have ever been!

I am grateful for all of the good things and amazing people in my life, and I know and appreciate that any negativity I am experiencing is going to make me stronger.

Question: Do you love the Fall weather? Are you experiencing any EXCITING new beginnings? Please share!!

#LiveLoveNourish – A Review of Lorna Jane Clarkson’s NOURISH

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle. While I have been super-focused on my health and nutrition for as long as I can remember, life threw me a curveball that pushed those priorities to the bottom of the list.

I was given an opportunity to review Lorna Jane’s new book — NOURISH: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook — through the SweatPink ambassador community. This new book is  a collection of all things Lorna Jane has learned & loves about nourishing her body. 

While super excited to receive this beautiful book from Lorna Jane, there was so many things occupying my thoughts that I didn’t have the energy or desire even open the package for days.

Once I did, I was WOW’d!!! This is way more than just a cookbook. Lorna Jane has penned a gorgeously-photographed healthy living guide with recipes from breakfast thru dinner & in-between. She gives wonderful practical advice about healthy eating, such as “Eat Less, More Often” and “Eat According to What You Feel Your Body Needs.”  

However, what stood out to me the most were the inspiring messages peppered throughout the pages. Perhaps I noticed these messages because it was inspiration I was seeking? 

Nonetheless, as you read other reviews of this book you will likely see loads of her lovely & healthy recipe creations. In fact, I can’t wait to try a whole bunch of them myself (Wonder Woman Smoothie – you are first on the list!!!)

In my review, I wish to share some of the words from Lorna Jane that gave me inspiration and made me feel BLESSED when I needed it most. I hope you will find inspiration in them as well!

1) Don’t Let The Seeds Stop You From Enjoying The Watermelon

Don't Let The Seeds Stop You | thewellnessscientist.com

I think this message is saying not to let your fears stop you from doing something. I’ve said this before … change is SCARY. This inspires me to live life in the present & not worry about what may or may not happen. What do you think??

2) I Believe the Start to a Better Future is Simply Our Belief That it is Possible

 

The Start to a Better Future | thewellnessscientist.com

Love this one! To me, this is simply a message of hope. When you feel hopeless, you can’t imagine anything else is possible. But it really is a choice. You can let something destroy you, or you can choose to forgive, to love, and to grow. If you believe in something enough, it IS possible.

And last but not least …

3) Expect The Most Wonderful Things to Happen Not in the Future, But Right Now

Expect Wonderful Things | thewellnessscientist.com

This message reminds me to live in the present and to count my blessings. I think many of us tend to dwell or worry about things that have happened in the past or might happen in the future (I know I do sometimes!) But what about today? I’m looking for the wonderful things in my life today and trying very hard to give up the urge to control tomorrow.

Have you read Lorna Jane’s NOURISH? I’d love to hear some of your favorite quotes & your interpretation!

Meatless Monday Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

In my opinion, an Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad is SUMMER ON A PLATE!  It’s a simple little salad to put together, but the key is to find the freshest ingredients you can to make it taste amazing!

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad | thewellnessscientist.com

Organic tomatoes, freshly-picked basil leaves, high-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, buffalo mozzarella, as well as sea salt & freshly ground pepper all make a difference.

We planted tomatoes a little late in the season this year, so the ones I used today are beautiful fresh local heirloom tomatoes from our local market. I’m SUPER excited that I HAVE BASIL in my garden this year!! We didn’t plant any basil last  year, but this year we have 3-4 plants that are doing well. I LOVE going out & picking out a few big, fragrant leaves to include in my summer salads. Ahhhh, summer on a plate for sure!

For the past several years, I have enjoyed going out to my garden and picking beautiful heirloom tomatoes and basil to make this salad. I have experimented with different cheeses over the years, but this is my favorite version.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large heirloom tomatoes (I used yellow & red ones above)
  • 8-10 basil leaves, chopped
  • Buffalo mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (best quality you can afford — you only need a couple of capfuls)
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar (again, good quality makes all the difference)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Slice tomatoes and arrange on a plate. I find that a big serrated knife does the best job slicing tomatoes.
  2. Add a thin slice of mozzarella in between each tomato slice. Sprinkle the chopped basil leaves over the salad, then add a little sea salt & freshly ground pepper.
  3. Using the cap from your bottle of olive oil, add a capful to each row of the tomato combo on your plate.
  4. Finally, drizzle a small amount of balsamic down the center of each row & you are ready to feast!

This salad serves 3-4 people. I always serve with a sweet French baguette. Enjoy!! :-)

Caprese Salad | thewellnessscientist.com

SO TELL ME …

What are your favorite summer salads? Do you grow lettuce, tomatoes, and other herbs/veggies in your yard? 

 

Friday Five: Five Ways To Beat The Heat This Summer

How To Beat The Heat This Summer | thewellnessscientist.com

Happy Friday, peeps! I’m linking up again with the DC Trifecta (Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run, and You Signed up for What?!!) and their Friday Five Linkup! This week is a fun theme — 5 Ways To Beat The Heat — and very timely! Yesterday, as I went on my walk at The Stanford Dish the sun was intense! And I didn’t leave the house until 5:45 pm!

But it was a clear day — I mean, look at this view!

Stanford Dish Trail | thewellnessscientist.com

 

So, here are a few ways to stay COOL this summer when the days heat up!

1) Exercise indoors – I know, this can be boring. And you won’t catch me running on a treadmill unless it is a last resort. I like to keep things interesting, so I included 10 pretty awesome workouts in this post — The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do At Home. Try these for awesome arms & abs, sculpted legs, and killer cardio!

2) SMOOTHIES!

Check out these 13.1 Smoothie Recipes for 13.1 Miles if you are training for a half-marathon this summer! You’ll find some tasty treats here chock full of nutrients to fuel your run. Did I mention they are also yummy? Which one is your favorite?

Smoothie Recipes to Run For | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of WholeLiving.com

 

3) Get Outta That Kitchen!

Ok, not out entirely … but don’t turn that oven on when its scorching outside! Try a few light summer salads, like this Summer Coleslaw when temps are soaring. It’s a great chance to go meatless for a day if you haven’t tried it! Mucho benefits!

4) Take a Dip

Remember how you used to swim when you were a kid? Not just dipping your toes in or tip-toeing around so you don’t get your hair wet. Throw caution to the wind, hold your nose, and go under water! Its a lot more fun than you may remember. You’ll have FUN!!!! I have a new suit that I am dying to wear. Now I have to track down a pool!! :-)

5) Drink Up!

Yes, I mean hydrate! It is especially important to drink more water when temps rise, especially if you are exercising. I bought one of those pitchers that has a fruit infuser in the middle a while back to add a little zest to my plain water. I used it religiously for a few weeks, then I put it away when I was tidying up the kitchen one night. Time to pull that thing out and make some cucumber lemon water!!

Make Your Own Spa Water | thewellnessscientist.com

SO TELL ME …

What are your tips for beating the heat? Any fun weekend plans to kickoff the summer?

 

 

 

Five Things Friday: Fitness, Funnies, and Random Ramblings

Wow, Friday came along FAST this week! I’m linking up again this week with the DC Trifecta (Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run, and You Signed up for What?!!) and their Friday Five Linkup! It looks like EVERYONE was busy this week!

Today is “Free Friday” with the Friday Five, so I’m sharing a little fitness update & randomness with you.

One:

First, I’m happy to say that since I listed a summer goal of kicking up my fitness a notch that I actually did some kind of exercise EVERY DAY this week! The weather has been SO nice this week for running/hiking/walking. I even logged a 2nd Pilates session this week. And, I’ll be taking my VERY FIRST class at Soulcycle in Palo Alto on Sunday! When I put my goals on paper, I really take them seriously! :-)

Two:

Yesterday was a REALLY good day! I don’t know if it is because the past couple of weeks haven’t been that great, but all sorts of good things happened yesterday and I am GRATEFUL!

In addition to getting several new writing assignments (yay!!) I found out that I was chosen to be a new Sparkly Soul Ambassador! I’m so excited to be representing this awesome brand. Every girl deserves a little bling, right?

Today I Am Grateful | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Three:

Ok, were you one of the 10,000,000 people who saw the “Dear Kitten” video on YouTube this week? If you haven’t seen it, I am SO JEALOUS! You get to see it for the first time now! If you have cats, have ever had cats, or just like cats, you will CRACK up when you watch this video. Seriously, watch it now. If you are like me, you will watch it at least 20 more times. And still laugh. Every time. Seriously.

 

Four:

June is the month for peonies, and I LOVE PEONIES!!! If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the beaucoup photos that I have posted of my peonies. I love the way they look, the way they smell! I can’t get enough!

Peonies | thewellnessscientist.com

Five:

Happy Father’s Day weekend to everyone, especially to my Daddy! Wish I could be there to spend it with you, but I will see you in August — Love you!!

Happy Friday, y’all!

Share your Friday Randomness below!!

 

 

Motivation Monday: The Smallest Step in the Right Direction

Sometimes The Smallest Step | thewellnessscientist.com

Some Monday’s, you just need a little extra motivation. I’m finding that true today. How about you?

I love this quote for it’s ability to give just a gentle nudge in the right direction challenging you to tiptoe towards what you want in life.

I struggle with making plans for anything in advance, which often leaves me high & dry when I want to do something. Because everyone is grasping for what is left at the last minute, right?

This week, it is my goal to start taking small steps towards putting more structure around my free time. My “tiptoe” of the day was to sign up for a Pilates group training class tomorrow that I’ve never taken before. I’ll let you know how it goes!

SO TELL ME …

What baby step will you take today?

Friday Five: This Summer I Will …

Happy Friday, peeps! I can’t believe it is June already, and summer is just around the corner! I’m linking up again with the DC Trifecta (Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed up for What?!!) and their Friday Five Linkup!   

Today’s theme is: 5 Things I Will Do This Summer

Here’ s my list!

1.  Visit my family in Louisiana.  I decided to throw my dad a big party for his birthday in August and invited all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. My dad will be thrilled! He loves a big family get-together, and I can’t remember the last time we all got together. It will be just like Christmas Eve when I was a kid, and we would all pile in to my MawMaw’s house. I’ve got a LOT of planning to do — Wish me luck!

2.  Head back across the Pond.  Since the hubs works for a French company based in Paris, he travels abroad quite a bit. I was lucky enough to join for a couple of weeks in July last year, and I hope to do so again this year. It would be nice to squeeze in a trip before the end of June, when the big shopping SOLDES (sales) are in full effect! Last summer it was much warmer than usual when I visited.

I took this photo from the roof of my husband’s office building in the 9th arrondissement on Bastille Day. I was shocked that the fireworks show didn’t start until around 11pm on a weekday so that it was completely dark.

Bastille Day in Paris | thewellnessscientist.com

I hope it is at least cool enough this summer so that I can stop in and have a cup of hot chocolate at Angelina on the Rue de Rivoli. The best hot chocolate I’ve EVER tasted! And it comes with a lovely little dish of the most yummy whipped cream! I sat down in the team room last year, but it was SO hot inside (most places in Paris don’t have A/C) the idea of drinking a hot beverage was out of the question. Champagne to the rescue! :-)

Sipping Champagne in Epernay | thewellnessscientist.com

3.  Blogfest!! 

BlogFest with Sweat Pink | thewellnessscientist.com

Heading down to Anaheim to meet up with my #SweatPink Ambassador sisters for IDEA World Fitness Blogfest! I am super excited to attend the first ever Blogfest with Sweat Pink. Already got my room reserved! Hoping to connect with many more SPAs virtually before the show in August when we meet in person. Are you going??

4.  Score new magazine assignments.  Most of you know that I’m a Freelance Writer, and I write for cool magazines & publications like Z-LIFE (Zumba’s magazine), MAX Sports & Fitness, YouBeauty.com, and others. I’ve been a little lazy with my pitching lately, so I’m going to kick it up a notch & become an idea-generating machine! 

5.  Launch Awesome Beauty Product Giveaways on My Blog.  I currently write about health, nutrition, and beauty. My love of beauty products is intense. I’ve got SO MANY samples to try and review in my beauty closet (yes, I’ve got an entire closet people … it is a sickness!!) Planning to spread the love, though. Sign up to the right of this post for Giveaways, and you’ll be added to the raffle for some awesome beauty product giveaways including luxury brands like Chanel, La Prairie, and others!!! 

 

What are your plans this summer? Got trips planned? Any time for R&R?

Meatless Monday Recipe Roundup: Elegant Egg Dishes

Since I moved to California, I’ve become a little spoiled with the open-air grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets that are in no short supply! Fruits, veggies, and herbs that were freshly picked the same day? Yes, please!!!

Menlo Park Farmer's Market  thewellnessscientist.com.jpg

Shopping local for fresh ingredients reminds me so much of the European way of life, which is my opinion is “LIVE EVERY DAY!”

I particularly like simple French-inspired egg dishes such as quiches, that you can whip up in no time for friends and family. They can look very elegant, and are a perfectly balanced meal especially when paired with a salad of fresh greens!

Here are a few of my favorite meatless egg dishes in honor of Meatless Monday.

This Spicy Veggie Frittata is a Pinterest favorite, still scoring loads of views & repins every day!

Spicy Veggie Frittata | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Next is a Broccoli & Cheese Quiche. I make this one pretty often and always hope there are leftovers so I can steal some for breakfast too!

Vegetarian Broccoli Cheese Quiche

 

 

Next up is my Low-Fat Asparagus Quiche. I made this one a little lighter so you can try both varieties. You can add pretty much any veggies you like to these — hard to go wrong!

Reduced Fat Asparagus Quiche Recipe | thewellnessscientist.com

 

And finally, my new favorite, my Fingerling Potato and Kale Frittata! This one has delicious roasted potatoes & healthy greens. I think it looks so elegant, and it was so easy to make in this cast-iron skillet!

Fingerling Potato & Kale Fritatta | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

SO TELL ME …

Do you have a favorite egg dish that you like to make for dinner? Is it a quiche, frittata, or something else?