Hey guys! I’m BACK!

I just bought a brand spankin’ new shiny laptop, I’m full of new ideas, and have literally no time–but hey, I’m going to MAKE it happen! I received so many encouraging comments from all of you, and I’m excited to be back in the Blogosphere.

Please keep an eye on the blog for: new recipes, ideas, tips, tricks, etc. for a healthier lifestyle! Also…tell me: what do you want to hear about? What do you need recipes of? Let’s talk, learn, and grow!





Rough Monday? Here’s some wisdom for your soul

Just Breathe

My Monday has been such a Monday!

A brief summary: I overslept and missed my 5:30 am running group. My car had troubles on the way into the office; it has since been towed to a local auto shop. I had a bit too much chocolate yesterday (can you relate!?) so my skin is feeling extra oily today…(and my oily skin reminds me of the chocolate I ate, which reminds me that I didn’t workout this morning, which makes me upset–so, consequently, I want to eat more chocolate… )

Oh boy.

I realize that at this point, I have two options. Option ACall today a wash. Go to the local organic market and buy myself a pumpkin turkey enchilada and carton of pistachio gelato, plop on the couch, and turn off the world. Or Option BChoose to believe that tomorrow will be better. Perhaps, jog a couple of miles to cool down after work, and then retreat to the fireplace with a good book after making myself some warm root vegetable soup…

I choose Option B.

10 Ways to De-Stress (When Life Gets Crazy)

Okay friends—school is back in session, work is in full-swing, I’m helping friends plan their weddings, I’m trying to stay in shape with the holidays right around the corner—and life in general seems to be moving at a million miles a minute! Does anyone else feel my stress?!


In an effort to calm down, mellow out, and think more clearly—I’ve come up with a list of things that help alleviate the urge to tense up and freak out when stress knocks at your door (or breaks your door down completely). I hope you find this helpful (and if you have additional tips, please don’t be shy—I love to hear others’ thoughts!).

1)      Eat clean for a clear brain. It is tempting to let our emotions get the best of us—especially when we’re stressed out. Eat Clean!Research shows that eating clean (“clean” means a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and lean meats—while avoiding as much as possible processed, sugar-laden, packaged temptations) helps with mental clarity. So, instead of reaching for the carton of Ben & Jerry’s the next time you have a presentation due and a class to prepare for, make yourself a big bowl of chopped fruit, drizzled with honey and perhaps dolloped with a tiny bit of whipped cream! I promise you’ll be satisfied without the accompanying guilt in the morning.

2)      Meditate to start your day. –I make my quiet time a priority each morning. Even if I am meeting my running group at the crack of dawn, I make it a priority to have at least 20 minutes of prayer and reflection by myself before leaving the house. This helps me start my day with a clear mind, a solid foundation, and a sense of inner peace.

3)      Plan times to relax. –If you’re on this blog, or if you’re anything like me, you’re probably a workaholic. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, but there is something wrong with working hard without breaks. I suggest you plan a time each week that is solely dedicated to recharging you. Different people recharge in different ways. For my boyfriend, recharging looks like videogames and computer coding (I know, he’s a dork—but they make the best boyfriends!). For me, recharging looks like a manicure and back massage, baking while listening to Jack Johnson, or a good, long run by myself. Consider your time to recharge as a valuable time to unplug. I promise, if you do this, you’ll be more efficient when it’s time to get back to work!

4)      Open the window. Get some fresh air. I spend at least 8 hours of the work week inside. Whether I’m in an office or a classroom, I’m in. To de-stress, it can be very effective to get out. Open the window and simply breathe in the freshness that is the outside. (Unless, of course, you’re in Los Angeles…then, I suggest you drive outside city limits and breathe cleaner air!)

5)      Send yourself flowers. I’Flowers!m not at all ashamed to admit that I buy myself flowers all the time. There’s something about the bright, vivid colors that makes me happy regardless of how long my to-do list is.

6)      Workout! Endorphins, which are touted as the chemical release that makes you feel “happy” are produced when you work out. This means that moving can actually help you feel happier. (Not to mention, working out is crucial to staying in shape—which can be difficult when we’re stressed to the max!)

7)      Become a Yogi. Though Yoga is a form of working out, I really think it deserves its own line. Why? Because yoga is just as mental as it is physical. The act of yoga allows you to reach a calm, centered space—and who doesn’t want that in the middle of chaos?! Become a Yogi

8)      Go out and let your hair down. When you’re stressed, plan a day or night to spend with your buddies. This could look like a group hike, heading to on the town (though I definitely do not recommend alcohol as a way to cope with stress), or having the girls over for a movie night. Regardless of what you do, it is crucial that you have something to look forward to—and nobody helps us forget our stresses than a bunch of friends!

9)      Count your blessings. It’s easy for me to get caught up in making future plans and fulfilling obligations when I get stressed. I find that when I stop and think about what I am thankful for, I learn to live in the moment to cherish what I currently have. This mindset makes coping with the details of each day much more bearable!

10)   Read this blog! J Sure, this is shameless self-promotion, but I really do strive to provide helpful tips on living healthier as a busy individual. Check out healthy recipes, advice, and motivation here at!

Weight Gain and the Workplace: How to Avoid it and How to Stop it!

It’s that time around the country: Graduation! In just a few days—if not graduate1already—millions of Americans will graduate college and join the work force. (Or, for the ones like me who have tackled both college and the workforce at the same time, they’ll have an opportunity to focus solely on climbing the corporate ladder!) This is an exciting time, but also one that will result in weight gain as people enter the corporate work and a more sedentary lifestyle.

According to a CareerBuilder survey of more than 3,600 full-time workers, 41% report that they have gained weight at their present jobs.scale

59% of those workers have put on more than 10 pounds, and 30% of those surveyed have put on more than 20 pounds.

While the Career Builder survey cited that Administrative Assistants, Office Directors and Managers, Engineers, Teachers, Nurses, Information Technology Managers, Attorneys, Machine Operators, and Scientist were the most affected by work-related weight gain—there are other jobs also affected by work-related weight gain.

But why? The common denominator in all of the jobs listed (and others that may be unlisted) is stress—coupled with easy access (in most of the jobs listed) to junk food, and long periods of sitting.  How can you avoid this going into your new job? Or, for those already working, how can you whittle your waist and get back on track?

The following tips are a surefire way to help you help yourself when it comes to wellness at work…

  1. Make sure to eat—and bring your snacks and lunch whenever possible!
    Before work, eat a breakfast that consists of lean protein, fiber, whole grains (complex carbohydrates), fruits, or vegetables.  (This will keep you satisfied, and studies show that students and employees who eat a healthy meal in the morning focus better at work.)
    Plan your snacks and lunch each day! Make sure your snacks are healthy (vending machine snacks are often high in sugar and fat—which are can cause blood sugar spikes and drops, and ultimately leave you vendingfeeling lethargic and bloated). Whenever possible, pack a lunch and snacks.
    Space your eating. Most nutritionists recommend eating every 3-4 hours. Watch the clock (this will help you avoid eating out of boredom—tip #3)
  2. Workout with coworkers! Chances are, if you live and work in America, people in your office could use help with their exercising and eating habits just as much as you could. Find someone (or a group of people) at work who like to run, dance, walk, jog, bike, or hike and hold each other accountable. (I run most days during my lunch hour with a coworker; that way, my workout is finished before I even leave work. On days I know I can’t run at lunch, I make it a point to run before work with coworkers or after work. Running with a buddy keeps me accountable and makes things enjoyable!)
  3. Don’t eat because you’re bored. Don’t eat because you’re stressed. People tend to overeat in two circumstances: when they have too little or too much to do. When you’re tempted to eat (and you know you aren’t hungry), drink a large glass of water or herbal tea, go for a 5-minute walk around the office, take 10 deep breaths, or stand up and stretch. But do yourself a favor and don’t eat that Kit-Kat.
  4. Vary your routine. I read somewhere that the hardest part of being an adult is “getting used to the mundane”—which essentially means, coping when life seems monotonous or the same day in and day out.  Morning muffins, lattes, or the habitual glass of wine each night with dinner can seem harmless—but can result in unneeded additional pounds over the years. Allow yourself to have that muffin, or sip that latte or glass of wine—but do it on occasion.
    This also means vary your routine with exercise. I mentioned that I run—but I also do yoga, attend Crossfit, and hike. Doing the same thing day in and day out can be good—but to get the maximum benefits from exercise, a person should vary their types of physical activity!
  5. Log your foods—and your feelings! Invest a dollar into a notepad. Write down what you eat, and at the end of the day, write down how you feel. Feeling bloated? Feeling lethargic? Observe the foods you’ve eaten on days when you feel something negative, and discern what foods you may need to avoid.
    Most nutritionists agree that people at more than they think they do on a given day; sometimes we eat absentmindedly. Writing things down can keep you aware of what goes into your body.
  6. Drink enough water. Water is an essential piece of any healthy bottledwaterperson—and it is especially important if you are more sedentary for hours during the day! Strive to drink at least 6 glasses (8 oz. each) of water each day!
  7. Take breaks throughout the work day. If you work an 8-5, you are permitted, in most places, an hour lunch and two 15-minutes breaks. Take them. Use those 15 minutes to walk around, stretch, or get your blood flowing!
  8. Get enough sleep. Experts agree that we make poor eating decisions when we have poor nights sleep. When the body needs energy, it often craves carbs –and when we’re tired, we tend to avoid those good-for-you complex carbs and binge on, well, the less helpful stuff. Assuring an adequate night sleep can set you up for success the following day. (Shoot for at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night!)
  9. Be positive, and forgive yourself. Being healthy is sometimes hard. It can be a challenge to change habits that have forged over the years, but a healthy body is totally worth the effort. Stay optimistic when you find yourself “messing up”—and forgive yourself. Each day is a new day, and a new opportunity to nourish your body well!
  10. Put your health before your job. It does not matter if you are Lady Gaga’s personal assistant or the President of the United States of America—you cannot serve others (in your workplace, or in your tiffblogpersonal life) unless you are working well yourself. That means, to do your job and live your life in the most effective and beneficial way possible, you absolutely must put your health before all other things. Set boundaries with work, set goals for yourself, and enjoy living your healthiest life!

10 Ways to Eat Healthy on Vacation

Hey Friends! I’m so sorry for being an absentee blogger for the past few weeks; I’ve been swamped! Don’t worry—I’ve been brainstorming articles to write (my head is literally FULL of them) so you should have some (good?) entertaining and informative reading material coming this week!

Over the weekend I went out of town to Nike’s ‘Wild Canyon Games’. These games are like giant adventure races for adults. They were a blast! The problem? The food at the games was quite different than what I’m used to. (The games were held at a giant camp facilities in the middle of NOWHERE, Oregon—and with over 1,000 people, it is understandably difficult to get healthy food to everyone.) Meals were dense, and included entrees and side dishes like lasagna, white rice and beans, chicken, muffins, bagels, protein bars and shakes, and more. Vegetables and salads were dressed up in caeser or ranch (pre-mixed). Needless to say, I had an interesting time eating “healthy”. wilcanyongames

And all of that got me thinking People would probably have more enjoyable vacations (and they would feel better stepping on the scale when they got home) if they knew how to eat well on vacation. I’ve compiled a few tips (I used) to help keep you from derailing your diet while away—even when you don’t have a lot of (food) options to choose from.

  1. Water is your friend. bottledwater
    If you begin the day with a full glass of water, and consume at least 8 oz. before each meal, you’ll feel more satisfied before even having a bite! That way, you’re less likely to over eat. (In addition, water helps pass food through your system, so you’re less likely to feel uncomrortable and bloated throughout the day!) Note: If water isn’t as tasty as what you’re used to, stick to bottled (or, if the water tastes different but is still okay to drink, bring a few vitamin packs with you. They will make the water taste better, while giving you nutrients!
  2. Do things your way
    Okay, anyone who has gone out to eat (or seen me on vacation) jokes that I can be a bit “high maintenance”, but here’s how I look at it: if I can make simple requests, like “dressing on the side” I’ll consume far fewer calories, fat, sodium, sugar, etc. than if I ate everything as it was usually prepared. Hotel Buffet
  3. Enjoy your company; indulge…in conversation!
    If you’re talking, watching, listening, laughing, and enjoying yourself, you’re probably not over-eating.
  4. Keep track of your food (and beverages) in your head.
    Sure, the tendency is to “let go” while away, and I’m all for it (in small amounts, see Rule 6) but it is good to be somewhat aware of what’s going in your body! I like to put everything on a plate, even snacks, and then consume it. This alleviates the oh-no!-I’ve-eaten-six-handfulls-of-chips-and-salsa-and-now-I-feel-awful situation(s).
  5. If possible, bring healthy snacks and/or meal replacement shakes with you.steelcutoats
    On this last trip, I brought packaged steel-cut oats. This helped me say “no” to the morning bagels and muffins that were provided.
  6. Follow the 90-10 rule—eat like you would at home, 90% of the time.
    Enjoy dessert, a margarita, or that ice cream cone 10% of the time.
  7. Take vitamins.
    Sometimes a deficiency in certain vitamins comes across as your body thinking it’s hungry. Make sure you’re eating nutrient-dense food whenever possible, but consider a multi-vitamin to fill in the gaps!
  8. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re not.
    This is so, so simple and yet so difficult to follow, but if you eat learn to eat when you’re hungry and stop before you’re stuffed, bloated, and totally full, you will feel so much better. Experts recommend eating “until satisfied”.
  9. Have fun!
    If you’re out being active (snorkeling, hiking, running, walking, exploring, etc.) you’re burning calories and jumpstarting your metabolism. So rest on vacation, but don’t clockforget to have fun, too!
  10. Don’t eat after ___pm.
    Set a time, and don’t consume food after it. For me, I stop eating and snacking at 8pm. This way I don’t consume unnecessary foods that sit overnight!

Do you have additional tips? Leave them in a comment!

Until tomorrow,


Drew’s Favorite Breakfast Burritos (Make Ahead, Gluten-Free, Heart-Healthy)

My handsome younger brother (Drew) is an athlete. And, like most teenage boys, he is constantly hungry. (Here he is…what a stud!)
Anyway, even though I live in a different city, I do what I can to make sure he is indulging in healthy foods. The nutrition-health nut inside me just hates the thought of him filling up on fast food, cup of noodles, or other prepackaged garbage. Studies show that people who eat healthy, whole foods perform better on all fronts. In addition, people who eat breakfast have consistently healthier body-fat percentages than people who skip breakfast.

I began looking for the perfect breakfast burrito recipe a few months ago because who doesn’t like breakfast burritos?! I have played with ingredients to find a blend of healthy, simple, easy, and delicious flavors. You will see that this recipe is simple, because it is important to get ingredients that contain the same water content. (I learned, for instance, that if you try to heat a burrito with frozen potatoes and cheese, the cheese will burn by the time the frozen potatoes thaw.) So though this recipe is simple, it has been thought out (and it tastes delicious). (Note: Dr. Oz presented a “gluten free breakfast burrito” recipe that was simply eggs. This recipe follows similar guidelines, but includes lean protein.)


  • La Tortilla All-Natural Gluten Free Teff Tortilla (or the healthy wrap of your choice)
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey (organic)* find a brand that is gluten free (Google is your friend)
  • 1 tbsp. pure organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • ¼ of a small onion, chopped
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • low-fat Mexican cheese blend

1. Make the maple-flavored turkey sausage by mixing the turkey, maple syrup, pepper, sage, and chopped onion. Once thoroughly (albeit gently) mixed, cook on medium-low until thoroughly cooked. Once cooked, set aside.

2. Whisk eggs, then cook over medium heat.Image

3. Lay out 8 tortillas; sprinkle cheese on each tortilla, then add eggs and sausage. Once this has been done, wrap the burritos. Cover immediately with saran wrap.

4. If you plan on freezing all burritos (they will last up to two months in the freezer), cover each with an additional layer of protection by using foil over each burrito. Then, put burritos in gallon-size plastic bags.

5. Burritos can be enjoyed by being heated 2-3 minutes (1-1.5 minutes on each side) after being taken out of the freezer.

Note: This recipe makes about 8 breakfast burritos.

These are the perfect filling albeit lean breakfast! Plus, they are much healthier than store bought and fast food items (which can contain over half of the recommended cholesterol intake, and over a third of the recommended sodium intake).