At My House Survey

Good morning! I hope you enjoyed a relaxing weekend and are ready to attack the week with gusto! Hmm…I am not ready for that either! Let’ s grab a cup of coffee, and chat first instead…

The weekend was a little bit of a blur since I was working at the gym off and on. I am slowly working on getting used to my routine and the hours there. I was also asked by our friend Sumair to work with some clients at his new studio – Train Life Fit. Sumair is Scott’s co-host on The Well Being Podcast. When it rains, it pours! Some readers expressed interest in hearing more about my job at the gym. I certainly want to share my thoughts on the gym as well as being a personal trainer. I have spent many years in the corporate world. So I can absolutely say this is a fish out of water experience for me. Stay tuned for an upcoming day in the life post!

In other news, Scott and I made some killer guacamole that you should definitely check out for the upcoming Super Bowl. We also went to church, stopped at the farmers market and enjoyed a little bit of Austin sunshine. Our little DIY Green Room Project is moving along at a crawling pace. Maybe that is why this survey I saw on Ashley’s blog caught my eye…

At My House Survey

At My House Survey

Household Chore I Actually Enjoy

There are quite a few I do not necessarily mind. However, it is frustrating that they all need to be done so frequently! I am not exactly the best house cleaner in the world either. My mom likes to tell me that I remind her of Amy Adams in Enchanted whenever she sees me wipe a counter. Like I should have slippers, a feather duster, and be singing to a flock of animals behind me.

To answer the question, after years of living in an apartment without a washer and dryer it is all about the laundry. I prefer washing to the folding and putting away, but no one is perfect.

Laundry

Biggest House Disaster

Our Green Room Project! Scott did a wonderful job on the painting. I did a great job of supervising and taking pictures.

Paint

Now we just have to getting organized, do some shopping for a few odds and end, and we will be ready to call it a day!

Before Company, I Hide

Moms put away toys, and I put away mobility tools. Foam rollers and lacosse balls often clutter our living room because Scott and I will use them if we have the TV on at night. They add a lot of clutter so before anyone stops by I make sure they are in their basket.

Mobility

Most Recent Music Download

It has been forever since I downloaded music. I use Pandora and Amazon Prime quite frequently. I like the variety for my workouts at the gym. I could probably use a new playlist!

The Last Thing I Bought Online

Almond Flour

Almond flour in bulk! I love baking with this stuff and run through a small bag quicky. This was the best deal on Amazon that I could find.

I Hate to Shop For

Anything at Home Depot! My eyes glaze over. Scott jokes that I look like a tourist whenever I am there. Truthfully I am just counting the minutes until I can leave.

Home Depost Shopping

Favorite Family Ritual

My favorite ritual is that Scott and I have dinner together almost every night when we are both home together. We share what we appreciate about the day and each other. We both grew up with families that ate dinner together so I cannot imagine now having that routine with someone.

I Sleep In

Occassionally I will sleep in on a Saturday until 8:00. A few months back I gradually started getting up earlier so that I could shift to being more of a morning person. Now that I have adjusted to the habit I have started just waking up at the same time every day.

I Have a Style Crush On

I am with Ashley on this one! Lauren Conrad is beautiful, stylish and real. Love her!

Lauren Conrad

I’m Currently Reading

Does my NSCA Studying count? Probably not, but I have found I need to hold off starting another book until my certification is out of the way.

NSCA CPTWhat’s up with the ________ trend?

I feel like there is a trend of people tearing each other down. Whether you want to call it bullying or hating it makes me really sad.

How Did I Ever Live Without?

My I-Phone sad to say. I cannot imaging having ever lived without a cell phone. I use it for everything from taking pictures, driving directions, social media  and actually talking to people! Almost forgot that part. :-)

Linking up with Katie and Erin today. Thanks for playing the survey game with me. Have a great day and I will see you on the blog tomorrow with a new workout! Until next time…

Question(s) of the Day: Who is your style crush? What are you currently reading? What do you hide from guests?

Did you know I do Health Coaching? Please feel free to check out my page to learn more.

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Best Homemade Guacamole

Ready for the Best Homemade Guacamole? This is my recipe for a guacamole that will not leave you deflated. Haha…I could not resist a little football humor. I am completely out of touch with the world of sports, but even I have heard of this recent scandal regarding the Patriots. This week leading up to the Super Bowl should be interesting!

In addition to doing our meal prep this weekend, I had Scott join me in the kitchen so we could revisit our Best Homemade Guacamole in preparation for the big game next week. Guacamole is one of my favorite dips of all time. It is typically something I will pick up at the store, but for a party or special occasion I will follow the ingredients for this creation! We had not made it in a while so we were not sure if it would require some tweaks before sharing the recipe!

We shopped for our ingredients and put on our his and hers shirts to support Texas. Alas, they did not make it to the Super Bowl, but I figured we should represent in this post. :-)

Best Homemade Guacamole

Best Homemade Guacamole

I used my food processor so that the ingredients turned into a smooth texture. However, you can always just mash up the avocado with two forks. This is what we did for years before the food processor came into our lives. The avocado should be sufficiently ripe so you should easily be able to create a soft consistency. Below are the ingredients and the steps you will need to put this delicious dip together.

Guacamole Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 7 Small Avocados (Very ripe)
  • Juice of 4 Limes (Plus 1 for Garnish)
  • ¼ Cup Purple Onion (Chopped)
  • ¼ Cup Scallions (Chopped)
  • 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes (Chopped)
  • ¼ Cup of Fresh Cilantro (Chopped)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dried Parsley
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • Himalayan Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Directions

I opted for juicing duty with the limes

Limes

Thankfully, Scott took on the job of the scallions and purple onion. Chopping those bad boys up is my least favorite kitchen activity! He looks a little intense in this picture – proof that raw onions can have quite an affect on anyone. After chopping he moved on to the avocado. He peeled them, discarded the pits and sliced them up. A little tip…always wash your veggies before cutting them up. It takes a few minutes, but you never know what could have landed on your produce while it was sitting at the food store.

Scott Chopping

We blended up the avocado slices with the lime juice in our food processor. As I said, you can also mash up the avocado with two forks and then add in the juice from the limes. Next comes the purple onion, scallions and all your spices. We are big fans of Himalayan salt. Pulse in the processor for about a minute or so. You want the mixture to be a little chunky. Add in the chopped tomatoes and quickly give it one more go to mix everything together.

Himalayan Salt

The most important step is the taste test. I am a firm believer this should not be skipped…

Taste Test

Place your homemade guacamole in a bowl and serve with the appropriate garnish. Guests often like to add in their own extras for flavor like more lime juice or salt.

Guacanole Bowl

Now it is time to admire your hard work. The best homemade guacamole is not easy to come by! Serve with your choices of veggies or healthy chips. I am a fan of Blue Corn Chips from Garden of Eatin. Enjoy!

Guacamole Served

Linking up with Amanda, Jill and Laura today. Also, my meal prep is being featured on The Lean Green Bean today. Head over there to gather some easy tips and inspiration to get ready for the upcoming week. Have a great Sunday, and I will see you here bright and early tomorrow.

Question of the Day: What is your go-to snack to serve during the Super Bowl?

Did you know I do Health Coaching? Please feel free to check out my page to learn more.

The Bikini Experiment

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Friday Faves {1.23.15}

Saved by Friday Faves! This week flew by in a blur for me since I started work at the gym. I am getting into the swing of things, but Thursday crept up on me. There is nothing like being busy to have time go by unexpectedly! Any change is an adjustment, and as much as fitness is a big part of my life working at a gym is very new to me! I am on the schedule Friday afternoon/evening, and Sunday so it will be a training themed weekend for me! My hours are a bit random, but in between Scott and I will be plugging away on our green room project. I have my fingers crossed we can complete it this weekend. Anyone have anything exciting planned?

A little drum roll, please. Moving onto my favorites of this past week. As always, please feel free to share one or two of your fave things too! Big or small – they are always fun to read. It is often the little things that should be celebrated the most. They are unsung heroes that help make our days a little brighter.

Friday Faves {1.23.15}

Simple Abundance

Speaking of little things…Simple Abundance was my introduction to the practice of gratitude. This book shares little nuggets of joy every day of the year. There are 365 articles dedicated to happiness practice. Each month has a theme (gardening, change of seasons, crafts, etc.). I have read it off and on for years. Right now I am back on. I read the daily passage, and keep my own journal where I can quickly jot down 5 things I am grateful for that day. A lot of times they are on repeat, but that is ok too. It is called a practice for a reason. :-)

Simple Abudance

Considering everything you are grateful for in your life will only bring better things to you. Order the book, buy a journal and take a few minutes a day to yourself. It is completely worthwhile.

Scott’s Diploma

Scott's Diploma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This exciting piece of mail arrived last night! Scott finished his graduate degree from the University of Texas in Austin last month. His diploma arrived so now his graduation feels official! I am really proud of him, and everything he did to make this accomplishment happen.

We are debating where the new diploma should go. The gym or our office are the current contenders.

LL Bean Rain Boots

Holy rain, Batman! Austin has been getting its fair share of rain this past week. So I have been sporting these boots a bit as of late…

LL Bean Rain Boots

I love the style of Hunter boots, but they never quite fit me right. Sad, I know. The bright side is that the LL Bean boots are super comfortable, and way less expensive. Win-win.

French Press

French Press

My favorite coffee gadget! I will fully confess that Scott and I are big coffee snobs. A few years ago, his mom saw a segment on the Today show about coffee tasting at the Brew School at Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn. We went to a class there and fell a little in love with the entire process.

We buy our own beans and grind them at home. We also like trying different regions of coffee to see what we like best. I currently use this pretty French Press to brew up my coffee.

Unlike other French Presses you can leave coffee in the press, and it will not become over saturated. It also stays fairly warm so you can have a cup a few hours later, and it still tastes like it was just made.

Kerry Gold Butter

Kerry Gold Butter comes up frequently in my WIAW posts since I eat it pretty much every day. However, I thought it deserved its own little shout-out this week.

Kerry Gold Butter

 

 

 

 

 

More and more studies are finding that saturated fat (coconut oil, grass-fed butter) are really good for you. Kerry Gold is Irish butter that also tastes really amazing. If your guests are skeptical about it being “healthy” just tell them it is gourmet butter. Once they try it – they will be hooked!

Quote

Quote

This quotes always feels a little bit like a sprinkle of pixie dust. Whenever you or someone you know feels down on themselves remind them of the good. Everything is ebb and flow. Believing in yourself, and having confidence in what you have to offer the world is everything.

Have a wonderful weekend! Ignite your feeling of adventure or cuddle up with a cup of tea and enjoy a movie. It is all about what makes your heart sing. See you on the blog on Sunday with a tasty recipe for the upcoming big game (aka the Super Bowl). Later kids!

Linking up for Friday Faves with Heather, Clare, and Katie.

Question of the Day: What was your favorite thing this week?

Did you know I do Health Coaching? Please feel free to check out my page to learn more.

The Bikini Experiment

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Benefits of Probiotics

Good morning! Thanks for all the good luck wishes yesterday. My first day at the gym went really well. I am in the process of getting used to the lay of the land so it will take a little time before I am training clients on the floor. More to come!

Today I wanted to chat a little bit about the topic of gut health and the benefits of probiotics. A few years ago I was stuck in a bit of a bad cycle with my stomach. I would be fine for a couple of days. I would stick to my usual meals and snacks with no issues. Out of nowhere I would find that my stomach would be “set off” for apparently no reason. I was in a situation where nothing could make me feel right.  Eating started to feel a little stressful, because I was not sure how it would make me feel. What was safe? With so much information floating around the internet it is easy to become confused. Do you throw out the raw health foods and succumb to a life of crackers and pasta? Old wisdom always tells us to default to the white foods, but I was a little skeptical.

When this happened, I made a few adjustments in my diet that had a big impact. I started a food diary and started to look for trends of what was not working for me. What did I discover? I cannot personally tolerate tons of salads and raw veggies. Nowadays I will never typically eat more than one a day. I also started washing my produce regularly – hello, salad spinner. Cutting back on dairy was a also a big help to me. I used to be over generous with whey protein, milk, cheeses and yogurt. Now I eat way less. I switched to milk alternatives and vegan protein powder. These tactics made a big difference. One other way I turned the tables on my gut was through probiotic supplements.

Benefits of Probiotics

Benefits of Probiotics

I am not a huge fan of taking tons of supplements, but if they work I will do it. I have read enough and experienced enough about Probiotics to be a full-fledged believer. It works to keep stomach inflammation at bay. When I was having those cycles, it helped me to get back to a healthy baseline.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria that are very beneficial for your digestive system. Your body has good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are good bacteria and help to promote gut health. Supplements are often recommended to individuals with digestive issues.

Probiotics

Their key function is to replace good bacteria in your body which you can lose. It is very common to have this happen after a course of antibiotics. Probiotics create balance, and lower the bad bacteria in your system that can create infections and other kinds of inflammation.

What do they do?

Probiotics work to move food through your system. New research is indicating that it can have a host of other benefits other than improving stomach conditions including skin conditions like eczema and preventing colds.

Probiotics

It is my personal choice to consume them n supplement form so that I do not have to eat any certain amount of a food. However, new studies are showing foods like sauerkraut are a rich resource. This article was a really fascinating read about what a super food sauerkraut can be.

Types of Probiotics

There are two categories that probiotics fall into. It is best to check with your doctor to see what is best for you to add to your regime.

Lactobacillus

This is the most common probiotic. It is what is found in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains help with stomach issues or digesting lactose (the sugar found in milk).

Bifidobacterium

Also typically found in dairy products. It may also help ease the symptoms of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

My Routine

My current brand of choice is Garden of Life which I buy through Amazon. I keep them in the refrigerator and take two pills first thing in the morning with a glass of water. The goal is to take them on an empty stomach. Since I drink a variety of snacks and drinks through the day eary morning is the best time for me. Before I forget!

Probiotic Supplements

I find they are an easy and effective way to keep my stomach in balance which allows me to eat the healthy foods I crave.

Linking up with Amanda today at Running with Spoons. Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow with some faves! It is Friday after all…

Question(s) of the Day: Do you take probiotics? Have you ever kept a food diary??

Did you know I do Health Coaching? Please feel free to check out my page to learn more.

The Bikini Experiment

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WIAW #25: Power in Food

Hi there! How is it going? When I shared my WIAW post last week I talked a little bit about the reasons I like to participate in this popular blog link up. I love the clean eating inspiration, and maybe my nosey side enjoys seeing what people eat during their day. Sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter? I want that too! It should go on my grocery list. It also usually creates a desire to run to Trader Joe’s as quickly as possible and stock up. Overall, it has been a really fun and positive experience for me. There is a lot of power in sharing our food, and it has connected me with a great community of people.

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

I was incredibly touched to get this email from a reader last week:

I got your contact information from our BlogHer facebook group and I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you that you have inspired me to eat healthier. I work out regularly and I have been a runner for several years but I was never great about my eating habits. I guess you could say I eat good & bad, but I have tried a few of the products you featured on your site, namely the siggi’s yogurt, the Ekiekel bread, the Kind bars, and I’m eating more eggs, among other things – and it feels great.

I’m thinking of doing a WIAW post on my site soon too. Keep up the great work!

Lori 

This email sums up the reason I started The Bikini Experiment in the first place. My purpose was to help people on the path to healthy living. Nutrition and fitness has changed my life in so many ways. I find great joy in sharing it with others. Even if it is a small discovery like a new brand of Greek Yogurt or a shopping adventure at Whole Foods. I am so happy that I could help influence someone to feel better. This note made my day!

What I Ate Tuesday Wednesday

My day started with a different twist on one of my favorite beverages. I decided to make my usual cup of coffee a butter coffee. How do I do this? Well, I make my usual brewed coffee. I will then melt a tablespoon of Kerrygold butter, and blend it all up with a teaspoon of MCT oil. I discovered this was my perfect blend ratio on a visit to Picnik.

Butter Coffee

Picnik is a Paleo café in Austin. If you make it for yourself you can play around, but I have found this is just enough added extra ingredients for my liking. The butter coffee is a nice change of pace when I feel like I want to wait a little bit on breakfast.

After the coffee I got ready to go on a quick walk with Scott.

Walk

The weather in Austin has been beautiful for the past few days and we wanted to soak up a bit of sunshine. For breakfast, I felt like the ultimate Paleo girl…

Breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kale, pasture raised eggs and bacon.

Not to worry, I ate a Kind bar a few hours later. I still want to embrace my identity as Paleo-ish. I was actually curious why Kind Bars are not Paleo. More out of curiousity than anything else. The ingredient label listed out peanuts, brown rice crisps and soy lecithin. In case you wanted to know.

Kind Bar

Lunch was more protein in the way of a grass-fed burger, greens in a delicious salad and a piece of avocado. The salad was really nice. I have been eating a lot of cookie veggies as of late, and the salad tasted really refreshing.

Salad

Post lunch sweetness included a 2nd cup of coffee and dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The afternoon went by fast as I struggled to make a few updates to the blog. Code is a ridiculously difficult concept to master. Just when I think got it under control it shows me who is boss. The past week or so has been a flurry of good news from a few high profile networks I had applied to join. I was excited to get the information up on my side bar, but Word Press is always boss. We went back and forth for a while and then I finally won – my badges displayed. Finishing up my coffee and studying were the name of the game for the rest of the day.

My workout plans kept getting pushed…always dangerous. The more the push happens the less motivated you are to want to do it. I decided there was a reason I was not feeling the desire, and ended up deciding to make it a rest day. Plus, I had lost track of time and I was hungry!

Snack

I grabbed a quick snack of hummus and crackers while Scott and I prepared dinner. We kept it simple and made wild-caught salmon and asparagus on the stovetop.

Dinner

Dessert was a little more of the chocolate I mentioned above and a cup of tea.

Tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great Wednesday! Today is my first day working at the gym as a trainer. I will report back tomorrow and let you know how it goes! :-)

Question of the Day: What motivates you to eat healthy?

Did you know I do Health Coaching? Please feel free to check out my page to learn more.

The Bikini Experiment

Find me in these places!
E-mail — bikiniexp@gmail.com
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