My Go-to’s to Maintaining Nutritional Health on Vacation

Hey everyone,

So I just got back from a week of beautiful sunshine in Palm Springs, California. Even a week away from a dedicated nutrition or fitness plan can throw you off pretty significantly in terms of how you feel. However, it is vacation after all, so finding a balance is great to enjoy all the relaxing benefits.

I went to a tennis tournament, five days of elite tennis watching to be exact. I was there watching tennis day and night.

‚ô• My favorite grocery store to meal prep on the road: Trader Joe’s. We packed salads (I went for the mediterranean) or veggie hummus wraps. These gave me the carbs, omega-3’s, and leafy greens for all the vitamins and minerals. Also an awesome price point!

Back to the balance point, sometimes you can’t be so nutrition conscious, sometimes you have a “cheat meal.” Don’t be hard on yourself, it’s okay to live a little. One of the tournament days we got pizza, and it was authentic italian margarita. ūüôā

‚ô• On the plane: don’t underestimate snack boxes. I flew back on Alaskan Air, and I got the¬†mediterranean¬†snack box. It was complete with hummus, whole grain chips, almonds, dried apricots, and a small piece of dark chocolate (from Seattle’s Chocolates to be exact). In short, it was awesome for plane food. I love how airlines are catering more to healthier options, and it was even gluten-free for those that are following that stricter diet. I would highly recommend! I wasn’t planning on getting food on the plane, but I got hungry and I don’t like to put my body in starvation mode. Starvation mode slows down your metabolism, hence the reason why nutritionists stress the importance of eating frequently!

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‚ô• A major realization I made about drinking fruit juice: My body really responded well to not having it. I tend to have fruit juice a lot if it’s in my fridge. The whole week in Palm Springs was just water or sugar-free lemonade and iced tea. Drinking calories and sugary drinks really does a number on fitness and especially your stomach. And given my workout routine was much less intense on vacation, it definitely helped to cut out the sugary drinks.

‚ô• I’m not a fan of Starbucks coffee unless as a last resort (yes I know I’m from Seattle), but I used the Starbucks refreshes lemonade packets to put in my water at the tournament to mix it up from tap water. If you need a¬†little flavor, these are great and super easy to pack! You can get them at your local grocery store. Not to mention its cost effective to carry powders instead of buying drinks.

‚ô• Protein powders are another thing to consider packing for your trip. You can transfer the powder into a smaller plastic container or put it in a ziplock bag, to avoid lugging the original container. I brought my Vega protein and greens powder in a small container, and I used it twice on the trip. I mixed it with coconut milk I got from the store. It definitely wasn’t as good as a full-on smoothie, but it was another way to add some protein into my vacation diet!

‚ô• If you’re staying in a hotel or anywhere with a fridge: It may be wise to keep some things stocked just in case you’re stuck with only fast food open around you. You don’t have great options around 10 pm, so keeping easy meals and snacks in the fridge at your hotel is really helpful. We kept carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter, as well as the leftover Thai food from the thai food we went to TWICE because it was bomb.

♥Bowl it out: I love to make bowls, whether spanish style, full of veggies, or fruit bowls with a smoothie base. On the trip we found a place called Fresh Juice Bar, which sports smoothie bowls with pitaya and acaí bases. This is was a great breakfast option, they were filling, and I always like to eat my natural sugars from fruits in the beginning of the day.

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‚ô• When eating out: You are on vacation, but take into account the fact that you can’t control the ingredients going into your meal like you can at home. Proportions are often larger at restaurants depending on where you go. Always remember your food groups and macros! When I went to brunch, I ordered an omelette full of veggies, to get the protein and greens. I chose a side of fruit instead of hash browns, and I got a pomegranate juice as a sort of detox as opposed to ordering soda or sugary fruit juice.

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‚ô• Stay hydrated! When I was hanging out by the pool, I had a bottle of water. When I had coffee, I had a glass of water to balance it out. Especially in warm weather, staying hydrated is crucial! And water flushes out toxins. However, I frequently drink kombucha for the natural healthy bacteria and boost of probiotics, so it’s cool to reach for those too!

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I hope you found these nutritional tips helpful for your next trip! xx

If you want to see what I’m up to on Instagram, my handle is @kmzwicker

-Kelly

 

 

 

 

Why Chemical/Facial Peels Actually Work

Hi everyone,

I’m sure you’ve heard of a chemical peel, and I know guy’s reactions to them can be comical. I wanted to share my experience with them to put aside any fears of the process. I personally think the sound of them turns people away. Just to make sure it is known: you are not “peeling” off your skin as it sounds from the name.

Chemical peels in short speed up the cell turnover of your skin. Your skin usually takes 21-28 days to complete this process. Peels can make this process more efficient, while exfoliating dead skin cells and surfacing a new layer of healthy skin.

If you have acne, fine lines and wrinkles, or hyperpigmentation, chemical peels would really benefit you. A series is very effective, and the time in between depends on the intensity of the peel.

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I only do PCA Skin peels, which is a line of peels proven to be gentler on the skin with much less “down time” than other harsher peels. Very high end peels that are a lot harsher, most done at dermatologist offices, require much more down time. If you work full-time, play sports, etc. you won’t necessarily have that down time. This is why PCA skin peels do a great job, without the dangers of major skin irritation and prolonged peeling that deeper peels cause.

Peels are that much more effective when coupled with a quality skincare routine catered to your skin type and needs, as well as consistent application of SPF daily. If you have hyperpigmentation, never forget your sunscreen, regardless of the weather. Peels make your skin more photosensitive. Everything with skincare and managing the health of your skin longterm needs to be about balance. Multiple factors play into it.

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In order for me to have my healthiest skin, I definitely incorporate peels into my regimen to minimize pores, prevent fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce previous post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

If you have any questions about my experience with peels, feel free to comment below! Thanks for reading xx

Favorite Finds: Rita Ora’s Adidas Originals Collection

Hi everyone,

So I want to start a series on my blog “favorite finds”, featuring new signature pieces to my wardrobe. My first is rightfully the Banned From Normal sweatshirt from Rita Ora’s Adidas collection. I did not sign up for the Avenue A Adidas boxes, however, I managed to score the sweatshirt on Ebay. It’s my new love.

The Avenue A includes 4 limited edition Adidas boxes a year delivered to your door, $150 per box. In hindsight this is a really good deal given you are receiving three products, but I personally haven’t committed to the program.

Back to the sweatshirt. I LOVE the detail and message behind it. The front features the Banned From Normal in bold and bright colors of red, white, and black. The stars are such a cool touch.

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I’m not going to be sweating in this sweatshirt because I want it to stay in good condition, but I definitely love to pair it with black leggings and my Adidas Superstars. I’m also normally not into color blocking in my wardrobe, but this is a total exception!

I find the Adidas Originals pieces to be beautifully done, and it takes athletic/lifestyle outfits to a more creative level. I haven’t hesitated to wear this in the city or when I’m out with friends, just because it’s a sweatshirt.

Let’s discuss the back. It’s a tiger face in the Adidas silhouette. I feel like this sweatshirt now matches my spirit animal, which would be some sort of wild cat. My hair is a total mane. This was the final touch for me because I’m not someone who wears animal print, so this is the perfect compromise.

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Although bold blocking and material mixes like this collection made it more difficult to pair the pieces on their own, I find that a simple pair of leggings is perfect so you’re not overdoing it. As much of an icon as Rita Ora, I think it’s awesome to add bold pieces and patterns to mix it up from your neutrals.

The sweatshirt is oversized, and I purchased a small. If I wanted to it can go over my bum and be longer, or I can bunch it up and wear it more loosely. I’ll wear my hair natural or do the double braids, and in the summer I’m fully planning on including my hippie oversized glasses from ZeroUV. If you haven’t heard of that brand, check them out on Instagram because the price point is always right.

I also love the jersey white and yellow stripes along the sleeves, giving the sweatshirt even more of an athletic look but just slightly.

The perfect combination of sass, color, and comfort.

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I paired the sweatshirt with my Puma Evo Gold trainers as opposed to the Superstars for these shots, and they work so well! There’s a bit of gold in the sweatshirt and my trainers are black and gold respectively. Yes I did choose a red track for the backdrop of these shots.

I’m not as into the fit of regular Adidas gymwear due to my dedication to the brand Athleta, however, the Adidas Originals pieces continue to be my occasional splurges.

This collection is no longer being sold I believe, but Ebay is still an option. I guarantee you’ll find an Originals piece that will fit your taste and add some color, especially in these winter months. Hope you enjoyed my review! Be bright, be bold. xx

Feel free to check out previews to posts on my Instagram @kmzwicker

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-Kelly

How to Easily Bring Mental Release Into Your Daily Routine

Hi everyone,

I’m a believer that positive mental health is crucial to an overall healthy lifestyle. I also think it is often prioritized last. Giving yourself mental release is so important to reset your mind and stay focused for longer durations. It is also crucial for reducing stress.

Seems a little odd, but my first relaxing part of the day is when I get out of bed and head to my bathroom to do my makeup. I play music on Spotify and I take extra time, letting my full perfectionist come out. Slowing some activities down can be beneficial to not being so rushed. Of course, you have to give yourself enough time to get ready! I do not wear a lot of makeup, most of my routine is skincare based. Just to clarify.

Throughout the day I take a few minutes at a time with my photography. I edit pictures and play around with my Instagram feed, or I will be doing flatlays and other shots. I find working with my camera to be super therapeutic. I also use my photography and style to demonstrate my artistic side, which brings me to my next relaxing activity.

Sketching. You can spend 20 minutes or 2 hours sketching and your mind dives into the artwork. You don’t think about your schedule or your obligations, you just use your creativity and vision. I used to sketch more before I got my DSLR, but I find both to be beneficial for mind release.

The gym. I love going to the gym above all else, and this may seem obvious already. It’s not just to get a better body, it’s also extremely healthy for your mind. Exercise can boost your mood, improve your sleep and memory, and increase your self-esteem. There have been scientific connections between exercise and the prevention of cognitive decline. Cardiovascular exercise has been known to spike brain performance. I tune everything out at the gym, with my headphones in and my workout on my phone.

Cooking. I’m not the best cook, but I’m learning to experiment more in the kitchen. When I do cook I often play music to make it more fun, while I wait for water to boil or food to cook. Cooking is known to be an art form to some, with the creativity behind it. Quality nutrition of cooking your own meals at home is also linked to positive mental health, for you know all the ingredients going into your meal and control all of the nutrients you’re receiving.

Winding down. At the end of the day it is always good to have a winding down period. I personally like to get ready for bed and make a cup of decaffeinated tea. I go on my computer or read a book, and these days I’ve had the heater on while I slip into knee-high wool socks (Seattle problems). I tend to sleep a lot better when I incorporate this time, as opposed to just hopping into bed and turning the lights off. My body and mind seem to recognize the transition better this way.

I hope these ideas were helpful to add some mental release into your day! Stay mindful and motivated. xx

-Kelly

Salad Wrap Recipe

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share my salad wrap recipe for a light, plant-based dinner with added protein. It’s so simple and so healthy!

I first Saut√©e white onions and mushrooms in a frying pan until cooked through, as I defrost frozen jumbo shrimp (I get mine from Sam’s Club).

I then cook the shrimp on another pan with garlic and avocado oil, with a touch of taco seasoning. This is the protein I chose for this meal, however, chicken or tofu would be great choices as well.

Other things you’ll need:

‚ě≥1 container of bib lettuce (or butter lettuce)

‚ě≥shredded carrots

‚ě≥avocado

‚ě≥black olives

‚ě≥ soft asian style noodles (I find these in the asian/international grocery aisle)

‚ě≥salad wrap sauce (I like the Lee Kum Kee Panda salad wrap sauce)

Use the bib lettuce pieces as the base and add all the ingredients listed above and enjoy!

Eat plants and prosper xx

-Kelly

 

 

 

Hanging Up Your Gear: Life After College Athletics

Hi everyone,

Today’s post is dedicated to the ones that put everything they had into their college talent, and feel a bit disoriented about their identity once they cross that honorary carpet and get the diploma in the mail. A hint: it’s NOT all downhill after the “glory” years. You’re still a boss. Just a different type of boss.

Let’s go over some immediate positives from college athletics retirement:

‚ě≥ Those nagging shin splints or your suffering shoulder will finally get some time off. You might actually be able to go on a hike without complaining to your friends to carry you because of that four hour match the day before. Maybe that’s just me though.

‚ě≥ You will have free time to do your other hobbies. All of the things you put on the back burner in order to get 45 minutes extra of sleep before that alarm went off, you can now do. Your mind could be blown here.

‚ě≥ You have time to have a job and make some income. I’m not condoning rushing into an immediate job post college to fill your time, I’m referring to any part-time position that you’ll have fun with and meet a new crowd. A tip though: maybe try to branch out from talking about your gym routine, what you ate that day, or how you’ve mastered incorporating yoga clothes into daily wear from experience. Sometimes people want to talk about other things.

‚ě≥ You can TRAVEL. As someone who is planning trips to Iceland and other destinations on the bucket list with savings I’ve accumulated, I think about how I couldn’t train and also take time off that much due to the fact that my sport was year round.

‚ě≥ You have complete control over what you wear (bye team uniform), what you eat (shout-out to Red Robin french fries once a month), and where you go (getting home at 5 AM). I’m not saying go crazy and ruin your good habits, but you can live a little. If you were doing this already in college, well, congratulations.

‚ě≥ You can experiment with your time and interests and start to think about your future outside the classroom. I’ve been graduated since summer and haven’t been in the classroom since May, and I’m ok. I appreciate my college education because it was amazing, my mentors were incredible, however, you learn the big stuff when you’re actually out in the world. It doesn’t have to be scary just because it’s more real.

I’m not going to lie to you, I miss the competition. I miss winning an amazing match and feeling so proud of myself after for how hard I worked. I miss the feeling of motivation to do better next time when I lost. I miss the adrenaline. But I gave myself a couple weeks, not months or years, to sulk a bit before I told myself it’s all about perspective. You’re not just good at one thing. You did that sport a major service for four years, and now you can embrace something else.

Tennis isn’t technically meant to be a team sport, yet there I was every day in a team setting. I like to work alone (yes I know that’s not always a good thing to say), but I’d rather be honest about it. I played doubles through college and only really liked it one year with a particular partner (Frankie Katafias!) but I made it work because I loved representing my school. I didn’t have the perkiest school spirit, but one of the best things is being appreciated for hard work. And I worked my a** off.

I haven’t played tennis since May, and I haven’t been keeping up with the Slams because I’m not completely ready to look at tennis without studying it for technique. I’ve put my dedication into other things that I want for myself, things that bring me a similar motivation. Tennis gave me a mental release most of the time, and it got me to college and kept me super focused to achieve my optimal potential in the classroom. It gave me drive and persistence. I won’t ever take that for granted. But it also gave me a major feeling of being burnt out. Towards the end of it all, especially after getting a taste of being abroad fall semester of senior year, I got unfocused. I started to drift to other things, the other interests I’ve always had. It was just time. And it was still hard, but a lot of things have to have an expiration date.

Looking back on it, the little things that made college athletics great wasn’t just my performance. It was my professors and mentors genuinely wanting me to exceed in both settings and watch me grow through the years. It was the development of time management and drive. You develop these skills along the way that truly will benefit you once you’re graduated, and I advise you to focus on those and not the fear of what will happen when your routine changes.

We all make choices. If you’re reading this as a soon to be graduated (or graduated already) college athlete, you will be okay. In fact, you’ll have an advantage if you keep your head on straight. When you go into interviews, mention how you’re different because of college athletics, how it shaped you. Not because of the stats, but because of you.

You’re more than your college talent.

You’re more than the stats on the wall or the end speech at your last performance.

Don’t believe in peaking. Because you never have to.

Much love,

Р Kelly

Plant-Based Protein Ideas

Hi everyone,

It’s a common mistake to think you can’t get protein from meat alternatives. If you choose not to eat meat, there are a lot of options that just require a little more creativity! To put it in perspective, I am a pescatarian. I’m happily only eating seafood, the rest is either tofu or plant-based. In the future I may consider being a complete vegetarian when the mercury content in fish becomes an even greater issue. Not to mention the price of fish is definitely something to consider.

Featured above is a plant-based protein powder smoothie from Vega One. I love this line of powders because you totally get what you’re paying for, and the labels are all very transparent. I do not like Whey protein, which cancels out many if not all of the major protein powders circulating social media. Whey is milk based and has been connected to skin imperfections, not to mention my slight intolerance to large amounts of dairy.

I’m going to be honest about Vega- it’s not going to taste like a milkshake. Hence the no milk part of plant-based. I use the Vega protein and greens, the energizer pre-workout, and the recovery powder. They don’t taste bad, they just don’t taste like dessert like so many other powders are now turning starting to. Personally, I don’t think something that is solely supposed to replenish you needs to taste like an ice cream sundae.

I feel as though I need the extra kick of protein powders and energizers for me to meet my daily protein quota as well as benefit my fitness goals. I would highly recommend this brand not only to vegetarians or those who have gone gluten free, but also those who want a low sugar option that doesn’t make your stomach upset or be the culprit of unwanted calories. I do have a shaker for all of these, do yourself favor and grab a shaker instead of doing the glass and spoon method.

As for a very simple recipe: (bear with me I’m not the best cook, but I love smoothies)

1 scoop vega one protein and greens

1 1/2 cups of non-dairy beverage (I like coconut milk or even a juice like apple or guava)

1 cup of frozen fruit (highly recommend a tropical mix!)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now getting onto other ways of getting that protein in.

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  1. Lentils- 1 cup of cooked lentils is about 18 grams of protein! You can use lentils in a soup, use them as a base in bowl, or even as a filling
  2. The power of SEEDS: 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds means 10 grams of protein (sprinkle that magic on a salad) and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds is 4 grams of protein.
  3. Quinoa- this a great thing to add to recipes given it is a starchy protein, so it is has the carbs as well as about 8 grams of protein per half cup, and added fiber.              *tip:  fiber adds elasticity to your skin so stock up!*
  4. Nuts- to get about 8 grams of protein, you just need about a 1/4 cup. Simple enough. I’m not one to puts nuts in salads, so I’ll make my own trail mix to carry around. They make a great snack for long hikes.
  5. Tofu- And no it does not taste like cardboard. Tofu essentially tastes like whatever seasoning you add to it. One average serving is about 20 grams of protein. The possibilities for recipes are pretty endless. Tofu crumbles in tacos, tofu squares in stir-fry, veggie tofu sausage with your breakfast… there ya go.
  6. Protein peanut ¬†butter- this has been my personal favorite addition because peanut butter is awesome. GNC sells a line of high protein spreads, including the Nuts ‘N More peanut butter flavor. I like to put it on apples or organic rice cakes for a snack.

The best part about focusing on plant-based proteins when I’m not eating seafood is how I feel. My stomach doesn’t hurt, nothing needs to be fried to taste better, and I feel full but not bloated. I try to load up my plate with greens and foods packed with nutrients and I have certain motivations to do so. They all have really powerful benefits.

Vitamins and minerals from plants help your immune system, anti-aging in your skin as well as inflammation and clarity, and even energy and long-term health. A way I like to look at it is how you look and feel is reflected from what you EAT. So eat well and prosper.

I hope you found these ideas beneficial for your nutrition planning, and I’m excited to add more nutrition into my blogs and daily posts.

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To see my love of photography, check out my instagram @kmzwicker for correlated posts!

Thanks for reading xx

~Kelly