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Three Green Vinaigrettes That’ll Add Flavor (and color) to Tonight’s Salad

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Most of us have tried our hand at throwing together a classic vinaigrette. Today we want to mix it up by sharing a few green vinaigrette recipes that incorporate basil, avocado, and ramp onions to add extra flavor (and color!) to your salads. Incorporating basil, avocado, and ramp onions, Read below for three delicious vinaigrette recipes that you likely haven’t tried before.

Basil Vinaigrette

Recipe: Easy! Combine, blend, and salt and pepper to taste. This vinaigrette will refrigerate for up to 3-5 days.
Ingredients: 
shallot, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt
Pairs well with: Bruschetta, grilled chicken salad with tomato and mozzarella, pizza and a side salad.

Avocado Vinaigrette

Recipe: Quickly blend together staple ingredients that you likely have in your pantry.
Ingredients:
avocado, olive oil, white wine vinegar, whole grain mustard, salt, black pepper, garlic
Pairs well with: veggies, tacos, chopped salad

Bacon and Ramp Vinaigrette

Recipe: Get out your grill. Step one for this recipe involves crisping your bacon and charring your ramps over medium-high heat.
Ingredients:
ramps, bacon, olive oil, parsley, white wine vinegar, black pepper
Pairs well with: kabobs, chopped salad, berry salad

https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/bacon-and-ramp-vinaigrette

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Exercise

Everything New Moms Need to Know Before Working Out After Baby

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Many new moms are searching for answers and ways to reclaim their pre-baby body. Do they really have to wait six weeks to exercise? Why? What are the best ways to get re-started? We know you’re eager. And we’re excited to help! But before you ease (emphasis on ease) back into a fitness routine, please be sure to consider the following things and all that they encompass.

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

Your body has undergone 9 months of incredible changes, including weight gain and hormonal shifts that may have you feeling as if you’re a house guest in your own skin. Becoming a mom is a long journey and you should not expect (nor should anyone else) to be back to your pre-pregnancy weight right away. In fact, some doctors would say if you are back to pre-pregnancy weight in less than six months following birth, your exercise and nutrition should be reevaluated.

The first six weeks following birth should be primarily focused on feeling good and finding a little alone time. Approach your exercise program with curiosity and without judgment. Forget charting your progress or setting weight loss or physical goals; simply find time to move and regain a bit of control over your schedule and your body.

Then, barring unforeseen complications, after six weeks you can begin making a plan. You should have a bit more structure in your life at this point, sleep is (hopefully!) more frequent, and your body should be close to fully healed. Now you can begin looking toward getting back to pre-pregnancy weight, restoring core function, and improving body image. But still, approach your program with a dose of humility and grace. It will take time; time to feel like your old self and time to look like your old self. Slow and steady will win the race.

Your Doctor Knows Best

Regardless of how you feel and how desperate you are to return to your non-maternity wear, listening to your doctor regarding post-partum exercise prescription is crucial. The most progressive advice suggests anything that doesn’t hurt, you can do. (This is based largely on your pre-pregnancy and pre-natal routines.) However, it’s important to consider giving yourself time and space to heal. Be honest at your follow-up appointments and respectful of the internal trauma that birth causes (whether vaginal or c-section delivery) when determining your plan.

In the immediate weeks following birth, contraindications to exercise include heavy bleeding, pain, or breast infection or abscess. If you had a c-section or a traumatic vaginal birth (deep tears requiring repair), pain is your ultimate guide. Breast discomfort is for real; if you’re experiencing engorgement, you should wait until this passes before starting or resuming exercise. Finally, if you are experiencing heavy urine leakage or pelvic pressure during exercise for more than a couple of weeks, you should consult a physician before continuing your workouts.

There’s More to Monitor

Whenever you do begin to exercise again, there are important things to monitor (in addition to that new beautiful life!):

  • Hydration Levels – Fluid intake should be high. Monitor the color of your urine to be sure you’re on target with your water intake; or it might be easier to remember you should drink enough that you feel like you need to use the restroom each time you feed the baby.
  • Baby WeightMonitor your baby’s weight gain as you begin to resume your physical fitness. The calories expended and/or eliminated on the nutrition side should not interfere with the expected weight gain for your child.
  • Fatigue – Fatigue is a reality for every new mom and not something you should try to “power through” to get a workout in. If you have to set an alarm to exercise, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. The same goes for skipping an afternoon nap. You might want to consider reducing duration and increasing frequency at this new stage. Sleep is more beneficial at this point!
  • Rest & Activity Cycles – Be sure to maintain a balance between these two items. Activity is important, but rest is too. Rest, such as spending time with your baby or relaxing alone, is as beneficial for your physical body as it is for your peace of mind.

Re-Prioritizing is Your New Normal

One of the best gifts you can give yourself now is embracing the fact life has changed. Being a mom is a wonderfully tough job, and while making time for yourself is critical, you will undoubtedly have competing interests forever more. Time management takes on a whole new meaning with a baby in the house. The number of chores and needs in the household change, finding time for your spouse and friends will shift, work schedules evolve, and though in the past you may have always found time for your exercise, there may be times when it simply doesn’t happen. While I’m not suggesting that as moms we stop putting our oxygen mask on first, I am suggesting that you give yourself a break! If a workout doesn’t happen, all is not lost. Avoid going down the self-defeating path of one missed workout leads to many. Your workouts may look and feel different, happen less frequently, be sporadic, or shorter. Analyze your new normal and make sure everything is working for you and your family. The quickest way to getting your body back is to set your mind right, first!

Read about more ways to reclaim your pre-baby body. 

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Health

5 Ways to Set Healthy Grocery Shopping Habits

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Food and water. We desperately need these things to survive… yet with today’s accessibility to all things devilishly decadent and delicious, it’s just as easy to slowly erode ourselves with them instead. The definition of “too much of a good thing” turns tragic when we can’t seem to get out of our own way no matter how hard we try. If you’re jazzed with your shopping routine and daily food choices, then rest that weary brain of yours… this article isn’t for you. However, if you need a kick in the pants when it comes to the “healthy shopping habits” dance then lace up, partner! We’re about to go to grocery boot camp!

  1. Don’t Shop Hungry. This advice is going to be novel tovery few of you (but it’s still fresh enlightenment for someone!) yet its importance cannot be stressed enough. We’re starting with this one because it has the potential to knock the rest of this list off it’s axis in spectacular fashion.Shopping hungry can make your sensibility take a back seat as your sensational cravings confiscate the wheel and steer you towards all the things that would just be SO good right now. With your defenses down, hunger high and anything you could POSSIBLY want staring you smack dab in the face, our “alarm clock reasoning” chimes in. That’s the negotiation tactic we use in the morning when we convince ourselves hitting the snooze button five times in a row is OK. Your brain filters out what doesn’t haveto be done, then nixes some more “needs,” then a couple more… and you’re totally OK with it every time. Until you’re fully awake AND GO INTO ABSOLUTE PANIC MODE AND REALIZE YOU MADE A SERIES OF TERRIBLE MISTAKES.At that point, it’s too late. Shopping hungry brings that same beast to the surface in broad daylight, with zero shame, and fills your cart full of uninvited items that were never even on the list to begin with. Sure, they would be tasty… but stick to the plan.
  2. Blueprint Your Intention. That title is a just a fancy way of saying “make a shopping list,” but with a twist. Creating an itemized checklist of what you’re plunking your hard-earned dollars down on is important, but so is the intentionthat goes with it. Don’t just stop at strategizing for the store, game plan what you want to get out of your grocery bag.Are you trying to eat better for lunch or dinner? Are you ready to start eating breakfast in the mornings? Trying to shed some pounds? Attempting to put some on? Need to lower your cholesterol or increase your fiber? Got a big event coming up? Understanding your goals and taking a laser-focused approach to every aspect is going to maximize your efficiency whilst keeping you on track during one of the easiest points to derail: food shopping. Create the blueprint and drop the hammer to it.
  3. Cut the Sugar. Seriously, cut it. Get rid of it, the excess anyway. Naturally occurring sugars that show up in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and honey (to name the big ones) are good in proper moderation… but you’re hard-pressed to find an excuse good enough to add in extra processed sugar.Too much sugar fluxes your insulin, which is your “master hormone” in charge of shuttling carbohydrates, amino acids and fats into the cells of your body. Surplus sugar on a regular basis overworks your insulin like a factory worker putting in quadruple overtime, every day, without a break. Eventually the sugar-straw breaks the insulin-camel’s back. Your hormone regulating all those carbs, aminos and fatty acids literally can’t anymore. Your triglycerides are going to shoot through the roof, putting you at a much higher risk for heart disease. Your energy levels are perpetually abysmal when sugar is a constant. We could keep going, but the point has been sharpened.

    Need more insight? Check out “That Sugar Film!”

    Like Uncle Joey from “Full House” would say; Cut. It. Out.

  4. Play to Your Strengths and Plan for Your Weaknesses. If you’ve already got some health hits lined up in your arsenal that you’re routinely stoked about, then keep those as highlighted mainstays! It’s a major health trend to see how varied and exotic we can make our meals but let’s be real… Sometimes a simple salad, chicken and rice, hearty soup, basic sandwich, or boring ol’ eggs and oatmeal (for a few examples of the delightfully mundane) are not only great fallbacks to keep you kicking butt, but sometimes paramount in maintaining your sanity. You’ve got a million decisions to make and projects to take on all the time. Stick to your strengths and old faithfuls when applicable.On the flipside, you must “plan for your weaknesses.” If you’re the type where a single serving of chips is “the entire bag” and a proper portion of ice cream is a pint then you should plan avoid having those things in your home. If you know, no matter how hard you wish upon a star, breakfast is not on the menu, then you should probably plan a meal replacement powder or smoothie instead. If your crux is lunch and all the fantastically scrumptious options near your work, then you should probably pack a lunch.

    Flex your strengths, nix your vices and come out on top every time.

  5. Have Healthy Back-Ups. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how precise and motivated you are with your planning, Murphy’s law assures you somethingwill go wrong. It’s how we react to these hiccups that inevitably seals our fate of fortune which is why it’s good to have a safety net when your plan falls apart.Luckily, we’re alive at a time where there are a ton of health-focused frozen food options primed and ready to be your back-up. Another great methodology is figuring out which stores, restaurants, delis or cafés around you have options that fit your blueprint of intent for those times when you MUST stop somewhere for something quick. If you have those spots already orchestrated, then it takes the anxiety of the situation away while leaving you primed for prosperity.

Plan the work and work the plan. Happy grocery shopping!

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Lifestyle

4 Ways to Stay on Track on Vacation

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When you’re leaving the daily grind behind and heading on a vacation, it can be easy to let your fitness routine fall to the wayside. We’re offering some tips to keep you engaged and on track in your fitness journey. Have any tips or tricks you swear by? Don’t forget to share in the comments, we’re in this together!

Embrace being a local and walk, bike or run to explore new locations

Walk to a local coffee shop. Enjoy the sights and sounds along the way. Run the trails, neighborhoods and streets.

One of my favorite ways to explore: Bike sharing! Bike sharing popularity has been on the rise all over the world since the 60s. In 2017, 35 million bike-share trips took place in the U.S. It’s app based and easy. It also takes many of us back to childhood. There’s a joy and a freedom that comes with riding. Biking gives us an opportunity to breathe it all in, and go with the flow.

Try something new

A highlight of one of my favorite work trips was with my first encounter with Airbnb Experiences.  Airbnb Experiences are activities designed and led by inspiring locals. They go beyond typical tours or classes by immersing guests in each host’s unique world. It’s an opportunity for anyone to share their hobbies, skills, or expertise. Swim with sea lions, hike to hidden waterfalls, or learn how to surf or cook! Trying new things is an important part of any health and fitness journey.

Pack healthy snacks or plan to stop and shop

Nothing’s worse than being hungry on the road or delayed somewhere. Pack healthy snacks like protein bars, nuts, seeds, dried fruit (in moderation), light popcorn or crackers. If I’m leaving for a while, I’ll even have Amazon prime ship me snacks in bulk like Paleo snack packs. You can always stop and grab your own, and of course it’s always best to cook some of your own meals if you can.

Bring your own water bottle and stay hydrated

If you’re struggling to get water in your daily routine it might be even harder on vacation. Planes are especially dehydrating and drying. Bringing your own bottle will help push you to keep drinking, not to mention avoid overpriced bottled water at the airport. Most of us maintain water and bloat during flights; drinking more water will help flush out any bloating and keep your body functioning properly.

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