Monthly Archives: October 2011

Boston Blessings and Week 3 of Healthy Hearts and Happiness


Ohhhh dear friends…. I am just barely sliding in before midnight for my healthy hearts post.  And given that last week I spent five days in the beautiful city of Boston, I feel as though there is much to say in this post!

First things first… something I have come to realize over the past two and a half weeks of healthy eating and exercise is that even though you WILL occasionally fall short of your goals, you are most likely STILL eating healthier and moving more than you were before.  Tiny victories friends, tiny victories.  This is important to remember.

Another wonderful realization – ahi tuna is only two points on WW!  Getting smart about ways to eat yummy foods without self-sabotage entails getting creative and constantly trying new things.  Best of luck with your heart healthy week!

Now onto Boston

… how I LOVE that city!  It is vibrant, historic, and rough around the edges in an artistic and lovely way.  I thoroughly enjoy walking everywhere, feeling fall leaves crunch under my feet, being surrounded by academia and intelligent conversation while simultaneously enjoying a beer at a pub… and most of all, I love the people there.  Those fabulous friends who make my heart ache when I am far away.  Those Clarendon girls are an extended family and I can just feel my soul being fed whenever I’m around them.  It was wonderful to share a Pranksgiving meal, reflect during the Thankful Box reading, share drinks, dance and go apple picking.

And then there was the Greenvale Vineyard in Rhode Island –  the beautiful, lush, green vineyard surrounded by ocean and full of live jazz music and picnickers on blankets.   I highly  recommend a visit to this awesome hidden treasure if you are ever in the area.

And of COURSE, seeing one of my sisters and the ‘rents was just what I needed to feel rejuvenated and gather the warmth that only your family can give you.  The visits weren’t nearly long enough, but a lunch, redcoat spotting and shared cannolis were well worth it.

And my darling Southwesterners….

and those new to the area (and visitors) who need tips on places to go – I realize this post was not at all what you were expecting.  I will say this though – the world famous 13th Floor Haunted House has come to AZ and is apparently a must-see!  I am still trying to convinceChris to go with me…. but we shall see.

Happy hauntings, kids!  To a spectacular week and fun Halloween!



Healthy Hearts and Happiness!


I have to start by saying, I went up to Flagstaff with Chris on Sunday and we hiked through Lamar Haines Memorial Park… beautiful!   It was cool and crisp up in the mountains and the foliage was gorgeous.  So happy to have had a little taste of fall 🙂

Now, how did we all do with week one of our new healthy lifestyles?  I have to say, I am feeling good so far.  It was a little tricky at first to eat less and eat healthier, but combining that with regular exercise has really started to make me feel better in my own skin.

A few little food substitutions for you:

Use mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes (soooo yum-o)

Try endive leaves with hummus and salsa in place of tortilla chips (haven’t tried this yet but it sounds promising)

Use fat-free greek yogurt in place of sour cream

And never, never understimate the power of fruit and water.  As many of you know, many times when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty or dehydrated!  And plus, water is awesome for your skin.

Onward and upward, to a healthy week two!


Healthy Hearts and Happiness- Week One!


I know I just posted yesterday, but this post has nothing to do with Southwest Living.  It has everything to do with my new southwest lifestyle and I choose a healthy one.

After a year in Indy, with the stress of classes, living with a boy for the first time, a new job, and some intense moments of loneliness, I became unhealthy.  If I felt sad I reached for ice cream.  I found myself “too tired” to run, a habit I had so lovingly embraced only months before my move.  Everything became focused around school, grades, budgeting, and finding friends.  Sadly,  health took a backseat.

Well, that is about to change.  Yesterday, I signed up for Weight Watchers and I have already started blogging, joining challenges, and re-vamping how I cook and what I eat.  Water is my new best friend and I am longingly staring at my running shoes at work as we speak.

Here’s the deal… I know not everyone needs an actual pay-as-you go plan like Weight Watchers.  But most of us do need motivation, encouragement, and an extra push!!!!!  So I’ve decided to devote Tuesdays to Healthy Hearts and Happiness and I encourage all of you to get involved.  I am going to post new recipe ideas, new workout challenges, and updates on my own personal trials and tribulations with my weight loss goals to try to show others that they have someone to struggle and succeed with as well.


For the month of October, we’re moving EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Here’s how I’m doing it week one:

Today- 50 minutes at the gym.  High intensity.  Running, biking, weights.

W, F, Sun- 30 minutes of lower intensity activity (a nice, brisk walk outside or bike ride)

Th, Sat and Mon- 30 minutes of mid-level intensity (a nice jog/run, hike, etc.)

Don’t be intimidated by this- if you are not yet at the point where running for thirty minutes is an option, do something else.  Hula hoop, go to Zumba, walk a little longer, swim laps, jump rope, devote yourself to taking the stairs everywhere you go, park as far away as you can at the parking lot, do squats during commercial breaks… but MOVE).

Let me know if you want to join my challenge and stay tuned for more fun recipes, tips and challenges!


Fall Follies and Family Fun!


I am going to start by saying that Friday night at dinner we saw… Dirk Nowitzki.  Yes friends, that’s right… the NBA All-Star.  I think I saw jaws hit the table when he walked into the restaurant we were at (Elements, part of the Sanctuary Resort on Camelback). 

More importantly, however, I got to saw my cousin Peter and his lovely wife Sarah.  It was so great to have family around after being out here for a few months by ourselves.  The food at the restaurant was incredible (hats off to chef Beau!) annnnnd I tried a lemon drop for the first time. To die for. 

Other weekend happenings included a viewing of Moneyball which was fab-o, some shopping down at Scottsdale Quarter and fall decorating!  Our apartment officially smells like pumpkin:)  How delightful!

A very fun, relaxing weekend indeed.  Next weekend we hope to get up to Flagstaff for some scenic foliage drives and hiking– we shall see!

For my philosophical thought for the day…. it’s so much better to be direct when you are upset or in need.  But it’s such a fine line between being direct and being hurtful sometimes.  Thoughts on this and how to balance it? 

Final thought… it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Month.  Do something for the women you love today!!!!