Hey guys – what a week, huh? So much to catch up on. It’s the season of hustle and bustle, and it feels like it. Our fall always kicks off with the boys’ birthdays, and then it just feels like a spring into the holiday season. I love it though – fall brings some of my favorite activities and events!
I’ve been thinking a lot about health and wellness recently for a lot of different reasons, and so today I thought I’d share some of the ways I’m trying to keep myself healthy – inside and out – as we head into the cold, dark germy season.
Obviously health can mean a lot of different things, but one that took me WAY too long to recognize, is just needing and taking some personal time, and time to connect with friends AWAY from kids. Last week was one of the calendar items I’d been looking forward to for a long time – a weekend away with my Seattle mama sisters!
Katie moved away to Bend, Oregon two years ago (sob), and since Portland is almost exactly halfway between Bend and Seattle, it was the perfect spot to spend 36 glorious hours together. Nicki and I hit the road at 8am, and got to Portland just in time for brunch at The Country Cat.
It was just as amazing as it looks. We spent the day eating ourselves sick, and walking around downtown and the Pearl district checking out local shops. We spent a lot of time in Powell’s looking at books! I grabbed a few for the kids – love finding good used kids’ books.
We realized once we were there that our trip was perfectly timed with Daylight Savings Time – reminder to schedule our girls’ weekend for the same weekend every year! So while the dads were at home dealing with kids who were wide awake at 4am, we slept until SIX THIRTY (haha), and then grabbed coffee and Blue Star Donuts.
I got two – chocolate buttermilk and some sort of chocolate/vanilla cream filled – and they definitely lived up to the hype. Can one of these please open in Seattle!?
Nicki and I hit the road back to Seattle mid-day, and it was so fun to just have all that time to chat and relax together. It has been a tough season of life recently, and I have been so grateful for such wonderful friends to lean on. I made it home just in time to jump into the shower before our babysitter arrived. My awesome weekend made even better by date night out with Casey to see my favorite group ever – the Head and the Heart.
Their show was my favorite of the whole year last year, and this year’s show was no different. It was AMAZING, and I told Casey that I was going to buy myself a solo ticket to the following night’s show too (they are from Seattle, so played for three nights!). Of course, it was the one night he had plans, so I didn’t go a second time. Next year I’m doing it!
FOOD & WELLNESS
No surprise that a big part of health is FOOD! One of my favorite go-to meals right now is scrambled eggs with sauerkraut. Sometimes it is breakfast, but it’s often lunch a few hours after I get home from my morning workouts!
I am addicted to the spicy kimchi from Britt’s Pickles, and I just grabbed this Ruby red Kraut last week and loved it (both are local brands). Always throw a few breakfast links from Field Roast on the side too!
I had Graham at the grocery store the other day and he was not happy to be there, so I tried to make it more exciting. I told him he could choose what we were having for dinner that night, and he immediately said “french fries!” While they’ve had plenty of fries at restaurants before, we’d never made them at home, so it seemed fitting to indulge.
We nervously ate them in front of the TV while we watched the election results roll on. Paired with Field Roast franks and roasted broccoli. Needless to say, there were no fries left by the end of the night.
Even though smoothies are less exciting when it’s cold outside, I still like making them for a post-workout breakfast. This is my favorite protein powder right now – I get it at Trader Joe’s. I love mixing it with almond milk, ice, sunbutter, and a few dates – SO good!
You know what else is healthy? NOT feeling like you have to cook a meal from scratch every single night. We get takeout most Friday nights, and I look forward to it all week long. This weekend we got my very favorite – the rice bowl from Revel.
And all health comes in moderation, right? I tried these new chocolate clusters from Theo Chocolate this week, and they were all amazing, but my favorite was the salted almond! I loved that they were small bites for when just need a tiny bit of something sweet. When we first moved to Seattle we lived right up the street from Theo’s factory, and the smell of roasting chocolate would float into our open windows – a pregnant woman’s dream!
And as far as beating germs goes, I thought I’d share what we are using for this winter season. I try to channel my inner granola mama when it comes to medicine and such, and stay as natural as we can. For us that means trying to be more naturally preventative, and then treating things medicinally as needed when illness strikes.
This year I’ve been getting the Gaia Herbs kids’ products – I give the boys a teaspoon each of the elderberry syrup every morning before school (these were on super sale at Whole Foods last week FYI – I got three!). If a runny nose or cough starts up, I give an extra dose at night time. Cullen had a tiny cough last week, so I also gave him this Bronchial Wellness boost just to clear things out more quickly.
If the sniffles start or anyone seems to be heading under the weather, we will also use these Echinacea drops in a warm mug of tea. My kids love this children’s tea from Davidson’s – they think it’s such a treat!
Last but not least, we also do a daily multivitamin. We’ve been using these Animal Parade chewables for years – the boys love them, and I like that they are vegetarian and the right mix of extra supplements for our family.
STAYING ACTIVE & GETTING OUTSIDE
Nothing makes me feel better than a regular fitness routine. I’ve mentioned this before I think, but I joined Orangetheory Fitness in September, and I’m hooked! (And just to make it clear – I have no relationship with them, don’t get free classes, etc. – they don’t even know I have a blog.) A brand new studio opened up right near our house, so I signed up for a membership with the opening rates so I got a good deal!
I’ve been going consistently three times a week, and I feel like it’s the perfect workout for me. I love the strength conditioning half on the fitness floor, and I try to push myself to lift heavy. As far as the treadmill goes, I thought I would HATE it, but I find that the longest we ever do anything is three minutes, and that I can handle. The running goes by quickly with a mixture of hills and speed intervals, and I am always a total noodle afterward. I do early morning classes, and I spend most of them dreaming out the coffee I have waiting for me out in the car!
I decided to go ahead and cancel my ClassPass membership too, as I haven’t been using it as much lately, and for now I think Orangetheory is a better fit. I did also buy a class package to Barre3, and I’ve been adding that in 1-2x a week when it fits. I like having variety, but also regular classes and teachers to look forward to!
Every once in a while I’ll do a day class while the kids are in school, and I’ll meet Casey for an adults-only late breakfast afterward. Feels like such a special treat!
Outside if the fitness studios, we had record rain in October here in Seattle, which was no fun. But November kicked off with record warm temps and sunshine, so I’ll take the trade. Last week it was almost 70 degrees one day! We’ve been outside as much as possible, soaking up the sunshine now that our days are so much shorter (4pm sunsets are just cruel).
That’s it from this camp today. Off to meet some friends at the park on another sunny afternoon. I’ll be back later in the week with a Thanksgiving recipe roundup as we prepare for our feast! Happy Monday!