Travel Guide - Nashville

Music City you have my heart

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There's a reason so many celebrities are moving to Nashville. IT IS SOO FUN! I'm talking Bacelorette party fun. The capitol of Tennessee is known for its legendary country music history and when you visit, you'll see why.. Music fills the streets in Downtown and it's energy is captivating. Downtown is also the best place to taste the city. Take a step onto Broadway St. and you'll really see what Nashville is all about. 

My partner in crime for this trip was my dad. I flew into Birmingham where he is currently working and we drove down to Nashville. 

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Outlined is everything we did while we were there + more!

accomodations

Omni Nashville Hotel Downtown

The café inside, Bongo Java, has the best coffee!

Food, drank & music

ACME Feed & Seed

Right on the river overlooking Nissan stadium is ACME Feed & Seed. There are two floors to ACME: The first is traditional southern food and music, while the second floor has a sushi bar. We went for sushi (of course). 

ACME had great traditional southern music that seriously made me fall in love with the city. See more on the vlog!

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Husk

The best Bloody Mary in Nashville, according to a couple people we asked along the way. They weren't wrong. Husk had a great bloody mary. We were not able to stay to eat but the menu and food looked amazing.

Bourbon Street Blues Bar

You can hear the old fashioned blues music from blocks away. This place is one of a kind. Since opening in 1995, more than 100 blues musicians have graced the stage. Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar feels like dancing through history. 

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Bakersfield

After sushi and southern food we were ready for some chips and guac. Bakersfield is a tacos, tequila and whiskey kind of place. The food was good but they said I couldn't get my shrimp tacos grilled which makes me a little nervous. Great atmosphere and food otherwise. 

Activities

The Gulch

Shopping area with stores like this one I fell in love with called Two Old Hippies.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Right outside of the Music Hall and Museum is the stars walk of fame. Both my dad and I were able to find our favorites.

Parthenon

Not the real parthenon thats in Athens of course but a duplicate version that stands in the middle of centennial park. Before Nashville became Music City it was actually known as the Athens of the South. Because of this, in 1897 city fathers built a full on replica of Athens most historic landmark, the Parthenon. Of course it was only natural I started doing yoga on it haha. vvv

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Johnny Cash Museum

A must when you visit Nashville. Although there really is only a gift shop to buy souvenirs, it's fun to spend a minute remembering Johnny. 

Grand Ole Opry

We did not get a chance to go to the Opry since it was such a short and last minute trip, but I am including it here in hopes that this will manifest into a reality. 

Nissan Stadium

If there is a super bowl at Nissan Stadium, I'm going. I don't care who is playing but I know for a fact I do not want to miss a super bowl in Nashville. The stadium in right on the river in the heart of downtown. Can it get any better???

IF YOU HAVE BEEN TO NASHVILLE AND HAVE ANY MUST SUGGESTIONS - COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW! 

xx babes,

Meg

 

Healthy Meal Ideas

FOOD IS LIFE 🙌🏼

seriously though! we need proper nutrients from food to fuel us through our everyday lives... let's think of food as the energy we need to set ourselves up for success! here are your body by meg approved healthy meal ideas!

Breakfast ☀️🍳🥑🍓💦

everyone feels differently about breakfast... my general rule is to only eat when you're hungry or if you just worked out!

personally, I like to keep breakfast a routine so I choose a smoothie and some toast to eat multiple times a week... but some prefer a variety, so I have listed a ton of options below in different categories.

🍓 Smoothies

> guidlines for smoothies

plant based protein powder

- pea, hemp, legumes, collagen, 

greens

- spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, spirulina 

fats

- nut butter, avocado, coconut oil

fiber

- berries, oats, seeds (chia, flax, hemp)

extra add ons I love:

coconut water, almond milk, aloe vera juice, maca, aswaganda, cacao nibs, bee pollen

🍞 Toasts

whole, sprouted or multigrain toast

half avocado, two eggs, tomato and hot sauce

nut butter, banana, flax seeds, honey

avocado, lox, onion, capers

beans, salsa, cilantro, fried egg

hummus, tomato, balsamic

cucumber, edamame, sprouts, lemon

🍌 Oats

organic steel cut oats

blueberry almond overnight oats 

almond milk, nut butter, banana and cinnamon morning oats

mango and coconut oatmeal

🍳 Eggs

mini meg muffin frittatas 

omelet with veggies

scrambled with avocado 

hard boiled with hot sauce

egg or tofu scramble with veggies

egg, bean, salsa tostada

egg wrap with onions and avocado

Yogurt

greek yogurt

with berries, rolled oats, and seeds

Lunch 🍌🥗🥪🍏

I think salads are awesome for lunch because most times we are working and need energy to get through the rest of the day. if your job has you out and about, wraps and sandwiches are great on-the-go.

🥗 Salads

quinoa salad with chickpeas, spinach, and avocado

cobb salad with egg, tomato, avocado, and onion

greek pita salad with chicken, cucumber, tomato, onion

asian salmon salad with mandarins, celery, carrots and almonds 

strawberry salad with spinach and almonds

cucumber salad with tomatoes, vinegar and sesame seeds

🌯 Wraps

turkey wrap with lettuce, tomato, cucumber

shrimp avocado wrap with cabbage 

roasted red pepper hummus wrap with cucumber

chicken guacamole wrap with salsa and beans

🥪 Sandwhiches

breakfast sandwich with egg and avocado

whole grain pb&j

turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado

tuna sandwich with carrots, cabbage, and tomato

hawaii veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, onion

black bean burger with lettuce, tomato, onion

Dinner 🥦🥙🍲🍣🥟🥕

dinner always depends on how much I have eaten the rest of the day! plus, I try not to eat too close bedtime so sometimes late lunches can turn into early dinners with a night time snack.

veggie fajitas with bell peppers, onion, and garlic

salmon cilantro lime bowl with brown rice and asparagus

cauliflower rice with broccoli, carrots, and veggie dumplings

mushroom stuffed bell peppers

quinoa bowl with black beans, salsa, bell peppers and onion

chicken with roasted zucchini and squash

chicken quinoa zucchini enchiladas

shrimp zucchini noodles with lemon sauce

chicken quinoa enchiladas

quinoa bowl with roasted sweet potato and onion

lettuce cups with ground turkey and veggies

💗 I HOPE THESE IDEAS MAKE PLANNING A HEALTHY MEAL A BIT EASIER!! browse bbm and try some of our quick, healthy and on-the-go recipes.

 

 

CREATING AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE // EVERYDAY TIPS ⭐️💪🏼

You know what??

The key to success in fitness is turning it into a lifestyle... if you didn't already know! An active lifestyle is not only important for physical fitness, but for overall health. Lets look at ways to incorporate activity throughout your day to create an overall active lifestyle.

Active vs Sedentary

Living an active lifestyle does not only mean to be physically active. It also acknowledges your mental and social health as well. An active lifestyle is living in motion while a sedentary lifestyle is staying in one place.

My Top Tips For Being Active 

Live every day with purpose

Wake up and make a plan for the day. I like to call it being the CEO of your life. Plan out every hour and have things to get done. This is your daily purpose and it is most definitely active.

POSTURE IS EVERYTHING

Pay attention to your posture throughout the day. I want you to hear me in your head telling you to stand or sit up straight! Plus good posture is attractive and exudes confidence so rock that girl.

Bonus Tip* squeeze your booty when you walk to help activate those deep gluteal muscles and stand up even taller.

Walk everywhere

Speaking of walking, the best thing you can do for your body is to get moving.

“Your Body Wants To Move… SO Move Your Body”

It doesn’t have to be just walking too… ride your bike, grab some rollerblades and do the damn thing. If you can't find time, make time.

Stand when you can

We have so many opportunities to stand throughout the day. Try to notice them like. For example, when you're waiting for the bus, or at a doctors appointment, give your seat up to someone else. 

Choose to stand...your body wants to be in its anatomical position (aka standing up) so give your body what it wants!

Cook at home

Not only is it healthier to cook for yourself, but you are also getting more active when you do it. I don't know about you, but when I cook, I go ham in the kitchen. Chopping, stirring, whippin and flippin, I am all over the place when it comes to food and I am getting active at the same time.

Stretch while you Netflix

This one is my all time favorite!!! I will play my favorite show, or turn on a podcast and just stretch. Side story: I was in an uber earlier today and he was telling me how tight he is.. idk just things I talk about with my uber lol… and I told him this, “each night at least do a forward fold, let your arms hang or hold on to each elbow and feel the space creation in your lower back. That’s all it takes." Its simple and part of my everyday routine.

Dance

Instead of going out with your friends just for drinks, go out dancing! The best part of dancing is that most times you do not even realize you are burning calories beause it is just so much fun.

HECK! DANCE WHEN YOU COOK!! It is all about having a good time! 

Housework

( cleaning, gardening, yardwork, laundry )

Doing housework is draining for a reason. We exert more energy than we realize when we do chores since they tend to require: walking up stairs, folding, dusting, carrying things, ect. But one of the great things about housework, is although it is physically tiring, mentally you don’t have to do much work.

Track your steps

10,000 a day is the universal goal! I use my apple watch to track my steps but the Iphone does it for you as well. This is a really good way to see your activity level throughout the day and hold yourself accountable for being active.

Here is a YouTube video where I break down all these tips into a little more detail. Plus, there are some extra ones in there that are helpful too!!

LET'S CREATE AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE TOGETHER!

LOVE YOU BABES

XX,

Meg

Reasons for Bloating and How to Get Rid of It

Have you been battling bloat? Well, it's time to banish that bish.  👋🏼

Everyone experiences bloat at one point or another. Some of us more than others, and some of us rarely at all. But the reality is, we all have it. 

There are a number of reasons why we experience bloating, so let's look through them and try to pin point the source.

First things first...

What is bloat?

Bloat is traditionally defined as:

'To make or become swollen with fluid or gas'

But I like to define it as:

'The most annoying puffy, swollen feeling that needs to GTFO 🙄 

Reasons for Bloat 

There are many reasons you could be experiencing bloat. 

Food Allergy or Intolerance 

- Sometimes swelling occurs because we are intolerant to the foods we are eating. Do yourself a favor, listen to your body, and tune into what it is saying. Once you do, you'll start to realize which foods upset your stomach and know to stay away from them in the future.

- If you are concerned about a food allergy or intolerance, see your doctor. Bloating can sometimes be a reaction to some serious stuff. In some cases, bloating is a serious side affect to conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Malabsorption Syndrome, Celiac Disease, etc.  Not trying to scare you, just as a precaution because some of these conditions are very common and can definitely be the reason for your extreme bloating. My advice is always invest in your health and learn more 👍🏼

- If your symptoms are not serious enough to see a doctor, there are food intolerance tests on the market that are less expensive. I am currently waiting back for my results for the Pinner Test. Once I get them I will make sure to write all about it and put a video up on YouTube outlining my experience.

 

Hormones

- Hormones are tricky, especially for women. We go through different stages of our menstrual cycle, some of which we are more likely to bloat than others. Lots of times we start bloating simply because we are about to get our period, and this is TOTALLY NORMAL. PMS bloating symptoms affect up to 85% of women. WOWZA!!

- Hormonal fluctuations happen naturally but if you are experiencing extreme bloating it could be due to hormonal imbalances. Hormone imbalances occur from an imbalanced lifestyle or excess toxins in the body. Hormone balance is a result to the foods we eat and can be maintained through a healthy diet. Again, the best way to find out if this is the reason for your bloat is to visit your doctor.

Change in diet or overeating 

- Bloating can be a reaction to change in diet.  Are you eating any new foods you wouldn't normally eat? Or maybe you're trying out a new diet and have stopped eating something you would normally have? 

- Overeating can also cause a number of abdominal problems and discomforts, so it's good to keep in mind smaller portions will help ease bloating pain from overeating. This can also cross back over to the intolerance and allergy topic. Always be cautious when introducing new foods to your body in large quantities, your body just might not want what you've decided to give it.

Stress

- Stress sucks because it can literally cause everything. There is not much more to say here other than anything that is stress related really just sucks. When it comes to stress, get back to basics and focus on a positive self-care routine.

⭐️ It might be difficult to pin point the culprit of your bloating, but the more information you can gather will help you get an idea as to what triggers your symptoms.

Tips for getting rid of Bloat

Slow Down When You Eat

- Lots of times we inhale our food so quickly we gulp up a lot of air with it. Take your time to chew your food because the digestion process starts at your tongue, and sometimes even before. Plus, the slower you eat the more satisfied you will feel by the end of the meal.

Add More Probiotics into your Diet

- Probiotics can help limit gas production in your intestines and balance bacterias in your gut. Gut health is extremely important and always good something to be mindful of.

Make sure you are getting the right amount of fiber 

- Most people are not getting enough fiber in their diet. Slowly increase your fiber intake because it can also be the cause of bloating. SO, the trick is getting just the right amount.👌🏼

DRINK LOTS OF WATER 

- This on is a no-brainer but always important to mention. Add lemon to your water for extra detox benefits.

- Also, try not to drink out of straws or guzzle down carbonated drinks. 

Avoid Bloat Causing Foods✖️

- Carbonated drinks

- Beans

- Sweetened or salted snacks

- Conventional dairy products with artificial sweeteners

- Refined grains

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts)

- Chewing gum

- Onions

- Apples

Eat Foods that Fight Bloat ✔️

- Bananas

- Cucumber

- Papaya 

- Probiotics 

- Fennel Seeds

- Ginger

- Green Tea

- Lemon Water

Consider a Digestive Enzyme Supplement 

-  Digestive enzymes help break down indigestible carbohydrates (fiber being on of them). There are a wide variety of them available on Amazon but for suggestions on which kind, again, I would consult your doctor. 

⭐️ I hope this information gives you some insight into what causes bloating and how to combat it safely. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone when it comes to bloating. It actually would not be normal if you didn't experience bloating at all!

👉🏼 Let me know your experiences with bloating in the comments below, and if there are any other solutions I may not have mentioned here. 

xx,

Meg

 

 

Simple Cucumber Salad

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When it comes to nutrition, you know me, I like to keep it simple.

This delicious cucumber salad is just that!

Recipe:

- 1 Large Cucumber (sliced)

- 1 Large Avocado (diced)

- Handful of Cherry Tomatos (sliced)

- Basil (chopped)

- Hemp Seeds (to your liking)

Dressing:

- Olive oil

- Red Wine Vinegar

- Lemon

- Dried Oregano 

- Salt and Pepper

Mix together and enjoy babes!!

I am one of those 'eye measurement' people, so I do not have exact measurements for the dressing, I like to call it free style mixing! That way you can mix it to however you like it! 

xx Meg

Meg's Personal Workouts

💪🏼 Here is a diary of all my personal workouts!

I want to share them with you in hopes that you are able to benefit from them as well 💖

I will continuously be adding to this gallery, so keep checking back for updates! 

Vegetarian Orzo Salad

Try this delicious Vegetarian Orzo Salad Recipe by Prevention Pantry. This is a great dish to meal prep for a week of yumminess or to share with up to 6 people!

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Find the original recipe here. 

While cooking I modified the recipe to my personal liking. I did most of the measurements by eye depending on how much of each ingredient I prefer.

Salad Ingredients:

- 2 Cups of Cooked Orzo

- 1 Cucumber, Diced

- Grape Tomatoes, Halved

- Chopped Spinach 

- Diced Red Onion

- Can of Drained Chickpeas 

- Kalamata Olives, Rinsed and Halved

Dressing Ingredients:

- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

-  Red Wine Vinegar to your liking ( I like a lot hehe )

- Lemon Juice

- 1 Tbsp of Dried Oregano

- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder

- Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Cook orzo according to package instructions

2. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon, oregano and garlic

3. Mix together ingredients with the orzo

4. Add the dressing and mix to combine

5. Add salt and pepper if you would like!

Enjoy Babes

xo, 

Meg

How-To Upward Facing Dog 💫 

Upward Facing Dog or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is an important pose for a healthy back. Most days we over stretch our backs and weaken our abdominals by sitting at a desk or in the car for long periods of time.  

Some benefits of this pose include:

- Strengthen your spine, arms and wrists

- Stretches your chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen

- Helps improve posture by:

stretching your anterior spine and strengthening your posterior spine 

- Will activate your abdominal organs

- Helps to relieve depression, fatigue and pain of sciatica while increasing lung capacity to help people with asthma

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Start in a prone position on the floor, laying on your stomach. When you're ready, activate your legs, abs booty and coming up onto your hands. Your whole body should be engaged while you are actively pushing into the floor with the palms of your hands and tops of your feet. 

Do:

- Shoulder blades pulled back and down
- Engage your legs with your knees, hips and thighs off the floor
- Tighten your core with your chest high
- Distribute your weight to the tops of your feet
- Follow your gaze upward

Don't:

- Shrug your shoulders by your ears
- Collapse your chest because of rounded shoulders
- Slack off with your core to hurt your lower back
- Over rotate your legs and rest them on the floor
- Toss your head back with gaze not lifted

Namaste Babes🙏🏼

Request corrective movements in the comments!

xo,

Meg

What to Eat BEFORE and AFTER a Workout

"Eat to nourish your body... you deserve it!"

Heres the deal...

What you eat before and after your workout is just as important as the actual workout itself. Fueling your body correctly will optimize your results and leave you feeling stronger than ever. First things first, HYDRATE! Start drinking water first thing in the morning before you even start thinking about your workout. That way you are all hydrated and ready to go when that time comes. 

WHEN to Eat BEFORE a Workout

The best time to eat is 2-3 hours before you plan on working out. That way your body has time to digest your food and turn it into fuel.

Not eating before a workout can leave you dizzy, lightheaded and even nauseous. Not to mention you become more prone to injury when you're low on energy. Always try to put a little something in your belly before you start burning.

With that being said, if you're one of those early morning exercisers, it is understandable if you don't feel hungry right when you wake up. Same goes for those of you who try to make it to a class right when you get off work, a light snack is your best option. 

All in all, always listen to what your body is telling you and experiment to see what works best for you.

A good general rule of thumb is the closer you get to your workout the smaller the portion should be.

WHAT To Eat BEFORE a Workout

Carbs

Carbs are your best friend when it comes to working out. Carbs = Energy

When we eat carbs, our body breaks them down to glucose and stores in your muscles. Glycogen is the bodies number one source of energy so it gives us fuel to exercise at our maximum capacity. Glycogen is used most by the body during short and high-intensity exercise.

Remember carbohydrates come in all types of foods, not just breads!

Proteins

Before a workout you also want to eat good proteins. Protein and carbs together before a workout have been shown to improve athletic performance and increase muscle mass.

Fats

Fat becomes your fuel source for longer workouts that are low to moderate intensity. 

Food Ideas for Before your Workout

Meals

Oatmeals with Nut Butter &  Fresh Fruit

Whole Grain Toast & Avocado

Eggs & GG Crackers

Whole Grain Toast with Sliced Banana

Apple Wedges with Almond Butter

Rice Cakes with Nut Butter

Snacks

Hard Boiled Egg

Turkey Slice

Greek Yogurt

Nuts

Banana

When to Eat AFTER a Workout

As soon as possible! There is a window for your body to absorb optimum nutrients after your workout. Your body goes into recovery mode so you need a nutrient dense dish.

What to Eat AFTER a Workout

Carbs

After your workout, you have depleted your glycogen stores so they need to be replenished by consuming carbohydrates.

Proteins

Consuming protein after a workout is important because it gives your body the amino acids it needs to help repair and build muscle tissue. Consume carbs and proteins after your workout and you are good to go!

Food Ideas for After your Workout

Meals

Grilled Chicken & Mixed Veggies

Quinoa Chicken Bowl

Egg & Veggie Omelete with Avocado

Protein Shake with Greens

Rice Cakes & Nut Butter

Brown Rice & Sautéed Veggies

Salmon & Sweet Potatoes 

Tuna Sandwich with Hummus & Spinach on Whole Grain Toast

Baked Salmon Brown Rice & Roasted Veggies 

Whole Wheat Pita Stuffed with Grilled Veggies & Hummus

Snacks

Trail Mix

Perfect bar

Apple & Cheese Crackers

Hard Boiled Eggs 

Carrots & Hummus

Pita & Hummus

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Comment below if you have an go-to meals for before and after your workout that I didn't mention! Also, let me know if you try any of these suggestions!
Much love babes!

xx Meg

 

 

 

Finding the Motivation to Workout

Motivation... you either you have it, or you don’t.

Everyone is looking for motivation because we pretty much need it for everything.  Finding the motivation to workout is especially difficult because life likes to get in the way. Today, we are making exercise a priority to become a part of your everyday. Below are five tips that will help you find the motivation to workout and have fun while doing it.

Find the right workout for you 🏃🏽‍♀️

There really is something for everyone nowadays. Try different workouts until you find one your body responds too and most importantly, gets you excited. You'll never know if you don't try right?!

If you already know what you like and are just having a hard time getting there, then the next tips are for you.

If you don't know where to start, here are some different workout styles to look into:

HIIT, yoga, pilates, barre, boxing, cycle, or running.

If you look, you are bound to find something you like!

Do you have a membership at a gym? Try some classes.

Want to workout at home? There are a ton of free classes on YouTube.

Set Goals 💭

Both short and long term.  

If you haven’t done so already, ask yourself:

What is my overall mission?

What is my mission specifically?

What is my why?

Once you know the end goal, write it down. 

If you already have goals, take a second to remind yourself them. 

Sometimes goals change so we need to make sure you adjust accordingly.

Make a Plan ✏️

Now that we have figured out your goals, it's time to make a plan.

Pencil your workouts into your agenda. Write out which days you are doing what. 

Create a schedule and try to be as realistic as possible to avoid extremes!

Once you have your plan, take the workouts one day at a time.

When you complete your workouts throughout the week, cross them off your list and continue with your busy boss life.

Find a Workout Buddy 👯‍♀️

Workouts are always better with a friend!

Recruit your bestie and make a pact to hold each other accountable. 

All you have to do is ask and you'll be surprised on who joins you.

Create a BOMB Workout Playlist 🎧

Music is the most affective way to get you ready for a workout.

Create your own playlist or check out my playlist under the ‘music’ tab!

Last thoughts...

If none of these tips help, you might need to change your mindset.

Use positive affirmations instead of excuses. 

You can not fail when you are doing something good for your body.

Remember progress beats perfection and perfection is overrated.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Wake up everyday and tell yourself YOU CAN.

Cheers to setting goals and working towards something!

XX Meg

 

Practice Eating Intention

What is eating intention?

     Eating intention is more than just being aware of what foods we put into our bodies. Eating intention is allowing your body to receive the most out of the foods you are eating. Let me explain...

     We often believe that all we have to do is eat nutritious foods to be healthy, and don’t get me wrong, this is the important first step. But it is the other factors that aren’t necessarily recognized. For example, how our food is prepared or the environment and physical state in which we are eating in.

How to practice eating intention

Knowing how food is prepared

-        Often we think eating healthy is affective as long as we just do it. But many times when we eat and the food is prepared in a way that the body has a hard time digesting. Think about how you are preparing food as much as you think about which food to prepare.

Understanding the environment in which you are eating

-        Is this environment stressful? If so, you are inhibiting your digestion system by setting it up for failure. Our body needs time to see the food and prepare itself for consumption. When our busy lives cause us to scarf down our food, our body is not prepared to digest and takes more energy to do so which results in feeling tired after eating.

-        You may have heard people suggest chewing your food more. The reason for this is because the more food is ground up, the easier it is for your body to digest. That way your digestive system doesn't have to work so hard and you are not so tired.

-        This is why some people, although they are eating healthy, have a hard time loosing that last bit of weight. It is because the environment they are eating in is too stressful that their digestion actually shuts down and is not ready to consume.

Planning ahead

-        Making food fun and simple is the easiest way to be successful.

-        Start by looking at your schedule and lifestyle. If you are constantly on-the-go and rely on easy pick-up ready-to-eat food, then find the healthies options and write them down. Do your research before so that you know when you’re running around, you know the coffee shop down the street has a healthy superfood salad you can always go to. Find places like that.

-        If you enjoy cooking, make it easy and fun. Foods don’t have to be extravagant and sometimes the best ones aren’t. When you go to the grocery store think about how many meals you need and how to make them all well rounded. When you get home make it easy, throw it in the oven and package it up. Then it is easy to grab and go.

-     Always buy little meals you love that are easy. Maybe some hummus and carrots or turkey and mustard.  Place a bunch of veggies and fruits in tupperware and don’t make it too complicated. Once you have that down then maybe you start to try something new.

-     Recreate your favorite meals you eat out at home. By doing so you will naturally make them healthier because most of the time we would never use the ingredients at home that they use in a restaurant. Again, making it simpler.  For example, my favorite chopped salad place. I went to the store got the ingredients and use lemon as dressing. Same salad, less money, loads healthier.

Let there be balance

-        Pick days you want to eat clean and let other days’ balance you out. Every week I plan on eating clean and healthy Monday through Thursday so then I can be a little more lenient on the weekends. If I know I have an event coming up, I will prepare for that in advance. And by prepare I don’t mean eat super strict, but I will keep it in mind when I go to make food throughout the week. 

xx Meg

 

My Morning Stretching Video

My Morning Routine + Stretching Video

"I never thought I would say this but... I'm becoming a morning person."

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Here I am proving why you should never say never.  A morning person??!...me?? Really? These were the first thoughts going through my head when I realized what was happening. My circadian rhythm has had me waking up early and I love taking advantage of all the extra time. I believe a proper morning routine can set the tone for the rest of your day. So if you conquer the morning you can pretty much do anything. 

Here is how I see it...

Once I'm awake, minus well get up.  I'm not trying to make it a habit of getting back in bed once I have already gotten out of it. Weekends are an exception, but during the week if I set an alarm I owe it to myself to try and get up when I planned too. I make it part of starting my morning right. Getting up when I intend to. Once I’m up, I’m up. 

Next is water, water, water. Before bed I always leave myself a glass of water so once I'm awake, I roll over and drink it. Water is the best thing you can give yourself first thing.

Once the water brings me back to life, I get up to use the restroom and start my self care routine. I always splash cold water on my face and it never fails to wake me up. As I wash my face, I check in with myself  to see how I'm feeling. Everyday is different. Somedays I get good rest and other days I need a couple more minutes to really wake up. Either way, I wash my face with cold water. I blame college for the fact that I still use drug store beauty products. I want to move into a completely non-toxic, cruelty-free beauty regimen but I am just not there yet. Here are some of the products I have been using for awhile: 

- Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser

- Nutregena Alcohol Free Toner

- Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer with SPF

- The Wet Brush 

- Pronamel Gentle Whitening Tooth Paste

Once I dry my face off, I go make my bed. I read somewhere the most successful people make their bed every morning, so naturally I had to make it a habit to do so. It feels nice after a long day to come home to a tidy room. Again, its just another one of those things you gotta do for yourself. Self care baby!

The next part is my fav...

On a good day, I make a cup of matcha and start stretching. This is another way I like to check into see how my body is feeling. A recent injury has had me stretching every morning. This is the perfect way to loosen up before I head out for the day. Here is my go to morning flow:

 

- childs pose

- runners lunge

- half split

- pigeon pose

- half lotus

- back rollout

- left leg up and in

- right leg up and in

- spinal twist

After this I get dressed, leave the house and take on whatever the day has in store!

** I do all this before checking email or instagram. I have learned a clear head in the morning makes for a very productive day.

How do you start your morning?

xx Meg

What It's Like To Go Vegan

      Soooo I did a thing. A thing that I did once before back in high school, but not to the same extent. For the past two weeks I have been completely plant based. I started by committing to two weeks because I wanted to set a realistic goal I knew I could complete. A couple things happened throughout the last two weeks I believe are important to know for anyone who is thinking of going vegan.

- I really enjoy this definition of Veganism by the Vegan Society -

"Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. From 'junk food vegans' to raw food vegans, and everything in between, there's a version of veganism to suit everyone."

      Now, just to be clear, my vegan journey the last two weeks only consisted of the food parts not the clothing part. I have been wanting to convert to a completely cruelty free, non-toxic lifestyle but... one thing at a time. 

5 Great Things 

 I stopped overeating.

- My meals leave be satisfied and not disgustingly full.

Food becomes simple.

- Weird I know, you probably think it would make it more complex.. but no. When I make meals for myself the ingredients are simple and its easy in my head to not overthink food.  I have been seeing food as nourishment rather than something I like to do... all the time haha.

Less bloat than usual

- Contrary to what you may think, the amount of vegetables I have been eating are not bloating me. I actually feel lighter and healthier throughout the day. Everything moves well.

You are not alone

- You realize how many people are doing this, and how accessible it is as long as you are open to trying new things. 

& there is a lot of support out there. The vegan community knows how great it makes you feel, so all they want is to see other people enjoy that feeling.

5 Things To Get Used To

Taking the time to really look for vegan products

- This can be tricky naturally, but is why my meals have become more simple. My mom and I found ourselves often wishing there were a completely vegan market near us. I assume overtime I will find products I like that are completely vegan, it is just hard to weed through all the non-vegan stuff out there.

Some people will judge you

- There will always be people who judge everything you do. Going vegan is no different. Some people are passionate about their meat and will defiantly express it. My advice is just to ignore it and laugh it off. (you're the one winning in the long run hehe)

Being open to eating different foods.

- Typically I am very open to trying new things but I need to get used to eating more salad. I used to love salads but lately I just don't have a taste for them. 

Communicating your preferences to waiters, servers, grocery people etc.

- You gotta be confident in your decision because you will be discussing menus and ingredients when you go out to eat or are at an event. You can't really be picky all the time with these things. Again just make it simple.

Not turning to carbs ugh

- I found myself turning to carbohydrates way more than before. It is easy just to make some pasta or rice and beans.

What Now?

      I am going to be continuing this lifestyle, but with my own modifications. Day to day I plan on staying completely vegan. But, every now and then I will not turn down the occasional egg breakfast or sushi dinner. I think for me it is important to keep these two aspects of my diet being as practical as possible and to their minimum.

      I am a strong believer in letting yourself do/ have things that make you happy, and sushi does that for me.  I won't take it out completely but I will let myself have those foods every once and awhile.

      I truly believe there is a way for anyone to convert to a vegan lifestyle that is practical for them. I feel energized, happy, and overall lighter only feet. When I decided to go vegan my whole mindset changed. I found the focus I had lost since the end of the school year and the energy and passion that was so firey in me before. I am very thankful I tried this and and excited to continue. 

 

 

 

Infrared Sauna Treatment

Infrared saunas and their benefits have been popping up everywhere in the wellness world. So, naturally I had to see what the hype is all about.

     I did my research and found lots of information. The only thing is, most the information out there is from digital publications and personal websites. The most recent fully evaluated study I found was from 2009 and even then states, "the published evidence to substantiate these claims (infrared health benefits) is limited." Apparently research in China and Japan is much more expansive and where many if these infrared studios get their information.

      Luckily, around the time I became interested in infrared saunas, I was invited to visit Sweat Theory, a spa in West Hollywood, that specializes in far infrared yoga and fitness. You can imagine my excitement, and let me tell ya... I was not disappointed. 

What is an Infrared Sauna?

      Infrared saunas use both heat and light to help relax and detoxify the body. They omit infrared light waves creating heat in the body that cause you to sweat and, in turn, release toxins. 

      An infrared saunas heat emits rays that penetrate into the tissues and raises your core temperature much quicker than a regular sauna. It does all this at a much lower temperature than regular saunas, making it easier for individuals to last in the heat.

The proclaimed benefits include:

  • Detoxification
  • Relaxation
  • Pain Relief
  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Circulation
  • Skin Purification

My Experience

      When I arrived at Sweat Theory, I was given a cayenne shot to start heating up, a meditation CD, and some alkaline water to help stay hydrated. Sweat Theory also does fitness classes with the infrared heat which I am excited to try. 

      I sat in the sauna for a little over an hour and tried my best to relax. It was a little small in there for my long body but I ended up getting sweaty and zoning in. There were only two times I had to open the door and let some cool air in. Out of all the listed benefits, none were very outstanding after one session... and all the same benefits can be achieved through fitness (sweating) anyway.

      Once I was finished I got straight into the shower. I am pretty used to sweating a lot because of hot yoga but for someone who never sweats, it is defiantly an abundance of fluid. After the shower, I took the replenishing shot and walked out of there feeling completely refreshed. I didn't leave without checking out their crystal selection though. 

      People use infrared sauna therapy numerous times a week, but I think every once and awhile is plenty. I prefer to move around to sweat which is the reason I want to try the classes. 

      Sweat Theory also has a crystal healing service which I cannot wait to try. I did not know this until after I visited, but as someone who feels extremely connected to crystals and inspired by astrology and celestial beings, I look forward to when I am home from school, back in LA, and can try it out.

On the go? Here's some healthy snack ideas!

snacks...

finding healthy ones can sometimes be a struggle

here are some simple ideas that require little to no preparation at all

Snack Ideas

  • Banana or apple with nut butter

- 1 medium apple or banana + 2 tsp nut butter

  • Carrots and hummus

- 1/3 cup of hummus + 1 cup of carrots

  • Greek yogurt and fruit

- 5oz Greek yogurt + 3/4 cup of blueberries

  • Hardboiled eggs & avocado bowl

- 1 large egg + 1/3 avo with pepper & hot sauce

  • Multigrain chips w/ guac

- 1 serving chips + 2oz guac

  • Edamame (cold or heated) 

- 1/2 cup with garlic & light sea salt

  • Turkey & cucumber roll ups

- 2oz turkey + 1 cup of cucumber rolled

  • Rice cake w/ nut butter & coconut 

- 1 rice cake + 2 tbsp. choice of nut butter + coconut sprinkled

  • Kale or sweet potato chips

- with lemon or seasoning of choice

  • Popcorn w/ chili powder

- 2 cups + chili powder for liking

  • Baked chickpeas

- ½ cup chickpeas roasted in the oven with olive oil and topped with garlic

  • Celery sticks w/ hummus & olives

- 4 celery sticks + 1/3 cup hummus + olives per liking

  • Jicama Wraps

- 6 pieces of jicama wrapped in your choice of meat (turkey, ham, roast beef)

  • Yogurt covered fruit

- ½ cup fruits of choice dipped in yogurt & frozen over night

Please comment if you have any healthy snacks you love that I should add on here.

Enjoy!

xx Meg

International Yoga Day + Master Class with Alo Yoga

"Studio-to-street: taking the consciousness from practice on the mat and putting it into practice in life." - Alo Yoga

Master Class

June 6, 2017

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from the event coordinator and community manager at Alo Yoga, who by the way, is an absolute goddess! In the email was this attachment...

As a dedicated yogini for the past six years, you can probably imagine how excited I was to receive this message. It is not everyday you have the opportunity to come together with people that share the same passion as you. Now, thats not to say the people in my everyday classes are not passionate about yoga. It is just when you get a bunch of yoga leaders together it brings some really magical energy and fun.

Andrew Sealy lead a beautiful class that included: live music, new mats that are completely toxin-free, and a crescent moon pose that included overhead snapping. Fun huh?

The thing that is unique about this class is that it is free of any routine. Everyone moves fluidly to their our vibe and there is no method that HAS to be followed. There is instruction, but you are free to move however you feel. Everything is go with the flow... literally!!

Afterwards, there was mingling, acro yoga and beautiful eats from Nourish and Renew.  Watching different acro poses really inspired me to go outside of my yoga comfort zone. It made me realize how structured I have been in my hot yoga classes, practicing the same flows for the past six years. Then it came to me... this could be the reason I have not been able to grow into more intense level of yoga ( i.e. headstands ).

Of course I bought some things while I was there... I love Alo because their clothes are some of the only kind that fit me. Their leggings and sleeves are actually long!! & sosooo comfy & cute! 

I also learned a few things about the company that proved how unique their brand really is. 

- Alo stands for: Air, Land, & Ocean

- In efforts to try to reduce waste they only have one trashcan for their whole headquarters.

- Their mission is to bring yoga to the world and goes far beyond just selling beautiful clothing. Yoga is a lifestyle and they want to share it with everyone... just like I do!

Here are some pics:

International Yoga Day

June 21, 2017

Easily one of the best days of the year, summer solstice ! & what better way to spend it then with Alo! I was so excited to come together again with all the amazing people I had met at the master class. They decorated their already gorgeous studio beautifully and had probably twice as many people as before. 

This class went beyond just yoga teachers. There were influential people from all walks of life that were brought together to celebrate yoga, the summer solstice, and of course, international yoga day. 

This class was led by Tom Morley and included: a DJ, random dance party mid class, and partner massages to spread gratitude to one another. 

There again was mingling, acro yoga, and beautiful food from Nourish and Renew. The only difference was, that there was rosé and kombucha beer as well. Oh! & a fun photo booth. 

But the best part was....

I TRIED ACRO YOGA FOR THE FIRST TIME... thanks to Koya Webb! 

Here are some pics:

After my first time visiting Alo, I knew that they were not an ordinary sportswear brand. But it wasn't until my second visit that I really understood they're a yoga family. 

Alo truly reminded me that my passion for yoga goes far beyond the practice. The yogic lifestyle is about being healthy in everything you do, from fitness and food to relationships and mindfulness. There is so much to benefit from and there is no team out there more inspirational than Alo. 

If you are reading this and happen to be apart of the Alo team, thank you! It has truly been so much fun.

xx Meg

5-Minute Morning Oats

Looking for a quick breakfast for your early morning? Well look no further. You all know I like to keep it simple when it comes to cooking so this recipe only takes about 5 minutes!

Ingredients

** Feel free to use whatever is in your fridge, this is just what I use**

1/2 cup oats

1 tablespoon nut butter

1/2 banana 

&

small handful of granola 

Directions

add 1 cup water to oats

cook in microwave for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes

in the meantime cut up your banana or prepare your fruit

when finished take out the oats and stir

put nut butter in the microwave for 20 seconds

in the meantime put bananas and other toppings on your oats

when nut butter is finished add that on top as well

And now you've got an easy and delicious breakfast to fuel the rest of your day!

xx Meg

Top 12 Activewear Picks For Summer: Tops & Bottoms

Hello Lovers,

With Summer right around the corner, I have just been aching to buy some new activewear. I mean common... who doesn't LOVE new activewear? So, I started shopping, researching and pretty much dissecting every brand on the market. My search was very thorough and you would be surprised to know that some major brands I usually love, didn't make the list this season. If you are a fellow shopper, I hope seeing all these styles in one place will make decisions a little easier for you and your wallet. <3

Below I have organized categories by brand starting with the least expensive and moving to the more pricer options. All items can be purchased off of their e-commerce stores, and don't worry, I provide you with all the links. 

**Prices subject to change overtime**

side note: I LOVE when stores have a 'Shop Insta' section... seriously the best. 

VS SPORT

Okay so first off, I want to say that I think VS Sport is underrated. The tops are so fricken cute and most of them are under $25 dollars! Oh and this might sound weird but their bottoms range from $20-$60. Shorts are less expensive then their cute leggings. Check it out for yourself!

Tops: $25-

Bottoms: $20-$60

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

Athleta

Just a little bit more expensive than VS but still very cute! These tops are around $50 and bottoms range from $60-$80. The one thing I love about Athleta, is that they really take the time to make sure their sports bras are supportive. 

Tops: $50+

Bottoms: $60-80

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

Outdoor Voices

I love Outdoor Voices new Rose Collection. Their styles range far beyond just sports bras and leggings while still keeping a standard price range for their items.

Tops: $60

Bottoms: $80+

Scroll by clicking>>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image credit & link to collection

Beyond Yoga

Don't get me wrong I love yoga... but I feel like when it comes to yoga fashion, it is always a little more on the pricier side. The sports bras are anywhere from $60-$80, and the leggings are roughly around $100. I guess that is just the price of looking good in shavasana.

Tops: $60-$80

Bottoms: $100+

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

LILYBOD

This collection is very chic with the line patterns and looks very flattering on. Check out their Instagram for some better pictures. Sometimes models do not do justice in terms of the clothing. Pretty reasonably priced compared to the rest of the industry.

Tops: $60

Bottoms: $80

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

KORAL

I could defiantly see myself wearing these outfits to a pilates or barre class. Comfy and supportive making sure the ladies look good hehe. 

Tops: range from $60-$100+

Bottoms: $100+

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

Varley

Varley is more edgier than some of the other styles we have looked at. I feel like these pieces give off a badass vibe that I am really into.

Tops: $65

Bottoms: $100+

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

Olympia

Love Olympia right now. This line is so simple but so cute, and a lot of their tops can be multi-purposed into casual crops.

Tops: $80

Bottoms: $100

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

L'urv

Super sporty. There is just something about a nicely fit set that gives you what you need to crush your workout. We have seen some pretty typical prices with the last couple brands, so hopefully you have an idea of what activewear costs.

Tops are $80

Bottoms are $100

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

Vimmia

Pretty, but pricey. That is probably because, "VIMMIA is luxe workout wear that provides precision fits, exceptional detailing, and technical properties that include thermoregulation, moisture wicking, and improved oxygenation to muscles" according to their website.

Tops: 100+

Bottoms: $120+

Image credit & link to collection

P.E. Nation

I really love all the colors in this collection. Everything is so unique and refreshing. Although the prices are on the high end, I genuinely thought this collection would be a more expensive because it is so fab.

Tops: $60-$80

Bottoms: $100+

Scroll by clicking>>

Image credit & link to collection

ULTRACOR

& lastly, the most expensive on the list. If you're like me, you have seen a lot of this brand on social media recently, and really love it. But, sold through carbon 38 and bandier these bad boy leggings go for $185+. Apparently they have some patented engineering they use that makes their clothes fit unlike any other, but lets be honest, those prices break the bank.

Tops: $120+

Bottoms: $185+

Scroll by clicking>>

Everything You Need To Know About Using A Foam Roller

Note: I will be filming a youtube tutorial on this over summer for you all (ya girls gotta get through finals)... Here is some info in the mean time!! (:

Foam rolling… one of my favorite discoveries of my fitness career. I have always known what a foam roller is, but I never actually incorporated it into my gym routine until last summer. I now use the foam roller to warm up my legs and to massage out sore muscles.

What is a foam roller??

A foam roller is a device that helps with deep compression of the muscles. It is meant to help relax and break up tight areas… and trust me, although it can be painful at first, it is so worth it in the end. *scroll for pictures* Foam rolling can be used for warming up, or breaking down sore muscles.

The benefits?

Think performance, function, flexibility and reduced injury.

“Self-myofascial release” is the fancy term which pretty much just means a self-massage to release muscle soreness or tightness. Technically self-myofascial release can be preformed with other things besides a foam roller, such as a lacrosse ball, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on the foam roller. 

1) Increased Blood Flow

-      This comes from the myofascial release and is why I have started using the foam roller to warm me up for my cardio. It gets the blood flowing, and when your blood is flowing nutrients are being carried throughout the body.

2) Improves Movement

-      It is no secret that hydrated, loose muscles are less likely to get hurt. Your range of motion will improve with using a foam roller. This means more muscles are getting worked at any given time during your workout. Foam rolling promotes flexibility which leads to good recovery.

3) Decreased Injury Risk

-      With the increased circulation throughout your body, you are more likely to have effective workouts and less likely to hurt yourself. There is also the other end of this situation where you can use a foam roller to help with injuries as well. 

How do I use it??

Identify your target area

-       Find which area is sore, tight or achy

Apply pressure

-       Moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using your bodyweight on the roller

Roll Slowly

-       Think about an inch per second

 When you find that money spot

-       Sit your body weight on it and try to relax as much as possible. To go even deeper move back and forth, in small increments right over that spot, massaging it out nicely. (caution this will most likely be painful)

Release

-       You should start to feel the muscle loosening up

Which kind do I use??

There are a ton of different foam rollers on the market. My suggestion is if you are a part of a gym, start with the ones they have their before you buy one. (assuming they have them)

If you are new to foam rolling you are going to want to use one like this..

 

As you get more familiar and feel more comfortable you might want to move into one that is a little more intense like this..

Pic credits : Amazon

Reminders:

-       Foam rolling can make you sore… but that’s okay! It should feel like your muscles have been worked.

-       Drink plenty of water! Just like any massage you want to flush out the toxins released during this process.

-       Proceed with caution... if you over do it, you could potentially hurt yourself more than you are helping yourself.


Currently In Recovery

It's official... I have Plantar Fasciitis & acute Achilles Tendonitis ):

For those of you who do not know what these are, let me break it down for you.

Plantar Fasciitis is defined as, "one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes" according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health.

&

Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury causing pain, inflammation and or degeneration of the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. Luckily, I caught mine before it got really bad.

My personal experience

The pain started about two weeks ago and I felt like it came out of nowhere. Now looking back, I know exactly how this happened. But, I will get to that a little later in this post.

First, lets talk about what has happened since it started.

I felt a little pain on Sunday 3/26 and decided to go to yoga just to stretch it out. My Achilles was super tight (I just started a 28 day plan for myself so I had been weight training) and I thought all I needed to do was stretch. 

After yoga on Sunday, it felt better! Until I walked in business flats all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning that uncomfortable heel pain multiplied by ten. This is when I knew I had a problem. SO, channeling my inner athlete, I pulled out all the techniques I used when I sprained ankles back in my volleyball days.

For 5 days, RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). This is when I started to see a correlation with how much I walked and the level of pain in my foot (kind of obvious). Then, exactly a week after the initial pain, I finally knew what was wrong with my foot. After talking to friends and family about my symptoms, it was clear I had Plantar Fasciitis. 

The thing about this injury is that most people actually know what it is. Every time I have told someone what I have, either someone they know has had it or, they have even had it themselves. 

So I started treating myself for Plantar Fasciitis, and it has been up and down. After two weeks of self medicating (I know, I know, I should have gone to a doctor sooner) I finally went to an orthopedic specialist. She told me exactly what I already knew.  She referred me to a physical therapist here at school and my first appointment is today 4/11. 

I will be vlogging to let you all know how it goes via YouTube. The video will be up Monday and then attached to this post as well.

How did this happen?

When looking back on my schedule this semester... I run around like a crazy person. I realized that I do so much with so little down time that my foot and ankle actually gave out on me. I mean hell.. I work a job, 2 extracurriculars , an internship, am a full time student and workout when I can fit it in. NO WONDER! It is God, the stars and the universe telling me to SLOW TF DOWN WOMAN!!

What I have gotten out of this experience so far

Not really being able to walk has slowed me down more than just physically. I have had to take a step back from my crazy schedule, and am now focusing on what is most important for me, getting healthy,  Body by Meg, and you all! 

My advice for people in recovery

BE POSITIVE AND OPTIMISTIC!

By forcing myself to have a good attitude during all of this, I have, in turn, seen faster improvements. Plus, being miserable is just too easy. Take a step back, look at the situation from an outside perspective and move forward with the purpose to get better.