The Rungry Health Coach

Why You Should Eat the Yolks

During the 1990s, we waged an all-out war on fat.

Fat was the enemy. Fat was causing us to become obese, and ruining our health. Fat was clogging our arteries and raising our cholesterol. Soon, fat was omitted from cheeses, yogurts and every snack in between. We were told we needed more carbs and egg white were delicious. 

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Commonly-eaten foods were soon off limits, and were subsequently replaced with processed foods loaded up with sugars, salts and additives because they were lacking in fat. 

At the center of this war, was the lowly little egg. The white orb had been the center of controversy for some time, but this recent war on fat seemed to finally tarnish its reputation as being healthy. Yolks were full of fat and "bad cholesterol," so it was assumed that they would lead to our poor health. 

What we weren't told is that the egg yolk is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and should not be avoided. Healthy fats are needed in our diet for everyday functioning, and those yolks are important. 

When you're whipping up your next omelette, keep these considerations in mind. 

The yolk is full of dietary cholesterol, and that's a good thing. The bulk of an egg's cholesterol is found in the yolk, but dietary cholesterol does not pose a big threat to our health. What does make our  blood cholesterol skyrocket are foods containing trans and saturated fats. (High cholesterol is linked to conditions like heart disease.) Dietary cholesterol, such as what is found in eggs and meat, is needed to regulate our testosterone. Plus, the cholesterol in eggs actually helps lower LDL, or "bad cholesterol."

Many essential vitamins and minerals are found within the yolk. That little yellow dot within the white holds more than a pop of color. Within that splotch of yellow is nearly every essential vitamin and mineral our body needs. Yolks are one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D, and carry many B vitamins. Plus, the whole egg contains a protein punch--seven grams. 

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They're an easy and versatile food. Eggs can do it all. When they're not scrambled up next to a stack of whole-grain toast, they're sitting in a rich and bubbling tomato sauce. Eggs can be prepared in a number of ways--from boiling to poaching--and are great for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. The trick is in preparation. If you're going to fry your eggs, choose a quality cooking liquid like coconut oil, grass-fed butter or olive oil. If you've learned a lower-in-fat diet works for you, you can always poach or hard-boil them. 

You can tell a lot about a chicken from the yolk. After you've cracked your egg, analyze the yolk. Is it a murky yellow or a vibrant orange? The brighter and more orange the color, the healthier (and happier) the chicken. Free-range, organic eggs have been tested to be more nutritious than their conventionally raised counterparts. When fed a diet of corn feed, chickens can accumulate high pesticide levels from the feed itself--and usually the feed is made from genetically modified corn (GMOs). In an ideal world, the chickens are roaming around and able to forage for their food--that's what makes the yolks a deep orange.

And last but not least, brown eggs are no healthier than white eggs. Brown eggs just come from brown chickens. (I still have yet to figure out why some eggs are blue-ish, however.)

Need some new ways to whip up eggs? Check out my recipes

The Rungry Health Coach

8 Tips to "Healthify" Cozy Meals

As the mercury lowers, we all crave warm, stick-to-your-ribs meals. Mac and cheese, saucy noodles, chunky stews--they all foot the bill of comfort. Despite their popularity, these meals are often caloric bombs--full of calories that offer little nourishment.

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That doesn't mean you have to stop eating them, however.

These kinds of meals-curries, noodle dishes, soups and stews--can still rotate into your weekly meal plan, and you can feel good about serving them. All it takes is a new mindset and a few tweaks to amp up the nourishment in your favorite meals.
  1. Invest in a spiralizer. A spiralizer is a unique kitchen appliance that can turn your favorite fruits and vegetables into noodles (think zucchini, apple, potato, etc.). These noodles can then be easily substituted into your favorite recipes. While they don't strictly replace pasta, they're great at getting more nutrients into one meal.
  2. Reduce the cheese. Many recipes call for a lot of cheese, so try simply reducing the amount used. To boost health benefits, purchase cheeses made from organic milk (if it's available to you).
  3. Or, make your own non-cheese cheese sauce. Yes, that's a thing. Using a high-speed blender, you can make flavorful cream sauces using ingredients like white beans, soaked cashews, non-dairy milk or steamed cauliflower. (I've even seen queso made from eggplant.)
  4. Sneak in more greens. Greens like kale, spinach or arugula are incredibly versatile. They can easily be added to stews, soups and curries just before serving. Or, you can always add a bed of greens underneath your warm meal. The heat of your meal with naturally wilt your greens. 
  5. Stuff it full of veggies. This should come as no surprise, but add in extra vegetables into your favorite cozy recipes. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and sweet potato are all great additions to curry. Vegetable soups can be made with any veggies--the more the merrier! (And of course, opt for organic if possible.)
  6. Blend to create a natural thickener. We are drawn to these meals because not only are they comforting, they're thick and delicious. Thickeners like milk or flour usually get the job done, but you can try pureeing about 1/3 of your soup in a high-speed blender--before you add more tender vegetables like greens, peas or corn. Return the puree back into the soup and stir. 
  7. Use real butter. If you're going to use butter, use high-quality butter or ghee made from happy cows. Friends don't let friends use margarine--an extremely processed food made with hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  8. Use warming spices. If you're feeling cold, add more warming spices to your recipes. Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cloves, cumin and more offer a host of benefits. Including adding a natural warming sensation in the body, these spices have anti-inflammatory benefits and hare full of anti-oxidants. 
Want more cozy meal ideas? Check out these recipes!

The Rungry Health Coach

What Are Healthy Fats

Fat gained a bad rap in the 1990s. It was during that time we were all lead to believe that fat made us fat. There was an influx of fat-free products and for years, many people bought into this myth.

We became more concerned with a product's fat content than its ingredient list. When a company removes fat, it often replaces it with processed sugars and other ingredients.

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But, we were lied to. We need fat to function. A diet rich in healthy fats can help prevent heart disease, keep hunger at bay, regulate blood sugar, and help some vitamins dissolve in the body. Fats are also needed in hormone regulation.

Are you a gym rat looking to improve strength and gain muscle? Eat more fat. Fats can elevate growth hormones, and speed up recovery time in between workouts. 

Looking to ease the symptoms of PMS or menopause? Eat more fat. Because fats help regulate hormones, they're ideal at establishing balance in the body. It also helps boost labido. (Bow chicka wow wow.....)

When it comes to things like yogurt or ice cream, fats provide the velvety mouth feel we've come to associate with both of these. Fats make things creamy and dreamy. 

There are fats that are better for us: omega-3, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. Despite this rage in low-fat diets, many people started eating the wrong kinds of fats--omega-6 and trans fats. These kinds of fats increase inflammation, and are often found in vegetable oils. (Think of all the fried food we consume as a nation....)

When consumed in too high of quantities, omega-6 fatty acids can block the positive health effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids have been linked to cancer, arthritis and inflammatory diseases.  

So, what healthy fats should you add into your diet?
  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil/Avocado Oil
  • Coconut (Oil, Flour, Flakes, Shreds)
  • Fatty Fish
  • Nuts/Nut Butters
  • Seeds
  • High-quality red meats
Aim for a healthy fat at every meal and snack. Avocados pair wonderfully with eggs, and make luscious additions to smoothies. Hemp seeds can easily be sprinkled on salads, added in smoothies, or make a creamy base for dressings. Change out your cooking oil from vegetable/canola oil to olive or coconut oil. 

If you feel constantly hungry or unsatisfied after a meal, lower your consumption of carbs and add in a bit more fat. A healthy combination of fats, proteins and carbs should keep you full for hours until your next nosh. 

Experiment with how much fat you eat. Some people function very well on a high-fat, low-carb diet. However, when you're transitioning to eating more fat, you may feel some symptoms of your body adjusting. Brain fog, dizziness and headaches are all common as you transition to a higher-fat diet, for about two weeks. 

Want to learn more about fats and how they could affect you? Send me an email


The Rungry Health Coach

How to Prepare for Fall Running

Fall differs in so many parts of the country, but as autumn rolls on into winter, what seems consistent is the weather's inconsistency. 

It's cool (sometimes frosty or snowy!) in the mornings, and it tapers off to a mild heat in the afternoons. It may be breezy, or cloudy, or sunny, or rainy, or all of the above at the exact time.

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This can make it hard to figure out what to wear for your run during the fall season. Runs lasting longer than two hours make is specifically difficult to plan ahead, because the temperature starting your run definitely won't be the same when you end.

  1. Check weather reports. This may seem like a no-brainer, but check the weather reports as your run approaches. Depending on both your schedule and the local weather report, you may need to switch around your run. Maybe you become a lunch-time runner, or morning runner. Maybe, you sleep in and run at night. 
  2. Dress in layers. Your arms, chest and hands can't tolerate cold as best as lower extremities, so consider wearing a base layer with a long-sleeve on top. Mid-length leggings for women are also a good option. If it becomes too hot during your run, you can easily remove the top. (You probably shouldn't remove your pants.)
  3. Wear a ball cap. Ball caps are great at both keeping the sun off your face and retaining some heat on your head.
  4. Wear bright colors. As the season drums on, keep track of time. Sunrise is later and sunset is earlier--meaning that's a whole lot of darkness. If you're running during a time when the sun is not out, be prepared and wear bright or reflective clothing. Bonus if you have a running light or vest.
  5. Consider doing a warm-up. Prior to venturing out on your run, bundle up and head outside. Do a quick jog around your block just to warm yourself up. Return home, strip off your unneeded layers, and carry on with the rest of your run. This tip can easily transition you into winter running. 
The weather may not be cooperating, but with the changing leaves and milder temperatures, it's too pretty outside to pass up. 

Need more running tips? Check these out!

The Rungry Health Coach

The Emotional Side of Counting Macros

Proteins, carbohydrates and fats (macronutrients) are the building blocks of a healthy diet. Dietitians, nutritionists, doctors and personal trainers often recommend eating a certain ratio of the three to meet nutritional goals.

For athletes, counting macros and calories is a tool to ensure the proper foods are eaten in helpful ratios to ensure muscle recovery and growth, and fat loss. 

I started counting my macros because I wanted to change my body composition. I enrolled the help of a dietitian, and gave her full disclosure about my disordered-eating past. I was hesitant about tracking my intake via an app, but I understood it would get me one step closer to reaching my goal. 

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My dietitian calculated what percentages of foods I needed to eat to meet my goals and to fuel my active lifestyle. I began to track and saw some results within the first few weeks. But, soon after, things became stagnated. My dietitian kept tweaking my ratios, I kept eating to meet those numbers and my body composition didn't budge.

I also became addicted to my tracking app. I was tracking my meals while cooking, and preparing for a new day by planning my macros and meals ahead of time. 

After doing this for over six months, I saw how unnatural counting macros was. While it may work for some people (body builders), counting macros is completely unnatural. 

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It also takes a lot of mental energy to continually track what goes on your plate and into your mouth. Eating an extra apple earlier in the day may throw off your macro count later in the afternoon. Guilt may set in. You shouldn't feel guilty for eating an apple. I'll repeat...YOU SHOULDN'T FEEL GUILT FOR EATING AN APPLE. 

The amount of fat you ingest at breakfast will dictate what dinner looks like. A higher-calorie lunch may throw off dinner. What happens if lunch isn't satisfying enough, and you need an extra snack. What will the rest of macro tracking look like for the day?

Counting macros also changes recipes. If you spend a lot of time fixating on nutritional information, you start to believe you can make a recipe differently. And so, you do. You later the sugar content to reduce the amount of carbs and added sugars. You decrease the amount of oil and add some extra applesauce...all in the name of making a recipe fit your macros. This alters taste, texture, and the end result. It also enables you to focus too much on ratios and not the overall taste of the end product. 

And going out to eat is next to impossible. 

For individuals who struggle with disordered eating, counting macros can be another form of food fear. It's this controlled environment where many of these individuals feel safest. While it may feel justifiable to track these macronutrients, it may be time to analyze what's the root cause of these feelings. 
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All of these considerations becomes exhausting. When you add in all the time glued to the fitness app, it takes up a lot of time and emotional energy.

The body is a remarkable computer and knows what it needs. Proper signalling can tell you when you're hungry, when you're craving fats or when your body is need of extra carbohydrates. 

To learn what ratios work best for you, you need to be willing to experiment. Some individuals thrive on a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet, while others need the complete opposite. Or, maybe you feel your best when you rotate higher-fat to higher-carbohydrate days. Your exercise habits also play a factor into this equation. Long-distance runners need carbs, and body builders need carbs and adequate protein to build muscle.

I now wish I could unlearn the calorie, fat and protein contents of certain foods. As I reach for a hard-boiled egg, or scoop myself a cup of yogurt, the calorie designation is ingrained in my head. Calories matter, sure, but they're not the whole picture. Ingredients matter more.

Ready to reevaluate your relationship with food? Send me an email to set up a consultation today. 

The Rungry Health Coach

Five Foods to Crowd Out

Do you reach for a pop (or do you call it soda?) everyday? Do you love rich chocolatey treats, snack cakes or a beefy burger? What unhealthy foods commonly find themselves in your weekly diet? 

What were to happen if you removed them?

When people try "dieting," they often feel deprived of these foods and more. But, that's why diets don't work--deprivation. Fixation occurs and after not having a favorite food for so long, the mind snaps and a binge occurs. It's a vicious cycle, but successful weight loss-and the associated perks thereof--is based on sustainable healthy habits. 

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Instead of depriving yourself, switch your line of thinking to crowding out. Fill your diet with so many great-tasting foods that you'll completely forget about your old habits. 

We spend most of our lives trying to "fit in," and now we're going to "fit out." 

These are five common snacks and drinks that people have a hard time removing from their diet. Instead of removing them, just swap them for a more natural alternative! 

  1. Pop/Soda--Maybe you love the bubbles, the caffeine or the sweet taste, but the sugar-laden beverage offers zero health benefits. Before you pop the tab of your next can, try drinking a kombucha, bubbly seltzer water, fruit-infused water or maybe brewing some tea. While these are acquired tastes, your body will slowly adjust to their flavors. (They also have great health benefits!) Find a new beverage you love and use it as a replacement for your beloved soda.
  2. Beefy Burgers & Fries--There is nothing wrong with a quality burger--beef or otherwise. However, when your burger is coming from the drive thru of a local fast food chain and looks like a sad brown patty in between two floppy pieces of bread, that's when there is a problem. Replace your burger with a homemade burger made from organic, grass-fed meats. Organic meats taste better and are free of antibiotics often found in factory meat. Or, give homemade bean burgers a try. Instead of a white bun, try a whole-grain option, or place your burger on a salad. (Sweet potatoes also make great buns!) As for the fries, try baking sweet potato rounds or sticks in your own kitchen. Other vegetables that would make great replacement fries include beets, zucchini, turnips, parsnips, celariac and other root veggies. (And ditch the ketchup. Make your own using organic tomato paste and spices.)
  3. Chocolate--A healthy diet and lifestyle can absolutely contain chocolate. But, dark chocolate, made with 72 percent or higher of cacao is best. (Cacao is loaded with health benefits, and is cold-pressed. Cocoa is pressed at high heats eliminating any health benefits.) Also, read the ingredients and ensure there are no artificial ingredients. Stay away from white sugars, soy additives or milk. And when you find your perfect bar, try eating just a small square during one sitting. Savor it. 
  4. Brownies/Cakes/Cookies--Offices are notorious for having some kind of sugary baked good in the break room. When you're feeling low on energy, these options look good. But before you dive in, try picking up a granola or protein bar. These bars often rival the flavors of your favorite treat and offer a host of benefits. But, before you grab any bar that's 'cake batter' flavor, read the list of ingredients. Stay away from long lists of ingredients you cannot pronounce or any bar that contains more than 15 grams of sugar. Stick to bars that use whole foods and natural sweeteners. 
  5. Coffee Drinks--Coffee stirs up controversy every year. Is it healthy? Is it unhealthy? While coffee does offer health benefits, look inside your cup and analyze what's going into it. Are you addicted to the caffeine or the sugar that's hidden inside? Instead of pumping your daily cup full of sugar and dairy milk, try making your own latte at home. There you can control what exactly goes into it--pumpkin spice/real pumpkin, turmeric, nut milk, maple syrup, Ceylon cinnamon,...all of these ingredients can be found an retail grocer stores, and all of these offer a nutritional punch.
Need even more ideas and tips like this? Send me an email and we can work together! 


The Rungry Health Coach

In Defense of Ugly Produce

When you're surrounded by identical-in-length cucumbers, and tomatoes all of the same size and color, can be easy to forget that food isn't naturally magazine pretty. Fresh fruits and veggies are meant to have knobs, blemishes and odd growths. It's pretty common to see a lumpy carrot, a U-shaped cucumber or a bell pepper that's curved. There are some vegetables that come in two or three color tones, and many fruit and veggie varieties come in different sizes. 

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Pretty fruits and vegetables are a leading cause of food waste. People have become conditioned to expecting picture-perfect food--and both farmers and grocers have noticed. Six billion pounds of edible fruits and vegetables are wasted each year because they weren't pretty enough.

Let's repeat that again....

Six billion pounds of edible produce is tossed every year. 

Often times, the ugly produce doesn't even make on the truck to the grocer. It's left in the fields to rot. (Then also consider how much food is wasted because it isn't sold.)

So, what can you do about it?

Many non-profit organizations are siding with cosmetically-challenged fruits and veggies, and finding unique ways to get them into your fridge. There are a variety of delivery services that will send you weekly boxes of less-than-pretty foods. 

Visit your farmers' markets. When you shop local, it also helps. When you support your local farmer at the farmers' market or farm stand, you're buying directly from the farmer. Much of their bounty is imperfect and equally as tasty as its grocery counterpart. 

To reduce your food waste even more in the kitchen, meal plan. Meal planning keeps you and your family on track. When you plan a week's worth of meals and write down the necessary ingredients, you're stopping yourself from buying extra food that would ultimately get pitched. 

If you do buy extra, freeze it. 

If you want to stop the waste of vegetable scraps, freeze the scraps in plastic bags. Scraps like carrot peels, lettuce leaves, onion skins, etc., can all be saved and boiled down into a tasty veggie broth. 

As you shop the produce aisles, don't bypass the ugly or bruised fruits and vegetables. They're still edible, still flavorful and want to be eaten. 




The Rungry Health Coach

When You Have An Unhealthy Relationship with Running

My body was out of sync after six years of beating it to a pulp. I was tired and emotionally drained. My legs needed a break as did my mind. I needed to stop racing and reflect if running was truly right for me. So, I went into racing retirement. Read More

The Rungry Health Coach

The Importance of Being a Leader

We all have the power to be a leader.

When you pick up a dumbbell, lace up your running shoes, prepare roasted veggies or opt for a salad over french fries somebody is taking notice. Maybe it's the waitress, your spouse or a child, someone is watching you make healthy decisions. And, the more they witness you choosing the more nourishing option, the more prone they may be to choose this healthy path, too.

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It's not our job to change someone's mind (unfortunately), and we can't force them to eat kale (unfortunately). We can't dictate what someone does to their own body. But we can lead by example. 

Be a leader in your own life, and show both your body and others respect. 

Go to the gym. Pick up weights. Quit smoking. Lace up running shoes and pound the pavement. Eat veggies and eschew processed foods. Make all these healthy decisions and more--as all of these are ways to be an influencer.

Many people struggle with getting their partners to eat healthy. But the more you prepare your ideal meals and head to the gym, the more exposure they get to a healthy lifestyle. When they're ready to learn more and make a change, they'll contact you. They will see you as a leader. 

Soon, you'll be surrounded by more individuals who cherish their bodies and share your same desire to live a happy and balanced life. And subsequently, it will be easier to reach all of your health goals, as you will have the support of so many new people. 

Need some help along this healthy path? Set up a free health consultation today

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The Rungry Health Coach

13 Tips to Stay Healthy (And Sane) on Vacation

When we schedule a vacation-regardless if we travel to a white sandy beach or just travel a few hours away by car--we're carving out some time to relax and recharge. We go into that break hoping to decompress and get away from stress. A vacation is a well-deserved break and a form of self-care.
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So, why on a vacation would you stop your healthy routines? So often, vacations are associated with gluttony--imbibing in one too many drinks or chowing down on baskets of greasy foods. And, when you come back from your restful time away, many feel bloated, uncomfortable and that their mind is in a fog. A souvenir some people get while on vacation is regret. 

Just like any balanced lifestyle, there is room for a drink, a sweet treat or a new-to-you food. Vacation is a way to treat your body with rest and respect, so continue respecting your body with healthy and nourishing food choices. By eating well and moving your body daily, you can fully reap the rewards of your vacation and return home feeling cleansed--not regretful. 

  1. Find a hotel with a kitchenette, microwave or fridge. Or, if you're able to, rent out a small apartment or room. This will give you access to a way to store and cook your own food in the comfort of your own space. 
  2. Bring your own foods. Snacks for the plane or car trip are always a necessity, but bring some extra foods to eat throughout the trip. Pack pre-made packets of oatmeal that only need water for simple cooking. Protein bars are great in times of a bout of hunger. (You can also bring your favorite tea packets, spices, or even a small blender!)
  3. Seek out a grocery store. Around your accommodations, find the nearest grocery store and shop there soon after your arrival. Dedicate one daily meal to eat in your room and buy appropriate groceries for it. (This is also a great way to save money!)
  4. Don't forget to eat vegetables. Whether it be snacking on carrot sticks or eating salads at restaurants, vegetables are full of fiber and nutrients (but you knew that already). For salads, hold off on creamy dressings or croutons, but stick to simply-prepared salads.
  5. Enjoy regional treats and eats. Many cities and cultures are known for their culinary creations, so do enjoy some of the local offerings. (But be mindful. Maybe you don't need to eat the regional dessert every night, and maybe you don't need the fish and chips basket every afternoon.)
  6. Drink lots of water. Dehydration can occur while you're en route to your destination and it can be easy to forgo water in place of fruity drinks. Pack a waterbottle with you and keep it with you throughout the trip. 
  7. Eat until your 80 percent full. It takes your stomach and brain about 20 minutes to communicate with each other to realize they're full. While you're eating, listen to your body and how full it is becoming. Stop eating just as you start to feel full. Leaving this extra 20 percent stops you from overeating and from getting uncomfortably full. If you turn how to be hungry an hour or so after mealtime, get a little snack. 
  8. Keep eating real food. New countries and cultures have their own candies, snacks, drinks, etc. But, just like the ones you find in your local grocery store, they are often riddled with processed ingredients. Stay away from them and stick to eating whole, natural and real foods. 
  9. Find a local farmers' market. Many foreign cities have notable markets full of fresh fruits, veggies, local foods and other mouth-watering options. They are often great places to grab a healthy snack or a full meal. If a market is available, check it out! Even if you don't eat, markets are a fun way of soaking up culture. 
  10. Skip the alcohol. Alcohol affects everyone a little differently, but it warps how we think and act. Mixed drinks contain extra sugars and calories. If you really want a drink, have one and savor it.
  11. Don't skip breakfast. That first meal of the day sets the tone. Have a filly and nutrient-rich breakfast complete with carbs, proteins and fats to keep you fueled for your day of exploring. 
  12. Do something active everyday. Find a local hiking trail, plan a walking/running tour, or bring your workout clothes for a daily sweat session--moving while on vacation can go a long way to keep you sane, healthy and happy. If your hotel doesn't have a gym, find a local park and do a high-intensity workout using only your bodyweight. (Many bodyweight exercises can also be done in the comfort of your own room/home!)
  13. Keep technology to a minimum. It's tempting to capture every image of vacation and then post it to our favorite social media spots. But, take this vacation as a time away from tech and enjoy the people and sites around you.
Apply some or all of these tips to your next getaway and see how you feel upon your return. If you return feeling inspired, nourished and energetic, then your vacation truly did what it was intended to do. 

Prepare for your next trip with these great snack ideas

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