Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes + Strawberry Frosting

This past Saturday was my birthday and holy hell did I have a lot of fun. Kyle took me to True Food Kitchen for brunch and I had quite possible the greatest chicken sausage patties of my life. I'm determined to recreate it. Oh, and I also got a yummy gluten free blueberry muffin! Because, birthday. After that, we did a scavengery hunt type thing through Urban Adventure Quest that led us all around downtown in and out of buildings and places that I probably never would have visited otherwise (like the Tiffany dome!) I loved it! We hung by the pool for a bit before heading back to our old 'hood to go out. I had grand plans for Sunday in the recipe testing and food photography world but I had about 22 too many frosés to make that happen. Instead, I watched about 14 hours of Flea Market Flip. Super productive, I know. I did eventually get a couple recipes cracked out... including these bad boys!

Beat the Blues with these Exercises

The health benefits of exercise are numerous. It improves your heart health which can combat all manner of diseases, it keeps your lungs healthy, improves your energy levels and so much more. But what you might not realize is that exercise can have a massive effect on your mental state as well. When we’re feeling down we often decide that laying on the sofa in our pyjamas and eating junk food is the solution. The truth is, feeling sorry for yourself is just going to make you feel worse. Getting up and doing some exercise is a much more effective way to battle the blues. Some exercises are better than others when it comes to boosting your mood so have a look at this list of the best ones.

Fun Ways to Shed the Pounds

When people think about losing weight, they often think what a long and difficult road they have ahead of them. They choose to focus on the intense workout sessions and strict diets and often become disheartened. And while there is no doubt that losing weight takes a great deal of motivation and commitment, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun while you are doing it! In fact, if you can build in some fun activities into your workout regime, you are much more likely to keep at it and achieve your goals. So, let’s take a look at just a few ways that you can lose weight that you may actually enjoy as well!

Free + Cheap First Visit Fitness Classes in Chicago

One of my favorite aspects about living in Chicago is the access there is to a huge variety of fitness studios and classes. I absolutely love trying out new studios and finding workouts and instructors I love. But it can get expensive. I don't have tons of money to spend each month, so I want to make sure my money is well spent. I decided that before I commit to a monthly membership or class package at a studio, I wanted to be able to test the gym out. I've found most studios offer specials for first timers/new clients. By testing out new studios for free or cheap, I've found places and workouts that I truly LOVE. I'm sharing the deals I've found so you can find your favorites workouts too!

Fitness & Weight Loss Myths Busted!

Given the size of the weight loss and fitness industries, it’s no surprise that there’s more than a few falsehoods floating around out there. We all want to look better and feel fitter, which unfortunately means there are plenty of people looking to cash in on this desire - even if it means filling the general space with misrepresentations of the facts. All of this has a tendency to complicate the already-complex world of trying to lose weight and get in shape. There’s a lot of “commonly accepted” knowledge that’s pretty much anything but accurate - which can make it tough to know how to get things right.

Stop Putting Your Hectic Schedule Before Your Health

Far too many of us put our hectic schedules before our health when we shouldn’t do. The problem is that it feels like our work is stacked on top of us, which is why we focus on that rather than on looking after ourselves. The issue is that it’s a catch 22 situation: you know that you need to look after yourself better by staying active and putting the right food into your body, but you’re so stressed out from work that you struggle to think about that. It might be a stressful situation but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that is, that it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to find the perfect balance and ensure that neither your health or your career sufferers because of it. 

Steps to Take Before Starting an Intense Exercise Program

Exercise is always a good thing and it is never too late to start. You can pick up an exercise routine at any age and in any state of health but it is important that you select one that is right for you. If you have any medical conditions you should discuss your plans with your doctor before you start.

To get the most out of your new exercise routine and to give yourself the best chance of keeping it up there are a few preparations that you should make.

Stop Underestimating Breakfast

It doesn’t matter what you’ve got planned for your day. Maybe you’re going to spend the morning working out. Maybe you’ve got an essay or a blog article to write. Maybe you’re simply going to work. It doesn’t matter. Whatever you’re doing is going to require some physical energy and brainpower. If you haven’t fueled your body and mind with a good breakfast, then you’re probably not going to be meeting your full potential.

Gluten Free Mixed Berry + Pistachio Crumble

It's entirely possible that I have already eaten my weight in berries this summer. Every time I go grocery shopping they catch my eye and I feel like they are basically staring into my soul. They're so fresh and juicy this time of year that it's hard to resist. Especially when Whole Foods is marking their organic strawberries on sale every other week. I am perfectly content eating berries on their own (who isn't?) but I really wanted to create a gluten free dessert to use them in. Better yet, a dessert that could use a combination of fruit. Because who really wants to decide between blueberries and raspberries? Not me!