COLLAB WITH SNAP KITCHEN.
So I was super excited when one of my favs, Snap Kitchen, reached out about their new meal plan program and I, of course, quickly and excitedly agreed to try it out! Here are my two cents on their new program, from registering online to picking your program to what I liked and loved.
Picking a meal plan on the Snap website is about as easy as it gets. They guide you seamlessly through breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and beverage options based on your calorie, protein, carb, etc. needs. You can even choose to anywhere from three to seven days worth of goods - so nice for those weeks that you know are just going to get away from you. You're done in a cinch!
I chose Snap's "Balance" program, focused on "healthy lifestyle", and ultimately decided on three days worth of breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages - my menu looked like this...
Breakfast: Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
Lunch: Oven Baked Chicken Tenders with Turnip Mash
Snack: Barnana Coconut Bites, Jalapeno Hummus
Drinks: 1L Water, Sparkling Water
Breakfast: Banana Pancakes
Lunch: Chicken Pad Thai with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes
Snack: Blueberry RX Bar, Roasted Cashews
Drinks: 1L Water, Sparkling Water
Breakfast: Almond Butter & Jelly Oatmeal Bowl
Lunch: Turkey Chili with Beans
Snack: Ginger Greens (juice), Almond Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Ranch
Drinks: 1L Water, Sparkling Water
I chose the in-store pick-up option and it was faster than fast food. When I arrived at the store, they had a Snap bag with all of my meals ready to go in the fridge. A bright and smiley Snap expert walked me through my plan, asked if I had any questions, and I was on my way. I was in and out in under five - no complaints here!
So now to the actual food...I was anxious to try a few new options from their menu throughout the week and felt so (so!) relieved to be prepped and ready with *healthy* meals during busy few days with the house/work/life/etc. I found myself looking forward to every. single. meal. because...they were honestly really good!
My top picks overall were the banana pancakes, the chicken pad thai, and the jalapeno hummus. YUM!
So here's the bottom line - I highly recommend the Snap Kitchen meal program. If you're a regular already, why not have everything prepped and ready to go on a weekly basis? I mean...who doesn't need that? I'm so guilty of total decision paralysis when it comes to food (ask my husband...) so I love the idea of having meals I already know that I love ready and waiting and the stress of picking totally gone. And let's be honest all the stress of grocery shopping and prepping totally gone! Taste was on-point. Quality was on-point.
All at the Snap of a finger. xx C
For whatever reason, lunch is often the most difficult meal for me. The middle of the day is usually hectic and the last thing I want to do/have time to do is prep a filling and meaningful meal. In reality, I believe that breakfast and lunch are likely the most important meals of our day as food is broken down and used as energy to keep us up and moving throughout the remainder of our day. A proper lunch will also help you to avoid that 3pm crash in energy, when adequate nutrients are consumed.
I've rounded up some of my favorite mid-day meals that are easy to prep, and will keep you full and focused until dinner-time. Most of these are also great for preparing in advance and then freezing or using several times throughout the week, making time spent cooking more efficient.
I hope you enjoy! xx C
A ton more questions have come in via Instagram and submissions on the blog so I'm doing my best to round them up here.
What are your favorite fitness tools for travel?
When I'm anywhere but home, I travel with a S'well water bottle, my resistance bands (less than $12 on Amazon), and running sneakers. With these three in tow, I can get in a strength training or cardio workout in almost anywhere. I also love Popsugar's on demand workouts when I'm feeling uninspired.
What kind of "milk" do you use and why?
I prefer almond milk and 9/10 (unless I don't have access to it) use Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk. I love their flavor and all of their nut milks are carrageenan (a commonly used additive with a long list of negative side effects) free. It's also rich in calcium and has 0g of sugar. Cashew milk is another option I like in moderation. Soy milk can be high in protein, if that's your focus, but I don't personally consume soy and recommend that you look into the effects of high soy consumption before you choose this as your milk alternative. Lastly, I would say if you're looking for the cleanest option, making your own nut milk isn't too strenuous and is always delicious.
Do you use collagen and if so, have you seen dramatic results?
I incorporate collagen into my diet daily. For one, my stomach is too sensitive for most protein products on the market so collagen peptides are an easy way for me to get the protein my body needs without the added upset. In addition, I'm a firm believer in the science that supports collagen intake and what it can do for our skin, hair, nails, joints and muscles. Have I seen miraculous changes? Absolutely not but I also think that anyone who claims that have is likely full of... :D
How many hours of sleep do you aim to get a night?
I would love to say that I get 8-9 hours but it's typically get 6-7. I am a sleep LOVER but teach barre early early in the mornings so getting tons of sleep at night is hard for me. I believe that sleep is completely critical to our long-term health and I tell all of my clients to really make it a priority (yes, sometimes that means recording your shows and binging over the weekend!).
How do you get motivated to exercise every day? Especially if it's at the end of the day?
This is a tough one. My first choice is always to work out first thing in the morning but, if that's not an option, it's usually within the 4-7pm window. This. is. tough. I'll start by candidly saying that there's often a pre-workout supplement of some kind involved. Secondly, my (usually) 60 minutes of exercise is my 100% dedicated me-time and is the most rejuvenating part of my day. I've never ever felt regret after a sweat sesh, no matter what time of day. I try to remind myself of this when it feels like the weight of my body couldn't possible allow me off the couch. Even if it's 15 minutes, just do it and get it done and know you'll feel 10x better after. I also put on my work out clothes far FAR in advance so I have no excuse :-P (but who I am I kidding I live in them anyways...). I truly feel like my health and the ability to move my body is such a blessing and I don't ever want to take that for granted.
What else do you drink besides water? Sometimes I get so tired of it.
I get it! My water intake definitely outweighs everything else - but I throw iced/hot green tea, kombucha, and sparkling water (usually La Croix) into the rotation on the reg.
Do you count/track calories?
I personally do not. I've learned over time that my personality is a little too obsessive for closely tracking so I just try to keep a general tally of whats going on in my head throughout the day. My tracking is more focused on carbs, fats, proteins, fruits, veggies, etc. - I prescribe to a more intuitive style of eating, really listening to my body and eating when I feel hungry and not eating when I don't, all within reason of course. It's all about quality over quantity (whether high or low) for me.
What are your favorite athletic-wear brands?
I liiiiive in my athletic-wear so look, fit, and feel are so important to me. My staples are:
Carbon38 (use code "courtneywin50" for 20% off your next order!)
How did you get into meditating? It's so boring!
I started meditating using the Calm app and it's really changed my view of meditation. You can choose the focus of your session, they're usually pretty short, and there's constant guidance - keeping your mind active while your body find stillness. The app also has a reminder function that will go off at a certain time each day, helping you fall into a routine. For me, meditation is a super unique time of total calm and stillness, which is really difficult to find at any other time in my day, making it a critical time to reset and rejuvenate. I highly recommend it!
Okay, signing off for now...more to come later! xx C
'Tis the season of giving and I couldn't be more excited to share a few things that I'm obsessing over. (&& yes, you can also share this guide with your S.O...*hint hint*)
Gifts fall into a myriad of price ranges and categories, but ALL are perfect for promoting a little whole body health this holiday season with the people you love. They're the gifts that keep on giving...and what could be better?
H A P P Y G I F T I N G !
$10 AND UNDER
1. Amazon - Resistance Bands
2. Amazon - Motivational Grippy Socks
3. Cotton On - Scooped Mesh Tank
4. Cotton On - Essential Cap
5. Target - Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm
6. Amazon - Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder
$20 AND UNDER
1. Lululemon - Fly Away Tamer Headband
2. Cotton On - High Wasted 7/8 Yoga Pant
3. Target - Strappy Back Sports Bra
4. Amazon - URPOWER Diffuser
5. Four Sigmatic - Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix
6. Sephora - Karuna Skin Brightening Duo Mask
$50 AND UNDER
1. Target - Printed S'ip by S'well
2. JoyLab for Target - Polka Dot Cut Out Sweater
3. JoyLab for Target - Shine Tote Bag
4. Lululemon - Love Tank II
5. Vital Proteins - Collagen Peptides
6. Nest Frangrances - Holiday Classic Candle
1. Sweaty Betty - Zen 7/8 Yoga Mesh Leggings
2. Lululemon - Tied To You Sweater
3. Adidas - Ultaboost Laceless Shoes
4. Carbon 38 - Ultra Lux Knockout Print Leggings *use code courtwin50 for 20% off!*
5. Apple - Apple Watch Series 3
6. Bose - SoundSport Wireless Headphones
FOR THE GUYS
I have zero clue what took me so long to share my fav finds at Target! Anyone who knows me knows that I loooooove Target. (and Target loves me...if you know what I mean ;) ) There's a Target not far from my house and I'll often run in for cotton balls or packing tape and walk out with ten sweaters, new pajamas, bubble bath, five candles, and a snuggy. Anyone else?
In all seriousness, I mostly love that Target has taken big steps in the last few years to carry a wide variety of health lifestyle-promoting products, making them easily accessible to a wider audience. Accessibility can often be the biggest barrier to healthy living, whether it's physical distance or even cost and I believe Target is doing a great job to mitigate both of these concerns.
Here are a few of fav products below to add to your shipping list. Links to Target page included for each! xx
1. 22 Days Nutrition Plant Power Protein Bars - low cal and low sugar high plant-based protein bars that taste delicious, I often throw these in my purse for busy days or long flights (salted caramel is my fav, peanut butter comes in second!)
2. Navitas Cacao and Maca Powder - these are amazing superfoods to throw into your daily smoothie (without overhauling the taste), it's a no brainer!
3. Olly Nutrition Nourishing Protein Smoothie - another great quick plant-based protein solution, this vanilla powder tastes awesome and is even a fav of mine to bake with (they sell in individual serving packets if you want to try it out before committing to a bigger container)
4. Sip by S'Well Water Bottle - another no brainer...hydrate hydrate hydrate! always carry a water bottle with you to avoid dehydration (and then likely overeating) S'well brand has a ton of cute prints and different sizes to choose from at Target
5. Coco Community Organic Coconut Water - love downing one of these small ones (8.45 oz) after a super sweaty spin class to rehydrate, these taste the best and are the lowest in sugar I've found
6. Perfect Bars - literally perfect...I eat these all the time, they're high in protein and full of good-for-you superfood ingredients (plus no preservatives = find them in the fridge section!)
7. Archer Farms Sweet Potatoes - these pre-peeled and cubed sweet potatoes make my Sunday meal prep life so very happy, I throw them in a bowl with avocado oil + whatever seasoning I'm feeling and then oven roast them for 60min at 400 degrees
8. Simple Mills Pancake & Waffle Mix - I don't prescribe to a 100% gluten-free diet but I DO love Simple Mills products and right at the top of my list is their pancake and waffle almond-flour mix...sooooo yummy
9. TAZO Iced Lemongrass Green Tea - this saves me time and money, y'all - I make my green tea at home now vs. going to Starbucks and its JUST as yummy - such a good find!
10. bare Baked Crunchy Coconut Chips - love the crunch...these are good little sweet bites to kick a craving, also awesome for the kiddos!
It seems that people have developed some pretty strong feelings about sugar these days. Culturally, I'd say we're all in a bit of a toxic relationship with the sandy white stuff, one day we can't get enough and the next we're swearing it off for life (sound familiar?...I didn't think so ;) ).
So what gives? Why are healthy experts making such a fuss?
Before we get into the details, let's clearly define the different types of sugars-
When you hear about the negative side effects of sugars, it's generally in reference to added sugars, although naturally occurring should be monitored closely as well. Over-consumption of sugar has been linked to heart disease, liver disease, leaky gut, diabetes, certain cancers and certainly weight gain. High sugar intake even promotes chronic inflammation (see previous blog post here), which leave our bodies struggling to defend and protect from foreign invaders.
While the warning signs are very much so out there in the open, as of last year the average American still consumed 94g of added sugar per day despite recommended intake being 24g for women or 36g for men daily. Each gram of sugar we consume carries 4 calories, meaning a possible hundreds of extra calories per week/thousands per month/etc. Let's be straight though, this isn't about calorie counting it's about finding a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable in the long-term. And 94g of sugar per day just isn't going to cut it...
Sugars are super sneaky and find their way into processed foods, salad dressings and beverages of all shapes and sizes (it's not just cookies and candies!). With over 50% of the average American's total calorie intake coming from processed foods it's no wonder that added sugars are at the front line of our diets and of our conversations.
Sugar can be labeled as any of the below in packaged foods, drinks and dressings-
So what now?
My intention here is not to scare you or to force you into or out of consuming anything, but it is to provide you with information that might promote you to make better informed decisions about your diet and to encourage you to do some research of your own.
As in all things, balance is K E Y . I am all about living the 90/10 rule and letting myself enjoy a sweet treat (or some queso...) every now and then. Our bodies are so unique and each of our needs are so different. Be intuitive about your eating and do what feels right for Y O U - no one else can mandate what that looks or feels like. Knowledge is power and your health is YOUR responsibility. So, the more you know...!
With electronics constantly at our fingertips, I think its important that we find ways to utilize technology for good. Don't get me wrong, I love scrolling Instagram as much as the next person but it's not always good for the brain, the body, or the self confidence. Our culture drives an "always on" mentality which can be detrimental to our health and happiness. Researchers say the brain releases dopamine in response to screen-time, leaving us wanting more and even feeling sad or depressed when we are digitally-deprived.
So am I recommending we all throw our phones in a creek? Absolutely not. That's neither realistic nor productive. I've rounded up my favorite health-promoting apps to help you find your "best you" (and maybe even a little zen) right from the convenience of your device.
I love to hear from you! Let me know what you think if you decide to try any these. As in all things, balance is key. Even though these are Wingspan approved, I also recommend putting the phone away and take time to truly be present, wherever and with whoever you might be, every now and then.
Sending tons of love and good vibes. xx
One of my favorite things about smoothies is that they're a super super quick way to pack in a ton of nutrients. People often throw around the word "meal replacement", which I understand the concept of, but actually don't love. I think that instead of "replacing" a "meal" we should be looking for quick solutions or clean-ingredient products that we can use as meals and incorporate into our busy schedules. Smoothies fill this need for me, in a big way.
So if we're using smoothies as one of our precious meals in a day, then what should we be including? As you all probably know from friends, magazines, or social media there are a LOT of ways to enhance your blended drink to make it a superfood boost.
Today I want to focus on what vegetables I find easiest to include and why. People typically gravitate towards fruits when they start throwing things into the blender, making our drinks sweet, dessert like (which who doesn't want this!?), and sometimes high in sugar (yes, it's natural sugar but can still effect people with certain health conditions). So how can you amp up your next fruit smoothie? Blend in those veggies, baby!
Here are my go to's-
The best part about my veggie friends listed above? You won't even taste them in your smoothies. When mixed in with your fav fruits and supplements the flavor is almost lost but the benefit is not. This trick will help you get those servings of veggies blended (literally) seamlessly into your daily diet, and at all and any hours of the day. I call that a win win win.
Try adding one of the above into your next smoothie and let me know what you think.
Happy blending! xx
The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is upon us and it's a great time to stock up on discounted athletic wear.
I've rounded up my favorite finds from this year's sale below. I typically stick to a few main colors for my workout attire so that its easy for me to grab and go when I'm getting ready - this way (almost) everything matches. #heightoflaziness I'm loving the blacks, grays, (always love these) and light pinks this year and there's a LOT to love. Let's be real though, can you ever have "too much" athleisure? I think not!
Happy happy shopping!
1. Cherish Wrap Cardigan by Zella
2. Tubular Viral 2 Sneaker by Adidas
3. Juvenate SE Sneaker by Nike
4. Knock Out High Waist Legging by Zella
5. Autumn High Waist Moto Legging by Zella
6. Hatha High Waist Crop Legging by Zella
7. Power Racerback Tank by Zella
8. Neo Knit Jacket by The North Face
9. Originals Trefoil Logo Relaxed Fit Tank by Adidas
10. Max Bomber Jacket by Zella
11. Top Speed Tee by Zella
12. Illusion Sports Bra by Zella
*items numbered left to right and top to bottom
My beloved Trader Joe's (and how cute is this one?).
I'm constantly on rotation between groceries and this stop is a staple in my routine. I love the variety that TJ's has to offer plus with competitive pricing it's hard to beat.
Here's a quick look at some of my fav finds!
1. Chili Spiced Mangos - I'm a total sucker for dried fruit and I love the chili spice as a twist on a classic. I usually divvy these up into ziploc baggies so they're quick to grab and take with me on busy day.
2. Dried Pineapple Rings - I told you :). These are seriously like dessert for me and have no added sugar. Plus who doesn't need an extra kick of fiber?
3. Apple Cider Vinegar - K, so if you haven't already heard...ACV is really gut for your gut (+more!). Click here for some of it's top uses. Basically, you need this!
4. Everything but the Bagel Seasoning Blend - Honestly, who even needs a bagel when you have this stuff on hand? Sprinkle it on your avo toast, on your protein - its super versatile and will enhance the flavor of whatever gets a little sprinkle.
5. Organic Trek Mix, Simple Cashew, Almond + Cranberry - As much as I will ALWAYS want the one with the PB cups in it (insert eye roll emoji), this is my go to Trek Mix from TJ's. There are definitely other good options, just watch for sneaky sugars!
6. RX Bars - There are a LOT of protein bar options at TJ's but these have the cleanest (and shortest) ingredient list, which is a huge seller for me. You'll always find one of these in my gym back as emergency fuel.
7. Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Quinoa and Wheatberry Salad - Trader Joe's has a pretty expansive section of pre-made food options that are great for guys and gals on the go. This is my favorite salad from this section.
8. Sparkling Lime Water - I don't drink alcohol so I love treating myself to a bubbly drink with dinner and sparkling lime water is my go to! They make these in a smaller size as well but either way the TJ's brand is really good value.
9. Whole Wheat Lavash - Give this a try and it will become a staple in your diet! It's fantastic for sandwiches, flat breads, pizzas, dippers...the list goes on. It gets really crunchy when you broil (which I love) and doesn't have an overbearing flavor or calorie count.
10. Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage - I love these because they're great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can throw them in an omelet, over a salad or serve them whole with veggies/a salad. These are even Mr. Wingspan approved! :)