Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Morning: I Spy Autumn


It's Saturday morning and Sage is napping.  My husband just made french toast and now we're relaxing before our boy wakes up.  As soon as he's up it's go, go, go!  He was up bright and early this morning.  I made my shake and Sage had toast and blackberries.  We played with his toys for a bit and then took off for a morning walk.

I didn't realize fall had made an appearance until I looked at this photo.  Check out those leaves!  I love fall.  It's by far my favorite time of year so this gets me so excited.  Last fall I was off work on my maternity leave.  So many mornings Sage and I enjoyed the autumn beauty.  Boy has he grown from this picture taken a year ago.

So the fact that I know fall is around the corner makes me want to start diving into what I consider fall recipes.  I'm not quite ready for pumpkin, but butternut squash here I come!  I really don't reserve butternut squash just for this time of year, but I see it a lot more in recipes around now.  

Oh, and if you haven't made this recipe for butternut squash alfredo yet, it's a must!  Best part is you just store the sauce in the fridge and can whip up a quick delicious dinner on a busy night.  I'm a big fan of pasta when the weather turns cold.  We aren't there yet, but I'm gearing up.

Today my parents are dropping their two little dogs off at our house because they have a wedding to go to.  Sage loves the dogs so they will be his entertainment for the afternoon.  

In other news, there's been some fun packages arriving at our door lately.  Even Jax looks excited, right?  If you missed my last post, check out this awesome opportunity coming your way in September.  I'm also planning on hosting a 7 Day Clean Eating Challenge that will be FREE to all of you!  More details on that to come.  I use Facebook as my main way of spreading the word.  I also posted a few videos last week on simple dinners.  Visit my page so we can stay connected!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

What recipe do you associate with fall?

Is it starting to look like autumn by you?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Join the Fun as Autumn Arrives

Hi there!

I wanted to share something very exciting with you...

I’m running my first CIZE Challenge Group starting September 23rd!!!   

You’re probably wondering what that is.  Basically anyone who joins the challenge group will participate in a 28 day journey to improve their health and fitness.  We’ll use the CIZE fitness program which is a BLAST, so much so that you’ll actually forget that you’re getting an amazing cardio, core and strengthening workout the whole time.  Shaun T breaks down the dance moves and you don’t have to be a dancer whatsoever, I promise!  CIZE is just super fun for you, your kids, whoever wants to join in!  There will be meal plans (if you’re interested) and the option to drink Shakeology (YUM)!

As you know, I'm a busy mom of a toddler boy and I work full-time, and there isn’t a lot of extra time each day that I can focus on me.  Being able to pop in the DVD once each day on my time frame is crucial.  This is all on your time to benefit you!  I’ll be sharing my journey over the 28 days and providing daily support with tips and motivation within the private challenge group on Facebook and I encourage you to share your experience too.  A lot of times when it comes to eating healthy and exercising, it’s just about being accountable.  We will support each other and cheer each other on.  This is a unique and really exciting thing to be a part of and I can’t wait to begin.  Whether you’re new to the fitness world or have tried other Beachbody fitness programs, this is a great opportunity.

If your goal is to lose weight, I encourage you to join in!  If you want to tone up and get lean, this will do the trick!  Or if you just want to do something new and really FUN, here’s your chance!  Share with anyone you think might want to join in.  Message me on Facebook or send me an email at if you want more information.  If you’re interested just in giving Shakeology a try for the 28 days, or maybe you’ve heard of a different fitness program that you want to try, that’s an option too.  I’d love to chat about your health and fitness goals.

Autumn is my favorite time of year and this is just a really fun way to kick off the fall season.  I’ll be back very soon with my regular posts, but I wanted to share this with you because I’d love for you to join! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mean Green Juice + Weekend Fun


It's been a very good weekend.  We got a lot accomplished and had a bunch of fun.  Got the yard mowed, laundry done, kitchen cleaned (after being durtied numerous times), lots of food bought, meals cooked and lunches prepared for the week.  Most importantly there was lots of quality time with Sage.  

We played outside and Sage practiced walking all around the driveway.  We went to Trader Joe's and Sage consumed an entire peach.  That was a site seeing my one year old figure that out.  So stinking cute even if he was a huge mess.  On Saturday night we went out for a family dinner for Thai food.  Sage provided the entertainment.  I also got in a 2.5 mile run earlier in the day so I was ready for some good eats.  Jax got more baths than we can count and finally we think the skunk smell is just about gone.  Jax spent lots of time outside and we were having him sleep in our foyer because we didn't want him in our bedroom.  Poor guy had a rough week.  In the (almost) six years I've had Jax he's never gotten sprayed by a skunk and I sure hope it never happens again.

I whipped up a storm in the kitchen this weekend.  Breakfast shakes, quesadillas, sesame tofu and sauteed kale, cumin lime black bean salad, chocolate chip cookies.  I'll have to share the cookie recipe soon.  I used coconut sugar and tons of chocolate chips.  

I made Mean Green Juice earlier today and as promised I'm sharing the recipe.  I took a break from juicing for a while for no particular reason.  I just got back into it and I'm loving it.  Juicing is fun and so tasty!  I'm trying to get Sage into it too so that definitely inspired me to jump back in.  Here is the recipe for Mean Green Juice which I took from Joe Cross (you may have heard to the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - this juice essentially saved his life).  I used to be intimated by juicing but then I got a juicer (Target, on sale for $40) and it's truly no big deal.  After I made juice the first time I was shocked at how easy it was.  It makes you feel really awesome because of all the vitamins and nutrients that go straight to your system. 

So, here's my adapted version of the recipe:
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
3 apples
2 kale leaves
1 lemon
2 in piece of ginger

Basically chop up the produce so it looks like this and put it through your juicer.  I like to use produce thats been stored in the fridge because I like my juice cold, but that's just me.  I posted a super quick video of my prepping for juicing on my Facebook page.  I swear my videos going forward will be much better.

How was your weekend?

Are you into juicing?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Little Bit of Mommy Guilt

Hey hey hey!

This morning I took Sage to the sitter before going to work.  He was having a bit of a rough morning and just wanted someone to stay by his side.  He’s got another molar coming in.  I got him breakfast and gave him as much cuddles as I could and then my husband was playing with him while I got ready for work.  Mornings can be tough because I generally only have an hour to get ready before I need to get out the door, which is hardly enough time.  There’s getting Sage up and ready, making sure the diaper bag is set, packing food for the day (and that takes a lot more thought now that it isn’t just milk), I need to make myself look work appropriate, Sage often has more than one diaper change, Jax needs to be fed… The hour goes by in a blur.  I’m generally walking out the door with Sage in one arm and my protein shake in the other, and my husband is either already gone or rushing around trying to get himself out the door as well.  I have yet to get a workout in before the workday, but it’s a goal.  I just need to get up earlier.  Easier said than done…

So, I brought Sage to the sitter and I know he loves it there.  His sitter has two kids that Sage adores and they love him.  However, Sage is now at the age where he knows that him going there means that I’ll be leaving.  The majority of mornings he just starts playing as soon as we get there and I easily slip out, but boy did he know what was happening this morning!  As soon as I started to leave he starting crying looking right at me and my heart sunk.  It felt terrible.  The thing is I know this is normal for kids and my sitter confirmed that he was a happy guy within five minutes of my leaving, but still!  I felt crappy driving to work this morning with his look of sadness embedded in my memory.  That’s mommy guilt.  Because even though I know my working actually hugely benefits him and his life, it doesn’t mean there aren’t tough moments.  Instead of walking out the door when he was crying, I wanted to run back, scoop him up and hug him.  But I’d never get to work if I had done that. 

When I picked Sage up in the afternoon he was a happy guy.  That molar was still giving him grief, but he's a trooper.  He had dinner and my husband and I ate in shifts.  I then gave Jax another bath (yup, the skunk smell was still lingering) and Sage played with daddy.  It quickly became bathtime for Sage and my husband put him to sleep while I did laundry and cleaned the kitchen.  Ok, I cleaned enough of the kitchen that it only looks like a mild disaster now.  

I’m sharing this today because I’m trying to get back in the habit of posting regularly.  I used to blog daily and I like sharing real life.  It’s what I can relate to when I read other bloggers’ posts.  I think it’s easy to paint a picture that life is perfect as a blogger.  In the spirit of authenticity, you’ll be seeing more posts like this.

What do your workweek mornings look like?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My Journey to Finding Happiness: Body Image and Beyond


Well, my day started at 5:45 when I woke up naturally, which hardly ever happens. Normally the alarm alerts me that my day is starting.  Jax, my pup, was anxious to get outside, so I rolled out of bed and let him out.  I saw Sage starting to wakeup on the monitor so I prepped a bottle and went to the back door to let Jax back in and quickly smelled the scent of skunk.  Jax ran to the bedroom and sat on our floor and I knew I had made a big mistake letting him in.  My husband immediately woke up and shooed Jax back outside onto the deck leaving the lovely scent he had brought into the house.  Fantastic.

Thankfully my mom was arriving in the next hour.  I left to go to work in a frenzy fearing that I smelled like skunk.  My mom was on baby duty and my husband on Jax duty.  An hour into my workday I got a text that my husband had purchased cinnamon pinecones and my house smelled like Christmas.  I’ll take that!


In my last post I announced that I am now a Beachbody Health Coach – woohoo!  In reality, that’s just a title though and it’s going to take time before I feel like I truly own it.  As promised, I’m going to start by sharing my journey as it relates to body image and food.  I think everyone has a story to tell about how he/she feels about themself when it comes to food, fitness and overall health.  I think that in order for me to help others, I need to be honest about the fact that I wasn’t always so content with my body.  It’s been a work-in-progress essentially since college.  There are key things that happened in my life that were hugely beneficial for me and I’ll make sure to touch on those factors.  My journey has led me to wanting to coach others because I believe that eating and exercise does not need to be a stressful thing.  It can be rewarding and so much fun!  But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let me begin.

I played field hockey all through high school which kept me looking athletic and fit.  My first serious issues with body image didn’t happen until college. During my sophomore year I was eating and drinking more and working out less, and I packed on a little weight.  My clothes were snug and it took me by surprise.  I had quit field hockey (played freshman year) because my heart wasn’t in it anymore.  I didn’t keep up with any sort of fitness routine, but I did keep up with late night eating and weekend drinking.  By the end of the year, I was really unhappy with how I looked.  I'm not sure how I stumbled across the idea to count my calories, but I did, and I started counting every calorie I consumed.  

I jumped deep into the game of calorie counting the summer before my junior year and it worked.  I figured out how many calories I could eat to lose weight and I stuck to it.  I was obsessed.  By the beginning of my junior year, I had lost the weight I had gained and a few pounds more.  I liked the comments I got from friends and the attention.  Only, I wasn't happy deep down.  I didn’t like the way I felt about myself.  Calorie counting was a vicious game that had sucked me in and consumed me.  I thought about it all the time.  Looking back, I feel sad for the girl that I was at that time.

My calorie counting and obsession with being skinny continued for the rest of college.  It was worse at times and better at others.  However, I started running my senior year and it was the best thing that happened to me at that time.  I threw myself into running the way I had with calorie counting, but running was my good friend.  Counting calories was hurting me mentally and physically, and running was my friend offering support in my time of need.  My goal was to run a marathon.  It was a big goal, but I wanted to do it for me.  I bought a book and started following a training plan, and from January to May my senior year running was my life.  I loved it (and still do)!  It was incredibly rewarding and something I did on my own.  I covered miles on the country roads around my campus and it brought me so much happiness.  I still was consumed by being skinny, but running was my happy place.  Running also changed my body.  It brought back the athletic look of my muscles that used to be there when I was playing field hockey.  I was proud of how running was changing me.  I felt accomplished and was proud of myself after each hard run.  That marathon didn't happen for years later, but the idea was planted in my mind that year.

Running also inspired me to eat better.  It was the first time I really started to think about the food I was putting in my body and how it would help me as a runner.  I worked as a cashier at the local grocery store in college and runners from the college cross country team would come through my checkout line.  I paid attention to what foods they were buying.  My mindset around food was starting to change.  It wasn't all about calories now, it was slowly becoming more about nutrition.  

Graduating college was exciting and scary.  I hurt my IT band at this time (probably overtraining) and didn’t run for the year following college.  I went through an ugly breakup and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  All of this threw me back into my old ways for the first six months after college.  Then I came across the book that changed my life.  In the fall of 2009, I was at a bookstore on my lunch hour and read a review in a magazine about a new book out called The Kind Diet.  I knew nothing about being vegan and didn't know anyone who followed a vegan diet.  It was entirely new to me and I was inspired beyond words.  I wanted the health benefits!  I wanted to help the planet!  I wanted to feel amazing!  Learning to eat a proper vegan diet took me some time, but in the end it’s been one of the best things that’s happened to me.  Some people think that a vegan diet limits what one can eat, but for me, it opened up a world of incredible foods, superfoods, delicious foods…!  Meeting my husband was also crucial to my development.  He taught me a lot more about what to eat to be healthier and stronger and I started eating foods I never had in the past.  Chipotle quickly became my favorite place to eat.  I no longer feared food.  Also, my husband got me back into running.  We ran a half marathon together in the first few months of knowing each other.  I was eating more and running more and it all felt sooo good.

In the years that followed my discovering a vegan diet, I did not stick to it 100%.  I went back to eating meat in 2012, but by January 2013, I once again embraced a vegan diet and haven’t had meat since December 2012.  However, I have dairy occasionally now.  I eat eggs and cheese slips in occasionally.  I call myself a plant-based, whole foods eater these days and I’m so proud to be a plant-based eater because it changed my life.  I no longer count calories.  I focus on the quality of food.

I love to cook and bake new delicious recipes.  I've got a stack of probably 30 cookbooks that I'm constantly flipping through to try something new.  I thank my plant-based diet for a wonderful pregnancy and a quick recovery after having my son.  I thank my plant-based diet for keeping me strong and healthy during those early months of serious sleep deprivation after having my son.  My baby boy is quickly becoming a toddler and I want to always be able to run around with him.  I want him to look up to his mama and embrace food and fitness as he grows up.  I want him to know the joy of food and never fear it.

I eat plant-based, whole foods because I feel my best that way.  I’m constantly reading to learn as much as I can.  My goals these days are more fitness related.  I want to get back into running and I want to get stronger and toned.  I’m excited to kickstart my journey with the CIZE fitness program.  

Well, that's the short version of how it went down.  Just writing it out shows me how far I've come and where I want to go.  I want to be the best version of me.  I want to feel my best.  I want to love myself and be proud of ME.  Most importantly, I know now that all of this is possible.

  My Shakeology arrived today and the CIZE fitness program is in transit.  I’ll be sharing my adventure every step of the way.  I would love if you'd like to join in!  We can go on this beautiful journey together.  Email me at if you’re interested or if you’d like chat more about what I can offer you on your journey.

Can you relate to my journey?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My New Journey: From Starbucks to Shakeology

Hey hey hey!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend.  My weekend was filled with celebrating Sage's first birthday.  He got two cupcakes this weekend and new toys so I'm pretty sure he'd agree that it was awesome.  We also picked up our pup, Jax, from my parents house after not seeing him for three weeks.  We missed him!  My parents watched Jax while we were on vacation and we haven't been able to make the trip to get him until now.  But now here I am writing this post in bed and I've got Jax sleeping at my feet.  That's why we have a king size bed afterall.

I want to bring you up to speed on my new endeavor.  I'm going to share it from the start.  Full disclosure along the way because I think that's the best way to do it.

I'm really excited to announce that I'm now a Beachbody Health Coach.  

You may have heard of Beachbody, Shakeology, or one of the fitness programs like 21 Day Fix, CIZE or P90X.  I remember hearing about P90X years ago and how hardcore it was.  Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about and that's cool too!  

If you've been following me for a while, it's probably quite obvious that I have a huge passion for living life at its best.  I eat plant-based, whole foods because they make me feel like a superhero.  I don't count calories or restrict myself.  I eat real, delicious foods that satisfy me.  I'm a runner and I used to run a lot, but since having a baby I haven't been running nearly as much.  I plan to get back into race mode eventually.  I'm a mama, wife, and I work full-time.  I've been wanting to do something in the realm of health and fitness for a long while.  I started Love A Latte as a means to share the day-to-day and I'm looking forward to sharing my Beachbody experience in the mix.

It just sort of happened.  My husband was chatting with one of his friend's from high school and came to find out she was a Beachbody Coach.  She shared how Shakeology and the fitness programs changed her life.  This wasn't the first time I'd heard this sort of story.  I'm a big fan of Instagram and I've seen this many times.  I also gave Shakeology (chocolate vegan flavor) a try close to a year ago just after Sage was born.  I remember the pamphlet on becoming a coach and glancing at it, but life was so busy with our newborn baby that I didn't give it a thought.  I just drank the shake and time went by.  I've come into my own as a mama now and I've got more time to focus on my passions.  Or maybe it's just that I'm not so sleep deprived lately that I can see them more clearly.  Basically this opportunity presented itself and I jumped on top of it.  I've purchased a challenge pack that includes Shakeology and the CIZE fitness program, and I can't wait to get started!  My husband is going to join me along the way too.  And just today my brother jumped on board and ordered Shakeology and Beachbody On-Demand.  

So why did I decide to be a Beachbody Coach?  

I'm inspired by helping others feel their best by living a healthy lifestyle.

Life is not perfect.  It's filled with good and bad days and I believe in giving my best each day.  I want to do everything in my power to be kind to my body so I can be the happiest and healthiest version of me.  

I want to help others in their fitness and health goals.

I'm not a nutritionist or a doctor, but I'm a knowledgable health enthusiast excited to share my journey and help others.  I'll share my journey in a post later this week, so be on the lookout for that!


I'm saying goodbye to my Starbucks habit (don't worry, not entirely) and bringing on the Shakeology.  If I had to bet, I think my body is going to thank me.  I'll be diving into the CIZE fitness program, so I'll be sharing how that goes down too.

Maybe some of this resonates with you.  Maybe you've been wanting a good kick to jump into a new fitness program.  Maybe you just want to start eating better and you need somewhere to start.  Or maybe you're just as curious as I am about all this Beachbody stuff.

That's what's going on in my world.  I'd love if you want to join in.  We could drink our shakes and get our fitness groove on together.  It's going to be fun, I swear!

Email me at if you're interested and want to chat.

Tell me something about your life lately...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sage: On Your First Birthday

Hi there!

Happy Birthday to Sage!!!  Today our boy turns one years old and I'm taking this occasion to reflect on the last year.  There are no words to describe what the last year means to me.  Last night as I rocked him to sleep, I felt so much emotion wash over me as I thought about the journey of the last 12 months.  It's been magical and exhausting, joyful and scary, incredible and hard, fulfilling and challenging... Being Sage's mama makes me a better me.  I'm so thankful for my sweet boy and everything he has brought to our lives.

On that note, I'm going to mostly let the pictures do the talking...

August - You arrived after 26 hours of labor and we fell in love with you instantly.  I couldn't believe it when they rested you on my stomach and I got to cuddle with you for the very first time.  It was the best thing in the world and a moment I'll always remember and hold in my heart.


September - We spent lots of time getting to know each other.  I loved every second home on my maternity leave with you.


October - In autumn we explored the world more.  We took walks most mornings and I cherished being home, especially during my favorite time of the year.  We listened to Frank Sinatra and made all sorts of recipes in the kitchen.  Ok, you observed from your rock n' play and I talked to you.  Thanks for listening so intently.


December - I rocked you into the late hours of the night (and then the early morning hours).  I remember the world was silent as it became Christmas Day and I didn't care for a moment that I would be crazy exhausted for holidays...


January - I went back to work in January.  At first it was tough after getting to spend all my time with you for 20 weeks, but we adjusted quickly and I looked forward to seeing your smiling face each day when I got home.


February - It was Daddy's birthday in February.  You were definitely the life of the party and we were so happy to celebrate with you. 


March - Your personality shined brighter each day.  It amazed me that even when you were up all night, you'd wake up with a huge smile on your face, and even in my sleep deprived state I couldn't help but smile so big too.

April - You learned what a blast reading with Daddy is.  Boy do you love books just like him!

May - We ran lots of errands and you just loved going to stores with your parents.


June - You met great friends at daycare during the school year.  They love you and you love them.  It makes it so much easier on mommy and daddy going to work knowing what fun you're having during the day.


July - You went to your first wedding and did a great job during the ceremony and all!

August - You went on your first plane ride and stayed pretty content (when you were sleeping, haha!).  It was our first family vacation and we had a blast.

You are such a happy boy full of love and laughter.  You make us laugh all the time.  And your adventurous side is really starting to sparkle.  Already giving your mother a heart attack.

This last year has been marvelous.  

We love you to infinity and beyond, always and forever!  Happy Birthday buddy!! 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Seattle Vacation + My Baby is Turning One


We just got back from vacationing in Portland and Seattle, and it was fantastic!  The weather was perfect and hotter in Portland than we expected.  This was the second time my husband and I had been to Seattle (first time was on our honeymoon three years ago), but this was our first time with Sage.  What an adventure.  

Sage did a great job sleeping through the night on vacation (absolute miracle!) and the flight to Portland was pretty smooth, but coming home from Seattle things got interesting.  Baby boy only slept for half the flight so for the other 2+ hours he needed to be occupied.  He would have been totally happy if he could have crawled/walked all over the plane and visited with people, but they frown against that, so he had to stay in the seat with mommy and daddy (and the very nice young man sitting in the window seat who was (thankfully) understanding about Sage's fits when we wouldn't let him go in the aisle...).  Anyways, 14 hours of travel and we were back home.

I probably could do a post on each day, but I'll touch on the highlights in one post.

I liked Portland, but loved Seattle.  My husband and I fell in love with the city all over again.  We used Airbnb for the first time and I cannot say enough good things.  We rented a house in Portland and that was fun even though we didn't really need a whole house.  In Seattle, we rented a ground floor apartment of a lady's home by the University of Washington and the area was awesome.  It was in walking distance to Metropolitan Market, so bright and early each day I wore Sage in the carrier and we walked to get breakfast.  The neighborhood was beautiful and I took too many pictures of other people's houses.  She also had a chicken coop which was super fun for Sage and we all got to pet a chicken.  The location was a quick ride to downtown too.   Basically Sage did all his napping on the trip in the car while my husband and I drove all over the cities.  I'd run in and grab a coffee and we'd carry on.  We truly got a feel for the cities this way.  On our honeymoon we had walked everywhere so this was a completely different experience.  Sage's favorite part of the vacation was Green Lake Park in Seattle because he got to crawl all over the grass and eat pine cones.  

The funniest part was the fact that Sage fell asleep on the Duck Tour in Seattle.  Now if you haven't been on a Duck Tour, let me describe it.  It's a bus that become a boat.  There is blasting music and the driver takes you on a tour of the city.  The whole experience is a blast and very loud.  Fifteen minutes into the hour and a half experience and Sage was sound asleep for the remainder of the tour.  This is a boy who sometimes wakes up if you breathe too loud while he's napping.  The fact that he slept through the Duck Tour is hilarious and crazy cute.

We also went back to the Chihuly exhibit while there.  I took this same picture of my husband on our honeymoon, so it was special getting the shot again with Sage.

Sage had fun checking out all of the colors!

There was lots of delicious food - my favorite was the Portage Bay Cafe in Seattle that had vegan banana pancakes.  We went to Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream Shop a bunch.  Din Tai Fung was delicious.  I could eat the veggie dumplings everyday.  We had to go there twice.

One of my favorite thing from Portland was taking Sage to the Oregon Zoo.  It had beautiful green surroundings.  Relaxing to stroll through the trees.  Sage was interested in some of the animals, but by far his favorite part was the stuffed animal snake we got him.

We hadn't taken a big vacation since our honeymoon back in August 2012, so this was a real treat.  It was wonderful having our boy with us even though the plane ride back was tough.  Totally worth it.  There are so many more things we did, but here's a glimpse.

In other big news, Sage turns ONE this week!  What an incredible year.  Becoming a mother has been just the best thing ever.  This morning I made chocolate cupcakes for our boy (recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World) with coconut whipped cream.  It's going to be fun seeing Sage dig in.

I hope all is well in your world!

Did you take any vacations this summer?  

Have you been to Seattle?