pizza, please.


let’s be honest – there aren’t too many things in this world that are much better than pizza. Warm, cold, deep dish, thin crust, in whatever form you may choose, there’s really no disputing that pizza is an all-time favorite. So, what if pizza somehow magically became healthy? Or, at the very least, mostly healthy? Boom. Done. 

A combination of a couple different recipes that were floating around the world wide web, plus the contents of a very weirdly-stocked refrigerator, led me to this wonderful, somewhat Mediterranean, pizza. Gluten free, extremely light and pure on the ingredients list, and also, you know, absolutely delicious. The ideal meal for these beautiful end-of-summer evenings.



for the crust:

 a head of cauliflower

1 cup of almond flour 

2 eggs

1 tbsp thyme

a sprinkling of freshly ground salt and pepper

for the toppings: 

1/2 of a large eggplant

1 can of chickpeas

2 fresh tomatoes (or canned tomato paste)

a large handful of kale

2 cloves of garlic




in a food processor, mix together the cauliflower, eggs, and almond flour. When fully processed, spread the mixture evenly over a pizza pan lightly coated in olive oil. Top with a tiny bit of salt, pepper, and a smattering of thyme. Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and let the crust bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. While the crust is baking, wash the tomatoes thoroughly and blend them in a blender or food processor with a pinch of sea salt and olive oil, and then prepare the rest of the toppings (chop the eggplant, grate the garlic, and wash the chickpeas). Once the crust is finished, take it out of the oven, spread the sauce out evenly with a spoon, and start tossin’ on toppings, sprinkling the garlic on last. Put it back in the oven, and let it bake for 5-10 more minutes, or until your kitchen smells like absolute heaven. Let cool, and then devour. In the rare event that a small bit remains, it stores really well in the fridge for at least a day (it hasn’t lasted in mine any longer than that, but I assume it would be okay for a couple!)



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sunday inspiration

calm, cozy sunday afternoons are the absolute best time to enjoy family, friends, or the peace of an empty house, and a good, warm meal… and maybe playing catch up with some of your favorite blogs? Sounds like a dream to me. Here are a few beautiful things, to give your spirits an extra lift on this day of rest and reflection.







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training necessity: take a break

one of the best and most fulfilling feelings in the world is pushing, as hard as you can, to crush a physical goal – race training, competition preparation, whatever it may be. There’s just something so nice about seeing a very concrete goal, and working day-by-day towards it. That being said, one of the most important parts of training is knowing when to slow it down and take a break. Coming to you as the biggest former skeptic of the “rest day,” I’m here now to say that it is, without a doubt, one of the most crucial elements to your training, and even just to your living. I used to do literally everything I could think of to avoid complete and total rest, opting for “light training” days when my body felt fatigued… or even just not, and pushing through what I now see as my body’s desperate cry for a break. The idea of going a full 24 hours without doing something intensely physical seemed to simply not be an option. Little did I realize that, in addition to severely setting back my training with this mindset, I was also putting my body and mind at serious risk.

To understand the importance of rest days, it’s crucial to first understand what exactly is happening when we are working out. What we’re doing during a really hard workout is actually applying a stimulus to our bodies that is elevating our heart rate, breaking down our muscle fibers, and causing our adrenal gland to secrete adrenaline and cortisol – essentially, we’re telling out body that it’s going to need to get stronger to survive. The “getting fitter” part of working out actually comes after the work – while you’re eating (!) and resting post-workout, your body is working to repair tissue damage, strengthen the heart and muscles, restore all of the fuel you just used, and better circulate oxygen through your body. Post-workout recovery is when your body starts to become all-around stronger and more efficient. By engaging in this cycle regularly, little by little, you’re getting more muscular and more fit.

However, the problem comes when we keep stacking up these little changes consistently, without ever truly giving our bodies a chance to completely catch up to all of the work that we’ve been doing. Since post-workout recovery isn’t really true recovery as much as it is just giving our bodies the time and space to implement the changes that we just made, it doesn’t actually count as resting. As important as it is to maintain a regular schedule of activities and workouts, it is equally important to allow your body regular rest, so that it can keep up (healthily) with everything that you’re wanting it to do. The frequency and duration of your rest days is entirely dependent on what activities you’re regularly doing, but for people who engage in fairly intense physical training pretty frequently, maybe consider taking one day a week where you do nothing – actually nothing – intensely physical. Take a full 24 hours to get ample sleep, eat plenty of vegetables and lean proteins, and allow your body to completely recover.

Rest days might look a little different during training for a race – it’s recommended on almost every training plan that you should absolutely take one day off per week, to recover from the build-up and intensity of training. Optimal performance in an event, say a race, is actually achieved by allowing your training to peak a few weeks before your race, and then allowing the next two weeks for your body to shed any signs of the fatigue, so that you’re ready to perform at your absolute best when it counts. It takes a little bit of time for your body to completely get rid of all of the built up tension and fatigue that comes from training, which is a necessary process when you’re going to be asking it to perform maximally. During these slightly longer rest periods that proceed (and definitely follow) a race, you have an awesome opportunity to do a lot of yoga and pilates, which will supplement all of the strength and endurance work you’ve been putting in, and allow your body to strengthen and develop those tiny, crucial stabilizer muscles that usually get ignored in higher impact strength work. AND you also have a great chance to shake up your sweat – maybe you don’t want to be running max distance right before your big race, and you definitely won’t want to be right afterwards, so instead take the time to go hiking or paddleboarding, getting creative and unconventional with the way that you’re getting your endorphins.

However you want to tailor it to fit your lifestyle and sweat schedule, it’s so, so unbelievably crucial to be very mindful of scheduling in some days of savasana.

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chocolate ice cream… for breakfast!

the greatest day of my life was probably the day that I realized that it was not only completely acceptable, but also actually healthy, to eat chocolate ice cream for breakfast. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration – but still. The discovery of the smoothie bowl was a pretty serious game changer. So, for those of you who aren’t currently eating chocolate ice cream first thing in the morning, hold tight, because your morning routine is about to get rocked. There are a million different types of “smoothie bowls” you can make – the idea behind it is essentially just a slightly less liquid smoothie that is served in a bowl instead of a glass. Surely there’s some impressive psychological reason for why eating something with a spoon out of a bowl makes it much more filling than drinking it from a glass, but I just know that where regular morning smoothies never seem to fill me up, a thick and delicious smoothie bowl is always enough to get me through the morning. So why a smoothie bowl, instead of just a regular plate of fresh fruit? One of the reasons is that you can sneak all sorts of healthy additions into a smoothie bowl, things that would be a litttle bit more noticable when added to a plate of fruit – like greens, for example. There aren’t too many people out there who would be stoked to see a massive pile of kale on top of their chopped strawberries and blueberries, but in a smoothie bowl, you can dump all kinds of kale, spinach, and even chard if you’re feeling saucy, and you won’t be able to taste it at all (just be careful about coloring… sometimes too much green can leave you with a really weird looking bowl. That’s why I love the chocolate ones – it makes sense for them to be a slightly questionable brown shade!) Also, you can add some really nutritious and wonderful toppings to your blended bowl that would be a little less easy to get onto a regular plate – bee pollen, hemp seeds, goji berries, even some maca powder or chia seeds. Literally limitless options here, and you can tailor it to exactly what your morning holds: feeling a little sleepy? Add in a spoonful of maca powder. Have a super-intense workout planned? Sprinkle on some hemp seeds. Need a little extra sustainable energy? Toss in some raisins. The list goes on and on. Or just sprinkle cacao nibs on top of it, because who doesn’t need a little extra chocolate? The main point is that you have so many more options to play around with a smoothie bowl, and it offers a wonderful way to fuel and nourish your body in the mornings, while still making for a really delicious breakfast.

My favorite smoothie bowl recipe is the one pictured below, which is just a simple chocolate-banana bowl, but there are hundreds of different recipes and mixtures you can throw together. There is usually a base of frozen bananas, but after that, the possibilities are absolutely endless. This one consists of:

1 1/2 frozen banana

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp maca powder

1/2 cup hemp milk

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 handful of kale (frozen optional)

1 handful of spinach

1 dried, pitted Medjool date

to make it, simply toss all of these things into a blender, and let it blend until smooth. Then pour it into a bowl and add toppings! I put in walnuts, bee pollen, chia seeds, hemp seeds, raisins, and goji berries, and sprinkled it all with a little bit of cinnamon. Happy breakfasting!


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yoga spotlight: dancer’s pose

or, as it’s more formally known, Lord of the Dance Pose. I mean, that just sounds graceful. Excuse me, while I slip causally into Lord of the Dance Pose. I feel much more balanced just typing that… but beyond sounding impressive, why is it that we love Dancer’s Pose so much? Part of the reason is that there is certainly an inherent grace built into the pose – you can’t just flop into Dancer, like you can with some yoga poses. The transition into Dancer is requires mindfulness and focus, and the nature of the pose demands a very precise level of balance. It is a physical form put to total balance – balance on the standing leg, but also balance between the two different outstretching sides of the body, balance in the core, and balance in the gaze, breath, and mind.

Physically, the pose offers some truly incredible benefits – it provides an intense stretch for the thighs, groin, and abdomen, as well as the shoulders, chest, and legs. It tones the thigh and calf muscles, while increases ankle strength and stretching your hip flexors. It is an incredible chest and lung opener, while also strengthening the back body. But most importantly, Dancer is a pose that calls upon a steady breath and steady balance. It is a pose that harmonizes every aspect of the body  and the mind.

A crucial element to maintaining Dancer’s Pose is to have strong and stretched hip adductors, the muscles in the inner groin and inner thighs. These are what help keep the pelvis steady and balanced in poses like this, and weak hip adductors can result in too much strain on the lower back. A great way to strengthen your hip adductors, and therefore get a more balanced and beautiful Dancer Pose is t0 fold regularly into Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle Pose.

Suzie - PN

thanks to the lovely Suzie Blackman, the latest and greatest on the Winston-Salem yoga scene, for this beautiful Dancer’s Pose.

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7.15/link love

happy tuesday, beautiful friends! here are some of my favorite finds from the internet to bring some brightness and beauty to your morning.

this is a wonderful article, re-defining sustenance and what we look to as our life source. “In the end, the best sustenance doesn’t numb us, but rather equips us to move through difficult seasons with clear eyes.”

ten homemade beauty remedies… and yes, coconut oil is absolutely included!

toxin-free ways to get rid of all the pesky summer bugs!

must bake. must bake now.

– one of the most unique and delicious cocktail recipes I’ve seen.

adorable indoor herb planters.

interesting thoughts on what may be behind our business.

this video is incredible. absolutely incredible. let’s all be happier and more grateful.

– and finally, to tie in, how to impact and work with your subconscious.


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the scoop on: coconut oil


cute… but why? Is coconut oil really everything that everyone hypes it up to be?

Yes – and while the coconut oil I just put in my hair to repair it from a day at the beach sinks in, let me tell you exactly why and how coconut oil can be your new best friend:

1. it’s awesome for your skin! Coconut oil is one of the best skin moisturizers out there… and, what’s better: you know this one is all-natural, chemical free, etc etc. It has loads of antibacterial properties, and can even be used to treat acne (yes, oil to treat acne! Bizarre, but true.) Summer’s the best time to get on the coconut oil train, because in addition to making you smell like you just got off of a tropical island, the oil is also packed full of antioxidants that will help protect your skin from free radical damage caused by the sun! And to get the full range of skin benefits from this miracle oil, don’t just stick to using it alone as a moisturizer – mix it with olive oil for a facial wash, mix it with baking soda for a facial scrub, mix it with honey as a face mask, or scoop it into a little tin and use as a pre-scented lip balm!

2. it’s even better for your hair – and my super damaged beach hair can currently attest to that! It provides a great treatment for dry scalps, but is also incredibly moisturizing for hair, helping it retain its natural moisture and strengthening your strands. Let it soak into your roots and ends for a half hour, and then shampoo out. You can also use just a tiny bit of coconut oil after washing your hair, smoothing it over little flyaways to help fight the summer frizz.

3. Coconut oil is the ultimate DIY tool. Seriously. Not to get too hippie on you here, but in addition to using the stuff for conditioner and moisturizer, you can use it to make homemade deodorant, toothpaste, and even sunscreen. I kid you not. For the deodorant, you just need 3 tbsp of coconut oil, 4 tbsp of baking soda, 2 tbsp of shea butter, and a little bit of your favorite essential oil. Melt the shea butter and coconut oil, then add in the baking soda and oil and mix well. The recipes for toothpaste and sunscreen are just as simple – this oil is pretty much one stop shopping for self care.

4. Not just for beauty, coconut oil has a pretty important place around the house too – its a wonderful way to keep wooden spoons and cutting boards conditioned and treated, just apply generously and give it time to sink into the wood. It can be used to lubricate squeaky hinges, unstick stuck zippers, treat and clean leather, and season cast iron cookware.

5. And last, but certainly not least, coconut oil is incredible for you to eat. You can use it to flavor coffee or tea, dress salads, pop popcorn, cook in, or just add it to smoothies… or really anything. It’s been proven to help maintain a balanced body weight, keep your heart healthy, fight infections, boost digestion and metabolism, and it can significantly reduce your hunger, improve your blood cholesterol levels, and boost brain function. The fatty acids from coconut oil help the body absorb other nutrients too, so in addition to offering its own benefits, it’ll help you get more from everything else you eat! It’s no wonder that people in countries where lots of coconuts are eaten are some of the most healthy in the world… this stuff is an absolute miracle!

annnnnnd, finally, because there’s no way that this post could make you anything less than incredibly psyched on coconut oil, here’s an incredible coconut cookie recipe that will let you start reaping all of these wonderful benefits as soon as possible! Not much better than a cookie that’s actually healthy, right?

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sweet tooth adventures: fourth of july pie-lets

happy (almost) fourth of July, lovely friends! In honor of our nation’s day of independence, here is a so-healthy-you-could-eat-ten (oops, I did) recipe for some red, white, and blue mini-pies… probably one of the most simple things I’ve ever made, and with a very low ingredient count! Perfect for your picnic/barbecue/miscellaneous patriotic celebration tomorrow evening.



2 cups of walnuts

10 pitted dates

2 tbps coconut oil

plain So Delicious coconut yogurt

fresh strawberries & blueberries



put the walnuts, coconut oil, and dates into a food processor, and let process until smooth(ish). Meanwhile, toss one large container of coconut yogurt into your ice cream maker (it works just as well as regular yogurt instead of frozen yogurt, but I never really want to pass up a chance to make healthy fro-yo, soooo…), and let it churn until it’s a thicky, creamy consistency. Mine took about 20 minutes. While it’s churning, take the crust mix out of the food processor and mold it into tiny pie crust shapes, and stick in the freezer. After an hour of freezing, pull the crust out and pop your pie-lets out of the muffin tin, and once you have them on the serving platter, scoop your fro-co-yo into the crust and decorate with some fresh and patriotic berries. Have an absolutely fantastic fourth!


* orignal recipe is from the incredible Green Kitchen Stories, aka one of the best food blogs ever *

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wanderlust stratton, 2014

You guys… Holli went to Wanderlust – only the most incredible experience imaginable, times ten!!! Unbelievably wonderful… and luckily, we all get to experience a little bit of this beautiful bliss through her writing and pictures:

Have you guys seen the movie ‘Wanderlust’? You know, Paul Rudd & Jennifer Aniston make their way from life in the big city…imagine daily Starbucks addiction, a cell phone that just won’t stop & that feeling that things are moving way too fast all of the time…to a bucolic, bohemian-paradise commune where music filled nights make way for morning yoga. Even if you haven’t seen the movie (you should…it’s laugh out loud hilarious) let’s pause on the last part of that sentence and let it set the scene for real-life Wanderlust, the Wanderlust festival held on Stratton Mountain, Vermont.

Last week, I had the pleasure of packing my bags full of luon and taking a four day bliss break in the form of Wanderlust Stratton. Imagine four days, on a mountain, under a bright electric blue sky, yoga by day (incredible, life-changing yoga classes to be exact) and music filled nights, delicious, healthy food and conversation that lifts the soul, all in a setting where every last detail has been thought of and accounted for and everyone around you is functioning on that beautiful post-yoga high. Yep, that just about sums it up.

Below is a photo recap of my Wanderlust adventure, one of hundreds of other stories (think choose your own adventure, yogi-style) beautifully curated under the clear blue sky of Stratton Mountain, Vermont:

1. All packed & ready to go! Luon…check. Birks…check. Mala beads…check & journal…check!

wanderlust22. First stop upon arrival, the d’om, home away from home, lululemon’s tent where we are graciously greeted with natural beauty, smiling faces & luxe floor pillows to lounge on!

wanderlust33. Next up, let’s get this party started with a class led by Eoin Finn w/ music by NahkoThis may have been my favorite class of the entire weekend. I left completely blissed out & incredibly happy to be exactly where I was.

wanderlust44, My (oh so cute) partners in crime, on the left, Elliott, who is one of our ambassadors and an instructor at Wanderlust & Coby, a fellow lemon who I fell head over heels in love with from day one. Here, we’re chillin’ at the lululemon welcome BBQ. It was quite the night & I was living in-the-moment so no more photos, sorry!

wanderlust55. & 6. Up bright and early for the Daybreaker, think 6am dance party and yes, those are jelly fish in the background. What a way to start the day!

wanderlust66. See #5

wanderlust77. Off to class with Sean Corne-that’s one the most amazing things about Wanderlust, the ability to practice with some of the most amazing teachers, all in one space…community at it’s best.

wanderlust88. Back at the d’om, with costumed & painted dancers flanking the entrance…only at Wanderlust.

wanderlust99. That’s me cheesing in between MC Yogi and Amanda Giacomini, after class with the two of them & DJ Drez. I went to two classes with this crew & they were some of the most fun hours of the weekend…A yoga class to the tunes of Beastie Boys, yep, that happened & it was as fun as it sounds!

wanderlust1010. Some of the many friends we made throughout the weekend, pictured here with more than a yoga-buzz going on at ‘Winederlust’, one of the many non-yoga activities you could find as options for nighttime fun!

wanderlust1111. Yes, it looked like this the entire time. Breathe-taking.

wanderlust1212. I had my first Kundalini yoga experience compliments of Gabrielle Bernstein & Elena Brower. Helloooooo second chakra!

wanderlust1313. I finished the weekend by coming back ‘home’, and heading to one of Elliott’s classes. Seeing one of our local instructors, not to mention a dear friend who I love, shine so brightly doing what he loves on a really, freakin’ incredible stage with lots of major players was amazingly gratifying. If you’re ever in the Triad, you must head to one if his classes at Paz Studios.

My photos & my adventure are only a small glimpse into what is possible at Wanderlust. Do yourself a favor and pack your luon, grab your mat & let yourself wander a little. It does the mind & soul a whole lot of good!

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the low down on the low shoe

statisticians would have an absolute field day observing the evolution of fitness fads over the years – when we think back to the ’80s with its tight pink shorts and workout videos (hey – some of us still rock the tight pink shorts, Boogie style!) and contrast it to our modern day sweat, it’s pretty hilarious. But within those decades of growth and change, there are smaller trends that are more easily pinpointed as the result of a certain cultural event or experience, and the perfect example of this is minimalist running. Minimalist running shoes were around well before they started being produced in a full range of highlighter rainbows; however, with the 2009 drop of Christopher McDougall’s “Born to Run,” minimalism became a buzzword in running, and simple quickly got a whole lot more complicated. Now, there are hundreds of different styles of minimalist running shoes, and as tends to be the case with any trend, not always enough education surrounding how to best use them – which, in this case, can lead to some pretty serious injury.

So, what is minimalist running? Minimalist running refers to running either barefoot, or nearly barefoot, with a running shoe that functions solely as protection from sharp objects on the ground. It is thought to both strengthen your legs and improve your stride, since the extreme padding and cushioning that has become so customary in running shoes these days does unquestionably alter the natural-born human running posture, and has been shown to encourage the ever-dreaded heel strike. Great in theory… so why does it seem that every other person you talk to has some devastating injury from their experience with minimalist running? Simple – there is a pretty high likelyhood that they either didn’t transition properly to this new style of shoe, or they maintained the exact same running posture and engagement in a zero padding shoe as they had in the heavily padded one. When the minimalist running trend hit, everyone and their run-loving mothers went out to the nearest shoe store and said defiantly “give me your most minimal shoe,” absolutely declining anything other than the lowest of the low, and instantly went home and pounded the pavement with these trendy new kicks… logging the exact same number of miles as they had been before the switch. Oops. Ouch.

These fleets of baby barefoot runners soon started getting all kinds of injuries – shin splits, IT band issues, hip pain. You name it, it happened. So why? Because, like with anything in the world, growth is a process. The transition from a lifetime in a heavily supportive shoe that has literally shaped the way that you run to something that offers you nothing other than protection from sharp objects is a huge one, and one that should be made in a slow, mindful, and well-educated way. Ideally, you would probably go from a heavily supportive shoe to a lower drop, but not quite barefoot shoe (low drop simply means that there is a smaller “drop” distance between the height of the heel and the height of the toe), and spend some time training in that before switching all the way to a no-drop barefoot shoe. Understandably, many people don’t want to fork out the cash required for a multi-shoe transition, in which case you should just be extra, extra mindful of a slow posture and strength transition. Modern day running shoes make it much easier to run lazy – bad posture, core not engaged, little to no attention given to the way that the foot is striking the ground. Minimalist shoes don’t  allow for these leisures, so give your body time to adjust. Even if you’re a happy marathoner, dial it wayyy down to one or two miles a day, until you really get used to all of the new muscles you’re using. Walk around barefoot when possible (so summer is an awesome time to start on this transition), which will strengthen your feet and make for a much easier shift, since most runners actually have surprisingly weak feet. Here is an awesome breakdown of the detailed process of switching between these two different styles of shoes, and I would also recommend doing a little bit more research on it before you dive in. It’s a wonderful transition to make, but like with anything, the more you know the better.

Now that you know how to have a proper and pain-free transition into a minimalist running shoe, there is still the question of “why?” Why would you make this transition, especially when it is so much easier (and cheaper) to stick with what you know? Is it necessary? The answer to that is:  it’s totally up to you. Obviously, it’s not necessary at all. There are benefits to any kind of running shoe – stability, low-drop, minimal, or anything in between. The distinct benefits of a minimalist running shoe are that it offers increased strength, flexibility, and a more refined technique. Strength-wise, running with a less padded shoe will force your body to compensate for that loss of padding by developing even stronger legs, feet, and even core – which is awesome, as long as you honor the six-eight week transition period your body needs to build up that strength. Flexibility is increased because to run in this type of shoe, your body will need to develop much better ankle and calf mobility, which will be helpful for pretty much any athletic endeavor that you pursue… yoga balances, anyone? Finally, with regards to technique, minimalist running discourages heel-striking, since there is no padding to encourage the heel towards the ground before the middle of the foot, which can definitely help in long-term injury prevention. It will also encourage you towards a more aligned and upright style of running, which will be much less painful and much more efficient in the long run. That being said, a lot of these benefits are ones that I have found in a low drop, but not minimalist, shoe – so, it really has a lot more to do with the level of awareness you have surrounding your run than it does with your preferred style of shoe. But, now that you have a little bit more information under your belt, consider giving minimalist running a try!


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