Continuing on the theme of “favorites,” I wanted to do a broader post on a few items that I have been loving recently. All, of course, relating to health or sustainability. Have you tried any of the five things below?
1. Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas: I have been on a big wrap/quesadilla/taco kick for the last year or so. I used to buy the standard 100% whole wheat wraps from the grocery store, but I looked at the ingredients several months ago and was surprised to see how many chemically-based ingredients and additives were in them. I went on a hunt for a healthier wrap and found these Ezekiel tortillas at Healthy Home Market. They are so much better – I wish I had found them earlier!
They are made from a combination of six grains and legumes that, when combined, create a complete source of (vegan, cholesterol-free, saturated fat-free) protein. This means they contain all nine essential amino acids. They are also organic, contain no flour or added oil, and have twelve essential vitamins and minerals. I used one in my peanut butter banana quesadilla today as an afternoon snack and felt full well until dinnertime.
2. Charlotte Yoga: I haven’t talked about exercise yet much on the blog, but I spent a lot of the last six-ish years running. Running a lot! It was my primary and sometimes only form of exercise. This spring, my knees, hips, IT bands and brain finally needed a break, so with a lot of friendly encouragement, I signed up for a yoga class at Charlotte Yoga.
Four months later and I have not looked back! My body feels so much better than it has in a couple of years, and I’m looking a lot more toned than I ever did running marathons. (My boyfriend even commented last weekend about seeing a six pack forming!) I was super nervous to walk into a yoga studio as a complete beginner, but the instructors at Charlotte Yoga are all really nice and understanding. I used to think yoga was a wimpy workout, but let me tell you – it’s not!
3. Frozen berry & almond milk “cereal”: This has become my go-to summer snack. I buy a ton of berries each week at the farmers market and set aside about half to freeze. Then, come the mid-afternoon or evening sweet cravings, I dump some berries into a cup or bowl and send them swimming in almond milk (I use original, unsweetened almond milk – the berries are all the sweetness you need). Stir it all around for a minute or so and let the milk get a little icy before eating. This. Is. So. Good. It’s a little bit like ice cream but way more nutritious. Try it!
4. J. T. Posh Consignment Store: Wait – don’t skip down to #5 because you saw the word consignment! This place is a find.
Several weeks ago I commented on a co-worker’s cute cropped jacket. She told me she found it and few other work outfits at consignment store off Park Road called J.T. Posh. I stopped by that weekend and was pleasantly surprised. J.T. Posh feels very much like a regular Charlotte boutique, but all of its clothes are consigned (and all are designer). The store also carries a mix of new and consigned shoes and accessories. When I went in, I saw two cute dresses and one awesome pair of shoes; I definitely would have tried them on were they in my size.
I’m sure this place is hit or miss, but even if you aren’t into wearing used clothes, you could look into selling any pieces you’re tired of here. I’ll also point out that buying used clothes not only saves you money, but saves natural resources and keeps unwanted apparel out of landfills.
5. Nike Training App: The other fitness habit I’ve picked up since my running has slowed down is strength training. I discovered the Nike Training app when I got an iPhone and have been doing several of its workouts a week. This app was developed by Nike trainers, and it offers more than 80 workouts that you can do with minimal equipment.
It is really user-friendly, with video demonstrations of each move and a timer to keep you on track. You can choose workouts that last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. I’ve done a few of each, and they almost always make me sore the next day (this is how you know they are effective)! If you’re new to strength training, this app provides useful, basic instructions. If you are a strength training pro, you’ll still probably pick up a few new exercises, and you can use this app for motivation when needed.
*Hopefully this list introduced you to a few new things. Let me know if you’ve tried any, or about something on your “favorites” list!