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U.S. Yoga Retreats

Finding somewhere to escape to that allows us to completely let go of all worries responsibilities is a rare gem. Even a cruise on a tropical island can still find a way to remind you of your typical busy life. Yoga retreats are a relaxing way to rejuvenate your mind and body, discover more about yourself, and even learn a little bit about another culture.

Where do you find the best yoga retreat? Surprisingly enough there are many of these retreats available right here in the United States. With a little help from the Huffington Post, we’ve put together a list of the best U.S. Yoga Retreats

White Lotus Foundation Retreat Center Santa Barbara, CA

The White Lotus Foundation is dedicated to the development of the total human being. They offer retreats of varying length and type, as well a training classes that will help you to be more comfortable with the practice.

Omega Institute Rhinebeck, NY

The Omega Institute offers getaways and opportunities to learn more about yourself through various wellness programs. Not only do they offer yoga retreats for adults, but they host a teen camp every summer to help youth learn about connection, self-awareness, and self-expression.

Big Sky Yoga Retreats Bozeman, MT

If the mountains call to you, then this is the place to be! Big Sky Yoga Retreats counsels us to “add a little yee-haw to [our] Namaste” by joining them in Montana for a time where you can connect with your inner country and get to know breathtaking landscapes. Their mission is to “take you on a journey deeper into yourself through yoga practice and time outside”. Not only do they provide a great time, but their location certainly allows you to get away from it all.

Stowe Mountain Ranch Vermont, NE

Have you ever done yoga with horses? If not, give it a try at Stowe! Stowe Mountain Ranch provides an excellent opportunity for you to practice yoga and try new activities in the outdoors during any time of year. The ranch provide activities such as canoeing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Meats are good for you and bring in lots of flavor to any meal that you make, however there are times that is nice to take a break from meat. One of my all-time favorite meatless meal is stuff bell peppers. There are many ways to make stuffed bell peppers (meat included) but this one is my favorite thus far.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

3 cups of water

1-1/2 cups of uncooked rice

6 green bell peppers, halved and seeded

3 tbsp of olive oil

6 green onions, thinly sliced

1 tbsp of dried basil

1 tbsp of Italian seasoning

1 tbsp of salt

3 pinches of ground black pepper

3 tomatoes, diced

1-1/2 cups of crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in the rice. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside. Place the peppers cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender and skin starts to brown. While the peppers are roasting, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato, and cook for 5 minutes. Spoon in the cooked rice, and stir until heated through. Remove from heat, mix in the feta cheese, and spoon the mixture into the pepper halves. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

The pepper was tender and very flavorful.  While it is cooking in the oven, the roasting pepper smells amazing- almost like you can taste in your mouth! The rice mixture has a Mediterranean taste from the combination of the olive oil, tomatoes, and feta.  Of course the seasoning boosts the flavor as well.  If there is any leftovers, they good heated up and taste just like you took them out of the oven!

 

An Avocado Breakfast

avocado

Avocados are immensely rich in more nutrients than we can really count. They can also be included in an incredible number of recipes, and what could be better than including those nutrients in the most important meal of the day?

My favorite way to eat avocados with tortilla chips. Honestly, I could eat an avocado with tortilla chips for lunch and dinner every day. Once I realized how great my avocado obsession really is, I decided to look into how I might be able to better incorporate avocados into other recipes, namely breakfast recipes. Below we have compiled a list that includes our favorite avocado breakfast recipes- which one is your favorite?

Banana Avocado Smoothie

Avocado Egg Bake

Chocolate Avocado Pancakes

Vegan Avocado Scones

Avocado and Egg Breakfast Pizza

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Teen Say Video Encourages All to Get in Motion

Last September, the Color in Motion 5K took Washington D.C. by storm and went into RFK stadium, hosting a fun event with over 10,000 participants. On top of that, everyone who ran the race was able to do something that “Teen Say” says is getting harder to do: get in motion.

The video, which can be seen below, is an hour long and focuses in on two events that came to the DC area last year and are returning this year; the Tough Mudder and our very own Color in Motion 5K. The host and the guests talk about the events, who can easily run them and what type of preparation you need to have in order to successfully complete one.

Along with Teen Say, we encourage everyone possible to get in motion. And judging by the pictures from last year’s Washington DC race — you can have a whole lot of fun while doing it to.

Also, don’t forget to register for this year’s Color in Motion 5K at FedExField! www.colorinmotion5k.com/Washington_DC

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Traditional Greek Gyros

Gyro

Pita Bread

Ground Lamb or Beef

Red Onions

Plain Greek Yogurt

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Dill Seasoning

1 Lemon

Garlic Powder (to taste)

Onion powder (to taste)

Feta cheese

Once you have all the ingredients follow these simple instructions on how to make the perfect gyro!

Take the pita bread and lays it out, then you will take the lean ground beef and lamb and mix together with the seasonings. Then you’ll want to put the mixture into an 8 by 8 pan so you can bake it together in the oven. Cook until all the pink is out of the center. Cut into strips. Cut tomatoes and red onion into slices. For the taziki sauce, take plain Greek yogurt and wash and strain the cucumber. Make sure to drain the cucumber so it doesn’t get watery. Once it is dry put slices in the yogurt along with the garlic powder, onion powder, dill. Mix together well. Chill together for at least ten minutes to combine flavors.

Now on to assembly; warm up the pita bread but don’t cut it. Lay it flat and lay out the meat strips on top, with the onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle on some feta cheese and taziki sauce. Fold it in half and there you have it!

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Bikini Ready

Bikini season is coming soon. This means it’s time to get rid of that “padding” that has been hiding your sexy body! We’ve compiled a variety of blog posts to help every body type feel ready to bare it all (or as much as you feel comfortable with)  at the beach this season.

Baby, it’s almost warm outside, which means spring is coming. Time for spring cleaning, green grass, and vamping up your workout and diet for bikini season! If you’re like [almost] anyone else, you’ve noticed that a layer of, um, “padding” has been protecting your abs since the holiday season. Well, it’s time to get rid of that flab and show off your sexy toned stomach that has been dying to come out.

Now, everyone’s body is different. One exercise plan is not going to make the world get fit (wouldn’t that be nice!) So, we have compiled a few blogs and articles with great tips to get you bikini ready with options. These blogs are complete with exercise and diet plans as well motivational thoughts to get you in to that itsy bitsy, teenie weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini.

Check out the links below to get your bikini boot camp started today.

http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/slideshows/bikini-ready-diet-fits-schedule

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/lose-weight/bikini-season/bikini-body-workout-2010/

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/7-ways-to-get-your-body-swimsuit-ready-starting-now

http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2013/07/shape-up-how-to-maintain-your-bikini-boot-camp-bod-health-fitness-lauren-conrad-july-2013/

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Personal Color Branding

We know that media is a huge part of your life. We also know that there are some influential women out there trying to make their mark in the media world whether through a blog, selling a product or social media site.

In these situations personal branding is key. Just look at Nike and Apple. Consumers just have to see a check mark or an apple and they know which products are being promoted. Brands are the key to consumer recognition and loyalty.

We want to help you- on your quest to branding success, have a logo that reflects who you really are. This is done through color. Yes, we said color. Did you know that what your brand says about you says a lot about a company, product or person? It can mean the difference in promoting aggressiveness or serenity.

Below, is a branding color guide from Entrepreneur.com that will tell you exactly what colors will best promote your brand. We found that Color in Motion 5K gives off a variety of vibes based on the colors in our logo. For instance, blue says confidence, orange says optimistic, and purple says power.

Check out the guide below and use color to attain the ultimate brand recognition.

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Fitness Trends

What are trends? The dictionary says that “a trend is a gradual change or development that produces a particular result”. There are so many different things that can be called a trend. Between the trends of fashion, business, hairstyles, diets, lifestyles, and of course fitness, the goal is always to change and create a specified result.

What kind of a results are you looking for this year?  Could it be improving your diet or maybe maintaining a consistent fitness plan?  If you choose a fitness plan, then that is where I come in!  Let’s talk about the fitness trends that will get you on track this year.

Exercises that are high intensity interval (HITT) are very popular; they include high intensity activities in short bursts.  If you are wondering what type of exercises these may be, think of P90X and CrossFit.

What about body weight training?  This is the most inexpensive, effective way to work out that you could do, as all you really need is your own body weight.  You can gain strength, build muscle, boost your heart health, increase flexibility and burn fat.  This type of training originally became a trend with the downturn of the economy.

Everyone can work on functional fitness- if you don’t know what it is, you will soon!  This is one of the best routines for the elderly, those who are recovering from injuries, or who may have lost strength and stamina from being in the hospital for several weeks.  This type of workout tries to mimic every day outdoor and indoor chores.  Those can consist from movements like mowing the lawn or picking up groceries bags.

Some other things that have been trending in the fitness department are personal and group training, elderly fitness programs, and children’s exercise programs. If you are confused about which route to take, just remember that you can go with whatever works best for you. Be careful, take your time, and enjoy!

 

Nutritious Snacking Made Easy

CiM5k SnacksHow often are you in a snacking mood?

Were you bored or actually craving something tasty? Regardless of whether you are actually hungry or not; maybe your first instinct is to grab some chips and dip. Or maybe you’re more into the sweets and carbs as your snack of choice.

Whichever preference, a snack within moderation isn’t always a bad thing. Indulging in a treat from the vending machine during a break at work won’t ruin you.But what if making snacks only took a few minutes before work; would you try it? What if you could make something delicious that doesn’t have quite as many calories, and doesn’t require a huge time commitment? What if the added bonus was that they wouldn’t leave you hungry and craving more?

We’ve put together a few of our favorite examples of easy snack ideas. Try them all, and use them as inspiration to come up with a few of your own!

Try some frozen grapes after a workout. I find that the best way to do these are to remove them from bunches and freeze them either spread out in a pan, or just in a large zip-loc bag.

Baked tomatoes with olive oil drizzled on top; other option include adding Italian spices and cheese of your choice.

One of our absolute favorites is a banana covered in peanut butter, then rolled in flax and nuts of your choice. Our favorite are sliced almonds. This treat would also be great frozen!

Humus is another great substitute and is a great dip to dip veggies (we like carrots), zucchini chips and pita chips. It is full of protein and is extremely satisfying.

As we are at the start of spring and are heading deeper into the warmer months, try cooling off with a tasty treat of frozen yogurt drops. Take a piece of parchment paper and lay it out on a plate. Fill a sandwich bag with yogurt, and cut a small hole in one of the corners to “dollop” the yogurt onto the parchment paper. Freeze, and then peel off and enjoy. Easy right?

Typically, as the weather heats up even more, the desire of wanting to slave in a hot kitchen is low. There are many ways we can still have a hearty and filling snack or dinner, without having tu turn up the heat.

Try this: slice an avocado in half and remove the pit. In each halve, crack and egg in the middle. Sprinkle a dash of pepper, and bake! These are great to have in a toaster oven so you don’t have to heat up your whole kitchen with a big stove.

Another easy option would be to make rice paper rolls; they require no heat and almost no time. Take Rice paper sheets dampen slightly with water to make pliable. For the filling, take a chopped Asian salad mix, chicken (either canned or cooked any way you like), and mix together. Fill the wraps with the filling, and dip in sauce as desired. How easy is that?

Pick a snack that satisfies those taste buds, and is quick and easy but healthy. Snacking is essential, and can be easy to prepare and enjoy. What’s your snacking preference?

Happy Snacking!

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My Trip to the Festival of Colors

Last year I had the fun opportunity to attend my first color event that was not associated with the Color in Motion 5K. On the last Saturday of March myself and four friends climbed into my roommate’s Jeep and drove four hours to attend the HOLI Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork, Utah.

None of us really knew what to expect, except that we had heard rave reviews from participants in years past. Upon nearing Spanish Fork, we knew that this was not going to be a simple, small event — the traffic was backed up on the highway for at least 3 miles before the exit. We’d already done a Google Map search and knew that the Hindu temple where the festival was taking place was a good 5 miles off the highway…so 8 miles of traffic! This was going to be one heck of a party!

Once we arrived, it was! Live music, a yoga area, food vendors (with some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had) and much, much more! Add onto that the fun color throw done every hour to pump up the crowd between live musicians and the event was sold on me forever.

But what is HOLI? The Festival of Colors Website explains it as “…the arrival of spring and the departure of winter. The festival breathes an atmosphere of social merriment. People bury their hatchets with a warm embrace and throw their worries to the wind. Every nook and corner presents a colorful sight.”

And no, you do not have to be Hindu to attend. While most of the events are hosted at Hindu Temples, all are invited to take place in the rejoicing. The Spring Equinox happens to everyone together, so why not celebrate together?