Sunday, August 14, 2016

August Favorites!

just hangin out....

I have received such great feedback on my "essentials" page the past few years, and haven't updated since last winter (whoops!). I will put a new one together for fall, but for now here are just a few of my current MUST HAVES that I am loving.
(everything on my list is tested and truly loved by my family--this isn't a sponsored post :)

Natural Calm. It's August. I'm not going to lie, this month is not my favorite. The whole back-to-school season stresses me out and I just haven't been sleeping at night--at ALL. A friend recommended this--it's a magnesium supplement--and the last three nights I have fallen asleep right away, and then STAYED sleeping all night (a miracle!). I've just been mixing a tiny bit (1/2tsp) into some warm water at bedtime and it works like a charm.
Doterra Triease softgels.  I'm the only one in my family who doesn't suffer from some kind of seasonal allergy (go me!), and right now everyone else is pretty miserable--runny noses, watery eyes--it's the worst. I don't know how these work or why, or maybe it's all placebo, but they seem to be taking the edge off for Robby and the kids--Jonah's sneezing has been cut down from ten in a row to just one :)
Hydro Flasks . For a while I kinda made fun of anyone who bought an expensive water bottle when you can pick up an indestructible Nalgene for under $10....and then I got super tired of drinking warm water all summer. I finally bit the bullet and tested one of these out and it has CHANGED MY LIFE! I can actually leave my water in the car while I go in a store or on a run, and when I come back THERE IS STILL ICE IN MY WATER!  I've been drinking so much more water, now that it's not burning my mouth every time I take a sip. I highly recommend the splurge.

me and my beet bouquet, cheesin it up.
Beets! Ok beets aren't exactly a grab-n-go snack, but we are eating them constantly! I love them roasted, but since it's too hot to turn on the oven right now, I've been slicing them, boiling them, and then adding to salads, or mixing them with some olive oil, red wine vinegar, chives and goat cheese! How do you eat your beets?
Orgain Protein Powder. I've been really trying to up my protein intake the last six months. I've never been a huge fan of protein shakes but lately I'm really liking this one. I've found that for me, I do better with the plant protein over whey (my gut doesn't always agree with so much dairy)--and this has been my favorite so far--it's not full of weird ingredients and sweetened with stevia instead of sucralose. I have a shake after every workout.
Epic Bars . Always a favorite--I've mentioned these before. I'm not a fan of just having them for a snack on a regular day--but when we are out hiking they taste SO good--I crave them. I like their new Epic bites too.

I've lived in my Birkenstocks all summer long--so comfy!
Brixton Hats  (above photo) I'm a huge fan of hats....then I don't have to do my hair! 
Prana's Kara Jeans I LIVE in these jeans. The fit is just right, lots of colors to chose from (the green is my fav), and they are super comfortable--I even climb in them.

Merrell Hiking Boots . The kids have put some major miles on these boots this summer--they tell me their feet feel great (they did 13 miles right out of the box) and they've been through puddles, mud, and small creek crossings and their feet have stayed dry. Pair them with a good sock--we like Smartwool .
Kids Camelbaks . This is a great size day pack for kids--the bladder holds 1.5 liters of water and it's big enough to carry a fleece, rain jacket, and snacks (and whatever rocks they pick up along the way.)
Patagonia running shorts . Hands down my favorite running shorts--three years in a row! So light and comfortable-I won't buy any other shorts to run in.
Houdini . This jacket (pictured below) is my new favorite running piece. It rolls up tiny so I can put it in my running pack, and it really keeps the wind away when you get high up in the mountains--click the link and you can read my full review.
Resistance Bands. I used to be all "cardio! cardio! cardio!" But since I've added weight training in, I feel so much better when I run, ride, and climb. These bands are a great way to mix it up with weights--and they all fit in a little bag so you can take them wherever.
Now I need some help from you guys! I'm looking for some new recipes....I definitely not going paleo--you know I'm a firm believer in good balance, but what I've found is working great for me right now is what I've decided to call "conscious carbs", meaning I eat more carbs the days I'm more active--running or biking-- (yogurt and oats for breakfast, a wrap for lunch) and less carbs when I'm less active (eggs for breakfast, salad and lean protein for lunch, etc). So I'm wondering if you have any great resources, favorite recipes, or instagram accounts that feature low carb meal ideas-some meatless dishes would be FANTASTIC! Mostly just good dinners and snack ideas (always looking for snacks for my long school days!) 

And speaking of food--I've been posting a few super easy meal ideas on Instagram Stories (@_sheenarae). Why are there Instagram stories? Who knows....still trying to understand it myself, but I'll post quick ugly food shots every now and then--check them out!


Emily said...

hey Sheena, So glad you're back blogging more!
Would love if you did a camping essentials & favorites list as well sometime.

urbankitchen said...

I've been going for easy healthy meals and the tend to be meatless (optional) or low carb- I found this blog recently: and love her suggestions/ ideas for adjustments for all sorts of dietary restrictions, the my favs are- beef bowls, tomato basil lentil salad ( with fresh mozz and crusty bread), and the corn chowder. This salad blows me away every single time I make + it:
and this crock recipe for spaghetti squash is so easy and so good:
haven't made this- but really cool blog and it has beets!

Lori said...

I am so glad that you are back to blogging! I hope to see some recipes from time to time, as I use your recipes more than any other. I'm going to copy what the comment above me said about Her recipes are fantastic! Also, I love for their workouts AND their recipes. They are super healthy and seem to be lower carb.

Joslin said...

For meatless stuff the blog cookie and Kate has a lot of good stuff. More meat based/fewer carbs nom nom paleo and the whole thirty Instagram feed (rotating people so lots of different ideas) are pretty good too. Sprouted kitchen is just all around healthier foods too.. I have to say that I got an instant pot off amazon on Black Friday last year and it's totally changed dinners. Lentils/beans/whole grains turn out so well in it in a fraction of the time. I mean so does meat but I feel like that is an obvious thing. I have found food52 and thekitchn to also be helpful but aren't necessarily healthy.

Natalie said...

Hi Sheena! Great list of favorites! I admit I rarely follow a recipe to the T. I use them more as inspiration and use what I have on hand in my kitchen. A few blogs I'm drawn to are Half Baked Harvest, Diethood, and Pinch of Yum to name a few. At our house we do a lot of stirfrys, tacos (often wrapped in lettuce for me) and we're grilling A LOT right now. I made a simple shepherds pie a couple days ago. My kids and husband loved it. Something like that is easy to load with protein and veg. You could also swap out mashed cauliflower for the potatoes to drop the carbs. I've been tracking my calories and macros and have been focusing on getting more protein as well. There's a neat search feature on My Recipes that allows you to search recipes based on the amount of carbs/protein/fat you want per serving. You might find that helpful:

Fan Milly said...

"Retailers' focus is already shifting to fall, [so] savvy shoppers can use the end of summer to get major price breaks on outdoor products, including patio furniture, camping gear and more," said Jespersen. "You may not get much use out of the items this year, but these end-of-season sales are a good opportunity to buy things you'll want for next year." Buy outdoor gear online

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Anonymous said...

Got any particular online/at home resistance band workouts you would recommend?


Carrie said...

I think you totally SHOULD do a sponsored post, b/c I just clicked on pretty much everything you mentioned and would totally buy everything if money was no object :)

I just recently discovered a dairy allergy and am dying for recipes, and found Oh She Glows ( She has some pretty incredible dairy-free, gluten-free recipes that I have been loving.

Claire said...

My favorite cooks lately are @myndidfood on Instagram, Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbooks (It's All Good is my favorite), and @eating_whole on Instagram. And always your blog!

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