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    Peak8Fitness + Nutrition Blog

September 22, 2015

Fall Fitness Fashion: Best Items for the Cooling Weather

If you think cooler temps offer the perfect excuse for staying inside and skipping your workout, think again.

The heat of summer is actually harder on your body than the cold. When your body is producing extra sweat as a cooling mechanism, blood that should be in your muscles is rushing to the skin in order to cool it down. As a result, your blood pressure goes down and your heart rate goes up – not an ideal combination when you’re exerting yourself.

Various studies have actually concluded that the ideal temperature, especially for running, is around 45 degrees. Yes, you read that right.

So before giving up on outdoor exercise before the rest of the year, consider stocking up on some cold weather gear that will keep you covered, dry and comfortable.

Here are a few of my fall fashion picks:

On the Bottom:

Zella ‘Live-In’ Slim Fit Leggings via Nordstrom
Price: $58
When they say live-in, they mean it. Use these as lounge pants or workout gear.

Northface Motivation Leggings via NorthFace.com
Price: $70
Not motivated to venture outside? Let these breathable, moisture-wicking leggings give you an extra push.

Zella ‘Perfect Run’ Running Tights via Nordstrom
Price: $58
Lightweight but snug-fitting, these tights will stay in place while you work and can easily be layered for additional warmth.

On the Top:

Roxy Frequency Jacket via Roxy.com
Price: $44 (on sale from $88)
This jacket has a mesh panel in the back to allow sweat to escape and is slim-fitting enough to look stylish.

Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew via Lululemon.com
Price: $68
Lightweight and breathable fabric, this could be worn alone for warmer fall days, or layered for winter runs.

New Balance Impact Hoodie via NewBalance.com
Price: $44.99 (on sale from $59.99)
Keep your head and neck warm with this awesome workout hoodie. The best part? It has a hole for your ponytail in the hood.

A Few Extras:

Nike Dri-Fit Headband via Nike.com
Price: $14
Keep the hair away from your face and the sweat away from your head with this inexpensive find.

Balega Hidden Comfort Crew Socks via Balega.com
Price: $11
No more socks slipping in your running shoes. These will stay in place while keeping your feet gloriously dry.

The North Face Runners 2 Etip Glove
Price: $29.95
Nothing can ruin an outside workout like frozen hands. These are lightweight enough to be comfortable, but not too heavy to encourage sweat.

September 15, 2015

Pumpkins, Squash, Apples, Oh My: Fall-Inspired Recipe Roundup

If you’re anything like me, fall is the time to get back into the kitchen and whip up some delicious, seasonal recipes. After all, what better way is there to kick those end-of-summer blues?

Here are a few recipes that will really get you into the fall spirit.


Pumpkin Chili via TheKitchn.com
Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply a pumpkin-lover, this chili is chock-full of delicious ingredients that just scream fall comfort food.

Stuffed Sweet Potato via MoveNourishBelieve.com
If you’re looking for a savory dish without a long list of ingredients, this is a great, filling go-to dish. Even better – it’s simple to put together.

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing via FoodieCrush.com
Squash is the perfect fall veggie staple, and this salad makes perfect use of it. Plus, kale is something any diet can benefit from.

Roasted and Stuffed Acorn Squash via TheCozyApron
If you’re looking for something delicious yet beautiful for that fall dinner party, you’ll want to check out this recipe.

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup via AvocadoPesto
With cooler temps just around the corner, it’s officially soup season. This recipe is equal parts festive and filling.


Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies via Peak8Fitness
Clearly I’m a sucker for pumpkin. But somehow I don’t think I’m alone in this — these pumpkin cookies are always a hit no matter who I’m making them for.

Apple Coconut Crisp via DeliciousByDre
With ingredients like coconut sugar, coconut oil and flax seed, this recipe keeps healthy eating in mind – without skimping on taste.

Skinny Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread via SkinnyMom
Zucchini bread might already be delicious on its own, but add a little chocolate into the mix, and the result is something out-of-this-world.

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites via OhMyVeggies
Energy bites are the perfect before or after workout snack. Throw in a little pumpkin spice and even your energy can be fall-inspired.

Apples and Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa via SkinnyTaste
This recipe allows you to sweeten up your breakfast without all the unnatural sugars and ingredients.

What are your favorite fall recipes? Let me know and we might feature it on a future blog post!

September 11, 2015

4 Ways to Combat Back-to-School Blues

While we have yet to see the first snowfall, and flip-flops are still a wardrobe staple for many, there’s an undeniable shift in the seasons signaled by falling leaves and back-to-school sales. Sometimes long months of heat make the change a welcome one, but there’s also a disappointment that comes with the end of summer.

If you’re struggling to return to get back into a routine and beat the end-of-summer blues, here are a few tips to help.

Set goals with an end-of-year deadline

Don’t wait for the New Year to set goals, unless you want to increase your chance for failure. The build-up associated with creating goals for a beginning of year launch often creates too much pressure, and most of us are silently expecting to fail before we even start.

Instead, let your goals carry you through this slump and into the holiday season. Establish a workout routine, plan to change at least one of your unhealthy eating habits, or simply create and stick to a plan to cut down on your current stress level.

Not only will this give you something to work for, it will combat the common traps we fall into during the holiday season before they start – overeating, skipping workouts and allowing stress to get the best of us.

Reframe your thinking

What you think you create, and dwelling on your aversion to change directly impacts the natural flow of your life. Resisting the change is not only futile, but it adds a heaviness to everything you do.

Instead of thinking about how much you’re dreading the change in season and routine, think about what you do like about it. Sometimes excitement doesn’t come naturally — we have to create it.

Tap into your inner child

Speaking of excitement, who is better at tapping into it than children?

It may sound ridiculous, but there is something to be said for getting in touch with all of the little rituals we used to enjoy so much when we were younger.

Think about it – what’s better than fall sweaters, picking pumpkins, and making comfort food? Yes, it’s cliché, but there’s a reason why so many people find such enjoyment in it. It’s about being fulfilled and satisfied by the little things.

Everyone can benefit from that.

See it as an opportunity

We can always benefit from a reset – whether it be in our jobs, relationships, or workout routines. Sometimes our habits and way of living become so engrained in us, we are blinded to what isn’t working, what would make things run more smoothly, or what might make us happier overall.

A change in seasons can signal a very powerful opportunity to take advantage of this reset button. It’s a tangible beginning and end.

Instead of dreading what’s to come, take it as a chance to decide what areas of your life need to be shaken up a little. It’s not work if you know it will help you to live a more satisfying and fulfilling life. And, if you see it as work, you might just be attempting to make changes or achieve goals that don’t speak to you.

Summer might be fading into the background, but there are plenty of things to look forward to from this point forward. If you don’t recognize them now, you might just need to fake it until you make it.

September 1, 2015

Have a Goal? Set a Deadline

Regardless of the importance to our overall mental and physical wellbeing, goals often take the backseat to the day-to-day tasks and thoughts that keep our lives operating. If we talk about goals, the conversation often starts with one word: someday.

Someday I will run a 10k.

Someday I will eat more salads and less sugar.

Someday I will feel comfortable in a bathing suit.

Let’s face it – any statement that starts with someday should really begin this way:

I will probably never run a 10k. 

I will probably never eat more salads and less sugar.

I will probably never feel comfortable in a bathing suit.

Why? Because goals are achieved through the accountability offered by actionable steps and deadlines. Deadlines force you to put a date to that “someday,” which increases the likelihood of achieving a goal substantially.

Next time you think about that fitness or nutrition goal that would improve your overall health and wellbeing, consider these reasons for setting a deadline:

Deadlines help you to work backwards to create a plan of action.

If your goal is to run a 10k and you’ve set your goal deadline for six months from now (the date of your first race), you know the general shape your body needs to be in and the distance you need to be able to run by that day.

From there, you can set milestones to hit along the way, whether they are based on distance, time, or both. These milestones take a very large goal and break it down into specific, actionable steps. They can shape your training and turn the dream of running a 10k into a reality.

Deadlines help you prioritize your time.

With a deadline and milestones laid out, the time you spend training suddenly has a clear focus. You can pour your energy into making sure you are on track to get your body to where it needs to be in six months.

Working towards a specific deadline will bring the rest of your life into focus as well. If you know you’re working towards something substantial and it’s possible to achieve, you can find more motivation and time to make it happen than you otherwise would have thought possible.

Deadlines force you to really figure out what you want and why.

It’s easy to become stuck in the monotony of day-to-day life when you don’t take the time to think about what you actually want for yourself and your life.

Setting a deadline cements a commitment to yourself to figure our where you find fulfillment and what would help you to become the best version of yourself. And one goal deadline will often give you a push to figure out what other goals you’d like to work towards achieving.

Deadlines spur action.

When a deadline is set, there’s no more time to make excuses. After all, one skipped workout just means more progress will need to occur in the ones that follow in order to make that deadline. And that sounds like more pain than it’s worth.

So here’s your challenge…

Think about the goals that have been taking up space in your mind. Select just one, and decide on a deadline for yourself.

Take that deadline and plaster it anywhere you need to see it in order to truly stay committed.

Now, see how your success rate suddenly skyrockets.

August 14, 2015

What Drives You?