Why Organic Cotton Matters & Jeans to Kara ’bout #prAnaLovesMe

I wrote this poem nearly a decade ago (and won a trip to Fashion Week in NYC) and yet it still seems so fitting today! “It’s fab to wear cotton when grueling at the gym. But more than that, cotton lets me walk a fashion limb. I’ve got cotton denim skinnies that I sport around the town, as well as a hooded jacket and a stellar evening gown. My friends all say I’m stylish, despite my lack of silks and furs, just peek into my cotton closet and I’m sure you will concur”!Prana Kara Jeans save 15% FFJEF17 at prana.com

Probably the only thing that’s changed about my love for cotton is that I now make a point of purchasing and wearing organic cotton whenever possible. Cotton grown and processed without the use of harmful chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides is better for the earth, the farmers, for me . . and for you! A brand I particularly love is prAna, not just for the intersection of adventure and fashion, but also because their clothing is mindfully made to support sustainable practices and fair trade. Read on to learn more about organic cotton, this company’s best practices, discover my favorite finds for the season and to get a great discount code. Continue reading

Bedtime Snacks for Muscle Making & Weight Management

The advice to not snack before bed is much more fiction than fact! The real story on noshing at night has a happy ending for those of us who are always hungry. Turns out it’s perfectly okay, if not a “good thing,” to eat a little something before bed, especially if you are trying to build or maintain muscle. However, before you start feeding your midnight munchies, there are exceptions and caveats – aren’t there always?!

Why You Should Eat Bedtime Snacks and Top Picks for Muscle Making And Weight Management. Casein powder before sleep is best.

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3 Ways to Chow a Cherimoya + My #MustHaveBox

Just when I think I’ve tasted every type of fruit and vegetable there is to eat (ever been to Produce Convention), I realize that a tasty treat has slipped past my radar – the Cherimoya. Mark Twain once likened the cherimoya “deliciousness itself!”  – how did I ever miss the memo on this quite large and armored lizard-skinned looking fruit!

Discover easy, tasty ways to eat a Cherimoya (also known as a Custard Apple)

Cherimoya

Once set aside solely for ancient Incan royalty, this “King of Fruit” is still a prized possession – they are delicious and hard to find . . . and usually fairly big-bucks if you do. But, so worth the investment as you will gobble up this healthy treat in a single sitting, especially if you have a friend sitting nearby with a spoon. The flesh inside is amazingly fragrant, soft, sweet and scoopable – there some seeds inside, but they aren’t too hard to flick away.  When selecting afruit, pick a cherimoya that is still green but showing minor signs of turning brown soon. Like an avocado, the fruit is ripened with the flesh yields to a gentle touch. So, if your fruit is still green and hard, let it ripen on the counter for up to three days – or stick in a paper bag to speed the process along.  Check out my friends at Frieda’s for other great Cherimoya Recipes and Tips.

So, my top 3 ways to chow a cherimoya are:

Cherimoya sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg1)  Sprinkle with Spices: Sliced in half and sprinkled with cinnamon, dash of nutmeg and a bit of honey drizzle – I swear it tastes just like apple pie. My kids think it tastes more like a pineapple and banana that got married and laid a big prehistoric egg.  Either way, it’s a taste bud winner – haha!

Pureed Frozen Cherimoya - Smoothie and Meal Pret2) Mixed into Oatmeal: I put chunks or puree of cherimoya in my morning oatmeal.  This is a great way for me to boost up the vitamin C, potassium, and in my fiber in my daily diet. If I find the fruit on sale or can’t eat what I’ve purchased before going too ripe, I simply puree the fruit in the blender with a tiny splash of lemon juice and freeze in heavy-duty zip-top bags (above picture). This will keep in the back of your freezer for 6 months! You can also sub in for 1/2 the oil in baked goods as you would applesauce, pumpkin or another fruit puree.

Apple Cider Cherimoya Smoothie is loaded with fall flavor, fiber, vitamin C and more!

3) Blended into Smoothie: Blending cherimoya with orange juice is traditional but my recipe for Cherimoya Apple Cider Smoothie is super yummy.  I use one of the delicious, cold-pressed, 100% juice apple ciders from Litehouse Foods — so fresh you need to look for it in the produce department!

Directions: Add 2 tablespoons oats to bottom of blender, pulse for a few seconds to grind up. Add ½ cup cherimoya puree (preferably frozen) or fresh chunks, 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, ½ cup apple cider, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar-free alternative) to blender and blend for 1 minute, adding a few ice cubes to achieve desired consistency. Serves 1.

Must Have Box from POPSUGAR

Also, I want to share with you my favorite little luxury each month – it’s the PopSugar #MustHaveBox from POPSUGAR.  The Must Have Box is a specially-curated monthly subscription that is filled with full-sized products across fashion, beauty, home décor, upscale edibles and more. I absolutely have adored everything that’s come in my monthly box – often they are splurges that I would never buy myself (but am oh-so happy to have) or fabulously off-beat, quirky things that I never knew I needed until I have in my hot little hands – and then I’m hooked!

The Fit Fork - POPSUGAR Must Have Box

Must Have Box from POPSUGARThe October box included a book, Power Your Happy, by POPSUGAR founder Lisa Sugar, a gorgeous umbrella from Henri Bendel (along with a shopping discount card), Dark Drinking Chocolate (by My Cup of Cocoa) and a Rise & Shine Diner Mug (by Morning Culture). The Lalicious Bubble Bath, Revlon Eye Pen and Makeup Eraser Mini really spoke to my girly side, that’s a nice treat when a mom of three boys!  Check out some of the past Must Have Boxes  and sign up for a subscription that suits you – save $5 on your first box with code SHOP5.  Whoohoo!

What is your MUST HAVE this month? Tip me off on your new, most favorite, most awesome find! Oh, and have you ever tried a Cherimoya?! Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennnifer 

 

Paleo Butternut Squash Crab Bisque + Start of Holiday Shopping

Paleo Butternut Squash Crab BisqueI love me some soup in colder weather and finally it feels like autumn has arrived in Austin – so bring on the soups, bisques, broths, stews, chilies, cioppinos and other steaming hot heaven in a bowl. A soup that always catches my attention when I’m out running errands is the Butternut Squash Crab Soup from Whole Foods – I indulge in a to-go carton every once in a while but I’d be so much happier if it was more Paleo-friendly.  So, out with the dairy cream and in with the coconut milk, it’s an easy swap that keeps my recipe for Paleo Butternut Squash Crab Bisque a rich and creamy winner.

Paleo Butternut Squash Crab Bisque

Enjoy a nice, big bowl for dinner – or pour into a thermos for lunch at work or a warming treat in the football fan stands. If you can’t find or afford the crab, small salad-sized shrimp from the frozen aisle make a pretty darn good substitute.

 

Songa Designs Bella & Bling CuffAlso, with the holidays coming up, I want to share with you a fabulous gift idea for the women in your life — like a mom, sister, special aunt or best running friend. Even though it seems waaaay to early to start holiday shopping, it’s really not — the craziness of the season sneaks up so fast and I hate to be scrambling for last-minute gift ideas. So, how about a piece of gorgeous, artisan-made jewelry from Songa Designs?! I’m totally loving this Bella & Bling cuff bracelet, it’s a little tough and a lot pretty — and better yet, it’s made with natural fibers and reclaimed stones by women in Rwanda who built up this business to self-empower and create a better life. Be part of this circle of extraordinary women and check out the lookbook — if you’d like to order,use FITFORK15 at checkout for 15% off through Dec. 16th.

Soup or salad — or both? Have you started holiday shopping yet? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

 

Paleo Butternut Squash Crab Bisque
Paleo Butternut Squash Crab Bisque
Print Recipe
Warm up with a mug full of this delicious crab bisque brimming with the natural sweetness of apple along with my favorite winter squash.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Paleo Butternut Squash Crab Bisque
Paleo Butternut Squash Crab Bisque
Print Recipe
Warm up with a mug full of this delicious crab bisque brimming with the natural sweetness of apple along with my favorite winter squash.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Instructions
  1. Add coconut oil to large stock pot and heat over medium heat.
  2. Saute onion and apple for 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring constantly.
  3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add butternut squash, seafood stock, coconut milk, and cinnamon; bring to a boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Blend with immersion blender until smooth, and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne – adding more or less, to taste.
  7. Stir in lump crab meat and continue to simmer soup for approximately 5 minutes or warmed through.
  8. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and additional sprinkle of cayenne.
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9 Minute Core Workout for Runners #GratefullyUndead

Back in the day, my running coach would always yell at me tell me to knock out some crunches after practice. La, la, la (hands over ears), I can’t hear you! I would usually ignore him, as I was in my 20s and felt nothing really got in the way of me running well. Well, that’s when my body was fresh and new and I  could bound right out of bed for a long run after knocking out a nauseating amount of 800m repeats the night before.

jennifer boa standing

But then I had three kids, got a little older and started noticing that the sorest parts of my body after a long run, half marathon or marathon race was my lower back and lower abs. It made sense when I stopped to realize just how much core muscles come into play with running mechanics. The muscles in the abdominal area, lower back, and glutes provide so much of the power, stability and endurance needed for surging up hills, sprinting to the finish, and maintaining proper running for miles on end.

9 Minute Core Workout for Runners

So, today, I’m sharing a 9 Minute Core Workout for Runners that will keep you strong and ready to run long.  Just tack it onto the end of a cool down run and grab a friend for accountability– it’s less than 10 minutes, so no excuses!

Also, I want to mention an awesome running brand that I’ve become reacquainted with — BOA.  Some of the flashiest, most fun running shorts and tops I’ve ever worn in my 25 year history of running have been made by this sportswear company — even back in the 90s when working out core was a bore.

I love their new #GratefullyUndead collection at BOA USA, brightly-colored but still so bad ass prints that you’ll blaze a head-turning trail right to the finish line. In the women’s line, you’ll find running shorts in a couple lengths, bra tops, singlet tanks and fitted (bootie) shorts – and there’s running apparel for the guys too.

BOA Gratefully Undead Running Shorts

Right now, through midnight EST Oct 12th, you can get 20% off your total purchase with the discount code JENNIFER20 at BOAUSA.com. Order(s) must contain at least one item from the Gratefully Undead collection to qualify for 20% discount and excludes sales items. Check it out here.

jen trail run boaDrop me a comment if you have any questions about BOA, the sizing, how to perform a specific core exercise or running chat in general! XOXX — Jennifer

This post sponsored by BOA USA. However, all opinions, advice and enthusiasm my own.