The Hostess with The Mostest

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I love having company.  No, really, I do!  Now that we’re in a house large enough to accommodate a few extra guests from time to time without everyone tripping all over each other, I really look forward to friends coming to town to visit and family coming for the holidays.  Yes, it requires a little extra cleaning and pillow-fluffing, but let’s face it, I probably needed to do those things anyway!  One of my favorite things to do is to come up with some creative ways to make my guests feel personally welcomed and at home in our home (a la “Hotel Monica” on Friends).  I’m happy to share a few of those tips with you today! (Remember, tailor these things to your personal guests. The more personal, the better!)

Personal Touches to Help Any Guest Feel Welcome 

1.)    Find a knickknack or picture that your guest will connect with.  Whether it’s a picture of the two of you together, a place you went on a trip, or even a little knickknack that represents an inside joke…having something that they recognize automatically makes it seem like it’s their room.  I keep 2 frames in our guest room and regularly rotate pictures out depending on who’s coming…a family pic when my parents or in-laws are in town, a pic of the kiddo and his cousins when my SIL visits, a pic of me and Cass from Oklahoma whenever she comes to visit.  And when she was here for Halloween, I laid out a little treat that coincides with an inside joke about a quote from a movie we always use (props to you if you can name the movie!). IMG_1574

2.)    A seasonal accent.  It may sound funny, but having some sort of seasonal decoration makes your guest room feel fresh and contemporary.  For most of us, that room is one that really only gets used when people are in town…so it’s easy for it to feel that way to them, too…like they’re staying in  that generic extra room.  You don’t have to do anything fancy at all!  I keep a classic glass vase in our guest room and fill it according to the season…mini pumpkins and gourds for fall(might cost you $5 at Michaels and these can be reused), mini Christmas balls for Christmas, Easter eggs for spring, fake fruit or flowers for summer…you get the idea.  And if you don’t want to go that route, fresh flowers are always a win (added bonus:  automatic air freshener).photo 2

3.)    Hotel-like amenities.  Of course, when you have a guest, you’ll want to make sure you have fresh sheets on the bed and clean towels in the bathroom.  And probably an extra bottle of shampoo and conditioner in case they forget theirs.  But I like to take it a step further and provide some extra little toiletries, both as a replacement for forgotten items and also as just a nice gesture.  I’ll always save my hotel lotions, mouthwash, and body wash for just that purpose.  Free samples from places like Clinique or Sephora are also great.  Find a cute glass jar, fill it with these treats, and set it next to the sink in the guest bath.  As an added bonus, this also gives them a place to store their toothbrush while they’re there.

 

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4.)    Aromatherapy.  Hear me when I say, this DOES NOT mean that you have to spend a ton on plug-in air fresheners, scented candles, or anything like that.  In fact, I’d steer clear of those in favor of something a bit more natural and subtle…have you ever noticed that most large hotels have a distinctly Lysol-y type smell?  If you have access to a good quality essential oil (my favorite is DoTerra), a little bit goes a long way and really helps to make the room feel clean and relaxing.  Five to ten drops distilled into some water and then spritzed onto linens, carpet, pillows, and voila!  Scents like vanilla, lavender, and sandalwood promote relaxation.  Peppermint invigorates.  Tea tree, lemon, and wild orange smell clean and crisp.  Choose according to the mood you’d like to set.photo 3

5.)     Special Needs.  Keep in mind any specific needs your guest might have and try to accommodate them before they come.  My FIL loves to read the paper every morning, so I try to have one on the nightstand when they get here.  Some people like to take a glass of water to bed at night…I’ll set out glasses for that purpose on the nightstand.  Consider yourself the concierge and try to anticipate what might make them feel more at home.

Well, there you have it! Don’t be intimidated and think that everything you do has to be Pinterest-perfect.  The important thing is just to put some thought into each guest that comes to visit…whatever you do to accommodate them, the fact that you took the extra time to ensure their comfort will mean a great deal.  Having some stand-bys at the ready helps to make changes for each guest a little bit easier.

What are your favorite things people have done for you as a guest? What little tips do you have for welcoming company? We want to hear from you!

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Fun with Fashion

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Hey y’all! It’s finally warming up around here and everyone is coming out of their winter hibernation to sit on patios and have cocktails. Audrey did such a great job of highlighting some wonderful wardrobe staples for the warmer months last week, and I want to add to that. We talked a lot this past weekend (did y’all know that I went to Texas last weekend?) about ways we play with our own personal style. Some of it has to do with what works with our individual personalities and shapes and sizes, but I think there are certain things that everyone can do to maximize what they have hanging in their closet. I love shopping, but I don’t have the budget to go out and buy something new every time I want a new look, so I have to find ways to make the stuff I already have look new and fresh. Not that I don’t go shopping a little more than I should from time to time…

1. Find Inspiration: I am more than happy to admit that I am not quite creative enough to come up with inspiration on my own. I love the Women’s Fashion section of Pinterest. I try to find looks put together with items similar to something I already have in my closet. I love In Style and People Style Watch magazines. People Style Watch especially because they do a really great job of finding great trends for reasonable prices. They also do a great “This Works” “This Doesn’t” section for both clothes and hair with great explanations as to why something works vs. why something similar doesn’t.
2. Accessorize: There is no better way to make an old outfit look updated than adding some accessories. A bright scarf, a chic belt, some trendy sunglasses, the right shoes, or some great jewelry can take jeans and a white t-shirt from ordinary to extraordinary. The right accessories can change the look of a basic outfit. A leather jacket and some ankle booties and you’re biker chic. A bright scarf, some killer earrings, and some heels and you’re a trendy fashionista. Sandals and a headband…you’re a hipster. You get the idea.
3. Layer: One of my favorite things about spring, before it gets too hot, is that you can add layers to change up your look. A good denim or leather jacket. A cute sweater or well tailored button down can add dimension to an outfit. The key here is fit. Too loose and you look sloppy and too tight and you look like a busted can of biscuits. If you are wearing lots of layers up top, keep it simple on the bottom. You don’t want to draw people’s eyes all over the place. Think of one thing as the “showstopper” and the rest of your outfit should compliment and highlight it, not take away from it.
4.Get Your Hair Done: It may seem obvious. It may seem ridiculous. But how you fix your hair can say a lot about what you are trying to say about yourself. A ponytail says “I’m getting stuff done today” while a blow out might say “I’m fabulous”. Putting your hair in an up-do can give a sense of elegance to any outfit. If you want to add a little pizzazz, headbands or hair clips can do the trick. Just remember, don’t put a lot of thought and effort into your wardrobe and then forget to fix your hair. That just says, “I tried, but I don’t really care that much”.
5. Play with Color: Like Audrey, I tend to gravitate toward neutrals. Black, white, and tan are my favorite colors when it comes to my clothes. I tend to buy those things because they are easiest to mix and match, and especially with traveling, that is what I need. But I try to add color in my accessories. Nothing spices up a classic LBD like a bright pair of heels, and a bright scarf can take jeans and tee from drab to fab. Obviously, on Wednesdays, you should wear pink. (Kidding…but, really.)
6. Be Yourself: If you only hear one thing, hear this…if you don’t dress in a way that you think represents you in the way you want to portray yourself, you’ll never feel at home in your own skin. I am a big believer in the whole feeling your best when you look your best, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be someone you’re not. Ultimately, none of the other stuff matters if you don’t like it, so play with looks. Mix and match and don’t be afraid to try new things! Be fabulous…but be yourself.
Namaste…or whatever.
XO ~Cassie

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What Would Beyonce Do?

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Happy Monday, y’all! I hope that you have all thoroughly enjoyed your weekend. I’m home from Texas after my epic Petey Birthday Weekend with my other half…more to come on that later this week…and wanted to share some Monday Motivation with y’all. Last week I blogged about healthy eating, but there’s something else that is just as important…physical activity

Benefits of Activity:Sure, being healthy involves eating healthy foods, but the other side of that is treating your body well, and keeping it working well. Think about it this way: if you don’t treat your car well, it doesn’t matter how great or expensive the gas is that you put into it; it’s not going to hold up well. Our bodies are the same way. Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do to take care of your body. I know so many of us think of exercise negatively. It’s a chore, just one more thing to add to our list of things we have to do today. But let’s take a minute and remember why exercise is a positive thing, and something that we should want to do. Like I said last week, when I understand something, and how it affects my body, it helps me to be better about taking care of myself. When you exercise, several things happen. Some of the immediate benefits of exercise are the release of endorphins (yeah, remember those things from last week’s blog that have the same euphoric properties as opiates…it’s those, except these are beneficial to you and don’t involve chemicals that are detrimental to your mind and body), a decrease in blood sugar, and a decrease in appetite. If you exercise regularly, some of the benefits you’ll see are an improvement in your cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems (this means your heart and your lungs will work better, your muscles and bones will be stronger, and your body will work more efficiently). I could geek out over all the physiological things that exercise will do for you, and maybe in a future post, Audrey or I will go into detail explaining all of the ways exercise is amazing, but for now, we just want to talk about some of our favorite ways to get moving.

It can be cheap:Exercising doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. It doesn’t have to cost any money, actually. Do you have some stretchy pants/shorts, a t-shirt, and some decent tennis shoes? You can head out the door and go for a walk or a jog. You can do simple exercises like lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and planks in your living room. When I travel, I frequently find myself without any viable gym options. My solution? I head over to You Tube or Pinterest and find myself some quick “do at home” exercise options and get going. If I’m in a safe area, I’ll head out for a walk or a jog, and if all else fails, I have run the stairs in the hotel before. Audrey has a little boy she has to accommodate with her workouts…they go to the park and run and play, climb up hills, and hike on uneven terrain. Sometimes they go to the “kids jump” hour at the local trampoline park, and she spends an hour jumping on a trampoline for the cost of one kids’ admission (if you haven’t done trampoline jumping since you were a teenager, trust me, it will be harder than you remember it being). I know for a fact she also squeezes in at-home workouts while he is napping as well. Add a couple free weights or resistance bands, which can be found for reasonable prices, and you can do even more with your routine at home.

Take a class:The point is, you don’t need an expensive gym membership to work out. I actually got rid of mine last year because I prefer doing things on my own and being outside. There are lots of exercise classes that have grown in popularity, and if you enjoy those and can afford them, then by all means, go for it. I know Audrey and I both have our favorites, but we won’t go through all of them here. My advice is (and I know Audrey’s is too) make sure that the class has a reputable, certified instructor, don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right, and don’t keep going if something hurts. Ask questions of the instructor, you are paying good money for their instruction, so if you have questions, or something doesn’t make sense, ask for help. And please, for the love of God, stay for the cool down and stretching portion. It is a part of the class for a reason, and it is not only rude and disrespectful to the instructor to leave, but it could be dangerous or detrimental not to stretch and cool down. If you absolutely have to leave before the cool down is over, let the instructor know ahead of time and ask what you should do to make sure you cool down properly. (End soapbox rant.)

Get Motivated:How much should you exercise? I’d say if you are new to exercise, shoot for 30 minutes 3 times a week, and then aim to work up to at least 5 days a week. I like to try to do something active at a minimum 5 days a week for about an hour. Some weeks are better than others, but I try to make that my “baseline”. Some weeks I am insanely busy, but I like to remind myself that I have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce…and so do you. I like to exercise, but I find things to do that I enjoy. Did I always enjoy exercise? Nope. Stick with it for 3 weeks…21 days…that’s how long it takes to create a new habit. Make exercise a habit like brushing your teeth or washing your hands, and it won’t seem like such a chore. I try never to go more than 3 days in a row without some type of physical activity. It takes 21 days to form a habit but only 4 to destroy one. Don’t let yourself get to that 4th day. If you need motivation, there are things like FitBit, Fuel Band, etc…I am someone who likes concrete numbers and objective data, so my FitBit motivates me to get moving. If you’re a goal oriented person (also me), set a goal, sign up for a 5K, or a group hike…anything that you will have to train to accomplish. If you are a social butterfly, find a walking or running group, head out to the park with friends, sign up for a local sports league. The bottom line is just get moving. It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be painful, but I guarantee you it will make you feel like a better person. And the flipside of my car analogy from the beginning: if you take care of your car, you aren’t going to want to put crap cheap gas into it. In the same way, exercise will motivate you to keep fueling your body with healthy, whole foods. Give it a try. Tell us what some of your favorite inexpensive or fun exercises are. How do you stay motivated? And, most importantly, what makes you feel awesome?

Now I’m going to go exercise to relieve my depression from having to leave Texas. Namaste…or whatever.
XO Cassie

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Happy Birthday Cassie!!

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Happy Wednesday, all, and welcome to a special BIRTHDAY edition of “On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink!” Yes, Happy Happy Birthday to my fellow Petey, Cassie! Feel free to send her love, high fives, cupcakes, jewelry, etc. She’s the best and I can’t wait to spend her birthday weekend together!

So, to commemorate the passing of another year in Cassie’s life, I thought today’s fashion post could be on my tried-and-true fashion staples…the pieces in your wardrobe that just never seem to go out of style! Like good friends, they seem to always be there when you need them, and they just work to fit whatever the outfit needs. If ya don’t have ‘em, GET ‘EM!!

As a precursor to this list, I’ll just tell you, I’m a pretty conservative dresser, both for economical and personal taste reasons. Do I wish I could rock every trend that comes around? Absolutely! Are lots of trends made for us almost-6-foot-tall Amazon gals? Unfortunately, no. And I’m a firm believer that the absolute foundation of good fashion is FEELING GOOD IN YOUR CLOTHES. You’re not going to rock an outfit that you don’t feel awesome about…so dress for YOU!

With that out of the way, here are my top 5 wardrobe staples for spring/summer:
1.) A simple sundress. It’s feminine, cool, easy to pack, easy to dress up or down depending on the occasion, and ultimately, it’s comfortable without being sloppy. Win-win-Win—you get the picture. Accessorize with a cute jacket, a light scarf, pair with wedges/espadrilles/strappy sandals…or wear it by itself. It’s all good. The maxi dress has also made its way into my heart as of late.
2.) Comfortable, colorful short-sleeve tops. Summer is hot. We all want to wear things that keep us cool. Basic, thin cotton tees in a variety of colors fit the bill nicely, and can be a solid foundation for a variety of awesome summer outfits. I’m notoriously guilty for buying blues, grays, and blacks as my bases…I’d urge you away from that! Go bold! Buy v-neck! Layer!
3.) A cute, crisp pair of shorts. What I mean is, not your workout shorts. Not your Columbia all-weather hiking shorts (yes, I’m guilty of both of these occasionally. Namaste, or whatever.) But wearing a nice, pressed pair of shorts with a cute tank and a scarf is essentially like wearing a nice pair of slacks. It just pulls the outfit together and gives you a look that says you put a bit of thought into what you were wearing, even if it’s hot. And nothing kills me more than to see a great pair of Tory Burch sandals paired with a ratty gym t-shirt and running shorts. C’mon, girls. Tory deserves better. And so do you.
4.) A light, somewhat fitted jacket. No, it doesn’t have to be a suit jacket or anything like that…but something with a little bit of structure to pull your look together. A perfect example? The simple denim jacket. It has long stood the test of time. Now there are some No-no’s on jackets: shoulder pads(can you say Working Girl?), bedazzlement of any kind(that’s what jewelry is for…unless you’re 8 years old), words written on the jacket(I really think that one should speak for itself), and length longer than your front pockets(I didn’t used to know that rule, but it makes sense. I’ll explain it a little further in a later post)

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5.) A pair of cute sandals. This one seems simple, but I guess to some, it’s not. There are a ton of styles of sandals out there, and if I could afford a pair of each style in every color, I probably(as in, definitely) WOULD. Hear me when I say, I LOVE shoes. But I’m, again, a sale rack/bargain basement/clearance bin junkie, and I’m always looking for that item that I can wear with everything. So if you’re going to pick a pair of sandals to get you through the summer, focus on a few basics: Comfort, versatility, and style. A flat, metallic, slightly dressy sandal is almost guaranteed to go with everything. And they are usually affordable and available almost anywhere you can find shoes. And for the love of all that is good, PLEASE don’t wear you’re pool flip-flops(the ones you got for $2 at Old Navy) out with your sundress or your cute shorts. If you’re at the pool or the beach, wear them. If not, DON’T.
So, there you have it…my spring/summer wardrobe list. What are some of your favorite wardrobe staples? Favorite summer accessories? Looks that you can’t stand? Send us pictures! Leave us comments! Tweet us! We want to hear from you! Happy Wednesday, Happy Birthday Cassie, and Namaste…or Whatever.

Audrey

Update from The Peteys…

Hey, y’all. We’ve been talking about this blog for a while now and we got started in January, but it has been a busy (and cold) winter, and all of a sudden it’s spring, and the warm weather has inspired us to get moving again. We have some things we like to talk about more than others. We spend lots of time talking about college football, how awesome it would be if I moved to Texas, sharing clean eating and fitness tips with each other, and generally relating life to a FRIENDS or Mean Girls quote and making each other laugh. We feel like we have a pretty entertaining take on these things and life in general, so that’s where the idea for Kind of a Big Deal came from (see our home page for the story behind “The Peteys” and “KOABD”). So, what can you expect from us now that we are ready to really make a go at this? Travel advice and monthly spotlights on a cool restaurant or travel location and packing tips for a week’s worth of stylish clothes in a small suitcase from Cassie. Clean eating, fitness, and health tips from both of us. Sports…SEC or Big XII Football…pretty much anything Mississippi State (Dan Mullen has the best “I’m pissed at you, don’t talk to me or look at me” face ever) from Cassie and most definitely anything Texas Tech related from Audrey. We both love DIY projects, recipes and crafts from Pinterest, and generally trying anything new. So, you can expect anything and everything related to all of the above. The main thing you should expect is to laugh (we hope), and learn how to live life to the fullest without taking it too seriously. We would love to hear what you want to hear about. Namaste…or whatever.

Secret

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Y’all want to know my secret? My secret is that there is no secret. If you want to stop feeling like garbage, you have stop putting garbage in your body. It won’t be easy. Giving up processed food and wheat products isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s not the hardest either. I will be up front and tell you that the first 2 weeks are the worst. I had headaches, I wanted to eat an entire loaf of bread in one sitting, and I wanted to punch anyone who even mentioned something about a cookie. I swear there was one day that all I wanted was cereal and doughnuts. Withdrawal was especially fun the week I was traveling and everywhere we went out to eat, all of my coworkers were like, “This bread is amazing…did you try it? Oh…sorry”. What I said was, “No, that’s totally fine. I’m glad you liked it.” What I was thinking was, “I hate you.” So, yeah, those first couple weeks are going to be miserable, and you are going to have to make a conscious decision every minute of the day not to eat garbage. Trust me…if I can do it during 7 days at my parents’ house after my grandmother died (at one point I counted almost 20 desserts in their dining room), you can too. I’ve always found that the key to overcoming any obstacle is understanding it, and the more I learn about gluten, the more I understand what it does to me and the more I don’t want it in my body.
First, what is gluten? Well, in Latin, it means “glue” (first warning sign). Gluten is found in wheat products and processed foods and it gives them their shape and structure. I feel it’s also worth noting that gluten can be found in cosmetics, hair products, and some dermatologic preparations (getting more concerned). But here’s the real kicker. When gluten is digested, it produces exorphins (like endorphins but from a source outside the body). If you’ve ever gotten a runner’s high, then you are familiar with the effects of endorphins. Well, exorphins do the same thing. You know what else does the same thing? Opiates. Yep, eating products containing gluten produces the same effect as taking heroin or morphine (major alarms going off now), which really explains a lot, especially for those of us who are emotional eaters. This is why when you’re sad or upset or have had a terrible day, you don’t crave carrot sticks and hummus, you crave cookies and cake and comfort food. Some studies have actually shown that gluten can be just as addicting as heroin (yikes). You know how they say a drug addict is constantly trying to reproduce that first high? I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve eaten a piece of cake or something and gotten done and thought, “that wasn’t even that good after the first couple bites”. I’ve always known that I had a small addiction to these types of food, but this really puts it into perspective.
I’m not saying that everyone needs to cut gluten and processed foods out of their diet. I know plenty of people (who are apparently not predisposed to unhealthy addictions) who can eat processed foods every once in a while with no problems. I am not one of those people. So, I made the decision to cut out gluten and most processed foods. Here’s what I noticed: I have like 100 times more energy, and I feel alert, not like a zombie going through the motions, which may be related to the fact that I am sleeping amazingly. I can focus on what I’m doing. I would never have called myself ADD, but I am kind of known by my coworkers as always doing 5 things at once…having one conversation and still listening to another while on a conference call and working on a document. Sometimes I love the rush of doing all of that at once, but that can really take a toll on the brain. But now, if I’m working on something, I can focus directly on what I’m doing without my mind wandering to a million different places…although I’ll admit I’m watching March Madness and checking twitter at the same time I’m writing this…something about a tiger and its stripes, I guess. My favorite things I’ve noticed, though, are how flat my stomach is (I literally look like I have a food baby when I eat processed crap) and the fact that my joints don’t ache nearly as much. I was trying to think of how to describe it, and the best I can do is just to say, I feel great and happy and motivated. Is that because gluten was making me depressed? Or is it because those changes I’ve noticed are rewarding? Maybe a little of both, but it doesn’t really matter as long as I feel great.
How do I stick to it? I give myself ONE day to eat whatever I want…typically Sunday (Sunday Funday is my favorite day of the week). The funny thing is, that I might eat something flour and gluten filled and processed at one meal that day, but I usually don’t finish it, and once I’ve eaten it, I don’t really crave anymore that day. As a matter of fact, I tend to start craving “real” food like fruits and veggies after indulging. Probably knowing that Sunday comes every week keeps me from feeling the need to eat like it’s my last meal on earth. So, what’s my message, my secret? Knowledge is power. Put whatever you want in your body, but know what it is and how it affects you and your body. Learn your body and how it reacts to different things and make decisions that make you feel your best. Know that just because something says “gluten free” does not mean it is “healthy”. Read ingredients. Know what is in the food that you are eating and know that just because gluten isn’t on that list, does not mean that it’s not a processed food. When in doubt, eat real food. Use the 80/20 rule and make at least 80% of your intake real food. No one’s perfect, but make an effort to be pretty damn close. I am in no way a dietary or gluten expert, and I am only speaking from my own personal experiences. Being physical therapists, Audrey and I have a natural predisposition for wanting to help others be their best selves, so let us know your thoughts or questions. We hope to do a post on some of our favorite foods and products that help us eat clean soon. We also love helpful tips…we are always still learning just like you, and we don’t ever want to stop learning.
Namaste…or whatever.
XO, Cassie

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Namaste On The Road

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The whole reason we have a page named “Namaste, or Whatever” is because as much as we try to live clean and healthy lives, neither Audrey or I would ever sacrifice fully enjoying life for the sake of being the healthiest person on the planet.  Have I mentioned that we don’t take ourselves too seriously?  If you haven’t already figured that out about us, it won’t take you much longer.  We try to be healthy, but we try to be real.  I love Whole Foods as much as the next person (and probably more than I should), but if you don’t have access to a fancy, expensive grocery store that makes you want to drop everything and start doing sun salutations immediately, you can still eat just as healthily as those of us who are lucky enough to be able to spend twice as much on our produce.  Namaste…or whatever.  Translation:  Health is just as much about making sustainable healthy choices that you feel good about as it about what you eat or don’t eat.  Stressing over the perfect diet, exercise regimen, calorie intake, etc. does nothing to improve your well-being.

Let me start this by saying, in no way am I anywhere near perfect with sticking to clean eating when I’m on the road and traveling.  I do my best, but when you’re traveling to new places all the time, you get lots of “You have to go here…they have the best pizza/cupcakes/fries/margaritas ever”.  And I am never one to turn down the best pizza, cupcake, fries, or margarita.  So some weeks I do better than others.  (More on all of these places with the best “fill in the blank here” coming soon, so you’ll see how much splurging I really do on a regular basis.)  Obviously, travel in the spring and summer when all the vegetables are fresh and there’s tons of good fruit around is easier…but so is eating healthily at home.  I try not to splurge too often when I travel because travel is more of a way of life than a vacation for me, but if you travel a lot and are looking for a way to keep from packing on the pounds, I’m here to tell you it can be done! I am anywhere from 10-15 pounds lighter after my first year of traveling for work.  Even if you don’t travel all the time but want to stay healthy on your vacation, more power to you, but remember to allow yourself to indulge and enjoy things outside of your normal routine…not every meal, but whenever you want to.  And then when vacation is over…get right back to it.  If you get yourself a good base of eating clean and healthy before your trip, you’ll probably find that you have less desire or appetite for those splurges, but when you do, indulge them.  You only live once.  (I’ll spare you the sarcastic hashtag remark here.)

Here are some great ways to keep eating clean on the road, or if you are just learning what “eating clean” means, try implementing one or two of these into your lifestyle and see how great you feel!

  1. Drink water…a lot.  When I am dehydrated, I feel like crap.  And when I feel like crap, I eat like crap. 
  2. Find a clean, healthy on-the-go option for when time is short.  Lara Bars are the most amazing thing ever.  Well, probably not really, but they are pretty tasty and come in a variety of flavors and are great to grab and take with you to eat when you get hungry.  They are vegan and gluten free and have only natural ingredients. 
  3. Find an alternative to dairy.  Almond and coconut milk are awesome.  More and more coffee places and delis are keeping these for lattes and such, so I always ask.  If they don’t, I’ll ask for soy or non-fat milk.  I try to stay away from too much dairy, but a little non-fat milk in your latte probably won’t wreck your whole day.  But, then again, I like my coffee black.
  4. Opt for healthy sweet treats.  Dark chocolate or fruit are great for when you are really craving something sweet.  It may not be exactly what you want, but most of the time it does the trick.  You can grab these on the go just about anywhere.  I try to stick to greater than 70% dark chocolate if possible. 
  5. Gorge on veggies.  A salad makes a great, filling, but usually clean  and low-calorie meal, and salads are available at most restaurants, so, yes, you can go out to eat…just watch the croutons and the cheese.  And high calorie salad dressing.  If you have to have these, try picking one and asking them to leave the others off.
  6. Be a cheese snob.  If you must have cheese, make it a strong cheese with really rich flavors.  I’m not a big fan of blue cheese, but I do like feta and goat cheeses.  If I’m going to have cheese on a salad, I make it one of those.  You can get bigger flavor and usually less calories.  Trust me…try leaving your cheddar/Monterey jack off your salad.  They don’t add much flavor, and I bet you won’t even notice.
  7. Go NUTS!!  If you really need to munch on something crunchy, nuts make a great snack.  Almonds are the best, just because they are the most nutrient dense, but I like cashews and pecans also.  I try to eat mostly raw or lightly salted/roasted almonds, but if you’re really hankering for a flavor, I still think eating flavored almonds is better than a bag of chips.  Try roasting them at home tossed with some coconut oil.  Most airport shops or gas stations have some form of almonds you can grab if you’re on the go and can’t get to a grocery store for supplies.
  8. Cheat Wisely.  If you really want some chips (and trust me, sometimes I do), there are some great gluten free options out there.  Garden of Eatin’ for one and Way Better for another.  They are made from mostly corn or beans.  I wouldn’t get in the habit of eating these all the time, but on occasion with some fresh salsa or guacamole they are perfect.  I have seen Way Better chips in more and more airport shops lately.
  9. Go Local.  Local restaurants tend to have more fresh, less processed foods than chains.  Don’t get me wrong, chains are all well and good, but they order things in bulk and they serve the same thing across the country, so how fresh can it be?  Local restaurants usually source local meats and produce and are much more likely to cook things that are in season and easily obtainable, thereby reducing the amount of processing and preserving that has to be done.  Besides, you can eat at Olive Garden anywhere…try somewhere local…be a part of the culture you’re in.
  10. Give Yourself A Break.  When you eat like crap, own it and move on.  We all do it.  Sometimes, that greasy slice of the best pizza ever and 2 (okay 5) margaritas just happens.  You’ve done it, and you can’t undo it (and please don’t go throw it up, and if you do, please seek help), so just own it, enjoy how delicious it was, and go back to being awesome.  Don’t let it send you spiraling into more unhealthy eating just because you did it once, and don’t let it take away your enjoyment of the rest of your meals.  You are not going to get fat from one unhealthy meal.  And no vacation (or day at work, for that matter) is worth ruining over feeling bad about yourself.

Do you have any tips you think are worth sharing?  We’d love to hear and I’m always up for trying new things.  Keep being your awesome self, and we’ll keep loving you!

Namaste, or whatever…

~Cassie, KOABD

Meet The Peteys – Audrey

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I’m Audrey, a native Texan, most-of-the-time-stay-at-home-mom, sometimes physical therapist in the outpatient orthopedic setting.  Did I say I was a Texan? That may come up from time to time. I’m a Christian and that fact sits at the core of my being.  I’ve been married to my sweet, wonderful husband for 10 years, and we’ve got one spirited, hilarious little boy to show for it!  I’ve been an avid Texas Tech Red Raider football fan since I was born…and actively since I was five (anyone remember the Guns Up Club?)! I never planned on leaving my hometown of Lubbock, Texas, but life took us to Memphis, Tennessee for 8 amazing years, during which time I met several friends that I know I will have for the rest of my life…including Cassie!  Our friendship was forged by fire (our 3 years of graduate school, including being research partners) and sealed in Norman, Oklahoma during the fall/winter of 2007(yes, we’ll tell that story).  Though I haven’t extensively traveled the world (or even the country, for that matter), life has taken me plenty of interesting places and taught me lots of great things in my 33 years!  I am cheesily domestic… nothing makes me happier than to be at home, hanging with my boys, cooking, and watching College Football or Spurs basketball or working on some sort of crafty project.  I love knitting, painting, repurposing, sewing—as well as attempting DIY projects around the house (notice I said “attempting.” I might be the queen of Pinterest fails).  I love theatre and dance and might be caught belting Broadway or pop tunes on a daily basis! One thing you should know about me is that the more random something is, chances are the funnier I will find it.  MST3K, Monty Python, homestarrunner…the randomer, the better.  I enjoy finding ways to eat clean, exercise functionally, play organically, and help others realize their dreams and achieve them! I hope our jokes, commentary, advice, and general ramblings will cheer you, educate you, and encourage you…but most of all, I hope they spur you on to create your own happy place! Namaste, bitches!

Audrey, KOABD

Meet The Peteys – Cassie

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I guess I’m the single, free-spirited half of the dynamic duo that is “The Peteys”.  I currently live in Nashville, although, I am using the term “live” in the loosest sense of the word as I am only there, at most, 40% of the time.  I am Tennessee born and raised, but went to college in Mississippi (yes, they have education in Mississippi…).  After grad school, I moved to Nashville where I worked as an inpatient PT, treating mostly pediatrics and patients with neurological disorders.  Currently, I get to travel to hospitals all over the US doing corporate training, so I’m pretty much in love with my life.  Audrey and I have so many randomly hilarious conversations on a regular basis, we decided we should share them with the world.  Sometimes they are completely pointless, but I hope we’ll make you laugh.  Between the two of us, though, both being PTs and making an effort to live relatively healthy, clean lives, we do tend to have some good insight into making life a little better, so I hope you’ll get something beneficial from us too, although, if it’s just a good laugh, sometimes that’s all you need.

What should you know about me?  I am a daughter, a sister, and a friend.  I am southern to the core and Christian because I’m imperfect.  My mom says I am too independent for my own good.  My friends would tell you I can be a little bit dramatic.  There are few things I love more than watching college football (most likely SEC or Big XII) on a perfect fall day or being at a Major League Baseball park on a hot summer afternoon.  I love the sound of cowbells in Davis Wade Stadium (#HailState).  Running is my own personal form of therapy.  I’m an avid texter, occasional food snob, constant food lover, addicted to shopping, and fluent in sarcasm.  I whole heartedly believe that there is nothing that a little vodka and a whole lot of laughter can’t fix.  I think I broke my mom’s heart a little when I told her that I thought traveling was the love of my life…I’m currently in a long distance relationship with every city in America, including home.

Namaste, bitches.

~Cassie, KOABD