1. Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread with Flax. I can’t say enough good things about this bread, especially if you’re trying to eat cleaner but can’t live without it like me! Here’s what’s great about this: the sprouted grains help with digest the bread, the omega-3 + omega-6 in the flax seeds get you your “good fats”, it’s cuts down on calories + carbs and bulks up on nutritious alternatives like 6 grains, legumes + seeds making it a complete protein. It’s vegan and has no preservatives so it does spoil fairly quickly – I keep half the loaf int he fridge and half in the freezer. I like this toasted with almond butter, PB2 or my triple berry chia jam spread on it. I cut a slice in half and make a sandwich with turkey, spinach + while grain mustard. I like to smash an avocado and put that on a slice with a big piece of tomato and a poached egg (I’ll share that recipe soon!). It’s amazing with so many different things and is well worth the more expensive price!
2. Martha Stewart Living Clean Slate Cookbook. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this cookbook after following along with their videos at this website for the last few months. I like having the cookbook and using the site as a supplement to follow along. My poached chicken in ginger broth with bok choy + mushrooms came from this book!
3. The Complete Bocuse Recipes. This is an awesome french cookbook that combines the best-of-the-best from Paul Bocuse. I like this one because it’s geared more toward home cooks and is a much more approachable book with French recipes that can otherwise seem intimidating! My parents got this for me for Christmas and it’s filled with yummy recipes!
4. Ball Jars. I know, I know, it’s a jar… who cares, lol. But these little guys are my lifesavers! I got a case from Joann Fabrics (so I could use a 40% off coupon) and use them for EVERYTHING. I pack fruit and my cereal in one jar + almond milk in another to bring my breakfast to work. I make my overnight oats and chia pudding in them. I fill them with veggies for my afternoon snack at work, I store pencils and sewing supplies in them in my sewing studio. I store jelly and dips in them, make parfaits in them, serve cocktails in them, store my DIY blueprint cleanse juices in them, the list is never-ending!
5. Athéna by Unico Pre Workout. I hadn’t ever used a pre workout before but for the New Year I wanted to step things up and did A LOT of research before landing on this one. Here’s what I was looking for (which was not easy to find): something natural, something geared towards women that didn’t contain creatine + something with full label transparency. This stuff is amazing and has everything I was looking for. I like that there’s no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors + it doesn’t contain creatine, sucralose or any sugar. What it DOES have that I love is BCAA’s to help build muscle, caffeine to give you every (without making you feel hopped up on too much, lol), LCLT to help metabolize fat as an energy source (which has made my cardio insane lately!), coconut water powder to help keep yo hydrated + a few other key ingredients to get the job done. This stuff is very pricey but so worth it… my lifts have improved immensely since I started using this (I shake it with 8 oz water in #15 30 min before my workout) and I can’t say enough good things!
6. Trigger Point Foam Roller. Since I’ve stepped up my workouts, this has been a lifesaver! Each night when I get home from the gym, I make my protein shake (read more about that in 15) and roll out my entire body with this guy. I have tried so many different rollers and hated each one.. they’re either too dense and hurt or too soft and don’t do anything. This one is perfect size for me (I got the 13′) and the different “grids” in the foam do different things. The wide flat panels mimic the palms of the hand, the long + tubular ones like fingers and the small firm ones mimic finger tips. This is awesome because you’re getting out ahead of soreness so you can get the most out of your next workout instead of being held back!
7. Sonia Kashuk for Target Block Print Double Zip Fold Over Bag. I always kept a small zipper bag in my purse with miscellaneous items but the zipper on it broke and I needed a new one. I wanted one that was easier to access and see what was in it and this thing is the perfect one! It opens up to a two-sided bag, each side with a zippered clear bag. It folds in half and closes up tight to a 5″ x 8″ x 3″ bag which EASILY fits in you purse. Mine is full of all those random items you might need at some point but never have on you. Packing a little bag like this is life-chaging, seriously look at all the stuff I fit in mine and it takes up so little space in my purse:
8. BodyMinder Workout Journal. This has been another life-saver for stepping up not just my workouts but also for tracking my meals. This book has EVERYTHING you need to easily keep your workouts + meals tracked:
You can keep track of cardio, your lifts, track your meals and make notes about your workout, diet + supplements. I still track my food in MyFitness Pal, but I like writing it into here too so that everything is is one place!
9. Nike+ Limited Edition Rose Gold Fuel Band. I know I put this on my Favorite Things list for January last year but I just had to add it again for two reasons. One being that it’s a great way to keep track of my progress and activity and two being that I can’t say enough good things about Nike’s customer service. The display on my band broke last summer but I didn’t want to give up my band to send it back to get a new one so I kept putting it off. Well the season started and by the time it ended and I realized I needed to bite the bullet and do it, it was after the year warranty was good. They let me send it in anyways and replaced it with a brand new one (I even still got the rose gold clasp which they no longer sell from the old one!) and I got it back in less than a week!
10. Apple iPhone 6. Can we talk about the week I had a few weeks ago? I have not broken a phone since the ORIGINAL Apple iPhone came out. I don’t use cases and I have never had a problem. Well I was doing laundry and dropped my iPhone 4s face down on the concrete in the basement and well:
So in the middle of a blizzard outside, we went to AT+T. Now I had insurance but it was going to be $200 to file a claim and days before I got a new phone. I’m not up for an upgrade until November but my husband graciously gave me his a birthday present, I shelled out my Christmas money and got a shiny new iPhone 6 which I was obsessed with… seemed like it all worked out for the best! I couldn’t decide on an Otterbox case of a life proof case, because I obviously now needed one so I spent that night looking at them online. Seriously the next morning (on my birthday) I was getting ready to go to the gym, had the phone (sans case because I hadn’t decided on one yet) in my sweatshirt pocket, out of which it slipped onto the floor while I was putting on my boots and shattered… again. I went to AT+T to see if there was anything they could do and dealt with the meanest old man I have EVER dealt with haha. Long story short, 6 hours and another $150 later they fixed the glass. I was late to my birthday party and had to shell out ANOTHER $80 (thank god for birthday money) on an indestructible case (see the next item on the list). I have learned my lesson.
11. Lifeproof Frē Case for iPhone 6. Ok so I got an otter box before I left the Apple store because there wasn’t a single store in all of Buffalo that had a Lifeproof case for the iPhone 6 that was black in stock. I used the otter box until this one came in from amazon. I don’t love the case (it’s impossible to turn my ringer on + off, it leaves little rainbow rings on the screen no matter what I do and it’s a pain with the headphone jack) BUT it is much less bulky that the Otter Box and it’s waterproof, rustproof, shockproof, Danielle-proof, etc. Once they come out with the Nuud version for the iPhone 6 I will return this one and get that and it should solve my issues.
12. Nuun Natural Hydration Electrolyte Tabs. I hate drinking water, like really hate it. I know it’s a necessary evil and I drink my recommended amount each day but it still sucks. These little tablets are AWESOME! They’re a vitamin packed electrolyte tablet that you throw in your water and they don’t have any sugar (they’re sweetened with natural stevia) so they’re an awesome natural way to stay hydrated. They come in these little tubes so I throw them in my gym bag and use one right after my workout each day. They have three different versions, check them out here and see which one’s best for you!
13. Gold Bond Ultimate Daily Moisturizer. I had been using Vaseline lotion forever but when I was at my parent’s house over Christmas I tried this and fell in love with it. It’s super moisturizing but it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy at all and it dries so quickly it’s amazing for winter!
14. Urban Decay Naked on the Run Palette. This palette really is perfect to throw in your bag and have everything you need on the run! Not only do you have blush, bronzer, eyeshadows, a highlighter, mascara, eyeliner + lipgloss but the eyeshadows do double duty. I use the lighter brown to fill in my eyebrows + the darker brown for contouring. It’s awesome if you’re going somewhere and you need to travel light, just throw this and your foundation in the bag and you’re good to go!
15. Mini Blender Bottle + Blender Bottle GoStak. This little blender bottle is ideal for me (they make a full size one too). You can see exactly what all I keep in my GoStak here and I stick that in my blender bottle in my gym bag and I’m good to go. I mix my pre workout in it before my lift, drink water from it during, mix my Nuun in it right after, and make my protein shake in it when I get home. I throw 2 ounces cherry juice, 6 oz unsweetened almond milk + one scoop vanilla or chocolate natural protein powder in it and shake it up.
16. Yoga Studio App. This app is incredible, whether you’re a beginner who’s never tried Yoga or you’re like me and just looking for something easy and convenient to do at home. This app is inexpensive and is full of videos and yoga workouts broken into times, skill levels and different targets. Say you have 15 minutes and you want to work on balance, it’s easy to find that workout and boom you’re ready to do. You can schedule the different sessions in a calendar right in the app, you earn rewards (coupons to stores, rewards on amazon,etc) for completing your workouts and if you can Apple TV you can AirPlay the videos right to your tv!
17. Dominik Hasek. I had the best time at his retirement game a couple weeks ago, you can see more pics and read a little more about it here.
18. Doctor Kracker Seed Flatbread Crackers. These are SO good, I like to bring them to work for my mid-afternoon snack with a little hummus or a piece of turkey or cheese. The Pumpkin Seed Cheddar + the Seedlander ones are my faves.
19. Skandia Rose Gold Knife Block Set. When I saw these on Oprah’s Favorite Things list, I knew I had to have them! My grandma got them for me for Christmas and I am obsessed! I love the rose gold, the design on the block they’re in and they’re seriously good knives!
20. Boom Chicka Pop White Cheddar Popcorn. This is my go-to snack lately after dinner…. seriously so yummy!