Monthly Archives: November 2015

Happy & Healthy Halloween

I invited a few friends over to partake in one of my Halloween traditions: a pumpkin carving party! Don’t you remember looking forward to this as a kid?? I do! Here’s what we did, and how to make your Halloween a healthy one:

First, you need to make sure that you pick out a healthy, ripe, pumpkin. I look happy here, but unfortunately I found out that my pumpkin was half rotten and therefore was unable to use almost all of my pumpkin seeds!

Which brings me to my next point: pumpkin seeds! Pumpkin seeds are a wonderful seasonal snack. Make sure you have everyone get all of the pumpkin gunk untangled from the seeds. Then put the seeds in a strainer, rinse them off, and lay them on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt (or cinnamon) and bake for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees. DELISH!

I also made some gluten-free pumpkin bread this year. It was SO good, and not loaded with artificial sweeteners or tons of ingredients.


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Why Magazines May Make You Feel Gross

Yesterday I was on 89.5 here in Chicago, for Feminist Wednesdays. (Listen Here)

I brought in a few of my women’s magazines and we discussed the messages many of these magazines send to women. I’ve always been very passionate about the media’s effect on people, women especially, so I was very excited to discuss this.

Before I explain why magazines may make you feel gross, I’d first like to say that I do feel there is some valuable information in mainstream women’s magazines – workouts, new snack ideas, articles about new health findings, etc. However, I do have a problem with the way in which these magazines present this information to women.

Here’s a recap of some of the messages I discussed on air yesterday, and why I am appalled by them:

– Things You Should Never Stop Doing in a Relationship: “Wearing cute little lounge clothes on Sundays. C’mon, yoga pants are just as comfy as sweats…and they won’t shrink his boner.My interpretation: So, even when you are relaxing, you should be conscious of what your man is most attracted to. If you’re not, he won’t be so attracted to you. And that’s your fault. (And P.S., baggy sweatpants are more comfortable!!)

– “Sucking it in and strutting your stuff when he’s watching.My interpretation: Your stomach isn’t flat enough, so you need to suck it in. But just when he is watching, because heaven forbid your man see you with your stomach sticking out.

– Advertisement for Altoids: “When you lean in, make sure he doesn’t lean out.My interpretation: We all want good breath! Who doesn’t? Don’t ruin a kiss with bad breath. If you do, he won’t kiss you. So make sure you have good breath so you can attract a guy.

– “There’s a reason runners can get away with wearing nothing but short shorts and sports bras: their bodies!” My interpretation: If you have a great, slim body, you can “get away with” wearing less clothes. But if you don’t have a “runner’s body”, don’t even think twice about not covering up your body.

Basically, my biggest beef with women’s magazines is that the twist on losing weight, dieting, and looking good is all about how you need to do these things to fit into some society norm (skinny jeans, calorie counting, and buying tons of beauty products) or why you need to do these things in order to attract or impress a man.

I’m barely skimming the surface here, but what do you think? Do you agree with me, or do you think these articles and ads are harmless? Leave me a comment below!



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How to Not Take Offense to Offensive Comments

We’ve all been there – questioning whether or not we’re being too sensitive to offensive comments. AND also wondering if there’s truth to the offensive comments. Are we really as rude as the person in front of us in line says we are? Are we really as unattractive as the stranger in the fitting room next to us says we are in the new dress we’re trying on? Is a friend right about labeling us as selfish because we couldn’t make it to her birthday party?

These offensive and negative comments (sometimes attacks!) on us are very difficult to just brush off or ignore – and, in fact, I do not advise this. Instead, before taking offense to an offensive comment, make sure you’re thought about the following points:

1. What is going on with the offender? What is his/her position in the moment when the offensive comment was made? What could this person be feeling at the time?

2. Is the offender making this comment to you because he/she feels that it is in your best interest to hear it?

3. Are you internalizing this comment because either a) you feel this way about yourself sometimes or b) you’ve heard someone say this to you before?

Before taking offense to these types of comments, reflect on the above questions. Just because someone says something to you, about you, does not make it true. Instead, realize that their comment is coming from their reality, their perception, and their point of view – and in fact, it may have NOTHING to do with you!

What do you think? Do you have an example of an offensive comment and how you thought about it? Let me know by leaving a comment below!


Video: Killer Butt Workout!

Here’s the video for the Killer Butt Workout – enjoy!


Surprising Ways to Reach Your Goals + 5K Pics!

Some of these tips may surprise you, but if you are reading this as an over-achieving woman, I’m sure you can relate!

Here are some surprising ways to reach your goals:

  • Try not to pile on too many conditions to reaching your goal. Don’t get me wrong – I am all about setting your sites on the sky. However, sometimes this can lead to feeling overworked, underachieving, and can just drive you crazy. For example, my client and I decided not to set a timed goal for the 5K this past weekend. Instead, we decided to just be able to complete it without walking, and use this time to set a timed goal for our next race. This took the pressure off of having to “grade” ourselves based on whether or not we hit our time – and instead we were able to celebrate our success of just completing the darn thing!
  • Avoid cramming in completing too many things to make your goal feel successful. For example, this past weekend while moving, my goal was to have EVERYTHING done in two days: Furniture moved, new furniture purchased, every single thing unpacked, pictures hung on the walls, drapes put together, etc. etc. At the end of the second day, I was extremely upset because the person who was helping me decided it was time to be done. WHAT! I later settled down after this person explained that while I have very high expectations of how many things can get done in a limited amount of time, and this is partly why I am successful, sometimes I need a reality check and need to appreciate everything that HAD gotten done instead of focusing on the things that weren’t completed.

Do you have any tips or comments? Leave them in the comments below!

Finally, check out more pics from the 5K here:

Pre-race stretching

Post-race (we were sweating, I swear!) When we crossed the finish line, the announcer said, “Way to go team Step It Up with Steph!”

I’m forming a Step It Up with Steph team for the 5K in November – leave a comment below if you’re interested! Also, let me know what you think about GOALS 🙂