London Day 3

Hi guys!! How are you doing?  I am blogging today from our apartment in Amsterdam.  It is almost 2 pm here.  We spent the morning at the Anne Frank museum (in line for almost 3 hours in the cold…) then grabbed lunch at a nearby cafe.  Our plan was to rent bikes and ride around the city this afternoon, but it is really cold and soo windy here so we might just end up at a pub. 😉  To keep my blog in order of our trip, I am going to recap last Saturday in London, which was a really fun day! Here we go!  

————————————————————————–

On Saturday we woke up and took the train to Buckingham Palace.  We walked through the beautiful park to get there.

IMG_0730

We actually arrived right at the time of the changing of the guards (which we meant to avoid because it is so crowded and pretty boring) so we weren’t able to get very close. 

IMG_0728

There was a little parade as we were walking away.

No cycling through the royal parks, ya’ll! 

IMG_0740

Us with the London Eye in the background. 

IMG_0743

Next, we made the short walk over to the Churchill War Museum.  We were both pretty excited as we had heard really good things about this museum.  

IMG_0745

It was really neat to learn about Winston Churchill’s life.  One fun fact we learned was that he was offered 2000 pounds to give up alcohol during a time when it was scarce and he said that life was not worth living if he couldn’t drink so he said no.  He was known to have an alcoholic beverage with breakfast.  He also loved to play cards.  

More pictures from the museum.  You could easily spend 3+ hours in the museum.. it goes on and on and on. 

Wesminster Abbey.

IMG_0756

Westminster Abbey again.  We wanted to take the tour, but we did not want to wait in the extremely long line so we admired it from outside. 🙂

IMG_0761

Big Ben! 

 

IMG_0765

The Prime Minister lives on Downing Street.

IMG_0766

Watch out for the horses!

IMG_0767

This is The British Museum.  We didn’t have plans to go here, but it started pouring rain so we decided to pop in.  It is HUGE and we only went in a couple rooms because it was so crowded, but you could spend all day here.  

IMG_0769

We walked past this pretty little garden in the middle of the city.

IMG_0771

We took a long walk down by the river to make our way towards the London Tower Bridge downtown. 

Sometimes you just have to stop and stare. 

A beautiful church we walked by.

Walking break at a pub called The Sugar Loaf. 

We finally made it!  This is my husband putting on a happy face after I made him walk for 2+ hours instead of taking the bus.   🙂

IMG_0790

I made my husband pretend to hold up the building.  I know I know, it was asking a lot of him.  

IMG_0794

The London Tower Bridge. 

On the subway.  

IMG_0800

My husband wanted to go to Pizza Express, a childhood favorite of his when he used to live here, for dinner.  It reminded me of a California Pizza Kitchen type of restaurant.  It was really good! 

I will end this post here as it is getting quite lengthy, but will be back soon to wrap up the rest of our time in London.  We are headed back to London tomorrow, but will be headed to a different area of town (where my husband used to live) so we are excited!!  Have a great day!!

Questions:

  1. How is your week going?
  2. What is your favorite chain restaurant?
  3. Do you speak more than one language fluently?  

 

 

 

 

London Day 2

After a very restless night of sleep for both of us, we woke up pretty tired, but knew we needed to get going so we got dressed, grabbed a coffee to go and headed to the train station.  Our first stop was Kensington Palace Gardens.  We walked through this beautiful street (no photographs allowed so we only have a few ;)) that led to the Kensington Palace.

The Palace is massive!

  We walked around for a bit then walked through the attached park, Hyde Park.  It is beautiful.  Children playing everywhere, dogs running freely, couples enjoying a picnic lunch, and tourists (us) taking pictures of it all.  

By the way, the weather was GORGEOUS today.  No rain or clouds, just sunshine and warmth.  🙂

IMG_9216

Jon wanted me to show you guys this phonebooth 🙂

IMG_0672

We wander around Kensington High Street for a bit. 

 

Next we stopped into this beautiful church called St. Mary Abbots Church and said a prayer for my granny and snapped a few pictures of the beautiful architecture.  My grandma would have loved this church.  

Next we headed to the Stamford bridge to see where the Chelsea football club plays. 

IMG_0690

We just walked around a bit, but didn’t take the tour.  

IMG_0692

We were ready for lunch!  We walked until we found a cute little restaurant where we could sit outside on this beautiful day. Cheers to rose and beer at lunch!

IMG_0694

I got a tuna salad and my husband got the chicken leg with mashed potatoes with a mushroom sauce. 

More walking and riding the train… we are becoming pros at public transit.. we have only messed up our tickets twice and go on the wrong train one… I’d say we are doing ok. 😉

After lunch we walked to the Natural History Museum to explore a bit.  

It was very large, like 7 stories that went around each wall.  We got bored pretty quickly because it was packed (it is free), but one highlight was this little room you go in and they simulate a real earthquake where the ground shakes back and forth.  It is pretty scary.  

The best part was all the diamonds!!  My husband is scoping out his next anniversary gift to me. 😉

Next we went to Harrods, a huge department store here to check out the food court (I know what you are thinking…), but this food court is pretty amazing.  It is divided into a bunch of sections and we mainly stayed in the chocolate room. 🙂

After Harrods we went home to freshen up before our evening plans.  We started with dinner at a cute Italian restaurant called Rossopomodoro.  I got the salmon salad and my husband got the pappardelle pasta with bolognese sauce.  

 After dinner we walked around Trafalgur square (very famous in London).

Then we made our way to a local pub for a drink.  

Yep, I ordered wine in a pub.  🙂

Love my sweet hubs!!

After we finished our drinks, we quickly headed over to the Adelphi Theater to see the musical Kinky Boots that my in-laws gifted us for Christmas.  It was amazing!!! By far the best musical we have ever seen.  It was so funny and the actors were SO good!!  Our seats were awesome too! 

After the play we headed to one more pub before we called it a night.  

 

So much fun!!  The nightlight in London is really hopping.  Lots and lots of people everywhere.

Afterwards we walked down to the Thames River by the train station before heading home. 

And my husband just had to get pizza to take home… and beer… in a coffee cup. 🙂

IMG_0724

Time to say goodnight… yes, we are still awake! I think it is almost 3am…. jet lag!!!! We are going to do all the popular attractions tomorrow so we need some sleep! Goodnight everyone!! 

Questions:

  1. What are you doing this weekend?
  2. How is the weather where you are?
  3. What do you do when you can’t sleep?

 

We Made It To London!

Hi from London!  We left Dallas last night around 6pm and arrived in London this morning around 7am (London time).  The flight actually wasn’t too bad because we ended up with 2 seats that were not next to anyone else so we had a window and an isle.  My husband likes to sleep against the window and I tend to drink a little too much water so I need an isle seat so it worked out perfectly.  

We took two trains to get to our Airbnb and only had to wait a little while before we could get in for an early check-in.  This is the street we are staying on right now.

IMG_9200

We were both exhausted because we didn’t sleep much on the plane, but wanted to fight the jet lag.  We decided had to take a nap before we could do anything else.  We ended up sleeping about 2 and a half hours, which gave both of us the energy we needed to get up and start site seeing.   We grabbed a quick lunch at Pret Manger (it is like a Panera in the US) and I got a salad with salmon, edamame, kale, quinoa, lentils and a lemon, mustard dressing that was amazing!  

IMG_0626

After lunch we decided to walk (in the rain) to a nearby museum.  It was in the high 40s and rainy today (a big change from the Texas weather we are used to).  

We ended up at The Wallace Collection, which is a museum full of historic art.  

IMG_0631

Lots of paintings and fancy china.

The real reason my husband wanted to go was the armor collection.

My husband is pointing to this really unique clock that we saw.  

IMG_9203

Afterwards we walked through Soho (the shopping district), which was very crowded even on a Thursday.

IMG_0646

My husband wanted to stop in Hamleys (a famous toy store here) so we walked up and down the 6 or 7 levels of the store.  

IMG_0648

He was in heaven.  I have to say, it was a pretty extravagant toy store.

The royal family… made out of legos!!

IMG_0653

We took the train back to our apartment and when we go off there was a HUGE line for the escalator up to the street level.  We quickly got out of line and headed for the stairs… as soon as we saw how many there were, we realized why everyone was waiting for the escalator.  We were both really out of breathe by the time we got to the top. 

IMG_0655

For dinner we decided to get Indian food (a popular cuisine in London) and my husband found this vegetarian restaurant so we decided to try it out and it was delicious.  It was really flavorful with lots of spices, but not too spicy.. does that make sense?

I am off to get some rest for a big day tomorrow!  Let’s just hope jet lag does not kick in at 2am!  Have a great day everyone! 

Questions:

  1. What is your favorite place you have visited?
  2. Do you like Indian food?
  3. Ever experienced jet lag?

 

Getting Ready For Takeoff

Hi guys!  We are currently running around getting ready for our trip to London!  We leave tonight and when we wake up we will be in London and we can’t wait!!  Blogging may be a bit sporadic while I am gone, but we do have wifi at all of the locations we are staying at so I am hoping to pop in at least every other day, but we will see!!  

Before we head to the airport, I’ll leave you with some pictures… 

Loving protein smoothies for an afternoon snack these days!  This one had Sun Warrior vanilla protein powder, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a banana, cinnamon, ice and ofcourse, peanut butter.  Lots of peanut butter.  

A yummy dinner this week of broiled tofu, brown rice, sauteed mushrooms, onions and garlic, steamed broccoli and avocado!  I love my veggies!

IMG_9179

Sorry for the terrible pictures, but this smoothie and overnight oats with lots of coconut hit the spot for breakfast this morning after a really hard Body Pump class! 

Had to get my nails done today before we leave for London!  Priorities people! 😉

IMG_9188

I always make a copy of our passports when we travel out of the country… you never know what could happen so I like to be prepared! 

IMG_9186

And I just needed to show you guys this accomplishment of mine… I managed to fit all my clothes for 11 days in London and Amsterdam in a CARRY ON suitcase.  My husband was so proud.  I’m sure I forgot something…  (side note: we do have a washer at each of the locations we are staying at so I plan to wash and re-wear some of my clothes).  

IMG_9192

That is all for now!! Time to get ready for our flight!  Have a great week everyone and I will see you from London!!! 

Questions:

  1. Do you always check a bag or do you try to do a carry on?
  2. Do you make a packing list for trips?  I ALWAYS DO.
  3. What did you eat for lunch? 

Interview with Rachael from MooreNutritious

Good morning and happy Tuesday!!  I hope your week is off to a good start! 

Some of my favorite types of blog posts to read are interviews (celebrities, health coaches, dietitians, personal trainers, etc.).  I love the personal aspect that comes along with getting tips from someone else in the field.  Recently I decided to add this type of blog post to my blog schedule so we can all learn a little more from different professionals in a wide range of fields.  

I am SO excited to introduce my guest today!!  Rachael Moore, from MooreNutritious is smart, beautiful, funny, and extremely knowledgeable about health and fitness.  She also happens to be my best friend.  She and her sister, Liz, started their health coaching business, MooreNutritious, last year and have been improving lives ever since.  I was interested in finding out more about the reasons Rachael decided to pursue health coaching, why she chose her particular program, and what she hopes to accomplish with her business.  Grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable! 

rachael-health-coach-pic

Introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Rachael and I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach.  I live in Nashville and I am Taylor’s bestie.

What does “health” mean to you?

Health to me is balance.  It’s a lot more than just eating the right things or working out.  Health to me is feeling good and accomplishing balance in all different facets of life – relationships, career, spirituality and anything else that can determine your happiness. 

Tell me a little about why you decided to pursue health coaching.

Well I have always been a yoyo dieter and gym-goer and I just got to a point that I was really unhappy in my life and it was time to make a change.  So I decided to move and make some other changes in my life to fix things that weren’t making me happy and along with that I decided to really get back into exercising for the millionth time. As a side effect of that I started looking more into nutrition and studying it and changing up my own diet and I really got to a place where I felt a million times better than I had before.  I wanted to help other people make changes and help them feel good about themselves.

Why did you choose your specific program (Institute for Integrative Nutrition)?

First of all, what I liked about it was the price.  I wasn’t really ready to make a commitment to getting another degree because I had a full time job and I wasn’t ready to make that big of a step.  I started doing some research and came across IIN and the more I read about it the more I really stood behind their methods.  Their premise is working on all the different facets of your life not just diet and exercise. I really just connected with it and it was only a 1 year commitment so it was very feasible for me. 

What  made you decide to start a health coaching business with your sister versus working for someone else?  

There are not a lot of job opportunities in my field where I am and I was at a job (full-time) where I wasn’t ready to leave yet.  I have friends that work in that industry and their complaints are centered around how impersonal and limited the things that they are allowed to do or say to people didn’t seem like something that was going to help people make life changing decisions.  I wanted a more hands-on approach.  And of course, I just thought it would be more fun to be your own boss. 

What does a typical session look like?

So the cool thing about what we do (my sister and I) is that no session is the same.  One session could be spent filling out a calendar and helping a client manage his or her time better.  We could be in the kitchen teaching a new recipe or going to the grocery store to read labels of different items.  It really is catered to the person rather than following a certain protocol. 

How long do you work with your clients?

Our standard program is a 6 month program and that involves meeting twice a month.  But I am also learning that this doesn’t work for everybody and it is always about meeting our clients where they are and figuring out what works for them. 

What is the hardest thing about health coaching?

It is hard not pushing my own ideas onto my clients… like pushing a specific diet.  For example, I personally don’t eat meat but I understand that lifestyle is not for everyone and that can be hard not to push onto people.  The second hardest thing would be feeling pressure to help people turn their lives around.  A lot of times people come to us because they aren’t in a good place in their life. So feeling confident that we have the ability to help these people is always a struggle. 

What advice do you have for people who want to improve their health, but don’t know where to start?

Sit down and make a list of 5 to 10 things that you think are either impeding your life or are causing stress in your life in anyway.  From there just start making 3 goals a week that you can attain (don’t make them something you are never going to do).  Maybe it is to drink more water or meditate for 10 minutes each day.  It is important to set weekly goals and focus on those rather than the end goal.

What is your number one tip for better health?

I have two and they are the easiest and most obvious things ever but 1. drink lots of water and 2. get lots of sleep. 

Do you follow a specific diet or what does your diet look like?

Right now, and I say that because it will probably change overtime as I think it should, I don’t eat meat, but I do eat seafood and I try to avoid dairy when possible and other than that I eat lots of veggies, fruit, grains, nuts and that’s about it.  I think as close to the ground as possible is always the best. 

Can you share a favorite recipe with us?

moorenutritious

What types of workouts do you do?

I do cross training – it involves cardio and weights and different movements for mobility and speed.  I go to a group class for an hour about 5 days a week.

What are some of your favorite go-to healthy snacks?

Anything with almond butter.  Lara bars.  I drink tea throughout the day to curb my snacky cravings. 

What would you say to someone who says they don’t have time to workout or cook healthy meals?

I would say – prioritize no matter how busy you are- watch less TV, spend less time on your phone and make health more important than anything. 

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Drinking…still working on that one.

What is your drink of choice?

I like wine and whiskey.

What would you eat if you had a craving for something sweet?

I would have lots of almond butter, dark chocolate, fruit and honey all mixed up together.  

How can people contact you if they have questions or are interested in your health coaching services?

You can email me at moorenutritious@gmail.com.  

A huge thank you to Rachael from MooreNutritious for taking time to answer all my questions!  You can find MooreNutritious on Facebook, Instagram, and on their website at www.moorenutritious.com.

I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did!  Have a great day everyone! 

Questions:

  1. Have you ever worked with a health coach?
  2. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
  3. What does health mean to you?

 

Weekend Recap 3.21.16

Good morning!!  How are you doing today?  I can’t believe it is already Monday!!  This weekend just flew by for me… anyone else?  I guess that is what happens when you spend a whole day celebrating St. Patrick’s Day…

Rewind to Friday…

This little guy has been extra cuddly lately and I don’t mind it one bit.

IMG_9106

I snapped this picture while running on the treadmill the other day… sweet siblings.

IMG_9110

There was some recipe testing happening too.  Tuna + avocado = yum!!

IMG_9115

This is Callie sneaking into the other dog’s crate and stealing his food.  

Her look of guilt…

IMG_9133

This guy wasn’t exactly innocent either. 😉 Who me?? 

IMG_9143.JPG

My favorite current breakfast right now.  Rice cakes with almond butter and slice bananas.  And a drizzle of honey.  mmm so good. 

IMG_9149

Friday night was low key and spent catching up on Fuller House. 🙂  After an early morning Body Pump class on Saturday, I got ready for some St. Patty’s Day celebrations.  St. Patrick’s Day is a big holiday in Dallas and the Saturday following the actual holiday is always a big party here.  There is a huge parade and streets shut down and there are people everywhere and loud music playing all day.  It is pretty fun, but exhausting.  We hung out with our neighbors on the rooftop (they have a huge party every year).  My sister and her boyfriend came over for a while too.  And I took all of 2 pictures.  This is probably a good thing. 😉 

This guy decided to bring his pony to the party… hmm…

IMG_9162

Sunday we slept in, took the dogs to the dog park, got a car wash (much needed) and went to Target to shop their BOGO 50% off shoe deal.  As it always goes at Target, we came out with a lot more than a couple shoes.  6 pairs of shoes, 2 shirts and shorts for my husband, a shirt for me, toiletries, and lots of snacks later… we were finished.  We spent the rest of Sunday relaxing (read: 3 hour nap), organizing, and packing for our upcoming trip this week.  

We ended Sunday on a healthy note (needed to make up for my dinner Saturday night that may have consisted of popcorn, trail mix and double bubble…ehh it happens).  🙂

IMG_9171

Lots to do this week before we leave for our trip on Wednesday!! So excited, but so much to get done before we go! Have a wonderful week!!

Questions: 

  1. What did you do this weekend? 
  2. Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend?
  3. Favorite breakfast right now? 

 

 

Friday Favorite Past Eats

Happy Friday to you all!!  I am looking forward to the weekend which should be a good mix of relaxation and productivity.  We leave mid-week next week for London and I couldn’t be more excited!!  My husband and I have both spent a lot of time in Europe, but I have never been to London (my husband lived there for a couple years).  We will be traveling to Amsterdam for a few days too!  

Today I thought I would keep it short and sweet and show you a couple more of my favorite foodie pictures from me and my best friend’s nutrition instagram page (rayandtaynutrition) in case you are needing some inspiration! 

Have you guys ever tried avocado and grapefruit together?  Sprinkle a little sea salt on top and dig in! 

IMG_8143

My counter looks like this often!! I love stocking up on fresh fruits and veggies! 

IMG_8144

One thing I stress to all my health coaching clients is to always be prepared.  Each week I set aside time to prep lunches and snacks for the week so I make sure to fuel my body with healthy foods.  I will forever love this quote by Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 

IMG_8145

Love grilling in the warm weather.  Homemade black bean quinoa burgers and romaine.  Have you guys ever had grilled romaine?  It is delicious.  

IMG_8148

Love these mini peppers for stuffing.  Perfect for a snack or an appetizer at a party.

IMG_8164

I love making my own healthy snacks for when I am on the go.  These peanut butter balls are perfect for when a sweet craving hits! 

Have you all tried PB2?  It is a powdered peanut butter that you mix with water to create the consistency of peanut butter.  It is a lot less caloric than regular peanut butter and a great option if you are watching your calories, but still want to have your peanut butter! 

Busy busy day! I hope you all have a good one and have some fun plans in store for the weekend!!

Questions:

  1. Ever been to London? Any must sees or restaurant suggestions?
  2. Do you like grapefruit?
  3. Have you ever tried PB2?