Fitness Idols + Thanksgiving Recipes

by Hillary on November 23, 2014

I thought this week might not pan out too well – fitness wise – when it began with two Rest Days before Thursday. It shaped up okay though…

I tried four new online workouts this week. My favorite being the One-Bell Kettlebell (interval) Workout from Pumps & Iron. Thanks, Nicole – I was sore on Friday!

PopSugar always comes through with great routines, too. Speaking of, I totally have “fit girl crushes” on Anna Renderer (PopSugar Fitness) and Jen Ator (Women’s Health). These gals give me inspiration for my at-home workouts and motivation to “train for life.”

Workouts | Week of November 17


TuesdayBurpee Arm Burner + 5-minute One-Dumbbell Workout (2x) + 5-minute Butt & Thigh Workout (2x) + 5-minute Fat-Blasting Bodyweight Workout


ThursdayOne-Bell Kettlebell Workout using this online interval timer + this PopSugar full-body workout (10-15 min.)

Friday30-minute Fat-Frying Bikini-Body Workout + 45 sec. work/15. sec. alternating burpees + spinal roll-ups (6 rounds)


Saturday – 5.7 mile park run with Nicole

Sunday – 3.55 mile run + (3x) 30 walking lunges / 20 step-ups + knee / 10 jump squats + (3x) this ab routine + 90 weighted sit-ups @ 15lb.

absNow, recipes. I think I have finally figured out what I’m contributing to our Thanksgiving feast:

1 // Pear, Arugula, and Balsamic Salad with Candied Pecans (most likely switching up the greens and dressing… and maybe toasted nuts rather than candied)

2 // Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic & Orange (repeat from last year)

3 // Mashed Butternut Squash with Garlic & Thyme



Friday, I sent out my 12 Simple Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving via the Nutrition Nut email newsletter. Subscribe here (if you have not already) so you don’t miss the next email-exclusive post!

Who are your “fitness idols”?

What are you cookin’ for Thanksgiving?


12 Vegetarian Holiday Appetizers

by Hillary on November 21, 2014

While I have yet to figure out the one or two vegetarian side dish recipes I am making for Thanksgiving, my mind is already jumping forward to December, and Christmas, and holiday parties where appetizers are abundant.

A cheese platter can be real boring – unless done right with gourmet goat cheese – and, well, most dips will ruin your appetite for dinner… not to mention that they are commonly a nutrition nut’s worst nightmare.

Check out 12 Vegetarian Holiday Appetizers

by Hillary at

There is more to an hor d’oeuvre hour than cheese and bacon wrapped dates. In fact, a pre-dinner bite is an ideal time to add in an extra serving a color (or phytonutrients, nutritionally speaking!) to a holiday meal.

I used to collect one dozen festive holiday appetizers – all vegetarian of course. I couldn’t keep the crostini from cruising into my collection. Let’s be real, who doesn’t love crispy bread topped with sliced sweet pears, tangy gorgonzola, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of honey?

What I like most about these seasonal recipes is their festive flair: avocado and pomegranates or pistachios and cranberries are two stunning food pairings that not only add Christmas spirit to a dining table, but they contribute antioxidants for our arteries.

There is no excuse to save the squash for supper either. My beloved butternut loves to start the show, and it is quite the nutritional superstar to boot: it provides a hefty dose of heart-disease fighting carotenoids along with fiber, potassium (bone health), vitamin B6 (essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems), antioxidants (reduce inflammation), and a whole lot of Vitamin C.

Butternut Squash, Arugula, and Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese Tartine



Butternut Squash Croquettes



So, if you’re hosting a Christmas party, or have one too many holiday get-t0-gethers on your calendar, peruse for your entertaining inspiration.

What are you favorite festive (or traditional) holiday appetizers?


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by As always, opinions are my own.


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