Thanksgiving Week: Thoughts, recipes, and reminders on how to feel GOOD this week!

Can we take a minute to acknowledge all the love (and stress) that takes place around dinner tables this week? If you’re feeling the stress or anxiety (cooking or family related) take a moment and remember that this holiday is about gratitude. It’s not up to anyone else to make gratitude feel right to us- it’s completely an inside job (can we repeat this every morning this week?). When we release expectations for holidays and go in with an open mind and heart, it’s always a much more pleasant experience than drama, stress, etc.

And don’t forget to dig into this holiday but there is no need to feel sick after the feast. I don’t think I’m alone when I say, I used to think everyone was supposed to eat until they felt sick.  As if part of the holiday was feeling stuffed to the max in order to feel the most grateful. It’s really about being mindful and pacing yourself.

  1. Choose an activity with your family or alone and get active in the morning (hello local turkey trot…or run, walk, or hike!) You always feel better, happier, and most energized after movement like this!
  2. Eat a healthy filling breakfast…don’t try to “save up” for the big meal. It will leave you devouring everything in sight!
    1. Some of our favs: green smoothie, oatmeal, eggs, or combo of these 3!
  3. Drink water throughout the day and night ( I know, sometimes it ruins the space for yummy food, but you feel SO much better when you stay hydrated).
  4. BRING a yummy healthy dish.
  5. Load up on the veggies, salads, and healthy options (make this a majority of your plate!). But please don’t forget about stuffing and pumpkin pie. Trying a little bit of everything is awesome and delicious!
  6. Keep in mind, no one wins Thanksgiving by feeling stuffed to the max.

We challenge you to leave your Thanksgiving table feeling nourished, satisfied, grateful, and GOOD!

Looking for some healthy-ish options to bring to the Thanksgiving table (or the morning after), we got you covered. Here’s 3 of our fall faves…

Spinach Salad with Pomegranate and Avocado (By Martha Stewart)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 bunches flat leaf spinach, stems trimmed, well washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons roasted, hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1 Hass avocado
  • options: add dried cranberries or sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Halve pomegranate lengthwise and seed. Working in a bowl of cold water, use your hands to separate seeds from membrane. Membrane will float to the top; discard. Scoop out pomegranate seeds and pat dry.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons lemon juice, mustard, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss spinach, sunflower seeds, and pomegranate seeds with dressing in bowl. Transfer to a serving platter.

  3. Halve avocado and remove pit. Scoop out flesh and thinly slice lengthwise; drizzle with remaining lemon juice. Transfer to plate and arrange salad on top. Serve immediately.

     holiday-pomegranate-cranberry-spinach-salad

    Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Sesame, Garlic, and Ginger

    Ingredients

    1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
    2 teaspoons minced ginger
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup chopped onion
    1/3 cup  lower-sodium chicken broth (substitute for vegetable broth if you’d like)
    1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
    1/4 cup sliced green onions
    1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce

    Directions

    1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, and onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and Brussels sprouts; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add green onions and soy sauce.

    sesame-brussels-sprouts-ck-x

     

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins (by Oh She Glows) *Vegan

Yield
1 dozen
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook time
22 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the wet ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée*
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil**
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
For the dry ingredients:
  • 1 2/3 cups whole-grain spelt flour***
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see tips below for link to recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Heaping 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with large paper liners. My favourite brand of liners is “If You Care” brand as they never stick!
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chia seeds and water. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (spelt flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).
  4. In the same bowl as the chia mixture, whisk together the wet ingredients (chia mixture, pumpkin purée, oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses) until smooth.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. No patches of flour should remain. Be sure not to overmix the batter as spelt is a delicate flour. The batter will be quite thick.
  6. If using, stir in the chopped walnuts. You can also reserve some for garnish on top, like in the photos.
  7. Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin liners. They should be about 3/4 full or a bit more. Add any reserved walnuts on top and gently push down (optional).
  8. Bake the muffins for 20 to 24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, and then transfer each muffin onto a cooling rack until completely cool. Serve with homemade almond milk.

Tips:

  • * If your pumpkin purée is a bit grainy, try throwing it into a food processor and processing it until smooth before making this recipe. Or you can beat it with electric beaters. This will simply prevent clumps in the dough.
  • ** If using melted coconut oil, make sure that the rest of the wet ingredients are all at room temperature (do not use refrigerated pumpkin, maple syrup, etc. as they will harden the coconut oil).
  • *** I haven’t tried these muffins with any other flour, but I expect that regular all-purpose flour will work (like in the loaf recipe).
  • Make it nut-free: Simply omit the walnuts.
  • veganpumpkingingerbreadmuffins

Happy Thanksgiving week y’all!!

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SIB Baby!

baby

No this is not the introduction to our new baby apparel line, but that would be cool huh? For those of you who have followed along with She.is.beautiful or attended the Santa Barbara race over the past 3 years, you may have noticed that either myself or Sara has been pregnant each year. We agreed to tag team pregnancy and rotate each year because being pregnant at the same time could be a disaster… someone has to keep a regulated emotional state and lift the heavy boxes! Since this will most likely be my last pregnancy, I had to put it in writing.

In becoming a first time mother nearly 2 years ago, I had a new-found respect for all women. It was as if a new sensitivity match had been lit within me and I began to see a greater perspective than face value of all the women I interacted with. Not just mothers, but women who have chosen not to have children, women who have struggled to have children, and women who have chosen to adopt. The idea of reproducing has placed a lot of pressure on women and whether we decide or nature decides for us which way we will go, it’s important to find compassion for each of our journeys.

To the woman who has been trying for years to get pregnant and learned it’s not an option for her. To the woman waking up multiple times a night to feed her child through tears of exhaustion. To the woman who has decided she doesn’t want children. We each have stories and they are different.  We may not be able to fully relate to each other on some levels but we can support each other in our decisions and realities. I believe women can change the world by leading with compassion.

As a mother runner, I have found a different respect for my body. I am not someone who feels “glowing” through 10 months of pregnancy but I try my best to embrace all the physical and emotional changes. The nights of throwing up every 30 minutes every hour on end was harder to embrace but this was all part of my journey. It has not been all green smoothies, nutritious salads, and wonderful miles. I would take naps on the floor of my office… I couldn’t keep my eyes open some days. I spent the first 6 months of pregnancy surviving off sourdough toast and white pasta. These were not cravings, this was literally survival.

I was stoked to run up until 29 weeks and then have pretty much switched to power walks, weights, and occasional yoga. As someone who normally runs 5-6 days a week, the adjustment to not running is challenging as my body craves physical motion and mental release. It’s amazing how everybody’s body is different and some women, like Sara, run all the way up to their due date. For me it’s not physically possible and I’m ok with that for a few more weeks. But when you run by me, I will be envious!

To the women of the world, thank you for giving me perspective and compassion. I hope we can all continue to be reminded that we are all being challenged in some way at nearly all times, this means we’re growing right?! I am honored to walk amongst so many brave kick-ass ladies who are living their truth the best way they know how.  Women in this world juggle so many pressures, standards, responsibilities, and judgements. Carry on in your journey and know you’ve got a pack of ladies who fully support you. You’re doing awesome!

I’m inspired by the way you live… even in the moments when it feels hard, messy, and exhausting!

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“1 woman dies every 2 minutes around the world as a result of complications of pregnancy and childbirth”- EMC

98% of these deaths are preventable. Every Mother Counts (EMC) is one of She.is.beautiful charity fundraising partners. One of the ways EMC raises funds to support this cause is through charity running teams. Learn a little bit more about EMC through one of their fundraising team members…

Name: Anna Quinlan

Occupation: Freelance writer, copywriter, and consultant

How did your  involvement in Every Mother Counts come about? I decided to run the Big Sur Marathon as a tribute to my son’s birth mother (we adopted him as an infant), who gave birth outside and then walked a mile to the nearest road so she could hitchhike to the hospital. It seemed really fitting to honor her maternal love and sacrifice by using that marathon to also support Every Mother Counts and the work they’re doing to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. You can read more about my marathon story here.

When did running first become a regular part of your life? I joined the cross-country team in high school to stay in shape during the soccer off-season, but I didn’t really enjoy running until I discovered trial running in my 30’s.

What was/is the biggest challenge in working out consistently? Finding something you actually enjoy. For me, once I find an activity that I find both fun and challenging, I always find a way to make time for it. Lately that’s Megaformer classes and hot yoga, but I go through bootcamp and trail running phases as well. I try not to stress too much about following a strict regimen or program. The best workout program is the one you’ll actually do, regardless of what kind of activity it is.

What makes you love running so much? The accessibility of it (just put your shoes on and head out the door!), and the way it allows me to experience the outdoors. When I run out on the trails, I see the water flowing, the tall grass swaying, the trees rustling, the birds gliding overhead, and the arc of the sun as the shadows shift all around me. I am reminded that time is always moving forward, the earth is always orbiting, the seasons always playing out their unique personalities and then gracefully giving way to the next. Nothing is stuck. And I am invited to participate. None of it relies on me; it will all continue to move forward whether I acknowledge it or not. But when I run I am part of it, part of nature, all of us in motion, together.

What are you future goals in both running and life? I swore I’d never run another marathon after Big Sur, but now that enough time has passed I just might want to run that one for EMC again. In life? I’m just trying to show up as my most loving and joyful self for my husband and kids, and stay true to myself as I navigate my writing and consulting business. And just have fun with everything else!

What do you like to do when you are not running? Almost anything outdoors, including paddleboarding, hiking, surfing, laying out at the beach, and camping. I also love cooking and eating great food, and staying out past my bedtime dancing with my girlfriends.

What’s one word you would use to describe how running makes you feel? Small (but in a really good way)

What keeps you going? Knowing how I’ll feel when I reach my goal and knowing how good an enormous breakfast burrito will taste after the finish line.

What does healthy look like to you? Making choices out of love and respect for oneself and one’s body exactly as we are here and now. 

Along your own life journey, what’s one truth you have uncovered? The things that feel both scary and exciting are the things that make us better people. Say yes to those things.

anna-quinlan

Fight for those who are fighting a harder battle

 

Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF) is one of our three fundraising partners for She.is.beautiful Santa Barbara. Over 100 ladies have signed up to bring more awareness to this cause. Learn more about Spinal Muscular Atrophy (the #1 genetic killer of young children) and GSF here as well as from Gwendolyn’s mom shares her story below:

Name: Victoria Strong

Occupation: Mother/Nonprofit founder

How did The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation come about?  The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (theGSF) was born out of our firsthand experience after our daughter, Gwendolyn, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA at just 6-months-old. We had no family history, had a perfectly “healthy” pregnancy, and had never heard of SMA, but soon learned SMA is the leading genetic killer of young children. Gwendolyn was given mere months to live, would lose all physical abilities, and doctor’s said there was nothing we could do. We formed theGSF as our something we CAN do. In just a matter of years, theGSF has funded over 20 research programs, several of which are now making their way through the clinical trial process as viable treatments, granted over 250+ iPads to open the world to those with limited movement, built an iPad communication app downloaded by 100,000 people with non-verbal communication struggles, worked to get SMA/rare disease legislation passed to increase NIH funding, and have helped families around the world facing the impossible. We also created the nonprofit NEVER GIVE UP. apparel brand to motivate, support, and give courage.

What did Gwendolyn teach you?  To NEVER GIVE UP. Gwendolyn was severely disabled. She couldn’t walk or stand or move her arms or breathe without a machine or tell me she loved me in the traditional way. But she was fiercely independent and determined to live a life of adventure alongside her able-bodied peers. She was proud of who she was and approached each day with enthusiasm. Gwendolyn passed away last summer at the age of 7 and she didn’t just live longer than expected, she lived a big and beautiful life. She defined NEVER GIVE UP.

What did Gwendolyn love most about running?  Gwendolyn said running made her feel free. She was also a daredevil and loved going fast.

When did running first become a regular part of your life?  My husband decided to start running to become healthier. He soon turned that into training for a marathon. Gwendolyn and I cheered for him during his training races and soon she decided she wanted to be out there running, too. I’m not a runner. I was the girl who made every excuse in the book during “Mile Day” in high school. But when my daughter wanted something, I did anything to make it happen. So… I started running. It is because of Gwendolyn that I ran She.Is.Beautiful. In fact, this race was the first time in my life that I ran as far as a 10K. And, I got to run the last mile pushing Gwendolyn. I’ve never felt so strong. We soon completely the SB Half Marathon together and holding her hand while we ran was the best thing in the world. It made me feel invincible.

What was/is the biggest challenge in working out consistently?  Gwendolyn required around-the-clock care and the frequent medical emergencies that became part of our life were very stressful, so I was tired. Bone tired, all the time. Getting out there to run was always hard, but once I did I always felt a renewed energy. It was also a good source of therapy to sweat, cry, and sometimes even scream as I ran.

What are you future goals in both running and life?  I’m currently expecting our third child, and I’m not running much these days. But my goal is to always live a healthy and active life. It is such a gift to be able to move one’s body in any capacity!

What do you like to do when you are not running?  Juggling our nonprofit and advocacy work with motherhood keeps me pretty busy. As for fitness, I love hiking through beautiful Santa Barbara, walking along the coast, and doing yoga.

How did you first hear about the she.is.beautiful race series and why do you keep coming back each year?  The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and our nonprofit NEVER GIVE UP. apparel brand share the same positive and empowering values as She.Is.Beautiful.

What’s one word you would use to describe how running makes you feel?  STRONG.

What keeps you going?  Gwendolyn. She will always be my reason to NEVER GIVE UP.

What does healthy look like to you?  Being authentic, being kind, doing your best, and living a life that makes the world a better place.

Along your own life journey, what’s one truth you have uncovered?  There is always something to be grateful for. And in the bleakest of times, that gratitude is a lifeline.

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But in truth, it’s where we connect.

A song, a conversation, a movie. When the narrator has revealed their true self. Pulled back the layers and taken off their shield, exposing who they are without extra flair. These are the moments that ping my heart and no matter how different I am from that person, I can relate to that feeling of exposure to truth.

We grow up trying to keep “it all” together. To be brave and focused. But what we often fail to remember is that although being brave is associated with being tough, it’s also often paired with being vulnerable. There’s few things I love more than when people I admire and who are doing inspiring things stands up and says, “this is fucking scary and hard but I’m doing it anyway.”

The older I get the more I realize how hard it is for me to have close friends that only let you believe that “everything’s great.” It’s the ones that say, “today feels like a disaster”  or ” I’m really proud of myself because that was hard!” that I’m like- yes, I get it! This is real life.

One of the elements that I love about running, is the way it reminds me to be vulnerable. In knowing it’s going to be hard, admitting it, and accepting it. The way running seems to strip you of your layers, mile by mile. You feel lighter and a little more free. Often times your thoughts become deeper. Running to me, demonstrates life in so many ways.

In a time when the world feels segregated, it comforts me to remember the human element. Vulnerability is often uncomfortable. It’s saying, “this is me, fully…and it’s not always shiny.” But in fact, this is the place that most of us connect and can relate. In the space where we feel a little broken or unsure, that’s where the light shines through. Accountability, saying this is me cracked open, sometimes standing still and other times moving forward. Vulnerability is beautiful, inspiring, and brave.

 

Because running is universal.

In Ghana, I’ve watched them run. Their faces so beautiful and free. So careless, their bodies move with inspiring ease. In school uniforms, in authentic patterned clothes, and shirtless.

In Europe, I’ve ran though cobblestone streets and the nooks and crannies of cities both big and small. Through parks I’ve watched locals do laps before work, with friends or alone.

In New York City, I’ve battled crowds and humidity in Central Park. Amazed at the way one moment you feel like you’re on a forest path and the next you’re reminded of the heart, the sky scrappers, and the city life that surrounds you.

In Thailand, on my honeymoon most mornings I made my husband get up and run laps around islands. Waving at other tourists from all over the globe that too got the running itch.

In California, I have witnessed the way running can changed both young kids lives and 60+ year olds lives. Not only reminding them of their strength in that moment, but their potential for their future. It’s not just about running. It’s about aspiring to something more.

There’s something so beautiful about running. It’s so individual, yet if you talk to someone who enjoys running there is this universal feeling we can all share. It’s much more than a workout. It’s a reminder of who you are. It’s a place to reflect, to problem solve. It’s a reminder of what’s possible.

Above all, to me running is a feeling. It’s something  that once we make running a part of our lives, I think it’s something we all feel. It’s freedom. It’s vulnerability. It’s… love.

10 questions with Tori Tyler; Winner of (many) She.is.beautiful races

We think Tori Tyler is awesome. She’s humble, kind, and really fast. We are honored she keeps coming back to She.is.beautiful year after year! We wanted to take a few moments and learn a little bit about this fabulous lady…because normally she’s running so fast we can’t keep up to hear her story.
SIB: How long have you been running?
TT: I started running on the soccer field at age 5, and played a variety of sports growing up. My mom was an active runner, and she did road races that I’d also partake in. I remember running my first road race, “Run to the Farside” in San Francisco at age 10, and have been running ever since.
SIB: What is your favorite distance to run?
TT: Half- Marathon. It’s the perfect distance to get in a groove, but it doesn’t totally wreck your body like a marathon.
SIB: What makes you love running so much?
TT: Breaking a sweat. It clears my mind and feeds happiness into my adventurous soul. 
SIB: What’s your average weekly mileage?
TT: 50-60 miles per week pretty consistently throughout the year.
SIB: Do you run with a team or solo?
TT: Mostly solo on the trail systems at Redwood Regional Park in the mornings. It’s my zen.
SIB: Are you sponsored?
TT: Yeah, Skechers
SIB:  What are you future goals in both running and life?
TT: I’d like to keep running for as long as I can. I’d probably be the woman doing trail adventures and road races until I’m 90 years old.
SIB: What do you like to do when you are not running?
TT: Camping, weekend getaways, relaxing with friends and family, rock climbing, pick up soccer games.
SIB: How did you first hear about the she.is.beautiful race series and why do you keep coming back each year (besides the prize money:)
TT: Five years ago, I was working and living in Santa Barbara on my own and I thought it’d be a nice opportunity to meet fellow runners in the area. I was browsing in the Santa Barbara Running store, and coincidentally saw sign ups for the race that was the next day.  So I signed up right then and there, and I’ve been running She is Beautiful race ever since. It’s an empowering race for all women runners, and I enjoy reading the signs along the course.
SIB: What’s one word you would use to describe how running makes you feel.
TT: It makes me feel confident. I naturally come off as a quiet and soft spoken individual, but when I run it’s an opportunity for me to show my true fierceness and inner confidence.
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The highest honor

What does it mean to be a woman race founder and director of an all women’s race?

It’s seeing your dreams in motion. It’s realizing your dreams of having a space where inspiration, kindness, and fierceness prospers, is in line with many other women’s dreams as well. It’s an experiment putting together what you believe will make the world a better place and see how people react to that environment. This race was created to be filled with love and support from start to finish. To add the extra touches and flare, but also hold the street cred of fast legs and strong bodies. Strong bodies of all shapes, abilities, and sizes. The actuality of what the race has turned out to be has by far exceeded our expectations.

Women and girls have made this event their own. They have made this event part of their journey. That itself is the highest honor our team could ever receive. To create an event that means so much to people.

The laughter and smiles of people arriving to the event with their moms, sisters, and girl friends. They are holding hands, high fiving, and taking photos before the race. They are waiting in lines for porta potties, jogging to warm up, easing any pre race jitters. They are looking around at the 6000 women that surround them knowing they are fully supported. They can release any insecurities of feeling out of place. This positivity is contagious and reminds me once again that we are all just energy feeding off each other. It reminds me to always take responsibility of whatever energy I am bringing to each day.

All women’s races are unique and I’m going to put myself on the line to say She.is.beautiful brings some of the best energy around. In a world that often puts us up against other women wanting us to tear each other down, this event asks each of us to lift each other up. Not only for the good of our own self esteem, but for the young girls we will inspire. We are in fact stronger together.

She.is.beautiful winds along some of the most beautiful coasts in Northern California and we fill our course with many custom quotes and inspirational sayings. Some women race for prize money ( top 3 women in 5k and 10k), others to run their own personal best, but many run and walk to share the memories of this beautiful movement of self love and sweat with their family and friends.

We are constantly asking for feedback and listening to our participants to learn ways to improve the event and experience. We are not perfect, we too are humans. We are a small company, not a franchise or owned by a large brand. We want to hear from you.

If this race truly was an experiment the findings would be that when you put 6,000 women in one place with so much visual and vocal positivity around them, they won’t just thrive- they become more alive than ever. They leave feeling proud, capable, inspired, and dream bigger than ever before. Big dreams; not just for their fitness goals but for their life and how they want it to feel.

Wake up grateful; you’re alive.

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It’s like a yellow Starburst, my favorite candy that I very rarely eat, that’s what races are to me. I love them, I don’t do them often but when I do, I savor the flavor.

In a world that has gone so far into the social media and tech world, there’s something truly beautiful about human connection at events that I hold onto like an old blanket. For me it’s more than just the running element. I love laying my outfit out the night before and sometimes painting my nails a fun color (it’s the little things!).  I love waking up, pinning on a number, and sipping coffee with anticipation of a great morning ahead.

Showing up to the starting line to sometimes find myself among old friends and then other times I don’t know a soul in the area. Both experiences are unique, but it’s pretty special running into old friends and co workers, whether or not you are actually planning to do the race with them.

I love watching the people around me, some cruising with their friends and others pouring out all the strength they have that morning into their legs. Taking in the sights, noticing your own self talk during the race, and embracing the energy around you.

When you see the finish line approach, you feel pride. No matter if it was the first or worst race of your life or the fastest you’ve ever completed a race, that finish line is the best thing you’ve seen all morning.

I could stand at a finish line for hours. Watching the faces of every age, size, and ability inspires me from the winner to the last participant. Courage, strength, faith.All the other stuff going on in their life that they have put on hold to just soak up this moment. THAT sparks my heart.

Inspiration to live more fully and the positive energy from races stays with you…it’s juicy and chewy and gets stuck in your teeth like a yellow Starburst. It’s memories stay with you and creep into your heart to remind you why you keep showing up. Not just for the start lines, but for your life.

See you next Saturday!

 

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