Summer Road Trip Playlist

Summer is the best time for a road trip with family and friends. Here’s some hits that you may hear in your favorite Footprints weekly classes and events!

  1. Bad and Bougie - Migos
  2. New Man - Ed Sheeran
  3. That’s What I Like - Bruno Mars
  4. Finish Line - Chance the Rapper
  5. Formation - Beyoncé
  6. Made in the USA - Demi Lovato
  7. What Do You Mean? - Justin Bieber
  8. Foolish - Ashanti
  9. What’s Love - Ashanti
  10. Confessions - Usher
  11. Fake Love - Drake
  12. All I Ask - Adele
  13. Your Man Ain’t Me - Chris Brown
  14. New Flame - Chris Brown
  15. Chill Bill - Rob Stone
  16. Congratulations - Post Malone
  17. Survivor - Destiny’s Child
  18. Bounce Back - Big Sean
  19. No Role Models - J. Cole
  20. The Way - Kehlani

These tunes will have you jammin' on the road. Let the gif party commence!

Treat Ya' Self to some positive vibes!

Recipe - Natural Sleeping Aid

Have trouble falling asleep at night? So do I!

When I came home for Spring Break, my parents told me about this all natural sleep remedy they had tried. So I decided to give it a shot, and when I tell you it works…it works!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
  2. 1/2 Teaspoon of raw honey
  3. 1/8 Teaspoon of sea salt

Now mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, grab a large spoon and take it about 30 minutes before you go to bed.

This could be you

This could be you

Benefits:

  • Coconut oil energizes your body while you’re asleep. It keeps you full during the night
  • Honey stores the liver glycogen in the brain, which allows you to sleep comfortably through the night
  • Salt aids lowering the stress hormone

Next time you are stressed out and have trouble sleeping at night, put down the pills and try this natural remedy instead for a safe and sound rest.

Source: Healthy Food House

Ode To A Girl's Best Friend: Pet Talk

It’s 3:30pm on a Sunday afternoon. I haven’t been home in 3 weeks and the only thing on my mind is “did I just fail that accounting exams?” I finally pull up to my house, grab my bags and walk inside. To my surprise, I am attacked at the door by 8 pounds of golden fluffiness. At that moment, all my worries went away and I was just happy to be home.

My family got my Toy Poodle, Prince two years ago. He's the sweetest, most energetic, intelligent creature that I've ever known, and I couldn't picture my life without him. He loves cars and always wants to go on an adventure around the city.

At Footprints, we stress the importance of mental, physical and emotional health.

Look at that face!

Look at that face!

Benefits Of Having A Pet

1. Lowers blood pressure

2. Lessens anxiety

3. Boosts your metabolism

4. Teaches compassion

5. Weight control

Never a dull moment with this one.

Never a dull moment with this one.

Whether you have a dog, cat, spider, bunny, turtle, or snake, sharing a bond with another special creature is the best way to live your life. Pets are loyal, listeners, and ready to play whenever you are. They give unconditional love and the feeling is priceless. Like I said, I couldn't picture life without Prince and I always remember “A true friend leaves paw prints on your heart.”

If you've wanted to add a furry friend to your family please consider adopting from our amazing non-profit organizations and shelters in New Orleans. #AdoptDontShop 

Recipe: Homemade Almond Milk

Who said a cow’s milk was the best way to eat that scrumptious bowl of love in the morning? Well whoever told you that must’ve never had a bowl of cereal with vanilla almond milk. When I tell you it touches the soul, I mean the soul sings with every bite!

via The Daily Mail

via The Daily Mail

You may be wondering “how in the world can I make almond milk myself?” Follow these simple steps and you too can free your soul with homemade almond milk:

  1. Soak 1 cup of Almonds in water for 24 hours.
  2. After allowing the almonds to soak, strain the water from the almonds.
  3. Add soaked almonds to blender.
  4. Add Honey, Agave, or any natural sweetener to improve taste (I personally like to also add vanilla to my milk.)
  5. Add 2-3 cups of spring water into blender (I prefer the Evamor Alkaline water to give my almond milk maximum health benefits.)
  6. Blend the almonds and water.
  7. Use a milk bag to strain the milk from the almond residue. (SLOWLY STRAIN THE BAG, AS SQUEEZING THE BAG TOO HASTILY COULD CAUSE A MAJOR KITCHEN CATASTROPHE)
  8. Store your freshly made almond milk in the fridge.

Your almond milk will be good from up to 5 days but I would recommend making it for days that you will use it. You may also find that the almond residue can be used as flour to make a number of delicious, somewhat healthy desert snack (We all have that guilty pleasure for chocolate.)

Living a healthy lifestyle is a commitment and in that commitment, we often find the journey to be rewarding in way unimaginable. Why not become your own personal chef? Why not get creative with your health? In taking control of your life, you must take control of what you eat and drink.

Ingredients

  1. Almonds
  2. Evamor Water
  3. Milk Bag
  4. Honey, Stivia, Agave or any natural sweetener
  5. Vanilla (Optional)
  6. Mason Jar (Optional)

Soft Serve Pineapple: Alternative To Snoballs

Spring is here! Y'all know what that means... the beach is near! I love this time of year because my friends and I always plan a trip to Florida for Spring Break. And if you are like me, you also start craving ice cream and snoballs.

These are great after a long day of work or picking the kids up from practice. Although snoballs are delicious, they're also not the healthiest treat because of the excess sugar. One regular snoball contains 41g of sugar. That's A LOT.

Soft Serve Pineapple is a great, healthy alternative and gives you that citrus vibe. With only 21g of sugar this treat is a great way to indulge guilt free. The best part...

It only contains two ingredients:

1. One chopped frozen ripe Pineapple

(don't use frozen pineapples. The real deal is naturally sweeter) 

2. Coconut Milk (1 1/2 cup)

Just mix both ingredients in a high speed blender and BAM… The perfect beach treat!

You can also take a trip to the bayou and enjoy the water, Nola style. Feel free to add your favorite alcoholic beverage and really have a good time, but remember to indulge in moderation.

Treat Ya' Self!

Great Places To Be Active In NOLA

One great thing about living in New Orleans is the beautiful scenery throughout the city. There's endless art and landscaping everywhere you turn so why not take advantage of it? Here are some great places to be healthy and active in the Big Easy.

City Park

City Park’s central location is perfect for anyone and everyone in the city.  From the park's greenery to its lengthy walking track makes it ideal for anyone looking for a relaxing sunset stroll, run or bike ride. Feeding the ducks is also a plus in my book.

Photo by: theclio.com

Photo by: theclio.com

Audubon Park

Looking for something Uptown, near St. Charles? Well, Audubon Park's the perfect spot. This historic area is surrounded by trees and constant food traffic. We know how brutal that NOLA heat can be. If you love to shop and eat like me, head over to Magazine St. for to fullfill your needs.

Photo by: Wikipedia

Photo by: Wikipedia

Bywater

This hip neighborhood has such a lively feel to it. A morning walk or run in this area is a great way to experience the cultural feel and architecture of the city. Take a stroll to Crescent Park to walk/jog the "Rusty Rainbow" bridge and see a great view of our skyline.

Photo by: Offbeat Magazine

Photo by: Offbeat Magazine

Lakefront

My dad used to take me on morning bike rides along the Lakefront all the time as a child. This is truly one of the most peaceful areas in the city. I love to hear the "ocean" waves. A girl can dream, right?! The Lakefront's breeze is so relaxing.

Photo by: Rebecca Ratliff

Photo by: Rebecca Ratliff

No matter what part of town you're in, we have so many things to love about New Orleans. There something for everyone so whatever mood you're in, pay a visit to one of these awesome locations and, you guessed, it...Treat Ya' Self!

Should You Exercise When You're Sick?

Is it okay to workout if you are sick? You work hard every week to maintain your physique and you don't want to lose all the progress you've made, so can you still hit the gym when you are ill? Conventional wisdom would say 'probably not', but the real answer is that it depends.

If you want to know if it's okay to take a spin class or strike a yoga pose, check your symptoms. As PictureFit states above, you can use the "Above/Below The Neck Check" to determine if you are okay to workout. Symptoms above-the-neck, such as a Light Sore Throat, Nasal Congestion, and Coughing are usually okay to test. Below-the-neck symptoms, like Chest Congestion, Fever and Vomiting mean you should stay home and rest.

All of this of course is based on how you feel and if you don't think you are capable of making a workout count, then sit it out. If you do decide to workout, make sure that you get outside or try a home workout, because you don't want to have your whole gym come down with something.

Don't get Neeson'd

Don't get Neeson'd

Also keep in mind that if your are feeling bad, many people report that a workout makes them feel a bit better, at least temporarily. You can always dial down the intesiity to make the effort more managable. In addition, if you are just have a bad day, exercise is great for your mental health. So don't let a little winter cough hold you back, get out there and work

Reflections of the Wind

In New Orleans, Lent is not only a time for Friday Fish Fries and giving up bad habits for 40 days. It's also a chance to reflect on your life decisions and the world around you. This is the time to think of ways to "Pay It Forward" to members of our amazing NOLA community.

In early February, multiple tornadoes hit various homes and businesses in New Orleans East. When I first heard the news, I thought, “That could have been me!” My next thought was, “How can I ease the pain of the lives affected?” The answer was easy... COMPASSION + ACTION. I love how quickly our city came together to help our neighbors in need. Moments like this remind me of why I love New Orleans.

Photo: Catholic Charities of New Orleans

Photo: Catholic Charities of New Orleans

Our next signature "Healthy Happy Hour" is dedicated to the victims of the tornadoes to let them know that WE STAND TOGETHER in times of hardship and heartbreak. In the Big Easy we know how to "Party With A Purpose" and when it's time to "Pay It Forward" to our community. 

Footprints is all about GIVING BACK and we love how supportive our Footprinters are. We select an organization to donate a portion of the proceeds to for each event and are happy to help several families for this upcoming Healthy Happy Hour: Strength & Soul on March 15th. We hope you're able to join us and the Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market for an evening of Yoga, Pilates, Barre, cocktails, food and giveaways.

The words "Strength" & "Soul" represent the adveristy and culture of our city. We are resilient and everyone knows it.

Photo: XO Quinntographer

Photo: XO Quinntographer

Food will be available by the wonderful La Cocinita food truck with spirits by the Bolden Bar at the PHNOJM. There will be both cocktails AND mocktails for those participating in the #AlcoholFreeFo40 challenge with our friends from Eat Fit NOLA, while also supporting the Big Easy Dry Out challenge.  Feel free to stay after to enjoy some great live music during the Jazz Market's weekly Open Mic Night beginning at 9p.

Find the full details of Strength & Soul HERE. Don't forget to #SaveYourMat :)

Come Join The Journey with us in doing what we do best... coming together and celebrating life!

Mardi Gras Detox Smoothie

Are you as tired as the Footprints krewe from celebrating Mardi Gras? We thought so. Now that you've gotten the partying out of your system, for now, it's time to detox your body and get back on track. Hydration is so important and replenishing your body with some much needed electrolytes doesn't hurt either!

Try this simple and great detox smoothie to cleanse your body from that Mardi Gras hustle.

Ingredients

1/2 pear (chopped)

3/4 pineapple (chopped)

1/2 cup of spinach leaves (fresh)

1/2 green apple (chopped)

1/4 avocado (chopped)

1/2 cup of almond milk

1/4 cup of ice

Add all of these in a high speed blender and go to town pressing that button. Feel free to share with your family and friends. Hope your Mardi Gras celebration was as great as ours. Now it's time to put in work again. 

Treat Ya' Self! :)

Pimm's Cup: Healthy Mardi Gras Cocktail

Mardi Gras' here and y'all know what that means...bottomless plates and cocktails. Only in NOLA do people attempt a healthier lifestyle at the beginning of the year only to be tempted by carnival and festival season. The struggle has never been so real!

It's already a struggle staying balanced in life, but the NOLA culture seems to make it even more of a battle. That's why I created Footprints. I wanted to help others learn how to live a balanced life while staying true to our amazing New Orleans culture. With that being said, I wanted to share my go to cocktail with everyone that keeps me feeling good while not breaking the calorie bank. It's ok to Treat Ya' Self, but if you can create a healthier option of something you love go for it.

Pimm's Cup

2 ounces of Pimm's No. 1

3 ounces of Ginger Ale

1/2 cucumber

1/2 lemon

3 strawberries

1 cup of ice

Grab your fanciest pitcher and fill with the one cup of ice followed by pouring your Pimm's and Ginger Ale into it. Cut half of the lemon and squeeze it into the pitcher. Slice the cucumber and lemon into small pieces and toss 'em on in. Save one slice of each and take the other lemon slice to use as a garnish on your favorite festive cup.

Eat that fruit and feel good about yourself. You're getting your fruit intake in while having some liquid courage. 

Drink Dat!

Drink Dat!

If you're feeling spicy feel free to double or triple these ingredients to share with your krewe! I hope you enjoy this fun and refreshing cocktails along the parade route or comfortably on your couch watching the live broadcast.

Don't forget to stay focus and Treat Ya' Self! :)

Banana Oat Pancakes

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day yet sometimes it becomes the forgotten treat. Here is the recipe for healthy pancakes.

1 ripe banana

2 eggs

1/3 cups of oats

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix everything together. Warm skillet at a low level for 3 minutes and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat the pan. Place mixture into skillet. Allow bottom side to get golden brown then flip.

A neat trick I like to do is poke a fork in the center of the pancake to check if it's ready. If the fork is clean when you pull it out then that means it's cooked evenly in the middle. If there's batter on tip let it sit for a few moments then flip. Repeat this process until ready. 

Eat 'em up!

Eat 'em up!

Use natural AGAVE to substitute traditional maple syrup. I promise you'll love it. 

Feel free to add any other fruit toppings to your pancakes. My favorite is strawberries and powdered sugar on top. Enjoy!

Treat Ya' Self!

Treat Ya' Self!

Exercise and Sleep for Better Results

You probably know that getting a good night's rest is important. Have you ever considered the relationship between how much you sleep and the results you get from working out? 

It's pretty obvious that being well rested will give you the energy it takes to get in a good workout. But there are other benefits as well. As the video from PictureFit explains, sleep deprivation harms your body's breakdown of glucose, which is needed for energy. Getting sleep also helps maintain healthy a balance of hormones, in addition to helping you lose more fat.

Beyond that, a lack of sleep disrupts muscle repair and prevents you from see the results you want from the gym.

So it's true that sleeping helps you exercise, but it's also true that exercise helps you sleep!

Exercise helps maintain circadian rhythm, which is a key factor for sleeping. When we exercise, it can increase body temperature which aids you in falling asleep. Even moderate forms of exercise, such as walking can help people with insomnia get that much needed rest.

What this means is that we can use exercise to help us sleep better, which can in turn can help our workouts do more for us. Recognizing and harnessing the power sleep and exercise together is key to getting the best out of a healthy lifestyle.