Fit-Inspired Gift Ideas… Must-Haves for the Fitness, Wellness Lovers

Fitness, wellness, fit-fashion, has never been more popular…which means there are just so many amazing things to buy to be workout ready.  I am sharing a list of some of my favorites fitness things. Here are a few great gift ideas for the fitness lovers or just great items to get for yourself to help you get ready to spring into a healthy 2015:

 

I fell in love with this Barrewear top and tunic from gwenyth last Christmas and since then have accumulated a small collection. Not only is this top fabulous, the owner, Michelle, has been so wonderful to work with and has been so supportive of Ms Fit For Society and everything I am doing in Barre. Even so much so, she is offering 20% off of her Modern Classic for our MsFits as well as donating $5 of the purchase to the American Stroke Association and Teddy’s Team, a charity near and dear to our hearts. Click here to access this special offer link and then use promotion code: musejessicaholiday2014 (offer good through the end of December).

 

The Modern Classic in Mocha Grey, $88

The Modern Classic in Mocha Grey, $88

 

Hands down, Splits59 is one of my favorite activewear lines. Not only because for a workout line, their clothes have such awesome style, but also because the company is made up of such a wonderful group of people.   Splits59 is always inspiring us to be healthier and “cooler”.  I wear a ton from them, so it’s hard to pick my favorites. But, these capri pants are what I’m really loving right now (use my name jessicadiaz at chekcout for 15% off your purchases at Splits59).

 

 

Nova Racer Performance Capri by Splits59

Nova Racer Performance Capri by Splits59 $98

 

I love anytime I see someone who can rock a one-piece:

Without Walls High Shine Romper, $98

Without Walls High Shine Romper, $98

 

 

Loving this really cool holiday Fit-Fashion Kit for Women and Men from Outdoor Voices. These gift kits includes sweatpants, warm-up leggings, hoodie, sports bra, tote bag, and more:

 

Outdoor Voices Holiday Kit

Outdoor Voices Holiday Kit, $300

 

A favorite of my yoga friends:

 

Maduka Go Free Yoga Backpack, $108-$120

Maduka Go Free Yoga Backpack, $108-$120

 

 

Fitsporation – Need a little fitness-inspiration in your wardrobe. Here are a few of my favorites:

No Limits. Wide Shoulder Girly Sweatshirt,  Firedaughter Clothing $38.

No Limits. Wide Shoulder Girly Sweatshirt, Firedaughter Clothing $38

 

 

Passion is Everything pullover by GoodhYouman, $68

Passion is Everything pullover by GoodhYouman, $68

 

 

With All Your Heart, inspirational Barre Socks, on Etsy $20

With All Your Heart, inspirational Barre Socks, on Etsy $20

 

For those of you that like to stand-out and shine at the gym:

 

Leatherback Leggins in Chrome Gloss by Carbon38,  $135

Leatherback Leggins in Chrome Gloss by Carbon38, $135

 

LuLu Lemon Shine shorts, $48

LuLu Lemon Shine shorts, $48

Keeping the shine going…these are number one on my Christmas list. I need these and I am going to add the sparkle accessories piece that can be mix and matched:

 

Oil Slick and Black Headphones from We Are Frends, $199

Oil Slick and Black Headphones from We Are Frends, $199

 

Bauble Bar Gold and Black Cap accessory, $49

Bauble Bar Gold and Black Cap accessory, $49

 

For head-to-toe sparkle:

Nike Free Flash 5.0, $150

Nike Free Flash 5.0, $150

 

On the sweeter side:

Ballet Beautiful Belle Wrap, Net-a-porter, $108

Ballet Beautiful Belle Wrap, Net-a-porter, $108

 

Ballet Beautiful Classic Leg Warmer, $54

Ballet Beautiful Classic Leg Warmer, $54

 

Sweet and local to Boston:

 

 

Crane & Lion Original Tight in Quicksilver, $90

Crane & Lion Original Tight in Quicksilver, $90

 

 

Crane & Lion Wrap Sweater in Wan Blue, $100

Crane & Lion Wrap Sweater in Wan Blue, $100

 

Healthy and local:

I am loving the idea of a gift certificate to our favorite juicery in town, Mother Juice, to add some extra health to your diet. Also a  great gift idea for yourself or someone you know that might love to give juice detox a try!

Mother Juice, 100% organic, cold-pressed juice & raw vegan snacks. Gift Certificates available

Mother Juice, 100% organic, cold-pressed juice & raw vegan snacks. Gift Certificates available

 

Lastly, give the gift of health  awareness by donating to the American Stroke Association. I am sharing my personal donation page here . The money raised for the Stroke Association goes directly to fund research, education, advocacy both locally and nationally to help reduce disability and death from stroke.  The Stroke Association has been such a wonderful support for me and I am so happy to be a part of helping to raise awareness about the importance of knowing the signs, symptoms and ways to reduce your risks of stroke and heart disease. To learn more about why I am such a supporter of the Stroke Association you can read my story at www.heart.org

 

Fast

 

Happy and Healthy Holidays!

xJessica

Our Family’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

There are only two days left until Thanksgiving, and if you haven’t produced your most memorable Thanksgiving menu yet, here are a few of our favorite holiday recipes that we wanted to share for some ideas. Jessica’s sister-in-law’s amazing gluten-free pie recipe which might be your new favorite go-to, especially if there are any gluten allergies in the family. My butternut squash soup recipe that has been a hit every Thanksgiving and the perfect starter to a bountiful feast. And Jessica’s cranberry sauce that will no doubt trump any store bought version. It’s been in their family for over 10 years and with a rustic edge, this is the sweetest accompaniment to every dish you serve.

We hope you and your family have a fun, family-filled, delicious, loving, fashionable and perhaps not so fit (but that’s ok) Thanksgiving!

~Ms Fits

 

ADELAIDE’S GLUTEN-FREE PIE AND DOUGH~

Adelaide's Gluten-Free Pie Dough

Many gluten free baking recipes rely on refined white flours, milk powders, white sugar, and other processed ingredients to provide the structure usually provided by the gluten. I personally don’t use highly refined ingredients in my cooking, so after lots of research and experimenting, I’ve arrived at a GF pie crust recipe that is flaky and delicious while using real ingredients that you can feel good about!

 

2 ¾ cups of your favorite GF baking mix (I use ‘Namaste Foods, Biscuits, Pie Crust and More!’ Baking mix. I love the ingredients and the traceability of this Colorado based company).

1 packed tbls. “Pixie Dust” (recipe below)

1 tsp. high quality salt

1 tbls. Coconut Sugar

6 tbls. ice water

3 tbls. plain Greek yogurt of Skyr (crème fraiche or sour cream would also work)

1 tbls. rice vinegar

2 sticks butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes, and placed in the freezer for 10-15 minutes

 

Pixie Dust

I use this whole food seed mixture as a binder to replace xantham or guar gums in my GF cooking. Adapted from the Gluten Free Doctor.

2 Tbls. Flax Seeds (any color)

2 tsps. chia seeds

½ tsps. Psyllium husk

Combine all ingredients in a small coffee grinder. Grind into a uniform powder.

 

TO PREPARE:

Using a large food processor makes this process easier, but I usually do it with a small pastry cutter. Use what you have, let the dough know who’s boss, and you’ll succeed!

Whisk all the wet ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Combine all the dry ingredients together until evenly distributed. Scatter butter across flour mixture. Pulse or cut in butter until it is the size of large peas. Add half of the wet mixture and pulse or stir the dough until just combined, then repeat with the second half of the wet mixture. At this point your dough will look like wet sand at best and will just barely hold together when squeezed between your fingers. This is correct! (If it won’t hold together at all at this stage, fold in 1 more tablespoon of ice water).

Divide your dough into two sandy piles and form into two equal balls. It will fight, but stay calm and tell the dough that it is going to stay together and it will. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap, then place in zip lock bag. Continue to compact the dough and squeeze extra air out of the zip lock bag. Once your dough is well wrapped and in a ball shape, place in the fridge to rest at least and hour, or overnight.

 

ASSEMBLE THE PIE:

Remove half the dough from the fridge and allow it to soften on the counter for about 15 minutes. Press to flatten into a large disc. Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper, to about ¼ inch thick, mending the dough with your fingers if it breaks. Try to keep your dough as round as possible (this is a pie after all). Using the aid of rimless baking sheet, slip the sheet under your parchment, and then remove the top layer of parchment. Place your pie dish on top of your dough, and then swiftly invert your dough, with one hand on the baking sheet and one hand on the pie dish. Remove top parchment. Use your fingertips to gently press the dough into the dish, and to attach any extra dough to the edges. Place pie dish in the fridge.

Filling! Use any pie filling you’d like, sweet or savory. My “go to” is whatever fruit is in season currently (apples and pears come to mind, or blueberries frozen during summer months) peeled if you wish, sliced, and tossed with a little GF flour, salt, honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar, any spices you like (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla…) and topped with a pad of butter. If you like what you’re putting in it, you can’t go wrong.

While your bottom crust chills, prepare your filling and roll out your top dough using the above method. You can use cookie cutters or a knife to make designs on your top crust if you wish. After at least 20 minutes, fill your bottom crust with your prepared filling. To place top crust, slide crust onto rimless baking sheet and remove top parchment. In a leap of faith, as gently as you can, invert top crust onto filled pie. This will be messy, and scary, so confidence and swift movements will help in the transition. Mend dough with your finger and attach top and bottom crusts, crimping the dough if you wish or keeping it simple for a rustic appeal. If you didn’t use any cutouts in your top crust, make a few artful slits in the dough to allow for steam to escape during baking. Brush top crust with a beaten whole egg or melted butter and sprinkle with coconut sugar, if desired.

At this point, you could freeze your whole raw pie, wrapped carefully in plastic wrap and foil, and bake off at another time. Or, bake at 425 for 25 minutes until the top is light golden, then reduce oven to 350 for an additional 30-40 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust is a deep golden brown. Let pie cool on wire rack for four hours, filling your house with the wonderful smell of the holidays. Enjoy!!

__________________________________________________________________

ALISA’S BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH GNUDI~

thanksgiving-decor-squash-soup

 

This soup is my all-time favorite thing to make for Thanksgiving. I’ve been making it for almost 10 years and it’s always been a huge hit with all of my guests. This year, I’m going to attempt the gnudi to jazz it up a bit so wish me luck! What I love about this soup is that it’s super easy to make, it has no cream in it like some other butternut squash soups and it’s the perfect start to our abundant dinner. Enjoy!

 

2 tbls. butter (room temperature)
2 tbls. evoo
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces
3 cloves garlic
3 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces (you can also find pre-cut butternut squash pieces in a package. It saves so much time!)
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

 

TO PREPARE:

In an 8-quart stockpot, add butter and oil and melt together over med-high heat.

Add the carrot and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

Add the squash and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sage. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Turn the heat off and blend the mixture with a hand blender until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper. I like seasoning it at the end because everyone likes it different, and my kids love this soup, so I exclude any salt and pepper from their portions.

FOR THE GNUDI:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a large bowl, mix together the goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano and eggs. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper and flour. Form the mixture into round dumplings the size of a quarter. Dredge the formed dumplings in flour to coat, tapping off any excess flour. Working in batches, gently drop the dumplings into the boiling water, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Let cook until all of the dumplings float to the top (cook for 4 minutes total). Remove the dumplings using a slotted spoon and set aside.

_________________________________________________________________

JESSICA’S HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE~

SONY DSC

Jessica and her husband Charles have been making this recipe for their family for as long as they can remember. They fell in love with it when they lived in San Francisco together more than 10 years ago, and it’s still a favorite for their holiday meals.

 

2 cups orange juice

1 – 2 cups white sugar

4 cups fresh cranberries

 

Pour the orange juice into a saucepan… that’s the secret ingredient!

Add 1 – 2 cups of white sugar depending how sweet or tart you want the sauce or how sweet the orange juice you select is, usually I use 2 cups.

Heat this mixture and just before it comes to a boil, put about 4 cups of fresh cranberries in the juice sugar-mix and stir, reduce to medium heat or a high simmer.

Be careful because when they are simmering the juice mix can rush over the sides of the small saucepan.

The cranberries will pop and melt down to a jelly. The longer you let them boil as a jelly, the smoother the jelly becomes.

We like it a bit more rustic where you can see the berries in the sauce, so I don’t continue cooking for very long after they turn to jelly.

At this point, you can serve the dish hot or let it cool down.

Or flare it up and throw walnut halves, pecans, some mandarin orange slices into the saucepan, or just serves as is.

Try it out and see how it works for you. Brown sugar can be good as well. Enjoy!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

It’s Getting Hot in Here… Our Love for Firedaughter Clothing

Samya Cochran. Owner and Designer of Firedaugther Clothing

Samya Cochran. Owner and Designer of Firedaugther Clothing

 

When we first came up with the idea to feature people as part of what Ms Fit For Society would be about, Samya was seriously one of the very first people I thought of.  Her name popped right into my head because she is the definition of fitness and fashion. Not only is she incredibly fit but she creates the most unique and awesome clothing. Her designs are so fitness, so casual, so cool – the  phrases she chooses always inspire me to want to be more fit. I also fell in love with her designs because they just send that clear message that she wants you to have fun while balancing everything else you are doing.

I don’t think Samya knows this, but I feel like she has been almost like my “silent  fitness-stylist partner” in starting  my Barre business 2 years ago. She created my very first Barre shirt “Meet Me at the Barre” and many others since, (“Raise the Barre”, “Barre Star”). I also seemed to have compiled a small wardrobe just of Fireduaghter clothing. And without fail, I cannot leave my house in one of her designs without be stopped and asked “where did you get that?” I truly feel like her designs matched the instructor/Barre-loving/fitness-crazed person that I was working on becoming and the brand that I was trying to create. She has inspired me with her clothing, her hard work, her openness, her success and her passion for everything fitness and fashion.

My very first Barre photo, in this shirt designed by Samya.

My very first Barre photo, in this shirt designed by Samya.

 

The name Firedaughter was created while Samya was trying to find something for her own daughter to wear to show how proud she was of her firefighter husband. She couldn’t even find one item for daughters of firefighters. So Samya decided to create her own designs, and there Firedaughter was born.

 

Samya with her Firefighter and children

Samya with her firefighter and children

 

Samya went on to expand Firedaughter to also incorporate clothing  that spoke to her passion for fitness. I love what Samya says about her fitness clothing: “The Firedaughter view on fitness is very specific. My shirts tell the story of my fitness life, and my outlook on fitness. There are a billion fitness cliches- check out a fitness page on Pinterest and you’ll see so many cliches you’ll lose count. To me though, fitness is not a cliche, and I’m not interested in cliches. I’m also not interested in being better than you. You will never see a shirt in my shop telling you that my workout is superior to your workout. I don’t need to be better than you, I just need to be the best ME. Firedaughter women are the women at the gym who are in amazing shape but who aren’t trying to intimidate you. You can go up to a Firedaughter woman, in all her beauty and in all her fit-ness, and you can ask her how to use a machine. And you can ask her what she does to look like that, and she’ll welcome your questions and she’ll answer you warmly. Firedaughter girls don’t need to tell you they’re better than you, and they don’t live by cliches. They do what works and they’re grateful that they are blessed with lives that allow them to take care of themselves. Being in shape, living a fit life… it’s not easy. It’s the opposite of easy. But easy isn’t rewarding, and easy doesn’t make you feel joy and beauty. FD 4eva”. -Samya.

If you haven’t checked out Firedaughter clothing it is a must! Firedaughter is not just for Barre enthusiasts, her designs include designs for life, love, yoga, running, sports, kids, fitness and more.

I am also loving some of her newer design and holiday pieces:

 

FD's Perfect Maximum Maxi Skirt. 9 Colors to Choose From- Casual Goddess Yoga Comfy Sporty Flowy Lounge Max

FD’s Perfect Maximum Maxi Skirt. 9 colors to choose from- Casual Goddess Yoga Comfy Sporty Flowy Lounge Max

 

Fd1jpg

FD Holiday Kids and wide shoulder royal blue eco-fleece with pocket sweatshirt.

FD holiday kids t-shirt and wide shoulder royal blue eco-fleece with pocket sweatshirt.

 

Thankful Thankful Thankful. Wide Shouldered Oatmeal Sweatshirt. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Everything

Thankful Thankful Thankful. Wide Shouldered Oatmeal Sweatshirt. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Everything