Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gravel and Stilettos has MOVED!

It is with a very big smile that I can announce that Gravel and Stilettos has MOVED!

Please find the same health, fitness and nutrition information at Lauren Rae's new website

Just find the 'Blog' tab in the upper right hand corner of the home page.

Lauren Rae is still writing and creating Fit Foodie recipes to help you reach and maintain your fitness goals. If you'd like to read about a specific topic, please go to Lauren's contact page and send her a message!

And don't forget to sign up for Inspired Wellness FIT TIPS! Enter your information on the right side bar and get helpful tips for a Fit Foodie, Fit Body and a Fit LIFE send right to your inbox. Lauren also shares her favorite nutritional, beauty, fitness and lifestyle products and services in her Fit Tool belt to keep you rockin!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

21 Day Challenge - Go find YOUrself.

Why challenge yourself? Why push yourself to the limit? .....Because you might just find YOUrself in the process.

Creating a challenge in your life inspires the person you think you are to become the person you were meant to be.
It has been proven time and time again, that when you create a situation that threatens normalcy - it can be uncomfortable because you are forced to change. Changing - becoming something new.
change   [cheynj]  Show IPA verb, changed, chang·ing,noun.
verb (used with object) make the form, naturecontent, future course, etc., of(something) different from what it is or from what it would be ifleft alone:  
I has also been proven that the real world happens outside of your comfort zone. Force yourself to stretch and you have no choice but to reveal a renewed version of you that you will - without doubt - be proud of.

So what makes your a little sick-to-your-stomach to think about doing? 

Vicki Garcia ( told me about a year ago that I should be doing something every week that makes me feel like barfing. If its uncomfortable - do it anyway... I was amazed to watch my life, my REAL life, manifest itself into existence before me. I was strong enough to grow and no one can ever take that from me. Ever experience being powerful? Its addicting.

It takes 21 days to break and/or create a habit.

For 2013, I'm taking 21 days out of January to be completely alcohol and gluten free. Why? Because I'm curious to see what a difference I'll feel. Neither of these items are regularly in my diet, however I know I'm capable of anything I put my mind to and pushing myself to change and become better version of me is totally worth it.

Whatever it is for you - breaking a habit, creating a new one, doing something you've never done before or doing something you do everyday differently - pick something and start planning! 

Heres how:

1. Make a list of those things that pull you out of your comfort zone and challenge you mentally. 
2. Choose ONE to focus on.
3. Figure out why this one specific thing is important to you and create a mindset around it being ultimately compelling to achieve.
4. Discover what road blocks you can see getting in the way or triggers that might hinder your success.
5. Invent ways to avoid these situations at all costs. Your life depends on it.
6. Visualize what could be possible after you complete the challenge. 
7. Surround yourself with images, notes, texts... anything that reminds you of reaching your goal. 
8. Take it one day at at time and reach out for support if you need it. 
9. Reward yourself - Affirm your strength and dedication to yourself.
10. Repeat steps 1-9 ;)

Raise the stakes. Be the best you. Get inspired wellness. - Lauren Rae

Grilled Salmon Burger with Mashed Acorn Squash and Green Bean & Broccoli Slaw with Almonds

What you'll need:

Frozen salmon burgers from whole filets
1/2 bag of broccoli slaw from Trader Joe's
1/2 bag of fresh cut green beans
2 tbsp sliced almonds
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
2 acorn squash
Almond Milk
Grade B maple syrup

Slice your acorn squash in half and remove seeds. Place inside-up on a baking sheet and drizzle each piece with the grade B maple syrup. Poke the halves with a fork and let the syrup down into the holes. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until soft enough to scoop out of the shell. While the squash is baking,  heat up your grill! When the squash is done, scoop out of the shell (AFTER they are cooled of course) and mash together in a bowl adding the desired amount of almond milk until smooth and creamy.

Heat coconut oil in a sautee pan over medium-high heat and add green beans. Cook until almost done and add the almonds and broccoli slaw and cook until they are soft. I like to add cayenne and salt-free seasoning... I also sometimes add minced garlic for an extra kick! Get creative and add seasonings that you like.

Grill your burgers to desired temperature, pair with your side dishes and enjoy :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Paleo Perfect Abs: Your fool-proof guide to healthy eating

Nothing says fancy like fresh herbs....

So as I'm preparing my new favorite side dish - L-Rae's Paleo Perfect Spaghetti Squash - I got to thinking... Why do people find it so hard to eat clean? My meal prep for the week never lasts longer than an hour and I'll be damned if prepping for clients (i.e. 20+ meals at a time) has ever taken more than 2 hours. Grocery shopping is an annoyance that happens to everyone. So while you're there, why not get food that's going to give you energy, heal and nourish your body and get you those abs you've been dying to see?


Registered Dietitican, National Mens Physique competitor and personal trainer extraordinaire, Tim McComsey is famous for saying, "Diet is 80% of the battle when it comes to weight loss. If you're not seeing results and you're working out... chances are somethings gotta change in your diet."
We need protein, fat and carbs in our diets in varying amounts depending on our goals. Do you have any idea what your ratio looks like? If not -- Keep a food diary for 3 days... It might surprise you.

I generally follow a Paleolithic Diet...  basically a hi-protein, hi-fat, glorified low-carb diet. Is it the answer for everyone? No. has it and does it work for me? YES! Click here to get the book

Based on the diet of our ancestors, this dietary guideline consists of foods that could easily be hunted or gathered during paleolithic times. For example: All natural meats, nuts, berries, roots ect. NO dairy, NO refined sugar and NO added salt, chemicals or preservatives. This diet has worked wonders for many people because it emphasises the importance of a clean diet of healthy fat and protein.

Sounds confusing and pretty restricting if you've never done any research on it so....

Here's a fool-proof guide to healthy eating:

1. Know what you want before you shop

You're more inclined to eat something that sounds and tastes good. Know what you're hungry for and plan your shopping list accordingly. Practice using foods that are easy to prep and taste great hot or cold.

2. Choose wisely


Foods that follow your meal plan
Food items that are on your prewritten shopping list
Green Leafy vegetables
Lean all natural animal meats
Healthy fats: Almond butter, coconut oil, avocado.
Food that consists of less than 10 ingredients (And you should be able to pronounce them all!)

Don't Buy:

Food items that are in a bag box or can (Exception: Organic food items such as organic canned beans.)
Food that has more than 5grams of sugar
Foods that markets "Fat-free" or "Sugar-free"
Food that your grandmother couldn't have gotten 60 years ago
Food that your grandmother wouldn't eat. Period.

3. Make time to prepare

Schedule an hour 2 times a week to cook your meats and sides ahead of time. Having healthy, lean options pre-made will help you from eating out or grabbing something unhealthy on the go.

4. Be prepared

Pack your food for the day and bring it with you - wherever you go! 
**How I donned my nick-name Snack-Pak**

5. Plan a meal to reward your dedication to healthy eating

Have a reward meal once a week. Its GOOD for you... and it will keep you motivated to keep your head on straight and work towards your goals the rest of the week. 
No one ever accomplished anything without sacrificing something else.
Do something good for yourself already. Determine your goals, make a plan... and get to it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Day: 5 Simple Steps to keeping to your fitness goals.

Another year has passed and its time to gather with friends and family for some fun, football and FOOD.

What have you been waiting all year to eat? I LOVE stuffing and pumpkin pie, but I’ve planned my weekly diet around my plans to indulge this holiday... Don’t let one day blow all of your hard work by following these simple steps to keeping to your fitness goals on Thanksgiving.

1. Keep regular meals outside of Thanksgiving Dinner in line with your current nutritional plans and goals.

DON'T SKIP breakfast! If you usually have eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, have egg whites and pass up oatmeal and any fruit. Keep on schedule and have your nutritional small meals 2-3 hours apart. When its time for turkey and all the fixins, ENJOY! Eat mindfully, enjoy every bite as you would any other reward meal, then get back on track. Any remaining meals or snacks, consume as your nutrition plan states.

Need a nutritional meal plan? Click here for holiday pricing and discounts...

2. Do some sort of activity the morning of to get the blood flowing and calories burning.

Get your family outside for some healthy competition. Flag football, ultimate frisbee, boot camp? Get outside, get active and start burning some calories before the big feast. 
For a fat BLASTING workout to get into Thursday morning click here!  

3. Minimize alcohol intake.

Eating outside of your usual calorie consumption is going to happen this holiday. That being the case, minimizing alcohol intake can keep healthy digestion on track. Because alcohol inhibits digestion (and therefore calories consumed are stored) our body will always attend to purifying the body of harmful alcohol toxins if it has to choose between that and digesting food.

4. Drink a lot of water.

Healthy digestion also requires adequate amounts of water. In order for your body to carry out toxins, burn fat and lubricate organs and joints, you must make hydration a priority. Not only will you cut cravings and get fuller more quickly, you’re replacing minerals lost during activities. 

5. Use your stored energy from Thanksgiving Dinner to blast major body parts in the gym on Friday.

Plan your workouts accordingly this week. Because you're going to be indulging in extra calories and carbs, use the stored energy to get an awesome workout the next day. Focus on major body groups like legs or chest and back. Do super sets with heavy weights and 20-30 minutes of interval cardio post workout.

Whatever you choose to do this Thursday, sticking to a plan will help keep you on track towards your fitness goals. Implement these 5 important steps during the holidays and come up with New Years resolutions your actually interested in following through on without the distraction of those extra pounds.

I want to wish everyone and all of the GNS followers a very special, happy Thanksgiving day. Don't forget, everyday offers the opportunity to be thankful for our blessings, relationships and so much more. Living with a heart of gratitude brings forth more joy, patience, love and LIFE than you've ever imagined. Now go work hard and enjoy your holiday!!

Best creamed cauliflower... EVER!

I can't take credit for this recipe -- but you better believe I'm bringing this to our Thanksgiving get-together.

Inspired Wellness by Lauren Rae

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Your thoughts are in the drivers seat. Do you know where you are?

Where are you?

If you answered that question you could answer referring to your physical location as well as your mental state. What I'm interested in knowing is where are you in your life? Are you living out your life in the past? Are you absolutely focused on your future? Or are you here, in your life experiencing its richness, here and now?

Stop whatever you're doing and contemplate your current actions. 

Whatever you're doing is a representation of where your goals and priorities lie. (This goes for every moment of your life, whether you like it or not.)

Are you in the gym? Are you contemplating calling your parents? Are you reading in your field of work or study? Are you taking a nap? Are you on the ultimate distraction -- Facebook?

Whatever your current actions, its not that what you're doing is either right or wrong. Your actions are just an inclination into where your thoughts are. Taking the time to become present to your actions is just an opportunity to become curious about why you chose to take that action in the first place. Every action is a choice, even INaction is a choice. 

Now check in with yourself emotionally. Are you happy? Sad? Irritated? Bored? All of those are also a choice. I'm not saying that your feelings are bad or good.... Just another clue into where your goals (thoughts) are.

Now you're going to say to me, "Lauren - No way this is true! I don't WANT to feel frustrated and annoyed. I'm tired because I'm tired... Thats IT." What I have to say to you is, nothing happens accidentally. If you're unhappy with where you are in physical action or emotionally, something is driving you towards that (and vice versa). Perhaps its to prove to yourself that you are lazy and not good enough. Maybe its to prove that you are strong and capable. I don't know - You tell me. All I know is that when I am being true to myself and in the present moment, I know who I am and I love myself. And that is where your life really happens. When you can love yourself wherever you are and still impact the surrounding world in a positive light - You're in your life and your LIVING it.

Every moment you're alive IS your life. Not the past and not the future... So if you find yourself where you are and decide if its where you want to be.

Before you go anywhere else copy this travel-ready recipe down!

If you are in the mood for a travel-ready meal in your on-the-go life, try this healthy and easy chicken or tuna salad.

What you'll need:

2 boiled chicken breasts OR 2 cans of tuna in water
1/2 c sliced red grapes
1/4 c sliced pecans
2 tbsp finely diced red onion
2 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp hummus
salt free seasoning of choice for added flavor (I like to add a few dashes of tobacco or cayenne to spice things up.)

Add it all into a bowl! (If you're using chicken, shred it completely before the remaining ingredients.) Stir together and throw either in an Ezekiel Wrap or Tupperware and pack with some of your favorite whole grain chips.

Get Inspired Wellness :) Lauren Rae

Friday, November 2, 2012

Artificial Sweeteners: Silent KILLERS!

Halloween might be over... but watch yourself, your health is STILL in jeopardy! Liquid, solid or syrup... what is making your food and beverages sweet could be eating your brain and turning you into a zombie

Don't believe me? Keep reading...

Low carb diets have sparked a trend in sugar watch -- But are artificial sweeteners the answer to your sweet tooth cravings? NO! (Not unless you want toxin filled foods, over stimulated and dying brain cells, digestive issues, the generation of free radicals and the possibility of degenerative disease that is....)

You scared yet? Check these commonly used artificial sweeteners:

Aspartame - 

Would you like the pink or the blue? 50% Phenylalanine, 40% Aspartic acid, and 10% Methanol, aspartame causes rapid firing of brain neurons and can potentially cause cell death. When consumed in the packaged form, aspartame is a solid toxin. Diet soda addict? Perhaps you're addicted to the excessive neuron firing and NOT the soda or caffeine itself.

Splenda - 

AKA - Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar with no calories. Marketing Splenda as a 'natural' sugar substitute has made it a leader in artificial sweeteners worldwide. What people don't know is that it was discovered in a chemistry lab that was formulating new insecticides. Uhh yeah. It is actually the opposite of a natural sugar substitute and is classified as a cholorcarbon

Sugar Alcohol -

Sugar alcohols are the ingredients in many sports supplements and 'low carb' protein bars. These are the ingredients on a food package that end in "-itol." Including mannitol, erythritol, xylitol and sorbital. This low to no calorie form of sweetener can lead to extreme digestive upsets like, bloating, flatulence and diharrea as well as long-term issues like IBS.

So - What can you do to fight becoming an artificially sweetened zombie?

1. Read labels. On everything... be curious! Look up ingredients and their effects on your health.
2. Put DOWN the boxes, bags and cans that have a list of ingredients you can't even pronounce.
3. Eat fresh, raw natural food as it was intended to be consumed.

I do use Stevia or SweetLeaf as it is a no calorie sweetener derived from a plant and, for the moment, considered to be safe to use. 

Vanilla Creme and Irish Toffee are GREAT in coffee as well as in oatmeal, shakes and many other recipes.

Thats INSPIRED WELLNESS by Lauren Rae! Check out my facebook page and twitter for more fitness, nutrition and lifestyle tips.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Spooky Good Protein Pumpkin muffins - Have to try em...

Everyone is pumpkin obsessed this time of year. Including me! Pumpkin is high in fiber and a great addition to recipes savory AND sweet. Ever had it in a shake? Try adding it to vanilla SunWarrior protein with almond milk, a shake of cinnamon and nutmeg, and some vanilla Crème stevia... It's like PIE!

This recipe was a success so I thought is share it with you! If you want to indulge in some candy but not go overboard - try it my way! I changed it up a little and added one Hersey Kiss to the center of 8 muffins. Sprinkled pecans on the other 4. Which one is better!? Hmmmmm......

Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
By BFL Team

9 egg whites
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
12 packets Splenda® sweetener or Stevia powder, to taste
40 semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray


Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients (except chocolate chips and
cooking spray) in a blender and blend well. Spray muffin tins (use a tin that makes six
large muffins) liberally. Fill each cup 3/4 full. For each muffin, put four chocolate chips into batter, so that they go into the middle of the muffin, then place the four remaining
chocolate chips on the top. Repeat for each muffin. Bake 20 to 22 minutes on the
middle rack.