On The Road Again

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel for work twice this month, with another trip coming up next week. I love airports, nice hotels, exploring a new city in a ballin’ rental car, and having everything paid for. It definitely doesn’t suck.


My badass suite in Seattle

However, with my diet, it isn’t always easy to find food I can eat. Even if you aren’t vegan or gluten free, eating healthy while traveling can be tough. I think we are all well aware how crappy airport food can be. Since traveling for work is becoming a more regular thing for me, I thought I’d share some of my tips for staying healthy when you are on the road.

1. If you need something quick, stick to grocery stores over fast food. At the grocery store you can at least pick up some veggies and hummus or a deli salad, which are far better options than a Big Mac and fries and really not too much more expensive.

2. Ask questions! When eating out, especially with colleagues or clients, you won’t always get to pick the restaurant. That said, most restaurants are willing to work with you to accommodate your needs. The nicer the restaurant, the more likely they’ll be willing to whip something up that won’t derail your lifestyle. We ate at Staple and Fancy Tuesday night, which is a total carnivore spot, but they made a custom menu just for me that was absolutely to die for.

3. What do you ask for? Pretty much any restaurant can make some kind of sauteed veggie medley. I’ve also ordered salads with custom toppings and asked for lemon juice and olive oil as a dressing. I’ve actually had some pretty amazing salads this way. If you eat meat, ask for baked fish or chicken over salad or with a side of veggies and if it’s bland, just salt and pepper the crap out of it.

4. Ok, so I realize not everyone is sustained by salads and veggie medleys, but sometimes, that’s all you can get. Remember to just be polite and grateful, the more difficult you are, the more likely you’ll end up with spit in your food. If you are absolutely not satisfied, you can always run to the grocery store later! Even convenience stores at least have bags of nuts you can munch on to hold you over.

5. Pack snacks! Cut up fruit and veggies and put them in ziploc bags to munch on in case you get stuck at the airport or end up starving on the plane. Nuts, dried fruit, and Lara Bars are also great options.

As for exercise, check out your hotel’s gym or go for a run to explore the city you are in. The latter is a great way to get the lay of the land, just make sure you take all the necessary safety precautions!

Can you believe tomorrow is December? Christmas is just weeks away!  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

❤ Sarah


The Gilt Club

It has been a while since we’ve done a restaurant post here on Skinny Bliss, and trust me the only thing this foodie has been lacking on is posting about them– I’ve got a great line-up coming your way I promise 🙂 I’m a girl who loves to cook and eating at home makes it way easier to make healthy swaps and manage portion control… But there’s something about a nice meal, with great company, a fun environment and no mess to clean up. You with me?!

I’ve got some great places to share with you, so today I want to kick it off with The Gilt Club. I tested this place out with a friend earlier this week and we had no idea we were in for such a treat. I hadn’t heard too much about this place, but the few things I had heard were enough for us to give it a try.

We selected 3 items to share (because someone likes variety ;))


Roasted mussels in sofrito, goose fat vegetables, and herbs

I get mussels frequently and the broth this came in was fabulous, almost a little spicy which was a nice touch.  The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the potato pieces that were in the broth… when dipping bread I typically don’t need the extra carb in the sauce…but that’s just me!


Farrotto: farro risotto style with squash, pomodoraccio tomatoes, pecorino, leeks, and gold beets

Not the best picture quality from my lovely iPhone but this was delicious.  It is cooked to taste like a risotto but it is made with farro so the texture is definitely different. Very flavorful and filling.

Seared scallops ‘chowda’ with jalapeños, clams, corn, fingerlings, onions, and cream

The scallops were easily my favorite.  The creamy yet spicy sauce with the perfectly cooked onions made a fantastic combination.  I of course love anything with jalapeno but the corn was a random yet welcomed surprise with this dish.

We’d let our eager eyes get the best of us at happy hour post-work so we ended up getting the smaller size of the both the risotto and the scallops. I would love to see what the large looks like because the ‘smalls’ were great portion sizes.  We left stuffed to the brim but if we hadn’t had a few snacks before we headed that way it would have probably been the perfect amount for 2 to share.

I would def recommend this as a place worthy of at least trying.  I’m not sure how often they change their menu (because it is slightly limited) but I would absolutely go back even solely for the scallops.

The Skinny:

  • Website: The Gilt Club
  • Location: 306 NW Broadway Portland, OR
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 5pm-1am and Fri/Sat open till 2am
  • Phone: 503.222.4458
  • Fact: For table’s of 6 or more you can do the ‘Chef’s Table’ which is a special menu highlighting a specific meat or fish.

Don’t make me ‘Gilt’ you into it…Give it a try!

❤ Jamie

Healthier ‘Cafe Yumm’ Bowls

Cafe Yumm Bowl

I think Sarah and I can both equally admit we’ve had a minor obsession with rice bowls lately. Whether it’s a quick dinner, easy to keep at work lunch or midnight health snack to sub for the pizza munchies, they are a delicious and nutritious choice. I find myself packing a fresh bag of veggies, cooked grains, the occasional protein and then hummus and/or salsa to top every Monday to unload at work. The variations are limitless, so much so that I cannot seem to get bored with these.

Check out Cafe Yumm’s menu and nutrition stats– Big fan of the Hot ‘n’ Jazzy (minus red beans, sub green soy beans) Skinny Tip: Careful on the sauce– Either ask for it on the side, limit the sour cream or reduce cheese.  Those are the main ingredients that up the calorie count for these bowls.

Healthier Yumm Bowl Guide:


  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa


  • Black beans
  • White beans/Garbanzo
  • Kidney beans
  • Edamame

Protein: (I typically keep mine meatless since I do a grain and a bean most often)

  • Shredded Chicken or turkey

Sauces: (This is key to the ‘healthier’ part

  • Hummus (Trader Joes Basil and White Bean seems to work well with most of my mixtures)
  • Salsa
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Café Yumm Sauce (can purchase in stores but higher in calories so light on the sauce)
  • Fat-free sour cream or non-fat greek yogurt


  • Avocado
  • Cucumber (If not a cucumber fan—add celery to get the crunch)
  • Tomato
  • Olives
  • Corn
  • Nori
  • Spinach
  • Artichoke
  • Bell pepper


  • Cheese
  • Cilantro

I start by heating the beans and grain of choice it the microwave– while heating I chop the rest of the ingredients and add to mixture—top with sauces/hummus and stir—lastly I mix in the spinach or nori once well blended.


  • Mexican theme: Black beans, brown rice, corn, red bell pepper, tomato, avocado, salsa, optional: a creamier sauce like a light ranch, jalapeno or chipotle hummus, fat-free sour cream or non-fat greek yogurt.
  • Mediterranean theme: Quinoa, white bean or garbanzo, cucumber, olives, fat-free feta, tomato, avocado, hummus.
  • My go-to: brown rice, edamame or black bean, tomato, olives, cucumber, avocado, nori, salsa, hummus, buffalo sauce and since I love a little spice a jalapeno as well.

It ends up being one of those meals that no matter what food you have on hand, you can whip something together. I’m trying to find a good one to mix in pineapple… thoughts?!

❤ Jamie

Photo Credit: Via

Motivation Monday: Post-Thanksgiving Pick-me-up

Photo Credit: Back on Pointe

Hello gorgeous friends!

First off, we want to apologize for getting behind over the holiday weekend. Lots of family, travel, football and general celebrating…you know how it goes! But it’s a new week and we are ready to get back on track!

Speaking of getting back on track, let’s be real: Thanksgiving is usually the start to the downward spiral that many experience over the holidays. Most people give up on their health routine this season, assuming they can fix everything in January with their New Year’s resolutions. Don’t be one of those people! You owe yourself more than that. Let’s not get it twisted though, I’m all for indulging during the holidays. Just don’t let it derail you.  A few days of indulgence doesn’t mean you should give up on your goals!

I’m promising myself that I won’t fall into a holiday slump, and I’d love for you all to join me! Here are a few ideas to help you get back on track this week:

1. Take advantage of sunny days like today (even if it’s cold…that’s what coats are for) and go for a walk. Bonus points if you invite a friend!

2. If you don’t have time for a full workout in the morning, take even 5-10 minutes to get your sweat on before you hop in the shower. Do jumping jacks, crunches, yoga, whatever, just get moving! Your AM routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, so make it good.

3. Slow down! Stress can get the best of us this time of year. Take time to enjoy the little things. Breathe. Eat slowly and with intention. You have the power to change how you are feeling at any moment in time.

4. Play! Make exercise fun! Play a sport, have a dance party with yourself or a friend, hula hoop…the more you let go and live, the better!

5. Write your goals down and post them somewhere you will see them often! It’s a great reminder of what you are working towards.

Jamie and I are taking the girls with us tonight to see Julie and kickstart the week with a little boxing! What helps you stay motivated? We’d love to hear your tips!

❤ Sarah

Fit Tip: Thanksgiving Edition

Falling for Fall [took this right in front of our condo on my way out for a morning run]

Just like your birthday and Christmas, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where calories don’t count right? I’m sure many of you would like to agree… but the reality behind it is that’s not really the case. Although the importance of this day is to reflect on what you’re thankful for while spending quality time with family and friends, it’s also centered around celebrating with limitless amounts of food.  Like we’ve talked about many times before it is important to indulge and enjoy all the delicious home cooking.  However, with all the tempting food, Thanksgiving can also be seen as a diet disaster.  While “diet” is not in my vocabulary (a well-balanced lifestyle is!), here are a few tips I put together to help keep you on track while enjoying the more important things like family, friends and good company (and Grandma’s overly iced cinnamon roles of course :))

  • Don’t skip breakfast to save yourself for the feast! Although it may seem like a good idea experts say eating a small meal in the morning can control your overall appetite for the day. Eating a small meal with fiber and protein will take the edge off your appetite and keep you from over doing it later in the day.
  • Savor your food and take time to enjoy it instead of letting your eager eyes get the best of you– Put your fork down between bites and engage in conversation– Focus on family and friends!!
  • Lighten up your recipes: Use non fat greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream to lighten potato dishes, casseroles and dips. Also sub chicken stock and reduce oil and butter when possible.
  • Portion control: Enjoy ALL your favorites, don’t pass any up– maybe just save a little more room on your plate for the greens and turkey over all the carbs!
  • Get your fitness on pre meal! After all the turkey I highly doubt you’ll take time to sweat it out that night.  Plus when you sweat it out in the morning it’s clear in your mind what it takes to work off that cinnamon roll– but trust me, don’t let that stop you from having it (just maybe the second.. or third)  Make it a family event– sign up for a Turkey Trot– they take place all over.
  • Don’t hover over the appetizer table— the closer you are the more you eat.  One thing I wish I was better at is getting a plate for your appetizers so you don’t endlessly over eat by picking until you’re too full for your actual meal.
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day and don’t confuse hunger for thirst.
  • An interesting tip I heard through a friend is to eat with your non-dominant hand. It will result in eating a lot slower and overall taking in fewer calories.
  • Make a healthy and light app for everyone to snack on! For my “Friend’s Giving” this last weekend I  decided on this 5 layer Mediterranean dip, or you can try yesterday’s vegan cheese ball!
  • Don’t beat yourself up— It’s one day!
  • Also help out with the dishes! Gets a little calorie burn in instead of soaking in a food coma.

Overall most importantly don’t focus on the food, focus on your family and friends.  I have so much to be thankful for in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful for the people I have in it!!

❤ Jamie

Meatless Monday: How to Make a Vegan “Cheese” Ball

Americans looove their cheese balls during the holidays. I couldn’t even begin to count how many holiday parties I’ve been to that feature a cheese ball as part of the appetizer spread. To be completely honest with you, I never really liked them. I’ve always thought they were a little weird. So when I went off dairy I didn’t really feel like I was missing out.

However, last year I went to a vegan potluck and they brought in a chef to demonstrate how to make a few vegan holiday recipes and she made a vegan cheese ball that was absolutely to DIE for. I kid you not, I’ve used this recipe multiple times since last holiday season (it’s a great game day appetizer) and everyone loves it. Unfortunately, I won’t be doing any cooking this year for Thanksgiving as my fam is going the restaurant route, but I’m definitely planning on making it soon. Vegan or not, this is a fabulous recipe that is rich in nutrients and void of the saturated fat real cheese is full of. Can’t hate that!

Holiday Vegan Cheeze Ball

Photo Credit: My Vegan Cookbook

1 Cup Slivered & Blanched Almonds
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sugar (I omit this in my version)
1/3 of a 14 oz Block of Firm Tofu (refrigerated kind, well drained)
1 Tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Canola Oil
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Fresh Chives (optional, but its definitely better with them)
3/4 Cup of Finely Chopped Walnuts (to coat outside)

Place almonds and pine nuts into a food processor with the salt and sugar and blend until it’s ground up for about 2 minutes or until clumps start to form.

Measure 1/3 of a block of tofu from a 14oz block. It’s important to use firm tofu. Silken or extra firm will not work. An average block of tofu is about 4.5 inches long, so measure 1.5 inches off. Drain tofu in a strainer by smashing and pressing firmly. Using a clean dish towel to soak up some of the water helps too. It’s important to get as much water as you can out.

Now add the tofu to the almond and pine nut paste that’s already in the food processor along with the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, canola oil and onion powder and blend about 2 minutes. Mixture should resemble extra thick mashed potatoes.

Remove the blade from the processor and with a spoon mix in chives.

Spray a bowl and a square of plastic wrap with no stick spray. Pile mixture into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge and Let this chill for at least 5 hours or overnight. It will get very firm and can now be shaped into a ball and rolled in chopped walnuts to coat. If you lightly oil your hands it will keep it from sticking to your hands while you roll. Now it’s ready to be served with your favorite crackers!

What Thanksgiving dishes are you looking forward to making this year?



Despite the fact that I wilt in cold weather, there are so many things I love about this time of year. But what I love more than anything is the holiday spirit of giving and gratitude that seems to be in abundance right about now. It’s a great reminder that the holidays aren’t all about stuffing your face with delicious food or getting badass presents, it’s a time to really reflect on the non-material things in our lives.

So, in honor of the upcoming holiday, I’d like to share what I’m thankful for. I’d love to hear what you are thankful for in the comments below, it warms my heart seeing that kind of stuff 🙂

My Family – no brainer! I seriously have an amazing family and I’m so thankful that we all get along, are all healthy, and live close enough to see each other often.

The Vitort Clan last Thanksgiving

My sister and I at a Blazer game


My job – True, it’s not my dream job. But for a 24-year-old who still has a lot to figure out, I’ve got a pretty good situation right now. I’m so thankful to be employed at all, as I know many in our country aren’t so lucky.

A pic I took at a work event this week, definitely a proud moment for my team!

My friends – I seriously have some of the most fabulous friends a girl could ask for, male and female. They’ve made my transition back into the single life absolutely seamless and they love me for my wild, free bird, spontaneous self. You know you’ve got good friends when you can be my level of weird and they stick around…

My health – It hasn’t always been perfect, but I feel so lucky to have the resources to get and stay healthy through diet and fitness. It’s easy to forget that not everyone has the knowledge they need to become the best versions of themselves, so I’m so thankful I not only have the knowledge, but have the opportunity to share it with others.

My pup – Just look at that little dingbat…what’s not to be thankful for?

And last but most certainly not least, my blog partner and one of my closest friends, Jamie! Thanks girl for everything, from being the perfect co-blogger to a listening ear when I need it and a killer partner in crime!

Your turn! What are you thankful for?

Have a fabulous weekend lovers!

❤ Sarah

Finger Foods

With Thanksgiving next week and my co-worker’s  “Friend’s Giving” this weekend it’s time to start brainstorming what to whip up! Although every family event I seem to master the salad (typical go-to= spinach or arugula, goat cheese, silvered almonds or walnuts, dried cranberry, avocado, tomatoes, purple onion, with a raspberry balsamic and a dash of oil), when it comes to Thanksgiving the green bean casserole is one of my faves.  Since I’m letting my brother’s fiance take the reins on my casserole this year (vegan style!) as well as it already being claimed for Friend’s Giving (so popular!) I figured I would tackle a beloved appetizer for both events. Since I’m a huge snacker and have a love for variety and finger foods I figured why not?  The only downside to apps is I’m the one typically full before the meal even starts…  My dad’s clam dip makes its long-awaited appearance every Thanksgiving and we never have a family holiday without my aunt and uncle’s famous baked brie– so with those off the table I’ve been scouring my Pinterest board devoted solely to finger foods and the options are endless.  One goal– something not to heavy so I still have an appetite by dinner!

Here’s a few I’ve narrowed it down to:

5 Layer Greek Dip

Via: The Lovely Cupboard

[Pretty simple- just layer hummus (homemade or store-bought) with diced red pepper, kalamata olives, cucumber and topped with feta and fresh dill– served with toasted pita]

Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab

Via: Domestic Fits

[Light and small but the key to these little guys is a small melon baller]

Drunken Grapes with Wine Poached Shrimp

Via: Show Food Chef

[4 ingredients only!! Shrimp, grapes, chardonnay, water (doesn’t count!), then fresh parsley or dill]

Italian Skewers

Photo Via: Party Frosting

[I got this recipe from a gf a few years back and always manages to be a big hit! Layer to your liking: Olives, pepperoni/salami, mozzarella, artichoke hearts and tomatoes (options may very) but the key is to drizzle with Italian dressing and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving– Don’t overdo it on the dressing but make sure it soaks in the flavor!]

Jalapeno Popper Wontons

Puffs Recipe

Via: All Recipes

[Little prep time and cooks in 5 mins… Doesn’t get easier than that!]

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

Via: Kitchen Simplicity

[Dijon, light mayo, light sour cream, honey, pinch of dried dill, smoked salmon and wheat or flour tortillas]

Crostini with Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Fig Jam

Via: The Italian Dish

[Not too much prep time and very presentable!]

There’s so many options and I’m running out of time! I’d love to hear if you have other suggestions 🙂

❤ Jamie

Hottie Hot Seat: Julie Ballou, Fisticuffs Boxing


We’ve all heard celebrities like Carrie Underwood ranting and raving about their kickboxing workouts, classes or instructors. A lot of Hollywood’s fit ladies credit their toned arms and legs to the strength training workout. Not only does it tighten and tone [as well as learning a little self-defense confidence], it’s an effective cardio workout as well. We used to aim to take a private lesson with our instructor Julie once a week with a few girlfriends. This last Monday after going back for the first time in too long we decided this is definitely [once again!] going to be a common occurrence in our fitness routines. I mean the proof is in the pudding and the fact that it’s 2 days later and our arms are still struggling means something!

Benefit’s to Boxing:

  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Increases flexibility and promotes better posture
  • Increase power and speed
  • Improve overall health and fitness– lose weight
  • Full body workout: Works core muscles while maintaining balance and strength, legs through kicks and various stances, arms through punching and jabbing, back/shoulder & glutes through dogging and feet movement.
  • Boxing is fun, mixes up your workout routine (which aids in overall results), is competitive, and can be done with your gfs and guy friends [at your own risk of course]
  • Lastly… I mean have you seen Carrie Underwood’s legs??

Our fearless and fabulous instructor, Julie Ballou, gives us a run for our money. She’s tough! We asked her to give us her secrets, and she obliged 🙂

1. Tell us about yourself what you do. How did you get into boxing?

I’m a police officer and being able to protect myself in my job and have the confidence to fight and win is very important. I had never been in a fight until the police academy and quickly realized I would get my ass kicked on the streets. I asked for training from another officer at our department who owns Fisticuffs Gym and just fell in love with the training.

2. In your opinion, what makes boxing a good fitness choice for women?

Women aren’t known for their upper body strength and boxing really helps with that. I also, like many other women, hate cardio equipment. Boxing allows you to focus on something other than thinking about how much cardio can suck! Lastly, it’s a great confidence booster. Even if you never have to use it, having the skills of a fighter is uplifting.

3. What are your favorite moves for all-over toning?

It may not seem like it, but boxing is a full body workout if you do it right. You’re moving your feet and throwing punches, not to mention twisting and engaging your torso when you “bob & weave.” Next to sparring, which isn’t something most women are interested in, having someone hold focus mitts for you force you to move like a boxer without getting punched!

4. Let’s talk diet. Any tips you have that can help boost strength and endurance for boxing? What are your/your fighters’ secrets?

Strength comes from having a balance of protein, carbs, and fruits/veggies. For someone not training for a competition, it’s just really important to not over do it on the carbs. However, you’ll see a larger reduction in body fat if you can cut those out and eat the non processed carbs like yams and rice.

The amateur and professional fighters at Fisticuffs stick to clean balanced diets but they focus a lot on portions. They will measure everything they eat which might be overboard for the average person but a fighter’s weight is very important so they take it to the extreme. They find unique ways to make healthy foods taste good without the calories. Because it’s important for them to eat in a timely manner, they often cook a weeks worth of food to ensure they have a healthy meal waiting for them when their done with their intense workouts.

5. What is your favorite thing about being in the fitness industry?

One thing I love about the fitness industry is that it brings together so many different types of people who all have at least one thing in common. We have all different types come into the gym who want to learn to box or do jiu jitsu even if they never fight. There are 8-year-olds, middle aged business men, high school athletes, and stay at home moms. They all come with a different physical ability but have the similar goals.

6. Any other tips you’d like to share?

My one tip is regardless of what fitness activity you do is make it a routine and don’t give up. It’s easy for new people to quit boxing, the first week or two is the hardest. Much like many new activities but when you can power through that hard beginning, you can really start to see results.

7. One more, for fun…We know you are getting married in January {In Hawaii…lucky!} What does your wedding prep routine look like?

Yikes, wedding prep. I started to write down everything I eat. I don’t show anyone but it helps hold me accountable when I can look back and see what I’ve been eating. In addition to increasing my own boxing workouts, I’m going to start going to a new boot camp at our gym. It’s nice to be part of a class, I push myself harder when someone is watching. I definitely won’t be sparring. Who wants wedding photos with a black eye or their nose sideways on their face?

Action Shots:

For more information on the gym and the classes they offer, visit their website or their Facebook page.

❤ Jamie & Sarah

The Best Packaged Foods for Women

Prepackaged foods aren’t typically a go-to for fresh, healthy eating, but when time’s not on your side, they can be a Godsend. I’m a sucker for a new products and testing out quick fix meals that don’t even have enough steps to be considered “recipes.”  When I ran across this article on Women’s Health, I knew I had to give a few new products a try.  It lists the best options for women when it comes to sweets & treats, breads & cereals, condiments, pasta & rice, snacks, crackers & chips, frozen meals, drinks, fruits & veggies, soups, dairy, meats & seafood.

Disclaimer: Processed foods should be consumed MINIMALLY for a healthy diet, but they won’t kill you in moderation. If you are eating packaged food, do your research, read and analyze the ingredients, know your serving size and make smart choices. Many are not gluten-free or vegan friendly, so know what to look out for on the label. Also, don’t be tempted by labels promising “low-fat” or “sugar free,” there are generally tons of horrible additives that actually make the product worse for you than the full-fat and sugar versions.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Trader Joes Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas

//Photo: Taking Half Off//

Great for wraps or veggie scrambles– perfect for throw and go meals. For a gluten free option, pick organic corn tortillas or Sonoma Teff Wraps.

Trader Joe’s Gummy Bears

//Photo: The Skinny Confidential//

They’re made with real fruit and contain vegetable extracts instead or preservatives– Pop in the freezer for a chewy exterior.

Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins

//Photo: Trader Joe’s//

Current favorite cereal– add 1/2 a sliced banana and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Trader Joe’s Raisin Rosemary Crisps

//Photo: Trafer Joe’s//

Latest addiction– pairs great with brie cheese and is lower in calories than reduced fat Wheat Thins. {12 for 90 calories}

Skinny tip: Never go to the grocery store hungry! I think the reasons are obvious… though I’ve been known to fall victim to it a time or two.

Test out a few of the recommendations from the grocery guide and if you have others, I’d love to hear!

❤ Jamie