Cinco de Mayo: Recipes for a Mexican Fiesta

PC: Fork Vs Spoon

PC: Fork Vs Spoon

Who doesn’t love Cinco de Mayo, I mean , it is a holiday centered around tacos and tequila!  I just love that it is an excuse to eat yummy food and celebrate the warm weather with friends.  Best part is, this year it is on a Friday!!!  Woohoo!  Break open the piñatas and get ready for a fun night of celebrating with some of my favorite south of the boarder recipes! Ole!

Margs and More:

PC: Gimme Some Oven

PC: Gimme Some Oven

Taco’s Por Favor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Taco Shell:

PC: Adore Foods

PC: Adore Foods

 

Dulce Desserts:

 

White Bean Dip

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We are a hummus household, going through container after container each week.  This week I decided to switch it up and make my own protein rich dip with white beans.  Not only was it a major hit as our snacks but was a family favorite at Easter.  I like mine with radishes and blue corn tortilla chips, but this would be great spread on a veggie sandwich or even smeared on some chicken breast for an easy lunch!  Happy dipping

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

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I may be 26 years old but I will never give up the tradition of dying Easter eggs.  First of all, it guarantees that I have tons of hard boiled eggs for the week and most importantly it gives me an excuse to lay the newspaper down and get messy.  This year, I decided to try something new.  Rather than those bright, store bought kits (with God only knows what chemicals) I decided to make my own dyes out of vegetables, herbs, and even coffee!  The results: gorgeous pastel eggs and beet salad for lunch with the leftovers!

What I’m Loving Lately-April ’17

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Missing Richard Simmons Podcast

Call me a freak but after listening to this podcast I have been obsessed with what the heck could have happened to Richard Simmons.  We listened to this podcast on a a trip to New Hampshire and it has been all Chad and I have talked about since.  I never thought I would be so interested in a podcast but the creator, Dan Taberski, did a great job not only showing what a giving and flamboyant man Richard was, but left us seriously wondering where on earth Richard may be.

The Body Book by Cameron Diaz

This is one of my favorite reads in the health and wellness world.  Cameron does such a great job creating an easy, approachable read.  She explains the link between nutrition and its role on the body, through both her personal experiences and evidenced based information.  Self love is a continual theme throughout the book.  Rather than a book to help provide diet tips and workout tricks, her bubbly personality helps provide a body positive message to love and embrace the body you have; to use food and fitness as a way to empower and build a better you.

Daily Harvest

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this service.  Fresh, organic fruit and veggies smoothies delivered to my door make me feel like a rich, spoiled celebrity.  I currently, have a freezer stocked with yummy smoothies, all I have to do is pull it out of the freezer, add almond milk, blend and pour back into the portable cup they come with.   This service makes eating healthy and fresh ingredients super easy and tasty. I love being able to have a quick on the go, organic smoothie. I seriously cannot wait until my next delivery!

 

Fun Lunches on CT Style

So much fun being back with my friends on CT Style!  Check out the link to the segment here!

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Apple Sage Chicken Sausages

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Weekend mornings when I am off from work are all about lazy breakfasts in our PJ’s. Chad is in charge of the coffee and I have fun trying new breakfast recipes.  Sometimes its crazy pancakes or omelets made from last nights leftovers.  This weekend it was these slightly sweet apple sage chicken sausages.  The batch barely made it through the day, we were definitely nibbling on them all morning.  Unlike store bought sausages, you are able to control the excess fat, sugar, and processed ingredients in these, which made me even more obsessed with this recipe!

Brunch Basics on Fox61

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Poached eggs and avocado roses!  Check it out!  Click the photo for the link!

Whole 30

 

A few months ago I did the impossible and became a Whole 30 warrior!
What is Whole 30 exactly?  Basically its a total cleanse, designed to help discover how your body responds to different foods. By cutting out different inflammatory inducing foods,  you are able to better understand how the body responds to them.  Before getting diagnosed with UC, I was hoping this would help me to better understand my tummy troubles a bit better.
The harsh part:  no sugar, no legumes (including soy products), no alcohol, no grains of any kind, and no dairy and no scales for 30 days.
 
The Good
 
Scale Freedom:
  • Perhaps the hardest part of these 30 days was the rule preventing me from weighing myself. While it was difficult to not quantify my progress, I gained a sense of “scale freedom” and actually paid more attention to when I was actually hungry and what nutrients my body was craving.
Better Relationship with Food:
  • By the end of the 30 days, there is no question that the girl who used to count every calorie no longer felt obligated.  Because I was eating real food with ingredients I could pronounce, , I didn’t feel like I had to spend a day compensating for a pizza and beer binge the night before. Every day was about healthy choices, none of that food guilt the day after.  I actually found myself craving green juices.  The best part of cutting all the processed sugar out was that fruits became so much sweeter, grapes tasted like candy and berries and coconut milk became a dessert I looked forward to at night.  I also became disgusted at the sight of fried foods; when I was almost done with the Whole 30, I went out to dinner with Chad’s family who ordered fried mac n’ cheese, buffalo wings, and fries as appetizers.  For the first time in my whole life I was not even tempted to snag a fry.  This is when I knew how effective Whole 30 was.
Physical Changes:
  • The most exciting part of Whole 30 was the physical changes that cam with a clean diet.  I had lost a decent amount of weight without trying and my skin was clearer than ever.  I had lost the bloat that processed food often leaves us with.  While I cannot say I had more energy since I was in the middle of a UC flare, Chad who did most of Whole 30 with me, remarked on his increase in energy and was able to wake up each morning more easily, even without his morning coffee.
 
The Bad
 
Eating Out:
  • You don’t realize how often our society places social events around food.  Simple happy hour meet ups, trivia and nacho night, and late night walks of ice cream were all suddenly no-go’s. There were a few occasions where I had to go out to dinner while on Whole 30.  One of the most refreshing parts was the much cheaper bill since drinking was off limits.  Eating out was far from impossible but I did have to grow a major pair of balls because no matter what I ordered needed some sort of modification.  Sometimes it was as simple as asking for no butter to be added to the top of the steak.  Other not some simple dinners out involved having to call ahead to find out what ramen included soy products and subbing all veggies and extra protein for noodles.  I was still able to go out with friends and not feel deprived.  I simply felt annoying with my many requests, but so worth it in the long run!
Frequent Grocery Trips
  • For many this is a flaw to Whole 30, personally I love the grocery store and would go every day if I could.  And I basically did on Whole 30.  However, this added up financially very quickly.  Eating such fresh foods means having to buy them more frequently since they go bad much more quickly.  I also found myself eating full pints of raspberries, over a dozen eggs a week, and killing tubs of almond butter regularly.  Chad and I were able to rationalize our expenses since we were going out to eat much less and not drinking any alcohol.  Financially, it probably evened out in the end.  Not to mention it was a huge investment in our overall health.
Reading Labels and Planning
  • Whole 30 caused me to become even more of a “Type A Planner” than I already am.  Lots of meal prep, research and planning happened each week.  I would make sure my veggies were chopped, each food label was free of sugar (and other contraband) ingredients, and my proteins were prepared.  This took lots of time but for only 30 days I could not complain too much.

Sick Day Survival

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This past week I have been super sick, I am talking embarrassingly, grossly sick.  Gotta love having UC!  However, after days of nursing sips of gatorade, popping strong antibiotics like candy, and Netflix marathons I am finally on the mend.  Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than feeling like crap! I often forget how much it sucks to be sick until I am hit hard.  Last week was that situation.  Whether you have a cold, a broken heart, a stomach bug, or a super bug like me, here are some of my survival tips for dealing with any sort of illness!

Bathtime

In my opinion, there is nothing more relaxing than a bath. When life sucks seems to make everything in the world ok.  Whether you are a fan of bubbles or bath bombs, taking a bath will just about always make you feel better when you are sick.  The aroma of the bath products and the heat of the water will help your muscles and mind relax.  No bath?  A shower will work almost as well, just pull out the nice smelling soups (I love Johnson and Johnson baby bedtime bubble bath) and relax.  Plus who doesn’t feel better after a good   bath or shower after laying in bed sick all day???

Essential Oils

My essential oils saved my ass when I was sick.  It was the only thing making me feel slightly luxurious (and kept the bedroom from getting totally stinky).  Peppermint oils became my nausea relief, lavender helped keep me relaxed, and lemongrass knocked out the any yucky odors that come with the stomach bug.  Even when I am healthy, investing in a good diffuser is totally worth it.  I find essential oils set a new calming tone to our apartment.

Chicken Soup

We all have our go to sick remedies, my grandmother swears by a baked potato, my uncle a plain hamburger from McDonalds, but nothing seems to the do the trick quite like Chinese chicken and rice soup.  The simple bland flavors, lack of rando ingredients, lean protein, and simple starches make it easy to digest.  The sodium in the soup also helps your body hang onto fluids to prevent further dehydration.  So skip the Campbell’s and go get some simple Chinese take-out.

 

 

Sushi Bowls

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It seems the bowl trend has taken over my instagram, between burrito bowls, Buddha bowls, smoothie bowls, eating off a plate is so last year.  Only makes sense a sushi bowl is next on the radar for “it” food.

I made this sushi bowl post workout and it was pretty much the best refuel I have experienced in a while.  The perfect balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs left me feeling pretty invincible post chest day.  I reluctantly shared with Chad who surprised me by telling me this was one of the best things I had ever cooked.  I had quite a laugh because this recipe actually involved zero actual cooking and because he isn’t the biggest fish fan.  Maybe its because everything simply tastes better in a bowl, maybe it was the siracha dressing, maybe I’m just that good…