Friday, February 27, 2015

Zucchini Noodles.

It's week four of my squeaky clean eating and I'm enjoying every minute. New compliant creations are coming out of our kitchen every single day and my roommate and I have become masters of clean eating, paleolithic diets, and how to strategically maneuver the produce and meat aisles like complete professionals.

Sure, there were nights where we'd sit on the couch and just talk about the food that we wished we could have. Or days we'd send pictures to each other of the break-room goodness we couldn't eat. But more frequently there are the nights where we sauté up a ripe banana with blueberries, coconut, and toasted almonds and relish in the delicious simplicity of it all.

We don't waste much, if anything at all, and last night I was determined to use up a good amount of the random items I had leftover. The result? Shrimp and Brussel Sprout Zucchini Noodles with Marina.

What you'll need:

Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Zucchini
Brussel Sprouts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Marinara Sauce

Now, I cannot give you exact measurements because I really just threw this together with no real idea what would turn out.  But it went a little something like this:

Half the brussel sprouts and place face down in EVOO on medium to high heat. Once they started to turn a lovely golden brown, I tossed them with lemon juice and salt to taste. Set sprouts aside.
I threw the shrimp into the same sauté pan with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and herbs de provence. The shrimp picked up the brown bits left behind from the sprouts and smelled delicious covered in those fragrant herbs. 
While the shrimp cooked (which takes no time at all) I spiralized the zucchini and tossed into a large sauce pan over medium heat with hot oil and cooked for just a minute or two.
Once everything was cooked to my liking, I combined all of the ingredients into the sauce pan, added arugula, and tossed with just enough marinara to lightly coat it all.

Simple. Fast. Clean.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

That Healthy Glow.

So I am on day eighteen of my twenty-eight day 'cleanse' and people all around me are starting to take an interest in this Whole30 business.

"What is the name of that cleanse you're doing?"
"What kind of things can you eat?"
"What did you bring for lunch today?"

I'm happy to spout off any information about the 'diet' and the new recipe I've tried the night before because I'm a believer in what it can do for you and your body. But I have one secret that I haven't told any one until now. 

This week I've received countless compliments about my skin from co-workers and strangers alike. They say my skin is glowing and that I look absolutely radiant. Now, I've never had anyone say such kind things about my skin and I'm sure the ladies out there would agree that there are few compliments that compare to 'the glow.' They attribute it to the way I've been eating, and although that is probably why my skin is so clear, it is definitely not the reason for its glow. 

Let me introduce you to my new makeup-must... Candlelight Glow Duo - Too Faced.

With shades like sheer gold and gilded rose, you cannot go wrong with this color combination. The gauzy gold color gives you that warm, candlelit glow and the sweet rose hue lightens and brightens. I apply the gold along my brow bone and add the tiniest touch of it to the inner corners of my eyes. I highlight my cheeks with the rosy, pink sheen. It's light (no pun intended) and dreamy and is the reason for my radiant skin. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015


After recently watching the documentary, Fed Up, I was inspired to eliminate sugar from my diet (ironically this does not reflect the title of my newly created blog.) In doing some research on how to do so, I stumbled across the Whole30 program. The rules go a little something like this:

No Added Sugar, whether it's natural or artificial
No Alcohol
No Grains, Legumes (that includes soy!) or Dairy
No carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites
No everything for thirty days

Now, me being a realistic kind of gal I decided to do it for the entire month of February, a modified Whole28 if you will. I started by clearing out the refrigerator and pantry of any food items that were considered to be non-compliant with the rules. I was basically left with yellow mustard, apples, and a can of green beans. The funny part about that was even the 'healthy' items had to go. The almond milk had ingredients that I couldn't pronounce, the lunch meat had all kinds of preservatives, and the cashew butter was sweetened with sugar. Needless to say, the kitchen was empty and I needed to go shopping.

If anything has made this easier, it has been Trader Joe's. Cheap, lots of compliant foods to choose from, and smiling cashiers in Hawaiian T-shirts. Here are my Trader Joe's go-to items:

Light Coconut Milk - a very tasty, very creamy, ever so compliant substitute for coffee cream and milk.
Garlic & Herb or Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausages - perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
4-Sack of Organic Avocados - the most perfect, buttery avocados you'll ever eat.
LaraBars - my sweet tooth secret and late night indulgence
Coconut Oil - a long time alternative to lotion and my, now, go-to choice for cooking oil and butter substitution. (Please buy two jars if you plan on using one for lotion, and I recommend that you do. You'll thank me later when you smell and taste like a cookie.)
Raw Almonds - a big bag for a small price and my only shot at sanity after breaking up with peanuts.

In actuality, it's not that difficult. If anything it has been a pleasure. Sure, the display of mini-cupcakes and Valentine's Day chocolates on the break room table this week was painful, but the appreciation I now have for the simple and beautiful foods that have replaced them is just as satisfying. There is something truly lovely about a label that has three ingredients or less and I can't help but wonder why everyone isn't doing this.

If you're considering the challenge, here are my tips for being successful:

Do it with a friend. If your roommate is going to be stocking the refrigerator with cookie dough and CoolWhip, you're setting yourself up for a late night spoonful of failure.

Plan your meals ahead of time. I cook my weeks worth of lunches on Sunday night and I don't have to worry about it on work days. If you prepare your own meals, you'll always know what's in them.

Carry snacks with you. If hunger strikes, you'll have your LaraBar or hard-boiled egg in hand and will be less likely to shove that mini-cupcake in your mouth.

Try new recipes and be creative! You can only have eggs so many times for breakfast, so why not try that recipe for mashed acorn squash and coconut for breakfast?

I'm halfway through my 28 day challenge and I'm in no hurry for it to be over. Although, I am still dreaming of white cake from time to time...

Under Renovation

The new blog is under renovation! Stay tuned.