Monday, July 28, 2014

Instagram Q&A #1


Hey guys! I posted a picture on Instagram last week saying I was going to do a Q&A... so here it is! Let's jump into it!

1. What's your go to outfit for when you're in a rush? Makeup? - @megmo7

My go to outfit is probably my black LuLu Lemon Skinny Groove pants (so comfy and versatile!!!), a flawy tee shirt, scarf and ballet flats! It looks like ya tried but your really wearing yoga pants.... As far as makeup in a rush I keep it simple. BB Cream/Concealer, blush, fill in my eyebrows, a simple eyeshadow look (like the Naked palette), mascara and a tinted lip balm! If I'm in a rush but want to look more put together- I throw on a bright lip!

2. Have ever thought about being vegan? What do you think about going vegan?
- @cookandbakewithme

I actually tried to go vegan for a couple weeks during Lent. For a while I really felt guilty about eating animal products and genuinely felt like Vegan was a great choice. But personally, I felt like it cut out too many foods that I liked, and made it hard for me to eat enough. I usually don't eat much dairy but I had to cut out greek yogurt, which is a great high protein option, eggs, anything with whey, and of course all meat and fish. I was eating huuuuge salads for lunch, and quinoa with beans and veggies for dinner. There wasn't much variety. I also felt I turned to "vegan junk food" more... (which is fine in moderation!) I felt more tired, always bloated, my stomach issues were worse, got INTENSE cravings and I just didn't have the energy to work out. I tried to convince myself it was the right thing to do, but something just didn't feel right. And I definitely wasn't getting enough protein to repair my muscles after workouts. I know that many people do succeed on a vegan diet, but it's just not for me. I also think anyone that has suffered from any form of an eating disorder, it is would be very triggering since it cuts out so many foods and limits you a lot.  I feel like I need animal protein, but it's not like meat is the base of my diet- I just don't want to have to rely on tons of beans and brown rice protein powder when I could enjoy so many different sources of protein. I read "The Vegetarian Myth" and it totally opened up my eyes. I truly believe now that we can eat animal products, and do it ethically. There are so many health risks and deficiencies that could come with a vegan diet, and being a growing, active teen- why chance it? I prayed about it and I honestly felt like God was telling me I had to do what was right for my body. Jesus did multiply thousands of fish for the hungry didn't he??  So to conclude this suuuuper long answer- I respect those who choose to be vegan, and still love a lot of vegan food!- but from a health aspect I don't think it's optimal or necessary.

3. What's your favorite go to meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? And what's your favorite "cheat" food? -@milesfuelmysmiles

My go to meals are ones that are easy, I know I like, and that keep me energized. For breakfast my go to's/favorites are either egg white oats, a protein smoothie with lots of yummy frozen fruit, or a protein pancake/waffle! I also love eggs... oh! and toast with banana and nut butter! I just can't decide! For lunch- it's either a turkey+avocado+tomato sandwich, with a fruit and baby carrots with hummus on the side or a big salad with quinoa, chicken, avocado, veggies, and salsa! For dinner I'll usually have chicken or fish, with some kind of carb (usually sweet potato or quinoa) and any kind of veggies. I switch it up by changing the spices, marinade, or trying a new recipe- but keeping the protein+carb+veggies formula!

4. What do you think of the new high waisted shorts style? Ugh.. I don't like it! - @nikkisfitlife

I actually really like high wasted shorts! But, I haven't found any I like yet! Most stores just make them waaaay to short! If their done right, I think they're so cool and vintage-y!

5. When you have to get fast food what would you suggest? - @healthyjaime

My favorite fast food is without a doubt, Chipotle. It's really the only fast food I get. I love that they have higher quality standards and it's always fresh. I make my own burrito bowl all the time at home, so it's a no-brainer I love it! I always get a bowl (brown rice) or salad with veggies, salsa, black beans, chicken and off course...tons of guac! If I had to eat at Chick Fil A and wanted to keep it semi healthy I'd get a salad with grilled chicken and fruit. I think Wendy's has great salads. Panera also has really good options! And subway is always gonna be a pretty good option- just keep it simple with a salad or sandwhich with lean protein + lots of veggies!

6. What does your typical weekly exercise regimen consist of? - @thehealthypeanut

I don't like to think of it as a "regimen" or anything too structured- I don't like it to be something I feel like I have to do. I rest when I want and switch it up when I want! But I do have somewhat of routine I usually stick to. Every Tuesday, I always do the Power Pump class at my gym. I just looove it! It's a weight lifting/strength class using a barbell and some dumbbells. We do a little of everything- squats, lunges, biceps, triceps, chest press, pushups, shoulders.. And I usually will get there a little early and run for about 15 minutes. The other days of the week I'll usually do a day or two for lower body (one usually will be more quads/calfs and the other more glutes/hamstrings) another day for upper body/back. That with Power Pump, I feel like I work every muscle group on a good basis. I always finish off with a little bit of abs and stretching. I do a little cardio when I feel like it, which is usually running. If I feel really stiff that week- I'll do some yoga. And that's it! I can post more specific workouts if you'd like. :)

7. Do you make sure to have at least one treat per week, or just have them sporadically when you feel like it? - @thehealthypeanut

I try to have a treat once or twice a week (by that I mean something more "all out"  like a burger and fries or some Ben and Jerry's), but I also treat myself every day to something small If I want- like a piece of organic dark chocolate or something healthy I baked.. I try to have "treats" when I feel like it! I'm a firm believer in "treats" not "cheats"... I hate feeling deprived and I don't because I don't make anything "off limits!" But most off the time I really do actually crave the healthy stuff.

8. Favorite ooiaj recipe? - @thehealthypeanut

(OOIAJ stands for Overnight Oats In a Jar, if ya didn't know haha!) I have a whole post on them if you want all the details. :) My favorite is probably just basic vanilla with blueberries:
1/2 cup oats
1/4-1/2 cup greek yogurt
3/4 cup almond milk
1 Tbs. chia seeds
Vanilla stevia drops
Handful of Blueberries

9. Favorite healthy dessert? - @thehealthypeanut

Most nights I have a little bit of greek yogurt (sweetened with stevia) and some berries (or any other toppings) on top. I also love just a piece of good dark chocolate. If I'm craving chocolate cake, I like to make a chocolate protein mugcake. My favorite more elaborate recipe is probably these healthy 3 layer cheesecake brownies!

10. Music you're loving lately? - @thehealthypeanut

AHHHH so much!Haha but a "few" of my favorite songs right now are:
Rude
All About That Bass
Problem
Fancy
Ain't it Fun
Girls Chase Boys
Birthday
Talk Dirty
True Love Kills the Fairy Tale
Wiggle

11. Most fun thing you did all summer? - @thehealthypeanut

Probably hanging out with all my family that came to visit, or golf tournaments!

12. Do you watch SATC? (sex and the city) - @thehealthypeanut

I never really got super in to it, but if it's on I enjoy it!

13. Do you think we could be friends?.... What does your room look like?... How do you feel about frozen yogurt? ;P  - @ile_sepahi (my cousin! lol)

Maybe we could be friends.....You are in my room, and I have intense feelings about that froyo we got the other day! ;)

I hope you guys enjoyed this Q&A! If you'd like, you can answer the questions and leave them in the comments below! I'd love to get to know all of you!
Xoxo,
Stephanie

Friday, July 25, 2014

You can't buy happiness, but you can buy....


Just a little Friday reminder to go out and treat yourself! By a pint of your doctors ice cream or grab a friend and hop on over to Baskin Robins for some quality ice cream bonding time..because ice cream makes people happy and you should have a happy weekend! Haha :)

Because... I'd rather have a double scoop on my cone than a double zero on my jeans.. ;)

This is my flavor of choice... What's your favorite???


Xoxo,
Stephanie

My Favorite Morning Oats...{Plus How To Make Perfect Eggwhite Oats}


One of my favorite "never fail" breakfast is oats. A nice bowl of oatmeal. But not just plain old fashioned oats..I like to make egg white oats! If you've never heard of egg white oats, I know it may sound a little weird.. But the eggswhites add a great source of quality protein to the oatmeal, making it a great balanced meal instead of just a bowl of carbs. The protein will keep you fuller longer by slowing down the digestion of carbs. (If I was having a different protein source info still have plain oats- but this makes a bowl of oatmeal a great balanced meal on it's own) The egg whites make them fluffy and add lots of volume too! You can only slightly taste the egg whites, but I really love the flavor, it's hardly noticeable. You just have to sweeten them a little! Their easy to make, and only take around 10 minutes on the stove, but you can microwave them too for rushed mornings. I reccomend using liquid eggwhites, which come in a carton, instead of cracking whole eggs and separating the yolks. This saves time and makes sure you don't have any raw eggs to worry about. 

This is my favorite topping combo at the moment: strawberries, blueberries, 1/2 a banana, almond/peanut butter, and sometimes a drizzle of honey. Soooo good! I love the strawberries & banana combo..and the peanut butter and berries is like a PB&J :)

So here's how I actually MAKE them:

You will need:
1/2 cups oats (or more or less depending on how much you want/need..but 1/2 cup is a pretty good portion)
1/3 cup liquids egg whites 
1 cup water or almond milk (plus a little more)
Stevia drops (or honey or coconut sugar)
Cinnamon
1 Tbs. Flaxseeds or chia seeds (optional)
Toppings of choice (1 tbs. Nut butter, fruit, almonds, banana ect.)

1. Bring just over 1 cup of water to a boil on the stove on medium-high to heat.

2. Add the oats and then down to medium heat.

3. Cook, and stir occoasionally, for about 5 minutes.

4. When the oats are almost done, our in you egg whites and stir well. (Add more liquid if needed) Turn down to a low heat and continue cooking till the oat naw reaches your desired consistency.

5. Now add your cinnamon, flax and stevia and stir.

6. Pour into a bowl and your toppings! 
Enjoy!




Xoxo, Stephanie

Friday, July 11, 2014

Current Wishlist....{July 2014}


Hey guys! Today, I thought I'd do something a little 
different and instead of showing you the products  I'm currently loving, 
I thought I'd show you the products I'm currently wanting. 
I'm gonna go over food, fitness, fashion, beauty... all the things a girl could want. Keep in my mind this is a "wish list" so I probably won't go out and buy everything I mention.... I just thought it be fun to show you what I think looks cool! 


ManBake is an awesome company I found through Instagram. They make gourmet protein bars and nut butters with quality and ingredients and without preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and all that unhealthy junk.  Their cookie butter particularly caught my eye.... I love cookie butter, so I was excited to find a healthier option. Plus, for two tablespoons it has half the fat of normal peanut butter and a whopping 14 grams of protein. I have never seen that in a nut butter!





I also found Krave Bars through Instagram, and they seem very similar to the beloved Quest Bars. I've always wished Quest would come out with a Birthday Cake flavor, so I couldn't believe Krave had one! I loooove anything birthday cake flavored and I've heard amazing things (quality and taste) about Krave, so I think I'll definitely be ordering a few to try!




This purse was part of the Coach 2014 Spring Collection, and I see it every time I walk by Coach at the mall.... I'm usually not a fan of flashy Coach purses, but I love how fun and classic this one is. It's young and classy at the same time. And anything pink usually wins me over. It doesn't have huge obnoxious Coach labels on it, and I think it's so fresh and summery!




4. LuLu Lemon...
Okay can I just put the whole store on the list? I love everything LuLu, but this top and these pants gotta be two of my favorites of their new summer items. I'm really loving the fresh florals and pink they got going on... I love that the top could be worn to the gym or even with jeans! I love the contrast of the crisp white against the bright floral.The pants are fun harem style, but still the famously comfy LuLu fabric. I picture wearing them with a tank, converse, and denim vest. Too cute!




These lipsticks are amazing. My friend Kathryn will not stop talking about how much she wants one, and guess what? Now I want one too. They are super pigmented, smooth, and long lasting. Perfect for a summery bright lip! I can't decide which color, Fuscia or Peony, I like better....





I hope you enjoyed seeing a few things I've been eyeing... Let me know some of the products you've had your eye on lately! 
XoXo,
Stephanie

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Freedom from the Food Police...

In the world of health and fitness, there are many many many opinions on what one should do to achieve "optimum health" or what diet is the "perfect diet." Over the past few decades our country has gotten more and more health conscious, and on the other extreme more and more obese and sick. Many diets claim to be a "cure all" for everything from chronic illnesses, allergies, fatigue, weight loss, digestion, even happiness... while all these diets have many of the same promising claims, they actually have very contradicting opinions on several topics. 


I'm not going to go into every specific aspect of every dietary theory and how they are right/wrong (not what this post is for) but heres a few examples of how different diets disagree and may lead one to confusion...

*Disclaimer: I am not trying to bash anyone following any of these lifestyles. Some concepts I actually agree with, and some I find complete nonsense. This is just a comparison for point of this post. 

1. Vegans do not eat meat or eggs, and do eat grains, beans and legumes for sources of protein. Paleo believe that we were not meant to digest any grain and eat a very meat and egg based diet.

2. Some say dairy is the devil, yet greek yogurt is praised as a perfect high protein snack.

3. Raw vegans believe any thing cooked sends negative energy , while the macrobiotic theory 
and many asian religions believe anything raw is bad, and you should only consume cooked food. Did you know that's why you'll rarely find salad on the menu at a Chinese restaurant? 

4. The fitness industry tell us how much protein we need to build muscle and we should watch our carbs, but many vegans say it's a myth we need that much protein and we need to "carb up!"

5. The paleo extremists will get in an argument rather or not sweet potatoes are paleo... some say butter is an amazing healthy fat, but wait! It has to be grass fed...if not then it's just a bunch of processed junk.

6.  The Keto diet uses a high fat method, making the body learn to use fat as energy instead of carbs. Someone on a Keto diet may consume over 100 grams of fat a day but under 50 grams of carbs.

7. In stark contrast the 80/10/10 vegan diet recommends that 80% of your calories come from carbs, preferably fruit, and keeping your fat intake under 10%. Thats probably over 350grams of carbs and under 20 grams of fat. 

8. In contrast to the above individual eating only fruit, the candida theory says that fruit is bad because it has to much sugar, spikes insulin, and feeds cancer.

9. Were told after a workout to consume protein+carbs for proper recovery.

10. But... following "food combining" protein and carbs should NEVER be eaten at the same meal- at least several hours apart- for proper digestion.


Okay I hope you get the point... but the list could go on and on and on. There are so many theories in the world of nutrition. Some have very convincing studies, but one could easily get confused and not know what to believe.....

Being the little health nut that I am, I am known to get excited about an article on GMO's or grass-fed farming. I know I'm a nerd. haha but I have fallen victim several times to believing many of these diets and being left confused on what is really healthy for my body. At one point I didn't feel right about eating oatmeal in the morning.. I still ate it, but there was a voice telling me "oh wait! that's a grain and paleo people don't eat grains. Oh but oats are vegan and gluten free so I guess their okay..." Or when I tried to be vegan for Lent, afterwards I found my self feeling guilty for eating an egg.  Really Stephanie?? Eggs are natures multi vitamin! 

I like to call all these different diet extremists the "'Food Police." Whether there the actual followers of the diet or just the little voices in your head, there seems like in todays society people want all or nothing. They feel like they want to part of a club or family... but in a "diet club". Why do we feel the need to label ourselves "paleo" or "vegan" or even "gluten free?" I think theres a sense of comfort in a label, some people like to know what they can and cannot eat. Perhaps it will be easier? No... it's silly to judge your healthy eating on one style. 

Is it worth never having ice cream because it will have long term benefits on your health and maybe add what? 5 minutes to your life span? Haha joke aside, what I mean is that many of the claims to certain diets are foods are exaggerated. An ice cream cone will not kill you or give you cancer. Smoking everyday, now that might.

Of course, if you have ethical reasons to be a vegan, I understand.
If you have life long stomach issues, and being paleo works for you, go for it!
If you know you allergic to soy or gluten, of course AVOID them!
If you know dairy makes your skin break out, then limit the milk and cheese...

What I don't want to see, and refuse to fall victim to, is feeling guilty for eating a perfectly healthy food because one of the "food police" say it's bad. I'm tired of people thinking they're right and fighting over food. I think for most of us, eating a balanced diet that is 90% unprocessed is the best. All of the diets I talked about do have one thing in common- they advocate eating REAL food.

"Food is nourishment, not something to be policed.

Food is a gift from God, enabling us to thrive and be well.
And food is just one part of our lives, not our entire lives.

If I've learned one thing about nutrition and true health, it's that eating enough, eating nutrient rich food, and  just letting go is the golden ticket to a lifetime of happiness and well being."

- Robyn from www.thereallife-rd.com

I do believe everyone is different. What works for me may not work for you. Every body is unique and needs different amounts of different foods. But you have to find what works for you and not be brain washed by the media or the "gurus" of all these different styles of eating. You have to find your own balance.

I hope if you got one thing from this post, it is that you can walk away knowing there is not one perfect diet. Nor does there have to be. Everyday strive for progress not perfection. Focus on nourishing your body with a majority of nutrient dense foods and you will have a little wiggle room for a treat once in a while. :) Focus on how foods make actually make you feel, not how there supposed to make you feel. Eat when your hungry and don't deprive yourself. It may sound simple, but it can actually be difficult to throw out all the information the "Food Police", while in good intention, have pounded into your head. Being happy, getting enough sleep, spending time with family, keeping stress low, and actually enjoying what you eat is just as, if not more, important than what you eat.

XoXo, 
Stephanie

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I'm running a 5k?!


Hey guys! Hope your having a great summer! I have family I town so I've had a fun and busy week. We've been relaxing and hanging out, eating lots of yummy food, watching movies, swimming... This week we also (spontaneously) decided to sign up for a Nike 5k! And it's in three days... So this week I've been trying to do a 5k (3.1 miles) run everyday to get ready for it (I'm not a big runner..so I didn't want to show up on race day without any preparation! Haha) 
I thought I'd show you some tid bits of my day. Keep in I'm not posting all my meals (some are just really random) not everything I do..haha)

Breakfast was 2 slices of ezekiel toast, one with almond butter and strawberry jelly and the other with peanut butter, honey and cinnamon. Half a banana on the side :) Simple, quick and yummy.

A little later I went to the gym to get my run in. I would run out side but it was just toooo hot! I also love to watch a tv show while I run on the treadmill. It makes it so much more bearable...Today I watched "The Chew". It was a breakfast speacial, full of fluffy pancakes, pancetta parmesan fritatas, fried banana fritters, green smoothies....which only made me hungry while running. Don't know if that's good or bad...maybe it makes ya run faster so you get done and eat! Haha  Today I ran 3.2 miles and cooled down with a one mile walk. Took about 30 minutes. Finished with some abs. Solid workout I'd say!

I've never been able to enjoy a long run. A mile passes by and I'm dying usually. I just wanna go pick up some weights and forget the cardio. But the last few days have been different. Three days in a row I have completed a 5k. Crazy. I was just letting my mind tell me that I couldn't run further, or I was tired, or that one mile is plenty. Blah blah blah.. It just goes to show that you can do anything you set your mind to. You are way stronger than you think. I'm starting to love to push myself past my comfort zone. You feel so accomplished when you do.

Starving after I drove home I had a simple lunch of leftover quinoa salad, mixed greens and grilled chicken.

For a snack to hold me till dinner I made a protein green smoothie! I filled that baby up with tons of spinach to get those greens in! ;) tasted just like a chocolate milk shake...


Anyone watch the World Cup today?? Well I did...and after that I whipped up an amazing dinner. Well, amazing to me! Haha it's simple, but very yummy! Grilled Chicken (marinated with coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, garlic, ginger and pepper), salad, sautéed veggies, steamed broccoli, mashed avocado, and baked sweet potato with cinnamon. So good!


Well..that's it for today! What are guys up to? 

Xoxo, 
Stephanie 
 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Possibly my new favorite dinner... And Roasted Veggies Recipe


Hey guys! I recently enjoyed this simple delicious dinner, so I thought I'd share!
I made some 96% lean ground beef, mashed baked sweet potato, and roasted veggies. It tasted like a deconstructed shepard's pie! It was also a perfectly balanced dinner! Protein, carbs, veggies...So good.... 


Simple Roasted Veggies
(serves 3-4)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1-2 zuchini
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • handful of asparagus
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. coconut aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)- optional
  • Seasonings of choice (I used Mrs. Dash)


1. Pre-heat oven to 350
2. Toss veggies in coconut oil and seasonings, and bake/roast for 35-45 minutes! :)
Enjoy!



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