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!



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Shake

After my workout this afternoon, I whipped up a delicious new protein shake combo..Strawberry Cheesecake. Yes. Strawberry Cheesecake. Oh man... If you like the Starbuck's Strawberries n Cream Frappuccino (my childhood FAVORITE-seriously all I ordered there..) then you'll love this!

I took every part of a strawberry cheesecake into consideration. I got all your tastes buds covered. ;)
I used cinnamon protein powder, which gave the flavor of the crust. The Greek yogurt gave the tarteness of the cheesecake. And of course some delicious strawberries! Feel free to use blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries for another version. I stuck with my favorite though!

 A strawberry cheesecake milkshake that it actually good for me? Yes please!


Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Shake
(serves 1)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 scoop cinnamon swirl protein powder (I used Slap Nutrition)*
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbs. plain Greek yogurt OR cottage cheese
  • A few drops of stevia (I use the vanilla flavor by SweetLeafStevia)
  • 1 cup ice

Blend away!! Enjoy! :)

*If you don't have cinnamon flavored protein, just use vanilla and add a little cinnamon.

Xoxo,
Stephanie


Monday, June 23, 2014

Best Friend Tag! with Kathryn!



Hey guys! I'd like you to meet one of my closest friends, Kathryn! Today we decided to do the 'Best Friend Tag' to see how well we know each other and for you to get to meet her! 
Enjoy! 


Monday, June 16, 2014

Funfetti Protein Waffles


The classic sprinkle phenomenon now in a healthy protein packed breakfast. You can thank me later. ;)

This morning I made my usual protein waffles (I stick to a pretty basic recipe but sometimes tweak it a little) and decided I wanted some sprinkles. Because sprinkles are the spice of life. Am I right?

Funfetti Protein Waffles
(Serves 1)
1 scoop vanilla protein  powder
1/3 cup oats *
1 Tbs. coconut flour**
1/2 banana
3 Tbs. egg whites (2 egg whites)
1/4 cup almond milk
 1/8 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp. sprinkles***

1. Blend the oats to make oat flour.
2. Add other ingredients (except sprinkles) and blend until a smooth batter.
3. Fold in sprinkles.
4. Pour into the hot waffle maker and let it cook until ready!
5. I topped mine with the other half of banana, drizzled peanut butter, and sugar free Walden Farms pancake syrup. (You could also use pure maple syrup or honey) Oh man.... 

*I you can't have oats, or want a lower carb option, simply add an extra tablespoon if coconut flour. 

** Don't have any coconut flour? Simply use 1/2 cup oats instead of 1/3 cup. :)

***Disclaimer: I know sprinkles are not healthy, and have artificial colors. But a teaspoon will do you no harm! Haha if your very concerned, you can by the overpriced organic sprinkles at Whole Foods...

****I didn't have any, but I think adding a 1/4 tsp. of butter extract would really make these taste like classic funfetti cake! Oooooo....

Enjoy!
Xoxo, Stephanie

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