Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Last day to get discounted price on T25!



Today is the last day to get the discounted price on the Focus T25 challenge pack. Shaun T creator of Insanity made a workout system that is only 25 minutes each! This is only available for sale through coaches. You can watch a video clip of the workouts here.
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Old Navy Plum

I was looking for a sundress for my trip to Spain since it's 100 degrees there! I absolutely loved the third dress because I have the same pattern as a wall sticker in my bedroom which is also purple. I figure if I add a belt to it, it will give it more shape. It also comes in tall and plus sizes. It matches perfectly with my new sandals and my favorite color nail polish Charisma which you can get for free -see details. If you use coupon code WEDNESDAY at Old Navy you can get 25% off your order plus free shipping if the total is over $50.

Old Navy Plum





If you're really adventurous you can get these Karl Lagerfeld ice cream cone inspired pumps! lol

  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Cocktails. Get Thirsty...


So it's hot outside but you want a healthy alternative to your favorite frozen alcoholic drink? All you need is a blender to enjoy this icy concoction of sweet honeydew and mint smoothie. It's fresh, light, and low cal! Plus did you know that mint leaves help stimulate the digestion of fat!

Melon Mojito
1 cup cubed Honeydew Melon
½ cup Cucumber
½ cup Coconut water (I prefer the Zico brand)
3 fresh Mint leaves
squeeze of half a Lime
squirt of raw Agave Nectar
Blend until smooth.
Makes 1 serving - 95 calories

I tried this a second time with frozen honeydew melon, splash of aloe vera juice and added some blackberries to make a healthy slushie!


Monday, July 29, 2013

NARS Blonde Venus




My hairdresser recommended I get this lip color by NARS called Blonde Venus because I like nudes.
It's a satin brown beige with a hint of coral and I really like this color because it goes with my summer tanned skin. It looks darker in the tube than when applied. I do find that NARS lip products tend to settle into your lip creases, but I guess people look at me from 2 feet away so I'm not going to worry about it. I paired it with NARS lipgloss Greek Holiday, a sheer, peachy pink with golden glitter. I like it because it's not too sticky and very glossy. Funny timing because I just watched the episode of the Kardashians where they vacationed on the Greek Island of Mykonos.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Washing workout clothes

If you're spending good money on your workout clothes by shopping at lululemon, I'm sure you want your clothes to last! With seeing so many women at the gym with sheer pant backs when they bend over, I make a point to never put my workout pants in the dryer. I hang them up to dry in my shower and they dry pretty fast within a day. I wash all my laundry in cold water to save energy and research has shown it still gets perfectly clean. I use Tide Cold Water detergent which is specially formulated to be used with cold water. I've been loyal to Tide my whole life, even my mother used it because it's always been supreme at the top of Consumer Reports list for best detergent, that's the only reason I haven't switched to "green" detergents when the rest of my cleaning supplies are. I also only use half the detergent recommended to save money because I've read that you only need half a cap to get your clothes clean. Washing machines are more efficient these days, detergents are more concentrated, the company just wanted you to have to buy a new bottle faster. I don't use fabric softeners and dry sheets because the chemicals aren't good for you. I use dryer balls instead to reduce the static electricity and decrease my drying time.  I did find a product I liked that makes your sheets and towels smell so good!

While we're talking about workout clothes,  I've been waiting to find red workout clothes for awhile and lululemon just came out with the color "Love Red". In person it's very vibrant, almost neon with an orange hint to it. I got the backless one.

My favorite zoya nail polish reds are Sooki and Tamsen pictured below; and in the front row of my nail polish holder.
 
red



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Keratin Complex

Kerastud, not available in salons
I live in one of the stickiest cities in the US, literally, it should be listed in one of the top cities for bad hair! I looked up the stats and we have an average of 37 days a year above 90 degrees (but it was 67 days two years ago), the rest of the summer it rains.  The average humidity here is 85% in the summertime. It's so hot here I work up a light sweat walking to the hairdresser. I smiled when a woman walked into the salon dripping in water apologizing for her sweat, she looked like she just jumped out the pool. lol


My hairdresser recommended that the Keratin Complex Express Blowout would be perfect for me for the summertime to protect against humidity and sweat from working out. So since we're halfway through the summer, it's 100 degrees outside, and I have a two week trip to Spain where I won't be able to wash my hair and it's just as hot there, I figured what perfect timing to get a Keratin treatment! It will last me 6 weeks, well actually since I only wash my hair once a week it should last me 3 months.

You might have heard of the Brazilian blowout but I think it's being phased out of popularity as people don't want to be exposed to the chemicals in it.  Supposedly the Keratin Complex doesn't have that but I found a website that says its a hidden ingredient, even though the company that makes the Express Blowout has a rebuttal letter on their website. While treatment doesn't have a smell (unlike the strong odor from the Brazilian blowout), my eyes could feel the gas from the formaldehyde so I had to keep them closed while my hairdresser blow dried and flat ironed it into my hair.

The Keratin Complex Smoothing  system infuses Keratin deep into the hair cuticle, eliminating up to ninety-five percent of frizz and curl and leaving the hair smooth, shiny and luxurious. I didn't know if it would be safe for color treated hair, but unlike a perm/relaxer, keratin actually strengthens the hair. It rejuvenates and revitalizes the hair, giving it a softer, silkier feel. It makes your hair easier and faster to blowdry while blocking the effects of humidity. Keratin can repair damaged and splitting hair by replacing the missing and damaged keratin from your hair. The Express Blowout is 50% cheaper than the original service and allows you to still curl your hair if you want but its frizz free curls. The whole treatment only takes one hour!

before and after
Needless to say I was excited for my treatment, which yielded immediate smooth hair! I was warned to stop using shampoos that have sodium chloride or sulphates in them. The reason being is these ingredients are  drying, harsh and will wreck your keratin treatment so you can't use them. Keratin treatments are temporary, but they improve chemically treated hair. The treatment moisturizes and adds to existing chemical treatments already present. It also helps to seal color into hair.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rihanna for MAC Cosmetics

wearing MAC lipstick RiRi Woo
I'm a huge Rihanna fan and love all of her songs! Not a fan of her fashion, but appreciate the fact that she has a bad ass personality. She's the original  "Good Gal Gone Bad" getting into twitter wars with other celebrities, she's real and I like that! On top of that, I actually get told by a lot of people that I look like her. lol



So when I saw that MAC was launching four collections this year with Rihanna I was just so excited! Her makeup always looks amazing and we're the same skin tone so we can wear the same colors. I'm a neutral lipstick kind of gal and was afraid to wear red lipstick, but last year where I went to an event where I wore a red Herve Leger bandage dress and thought I needed red lipstick to match. I have to say it felt weird, and too loud for me to wear red, but slowly over the past year I've warmed up to trying red lipstick again. 








 

MAC RiRi Woo lipstick is based on the original and beloved MAC Ruby Woo (up until now it was Rihanna's to go to red). Her name is engraved in the lipstick. It's only available for sale online but the good news is shipping is free of anything from her collection and it ships fast! When it went on sale last month the shade sold out in 3 hours and crashed MAC's website! It's also sold at her concerts. Like those people I'm sure, I just got it because it's Rihanna, I was a little skeptical since I don't wear red lipstick, but seeing the color on her I was sold and decided to give it a chance. 






The color is matte so it's a bit drying so you need to put chapstick on first. I have to say after I got over the shock of the brightness of a bold unusual color for me, it wowed me with its vibrancy. With my blonde hair I feel I'm pulling a Gwen Stefani look. lol I think I'll be wearing this on my trip to Spain.
Looking forward to getting her eye shadow palate this fall! 


Having been a loyal MAC user for years, this is how I store my makeup. I got the idea from watching Keeping up With the Kardasians,  Kim stores her makeup in something similar to this but bigger. As you can see only nude lipsticks and one orange.





Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kevin Hart - Let Me Explain

The first time I saw Kevin Hart was in the movie Think Like a Man, which was awesome by the way. His new movie Let Me Explain is a live stand up comedy show filmed in Madison Square Garden which in itself is a huge accomplishment for a comedian. It's a box office hit because "it had an exceptional start for a movie in so few theaters that cost just $2.5 million to produce -- money which Hart put up himself." I didn' t realize what a hot ticket comic Kevin Hart was and that he had fans around the world!  The movie shows him doing shows in Europe! If you look at the number of fans he has on twitter and facebook and the number of movies he's been in (always in a supporting role) he really is a big star, though not really recognized by Hollywood as one.  I looked up how tall he was because next to his team in the movie he seemed so short, didn't realize he was 5'2. The movie also shows clips of his TMZ entries so he doesn't mind laughing at himself. 

His movie had me crying tears of laughter, it was non-stop laughs! I highly recommend seeing it! I'll spoil what the above picture is about. One of his jokes is that he enjoyed the single life until he would call up his boys and everyone was too busy to go out because they were with their ladies. One guy said "sorry, tonight is Cupcake Tuesday, every Tuesday my lady and I bake cupcakes, tonight is red velvet." lol
Kevin Hart On His Writing Process All comedians have different approaches to building a standup act. Kevin Hart’s is, by his own admission, “weird.” “This is gonna sound crazy,” he says. “I don’t write. I go onstage and I talk, and I remember what I’m saying, and I track it. I literally have my two writer’s assistants who stand with their notepads while I’m onstage and jot down the funny beat points. And every time I go off the stage I say, ‘Where are the beats?’ They tell me, and I go back, and I just keep doing it. It becomes repetitive. I do it over and over again. Then I look up, and I’ve built 15 minutes.”Hart goes about adding 7- to 15-minute segments, each building on an element of the one prior, until he has an hour of material. But having the hour doesn’t mean the act is ready to be filmed for a special. “It’s your special; you don’t want to have a lapse,” he says. “That’s why you go and you do 70 cities, and before you go to those cities you do 25 cities of comedy clubs. Before you go to those cities you do three months in New York. You have a system, and once that system works and is in position, it’s not going to fail you.” 


Monday, July 22, 2013

Vanilla Shakeology

People have been asking for Vanilla Shakeology for years! Beachbody took their time in releasing this flavor until they found a pure, flavorful, and ethically sourced vanilla bean in small farms in Madagascar where they are also supporting the education of the community. The best part about the vanilla flavor is that you can customize the flavor! Here's a month full of different recipes you can try! I've been busy trying them out!

So far my favorites are: Orange Dream,  PB&J, Hazelnut, Peaches and Cream, and Berry Delight. There's 8 days left to get Shakeology at 60% off the price by getting the T25 Challenge Pack.


A lot of people don't know what real food tastes like. They are so used to consuming foods that have artificial flavors and thus think natural food is "boring and tasteless". Most artificial flavorings are derived from petroleum and contain many chemical ingredients which are volatile to our health. I talked to a woman  who told me she didn't like the taste of Shakeology. Really? So I asked her how she prepared it. She said she just mixed it with water. That's like eating pumpkin out of the can and saying it's "just okay" or throwing some chicken on the pan and thinking it tasted kinda boring. You gotta try "customizing" your Shakeology!

Some people like their shakes really juicy (more liquid) and some like them thick and foamy. I like something in the middle, but I add Zico water ice cubes and almond milk so that the whole thing is far more filling. I add fruit and it keeps me full for hours and I love, love the taste! Also, check out the benefits of Almond milk, super low in cal, and you can find it on the shelf at the grocery store in the non-dairy section.

If you are nervous about trying Shakeology because you are afraid that you won't like it, then this is the perfect opportunity. I will be doing a 30 day Shakeology and Clean Eating Group to aid you in finding the balance between diet and exercise. We will focus on the principles of clean eating, preparing healthy meals, snacks, grocery shopping, temptations, emotional eating and more! Especially this time of the year when everyone is traveling, going to the pool and bbqs. We have to be on the top of our game when it comes to our health! Do you need that gentle little nudge, some encouragement and support along the way? Then join my next challenge group and I will guide you in the right direction! Ask me how! You can order Shakeology here.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Glitter Nails

Three weeks ago I got gel nail polish to help my peeling nails grow out so today I went in to get them redone. I tried out a new brand of gel nail polish because I was super excited to see they had glitter in it! And they have a ton of colors!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Nail polish organization


You know those colorful lifeguard stands in Miami Beach? Each one different from the next. I got one to hold my nail polish! This sits underneath my bathroom sink but I took it out to take a picture of it for you. I smile every time I look at it! If you think it's silly to organize your nail polish, well you're just not a nail polish lover like I am! Don't you organize your spices?! Likewise I just find it easy to decide on a color with them displayed nicely. I have more colors than this but rotate out the seasonal ones.
While we talking beach, make sure you have some cute beach towels!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Perfect Afternoon Snack

Yes there really is such a thing! Are you sick of snacks that leave you hungry 30 minutes later? When you're at your desk at work do you feel an afternoon slump when you lack energy and crave something to eat? You want to choose healthy afternoon snacks that leave you feeling satisfied and energized—not hungrier and sleepier! Incorporate these elements into your afternoon snack to find your perfect fuel.

Pick a powerful snack that packs a protein punch to help you avoid that nap your usual bag of pretzels induces. Protein is slowly digested in your stomach, so will keep you fuller, for longer. Shaekology will cure your craving for sweets, while giving you a healthy dose of protein. It also has a fantastic amount of fiber which helps to normalize your blood sugar response, improve digestion and can even help with healthy blood cholesterol management. Active adults should aim for at least 23 grams of fiber per day.

I’m passionate about health and food quality and used to buy many of the ingredients in shakeology separately, so when I first saw shakeology I was completely impressed with the ingredient list and the fact that it had no artificial ingredients and sweeteners! I drank it for a year as a loyal customer, before I decided to become a coach. Because the shake has all the nutrients I had studied extensively, I feel people have to know about this product! Shakeology is not some protein shake, it’s a nutrient bomb in a glass. 

I just started the new vanilla flavor last week and have written down so many recipes I want to try, the combinations are endless! During the week I mix it in my blender in the morning and take it to work in my blenderbottle. 
I had a work conference out of town last week so I put a scoop in a ziploc bag to take with me for a healthy afternoon snack (you can also buy a box of individual serving packets but I get the big bag). It easily mixed in a glass of water and while I did that my boss was sitting next to me and remarked on how good it smelled, just like cake batter! Here I mixed it with hazelnut milk and one tablespoon of Trader Joe Sunflower Butter and OMG it is rich, decadent and delicious!

When your body doesn't get adequate amount of nutrients, your body reacts by being tired, but most people don’t get that many vitamins on a good day. If you’re dieting, you can’t cut calories without cutting the volume of nutrients, that’s why you’re hungry and irritable on a diet and quit two weeks in and go back and gain the weight back. It’s frustrating because you don’t feel great, you need something that provides you all your vitamins and be low in calories, gives your body what it needs to feel better, fuel it, and have energy.

From shakeology your body gets all the vitamins and nutrients it needs for the entire day because its equivalent to five plates of salad! It’s a whole food delivery system that your body will absorb, not to mention superfoods, especially when you’re trying to diet, you’ll have more energy to exercise! If losing weight is 80% diet, why would you not do the one thing your body needs the most? Weight loss is a by-product of dense nutrition, and shakeology is a major factor in making that process easier! Add a few more clean calories to the shake like fruit, and you can customize the flavor daily to keep it different. You have to fueling your body to get the results you want, not work against yourself. Using shakeology as a tool is a natural way to lose weight and be healthy.

You can also make a pina colada out of vanilla shakeology by mixing it with coconut milk and fresh    pineapple. I added a little coconut oil and coconut water ice cubes. I brought that to work yesterday for my afternoon snack, and not only was it refreshing it gave me the energy I needed!


Join my 30 Day Healthy Eating and Shakeology closed online support group. More tips, meal plans and recipes.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rice Paper Wraps two ways


Rice paper is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine, made from  rice, water, salt, and tapioca starch and looks  translucent. They are dried on bamboo mats which is why they have a woven pattern on them. I wanted to expand my horizons and try something new so when I saw the rice paper wraps sitting on the shelf in the Asian aisle at Whole Foods I thought it would be fun to try!

I learned that you can't use a rice paper wrapper straight out of the package, you have to first make them pliable by rehydrating it by soaking it in hot water but if you soak it for too long it ends up sticking to itself similar to plastic wrap. It's a bit tricky to do, but I easily got the hang of it. 



I only use Twin Oaks tofu because it tastes completely different from any other brand on the market. They squeeze out all the access water so you don't have to. Here's what the assembly line looked like:
herbs, carrots and mushrooms; seasoned tofu;

Ingredients:
8 inch circlular rice paper wrappers
1 lb block of extra firm tofu
3 carrots, shredded
10oz container of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
mixed salad greens
fresh basil and cilantro leaves
Bragg Liquid Amino (calorie free soy sauce alternative and less bitter)
365 peanut sauce

Directions:
Cut tofu into slices and arrange in a single layer on a skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Season with Braggs liquid amino. Flip when bottom side is golden and spray Braggs on the other side.
Saute the chopped mushrooms and remove access water.

Dip the wrapper in hot water timed according to the package directions, every brand is different. Then re,ove from water and lay it flat on a plate and place a few salad leaves on it first. Be sure to remove the stiff spine from the lettuce leaf so it won't tear the wrapper. Then add a small amount of the rest of the ingredients, I put in only two pieces of tofu. I found that the trick to the rice paper wrappers is to not over stuff it or the wrapper will tear.

Pour some peanut sauce on the plate as a dipping sauce.

-------------------------

I made it a second time with seasoned quinoa, tofu, greens with a sauce mixture of equal parts rice vinegar and soy sauce, with a little sesame oil and fresh minced ginger and garlic. I filled the wrapper with two tablespoons of quinoa, two pieces of tofu and some greens.


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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Protein Bars

There are many different kinds of protein bars on the market, most of them I don't like because they taste too chemically or have too much sugar (Clif Bars). I don't eat protein bars often, but when I do have one it's really important to me to read the ingredients to make sure its clean. Not all bars are created equal and I stay clear of the ones with artificial ingredients, corn syrup, aspartame and sucralose. I do make my own bars: chocolate protein bars, Shakeology balls, and  muffins.


Here are some of my favorite store bought bars. The chia bar is only 100 calories! The pro bar is made with vegan marshmallows! The Larabar has a lot of sugar in it so it's really a rare treat for me.

Protein bars




Monday, July 15, 2013

Artificial Sugar


Author Tosca Reno says sugar is as addicting as cocaine and that you need to completely rid it from your diet to eat clean. A lot people switched to splenda to keep their sweet tooth but do you know what is in splenda (sucralose)? Because your body doesn't know how to process it and you end of with all kinds of dangerous side affects. Ever wonder why it's so hard to break the soda habit?
sugar content in each drink

I urge you to throw away your splenda and switch to stevia. Stevia is a plant that looks like a cactus and has been used around the world for centuries as a sweetener, the USA was last to catch on. They make a powder or liquid from the plant which can be used to sweeten food. 

Nutrition Action has long considered sucralose (Splenda) to be safe. However, Italian researchers have reported preliminary results from a study in which male mice fed high doses of sucralose had an increased risk of leukemia. Until we can evaluate the final study, we are moving sucralose from a "safe" rating to a "caution". Two other widely used artificial sweeteners-aspartame and acesulfame potassium-have "avoid" ratings. We'll keep you posted" Nutrition Action Healthletter, June 2013

Here's a passage from the book Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman. It has the best short description I've found on splenda and stevia
Splenda is made by chlorinated sugar, changing its molecular structure. The finished product is called sucralose. The makers of this poison tout its lack of calories and claim it's safe for diabetics. The FDA calls sucralose 98 percent pure. The other 2 percent contains small amounts of heavy metals, methanol, and arsenic. Well gee, at least it doesn't have any calories. So what if it has a little arsenic? Sucralose has been found to cause diarrhea; organ, genetic, immune system, and reproductive damage; swelling of the liver and kidneys: and a decrease in fetal body weight. What a splendid product!

Stevia, another winner, is derived from a plant found in Paraguay. The Japanese have been using this wonder sweetener for decades, South Americans for centuries. In fact, it is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world to balance blood-sugar levels, reduce cravings for sweets, and aid in digestion. Additionally, it is known for its antimicrobial properties (it inhibits the growth of bacteria).  This natural, herbal sweetener contains no calories, has no glycemic index (meaning it won't alter blood sugar), and is even safe for diabetics.
Stevia is bitter to the taste so it's can't be used in everything. For baking I prefer to use Zsweet which is made of Erythritol or Ideal made of Xylitol. I use one or the other when I make Jamie Eason's protein bar recipe. You just have to be careful with artificial sugars because 1 teaspoon can be  4 calories but they can list it as 0 calories, and that really matters when you're using a large amount to bake with. Also check the carb count.
 
One of the things I love about Shakeology is that unlike many shakes on the market, they do not use artificial sugars. Check to see if what you're drinking has sucralose or asparatame as an ingredient.




Friday, July 12, 2013

Breakfast Burritos

If you're looking for a healthy meal on the go, here's a great freezer recipe for breakfast. Customize them however you like, there are all kinds of options!















I used Ezekiel Whole Grain Tortillas because they're not made from flour, you can find it in the freezer at Whole Foods. They contain no preservatives, shortenings or refined sugars, just whole grains. It is tricky to fold in the ends so I just left it open.

Egg yolks are very high in fat and cholesterol so I only eat egg whites. Half the protein of an egg comes from the whites. For the past 20 years I've only consumed eggs from chickens that are free to roam around and I don't mind paying extra for that. Not all organic eggs are free range, see article.


I serve it with 1/4 of an avocado because they are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin E. Did you know that one medium-size avocado has as much potassium as three medium-size bananas? Their healthy fats promote healthy cholesterol levels and healthy skin. I try to buy one avocado a week and cut it into 4 equal sized pieces to eat one day at a time so I'm not getting too many calories from it at once. In the summertime I love eating fresh juicy nectarines!


Yield: 5 burritos

Ingredients
365 Whole Foods - Organic Egg Whites 
5 Ezekiel - Sprouted Wheat Tortillas
½ of one Field Roast - Mexican Chipolte Vegan Sausage
2 Piquillo Peppers (this was left over from my paella but you can use tomatoes)
2 oz Parmesan Reggiano
1 Carrot
fresh basil leaves chopped
celery seed, black pepper, onion powder
(you can use whatever spices you have on hand, I don't salt my eggs but found that celery seed is a good replacement in eggs to get the same flavor)

Directions
In a large skillet, brown the sausage and carrot. Remove from heat and set aside. Spray cooking spray in skillet and scramble the egg whites with cheese and spices, then add the piquillo peppers. Once done combine with sausage and carrot.

To assemble the burritos and prep to freeze
Warm the tortilla on a skillet until soft and flexible. Fill tortilla with a half cup of the scramble. Fold tortilla snugly and wrap in plastic wrap. Then place in tupperware and freeze.

On serving day
Microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes in plastic wrap, unwrap and enjoy with fruit and 1/4 avocado

just the burrito 282 calories, 22g of protein and 6g of fiber
with a nectarine 352 calories, 23g protein, 8g of fiber
with a quarter of avocado and a nectarine 415 calories, 23g of protein and 9g of fiber

Your body can only absorb 20 grams of protein per meal, so you've maxed out with this meal. This is also half your day's fiber requirement. Fiber is what keeps you feeling full for a long time.

If you're looking for another make ahead breakfast recipe check out my crustless quiche. Gotta say I'm so glad I invested a couple hours  to plan my meals and prep for the week! Don't you love when you can cross things off your to-do list?!

Note: I would advise against using mushrooms because they have a lot of water in them and will make your burrito moist.
 
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