Friday, May 25, 2012

Going Green ... well, sorta!

I have been doing great on my new road to a healthier lifestyle! I recently started the Couch to 5K running program (oh yes I did!), have been attending Zumba more regularly (2x a week), and have been doing fabulous with my diet. I am not fasting or detoxing; I have simply cut out alcohol, most carbs, starches, and sugars, and have been cutting back on the dairy (homegirl still loves her cheese). I have increased my water and tea consumption, and have been working on portion control. Simple changes, but seeing big results! I am definitely less bloated and down about 5 pounds.
 Since I am cutting out a lot of carbs, pasta is one food I go without. I know, blasphemous for this Italian girl, but it is just not worth the swelling my poor stomach goes through after eating it. I have tried the gluten-free varieties, but no difference, so I simply turn to the trusty zucchini to serve as my noodles!
  • Super simple to prepare ... with a vegetable peeler (mine is from The Pampered Chef, but you can get 'em anywhere kitchen gadgets are sold), peel layers of a clean squash or two.
  •  Boil zucchini 'noodles' in a pot as you would normal pasta. Cook times vary depending on how thick your noodles are, but normally take 10-15 minutes.
  •  Drain and serve with your favorite pasta sauce! With this particular dish, I added a little olive oil, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese ... YUM!
A super simple food swap that has HUGE benefits!
~
I have also been incorporating protein shakes as light meals mid-day. My appetite has been decreasing a little bit, but I know it is important to not skip meals. Being on Pinterest so much (don't judge), I am always seeing smoothie recipes that are green. They sure don't look appetizing, but their not-so-secret ingredient is a staple in my fridge, so I thought I'd give it a try. 
 I blended up this shake in my Magic Bullet (aka: the most awesome kitchen appliance EVER) last week (P.S. I don't ever measure anything in the kitchen, so go with what feels right):
  • One small banana
  • One medium kiwi
  • One scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • One handful of raw baby spinach
  • Almond Milk
  • Ice Cubes
Guess what?!? It was actually pretty tasty and a little on the sweet side!! I drank it and munched on a handful of almonds. It was the perfect meal that held me over for 3 hours before dinner! Plus, I ate less at dinner.
While my 2-mile walk/jogs exhaust me to the point of near coma status once I hit the pillow, my breathing sounds like I am in need of medical attention, and my times ranging 15-18 minute miles, I AM DOING THIS!! My body may hurt, but my brain is saying "You Go, Girl!!"

Baby steps.

Have a great holiday weekend!
Check back in next week ... my buddy, Dr. Oz, has some great advice that I wanna share!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birchbox ... May

Birchbox is the best way to discover new grooming, beauty and lifestyle products. Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice, buy new favorites and earn points with every purchase! Every month, you'll receive a box filled with beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples from both up-and-coming and well known brands. Each delivery will include a mix of categories, as well as lifestyle items. Samples are generously sized, with enough product to allow you to figure out if they're right for you. You'll also want to take advantage of Birchbox.com, which is packed with product information and tips, including expert interviews, helpful tutorials, and engaging videos.

May's Birchbox was inspired by the hit TV show, Gossip Girl! Samples that arrived on my doorstep included Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Kerastase shampoo, conditioner and shine liquid, and Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20 in Glow ... product reviews coming soon!!
Also in this fun little box was nail polish from Color Club in Clambake Coral ... omgsh! Too perfect for spring!!

To find out more and to join the club, visit https://www.birchbox.com/.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Doing your body good ...

I have found a bit of motivation lately to get back on track with taking better care of myself.
Vacation.
In just 32 days.
While a vacation is just a temporary mark to reach my goals, I am determined to kick my lazy habits for good and work on keeping up a healthy lifestyle. This last year in general, I gained 20 pounds to date. I always knew my metabolism was going to slow down eventually, and apparently the fine age of 30 was time to do so. While I am healthy (thank God), I am not okay with this extra weight, nor do I want to continue to gain. So, it's back to being diligent and focused on making healthier decisions. Detoxes and fasts are temporary fixes to re-boot, but they also tend to do no good when your body sees you are trying to use them as a fast-fix. I am guilty of this, and my metabolism laughs as soon as I start eating poorly again. So here are a few simple additions to my everyday routine that really helps my body and metabolism work at its finest ...
Green and White Teas ... awesome for your metabolism, high in antioxidants, aids in digestion and weight loss, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and overall cleansing.

Probiotics ... regulates the good bacterias in your intestines and stomach. I am not a fan of yogurt, so I take one of these pills a day and they help keep my bloating and stomach issues at bay.
Okay girls ... this is one vitamin supplement EVERY gal should be taking each day. When we deal with stress, our bodies produce Cortisol. Cortisol triggers the body to store fat (especially around our mid-sections) and increases our appetites. The formula make-up of these B Vitamins increases positive moods and energy levels, decreasing stress and the production of Cortisol.

And lastly, but definitely not least important, I take a shot of this multi-vitamin liquid every day. It is found at Max Muscle (in stores and online) and has over 100 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Because it is in liquid form, my body immediately absorbs the high potency formula and easily takes in the nutrients.
On top of the supplements, I am trying to incorporate cardio each day, whether it be going for a run in the neighborhood or hittin' up Zumba a couple times a week. I am also going to try to eat cleaner, which is my biggest weakness. It's hard to say no to fast food, bread and pasta ... especially in a family of boys who don't need to worry too much about the scale. I realize this isn't going to be a monumental change in the next 32 days, but it will be a start. Baby steps, right?
What do you do in your daily life to keep fit and healthy?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Insane Chicken

I was contacted by the great folks over at InsaneChicken, a company that offers hot sauces, barbeque sauces, and other specialty items for your cooking needs. They generously sent me over a box filled with goodies! My family LOVED the Honey Mustard BBQ sauce ... we put it on the chicken while it was on the grill and even added more when it was on our plates! I am not a fan of honey mustard in general, but man! This sauce was sweet on the tongue, but had a kick that followed. YUM!!

About the Company:
InsaneChicken, Inc. was founded in 2003 by Chris and Alison McCarthy. The husband and wife team offer an insane variety of hot sauces, barbecue sauces, and other specialty items to a loyal customer base. InsaneChicken’s now famous Hot Sauce of the Month Club was featured on TV’s Food Network. Its Fire Roasted Habanero Hot Sauce won first place in the 2011 Scovie Awards in the Extreme Sauce category. Obama’s Health Care Hot Sauce, Choke Your Chicken Hot Sauce, Pineapple and Mango Salsa, Mad Dog Teriyaki Sauce and a BBQ six pack are just a few of the 120 products available on InsaneChicken. InsaneChicken is located in Norwell, Massachusetts.


If you are looking for an amazing BBQ and hot sauce line, definitely give InsaneChicken a try!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Italian Approved ... Mangia!



Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil ... the latest campaign I am participating in as a BzzAgent! I was sent a bottle of this rich and smooth olive oil that originates in the mother land herself, Italy. I love dipping fresh warm bread in oil and balsamic vinegar, and the sweet undertone in this olive oil blends so nicely with vinegar and garlic! I also added this oil to my Italian grandma's homemade pasta sauce ... amazing! Are you drooling yet? I definitely recommend this brand ... if you see it in the store, pick yourself up a bottle! I have coupons if anyone is interested and will be happy to send them! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mini Fashion Week ... Friday's Shoegasm


Terri, @ Peace, Love & Applesauce, posts a fabulous weekly (ahem) link-up called Friday's Shoegasm, and although she has been posting other awesome posts on Fridays lately, I couldn't wait any longer to see if Shoegasm was going to pop up this week. There are a few pairs of lovelies that I have been drooling over in my Pinterest boards lately, and I am itching to share!




What do you think?
Now ... how to convince my hubby that I NEED more shoes? Ha ha!
Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mini Fashion Week ... Pinterest Thursday

Oh, Pinterest! How I wish these these outfits were mine ... perfect for Spring!!








Wanna follow me on Pinterest? My link is in the sidebar! ----->

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mini Fashion Week ... Wednesday

Yes, we had a weekend of sunshine and warmth. Don't fall off your chair!
Wedges ... Target
Shorts ... Ecko
Brown lace tank ... Old Navy
Striped top ... Old Navy
Necklace ... Forever 21 (and only $1.50!!!)
Hair Flower ... Target
Faux Pearl Earrings ... H&M
Wedding Ring ... Hubby 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mini Fashion Week ... Tuesday

 Cardigan ... Express
Lace Strapless Top ... Hollister
Jeans... 7 For All Mankind
 Bracelet Trio ... Target
Shoes ... Walmart


 
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