365 Project: Recipes 106-120

IMG_3739

Here’s the latest batch of recipes.

106. Tofu and Zoodle Stir-Fry

IMG_3393

Source: Original

Notes: I sauteed tofu in a pan with garlic and coconut oil. In another pan, I sauteed zucchini noodles and added sugar snap peas and snow peas till they were tender.

Rating: Liked

107. Red Beans and “Rice”

IMG_3410

Source: Original

Notes: I sauteed riced cauliflower with kale, the juice from one lime, and cilantro. I served with cooked red beans.

Rating: Liked

108. Pan Seared Tuna

IMG_3445

Source: The Enchanted Cook 

Notes: I used yellowfin instead of ahi tuna and it worked well.

Rating: Liked

109. Avocado Sauce

IMG_3445

Source: Original

Notes: I mixed half an avocado with 1 tablespoon of spicy dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon of vegan mayo.

Rating: LOVED

110. Chocolate

IMG_3470

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout 

Notes: I didn’t love how this tasted. Honestly, there are some great low sugar dark chocolate bars that most grocery stores carry so that’s where I’ll get my chocolate fix.

Rating: Pass

111. Slow Cooker Millet

IMG_3485

Source: 8 Week Whole Body Makeover 

Notes: This is an easy breakfast that will stick to your ribs and keep you full all morning. This is from another Daily Om course that I decided to take after I completed the 21 Day Goddess Workout.

Rating: LOVED

112. Tempeh and Veggie Stir Fry

IMG_3491

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout 

Notes: I did cauliflower rice with this. If you wanted to use meat or seafood you could easily substitute chicken or shrimp for the tempeh.

Rating: LOVED

113. Lemon Beauty Smoothie

IMG_3500

Source: Eat Pretty 

Notes: I am becoming used to green juices that I don’t really mind the taste or lack of sweetness. The lemon in this recipe is great though if you’re still trying to get over the hurdle of these types of juices being as sweet as a fruit smoothie.

Rating: Liked

114. Pumpkin Pie in a Jar

IMG_3512

Source: 8 Week Whole Body Makeover

Notes: I love the breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes in these Daily Om classes but the desserts honestly aren’t that satisfying. I’d rather eat a piece of fruit (which you can do) if I want something sweet after dinner.

Rating: Okay

115. Slow Cooker Vegan Enchellata Bowels

IMG_3607

Source: 8 Week Whole Body Makeover

Notes: This took about five minutes to throw everything in the slow cooker and made about four meals for me throughout the week. An easy one to add to my work lunch rotation.

Rating: Liked

116. Cinnamon Macha Chia Pudding

IMG_3627

Source: 8 Week Whole Body Makeover

Notes: Using the Vitamix this was another one that took five minutes. I set it in the fridge overnight and it was four ready made breakfasts for me. There are different recipes for variations on this that I plan to try in the future.

Rating: Liked

117. Hazelnut Pecan Butter

IMG_3674

Source: Love & Lemons

Notes: You can buy this nut spread premade. Honestly, the cost of making it at home is about the same because bulk hazelnuts and pecans aren’t cheap. You are saving yourself from added sugar and something that is overly processed though.

Rating: Liked

118. Strawberry Chia Jam

IMG_3676

Source: Love & Lemons

Notes: This was easy to make and again you don’t have any added sugar. The only downside is this jar will only last you a week. As someone who lives alone, I can’t get through a jar of jam that fast but I’ll make this again as a gift or when I have people staying with me for a weekend.

Rating: Liked

119. Sweet Potato Fries

IMG_3679

Source: Center Cut Cook 

Notes: These were baked and not fried. This was easy and the best homemade fries I’ve ever made.

Rating: LOVED

120. Sweet Siracha Mayo

IMG_3680

Source: Original

Notes: I used vegan mayo. This was a great dip for the fries because I don’t really like ketchup.  I blended 1 teaspoon of golden lakanto (you could sub honey, maple syrup, sugar, or stevia if you like), 2 teaspoons of sriracha, 7 teaspoons of vegan mayo (you could also use regular mayo or miracle whip).

Rating: Liked

 

 

 

 

Favorite Cruelty Free Beauty Products

IMG_3514

A couple of years ago I started paying more attention the products I was bringing into my home. I was surprised that many of my favorite brands of beauty products still tested on animals. That didn’t sit well with me so I began replacing cosmetics, cleaning items, and household items with brands that don’t test on animals. I wanted to share some of my favorite cruelty-free beauty products since I’ve been focusing on ways to be a little kinder.

Besame Lipstick: I love this company because the lipsticks are modeled after colors that were popular in decades past. My personal favorite is Cherry Red from the 1930s. It adds a vintage feel your look.

The Body Shop Moisturizer: I’ve been a fan of this company for years. Their skin care products are fantastic.

ELF Mascara: I’ve tried a few different mascaras and honestly if you don’t want to drop a ton of money these will give you the same results as other brands that will cost you two or three times as much.

Kiss My Face Deodorant: I switched to deodorant that doesn’t have aluminum in it because there are some health concerns around it. When your deodorant has fewer chemicals you will need to apply it more often which is a small price to pay. I do find that if I’m not working out or if it isn’t I really hot day this brand will really last the whole day.

Lush Bath Bombs: These make great gifts but you’ll probably want to keep them for yourself.

NYX Finishing Powder: I use finishing powder to keep my makeup lasting longer. If you apply after your done getting ready in the morning you won’t have to reapply as much throughout the day.

OGX Shampoos and Conditioners: By far my favorite brand of shampoos and conditioners and they have tons of great fragrances if you want to switch it up. Some of my favorites are Cherry Blossom, Coconut Water, and Macadamia Oil.

Queen Helene Face Scrub: These scrubs and face masks are great and affordable. I like the apricot scrub and the mint julep mask best.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation: I really just need a light foundation and this is perfect coverage and the fair shade matches my complexion.

Tom’s of Maine Toothpaste: Minty fresh and cruelty-free!

 

 

 

Wanderlust Wednesday: Favorite Local Shops

IMG_3502

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to focus on kindness in some of these upcoming posts. One easy way to show a little kindness is to shop locally. When you purchase from a mom and pop store you’re keeping money in your community and you’re helping support a small business. I live in NYC so, on the restaurant front, this is easy to do. When it comes to shopping though we have the same chain stores that you’d find at most suburban malls. There’s nothing wrong with shopping at these stores, but I love supporting local businesses when I can. Here are a few of my favorites that are worth checking out next time you’re in the Big Apple.

Book Culture: (Morningside Heights & Upper West Side) I have a list of local bookstores I love, but this one is in walking distance of my apartment so I probably frequent it the most. They have readings and in-store events to appeal to every reader. They also have a great selection of gifts and items for the home. They have an online store too.

Dusty Buttons: (East Village) Most of my friends who live or have visited NYC have some story of me dragging them to go consignment shopping. Dusty Buttons is by far my favorite. They carry vintage and vintage style clothing and have items that are flattering for every figure. Their site looks like they’ll be offering online shopping in the future.

Fishs Eddy: (Union Square) This dish store is a great place to find quirky kitchen items that make fantastic hostess gifts. Aside from their own patterns which are fun they also sell vintage dining sets from old restaurants. If you don’t live in NYC they have shopping available on their website.

Habit: (Carol Gardens & Park Slope) I love this Brooklyn boutique. The prices are reasonable and the clothing is great. One of my favorite purchases is a fall dress with a golden rod floral print.

Hungarian Pastry Shop: (Morningside Heights) The hardest thing about visiting this New York staple will be deciding what to order. Everything from the strudel to the cream horns is to die for. It’s a great place to pick up an amazing dessert if you don’t have time to make one for dinner party.

Myzel Chocolates: (Midtown) These are the best chocolates in the city, but I also love the story of the family who started this store over 25 years ago. They still run it to this day and the recipes are ones they brought over from Eastern Europe. It’s a great place to buy candies for the holidays as gifts but it’s also a great place to duck into to get a little treat for yourself. I’m a huge fan of the fruits such as apricot, orange, pear, and even fresh ginger dipped in milk or dark chocolate.

Pink Penguin: (Greenwich Village) I am obsessed with this clothing and accessories boutique. I can’t go to Washington Square without visiting this store. Some of my favorite clothing items are from here including this amazing red opera coat. You can shop online too.

Serengeti Teas and Spices: (Harlem) I love going to this little cafe to enjoy some tea and read. This is also a great place to buy loose tea. They make it easy to put together a gift box if you’re looking to give a unique present. This is another store that also has an online shop.

Whisk: (Chelsea & Williamsburg) If you like Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table you’ll love this store. In addition to cooking and bakeware products, they also sell food and beverage items from local companies. Yes, you can shop online.

Zabar’s: (Upper West Side) This is so much more than a grocery store. They have an amazing kitchenware section too. If you ever need to order pre-made food for a party or send a gift basket this is also an excellent place. They do have online ordering.

 

 

Summer Capsule Wardrobe

IMG_3499

If you are a Pinterest junkie like me you’ve probably seen all of these pins on building a capsule wardrobe. So what exactly is a capsule wardrobe? Capsule wardrobes are the idea around minimizing your closet. If you’re like me you suffer from the problem of a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. I’m trying to accomplice a few things with a capsule wardrobe. I’m trying to save money by spending less on clothing every month, simply my day by not having to rummage through my closet to find what I’m going to wear, and feel confident knowing that I love everything in my closet.

When it comes to building a capsule wardrobe I’ve seen anywhere from 15-30 items. Some people who live in a climate where the weather is the same all year may only have 1-2 capsules per year. Since I live in NYC and we have four distinct seasons I’m trying out four capsules. Your capsule wardrobe can also be dictated by your job and other activities. If I were still working in a career where I needed to wear suits or dress in business attire my capsule would look different. Since I work in a creative industry and casual clothing is acceptable in the office so that played into my choices. I went through my old summer clothes and the rule was I had to love it and it had to fit. Items I didn’t care for anymore were donated and I filled in the rest of my items with new clothes that would work well together. The items you chose for your capsule wardrobe should be able to be mixed and matched so you can have different top and bottom combos so choose colors and prints that you love and are versatile. In summer I’m more likely to wear color. My winter wardrobe will probably skew more towards black.

So here’s what I build out for my summer wardrobe: (26 Items Total)

Tops (9 Total)

-1 Tank (green)

-5 Short Sleeve Shirts (white, navy, Tiffany blue, black, and one black and pink print)

-3 3/4 Sleeve Shirts (navy, orange with a floral print, navy and white print)

Bottoms (6 Total)

-1 Pair of Shorts (green)

-2 Pairs of Pants (gray, pink)

-1 Pair of Jeans (boyfriend cut)

-2 Skirts (1 navy midi, 1 black maxi)

Dresses (2 Total)

-1 Casual Floral Printed Sundress

-1 Dressy Tiffany Blue

Outerwear (2 Total)

-2 Open Cardigans (black and gray)

Shoes (7 Total)

-2 Flat (tan ballet, black penny loafers)

-2 Sneakers (gray and green)

-2 Heels (tan t-strap, faux snakeskin)

-1 Sandles (navy and white print)

Most people including myself do not count their workout clothes towards their capsule. I store those separately from my regular clothes including my running shoes. Some people include other accessories in their capsules but I don’t. At some point, I may reduce my jewelry but it has more sentimental value than anything else. We’ll see how this works out and if I can stick with this I’ll report back on my fall wardrobe.

 

 

Mindful Monday: 21 Day Goddess Workout

IMG_3475

So in the past, I’ve talked about my struggles with weight and body image. I eventually had lap band surgery and that along with exercise worked well for me. I wrote that I had some complications at the end of last year which resulted in having to have my lap band removed.

These past almost six months have been a real struggle for me. I had gained some weight prior to my lap band being removed and gained some more after my second surgery. I really want to get to a place where the number on the scale and the size on the pair of jeans don’t matter. It really shouldn’t. What should matter is being healthy and feeling good. Mid spring I wasn’t there. I was feeling sluggish and tired and wasn’t in a good head space at all.

For me, food and weight is a slippery slope. I have the tendency to obsess about everything I eat and sometimes undereat because I feel like I need to “discipline” myself. I wish the concept of just eat what you feel like worked for me but it really doesn’t. I needed to find a plan that worked for me.

That’s how I discovered the 21 Day Goddess Workout through Daily Om. The program which was developed by Jannie Murry is part fitness, part nutrition plan, and part mindfulness. For me, this was exactly what I needed it is a three-week low sugar, low carb, and alcohol-free plan. These are all foods I know are triggers for me. The exercise plan is cardio and yoga focused.

I lost weight and inches which I’ve managed to keep off so far but more importantly, I am starting to feel more energy and pep again. I liked this program so much that I am now starting Jannie Murry’s 8 Week Body Makeover which is also through Daily Om. It’s a similar program but has more complex carbs included in the nutrition plan and strength training/toning exercises. I’m not where I want to be physically or mindset wise yet, but I’m getting there slowly.

365 Project: Recipes 91-105

IMG_3486

Reaching the 100 recipe mark seems like a milestone, but I still have over 250 recipes to finish by the end of the year. I’m still pumped about this project and excited to see what the next 100 recipes will be. Here is the latest batch of 15 recipes.

91. Blistered Shishito Peppers

IMG_3292

Source: Original

Notes: I’ve made this before in the broiler but made these in a saute pan on the stove top which is much better on a hot day. Just through them in hot oil till they blister and cover with sea salt to serve.

Rating: LOVED

92. Berries and Greens Protein Shake

IMG_3302

Source: Original

Notes: I don’t mind green juice by itself but sometimes you want a little sweetness to your morning shake. This was half a cup of mixed red berries with celery, spirulina, cucumber, and kale.

Rating: Liked

93. Goddess Salad

IMG_3305

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout

Notes: This recipe was part of an amazing 21-day fitness and meal program I recently completed. I’ll be publishing a post about this program next week.

Rating: Liked

94. Cauliflower and Egg Crust Pizza

IMG_3317

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout

Notes: I’ve posted about other low carb pizza crust options in the past. This one is different. It has more eggs and you cook it on the stovetop like a pancake before putting on the toppings and baking it in the broiler.

Rating: LOVED

95. Raw Protein Balls

IMG_3331

Source: Original

Notes: I had some extra golden lakanto (monk fruit sweetener) and cocoa mixture from another recipe that I rolled into balls and rolled flax seeds over. This was my first time using golden lakanto instead of sugar and I do find it very sweet so I would try this again but halve the amount of sweetener. For a better texture, I’d use hemp seeds next time too.

Rating: Okay

96. Protein Brownies

IMG_3333

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout

Notes: Again next time I’d cut the sweetener in half on this one but I did like this.

Rating: Liked

97. Vegan Bolognese

IMG_3336

Source: My Year in the Kitchen

Notes: I tweaked this recipe from Ruth Reichel by using ground seitan instead of meat. I also replaced the butter with oil to make this vegan. This has a nice kick to it thanks to the red pepper flakes.

Rating: Liked

98. Green Goddess Salad

IMG_3343

Source: Original

Notes: I blanched asparagus and cooked edamame. I added raw cucumbers, avocado, celery, and hemp seeds. I used a homemade balsamic vinegarette for the dressing.

Rating: LOVED

99. Three Ingredient Nut Butter Cookies

IMG_3345

Source: Original

Notes: I used half a cup of natural peanut butter, 1/3 a cup of golden lakanto, and an egg. I formed these into 1 inch balls and baked at 350 for about 10 minutes. This makes about 15 cookies.

Rating: Liked

100. Smoked Salmon Sushi with Cauliflower Rice

IMG_3351

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout

Notes: This was such an easy lunch to make for work.

Rating: LOVED

101. Avocado Protein Pudding

IMG_3356

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout

Notes: This was an easy, sugar-free dessert. I blended this in my Nuetrabullet.

Rating: Liked

102. Loaded Baked Sweet Potato

IMG_3376

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout

Notes: This is a great flavor combo if you like something that’s both savory and sweet.

Rating: Liked

103. Cherry Almond Protein Shake

IMG_3382

Source: Original

Notes: I blended half a cup of cherries, 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, Chocolate Plant Power Protein, and hemp milk.

Rating: Liked

104. Vegan Mac and Cheese

IMG_3383

Source: 21 Day Goddess Workout

Notes: I was shocked how yummy this was.

Rating: LOVED

105. Mexican Pizza

IMG_3384

Source: Original

Notes: I made a cauliflower crust and baked. On the stove top, I mixed red enchilada sauce with ground tofu and tomato paste. I poured that on top of the crust and sprinkled with vegan cheddar, olives, and mushrooms, and baked for 10 minutes at 375.

Rating: LOVED

Bath Time

Robe

Yesterday I kicked off this kindness series and wanted to start off with a small act of self-love. Self-care and attention seem to be the last thing that many of us focus on when it should really be the first. When we so ourselves a little kindness and compassion it opens us up to giving that to others too.

One little thing I’ve been doing for myself lately is a nightly ritual of taking a bath and doing a little restorative yoga before bed. I spend less than thirty minutes on this little act but it winds down my day and quiets my hyperactive mind so I can sleep better. This little act feels luxurious because I use bath salts with different fragrances. Epson and mineral salts are great for soothing the body. Here are a few of my favorites depending on my mood.

Balancing Soak by Soothing Touch: This blend of oils is great for clarity and mental focus. I like using this the night before a big meeting. It’s probably just a placebo effect, but it makes me feel good so who cares.

Eucalyptus by Aura Cacia Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is refreshing and soothing. It’s a great oil to use for hand and foot massages too.

Namaste by Botania: This blend is spicy and citrusy. I discovered this company on a trip to the farmers market in Montreal. Their website is opening an online store in the near future so hopefully, I’ll be able to stock up before my next trip to Canada.

Nighty Night by EO: Nothing gets you ready for bed like chamomile and lavender. This is perfect after a particularly stressful day. If bathing salts aren’t your thing they also have the same fragrance in bubble bath form.

Sweet Honey Almond Froth Bomb by Pacha Soap Company: This is pure lux and my skin feels so silky smooth after a bath. I don’t get this often because it’s a little pricey, but when I feel like treating myself it’s a great reward.

Do you have a self-care ritual you love?