All Hail!

 

OrganicCoconutOilCoconut Oil is my new JAM.  Use it on your body as a cheap and highly effective (and all natural, organic, anti-aging, the list goes on…) moisturizer, throw it on your face at night and go to bed smelling like a Mounds Bar, but wake up looking like a million bucks!  Toss is on some sweet potatoes and throw them in the oven.  I am telling you this stuff is the.real.deal.  And I am currently religious about using it anywhere and everywhere.

That’s all for now!

XOXO

Meg

PS – read up and get on the train!

Here You Glow!

Ok, so I don’t know if it comes with the territory of co-habitation or if I am just fully embracing living in Brooklyn, but I have been SO into cooking and holistic health these days … Maybe it’s the thrill of feeding someone besides myself, or just having actual SPACE to cook, but I have really found making homemade meals to be extremely gratifying.  While I am fully against fad dieting, I really love finding ways to improve my health and, along with exercise, diet is the easiest way to do that (something I know you have never heard before).  I think I am somewhat of a foodie, so I don’t like slacking on meals (besides the occasional pb & j – it never fails), so when I found this website that was equal parts healthy, easy to make and full of FLAVA (Did I mention vegan? Which I most definitely AM NOT.) – I was beside myself!  And, where better to share this little gem than right here with you all!  So without further a do, I present you…  Oh She Glows!

Here are a few of my faves that I have whipped up so far…

Creamy Avocado Pasta (I used soba noodles – so easy and delish!)

avocado pasta

No Fail Hummus

humus

Vegan Bowl (Don’t be scared – this thing is GOOD and sure to make you glow!)

vegan bowl

And a few more recipes on my to do list…

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough “Blizzard”

blizzard

(I made this similar recipe recently which was ri-dic-u-lous. I could say I will never eat real icecream again, but I wouldn’t lie to you.)

Green Warrior Smoothie

green smoothie

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal (for my carrot cake loving boyfriend)

carrot cake oatmeal

Can you believe these are VEGAN!?  Trust me you won’t miss your steak and potatoes after you whip up one of these bad boys!

Hope you’re all having a good week!

XO

Meg

PS – a couple more healthy and delicious recipes I have made lately… kale and sesame soba noodles with a fried egg, 7 ingredient raw cookie dough bites, flourless peanut butter chunk cookies

Food Diaries: The gals

grocery shopping

This is how we all look while grocery shopping, right?

As promised, my amazing girlfriends and I kept track of everything we ate last week, check out what these fine ladies had and let me know what you think (names masked for privacy)…

Ellie

Monday

B: Oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, almonds and strawberries. Large coffee.

L: Barley salad with Brussels spouts and an egg.

D: Greek salad with chicken. Glass of red wine.

Tuesday

B: Oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, almonds, strawberries, and peaches. Large coffee.

L: Leftover Greek salad plus an egg

D: Barley salad with roasted Brussels sprouts, snap peas, and chickpeas with sriracha on top.

D: Brownie and vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday

B: Whole wheat toast with sliced banana and peanut butter. Large coffee.

L: Salad with roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and mozzarella

D: Steak with roasted vegetables (made by a friend of a friend at a dinner party—was delicious but kind of rare…) and many glasses of red wine.

Thursday

B: Oatmeal with raisins, almonds, honey, and cinnamon. Large coffee.

L: Turkey wrap with lots of vegetables, chipotle mayo, and a pickle on the side.

D: Hummus and veggies and lots of pita.

Friday:

B: Whole wheat bagel with lox and cucumber. Large coffee.

L: Salad with feta, beets, and walnuts

D: Pizza and beer

Wendy

Monday:

B: 2 hard-boiled eggs.

L: Yogurt with peanut butter Kashi cereal and M&Ms.

S: Grapes.

D: Chicken noodle soup and bread.

Tuesday:

B: 2 hard-boiled eggs and Kashi cereal.

L: Arugula salad with sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, pumpkin seeds and pecorino cheese.

S: Pack of M&Ms.

D: Pumpkin and cheese ravioli, kale salad and bruschetta.

D: Edy’s frozen yogurt and Trader Joe’s “Cat cookies”

Wednesday:

B: 2 hard-boiled eggs and Kashi cereal

L: BBQ Pop Chips

D: Chips and hummus, homemade lean meat tacos with avocado, goat cheese, taco seasoning and lots of Tostito chips.

D: Haagen Daaz Chocolate bar.

Thursday:

B: Fage yogurt with M&Ms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, peanut butter and banana.

L: Arugula salad with chicken.

D: Lots of Moscow Mules drinks (out), bread, Triscuits and cottage cheese and eggs and bread (full disclosure: drunk eating at apartment).

Friday:

B: 2 bananas and Kashi cereal

L: Turkey sandwich and BBQ Pop Chips.

D: Sushi dinner and 1 glass of wine.

D: Ice cream.

Jackie

Monday:

B: Jamba Juice smoothie.

L: BLT Sandwich with avocado.

D: Sushi dinner.

Tuesday:

B: no time!

L: Chipotle burrito bowl with brown rice, peppers, chicken and guacamole.

S: Sour patch watermelons

D: Sweet chili salmon with brocolli and mac and cheese.

D: 2 pieces dark chocolate.

Wednesday:

B: Chocolate croissant with chai tea.

L: Tuna fish sandwich with Cape Cod chips.

D: Rosemary roasted chicken with cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

D: 3 pieces of dark chocolate.

Thursday:

B: Chocolate croissant.

L: 2 slices of caprese pizza.

D: Out – burrata and tomato with prosciutto, linguine with truffle sauce, filet with green beans, 2 pieces of bread, 2 martinis, 3 glasses of red wine.

Friday:

B: Health grain bagel with scallion cream cheese.

L: Chipotle burrito bowl with brown rice, peppers, chicken and guacamole.

D: Pizza.

Audrey

Monday:

B: Oatmeal square cereal, water and coffee with skim milk.

L: Small arugula salad with chicken, bacon bits, avocado and broccoli with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette.

S: Green tea and a handful of almonds.

D: Spicy brown mustard and brown sugar glazed salmon, kale chips, a glass of white wine and a glass of water.

D: Chocolate covered pretzel.

Tuesday:

B: Oatmeal square cereal, water and coffee with skim milk.

L: Chicken salad and honey mustard on whole wheat bread with Cape Cod potato chips.

D: Spicy brown mustard and brown sugar glazed salmon, kale chips, a glass of white wine and a glass of water.

D: Chocolate covered pretzel.

Wednesday:

B: Oatmeal square cereal, water and coffee with skim milk.

L: Sushi – salmon avocado roll and spicy crunchy tuna roll on brown rice.

S: Handful of almonds.

D: Two slices of Whole Foods whole wheat pizza, a glass of white wine and water.

Thursday:

B: Oatmeal square cereal, water and coffee with skim milk.

L: Small arugula salad with grilled salmon, brussels sprouts, broccoli, feta and avocado.

D: Cheese and crackers, hummus and pita chips, a glass of white wine.

Friday:

B: Oatmeal square cereal, water and coffee with skim milk.

L: One slice of pepperoni and one slice of cheese pizza.

D: Cheese and crackers and a glass of Cabernet.

Sarah:

Monday:

B: Vanilla low-fat yogurt and granola and an iced coffee with 1% milk.

L: Spinach salad with craisins, quinoa, beets, walnuts, apples and balsamic vinaigrette.

D: Grilled chicken, crispy kale, quinoa with carrots and craisins.

D: Mug of mint chocolate chip ice-cream.

Tuesday:

B: Warm lemon water, low fat vanilla yogurt and granola and an iced coffee with 1% milk.

L: Spinach salad with craisins, quinoa, apple, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette.

D: Rosemary ginger gin cocktail (out), soba noodles with grilled chicken, carrots, onions and almonds.

D: Two chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday:

B: Organic oatmeal with honey, cinnamon and bananas and an iced coffee with 1% milk.

L: Spinach salad with quinoa, craisins, apples, almonds and Honest Aid pomegranate blue juice.

S: Dark chocolate and sea salt Kind bar with lemon ginger tea.

D: Cheese and crackers, chips and carrots with spinach dip, two pieces of pizza, two glasses of wine, one beer.

Thursday:

B: Oatmeal with honey, cinnamon, bananas and blueberries and an iced coffee with 1% milk.

L: Spinach salad with quinoa, craisins, pecans and apples.

S: Kombucha drink.

D: Out – 3 oysters, split mussels with frites and split shrimp burger, two glasses of white wine and a cocktail.

Friday:

B: Warm lemon water, low-fat vanilla yogurt with granola and an iced coffee with 1% milk.

L: Quinoa with apples, almonds, craisins and carrots.

S: Cheese and crackers, glass of red wine.

D: Cheeseburger and sweet potato fries, with a beer.

Blake:

Monday:

B: Protein shake (Acai smoothie from Barry’s Bootcamp), green tea.

L: Chicken meatball soup.

S: Gummy worms, apple with almond butter.

D: Sushi.

D: Gluten free cookie.

Tuesday:

B: Frozen waffle pre-workout, protein shake post-workout (Acai smoothie from Barry’s Bootcamp), green tea.

L: Bare Burger turkey burger on lettuce wrap and side salad.

S: 2 Rolos.

D: Brussels sprouts, kale & brown rice.

Wednesday:

B: Protein shake with kale, pear, blueberries, coconut milk, water and veggie protein.

L: Salad with grilled salmon and 2 Rolos.

S: Apple with almond butter and Pop Chips.

D: Butternut squash soup and brussels sprouts.

D: Sorbet pop.

Thursday:

B: Protein shake with kale, pear, blueberries, coconut milk, water and veggie protein.

S: Green juice.

L: Chicken meatball salad from Penelope’s.

S: 2 Baked by Melissa cupcakes.

D: Veggies and brown rice with hot sauce.

D: Mini Snickers.

Friday:

B: Protein shake and green juice.

S: Apple, handful of almonds, gluten-free pretzels.

L: Panera salad.

D: Out to Italian dinner with many different courses.

Catherine:

Monday:

B: Smoothie – vanilla whey protein, strawberries, mango, pineapple, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a coffee with splash of fat-free half and half, 2 Truvias. dried apricots.

L: 2 wedges of spanikopita,  garlic hummus, 1/2 green pepper, baby spinach and cherry tomatoes.

S: 2 brown rice lightly salted rice cakes with almond butter.

D: Lentils (simmered with vermouth and a chopped spanish onion), 1/2 roasted winter squash.

S: Mini square of pumpkin cake, cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday:

B: 1 tbs agave syrup (pre-run), smoothie (post-run) with banana, 2 tbs peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, water.

L: 1/2 cup wild rice, 2 tbs of all natural garlic hummus, 1/2 green pepper, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes.

S: MacIntosh apple with bag of Skinny Pop.

D: Lentils (simmered with vermouth and a chopped spanish onion), 1/2 roasted winter squash, 2 brown rice lightly salted rice cakes with almond butter.

Wednesday:

B: 1 tbs agave syrup (pre-run), smoothie (post-run) with strawberries, mango, pineapple, vanilla whey protein powder,  unsweetened vanilla almond milk  and a coffee with a splash of fat-free half anf half, 2 Splenda and dried apricots.

L: Garlic hummus, 1/2 green pepper, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and 1/2 oatmeal, chocolate chip cookie.

S: 2 brown rice lightly salted rice cakes with almond butter.

D: Bowl of lentils (simmered with vermouth and a chopped spanish onion) and an apple.

Thursday:

B: Smoothie – vanilla soy protein powder, strawberries, mango, pineapple, unsweetened vanilla almond milk
and a coffee w/ a splash of fat-free half and half, 2 Splenda and dried apricots.

L: Baby spinach, sprouts and a 1/2 c. multi colored quinoa with a handful of walnuts.

D: Bowl of lentils, fig burrata, Carr’s whole wheat crackers, Macoun apple, Giredelli peppermint bark, a few glasses of Pinot Noir.

Friday:

B: Vanilla soy protein powder, strawberries, mango, pineapple, unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a coffee w/ a splash of fat-free half and half, 2 Splenda with  dried apricots.

L: Baby spinach, 1/2 avocado, yellow tomato, pepper, hummus.

S: No fat maple greek yogurt with an apple.

D: Steamed veggies with brown rice, teriyaki and a few pieces of avocado roll.

Interesting right?  Here are my observations:

1. People tend to be pretty routine when it comes to breakfast.

2. If you don’t eat a lot in the morning you end up eating more later in the day.  As they say, eat your breakfast!

3. Girls are HEALTHY.

4. Those who are veggie lovers… eat a lot of veggies.  Those who are not… lack veggies in their diets.  This may sound obvious, but there doesn’t seem to be an in between.

5. Monday is the healthiest day.

6. Everyone has one “cheat day” whether they plan to or not.

7. Girls like sweets.  Thank GOODNESS I’m not the only one who needs icecream.

8. You’re one of two things: a snacker or a mealer. (Go Team Mealer!)

9. People hit the bottle on Thursdays. (They don’t call it Thirsty Thursdays for nothin’!)

10. Red meat is not high on the priority list for us gals.

What patterns do you see?  Aren’t you impressed with all of their healthy choices!  Go GFs!  I need to get on the barley salad train!  Doesn’t it just sound yummy? It’s amazing how different everyone’s days are!  Not one person has even a remotely similar day to the next.  If we were looking at their outfits I guarantee you could find some (many) parallels. But (!) how interesting that not one person has the same tastes or eating habits as another.  Have you ever thought about that? How do your eating habits compare?  It might be a fun project to track your meals/snacks for the week.  When talking to my friends a lot of them said they even found it interesting to see their own habits written out.

Tell me what you think!

XO

(pic cred)

Social Experiment: Weekday Eating

whole foods checkout

Are you like me and peep into other people’s Whole Foods baskets during checkout?  Come on, just come clean with it.  (And if not, don’t judge me please.) Call me crazy, but there’s something interesting about learning what other people eat.  I am definitely a food lover myself, but I think foodie or not, people are curious when it comes to others eating habits.  I love talking to people about what they’re having for dinner, and I notice it tends to come up a lot when conversing with family and friends.  One of my best friends always jokes that her fiance texts her detailed messages about what he’s eating for lunch, expecting the “favor” be reciprocated.  Which cracks me up, but also makes me love them even more – isn’t that hilarious!?  So, as a little experiment I asked some friends to log what they eat for a week (Mon. – Fri.), myself included.  I’ve always assumed I eat somewhat healthy and often more than most, but I can’t wait to sneak a peek inside others “baskets” and hopefully get some new dinner ideas (wink, wink).

I am keeping everyone anonymous, because it can be a bit personal for some, and I will share what I’ve found in the next few weeks!  Next week, we will take a look at the girls and the following week, we will look at the boys!  Are you as excited as I am?!

Happy Monday after a long weekend…. ughhhhh.

XO
Meg

(pic via)

Triathlon Takeaways

Hey ya’ll (Can I say that?) I did it!  Checked triathlon off my list and feeling good!  Because I am now a “triathlete” (jk, jk) I wanted to give you my “expert” advice on what to do and not to do.  Some things were learned morning of… some things were told to me weeks prior… and some I wish I had known (You’re supposed to practice the transition from bike to run? Ohhh.).

Having never done a triathlon before, I can honestly say I was completely terrified as the day approached, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how much FUN it actually was. I know that sounds crazy and some think races of this sort are essentially self inflicted pain, but in reality it was probably the least painful out of the races I have done!  Now I’m not saying it was easy, but I do think if you’re in reasonably good shape, you can run 3 miles and you know how to swim, you can make it work…and maybe even crack a smile while doing so.  So here are my two cents…

1. Practice your transitions

Here’s one I heard time and time again yet failed to listen to.  The transition from bike to run feels a little like running with 50 lb weights attached to each leg.  Fun stuff.

2. Buy a road bike

bike

I NEVER thought I would see the day of owning a road bike.  Not only was I intimidated by the handles (among other things), but I also figured I would have no idea how to use it, and I’d rather die than be that person throwing out hand signals in the middle of Main Street (Holla South of Main!).  But look at me now, a proud owner of this beauty above and couldn’t be happier.  If you want to buy a bike to exercise on and maybe participate in triathlons down the road, buy this bike.  I’m telling you!  Bry and I both walked into the bike store with all intentions of buying a “hybrid” (basically a multi functional bike that’s good for commuting, leisurely exercise, etc.), and after one little cruise on the road bike, right before we were just about swiping our credit cards on the hybrids, we changed our minds completely.  With a road bike you use just as much effort (or less) and go twice as fast as you would on a hybrid or mountain bike.  And when I was cruising by those poor amateurs on their hybrids struggling up the hills, I couldn’t help but thank goodness I was not them.  (Sorry to say.)

3. Rent a wetsuit

MegBryTriWho looks more ready for it?  Yes, he participated too…sans wetsuit and nerves.

or buy one (cheaper versions start around $200)… whatever floats your boat.

4. Bring a plastic bag

This is one I learned morning of as a nice friend offered me hers.  It’s the key to getting your wetsuit over your feet with ease.  Just step your foot into the plastic bag and then step that plastic-bagged foot into the wetsuit and pull the bag off your foot once inserted fully.  Genius!

5. Invest in Body Glide

Another morning of lesson.  Before putting on your wetsuit, Body Glidebodyglide that bod to slip your wetsuit off with ease after the swim.  Focus on ankles, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists – anywhere your skin might “stick”.

6. SMILE

tri

(Sorry Court)

Even if it hurts… it will make you feel better.  And something learned day after…they take LOTS of pictures of you on the course. One word: WOOF.

7. Don’t look back

I made this mistake mid-swim when I looked back into the open water and saw about a hundred swimmers coming at me full speed.  Hello panic attack!  Look ahead and keep moving!  It will go by faster that way!

8. [Last but not least] Don’t eat scallops and drink red wine for your pre-race dinner

Yeah, it happened.  Not sure what I was thinking there.  I mean I ended up feeling fine, but just don’t follow my lead with this one.

Ok that’s all for now!  If you want to check out some upcoming Tris in your area – click here!  More on my summer activities to come!

XOXO

Easy healthy dinner: Salmon and Crispy Kale

Ok, so I am just as guilty as anyone in the fact that I get takeout way too often and have definitely been in hibernation mode lately. (It’s just winter weight, right?…)  But when I promise myself [on a weekly basis] that I will cook more to save money and eat healthier, I usually muster up the energy to actually make a healthy meal.  One easy solution for anyone facing these same hardships is this super easy, simple and healthy dinner below…

Salmon with Crispy Kale and Quinoa

glazedsalmonfillet

Ingredients (for one):

4 oz fresh salmon filet

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 bunch of kale

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

salt & pepper

1/2 cup quinoa

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Marinate salmon in mustard, soy sauce and maple syrup and put to the side.  Depending on the quinoa used [follow box instructions], pour 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup quinoa in a pot and boil for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed.  Wash and dry kale and cut out stems and rip into large pieces.  Place kale in large mixing bowl and rub with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Once kale is “marinated” spread out on cookie sheet (if not a non-stick, cover pan in tinfoil) and place in oven.  Cook until browning and crisping occurs – about 10 minutes, flip kale and then cook another 10 minutes on the other side.  Once kale is done, place salmon in oven and cook for 15 minutes.  Once salmon is cooked through, quinoa is ready and kale is crisped, season with salt and pepper (if preferred) and serve! See? Easy!

What are your go-to recipes during the work week (or otherwise)?  I would love more ideas on quick, easy and healthy dinners!

XOXO
Meg

PS – Crispy kale is a great alternative to salty foods like potato chips or french fries… for anyone else out there with a salt problem.

(pic 1, 2)

Resolution Revolution

Pinned Image

Is it me or do you feel like New Years couldn’t have come soon enough this year?  After Hurricane Sandy hit, I felt like the holidays rolled in before I could say “turkey” (worst joke ever) and the next thing I knew I was falling down a slippery slope of holiday “cheer” and healthy eating was replaced with hibernation.  New Years is a great holiday in my mind because it gives everyone a clean slate, a fresh and positive outlook on the year ahead and the motivation you need to start the year off right.  With a New Year, you are able to get back into your usual groove after the holiday festivities take any self-control and balance away from you.  Personally, I don’t think you necessarily have to make any strict “resolutions”(i.e. don’t watch TV or eat mac n’ cheese ever again) because I think the likelihood of sticking to them are slim.  Like diets, I just don’t believe in them.  A perfect example is the gym right after New Years…then fast forward three weeks later when everyone’s forgotten what a resolution is and you have your pick of the litter on treadmills once again.  I could barely squeeze into my yoga class the other night because of the influx of resolution-ites, and I will tell you there was nothing zen about that experience!

However, I do think it is a great time to reevaluate things and look at the big picture.  How can I be a better friend? Sister? Girlfriend? Daughter? Co-worker? Blogger?!  And think about what you are grateful for and what you want to change.  I always strive to self-improve, but it’s not easy!  So overall, I would like work towards doing so in 2013.

Next up, I would like to develop good/healthy habits and get rid of bad/unhealthy habits.  I like routine but sometimes forcing myself to break away from the day-to-day ends up leading to something enlightening!  I mean, this is a terrible example, but even something as simple as switching from eating cereal for breakfast to eating oatmeal for breakfast can be liberating!  Heck, I made the switch a couple of months ago and I feel great! (PS – there are several studies about cereal leading to weight gain and is not as nutritious as you may think…lots of hidden ingredients…dundundunn)  I once heard that if you want to break a habit, don’t do it (or do it differently) three times in a row and you will be over it.  For example, if you have dessert every night after dinner and you want to break the habit, hold off for three nights and the craving will go away.  That’s not to say you won’t ever want dessert again, but it will help with the need to have something sweet every night.  Coming from someone who eats ice-cream way more than the average human, I have tried this tactic and it works!  Now I only have ice-cream if I am really in the mood (once a week…or so…my roomie may say otherwise).  Give it a whirl!

Another thing I am aiming for in 2013 is better balance.  Balancing work, friends, family, boyfriend, exercise, eating healthy and all the in between is so tough!  I beat myself up when I feel like I am lacking in one area and over compensating in another, but in reality, it’s inevitable!  Nobody is perfect!  But being more aware and making a better effort to keep everything in check is at least a step in the right direction.

My last (but not least) goal is to step outside of my comfort zone: try a new workout class, challenge myself more, do something different in my free time outside of my usual routine (Maybe READ instead of watch TV at night – what a novel idea!), invest in the stock market instead of earning 0.000000000001% in my savings account, meet new people, volunteer – the possibilities are endless!  My first (semi-weak) attempt at this was signing up for a triathlon!  The bf and I are taking the plunge on June 30th and I am so nervous/excited/anxious for it!  (I have used too many puns in this post) I’ve run several races but never a triathlon.  The thought of swimming in the icy cold June ocean for 1/2 a mile and then jumping on a bike for 10 miles and then running a 5k with rubbery legs, gives me the chills, but I can’t wait for the feeling once I cross that finish line!

Pinned Image

So I’m curious, what are your goals/resolutions/dreams for the new year?!  Do you typically make specific resolutions or follow my vague path/attempt at bettering yourself (and hopefully others in the process)?

HAPPY 2013 everyone!

XOXO

(photos via Pinterest)