Category: Food

Skinny Season

Skinny Season

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As a blogger/woman/human I feel like most people can relate to me when I say that I spend way more time than I should thinking about my weight. As a society, most of us let our size weigh heavily (pun intended) on our feelings of self worth. I’ve been relatively the same size for the past five years (though always sounding like Regina George with a “I need to lose three pounds” on the tip of my tongue).

This past winter, call it stress, call it a break up, call it general laziness (or call it winter) but I have gained 12 pounds for the first time since high school. To most people this may be negligible, or barely noticeable to anyone who isn’t close to me, but for me it has been agonizing. Going up a pant size made the difference between walking out the door everyday feeling my most confident and walking out the door feeling like a lardy blob of laziness who was having trouble getting it together. It is at this point when weight gain becomes less about appearance than it does on the seriously negative impact I was allowing it to have on how I felt pretty much every second of every day (brutal honesty here).

Anyway, I have always maintained a pretty strenuous and proactive workout regimen, and was fairly certain that my new gut was from drinking too much wine and eating whole bags of granola like every two days (my bad). So after consistent attempts at dieting for the past 5 months, I decided to buy the Skinny Mint Teatox because their Instagram marketing is as effective as I am at finishing bags of granola (in other words, I was super sold on it).

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I was convinced that if I drank this tea and kept my regular work out routine, I would end the Teatox looking like Adriana Lima and feeling like Richard Simmons. Just to be completely transparent about the nature of the rest of this post, please read the following disclaimer:

I paid full price for this Teatox; it was in no way sponsored by Skinny Mint (though if you’d like to send me some more then please feel free to reach out). I’m not a doctor or medical professional, so my personal experience is not meant to be advice. Furthermore, I am about to get brutally honest, so if you have a weak stomach/ever plan on dating me/find me attractive I am about to ruin all that for you.But as all my girlfriends/Instagram “friends” seem so super interested in whether or not I am being truthful about how the Teatox went, I feel I have no choice but to be blunt.

So, did it meet my expectations? In a word, no. I’m basically the same size. Though to be fair, my teatox was punctuated with a trip to Vegas AND a trip to San Fran where instead of working out I drank my weight in vodka (the Teatox says you are not supposed to drink, so I compromised and picked the least caloric alcohol). I will tell you what it did do (it is at this point that I ask if you happen to be male and of moderate attractiveness you ex out of this tab): it made me go to the bathroom more than I thought it was possible for a human to do….every day…for a month. Like, this is the first time in my life I have had to as myself “Is it possible that I actually have to go to the bathroom again?” And all month the answer was “Yes, do it quickly.” Skinny Mint does advise that the tea can have a light to moderate laxative affect, which I think is where most of the weight loss comes from, and in my case it was a blessing and a curse.

I mean, the tea made meΒ feelΒ thin. I was way less bloated the whole time I was on it, and felt energized. I liked having the tea as part of my day, and it was nice to have that at night as a bedtime routine. I think had I been stricter about my diet it would aid in having sustainable and obvious results. However, I literally was anxious when I was not around a bathroom, and felt like it was obvious while I was at work or with friends that I was using the restroom…a lot. So, I intend to do the teatox again actually, when I don’t have a ton of vacations lined up. I think I need to be stuck in a routine with it so that I can make sure my diet plan is on point, and I do think that it can really help you lose weight. I just felt like I needed to be transparent with people about the main way I feel teatox impacted my size and weight loss. Additionally, it did nothing to surprise my appetite, which is something that they advertise. I am a beast. I eat like a vegetarian sumo wrestler. But I would still recommend it. If you buy it I would LOVE to hear your experience!

So what have we learned here? (Besides that I have just been really open about poop on the internet.) Well, Teatoxing takes commitment, and involves a lot more than just drinking the tea. Furthermore, why is my sport’s bra in such a bunch over one pant size. I (and you) really need to chill the f*ck out. The more we obsess over our bodies the less time we have for enjoying every day of our lives. I know I really need to cut back on the granola…and the wine…and probably several other indulgences, but I generally live a really healthy lifestyle, and I am hoping as the summer season kicks in the weight will drop off as I go hiking and running outside more. As a side note- can I just tell you guys that these are literally the most comfortable running shoes I have EVER worn. They are so bouncy, I feel like I am jogging on a trampoline when I run along the pavement. I run a few times a week (mostly very short distances with my corgi) and I much prefer my Ryka’s to Nikes.

If you have any questions about the Teatox, please feel free to e-mail me, and I hope that this post was of some help. For my next one I promise to take comprehensive before and after photos so that we can all be the judge of how well it worked!

From Head to Toe:

Top: Etsy, Pants: c/o Lysse, Shoes: c/o Ryka
Photos by Anabella V Photography

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

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I have such a passion for creating guilt-free desert recipes. Sometimes they are pretty horrible, and I tend to promise myself that for special occasions and holidays I will just use full fat and go all-out on decadent deserts. However, there is nothing better than mixing a special combination of stuff that is actually good for you that also happens to be delicious. Plus, I have big eyes, and would rather eat a triple portion of something more guilt-free than a tiny sliver of a fat-packed pastry. If you have been following my blog for a while (thank you, seriously) than you may have seen last year when I attempted to make my famous bourbon pumpkin cheesecake low fat and no sugar. The results weren’t bad, but they weren’t great. Maybe it is just that I always make this cheesecake, and I am so accustomed to how unbelievably awesome it is that this “healthy” version just couldn’t compare. At any rate, I knew this year I was using the full fat cream cheese and regular old sugar.

My mom has been testing out a gluten free diet, so to honor that I decided to make a fattening, but gluten free pumpkin cheesecake as my health conscious option for the year. I’m sure the filling will be as amazing as usual, but you’ll have to check back about the crust. I am not eating this beauty until tomorrow!

When making gluten free crust (which I have now done several times) a lot of recipes will tell you to mix several measurements of rice, tapioca, almond, hemp, or other varieties of wheatless flour. This is complicated, expensive, and kind of annoying. Luckily the gluten free craze has gotten so big that at even the most generic of grocery stores you can usually find all-purpose gluten free flour, where the mixing has already been done for you. This makes the gluten free baking process so seamless, that to me there is minimal point in using other flours in any baking.

So, for banging’ gluten free pie crust you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • one stick of butter
  • 4 tbsp of almond milk

Combine everything, adding the butter last. Sprinkle the milk one tablespoon at a time. Roll out on parchment paper to desired size and place in either a form spring pan or pie tray. Then add the desired filling. This year I used last year’s recipe except with actual fat! Find the full recipeΒ here.

Happy Thanksgiving my darlings!

 

 

Starting the Day in Style

Starting the Day in Style

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Let’s be real here, I am a 24 year old recent grad, so this is obviously not my apartment. But it is good to be aspirational, no? My fabulous friend let us (us being myself and my photog…who you should all know by now because I write about her in basically every post) borrow the space for the day. We took some incredible photos of the panoramic views, (she does live on the 71st floor, after all) and then we messed around with some editorial shots in some of my favorite vintage pieces–check back for those next week.

Though I love street style photography, this was a unique way to experiment with lighting and styling techniques, and it inspired some projects that hopefully I can share with you all in the coming weeks! As for this look in particular, I consider myself fortunate to be a morning person. I don’t love getting up early, but I find it relatively easy. I like to ease into my day, and will usually get up with a significant amount of extra time so that I can relax on the couch and mindlessly scan Instagram before I have to run anywhere.

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These extra moments make me feel like the morning belongs to me, and that I am not getting up exclusively to do things at the behest of other people. Though I get the impulse to hit snooze until the last possible second, personally this makes me feel anxiety about being late. Since I am freelancing right now, I have a lot more freedom to be leisurely in waking up, but I hold myself to a pretty strict schedule. I always try to be at the little coffee shop where I like to work by 8:30. This is mostly because I am really weird and like to sit in the same spot every day, so I try to steal it before a lot of people get there. But it also makes me feel in charge of my day.

If I am not grabbing breakfast at the coffee shop, chia seed pudding is one of my favorite ways to start the day. The recipe takes less than five minutes, and it is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins to get your morning off the best possible start. It also tastes a bit like a milkshake, which is always a good thing…read on for the recipe (which is so ridiculously easy that I don’t know if we should call it a “recipe”).

Chia Seed Pudding

  • 1 cup of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of your choice of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • Mixed berries
  • Slivered Almonds

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You can make this either the night before or the day of, but if you make it the night before the chia seeds puff up a little more and it becomes more like a pudding. Both ways are delicious. Simply mix the yogurt, milk and honey together until blended. Add the chia seeds. After this you can either refrigerate until morning and then add the fruit and nut garnishes, or garnish and eat immediately. Super fast, super healthy, and super yummy, this is by far my favorite breakfast! Let me know if you like it! And scroll through for more of mine and Anabella’s fun and flirty photos from the 71st floor!

PJ’s from H&M

Photos at New York by Gehry, photographed by Anabella V Photography

Kale and Farro Abundance Bowl

Kale and Farro Abundance Bowl

If you have read my other recipe posts, you know I am the kind of cook that doesn’t really follow rules. I don’t measure things, I often wing recipes, and I thoughtlessly mess around with substitutions. That is what I love about the abundance bowl trend in cooking right now. One of my favorite food bloggers, Sarah of My New Roots has put together several seasonal recipes for abundance bowls, and they are all divine. Basically, with an abundance bowl you pick a grain and then add a bunch of whatever may be in season or in your fridge. I like this because it echoes my already improvisational cooking habits, but also because it is pretty hard to mess it up. Nothing is quicker, easier, or more delicious than a big bowl of stuff I already liked enough to buy in the first place.

This recipe is inspired a little by a meal my friend Lauren made for me several weeks ago. She mixed some veggies and citrus with millet and it was delicious. This week however, I really needed to go food shopping and I simply made what I had on hand. The results were delicious enough that I had to share!

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You will need:

  • 2 cups of farro (that yummy grain I went on about in my Watermelon Salad post)
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 chopped onion
  • A bunch of kale, chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • A sprinkling of toasted almonds (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To Cook:

  1. Cook the farro according to the directions on the package and set aside.
  2. Generously oil a pan and add the carrots and saute on medium-high heat. Give them a minute or two and add the onion.
  3. As the onion and carrot start to brown at the chick pea, garlic, and kale. Stir occasionally and let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until kale begins to wilt and crisp.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and an additional pour of olive oil.
  5. Serve a heaping helping in a bowl and top with feta while still hot.
  6. Enjoy!

These are the perfect hearty, healthy meals for a lazy night in. Personally I can’t get enough of them. You could really use any grain, bean, veg combo, but I am really into this one right now!

Voli Vodka Summer Cocktail Challenge!

Voli Vodka Summer Cocktail Challenge!

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Voli Vodka was founded in 2008 less than an hour away from my hometown. This Miami-based brand is a lighter vodka with fewer calories than other varieties. It comes in six yummy flavors like mango-coconut and raspberry-cocoa, and I was lucky enough to try the orange-vanilla variety. Voli is having a summer cocktail challenge, where bloggers have the opportunity to create a recipe that also showcases their style. I was inspired by this amazing smoothie I used to get at Whole Foods in South Florida, since that is where Voli is based. It was an Orange Cream Smoothie with banana and orange juice. I wanted to make a cool and creamy summer cocktail that would be refreshing on the hottest of days. You can check out all the Voli recipes on Instagram using the hashtag #VoliStyle! And check out their website for more delicious recipes and contests!

I chose a fun orange look to compliment my retro orange cocktail. A flirty dress and a braided updo are perfect for hot days, and also complimented the quirky vibe of my cocktail. I think it is a great representation of my style! Let me know how you like the recipe if you try it!

Orange Vanilla Vodka Creamsicle

  • 1.5 oz of Voli Orange Vanilla Vodka
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla ice-cream

Pour all ingredients in a blender, add some ice if desired. Blend until smooth. Pour into a fun glass and enjoy with friends!
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Outfit Details:

Dress: Francesca’s Collection, Shoes: Coach, Bag: Nine West