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Feb 3, 2016

Seared Tuna With Avocado Cauliflower Mash

Another day, another great carbless meal for my Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. This time ahi tuna is the shining star. I obviously love fish and ahi tuna is one of my favorites but this is my first time making it. I've also never cooked with ginger before because I just became a fan of it about a year ago thanks to juicing.

As soon as I got home from work I went straight to the kitchen to get dinner/lunch for tomorrow started. My mahi-mahi salad was probably the best lunch I've had in a long time so I was hoping that my first time cooking tuna would give the same result. And did it? Of course it did. I can't cook steak to save my life but chicken and fish come easy. I didn't want to make a salad because I don't want to get sick of it so instead I got creative with cauliflower, an avocado and cheese. 

Check this out!

Ahi Tuna
Parmesan Cheese
Lime Juice
Soy Sauce

Defrosting the tuna was set to take about 10 minutes so I used that time to get the mash ready. I steamed cauliflower and then threw it in the magic bullet. I haven't used this in ages and forgot that it's not a food processor so I had to add some water in order for it to break everything down.

Once I took it out it was a bit watery, because cauliflower has tons of water already so adding to it makes it worse. I usually use Psyllium Husk to take the moisture out but I ran out and totally spaced on getting more so what I did was just let the cauliflower sit on a plate to let the water kind of separate. 

In the meantime I mixed ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lime juice and EVOO in a bowl for the tuna. This smelled amazing. I think I'm going to do my best to cook fish with ginger as much as possible.

After about five minutes I was able to get the water off the plate without dropping any cauliflower in the sink. I added the avocado, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and put it back in the bullet to mix up a bit. Enough to mix it all together while still leaving a few avocado chunks.

With that done it was time for the tuna. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and then threw it in a pan with sizzling olive oil. I seared it (so fancy!) for one minute and then carefully flipped it over. 

As soon as I did this I poured the ginger sauce on top and around it just enough to let some seep into the bottom of the tuna while still leaving it pink in the middle which was about two minutes.

Then that was it. I put the beautiful heart shaped tuna on top of my cauliflower avocado mash and I have to say it was absolutely amazing and because it doesn't smell fishy I won't feel weird microwaving it tomorrow for lunch.

Feb 2, 2016

Mahi-Mahi Salad

I'm just going to say it, carbs are my best friend. They make me sluggish, tired and do nothing for my waistline but they taste so good that it's hard to not eat. But because I love to torture myself in order to break bad habits I have officially cut carbs off for the month of February.

When I first moved to LA I did the South Beach Diet and it helped me lose my sweet tooth (I rarely eat sweets or desserts) and got me into veggies because I was never really a fan. I also learned how to cook fish which I was never able to master before.

I mentioned this to a few coworkers and they said it was a great thing to do but eating healthy is so expensive. NOT TRUE! Especially here in Los Angeles where we have access to the best produce for almost half the cost of what it is in NYC. I managed to do groceries for the next two weeks and only spent $42. I may have to grab more sparkling water--if I can' have champagne, I still need bubbles--and a few avocados but I'm trying to stick to Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet while not going broke.

Tonight I made a really tasty dinner which I also plan on having for lunch tomorrow. It's my first time making Mahi-Mahi so I was excited to taste it. Needless to say it was amazing and I can't wait to have it again tomorrow. As per usual, I'm not a measurer (I will work on this, I promise) so you can eyeball the ingredients like I did.

Mahi-Mahi Fillet
baby Spinach
3 Garlic Cloves
Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Parmesan Cheese
Red Pepper Flakes
Balsamic Vinaigrette

I bought the fish last night and was so eager to cook it and then I read that it has to thaw in the fridge for at least 8 hours. FAIL! So after letting it sit in the fridge while I was at work it was ready to get cooked.

I put some EVOO in a frying pan and while I waited for it to get hot I seasoned the fillet with salt and pepper.

Up next was throwing it in the pan. I cooked it on one side for about 3 minuted and then turned it over. I put the chopped up garlic in at this point to saute it a bit as well as added the red pepper flakes to the fish.

I can never make a frying pan look glamorous 

In the meantime I cut the cherry tomatoes (omg one of them exploded as I cut it and the tiles in my kitchen looked like a murder scene) and added some salt and pepper to give it a bit of flavor.

I'm a tomato addict
Once the fish was cooked I put my spinach and tomatoes in a bowl, added the parmesan cheese, sauteed garlic from the pan and then the star of the show, the Mahi-Mahi.

Spinach is so tasty and pretty

In my past life, I was a mouse. I heart cheese
It was delicious, quick and I can't wait to have it for lunch tomorrow. I'm glad I was able to make something aside from grilled chicken and veggies that is really tasty and carb free.

So. Much. Yum.

It's not lost on me that there's an avocado in the shot. Originally I was going to put some in it and save the other half for lunch tomorrow but I didn't want oxidation to ruin the color of my amazing lunch so I'll reserve serving with with avocados when I make this for more than one person.

pin me :-)

Feb 1, 2016

My Morning Green Juice

Oh juicing, I hate how it gets such a bad rap. First, people think it's only for weight loss and go into a long rant about why it's unhealthy to just drink juice. I normally let them go on and on until I remind them that I eat. And I eat a lot! But for the last two weeks I've been getting up earlier and giving myself more time between working and and heading to work in order to make a green juice. 

Unless I'm super hungover I can't eat anything before 11am so having a juice after my workout fills me up and holds me over until lunch. A few years ago I did a juice cleanse with my cousin and it had me juicing beets, oranges, pineapples, the works. But 1: I'm not a huge fan of fruits and 2: fruits have TONS of sugar! On the flip side I was never a big fan of veggies until I joined my cousin in the cleanse. Before I started juicing I would die if i saw beets or celery in my food. And ginger? No way. I didn't want that anywhere near me. But now I love those and put tons of celery and some ginger in my morning juice. 

Like I said, I'm not a fan of fruits but a juice made with celery, kale, spinach and cucumbers isn't the tastiest thing ever but when lemon and green apples are added it's like a whole new world. Suddenly it becomes something I always want more of instead of something I have to force feed myself. I used to always put carrots in mine but for some reason I stopped. Maybe it's because they made my beautiful juice look really gross. Okay not maybe, that's totally the reason.

Anyway, here's some green juice porn for you to look at along with the 'recipe' below.

Swiss Chard
Green Apple

This is a juice so there really isn't much to it but before I put the leafy greens through the juicer I steam them for about five minutes. I do this because it's supposed to help the body absorb more of the iron. I also always squirt lemon on them after because vitamin c helps absorb even more iron. For me this is imperative because of my iron deficiency*. I also chase the leafy greens with lemon while I juice because it lets the juicer break it down better. I sometimes cheat by wrapping them around lemon wedges since the mouth of my juicer is so big. Also don't ask me how much of what is in it. I aside from always using a whole apple, cucumber and half a lemon the rest is just however much I think will fill a jar. I do have a food scale that I've never used though so I might weight everything one day for you guys.

I can practically juice everything whole but I like chopping. 

This loud and scary beast doesn't photograph well

No filter, just good lighting and beautiful greens

The aftermath. What the veggies look like after extraction

Look at that amazing color! There's no way anyone can see that and not want to taste it. I love how the apple makes the earthy taste go away and the kick from the ginger. Because this isn't a cold press juicer it ends up being slightly cooler than room temperature which is great because I can't drink warm juice. The Vitamix is a great appliance for smoothies and soups but I can't ever get a smooth juice out of it and of course without ice it's always really warm and that's just gross.

If I don't chop the veggies and not including the time it takes to clean the juicer this takes about 10 minutes tops and I can finish drinking it while I'm getting ready for work much easier than I can with pancakes or an omelet. And then again, I'm getting what my body needs in one delicious and organic drink. Now let's just hope it sticks this time!

*Before anyone says popping a pill is better be aware that the body only takes in a certain amount of iron in that form. Trust me, I've done my research on that. Having cold hands and feet, along with always feeling tired isn't fun.

Jan 31, 2016

Having a Dedicated Writing Workspace

I've been working on this site for almost three years now and it's finally starting to pick up. My readership is going up and companies are starting to take notice and area reaching out for collaborative opportunities. That's all really really cool but it does add a bit of pressure. I'm eager to write great content with more frequency and want to make sure everything flows really well. My photos have to be on point, the writing stellar and I need to get into the habit of writing constantly instead of going really hard for a few weeks and then disappearing for a month or so.

I realized that I'm the kind of person that doesn't thrive in chaos and I need tons of structure to get anything done. Be it having a pretty kitchen to cook in, an easy routine for the gym, or a great space for writing. Sitting on my bed is really comfy but I tend to have Netflix playing on my iPad as I write and then everything goes out the window. Did I also mention that I can be easily distracted sometimes?

I don't want to buy a desk for my apartment because I haven't found an affordable one that I can commit to but I do have an amazing balcony with the more perfect view that I've been using as my writing area here and there and I'm thinking of making it my permanent station. It used to be a very boring space and the weather in SoCal wasn't the best for the last couple of months so sitting out there wasn't at all inspiring. Now that the weather has warmed up and I've decorated it a bit it's become my little corner of serenity after a long day at work or thinking too hard about things that bother me. Sitting out there, in this beautiful area that I'm slowing filling up with pretty and peaceful things, not only gives me a great place to sit and do my affirmations but it also reminds me that I would love to write for a living and it inspires me to get to work!

When I'm out there with my laptop I use the iPad to pull up my editorial calendar, I have the notebook that I use to write down ideas while I'm at work on hand and I listen to non distracting music like Air or Zero 7. It's been working really well for me and I'm pretty sure every successful blogger has started off in a similar fashion in order to create good writing habits.

So what do you guys think? Do you have a special area dedicated to writing or are you able to do it anywhere with wifi and a place to sit down? Do tell!

Top Five of 2015

Hey guys! Welcome to the new year! So far I'm digging 2016 and can't wait to see what it has in store for me! I'm so impatient that I wish I could take a sneak peak into July to assure myself that everything's going a-ok!

But let's go back to 2015 for a minute. I've spent the year getting to know new brands, new products and sticking some oldies but goodies so I decided to give you guys my best of 2015! This list is what got my face through 2015 and have made the cut for 2016.

1. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer- I have yet to find a product that will replace this. I've been using this tinted moisturizer for over 5 years and I have no reason to stop. It isn't heavy, evens out my skin tone, moisturizes and offers protection from the sun. The day this products stops being made is the day I stop showing my face in public

2. ChloƩ Eau de Parfum- I started using ChloƩ towards the end of 2014 but it wasn't until last year that i kicked it into high gear and made it what my ex called my signature scent. I stopped wearing it for a few months this summer because the smell gave me relationship PTSD but after reading how the smell of roses helps elevate the mood I brought it back as part of my aromatherapy. Then I got a killer box set for Christmas so I'm pretty sure this will also make the 2016 best of list.

3. Dr Bronners Lavender & Rose Castile Liquid Soap-  The great thing about Dr. Bronner's products is that they can be used for so many things. I started using it as a body wash but then kicked it up a notch by buying unscented laundry detergent in order to pout some of this into the wash water. I can't think of anything more heavenly that resting my head on a rose scented pillowcase or relaxing after a long hot shower using the lavender soap. Dr Bronner's is a new staple in my life and as long as they continue to make this universal product they've got a loyal customer in me.

4. Buxom Full-on Lip Polish- I'm not shy about my love of lip plumpers. Ever since Too Faced came out with their now awfully reformulated Lip Injection I've loved that tingly feeling that left my lips just a wee bit plump. I've tried so many other brands of plumpers and none have given me the results that Too Faced did but this one has come close. I love the refreshing tingling sensation and the color reflects light really well, giving me an amazing pout.

5.Sinful Colors Nail Enamel- I wasn't ever really big on nail polishes until I received this one over the summer. I initially thought the color I received (Dream On) would be a bit much for me but it ended up looking really great with my tanned skin. This brand of polishes are really shiny, dry fast, last super long and will make it look like you just got a professional gel manicure all the time. I need to go grab a bunch of these in rose gold and whatever other shade catches my eye.

I obviously used a lot more products that I was crazy over but these are the ones that made the top five. Now stay tuned because in a couple of days I'll share some of my 2106 must-have products that you need to get your hands on ASAP

If you weren't a Sephora VIB Rouge before you sure will by the first half of 2016 if you take my lead. Trust me your face, as always, will thank you!

Jan 28, 2016

Exfolimate Magic Body Cloth

I'm all about trying things out so when Green Heart Labs asked me to their Exfolimate I didn't hesitate. I've been washing my face less with my hands and more with machines so I figured, why not.

This cloth isn't super huge so I don't plan on using it all over my body because it'll take forever, but it was great to use on my face. I used it with a regular cream cleanser and I did notice a bit of exfoliation which was pretty awesome. I'm not 100% sure on how many times I'll use this on my face because I don't want to constantly wash it but I am excited to use it when I'm ready to use my self tanners and bronzers (yes, I use those. I have yellow undertones people!) because I tend to forget the whole body scrubbing process.

It's a pretty cool product that I'll totally use during the pre-summer months when I want to get even color all over my legs. And for $15, it's a totally good deal.

Jan 26, 2016

Less Stress = More Sleep

Let's face it, everyone deals with stress and we all know how bad that is for us. It makes us lethargic but unable to sleep and it messes with our eating pattern--it's pretty much a nightmare. When I'm stressed out I don't sleep well and when I don't sleep well I get stressed out so finding a way to get some shut eye naturally is something I'm always looking for. I've taken unisom as well as other things to help me sleep but sometimes those don't work. 

Le-Vel has these nutritional gel supplements called Thrive Plus Sleep Aid that is said to improve sleep patterns, help you relax and gives a calming effect. I'm in desperate need of all of that so I was ready to give these a try.

First thing first, I'm not into gel like things. I feel like I'm eating or drinking hair gel, so this was a bit tough for me to swallow. I didn't make that pun on purpose, I swear! Thrive touts that they're not just something that can help you fall asleep but will let you stay asleep. I've added this to my nightly routine but I'm not sure how well it's working. I'm carb free, I work out a lot and I'm no drinking alcohol so that can play a major role in why I'm so well rested. I will say that lately I'm not up until 2am watching mindless television and that's a super plus because then I start to panic that I'm going to oversleep.

It's worth a shot if you don't want to take an insane amount of pills or prescription medication just to feel well rested and super chill.

New Year, New Gear

New Year, New Gear

Every time the new year rolls around people make resolutions to get in shape, stay in shape or if they let themselves go, get back into shape. But we all know how the story goes: gym memberships are purchased in January, carbs are banished and all sorts of crazy diet plans are made. Now even though these plans go out the window by February it's always nice to start a new workout regiment with super cute clothes so here are some items that will make you look cute at the gym or track for as long as you go.

This weather that we're having is super weird. It's warm in NYC (for December) and chilly in SoCal so running in short sleeves it not an option. This cute jacked from Mountain Hardwear is just $58 and has pockets in the front, is made with material to keep you cry and my favorite thing ever: thumbholes, so you can make sure your hands always stay warm while running.

Every woman should own more than 5 sports bras so why not use the new year as a time to grab some. The $35 Nike Pro Classic Bra has a really cool design, offers great support so you're not bouncing all over the place and is also great for medium-impact sports.

When it comes to running, sweatpants are so out of the question. Not only are they not cute but they do nothing for warmth. Having tights that help regulate the body's temperature while running along with breathable mesh ventilation panels make these $70 North Face GTD Tights totally worth it.

Running shoes should be changed frequently and it's really important to buy ones that won't damage your feet while you're pounding the pavement. At Famous Footwear you can grab this awesome pair of indigo/pink kicks with gel cushioning system for $60.

I know so many people obsessed with their FITBIT and if I still lived in NYC I would too. I'm sure I'd log over 10K a day just going about my day. So for those that don't have to walk this is a great way to get off the couch or office chair and set a few goals. These range from cheap to super pricey for designer ones but the Flex Wireless one is a good price at $80.

 Running belts are super underrated because they're so close to the fanny pack but they're great for people who run in the sun because they avoid the needs for a jacket to hold their keys or phone as well as the horrid armband tan. FlipBelt's Small Running and Workout Belt comes in 9 different colors so at $30 any serious runner can get a few in their favorite colors.

Jan 24, 2016

Decorating With Lights in a Non Dorm Room Way

When I was in college I, like every other girl that I knew, had icicle lights hanging on the ceiling 24/7. It looked super cute, was a great alternative to the harsh lighting and it helped set the mood for doing everything but studying.

These days I still really like the idea of these types of lights around my place but I'm steering clear of making my bedroom look like it's in a dorm. I've been obsessively pinning ideas that I think would look really great in my new bedroom since it's cozier (yes smaller) than my current one and it already feels more like home to me...even though I haven't even moved in yet.

Here are some cute ideas that I've been looking at and plan to use my Micro 30 LED Lights from Oak Leaf

What's cool about the lights is that they're battery operated so I don't have to worry about wires hanging out or using up an outlet that would normally be used for my laptop or phone.

Also, Oak Leaf is letting run a giveaway where one lucky person will get a set of their purple lights to use however they want. It's like Christmas never ends, right?

Five Steps to Keeping Winter Sickness At Bay

Thank you Chloraseptic® for sponsoring this post. Use Chloraseptic® throat spray and lozenges to stay ahead of cold & flu season!

You see these beautiful palm trees below? Don't they make you feel warm, refreshed and peaceful? Well, don't let them fool you. Here in Southern California the sky may be clear and the leaves still green but it gets chilly chilly chilly! So even though its beautiful outside we have to make sure to keep ourselves protected from getting sick.

I work in marketing and spend my entire days speaking to people over the phone and in person so it's important that people understand what I say without my voice cutting out so here are a few things that help me keep from getting a cold as well as what I use when it sneaks in!

1. Cover Up! I always carry a scarf in my purse, even when it's 100 degrees out, because my office is frigid. During the winter months I wear one that is thicker and always keeps my neck warm and protected from the wind. I also always make sure that my chest is covered by a sweater or by being creative with a long scarf.

2. Use Hand Sanitizer People say it's not good to overuse this because it can kill all the bacteria in your hands, etc etc, but I mainly try not to use too much of it because I don't like how it dries of my hands. When I find myself touching too many things that my coworkers or employees touch

3. Keep Hands Clean I know I can't wash my hands after every single thing that I touch but aside from washing them after using the restroom I also do so when I get into the office, before and after I eat and when I get home. I touch a lot of things on my way to/from work and I don't want to end up catching something if I have to rub my eyes or nose.  So wash your hands often with soap and water because it's the best way to prevent the spread of the common cold. Which leads me to the next thing on my list which is...

4. Leave the Face Alone I love wearing makeup and having my smooth look and feel smooth but I try to keep my hands away. As well as the hands of others. We can't wash our hands after touching every single thing so it's important to keep the germy hands away. I've gotten into the habit of only touching my face without washing my hands first

5. Be Prepared When I get sick it always starts with me waking up with a sore throat that only gets worse throughout the day. I like to make sure that I always have what I need in order to feel better be it a pain reliever, sleep aids or something to sooth my throat.  I like using lozenges when I'm on the go because my purse can't really handle more items but at home I've always used Chloraseptic spray. I like that it's never left a weird taste in my mouth and always started working super fast. With cold and the flu season comes runny noses and coughs that make throats raw and sore. Chloraseptic is the # 1 sore throat relief brand that provides fast-acting relief for sore throats and mouth pain to help you get through your day.

I'm a big crybaby and I tend to be overly dramatic when I get sick. Having a sore throat is not fun and it's something I try to take care of ASAP. Along with the sprays, Chloraseptic lozenges have a soothing liquid center that relieves pain and cools nasal passages. They're soothing, refreshing, and help take the pain away, leaving me focused and able to concentrate on the things I need to do since I am always on the go.

Aside from wearing thick scarves during the colder months I pretty much do all of the above year round because I always get at least one or two summer colds and sore throat episodes from being in super air conditioned places and traveling back and forth between LA and NYC. So make sure you've got everything you need to find relief during flu season and make sure Chloraseptic® is in your medicine cabinet so you are prepared to get the relief you need, when you need it. Check out their range of products and flavors that'll stop that sore throat in it's tracks here:

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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