2.26.2015

Veggie Omelette Recipe (and the Truth About Eggs)

Veggie Omelette Recipe (and the Truth About Eggs)
Veggie Omelette Recipe (and the Truth About Eggs)

Eggs have gotten a bad rap over the last few decades. As part of the government’s movement to demonize saturated and animal fats, eggs were mistakenly blamed for raising cholesterol and contributing to heart disease. Consequently, we were encouraged to replace eggs and many other whole, natural foods with processed, “low-fat” and “low cholesterol” food products, such as margarine and processed boxed breakfast cereals (one of the most deceptive “health” food products in existence). It wasn't long before modern-day illness was on the rise, cases of heart disease began to skyrocket, and we were left to figure out where we went wrong.

In reality, eggs are a superfood. It’s what many nutritionists and doctors have known for quite some time, and even the US government is finally getting on board, as they recently loosened their guideline restrictions on eggs (sadly, they still continue to vilify saturated fat and praise unhealthy grains, but I’m hoping those guidelines may finally be corrected one day too).

For me, eggs have been very instrumental in my healing. When I was at the worst points during my recent 2½-year Crohn’s flare, eggs became the only food I could tolerate on a daily basis. There was a time when I literally survived on a mere two scrambled eggs a day (cooked in unrefined coconut oil, of course). Knowing that they are a nutritionally-dense “safe” food for me, they've remained in my daily diet for the last 3½ years, and are now an important part of my current anti-inflammatory Paleo diet. I admit, there were moments when I let the mainstream nutrition myths mess with my head: I questioned whether or not my egg intake was negatively affecting my cholesterol levels, and this was the last thing I needed. It was not too long ago when I battled with extremely high white blood cell and platelet counts, low red blood cell counts (i.e. I was very anemic), abnormally elevated liver counts and borderline high blood sugar. I had to have blood transfusions, iron infusions and was closely monitored for over two years. I’m thrilled to say that just two weeks ago, my most recent blood work came back completely normal, my cholesterol levels were perfect, and my results were the best my doc has ever seen in me. Score one very big point for Paleo! Sure, there are some exceptions (some people have allergies or intolerances to eggs), but for the most part, there’s no reason to fear this nutritionally-dense (and relatively inexpensive) superfood.

2.24.2015

Wish List: Blush Pink

Wish List, Blush Pink
Wish List, Blush Pink Saint Laurent Handbag

(Photo credit: ShopSense/Nordstrom)

This season, blush pink seems to be everywhere. It’s subtle yet striking, timeless yet trendy. The only problem for me? It’s not the most flattering color on me (nudes and pale pinks tend to wash out my skin tone). But perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to it (you always want what you can’t have, right?).

Although you might not find me dressed head-to-toe in blush pink, there’s no reason I can’t indulge in some beautiful accessories (and gush over the things I wish I could wear). So I decided to share a little dream board of some of my latest blush pink favorites. A girl can dream, can’t she?

2.20.2015

Battle of the Facial Masks

Battle of the Facial Masks, Best Facial Masks
Battle of the Facial Masks, Best Facial Masks
Battle of the Facial Masks, Best Facial Masks
Battle of the Facial Masks, Best Facial Masks
Battle of the Facial Masks, Best Facial Masks

Well, you already know that I’ve raved about GlamGlow
YouthMud™ Tingleexfoliate Treatment as one of my favorite products, but the truth is, I use several facial masks on a regular basis because they all seem to serve different purposes. Depending on what my complexion needs are for that day, I have a few go-to masks. The following are all free of parabens and other chemical preservatives:

2.14.2015

Throwing the Perfect Oscar Party

Throwing the Perfect Oscar Party
Throwing the Perfect Oscar Party, DVD Prizes, Popcorn Snacks
Throwing the Perfect Oscar Party, Printable Ballot
Throwing the Perfect Oscar Party
Throwing the Perfect Oscar Party, Popcorn in Martini Glass

***This post was originally published in February 2014, and being that it’s (by far) my most popular post (who would’ve thought?!), I wanted to share it with you again, this time with a few updates. Happy Oscar-party-planning!***

My friend Shannon and I used to throw the best Oscar parties…well, at least we thought they were. This was way back in the day, long before Oscar parties were trendy, and long before the Internet was flooded with creative ideas right at our fingertips. We were inspired simply by our love for movies: I was a Film Studies graduate and Shannon was a die-hard who worked in the industry (and she still does, very successfully, I might add), so we were the ultimate movie fans. The idea to throw our first Oscar party happened the year that Shakespeare in Love was nominated. We were slightly obsessed with the film (but only slightly), and we wanted to gather our fellow movie-loving friends together to celebrate what we thought would be a great awards show.

As we would come to realize, the party really wasn’t about watching the awards show at all. Of course, we still watched, but the party turned out to be more about all the bells and whistles we created for our guests, including games, themed foods, decorations and an Oscar pool (which offered the most coveted prize of the evening, as I’ll explain shortly). Since, as I mentioned, the Internet wasn’t as developed as it is today (okay, I just really dated myself), all of these ideas came straight out of our heads, and of course, out of our love for movies.

Here are some of the things that became our traditions, and they are perhaps some fun ways to jazz up your own Oscar party today:

Puppy Love, Part 1: Spencer

Puppy Love, Spencer
Puppy Love, Spencer
Puppy Love, Spencer
Puppy Love, Spencer
Puppy Love, Spencer
Puppy Love, Spencer
Puppy Love, Spencer
Puppy Love, Spencer
Puppy Love, Spencer

It was destiny.

When Spencer first came to us, I was very sick. So sick, in fact, that I wasn’t even able to go with Jeremy to meet with the rescue group. He’d made arrangements to meet up with them and choose from the remaining puppies in a litter that they had up for adoption. I was so upset that I couldn’t go. This was such a huge decision we were making, choosing the dog that would become our first puppy “child.” But Jeremy was eager to bring this addition into our family, and who was I to argue? We’d had a rough year, with me being in and out of the hospital, suffering greatly and bedridden a good portion of the time. On one hand, it was terrible timing: I was so ill, had no strength and no energy…how would I be able to care for a rambunctious new puppy? On the other hand, it was exactly what we needed: our home had become rather stale with the darkness and hopelessness that often comes along with someone dealing with a disabling disease. We decided to bite the bullet and just go for it. And although it would be a challenge, it would also turn out to be the best decision we could have ever made.

2.09.2015

Cupcake Love: Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Whipped Cream

Cupcake Love, Strawberry Toppers, Valentine’s Day
Two Hearts, Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Whipped Cream
Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, Coconut Whipped Cream
Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, Strawberry  Heart Topper
Heart-Shaped Strawberry Cupcake Toppers, Valentine’s Treats
Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, Coconut Whipped Cream

***This was one of my popular posts from last year, originally published in January 2014. I decided to share it with you again, including a couple of updates!***

I heart these cupcakes. For this Valentine’s Day, I insisted on finding a delicious grain-free chocolate cake recipe, once and for all. After all, what’s more romantic than chocolate? I’ve tried other recipes in the past, but the texture always came out way too dense. So when I finally came across this recipe from ComfyBelly.com, I was thrilled! Not only are these cupcakes fluffy and moist, but they call for only a few ingredients, so making them is a breeze. They are made with coconut flour (i.e. they’re grain-free and packed with nutrition) and call for honey or maple syrup instead of refined sugar. Score! But did you know that chocolate/cocoa also has health benefits? Chocolate (particularly pure dark chocolate, without additives like milk and sugar) has been found to lower blood pressure, bad cholesterol and the risk of heart disease; it can improve circulation and vision, has anti-inflammatory properties, is rich in fiber and flavonoids and can boost your mood. As if you needed any more convincing to enjoy chocolate!

2.05.2015

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries (Paleo and Vegan)

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Paleo, Vegan
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Paleo, Vegan
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Paleo, Vegan
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Paleo, Vegan
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Paleo, Vegan

If you haven’t already noticed, commercially prepared chocolate dipped strawberries are usually ridiculously expensive. But then again, they are also ridiculously delicious. What's a girl (or guy) to do? I decided: rather than spend a small fortune for just a few bites, why not try making my own?

And I couldn’t believe it: they were so easy to make. The preparation takes just a few minutes and bonus: I have complete control over each ingredient I choose to include (that's a huge plus for me!). Oh yeah, and this recipe only calls for three ingredients.

So whether for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion that calls for an easy-to-make sweet treat, these decadent bites are sure to please: