Thursday, May 25, 2017

You are the Best Investment You'll Ever Make

It's so true. Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Your education. Your health. Traveling. What you know and what you have seen and experienced can never be taken away from you.

I'm feeling super inspired this week. I don't know if it's because I'm getting closer to the wedding, so I have a date to keep me on track. Maybe because I'm working out more? Or moving on from past toxic relationships? I don't know. Whatever it is, I like it. I feel this overwhelming sense of internal motivation and encouragement. This week, I've been my own biggest cheerleader. It's a really great feeling.

I started following this young lady on Instagram about a year ago, and she's just wonderful. I watched a couple of her Youtube videos this week because I had some time. The below was especially great. She passed on tips and tricks for staying on your diet while traveling. This is amazing, now that I travel more for work. I'm going to give it a go this weekend since Joe and I are going out of town for Memorial Day Weekend. Every year we go to Palm Springs. Cute.

Check out the video below. Her name is Brittany_Dawn_Fit on IG. Super relatable. You go girl. Why am I such a fan girl? Haha.


Joe got his first photo gig! He's so excited. I'm so proud of him for following through with his passion project. It brings him so much joy and that just makes me so happy.

Not a food post. Kind of a life post? Whatever.

SM.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Live a little.

4 months. 16 weeks. 123 days. But who's counting?! 

"It's so soon! I'm getting married! WEEEEE! I CAN'T WAIT!"

"Wait, I'm getting married. In 16 weeks. SHOOT! I better start toning up!"

This was my thought process this morning as I woke up and looked over at my honey bear. I'm getting married in September. Wow. That's so crazy. It's right around the corner. I've been so focused on work and the other day to day hurdles that life brings. I've had very little time to think about trying to lose weight. 

Here's another life update. 

Work is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! I mean, it's nutty. Nutty nuts! The year was slow to start. I was working on a project for my agency throughout January and February. Cruising... sort of. Right around March, we pressed the hyper-speed button and I've had zero time since. I went into pre-production in March and then for three and a half weeks, I was traveling the continental United States, chasing professional athletes and feeding them script lines on a major television production. 

It was a blast. Stressful as hell, but an awesome experience. I saw beautiful places, met great people and got to hang out with a pretty impressive roster.

North Carolina, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Houston. 
Matt, Nicola, Kathleen, Guy, Chris, Guia, Britt. 
The man. The myth. The LEGEND. I can't say who, but trust me, this guy is a big.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. Production is fun. As for diet and exercise though, let's just say my routine hasn't been stellar.



But that's okay! I have a normal life! I work (a lot). I have a husband-to-be. I have friends and an active social life. I travel. I like to explore and experience life! What's the point of living if you aren't going to live?

But I'm also getting married. And I think that if I don't tone up or try to do something about my rear end and my soft arms, I'm going to be very sad one day when I look back at pictures. 

So back to it I go. This past Monday, I started macro counting again. Nothing crazy. Balanced. Something that I can do. I remember liking IIFYM because it gave me the balance and freedom I needed. I also renewed my membership at OTF and signed up for a local gym. After I hurt my back last year, I've been hesitant to get back to lifting. My back just isn't the same as it used to be. But I'm going to start with light lifts twice a week and see what happens. I can't imagine it will hurt. Well, hopefully not...

I know how to do it. I have all the tools. I think now it's simply a matter of doing it. 

In typical fashion, I needed a recipe to kick me off. So I did this little number in the slow cooker as part of my food prep this week. I actually prepped food! Nuts! Give this simple chicken dish a go next time you're short of time.

3 large chicken breast
1 bunch of cilantro
2 limes
1 large yellow onion
1 tbsp. garlic powder
S + P to taste

1. Thoroughly clean off your chicken breast and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place them in the bottom of your slow cooker.
2. Chop your cilantro and large onion. Cover your seasoned chicken breasts.
3. Juice your limes over the chicken. I added the rinds to the pot and let me cook with the rest of the dish. If you're fancy, you can zest your lime. 
4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. I did mine overnight. Time saver!
5. Once cooked, pull the chicken from the pot and shred it. 

I put this over broccoli and pear it with cottage cheese for a protein packed lunch. It's also great in tortillas with salsa and avocado. It's also great over a Mexican-style salad. Favorite!

Give this guy and a go and let me know what you think. 

SM. 




Friday, December 2, 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside + Life Update

Well, it's cold for California. 

We don't really have seasons here in Los Angeles. It actually makes me very sad. I wish I could see the leaves change color. I wish our kiddos could have snow days. I wish had a good excuse to wear a scarf. But unfortunately, us Angelenos only know the seasons are changing because stores begin to put holiday decorations out and classic Bill Crosby tracks begin to ring on KOST 103.5. To give you some context, it's 65 and sunny, and I'm bundled up. Brrrrr!

Cold weather makes me want to get cozy. Here is one of my favorite turkey soup recipes that just makes life a little warmer. Credit to Macro Gal.

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs. ground turkey. I used 99% lean Jennie-o but your choice
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3-4 celery stocks, peeled and chopped
2 cups butternut squash, chopped
2x 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes in juice
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 - 3/4 cup water

1. Brown the turkey with pepper and garlic powder.
2. Once browned, transfer to a large boiling pot. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil for 15 minutes. Once done, reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours. 

This can also be done in a crockpot. Throw everything on low heat for 5-6 hours and voila! Dinner is served. 

Oh in case I haven't yet shared, JOE AND I GOT ENGAGED! WEEEEE! I'm going to be a Feldman! Yay!





Joe asked me to be his wife in August of 2016. While vacationing in Scotland, we took a tour of a tiny fisherman's town called Portree, located on the Isle of Skye off of the Northwestern coast of Scotland. After some site-seeing and enough Gaelic folklore to last a lifetime, we decided to take a hike. We landed at an abandoned knight tower overlooking the bay. Rolling hills of purple and green and the mist in our face, Joe started to shake...violently. He started to say really sweet things and from there, the man that vowed to never get married, asked me to be his wife. Hysterically crying, I somehow managed to mumble, "Yes!"

There it is guys and gals. I'm going to be a wife. I count my lucky atoms everyday for such a wonderful man. I get to marry my best friend. My life partner. My bear. It's pretty cool.

I also got a new job! WOO WOO WOO! I'm working for a really amazing creative agency, arguably the best in the biz, on a popular sport brand account. Talk about a dream job. I'm loving loving loving it! See hint below.



Stay tuned. More life updates to come.

SM. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What's Right For You?

Penny for your thoughts.

I've been noodling a lot lately over this idea of expectation -- where I am supposed to be working, where I am should to living, the car I'm supposed to be driving, where I am supposed to be in my personal relationships, what size my ass is should be. And I have made a decisions...

I have decided to let go of the expectations of others. Completely let... it... go. Because you see, what's good for you might not be good for me. And vice versa. It's funny how we as humans (or maybe just Americans?) are so quick to say what others should be doing. We compare ourselves, make judgements and stick each other in these little boxes of 'right' and 'wrong'.

"Billy is doing GREAT at work. He's on the right track. He'll be CEO in no time!"
"Jane just can't figure it out. She's still with that deadbeat guy. She's doing it all wrong."

We make judgements based on age, societal status, race, gender. And I just think it's all a crock of poo. So I'm letting it go. Feel free to judge me. That's cool. If that's what you need to do to validate yourself or help you get some extra sleep at night, god-speed.

I'll just strut my toosh on in life and never look in the rearview.

Moving on.

I was in a pinch yesterday, because I didn't bring food to work. So at around 1:00 o'clock, I went to Whole Paycheck Foods and made myself the most AMAZING! salad in the world. Peep it.

Kale
Swiss chard
Spinach
Yellow beets
Grilled asparagus
Marinated red onion and tomato
Green onion
Chicken
Shredded carrots
Roasted garlic --  amazing. It made the salad. Honestly. The best part. I had the breath capable of killing a small animal, but good LORD it was delicious.

They really do have the best salad bar. I just wish it wasn't so expensive. Quality ingredients come with a price tag, unfortunately. It was so filling and nutritious, I don't care that I paid $18. Worth every penny.

SM.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

It's More Than Just Lettuce...

It's an art. What am I talking about? Salads. Obviously...

I made the most amazing salad. Like, ever. I was too excited to wait until my next post to share. If you recall from a post or two ago, I'm trying to lose weight. The right way. Ew...

Memory recalls these low cal gems being in my rotation. My mom has made the most amazing salads since I can remember. When I was in college, we used to spend hours in the kitchen meal prepping GIGANTIC mixes together. So I thought I'd put these bad boys back into my weekly meal plan. Give this one a a shot.

All I have to say is you're welcome.

1 head of iceberg lettuce, loose chopped.
2 medium heads of treviso, chopped
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup of shredded carrots
6 small tomatoes, sliced in halves
2 medium cucumbers, sliced in halves
2 whole shoots of green onion, chopped
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 shoot of raw asparagus, chopped. Trust me...

Directions: Chop all this good stuff up and mix it together! Easy.

I take salad making very serious. I like to play with my ingredients. Arugula and radishes add a nice spice to a mixture. Jicama, cilantro and lime add a bit of Latin flare. Love Mediterranean? Add pickled grape leaves and hummus! Whatever you do, keep it interesting. I can only speak for myself, but it keeps me from getting bored.


















Enjoy. SM.

Weight update: I weigh 157 pounds today. That's good, right? Right? One pound is one pound. I'm going to do a half marathon with my girlfriend. She's in awesome shape. Me... not so much. But I'm hoping running will help to bring down the EL-BEEs. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Banana Puddin' and a stroll through Santa Monica

Schedules. Sheesh. I have a gnarly crazy schedule. Who doesn't, right?  Here's a look at my typical work week.

4:00 am: BUZZ!
5:00 am: Out the door to hit the gym.
5:30 - 7:00 am: Fitness time!
8:00 - 6:30 pm (usually later): Office. Stress. Problem solving. Caffeine. Meeting. Going, going GOING!
6:30 - 8:00 pm: Traffic. I die a little inside everyday on that damn 405 freeway. I swear it's aging me.
8:00 - 9:00 pm: Dinner and time with Bear.
9:00 - 9:30 pm: Sleepy time.

I love Saturday. Just take a look at the above. There is something so relaxing knowing that I don't have to fight that kind of madness. It's a time in the week when I can take a...

deep... breath...

I reserve Saturday to do whatever I want. I hate when I pack my weekend full of obligations. Yes, usually these are social events or much needed family time. But again, at times it can feel like an obligations. Like you have to do something or have to be somewhere. I'll be honest with you, I'm a home body. It took me years to be comfortable with that. But the truth is, I just love to be home. I love my driveway. I love my couch. My kitchen is rad. I may have the most comfortable bed on the planet. And my backyard...takes my breath away. We have a pool. It's pretty awesome.

There's nothing that fills me with more joy than my Bear and a bowl of something chocolate-y on a Friday night.

This week was especially cray. Things at work took a sharp left turn and well, it didn't go well with certain people. So this Saturday, I just wanted to chill. Chill hard. POLAR BEAR CHILLING!  So that's what I'm doing. Nothing. Chilling. It's fudging amazing!

This morning, I woke up bright and early for a cup'a jo. I watched the sun come up and did some Pinteresting. Side bar: I've fallen in love with Pinterest. I'm late. I know. But talk about amazing ideas. So many great recipes and DIY ideas. WEE!

Any who, I eventually put on exercise clothes and met one of my best friends at the Santa Monica stairs. Our intentions were good! We meant to have a mean sweat sesh! It didn't quite work out that way though. After five sets, we decided to instead walk along Ocean Avenue and just chat. Catch up. Look at the ocean. Again, chilling. It was a perfect morning.

We had an amazing chat about expectation and where life is taking us. This person has been a very dear friend to many for over 15 years. I hold her words and opinions in very high esteem. Isn't it crazy how you meet certain people and just decide... yeah. Your cool. Let's be friends. For life?

"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." #truth.

After, I made my way back home. Joe threw some turkey patties on the grill and we ran stupid couple errands. Along the way, my mind went back to that chocolate-y Friday night desires. I looked in my recipe archives I threw together this gem. It's super easy. And delicious. And it's a fantastic substitute to those (shitty) frozen yogurts you buy at the market. Check, check, check it out.

1 large container of Fage Greek yogurt. You'll need the whole container.
3 medium bananas, riped and mashed. Not mushy, just gently mashed.
1 packet instant sugar free pudding
1 cup almond or coconut milk, whatever wets your whistle.
2 tbsp. dark chocolate cocoa, unsweetened.
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Dash of salt

1. Mix your wet ingredients. Peel and gently mash the bananas. Mix in the entire container of yogurt and almond milk.
2. Mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
3. Fold your ingredients together. If it's too thick, add a bit more milk. The pudding mix and yogurt can make it very heavy. If you like it thinner, add more milk. Whatever you like.
4. Separate your mixture into 6 containers and freeze.

Done. Simple. Right?

When you're ready to enjoy this tasty treat, take it out of the freezer and give it 15 minutes or so to defrost. Enjoy it kids. Let me know what you think.

SM


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fiesta Food and R. Kelly for MDW

It's Memorial Day Weekend. This used to mean insane dieting and exercise for Vegas. I had a phase. No judgement...

Now it means hanging by the pool with good friends and firing up the BBQ. This year, I decided to do Mexican. I went to the specialty Latin market down the street and bought ingredients for a fiesta feast! Here's was I made:

Rainbow salad
Homemade guacamole
Carne asada tacos
El pasto tacos

Rainbow Salad:
1/2 purple cabbage sliced very fine
2 tomatoes, diced
1/3 bunch of cilantro
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium sized jicama, diced (my absolutely favorite!)
10 radishes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
Rinsed black beans

Directions: Cut, slice and dice everything and make it together.

This salad is so incredibly filling and so full of super amazing flavor. I don't care much for dressing of any kind (except the few I make myself - saving that for another post) so I topped this giant rainbow with a scoop of homemade guacamole and lime.

I hate to give away my guacamole recipe, but I feel like I owe it to the world. It's just too good to keep from people.

Mama's Homemade Guac
5 avocados, mashed
2 tomatoes
4-5 closed of garlic, diced
2 spicy jalapeños
1/3 bunch of cilantro
1 whole shallot
3 limes, juiced
salt

Directions:
1. Cut avocados in half, slice and scoop into a bowl. Mash it until it's mostly smooth with a few chunks left throughout.
2. Diced tomatoes and shallot. Mix in.
3. Diced garlic and jalapeños. Mix in. Be careful not to touch your face after... Lesson I learned the hard way.
4. Dice cilantro. Mix it in.
5. Juices your lime and add salt. I think salt is a preference. I personally like it on the plainer side, but I know I'm the minority. So add what you'd like.

Mix all of this madness together and let it sit for a few hours. This is the key. Give all of those magical flavors an opportunity to work together. This guacamole is a huge crowd pleaser. Great for BBQ's and get togethers. Try it. Please. It's amazing.

For the tacos, we did carne and el pastor on the BBQ. I don't like pork, and I'm trying to eat less red meat, so this was not on my personal menu. I forced the boys to be healthy though and bought La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Low Carb Tortillas. So bomb. I usually have them with my eggs whites in the morning. 80 calories, 18g carbohydrates, 12g FIBER! and 8g protein. And they taste good. WHAT?! Yeah...

Last night I went out dancing with my friends for their birthday. I had such a blasty blast! The DJ played all the best jams! Nelly, T-Pain, R. Kelly. I was just a dancing queen! My feet are killing me. But well worth it. Happy birthday Kate and Lynds. I love you babes.

I did a class with Linda yesterday and I am very sore. It's certainly going to take me a bit to get back into my groove, but I'm feeling good about it. One day, one meal, on hour at a time.

Happy holiday weekend everyone. Be safe.

SM