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3 Things You Need To Stop Using – TODAY

Did You Know? “Already, the ocean is filled with about 165 million tons of plastic. That’s 25 times heavier than the Great Pyramid of Giza.  By 2050, plastic in the oceans (is predicted to) outweigh fish.”

( v i a )


One thing that drives me nuts is throw-away plastic.  I really can’t stand it.

And because it’s Earth Day this weekend I thought it would be a good time to address throw-away plastic.

Earth Day

Earth Day

I use old glass coconut oil jars for nuts & mixes too!

Earth Day

Veggies always ready to snack on…

Earth Day

Chopped onion ready for recipes & lunches //  Beans ready to go for salads!

Earth Day

THESE containers are perfect for lunches – great portion size & love that they’re wide, not deep

3 Things You Need To Stop Using, TODAY

1. Plastic Serving Items:

Plastic plates, utensils, cups, bowls, straws – all need to go!  I can’t remember the last time I purchased any of those items.   I remember in the 19th century when we thought using plastic items was incredibly smart because it made clean-up easier, but that was the 19th century when we didn’t know how much that was effecting our mother earth.

Honestly, it takes two seconds to get everything through the dishwasher & once you get in the habit of it, you don’t even notice the clean-up.

Large garbage bags filled with plastic serving utensils is disturbing.  Not to mention half of it blows away or breaks in the process & isn’t even used.  Instead – use real, affordable, inexpensive items that you’ll easily be able to wash, store, & reuse.

2. Zip Lock Bags:

Zip Lock Bags are dumb.  Wafiq had a hard time letting go of these but after much trickery I’ve managed to keep them out of the house & he’s barely noticed.

I use these red containers for EVERYTHING.  I chop onions, broccoli, jalapenos, and other veggies – then leave them in the containers to easily pull out & use for a quick lunch or recipe.

This size is particularly awesome for the Oatmeal I eat every morning.

And the containers make your refrigerator look so organized!!  Much better than bags hanging out all over the place.  This size is the perfect portion for your meals, anything bigger allows room for too much food!

I also use containers to freeze meat. Rather than the whole package, I’ll separate the pieces & freeze them in portions of my choosing.

Time to ditch zip locks people!  These containers are awesome, $23 for a set of 40, and you can buy them at Target OR Amazon Prime!

3. Paper Towels & Plastic Water Bottles:

I put paper towels & water bottles together because I understand avoiding these two items completely is not realistic for some people.

As far as paper towels are concerned – you can no longer be the person who grabs a paper towel EVERY SINGLE TIME you wash & dry your hands.  My jaw drops writing that.  You know how many paper towels you use & go through?!  Buy a few kitchen towels to dry your hands & switch them out as often as you need to in order to keep them clean.  Period.  Paper towels should be more of a back-up option.

As far as water bottles – I never drink out of the plastic ones unless I’m desperate for water & forgot to bring my own, which is rare.  I always have a huge water bottle with ice that I carry around & refill.   Every time I leave the house & of course while in the house.  (I shamefully became a Yeti addict recently, nothing like a freezing cold drink of water.  I use a metal straw with mine. )  If anyone buys those God forsaken small, 8oz, water bottles still – It’s time to stop immediately. What a waste!

 Earth Day

Earth Day

The Oatmeal I Eat Every Single Morning // Recipe: HERE

Earth Day

Fail Free (homemade) Ready To Bake Cookies // Recipe: HERE

Earth Day

What do you think?  Anyone else have any obsessive ways to ditch trash/recycle build up?

I’m not a huge climate change advocate but it does break my heart to see what mother earth is going through, especially with some of our wasteful decisions – so I try my best to do little things that will hopefully make a difference. Creating less trash sounds like a good start.

Let me know your thoughts!

Have a great weekend & be thoughtful

Xx


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Food

5 Uncommon Ingredients For Your Kitchen: Middle East Inspired

Did You Know? Most of us are used to eating popcorn at the movie theater, but in parts of Columbia they snack on Ants.  “Known in Spanish as ‘hormigas culonas,’ the brown, cockroach-size insects are roasted, salted and eaten like peanuts. Considered a delicacy, they can fetch more than 10 times the price per pound of Colombia’s world-famous coffee.”

( v i a )

 


Piggybacking off the Veggie Curry recipe I want you all to make, I became inspired to start sharing uncommon ingredients you need to add to your kitchen cabinets.  One reason I love cooking so much is learning about new ingredients & foods.   It’s like discovering lost treasure.

That’s also one of the best parts I’ve discovered from living abroad, all the new found flavors AND being able to show off favorites from home.

I used to be afraid of recipes that had ingredients I didn’t use or have in my kitchen.  I thought it took too much energy to find them & the unknown price & flavors… But over time & the use of bravery, I’ve stalked my kitchen with all kinds of interesting ingredients & end up using them more than I expected.

I want to help you become familiar with a few of them & encourage you to explore flavors for yourself.  You’ll be so popular & feel really cool.  Today, I’m sharing 5 ingredients, but I plan to share more later.   YUM! I’m hungry.

5-Interesting-Ingredients

5 Uncommon Ingredients for your Kitchen! Mid-East Inspired 

1. Turmeric:

Commonly used in Curry!  Delicious! You can buy fresh turmeric in the grocery store near ginger, those two look similar, or turmeric ground up into a spice.  Turmeric is not scary, unless you make Turmeric Milk, I still have nightmares from this experience.

Right now, Turmeric is the popular girl at school.  Bloggers & healthy people figured out the benefits of turmeric & now it’s all the rage, for good reason.  Benefits can: reduce bloating, heartburn, high cholesterol, headaches, swelling, water retention, inflammation, skin issues, and the list goes on.  (via)

So, Pinterest a yummy Curry recipe, like this one, and give Turmeric a try!  (I really need to get a Curry recipe on MissBassmaster soon…)

2. Cumin: 

How the hell someone does not have a large tub of the cumin spice at home I have no idea… I dump Cumin in everything!  Hummus, spaghetti, Chili, Curry, casseroles, seasoning – I mean everything.  By the way, I’ve watched plenty of Curry & Biryani dishes being made & let me tell you it’s pretty cute how American’s measure out a precious teaspoon of their spices to add in a dish – Arab’s dump them in! I’ve witnessed it & have applied the same strategy when cooking.  With some spices it works against me (*cough* cayenne pepper) but with Cumin, dumping works!  I prefer ground cumin more than the seeds, but to each their own.

3. Cardamom:

Have you ever wanted to know how Arab’s cook the rice they accompany to all their lunches?  Cardamom. They throw a few cardamom pods, & a clove or two, in their rice cooker while the rice is cooking.   This is a staple way to prepare your basmati white rice. Or really any basmati rice dish.  And how easy is that?  Wafiq and I grab a cardamom pod + a clove and toss them in our rice cooker.  Adds the perfect amount of very light flavor to really make you feel like a pro in the kitchen.  Hello, Chef!

Cardamom is known as an expensive spice, but don’t let that scare you.  A little goes a long way & it’s still not that expensive for a good spice. You can find it near the spices at the grocery store.  The bonus? Believed benefits include: mood-elevating properties, aromatherapy, antidepressant, improved blood circulation, cancer protection, treatment for sore throats, congestion, stomach & lung issues… the list is long! (via)

4. Tahini:

Do you have Peanut Butter?  Yes?  Then Tahini shouldn’t scare you away.  It’s basically a different kind of peanut butter but instead of peanuts, Tahini is made from sesame seeds.  You can find it next to Peanut Butter in the grocery store & likely only a dollar or two more than peanut butter.  Most commonly known as an ingredient used in Hummus, which is why I always have a jar in my kitchen. Wafiq’s mom chops dates & drizzles a little Tahini over them for an evening snack… SO GOOD.  (Hummus Recipe: HERE)

5. Saffron:

This is probably the most intimidating ingredient on my list simply because it’s pretty expensive for such a little amount.  And what the hell do you do with it, right?  Saffron is a little tricky to find, usually found near the spices in a little jar. Most rice dishes that are yellow coloring have Saffron in them, unless it’s Turmeric as a substitute.  I’ve only used Saffron in Biryani recipes, like this one.  You can throw in a very little amount, only a very small strand, and the dish will turn yellow as mixed.  You can also mix the saffron in a liquid (we used milk) before you add it to a dish.

Saffron is still tricky for me, but worth a try!!  I don’t always have Saffron in my kitchen, but from time to time I’ll get my hands on some & Wafiq thanks me 🙂


I hope you’re excited to get to the grocery store (OR you’ve already ordered them on your Amazon app, HA)!

These flavors are currently waiting for a tasting so give them a try! Most are super easy to incorporate into any meal & you can only begin exploring new meals from there.

Anyone have new ingredients to share?  I’m ALWAYS looking 🙂

Have a great day today & be thoughtful.

Xx


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Food

Not Your Average Weeknight: One-Pan Wild Rice & Kale Dinner

Did You Know?  When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight ( v i a )


Hello hello!

 Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

I have tons of wild rice in my kitchen from Minnesota & I’ve been meaning to find new recipes to cook with it.    I’m used to eating Basmati rice because Wafiq requires it with majority of the meals he eats.  What is a meal without rice people!?

 Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

BUT we both agree that eating the same thing, or even the same ingredients, over and over gets boring.  I start eating outside the house when my kitchen hits a dry spell.  I prefer the cooking process because it’s totally therapeutic but I’m always looking for ways to mix it up!  I get bored VERY easily.

I made the recipe below 3 days in a row – totally different than what I’m used to cooking & I couldn’t get enough.  I had little faith the dish would turn out as I was throwing in the ingredients, and I’m not a huge kale fan, but to my surprise it worked perfectly.  And it was super easy, quick, and affordable.

YUM.

Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)


Ingredients:

1 Cup Uncooked Wild Rice

3 Cups Broth

Coconut Oil

1 Chicken Breast cut into bite size pieces, seasoned generously w/salt & pepper *see note

2 Tablespoons Cumin

¼ tsp Cayenne

3 Cups Kale, washed & torn into pieces

5 Cloves Garlic, diced (<< because, Garlic)

½ Cup Red Onion Chopped

1/2 C Parm Cheese

¼ C Pine Nuts

Parsley & Green Onions for garnish

Directions: Cook wild rice per instructions on packaging, use preferred broth instead of water.  Typically, wild rice cooks 1 cup rice per 3 Cups water/broth.  Wild rice takes longer to cook than regular rice so make sure you do this step before anything else.

When rice is ready, leave aside.  Heat deep skillet over med-high heat with 1 tsp coconut oil.  Once oil has melted and skillet is hot, add chicken & cook thoroughly.  Approx. 10 minutes, flipping pieces often.  When cooked, remove chicken & set aside.

In same saucepan you cooked the chicken, add 2 Tbls coconut oil, when melted, add garlic & onion.  Toss for approximately 3 minutes, until just beginning to turn translucent.  Then add, kale, cumin, cayenne & a dash of salt & pepper. Continue mixing for approximately 5 minutes or until kale has wilted.   Add the chicken and wild rice to the skillet, mix together well.  Remove pan from heat.  Mix in parm cheese.  Garnish with green onions & parsley.

Finally, and very importantly – in a small pan, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat.  When warm, add pine nuts constantly turning until toasted, approx. 1 min.  When toasted, sprinkle over wild rice dish.  Serve warm & enjoy!

**Note – You can skip meat, or use shrimp.  If you use shrimp, you don’t need to remove it before adding everything else.  Start shrimp a couple minutes before adding other ingredients.


Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

I’m hungry right now so these pictures have been murdering my soul (drama).    I was sick last week, as I think most people in Texas seemed to be, nothing a little Glinda’s Magic Salsa with extra garlic couldn’t fix.

I’m super happy to be bouncing around healthy again, ready to get after the world!  You know when you’re sick you feel like all life is over?  At least I do, I see the end.

Anyone have EASY & REAL dinner recipe links to share?  I’ve been eating out lately… womp womp

Have a great week & be thoughtful,

Xx

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October Monthly Favorites 2016 | MissBassmaster

October is O.V.E.R.  Time to get a few workouts in before the November thanksgiving meals come rolling through.  If you can keep a consistent workout routine in, you can make it through the holidays like nothing happened!  Stay moving & step away from the cookies!  (Yeah right, my fav food group is cookie… and I’m past the point of denial. )

 missbassmaster-october-favorites

October Favorites:

  1. L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation: Because I have such dry skin I’ve never pursued matte foundation.  I imagine the foundation getting in every dry skin crack & making my face look sucked of life.  However, I accidentally came across this foundation & have used almost the entire bottle already.  The finish is soft matte w a pretty full coverage & doesn’t squeeze in my wrinkles. I add highlight to a couple spots of my face if I’m still wanting the glow, otherwise matte it is!

  2. Tepezcohuite Cream: You already know!  I love this moisturizer, really.  It’s exactly what I was looking for. Something natural, that I can throw on my face as often as I please.  I still slab on large amounts of coconut oil or other face products here & there, but this is a perfect lightweight, non greasy option I always feel comfortable putting on my freshly washed face.  This product will have a place on my bathroom shelf for a long time.

  3. F21 Choker:  I bought this because I had a couple dollars left to spend on a gift card & I’ve been wearing this choker ever since!  Somehow it’s managing to go with every single wardrobe, including my pajamas.  LOL!  Although it’s super affordable, it hasn’t broken or became a dingy color – good find, had to share.

  4. Chelsea:  My new idol.  Before you turn away, I wasn’t a HUGE fan of her show Chelsea Lately on E!, so don’t disregard this favorite thinking I’m simply a fan of Chelsea anything.  This show is on Netflix & has a late night talk show feel to it, but different.  She tries to teach you shit.  Her interview questions go a step deeper than the typical “tell us about your movie”.  You have to give this show a try, at least 1 full episode!! I LOVE IT & it’s seriously inspired new blog directions to take next year.

  5. Ikea Paring Knives:  I can’t believe I haven’t spoken of these knives yet?!  They. Are. Amazing.  I can NOT stand being in the kitchen, trying to slice a fucking tomato, and it turns into a mashed tomato because no knife remains sharp enough to cut through it!  You’ve been there.  If you want to talk about a torturous cooking experience, bring in the dull knives!  From my deli department days I can also remind you that it’s dangerous to have these dull knives in the kitchen, makes room for accidents.  Some how these Ikea knives WORK.  They can cut through anything (including fingers), so be VERY careful.  I think they’re like $2!!!!!!!!


That’s it for October ladies and gentleman! Anyone have an favorites they’ll share w me?  Always looking!

Have a great week & be thoughtful!

Xx

other favorites:

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Amazon Beauty Fav: Tepezcohuite Cream

Did you know?  Customer service first – Amazon employees, including CEO Bezos, spend two days every two years working at the customer service desk. ( v i a )


Since discovering Amazon Prime I’ve been focused on finding the best of Amazon.  A friend of mine brags about never having to go to the store because she buys EVERYTHING off Amazon.  I’m no where near that, but it’s definitely goals.

She told me she buys all of her make up on Amazon, which…No.  Don’t believe.  Because how amazing would that be? Instead of torturing myself by going into the actual stores (not a huge fan).

tepez-cream-amazon-beauty

One of my favorite finds so far is the Natural Green Brand Tepezochuite Cream.  I’ve tried a lot of the “Top Beauty” products that Amazon offers & have honestly not been overly impressed (if you’re curious about those let me know).  But as far as what I have liked & will be reordering, this moisturizer is at the top of my list.

And unlike most face products, I actually know & can pronounce pretty much every single ingredient in this product – all the way to the bottom of the ingredient list.

The first 3 ingredients are: Distilled water, Grapseed Oil, and Rice Bran Oil.  I’ll take it!

Typically, the only product I feel confident using on my face is Coconut oil, as you may remember, but this moisturizer doesn’t cause weird reactions either, which is a pleasant surprise.

I’ve concluded oils are my thing, the more oil the better. Oui.

For the curious – I first heard about this product scrolling through Pinterest, apparently Salma Hayek made an entire skincare line because she didn’t see this popular Mexican ingredient used anywhere in American products.

“Tepezecohuite is a bark tree found in Southern Mexico that resembles a fern.  It was administered by the Mayan culture thousands of years ago to treat skin lesions such as burns, by grinding the bark up into a powder. In 1984, after a horrific gas explosion in Mexico City killed 500 and left more than 5000 with severe burns, the Red Cross treated the burn patients with tepezcohuite. It was so effective at healing their wounds and regenerating the skin that a year later, when an earthquake caused a series of explosions and fires, tepezcohuite was again used to treat victims.”  ( v i av i a : )

And a little goes a long way.  If you’re on the hunt for a natural, easy face product & prefer shopping Amazon – here you go!

What are your Amazon favorites?  Trying to find the best of the best 🙂

 

Have a great week & be extra thoughtful ~

 

Xx

Other beauty must have’s:

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My Best Friend – Garlic

My favorite topic of all time = GARLIC!

Garlic-As-Medicine

My most viewed post, hands down, is about the time I had shingles & used garlic as medicine.

I recently went back to read the post and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Painful! But also badass. I’m proud of myself.

For anyone who hasn’t read the post, about 2 years ago I diagnosed myself with shingles while I was living in Dubai. I think it was due to stress? I’m not exactly sure why or how I got them but I know I was pretty stressed at the time, which I read can weaken your immune system.

I didn’t have insurance so I had to do a little investigating of my own to find a solution because GOOD LORD THAT WAS THE WORST PAIN EVER!!! EVER.

I scrolled all day through Pinterest & Google, tried a couple different medicines from the pharmacy, and finally landed on an article that mentioned: Garlic. It’s those articles at the bottom of the search pages that always catch my eye when I’m looking for home remedies. They’re not paid for, they’re not trendy, and they’re the most likely to be tried & true.

I put 1 huge BULB of garlic in juice 2x a day. Maybe 3x the first day. And drank it. Yes, I was super nauseous. Yes, it was disgusting. BUT I kid you not, my shingles dried up SIGNIFICANTLY the next day. No more fresh blisters, no more zinging nerve pain.

I think I cried.

And, (knock on wood) I haven’t had shingles since then.

Here’s the deal with garlic ( v i a / v i a ):

  • 3 cloves of garlic have the same antibacterial activity as a standard dose of penicillin

  • Anti-Viral + Anti -Bacterial + Anti-fungal = Need I say more?

  • Boosts immune system, manages blood pressure, heart health, cancer prevention, aids in digestion – the list goes on.

  • Eating garlic regularly is not only good for us; it has been linked to reversing the 4 major causes of death worldwide including heart disease, stroke, cancer and infections

Garlic-As-Medicine

Guys. I’m in love with Garlic. A passionate love. After seeing how incredible garlic was for my shingles, I’ve been eating it every day since and obsess over it.

I add it to EVERY SINGLE MEAL: Salad, pasta, chicken, fish, tacos, stir fry, eggs, salsa, curry, literally every meal – I add garlic. And a lot of it. Several CLOVES.

Quick story… everyone thought I was coo-coo with my garlic obsession.  Luckily, Wafiq needed emergency surgery in New York. Ok, not luckily, BUT I saw an opportunity. I was going to see if garlic would heal his wounds quickly. Honestly, to prove to myself that garlic was actually a miracle medicine.

When we got to Austin I had Wafiq eat almost 2 BULBS of FRESH, chopped garlic. (He put it on rice with Chicken.) Before we went to bed he jokingly said (as one of his wounds was protruding and bruised, almost bleeding): “Imagine I wake up in the morning and my cuts are healed”. This is after 3 days of dealing w/nasty incision marks.

Well well well Mr. Wakiki look what happened in the morning.

I’m not lying, those damn cuts were sealed up & looking healthy as ever! Right away we both regretted not taking a before and after pictures.

Garlic-As-Medicine

I can’t praise garlic enough. I talk about it all the time to my friends, I keep pictures of big ass garlic cloves that I find on my phone, and I like to leave bulbs on the kitchen counter so I can stare at them. Garlic is the reason I believe food is more powerful than we know & makes me want to raid the internet all day for other secrets.

I am NOT a doctor, or even close to it. You should definitely go to the doctor if you have an injury, or rash, especially one that appears to be shingles!

But if I can eat a ton of something & see such amazing benefits than it’s worth sharing.

If you haven’t met garlic yet, please set a date. Get to know each other & be ready to fall in love like I have.

 

Who has other good secrets?

 

Xx

+ See original post: here
+ See garlic salsa: here

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How Coconut Oil Saved Me From Hormonal Acne

My life w/coconut oil.

 Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne

I know there’s lists of 101 ways to use coconut oil, and I doubt very few of them, but there’s ONE thing I use coconut oil for that makes me a believer – face moisturizer for chin acne!

I’ll be the first to say I have major jealousy issues w/girls who have smooth, oily, acne & wrinkle free skin. I doubt I came out the womb w/that type of skin.

One major problem for me has always been acne. In high school = baaaaaaaaaaaad.  I managed to get rid of the acne for awhile in college, while I was taking birth control pills.

Then, I quit taking birth control pills & noticed (how could I miss them) nasty zits on my chin area… & they would NOT go away.

I wasn’t getting acne anywhere else. Just my chin.

I went to the dermatologist and she gave me some crap that was more placebo than anything – didn’t do shit.

I did my own research and tried face masks, methods, ideas, and strategies. BUT NOPE, NASTY LITTLE ZITS KEPT POPPING UP! UGH!

 Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne

I finally came to the conclusion that the zits would forever be at home on my chin. Hormonal acne that would never go away. AT LEAST it wasn’t ­­my whole face.

UNTIL.

The time I started experimenting with coconut oil.

I was trying to see how awesome coconut oil was after arriving back in the states and hearing all the rave reviews. I started using coconut oil as shaving cream, tried oil pulling & hair masks. All impressive.

THEN I tried coconut oil as a body moisturizer…. And, to be honest, liked the little shine it gave my freshly spray tanned legs. So there’s that.

And one day thought: my face is as dry as the planet mars, lets throw some coconut oil on it.

I slathered it straight from the jar onto my face before bed & felt amazing. When I woke up my face was super moisturized and that’s what mattered to me. I started doing this every night… for months.

And my chin acne started going away.

Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne(5)

I didn’t even realllllllllllly believe it was from the coconut oil (I thought my hormones just took a turn for the better), UNTIL my trip from hell in New York.

I forgot coconut oil & brought regular face moisturizer.

WOW. My chin had a hay day.

I got back to Austin and my chin was back to it’s worst! FULL ACNE!

I immediately washed my face and SLATHERED coconut oil all over it. The next day my chin felt significantly better & every day after that my chin got better and better.

It was then that I realized coconut oil was fixing my acne.

 Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne

I also noticed when I would use certain face masks it would make me break out, so now I keep the masks away from my chin – coconut oil only!

I’ve been doing this for about 7 months & STILL get nervous when I slather oil on my face – thinking I’ll definitely break out in the morning. (Adding oil to acne?!)   But every morning I wake up with a happy chin.

Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne

This is what I learned after researching it a bit:

Coconut Oil is anti-inflammatory + anti-bacterial and contains Vitamins E, K and A. ( v i a / v i a )

Which is why I notice any acne I do have reduces in size & swelling so quickly + keeps acne away. Poof!

SO if anyone is struggling w/acne, especially chin or hormonal acne & has dry skin – give coconut oil a try! It sounds crazy & will feel weird but who would’ve thought something so simple could help me so much!?!

I use it all over my face every single night (I even travel w/little packets like this now so I never go a day without) & sometimes use it in the morning if I’m not wearing makeup or don’t mind a shiny face.

I’ve also read some people mix in tree oil? Haven’t tried that yet, but definitely will.

Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne(5)

YAY! I’m excited to share this, hoping it’ll help someone.  Having your face look different than you feel is frustrating.

Let me know if you give it a try (or have any other ideas)!

I’m off to explore San Antonio, took a little getaway South this week & the only thing missing is my Bernice – I’ll post San Antonio pictures soon, for now catch them on Instagram.

Have a positive rest of the week!

 

Xx

 

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Unknown Ingredient Challenge: Kelp Noodles

One of my favorite places in the world is –> THE GROCERY STORE!!!!!!!!

 Secret-Ingredient-Kelp-Noodle(4)

There are so many interesting ingredients in there, how do you not spend 3 hours inside each time you have to pick up eggs?! (<– Wafiq hates me)

I’m always down to try new foods.

Some ingredients I’ve happily added to my diet that I didn’t previously understand:  Amino Liquids, Dates, lentils, tahini, sesame seed oil, fresh ginger, saffron…

So, last weekend Wafiq & I decided to walk into the grocery store, pick something out that we haven’t seen before, and cook it!    (I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.)

Our target was to find a main ingredient.

We landed on: KELP NOODLES

There were only 2 packages left, we considered that a good sign & went for it.  Since I didn’t know what Kelp was, much less how to cook it, I checked the back of the package for a recipe and felt confident in my findings.

Secret-Ingredient-Kelp-Noodle(6)

Kelp Noodle Chicken Stir Fry w/ a MBM Twist

1 Package Kelp Noodles

1/2 C. diced chicken

1/2 C. sliced onion

3 Tbls Coconut Oil

1/2 C. Broccoli

1 Red Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced

4+ Garlic Cloves Minced

2 tsp. Liquid Amino’s

2 tsp.  Sesame Seed Oil

Salt & Pepper

Sesame Seeds (sprinkle on top of finished dish)

Lime wedges

Directions: Saute garlic in coconut oil. Add chicken & veggies. Saute until chicken is cooked.  Then add Kelp Noodles, Amino Liquids & sesame seed oil.  Stir until noodles soften, add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with (tons) of lime juice and sprinkled w/sesame seeds. (YUMMMM!)

Secret-Ingredient-Kelp-Noodle(6)

Kelp noodles for the win!  This recipe was DELICIOUS!

I was a bit scared at first because the noodles looked like octopus legs or a slimy worm?  (CLEAR?!)  But it wasn’t slimy… and it wasn’t a worm.

Kelp Noodles have a little crunch which made them a fantastic alternative to regular noodles or rice in a stir fry.  They absolutely taste nothing like seaweed, they barely have a taste, and they are not sticky!

Ok, so of course I hit up Google Search (aka: Pinterest) to see what I was eating.

First, Kelp is a sea vegetable. Meaning, it’s seaweed.

{I thought this would freak Wafiq out, but it didn’t.  I think because the meal tasted so good.}

This is what I learned:  ( v i a / v i a )  

  •  Mostly used in Korean dishes

  • Contains NO fat, cholesterol, protein or sugar & they’re gluten free

  • Can arguably be considered RAW, depending on how they’re prepared

  • Contains calcium & iron

  • Like most seafood, Kelp noodles contains Iodine which helps with thyroid & metabolism function!

For a completely random find I’m overly impressed!  And the best part, you can buy them on Amazon &&& it’s Prime.  Hello Kelp Noodles!  [I was reading a lot of people are having trouble finding them in their local stores, so per usual – Amazon to the rescue.]

++++ they’re super affordable.

Done & Done!

 Secret-Ingredient-Kelp-Noodle(6)

Not only did I love how easy this particular package was to throw into a stir fry + their nutritional bonuses (goodbye carb filled noodles & rice), I’m also excited to incorporate seaweed into my diet for the iodine benefits.  I’ve been reading the benefits of Iodine & many people don’t get enough —

I’m anxious to continue my relationship with Kelp Noodles.

(I’ll do a little update w/some other uses & benefits after we hit 3rd base together.)

 Secret-Ingredient-Kelp-Noodle(6)

YAY! This was such a fun time & I definitely want to do the mystery grocery ingredient again soon.  I feel like it was an activity that mixed up routine, changed the menu, & assisted in learning about a new ingredient + it’s benefits.

TRY THIS!  Spend a hot summer Saturday w/a new ingredient and let me know how it goes!

OR let me know your uncommon ingredients that I can try next time 🙂

 Secret-Ingredient-Kelp-Noodle(6)

I hope you’re all making it through the week!

I’m pretty sleepy this week, I think the workouts & steamy weather has been knocking me down.  But who doesn’t love a good nights rest?!

Can’t complain!

Stay happy!!!

Xx

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Food

For Your Summer Cocktail List – Raspberry Retreat

I was invited to a Barre class a couple weeks ago with a mixer afterwards featuring Bailey’s newest liquor: Bailey’s Almande.

Barre at the Bar.

Baileys-Almande-Raspberry-Drink

I’ve never tried Barre before.

{Dammmmnnnnnnnn ladies – NOT a joke.}

I don’t know if the instructor was trying to be mean?  She looked super cute & nice in the beginning, so the torture was unexpected.  I was fighting for my life. Has anyone tried Barre?  Round of applause to you regulars.

I felt like I had pinched butt cheeks for an entire DAY afterwards.  Like a piercing, cinched tight, nail in both my ass cheeks style – pinch.

If you haven’t tried Barre before, you totally need to check it out.  Such a different routine from your every day workouts. & it will give you a fantastic ass.

Baileys-Almande-Raspberry-Drink

On to the real topic of conversation here:  Alcohol. & Bailey’s Almande.

Bailey’s Almande is an Almondmilk Liqueur made with real almondmilk + it’s dairy free & gluten free.

{The bottle is so pretty I didn’t want to drink it.  But in a constant effort to resist my hoarding tendencies, I cracked it open.}

I used the entire bottle to mimic one of the drinks they sampled for us –>  Raspberry Retreat.  OMG. OMG.

Baileys-Almande-Raspberry-Drink

Raspberry Retreat

Created by Mixologist Alexis Piotrowski

Ingredients:

2 oz Baileys Almande

4 oz Vita Coco

1/4 cup Fresh Raspberries

3/4 oz Agave Nectar

1 cup Ice

Preparation:

1. Combine Baileys Almande, Vita Coco, fresh raspberries, agave nectar and ice into a blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour contents into a highball glass.

Ideal Serving Glass:

Highball Glass

Yield:

1 drink, no drink contains more than 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol

Baileys-Almande-Raspberry-Drink

One time, I even added a scoop of plain greek yogurt in the blender & I swear it made for a perfect breakfast!  (LOL!  Who doesn’t want a little kick with your morning oatmeal? )

Also, this particular cocktail made me real excited because they used coconut water, which I hear helps cure a hangover?!

Apparently, coconut water contains high levels of potassium & other electrolytes which you lose rapidly when drinking… In other words, you’ll feel better when those electrolytes get replenished.  

I’m thinking – drinking coconut water WHILE consuming beverages has to help beat a hangover all together?!

Baileys-Almande-Raspberry-Drink

Right now, you can find Baileys Almande in Austin, California, and Denver.  Unfortunately – no where else (which is why I procrastinated this post for so long 🙁  ).

BUT I’m hopeful it’ll spread the country soon!  Why not right?!

In the meantime, come visit me in Austin, TX & I’ll whip you up an afternoon smoothie!

What’s your go to summer cocktail guys?

I’ve been stuck on Classic Margarita’s & Raspberry Retreat’s, anything that’s not too sugary & I’m open to trying it!

Staying inside, with some yummy summer cocktails is about all you can do with this Sahara weather happening outside…

Happy Friday!!

 

Xx

 

 

+ Not sponsored, just love the delicious drink & wanted to share

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Food, Thoughts

My Dumb Idea To Try The Master Cleanse

I’ve run out of things to talk about.

Which is why I’m going to tell you about my stupid idea to do the Master Cleanse.

Being in Dubai I’ve eaten SO much terrible food! In my opinion, terrible means non-organic, super processed, deep-fried, grease machine foods.  That’s been my diet. As hard as I try it not to be.

Mostly because the food options here are limited. In Austin, I think most people are eating an organic/healthy diet without even trying.  The organic grocery stores, restaurants, even fast food (shout out to P-Terry’s), tends to be easily accessible and affordable.

Dubai is most positively no where near the organic food train.

Anyways, since the day I came to Dubai it’s been one of my major frustrations.  I want to eat healthy. I feel better about myself, inside and out.  Now that I’ve learned about the grocery stores that have little sections in the back corners with organic food, I decided I’m going to do my best to eat as healthy as I can.  But I needed something to clear the old stuff out and prepare my belly for the new  improved food.

That’s where my dumb idea for the Master Cleanse comes into effect.

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I’ve wanted to do a detox/cleanse type thing for a long time.  Not for any reason other than the fact that if indeed a detox did work, how neat would that be.  I looked at Juice Cleanses but they felt too complicating. And the chances of me finding all the juice ingredients I needed was very unlikely.  So I started reading about the Master Cleanse. I’m not going to lie to anyone here, this idea originated from that hot mom on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Yolanda.  I mean, she can validate that the Master Cleanse is a good idea right?

I have to drink 6-10 glasses of lemonade made of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup for 10 days…

Did you read that right??  10 DAYS!!!!

(What the hell was I thinking?!?!)

I have a “Smooth Move” tea at night and a “salt water flush” in the morning. (I’ll spare you the details of why)

And that’s it. For 10 days.

I’m on day 4.  Barely.

On day 1 I wanted to die. I thought that might be a better option than fighting to survive. The headache alone nearly made my head fall off.  I thought there’s no way I’m doing this for 2 whole days, much less 10! This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever had! And who would ever do this?! They’re liars!

On day 2 I was delusional. I almost passed out in the shower in the morning and couldn’t stop laughing in afternoon.

On day 3 I felt sad.  I wanted to eat. At this point I wasn’t starving but I was realizing how important food is in life. Eating with friends, having popcorn at the movies, eating dinner with the family, morning coffee with coworkers. I felt I was missing out. I felt depressed.

On day 4. Today.  I feel surprised. I can’t believe I made it this long.  I was telling Wafiq on the way to work today that I might actually make it. Maybe I can do it. Still doubtful, but it’s possible.  And with a very serious laugh he responded, “You’ve lived 3 days now without actual food and you’re not dead so yeah you probably can make it”.  As if “making it” in his head meant not dying.

So tomorrow I’m on day 5.  I think that means by the time I sleep tomorrow I’m more than halfway done?  I can’t promise I’m going to make it all the way to day 10. I want to.  It will seriously be one of the largest achievements of my life, good Lord.  But I also might need to eat a baked potato on the way home from work today. Who knows!

Xx

Read the conclusion: HERE

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