5 Recipes I am Dying to Try.

I love to cook. When I was 16, I tore my ACL and LCL playing basketball and was sidelined indefinitely. To pass the newly acquired time I had on my hands, I picked up cooking. Getting in the kitchen and experimenting with herbs, meats, veggies, and spices is something I enjoy immensely. I find it incredibly therapeutic. Granted I haven’t really been in the cooking spirit as of late, I have plans to change that soon!

I stumbled upon Forksoverknives and am obsessed with their recipes. I highly recommend checking out their site. They advocate for having a plant-based diet to help with many illnesses like heart disease. Though I really dig what they’re about, I don’t think I can give up meat forever (sorry cows, chickens, etc. you’re just too damn yummy). That said, I do want to incorporate more plant-based dishes into my repertoire.

Also,  I’ve finally checked out my Pinterest (there were cobwebs from all the inactivity) and have spotted some really tasty recipes that I can’t wait to test out in the kitchen. So without further ado, here are 5 things I’ve found on the interwebs that I’m going to try and whip up.

1. Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini 

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2. Roasted Garlic & Herb Mushroom Medley Recipe

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3. Caramelized Onion & Pepper Quesadillas

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4. Honey Ginger Roasted Carrots

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5. Balsamic Glazed Porter House Steaks with Black Olives & Mustard Tapenade

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Ok, just writing about this stuff is making me incredibly hungry! So these are a few of the things I am going to try. Hopefully if I don’t make too much of a mess of things, I’ll share with you guys how it all turns out. In the the spirit of the first day of fall, what are some of your go-to recipes? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Getting Colorful in the Kitchen

After having the best vegan wrap in the world a few days ago (Fresh Mama in Vegas, check them out!), today I made it my mission to try and create my own at home. I used 2 collard green leaves, yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, 1 tbs of mediterranean humus, and a bit of pico de gallo. It was very simple and not too time consuming. I must confess my “julienning” skills leave a lot to be desired. In fact I cut my finger in the process. Sharp objects should never be in my vicinity. I even commissioned the help of my niece and nephew (6&7) who were surprisingly excited about our little culinary adventure. In my opinion they turned out quite well! After it was prepared and all was said and done, it turns out the kiddos just liked “helping” and weren’t terribly thrilled with the outcome. They love their veggies and fruits, but I don’t think they’re ready to go all in just yet. Oh well, more for me. :-). Also any recipes would be greatly appreciated!

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-Cooking with the rainbow

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-Mediterranean humus is quite good

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-Getting ready to wrap

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-And that’s a wrap!

 

5 Reasons Why I Love my Up24 Band

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A week ago I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Up24 fitness band by Jawbone. In short, it tracks how many steps you take, what you eat, and how long you sleep. I have used it for a full 7 days and I have to say, I absolutely love it, and here’s why:

1. It does most of the heavy lifting.

As someone who isn’t the best of keeping track of things, the Up24 monitors, records and analyzes my sleep, motion, and eating with little to no effort on my part. Its bluetooth capability allows for it to sync up my activity with the app on my iPhone 5s. To go into sleep mode I simply push the button on the band until the moon shows up, and when I wake up, I just switch it back. What’s even more awesome is that if I forget to put it into sleep mode, I can manually input the data in the app on my phone, no harm no foul. Every time I move, the Up24 logs it. It also calculates the calories you burn while at rest in conjunction with the calories you burn from movement. The only real “work” (besides exercise)  on my part is logging my eating habits, which brings me to my next reason.

2. Up24 syncs with other fitness apps

I use apps, Myfitnesspal and RunKeeper, so I was pleasantly surprised that Up24 syncs with multiple fitness apps. It takes my eating and workout data from the apps and syncs it with the Up24 app. For example, if I enter my lunch in Myfitnesspal, Up24 will add that to its app and calculate the data, that way I don’t have to repeat the steps, so it’s quite handy.

3. The Design

The Up24 does not take up as much wrist real-estate as other fitness bands, which is convenient. It looks more like a bracelet and isn’t an eyesore. It’s also simple to use. There’s one single button at one end which is used for a stopwatch or to switch back and forth from sleep to awake mode. The other end is the 2.5 mm plug used to charge the device. The Up24 lasts about 7 days and it only took me about 2 hours for it to fully charge. For me that’s incredibly convenient.

4. It makes being healthy fun

Since tracking my physical activity, I became aware of how important it is to remain active. They say it’s a good rule of thumb to walk 10,000 steps a day. Before, was I probably doing 7,500 or so. Now I’m between 11,000-13,000 a day and it wasn’t hard to make the change at all! In addition of tracking the data, it also marks your progress and gives you an “atta-girl” from time to time. I totally love this, I mean who doesn’t like positive reinforcement? Also I’ve been more conscious about my food habits. Not only does it count the calories, it gives you the breakdown of what you’re eating; I.E. carbs, protein, fiber, etc. I’ve literally switched up how I eat because I realized how many empty calories I’d been eating. Also, I make it a point to get at least 7 hours of sleep. On average I’d say I was getting 4-5.5 and the change has helped me significantly.

5. It’s changed my attitude toward eating healthy and exercising regularly

I’ve always found both topics to be rather tedious and time consuming. How important is it to be healthy and active anyways? Turns out it’s quite important. Being healthy is not only good for you physically but also mentally. This last week, I’ve been happier, less anxious, and my cognitive functionality has drastically improved. Did you know that eating junk religiously can make you forgetful and not focus? I didn’t until recently, and after eating “clean” for a week, I can truly notice the difference. I’m also more productive as well. I don’t see working out as a chore anymore either. Also I’ve made a more conscious effort to find healthier options while eating out with friends. Yesterday I found a phenomenal vegan store that sold the best wraps I’ve ever had, and the price was not bad at all!

So, I’m no fitness guru nor am I aspiring to be one, though I must admit since purchasing Up24, I’ve been more active than I have in quite some time and eating healthy is fun and not annoying as I had once thought. It is a bit pricey ($149) So I wouldn’t recommend getting one if you’re not going to utilize it, unless you’ve got money to burn :-). All in all, it’s a great product, and I’m happy to have it.