A Foodies Tour: Wilmington, North Carolina

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Last weekend I spent a WONDERFUL weekend in the beautiful town of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. My best friend Casey is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a visit was long overdue! Casey is lucky enough to go to a beautiful school, surrounded by amazing places for food & drink, and not to mention, the beach! I thought it’d be fun to document as much of the food as possible! As many of you know, I’ve been trying to diet, but this was one trip I was willing to splurge for! Our friend, Jenna, goes to school at High Point University, so she came a long for the trip as well! Not only do the three of us love each other, but we love food. Casey, Jenna and I also have a love for natural foods. Farm to table restaurants are a favorite of ours. We love finding delicious restaurants where we know the food they are serving us are natural, organic, whole foods! Though we all love to splurge on lifes greatest temptations, like tequila shots and pizza, we are great at finding a balance between health and fun. Before I send you on this tour, I’d like to thank Casey for an AMAZING trip in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. No wonder she never comes home to Maryland during breaks, I’d go back in a heart beat!

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Okay, I know what you guys are thinking. This looks disgusting… I know. I thought I’d include my last Tupperware meal before my flight to Wilmington. This was tuna with mustard and rice cakes. I love this meal, sue me.  After four hours of traveling, between two flights and layovers, I arrived in Wilmington starving! Luckily, Casey was also ready to smash some food, we chose sushi, white girl problems.

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A staple at any sushi restaurant is the Edamame. Extra salty, or no salt at all, edamame is delicious! I do have to say, the salt helps 🙂

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And welcome to sushi heaven. I thought I’ve enjoyed sushi before, but these rolls surpassed all expectations. I had to double up on Gluten & Dairy digestive enzymes, but luckily they provide Gluten Free Soy Sauce for rolls. No surprise here, Casey and I finished all three rolls. This usually isn’t such a challenge but these rolls were huge.

King Kong Roll

Red Snapper and Avocado Cooked Tempura Style, Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Scallion, Masago and Special Sauce

Ninja Roll

Tuna, Salmon & Avocado Topped with Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Orange Sauce & Eel Sauce

Hurricane Roll

CA Tempura Roll Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallion and Eel Sauce

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Epic Food Co. 

Epic Food Co. serves up a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menu. They serve flavorful dishes to fit your dietary needs, as there are many gluten free and vegan options. They have perfect portion sizes, and you leave feeling satisfied, not stuffed! There are many great things on the menu, a long with an option to make it “Your Way”. Casey and I chose to make our own fresh bowl!

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Caseys bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Sprouts, Spinach, epic PICO, and veggie sauté. Casey chose the Avocado Chile Lime dressing as her sauce, on the side.

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My bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Spinach, epic PICO, basil, and veggie sautĂ©. I followed in Casey’s foot steps and got the Avocado Chile Lime dressing, on the side.

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Casey and I both got ourselves a side of freshly homemade sweet potato chips! I can’t explain how delicious these were, you’ll have to try them out for yourself.

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Epic does a great job in guaranteeing fresh ingredients and great service. They also include the nutritional values on the Epic menu, or the menu that is already created for you if you don’t choose to make it Your Way. The food tasted fresh and healthy, it was a delicious meal without the splurge! And well deserved after Casey and I hit the gym right before this meal 🙂

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After touring Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach for a bit, it was time to make dinner! We spent the day checking out local markets and picking up delicious ingredients for our homemade dinner we were planning that night! We picked up most of our ingredients at Trader Joes. Not to mention, my new favorite sparkling white wine! (I totally forget what it’s called, I’ll have to stalk Trader Joes next time)

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We made 1 pound of Gluten Free Brown Rice pasta!

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Mixed with 1 pound of White Ground Turkey meat! Seasoned with oregano, garlic, minced onion, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper!

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While that was cooking, we made a small antipasta to hold us over. I live for antipasta. Olives, salami, pepperoni, capicola. All that’s missing is cheese and crackers! Man, I miss mozzarella. #DairyFreeProblems

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Our pasta dish was amazing! The sauce we used was a Basil Marinara from Trader Joes. We had enough to hold us over, and then it was time to hit the town!

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Casey took us out to the beach bars for some drinks and yes, there was dancing! This lucky girl lives right near the beach, just over the bridge and down two blocks!

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We spent Saturday a little tired & drowsy, but we made it to the beach. It was a beautiful day, just not nice enough for bathing suits! After a long day of walking, beaching, and mostly napping, it was time to celebrate National Margarita Day! Casey works at On The Border and they were having $1 Margaritas! We started with happy hour there. Guacamole live was a necessity! We finished the night at Tower 7, Casey’s favorite place for Mexican food & Margaritas! I got the steak fajitas. We all cleared our plates and were home by 9 for a much needed nights sleep!

The Basics

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On Sunday, Jenna headed back to High Point University after a delicious brunch at The Basics. The Basics is in downtown Wilmington, which is an adorable and quant part of Wilmington! Casey got the Quiche special, which looked delicious!

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I got the Carolina Cobb Salad, without blue cheese. I saw someone eating this when I walked in and it looked so fresh so I had to get it!

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Jenna got the Spinach Feta Grill. I was so jealous! This meal was a thick cut toasted baguette with poached eggs, creamy spinach, artichoke and feta. Biscuit on the side, of course!

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We spent the next few hours at Port City Java, where scenes from We Are the Millers was filmed! Jenna left us to do homework. I, unfortunately, had a paper to write, and Casey had some exams to study for. After our homework was finished, we went on a run and got ready to go to the airport for my 5 o’clock flight back to Ohio!

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The struggle is usually so real at places like airports for people with “dietary needs” like me. Luckily, Wilmington had a local eatery right in it’s airport! The women who helped me explained where their meat was from, and that it had no fillers! I got a burger with onions and mushrooms over lettuce. I covered that thing in ketchup, as if we’re surprised.

I hope you enjoyed my food review on Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina! Stay tuned for a Foodies Tour of New York City after my trip this weekend!

Yours Truly,

Stef

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How to be a Weekend Warrior

We are all guilty of “living for the weekend”. You work hard all week, whether it be in school, work, or exercise, so that you can enjoy your weekend of rest. Though I’m sure we all have our own versions of “rest”. You hear it all the time, “I’m gonna go so hard in the gym all week so that come Thursday I can just get trashed etc for the rest of the weekend”. Oh… you don’t here that? Well, I do. I’m a senior at Ohio University and I am surrounded by all of the greatest temptations. Bars, local eateries, great friends, and “weekends” that can very easily start on Monday. There is nothing wrong with a little fun, but sometimes it is very easy to allow your priorities to slip on the weekends. This post is for the weekenders with goals.

So I’m sitting here, a little hungover, and I’m trying to think of something I can promise myself to do to make my weekends fun and productive at the same time. I used to always be the girl to workout on the weekends but lately I’ve been feeling 21 going on 60. One night of drinks and my body aches. (Is it ignorant of me to think that I’m getting old?) This is most likely because the binge drinking that goes on in college is 100% unhealthy, ridiculous, out of hand, and very fun. After almost four years of this, it is in fact getting very old. “I’m so over it” as the white girls say. It is quite a “coming of age” experience to realize that I in fact don’t have to go out on both Friday and Saturday night, and that my weekends don’t have to start on Thursday. Once I realized this, I felt healthier.

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Not only have I been trying to make my weekends productive, I’ve been trying to make them healthier, and here are a few ways to do so:

1. Have a night in. If you don’t want to go out, you can say no. You can sit and watch Netflix and do tabata abs until you see stars (real life experience from a Saturday night of mine). Find a friend to watch a movie with, or better yet GO to the movies you rebel, you. If you can’t find a friend that will hang out with you soberly, you are choosing the wrong friends. Don’t be afraid to stay in. A night alone allows you to clear you mind, rest, and think about your goals. People are so afraid of being alone. Your relationship with yourself is most important, so I’d start making it a priority.

2. Drinks. If you are trying to lose weight, you can still go out. Have one drink, depending on how strict you are being, or have no drink at all. Order a water with lemon and surely no one will notice. They look almost identical to gin and tonics. Water with lemon/lime is the way to go if you are nonchalantly trying to stay sober and sneak out once everyone gets too drunk to notice where you went. If you are trying to generally clean up your drinking habits, I’d say stay away from beer. I started bringing crystal lite packets to bars with me and ordering gin and water. Gin, because I can’t have vodka. Crystal lite, because otherwise, ew. Gin or Vodka tonics are also a lighter choice. Rumor has it rum is pure sugar so, I nixed that as my drink of choice for the time being. Yes, ciders are Gluten Free but are in no way a healthier choice. They have double the calories as beer and a lot of sugar and carbs.

3. Hangovers. Sleeping is the number one way to rid your hangover. More ways I prevent hangover is one, staying hydrated. Water is your best friend. If you know you’re going out that night, it is very important to stay hydrated throughout the day. (It’s really important to stay hydrated, anyway) Also, have a water with your beverages, or in between beverages. You will not regret this decision. It makes a hangover a hell of a lot more tolerable. Two, chugging a water bottle before I go to bed. Three, chugging 1000 mg of vitamin C before I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning I have eggs and green tea. Lately, I’ve been on a huge lemon water kick. Lemon water is very rejuvenating and I highly recommend drinking it during your hangover! It will get better!

4. Food What is better than a greasy late night meal? It is one of life’s simplist pleasures. When you are trying to lose weight, the drinks and late night meals REALLY screw you over. While on a diet, I try to allow myself one moderate cheat meal a week. This way, I won’t go crazy and I’ll have something delicious to look forward to. I say moderate because I try not to make it a cheat day, or a cheat large pizza-stuffed crust-pepperoni and sausage-cheesy bread kind of day. If you must, the small personal pan pizza’s should be your only option. It saves you 1/3 the calories of accidentally eating a whole large pizza throughout one day. (We’ve all done it…) So I know I talked about drunk food, but I’m gonna ask you, and beg you, to hold out. You know that regardless of the two slices of pizza or large fry you have the night before, you are going to wake up craving the same kind of greasy food. Have a little willpower, get yourself into bed and get your mind off of food. Wake up and have a hearty and healthy breakfast. Something paleo, like eggs and avocado.  (I keep mentioning that I have eggs in the morning after a night of drinking. I read an article awhile back on the various benefits of an egg. Let  me try to explain the science behind it without sounding stupid… Eggs contain an amino acid. That amino acid counteracts something in alcohol that is more toxic than alcohol itself.)  That way, when it comes to dinner time, your pizza or burrito bowl from chipotle is all yours and very well deserved. Or you could have it for breakfast, but I personally like to start my day with a healthy meal. It keeps my willpower in check and motivates the rest of my day.

5. Don’t sit on your booty all day. There’s nothing better than a nice lazy day, but where is that going to get you? If you’re dieting, you’re already cheating on your diet by drinking. Why elongate the process of cheating by not moving from your bed for 24 hours after a long night of drinking? Yes, staying horizontal all day feels great but let me tell you what happens when you make the choice to finally become vertical. First things first, you wake up. That’s the hardest part, I know. After you finish your egg breakfast, your system is moving and your body is realizing “Hey, it’s time to start my day”. Side note: Did you know that the reason late night eaters find it so hard to fall asleep is because if you eat in the middle of the night it alerts your body that it’s the beginning of a new day so your senses are heightened. (Another explanation proven by science where I don’t remember how to scientifically explain it, but just go with it). You start to feel a little normal again and you’re ready to get a workout in. Don’t think about it, just do it. If you think about it you literally will not walk out the door. Convince yourself that you’re going shopping if you have to, just put on your sneakers and get to the gym. I love the feeling of a run, but accomplishing that after a night of drinking is like a whole new world. While everyone else was laying in bed convincing themselves that they are dying, you went out and got your sweat on. Sweating is one of the number one things that cure my hangover. I hop on the treadmill, start slow, and start sweating. Each sweat drop reminds me of a drink I had the night before… “Oh, there goes that cherry bomb.” I’m serious. Sweat. It. Out. It works.

Yours Truly,

Stef

My Relationship with Breakfast Part 3

Ah yes, it’s breakfast time. If you go to bed brainstorming what you’re gonna have for breakfast the next morning… we should be friends. That way we can at least talk about it together, right? I love breakfast. I wake up every morning like:
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So ready to take on some eggs and bacon. When it comes to breakfast and I, I photograph. (And yes, I’m talking about breakfast as if it is a person. I just have a lot of respect for breakfast, ok?) I ate a lot of breakfast food over break. Any time someone wanted to go out to eat, I suggested Eggspectations, a ridiculous place to get any breakfast food you can think of. Maddie and I had just finished a killer WOD at Crossfit Syndicate. I say finish but Maddie, she crushed it. Not only did she PR on her front squat, but she RXed a tough clean and jerk workout. The second she finished the first thing she wanted was some PANCAKES. Who could blame her? She got her pancakes.
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Very well deserved. I’m a pansy and got eggs. This is a great example of treating yourself vs. cheating yourself. Maddie is 100% on her diet, kills it in the gym, and deserved every bite of her not-so-paleo breakfast. With the way I ate (and drank) over winter break, I didn’t deserve a pile of pancakes. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have even been able to eat them. Hash tag gluten intolerant problems. Don’t worry, pancakes happened for me over break. (I know all of you were concerned)
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Pictured above are my Paleo Pancakes I made and posted a few months ago. They were delicious! If you’re looking for a real treat, gluten free pancake mix is not to be underestimated! These pancakes (pictured below) were the melt in your mouth, fluffy, pancakes that everyone loves! Yum!
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Writing this post is actually making me drool a bit. I started being strict on my diet about one week ago. I am doing really well and already notice (through pictures) a motivating difference! I did a bit of a cleanse last week, which I will post about soon! Stay tuned because… it’s working! 🙂 Results will be slow, but I am ready to work for them! For the rest of this post I will share with you some of my healthy and delicious breakfasts! Some aren’t ideal, nor are they paleo, but they won’t kill ya!
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This Lox Tower was absolutely amazing! I used about 1 cup of Egg Whites and cooked them like tortillas. I piled the egg whites with Lox and Guacamole! This meal was about 300 calories maximum. You can’t go wrong with this meal, it’s packed with healthy fats & protein. I was inspired by my leaning tower of ham and eggs in my previous post.
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1 Gluten Free Waffle, 1.5 tbsp of favored nut butter, and fruit toppings! This is a treat!
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Try it with a rice cake to make it a lighter option!
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Gluten Free toast with poached eggs!
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Gluten Free Egg & Bacon sandwich. I had two eggs on this sandwich… that’s my idea of “yolo”.
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And last, the most delicious, most typical paleo meal. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and avocado. I’ve probably posted pictures of a meal like this multiple times but it just doesn’t get old to me! Food in general doesn’t get old to me, there are so many ways to switch it up!

Update: I have edited my blog and changed my name! How do you like it? I know I keep throwing all these updates around, but soon enough my blog will come together and you will hopefully become hooked 🙂 Thank you to everyone who has been reading and supporting my blog! It means more to me than you know! Keep on keeping on.
Yours Truly,
Stef

33 Simple “Eat Clean” Meal Ideas – Paleo approved!

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As many of you know I am constantly cooking. I created this blog because I was on a complete cooking binge. I still have a million recipes to share from this summer, soon enough they will be all yours. As of now, I rarely cook anything “new”. At school, you can either find me in the kitchen, singing in an English accent somewhere around town with my BFF4L Mary, or… in the kitchen. But really. Always there. If I’m not in the kitchen cooking, I’m in the kitchen cleaning whatever it was that I was just cooking. And if I’m not cleaning or cooking, I’m anxiously waiting for whatever is in the oven. My life pretty much consists of attempting to complete my school work on time while constantly cooking, eating, and waiting to work out (which is at approx. 4 pm everyday). I’m so exciting, I know. Spare me the comments on my boring life. I guess you can say I’m already taking after my mother a little earlier than I thought. Before I ramble on, let me get to the point of this post. Specifically on this blog I post more elaborate meals. The truth is, (shocker of the century) half of my meals look boring as hell. I try to spice them up as much as I can but sometimes there’s just no time. So, there was no giant strategy to the fact that I’m only posting 33 meal ideas. These were just the scrap photos on my IPhone. And considering I take a picture of almost everything I eat, these were the ones that looked semi-appetizing. My breakfast this morning looked like a pile of dog shit. Therefore; I did not photograph it. I’m really getting a handle on this whole blogging thing aren’t I?

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Chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and a half of a sweet potato. It doesn’t get any more boring than that. This dinner was put together quickly. The most preparation I did for it was to grab it out of Tupperware and throw it in the microwave.

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Another really easy meal. 4 oz. Turkey Burger with an egg and a piece of ham. The turkey burger was already made. I just fried the egg and slice of ham and there was my meal. (I use Boars Head Deli meats)

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Scrambled eggs, some spinach inside, and guacamole on top. This looks pretty, but took less than five seconds. This is a meal that anyone can make. I constantly hear complaints about how people “don’t know how to cook”. Which is fine. But let me tell you in one sentence how to make this. Put your stove on medium-high heat apply pam to your frying pan insert eggs & desired fillings in the frying pan and plop on some pre-made or homemade guacamole. Okay so that was a run-on sentence but I’m just dramatizing how simple it really is! YUM! (P.S I used Wholly Guacamole)

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Chicken, sweet potato, greens. Every damn day. Just do it. Don’t be scared.

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My favorite breakfast. I usually eat it every day for breakfast until I get sick of it, which is rare. 1 Applegate chicken sausage, 1 (or 2) eggs, spinach and mushrooms. Bomb.com

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The brown rice cups, which you can buy anywhere, are very simple and delicious. They come in plain brown or white rice, no added ingredients, and they take 1 minute to heat up. I add sautéed vegetables and any protein I have to my rice. In this case, I added my paleo pesto coconut tilapia to my mix of food.

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Sautéed tomatoes are extremely overrated. When you sauté a tomato you can either make a sauce out of it or put it in eggs like I did! They are delicious with garlic which adds great flavor to your meal. Another simple recipe!

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Another favorite meal. 1-2 cups of sauerkraut with mustard & 2 Applegate Chicken & Apple sausages. I am obsessed with Applegate’s chicken and apple sausages and I suggest them for anyone looking for a flavorful and healthy protein without the work! I usually add sautéed mushrooms to this meal which adds flavor and bulk to an already small meal.

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I rarely buy deli meat. The packaged stuff is disgusting and most deli meats have fillers. Every now and then I’ll buy a pound of Boars Head turkey breast. It is really great for on the go meals and snacks like this! I just pealed two of my romaine lettuce leaves, topped it with turkey, mustard & zucchini. This would also be great with guacamole or avocado slices!

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Same meal as pictured above…found the mushrooms.

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As you can see I’m quite the spokesperson for Applegate’s products. This is a classic meal that my dad used to cook all the time. Applegate Hot Dogs and Eggs. Don’t knock it till ya try it.

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Random pile of balsamic chicken, random veggies, homemade tomato sauce. It’s fun to put everything you have in your fridge in a bowl and see what happens…

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Picnic style meal. Minus the bun, and the sweaty Frisbee games, and the beer. 5 oz. Turkey Burger, 1 medium sweet potato cut into fries, a big pile of veggies. Mushrooms & hot sauce on the side. (Where the hell was the ketchup?)

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5 oz. Ground Beef, Peppers & Onions, Crushed Tomato sauce, and of course…an egg on top.

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Egg on everything… Salad filled with veggies and chicken! For dressing I use olive oil & balsamic vinaigrette, salt & pepper (sometimes), and Mrs. Dash Italian Blend. Delicious.

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Van’s Gluten Free Waffles are AMAZING! So delicious and a perfect treat if you aren’t feeling very paleo. This meal is about 400 calories and is my ultimate favorite. Avocado/guacamole on top of the waffle, turkey burger on top of the avocado, egg on top of the turkey burger.

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Three scrambled eggs topped with a ridiculous amount of veggies and BBQ Pulled Pork.

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Chicken can get so plain. There are so many ways to spice up your plain chicken in the kitchen. Add any Mrs. Dash seasoning and it will change the game. You can also add salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. I cook my chicken with a bunch of veggies. Killing two birds with one stone!

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One egg with egg whites. 1/2 avocado. Mushrooms. 6 oz. Chicken.

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Egg Muffins! I will be posting millions of egg muffin recipes…coming soon 🙂

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Mock chipotle. Brown rice, vegetables, chicken, beans and Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie packs!

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The perfect paleo breakfast. Eggs, Applegate turkey bacon and a Turkey Burger.

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More chicken ideas! Top and cook your chicken with almost anything and I guarantee it’ll turn out delicious. This has BBQ sauce and mushrooms and peppers on the bottom.

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Three eggs over easy. Does it get much better than this?

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Ground Turkey and Chicken with crushed tomato sauce and spinach, sautéed in some garlic!

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The leaning tower of…everything you need in life. Zucchini, Canadian bacon, and really runny Eggs.

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Spaghetti Squash! Cut your squash in half and leave it in the oven (on a tray, facing down) on 400 degrees for about half an hour. Continue checking, cooking time may vary depending on the size of your squash. Sautee cut up tomatoes in garlic and olive oil to act as your “sauce”. Sautee peppers & onions and your serving of protein. My favorite protein to eat with spaghetti squash is ground turkey!

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Simple circle cut sweet potato fries with a bunch of chicken, mushrooms and green beans.

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Egg whites, lox, avocado, and a small serving of sweet potato. These four ingredients are essential in my diet. Avocados and sweet potatoes may or may not keep me sane. The hint is to keep your sweet potatoes in the oven for as long as possible… they will cook so much that they will taste like candy. When eating an avocado, it can be a bit bland. Adding salt and pepper to the top of your avocado is quite the game changer. Maybe even some hot sauce or garlic powder.

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Egg whites and a turkey burger, with hot sauce. Bowl of fruit with ground flax seeds and a tablespoon of almond butter! (Styrofoam plates are so in right now)

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Delicious spinach salad with vegetables and raspberries! Adding fruit to your salad really switches things up and reminds you that life isn’t as boring as it seems.

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Two eggs, Canadian bacon, sweet potato & almond butter. Another perfect paleo breakfast!

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Yummy BBQ Chicken topped with spinach (sautéed in garlic) and a Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie pack!

Get your chemicals here!

Get your chemicals here!

I am so grossed out.  Read the link above through and realize what you are putting in your bodies! I was at a gas station driving home from Ohio yesterday and needed something to eat. I was going straight to crossfit and hadn’t had a substantial meal since breakfast. There was NOTHING to eat at that gas station. Every packet of mixed nuts had a list of fifty ingredients. Why do they have to make it so complicated. People buy nuts because they want to eat nuts, not 100 oils and 100 chemicals. The ingredients could simply be almonds, cashews, pecans, but of course America loves chemicals so it couldn’t stop there. I needed food so I picked the one with the least ingredients. It had vegetable oil in it, not so hot but the only option! I think the brand was Frito-Lay. Anyways, there were hard boiled eggs near the sandwich section. I nearly vomited while purchasing them, but I did. My mother and I tasted one of the eggs and could just tell it was not fresh, and ridiculously processed with chemicals. We had to throw those away. As if we were expecting anything different.

 

Come on amurrica!

 

I didn’t fail completely though. We stopped at a farmers market before we left and I picked up two huge Bacon Peanut Butter Cups. One for my brother, and one for my coaches. I do this thing where I buy things for people that I want them to eat because I can’t eat it. SOMEONE has to enjoy this bacon peanut butter cup situation I stumbled upon, and unfortunately it can’t be me. I also picked up fig infused olive oil, garlic olive oil, and a mason jar wine class. They called it a redneck wine glass. I’m ready to get classy.

Snack Attack

So last week a little something happened to me that I like to call a snack attack. I’m completely fine talking about my “snack attacks” because I know that we all have those moments. It’s those moments where you are bored, stressed, really excited, or lazy. You’re so hungry that you sure as hell do not want to settle for a cup of broccoli and some salmon. It’s that stupid kind of hungry where you want the good stuff. You want the snacks. I was rummaging through my fridge because…
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…I wanted something delicious, but I didn’t want to cook, and I didn’t want to cheat on my diet. So what exactly does a snack even mean these days? There are a few different opinions about what a snack really is. Is your snack a bag of chips? A ho-ho? A honey bun? Donuts? That drenched in sugar protein bar you picked up from the gas station? Or are you super trendy and go for things like, celery sticks and peanut butter, frozen yogurt (plus all those healthy brownie toppings).
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I was watching Princesses of Long Island on Bravo the other day. LOVE that show, it is such a train wreck, and reminds me that I’m stable. Perfect. Anyways, two girls were shopping (cardio) and they talked about frozen yogurt. In all seriousness the younger sister starts explaining why they should get frozen yogurt. Main reason being she heard frozen yogurt naturally makes you lose weight. It was hilarious, I was laughing. Frozen yogurt is delicious but come on girlfriend. Another trendy snack; Diet Coke.
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Have you ever really listened to the sentence “I’ll have a diet” when people order their beloved diet coke? Oh, you want a diet? Here’s some lettuce, no need to tip.
Snacks are really confusing to me. I don’t even exactly have “snacks” anymore. My snack is a cup of veggies and 5 oz of chicken. The closest thing I get to a snack these days is a Lara bar. And when I eat those, the sky opens up and the sun starts shining. So obviously I’ve been feeling a little snack deprived…
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So if you’re like me and you, one, enjoy the paleo, clean eating, lifestyle. Two, are trying to lose weight body fat percentage. Or three, have a serious gluten & dairy intolerance. I am here to help you.
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As I said before, I’ve kinda been lacking in the snacks department. With the results I am trying to achieve and the way I am striving to eat, my “snacks” look almost identical to what my “meals” look like. I’m not always this strict. I went through this phase when I first got “diagnosed” with a gluten and dairy intolerance where I ate every gluten/dairy free dessert product in the books. That’s where I went wrong. I for some reason thought those products couldn’t do as much harm to my body because they were simply labeled “organic” or “gluten free”. Maybe if I was trying to maintain my weight, these snacks would be okay in moderation. I was trying to lose, but I was gaining. My head was not in the game. My friend Amber and I would come home from crossfit and make jokes about how we were eating like we were bulking. “It’s fine I’m bulking *hairflip*” Who are we?
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Cashew butter and enjoy life “chocolate” chips. Not a bad snack, in moderation, not every night. I was eating Organic Coconut Bliss ice cream and Almond Dreams ice cream bites. Gluten free cereal. And probably too much nut butter. I had been strict paleo for two months and obviously went a little cray cray after I stopped. Now I think I have it a little under control.
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This was my first ever paleo lunch, back in December. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or what to eat because I felt like anything I currently had was not on the paleo checklist. This isn’t exactly a bad meal. It’s just funny to look at what I was eating when I first started. It’d make a great snack.
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Back to this snack attack I was supposed to be talking about. Pictured above is the remnants of my so called snack attack. I can give a big thank you to my food intolerances that save me from going to Wendy’s or Krispy Kreme with my brother. I was craving chips. I didn’t just want guacamole, I wanted to dip some friggin chips in some friggin guac. Ya know? But I couldn’t. So I finished off the guacamole with the rest of the carrot sticks and the rest of the mango slices in my refrigerator. I had a lara bar, and some cashews. Why did I just lie and say some? I had a lot of cashews. It happened and I was over it. Could have been worse. Could have had two lara bars (Still wouldn’t have been mad). But in the end of the day I was kinda annoyed at myself for not just making dinner and being content with that. So I realized I needed to make some moves and get creative with my “Whole Life Challenge” approved snacks.

Question 1: What the hell can I eat guacamole with that doesn’t involve being placed on top of meat or eaten with carrot sticks? Okay, so I want guacamole. But I need some protein regardless. What’s protein that isn’t meat? Eggs. Okay eggs. Hard boiled eggs. Perfect.
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I removed most of my yolks from my eggs and replaced them with guacamole. It’s consistency is very similar to deviled eggs, which I love. And you can’t go wrong with guacamole. It packs little protein, so yeah maybe I had some chicken on the side. But you still get a great, healthy, meal out of this. Or snack, I should say.

Question 2: I want chips. No this isn’t a question, it’s a statement. Every now and then, we want chips. This is no new and improved recipe, but PLAINTAIN CHIPS. In my opinion, they taste better than potato chips.
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-1 Medium Plaintain
-2 tbsp Coconut Oil (you may need more, depending on how much you’re cooking)
-Kosher Salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your plantain into very thin slices. Melt 2 tbsp Coconut Oil. Put a thin layer of coconut oil on the plantain slice and place on your cooking sheet. Sprinkle desired salt on top of chips. Cook for 20-30 minutes. I dipped these in Guacamole. Delicious.

Question 4: What is something sweet I can eat that is still on my diet? So you don’t want to binge out on fruit, understandable. But it’s the only “sweet” thing you can currently eat. What if I told you egg whites were the answer? Would you believe me? Cause you should…
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I didn’t initially measure, but I’ll give it a go:
-3/4 Cup Egg Whites
-1/2 Medium Banana
-3/4 Cup (pitted) Cherries
-2 tbsp Almond Butter
-Cinnamon to taste
I first put my egg whites in a bowl and sprinkled them with cinnamon. I added the bananas and cherries, more cinnamon, and mixed together. I put the mixture in a frying pan until cooked. I then drizzled 1 tbsp of Almond Butter on the bottom of my bowl, and 1 tbsp on top. I don’t think I actually used the full 2 tbsp, but I give you permission to.

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My Relationship with Breakfast part 2

Just another post with my favorite healthy, clean, protein packed breakfasts. Starting the day right is so important. I’m gonna need fuel before I’m off to another city for the day, and I’m not talkin’ Sunoco. I’d tell you where I’m going…but I’m surprising someone so it’d ruin the whole thing.
Edit// This post was old and not finished in time to post it. Therefore… I went to Philly to visit my cousin , Jayme, to celebrate her birthday with her. Happy Birthday ya old fart!
I’m really bad at surprising people. My face gives everything away at all times and I’m really bad at holding back that “I know something you don’t know” grin. I’ve always wanted a surprise party…but I’m not that good at receiving things. Do you know what I mean? Like on Christmas when you’re sitting around with your family and everyone’s eyes are on you while you open a gift. You are prepared to throw your arms in the air and make it seem like you couldn’t have gone on any longer without that (probably very thoughtful) gift you just received. So maybe that makes me seem ungrateful, it’s not even close to that. Sometimes it seems like the casual “Oh I love it, Thank You!” is enough. There’s always that long stare after you tell people how much you like their gift, as if they expect you to be lying. I want people to know how much I appreciate their gifts. I want to be able to say just that, without the response from the giver being “You hate it, I’ll return it”. Nope…pretty sure I just said I loved it, did you want me to cry and get on my knees? It happens every Christmas morning. There’s always that one thing that my mom comes and grabs out of my hands mid sentence because she’s so worried that I don’t like it. I was even surprised she didn’t rip the puppy they got us for Christmas out of our hands. (How could you hate a dog?!) All in all, it’s heartwarming, and hilarious, and a little frustrating. Even if I did hate it, even if it was an umbrella with a bunch of race cars on it, it’s the thought that counts. My mom’s a crazy Italian women anyway, frustration is the core of our relationship. One second we’ll be talking the next we’ll be yelling, the men in our household will bare arms, and then we’ll laugh about something and everything will be back to normal. As normal as normal can be. All in the matter of seconds. Italians have short tempers, we jump on things. We barely listen, only to have things repeated 50 times throughout the day. I got a lot of this from my mothers side, even my mother has rubbed off on my dad. He’s also started to ignore my mother and I if we are “yelling”. He knows better. We’re just talking.
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My mother and I, yelling.
So now that I rambled, I think its time to start talking about my main topic of this post. Of course I thought I was going to do a quick breakfast post, but I start writing and things pop in my head and I find it hard to stop. There’s always a part of me that wishes I went to school for creative writing, journalism, something along those lines. Okay I’m getting off topic again, no one wants to hear my regrets about what I’m studying in school.
Breakfast
As I already talked about in a previous post. I have a serious love for breakfast. Don’t we all? I mean, pancakes, waffles, syrup, oatmeal. You can get peanut butter involved. And, friggin, bacon. But none of that is currently on my menu. I can’t even tell you the last time I had one of those amazing diner pancake breakfasts. Thank you gluten intolerance, the dog days are officially over. RIP:
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Once I lose some body fat percentage, I will probably make delicious pancakes again, every now and then. I’m thinking Sunday brunch at school. After a long week of drinking studying and crossfit reading. The perfect sunday breakfast. I make some amazing, clean, and healthy pancakes too. Sweet potato pancakes with homemade raspberry syrup, protein pancakes, the list goes on. Coming soon people, you can put your tongues back in your mouth. But for now its real food for breakfast.
These last two weeks of whole life challenge I’m doing absolutely no fruit or nuts. Too many people have told me they had great fat loss success after cutting out fruit so, I’m giving it a go. (Edit/ not giving that a go, that leaves me with too little on the menu…back to limiting) The day before I decided that I made a kale digestion smoothie. I read everywhere that pineapple and ginger are a great aid in digestion, and my mothers friend had just made one similar. So I put just that in a blender. Kale, pineapple, ginger, coconut water, and ice. I didn’t measure, I just eyed it out. Don’t go too crazy with the kale, and put a teaspoon max of ginger. Mine wasn’t AMAZING, went a little too crazy with the ginger and kale. It would be really good with a little less, so I’ll leave it up to you guys.
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Some more common things I’ll have for breakfast are breakfast bowls or breakfast burgers.
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This is my common breakfast bowl. It’s about 1 cup of spinach. 2 Eggs, 2 Egg Whites. 4oz Italian Turkey Sausage. Not sure of the exact macros for this, but I’d guess around 400 calories, 25g fat, 50g protein.
And my favorite, breakfast burgers;
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I couldn’t choose just one picture of this deliciousness. This meal is about 5 oz Ground Turkey Meat (made into patties). 1 Egg, 1 Egg white. I put 2 oz of ham on this burger. I’ll typically have a side of sweet potato, or veggies, or fruit. Or all of the above…
And now, another breakfast pizza! I didn’t change much from the last one, just some tweaks here and there. Cook it thoroughly, flip it when it’s nearly cooked through. Let the other side cook for a bit but it won’t need long. So much flavor! It was amazing;
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5 oz Chicken Breast
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Egg Whites
1 Cup Veggies (zucchini, skinned red pepper)
4 tbsp Homemade Guacamole (or 2oz Avocado)
Basil Leaves, Salt, and Pepper to taste
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450 Calories, 18 g fat, 9 carbs, 64 Protein
Adjust ingredients to fit your nutritional needs!