veggies

Did someone say tacos?

I have an affinity for Mexican food. It can get heavy or as Chrissy Teigen (John Legend's beautiful and hysterical wife) says, " bloaty mcbloatstown." But man oh man is it good. I like to keep it simple and quick in the kitchen. I am not the girl that likes to patiently stir the risotto but I do appreciate a good home cooked meal so I get creative. I was craving homemade tacos because this hilarious photo kept frequenting my Facebook newsfeed last week.

Guess what? YOU can have both!

Kale Tacos!

Here's what you need

1) Touch of olive oil, salt, pepper, and turmeric

2) Two handfuls of kale and mushrooms

3) 1/2 can of organic black beans

4) Corn tortillas

5) Beet hummus from Trader Joe's or slice some beets up

Cooking time (I so desperately just wanted to write HAMMER TIME)

1) In a pan combine olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric, kale, mushrooms, and black beans. Sautéed on medium until done. I found it was between 5-7 minutes

2) Heat corn tortillas and spread beet hummus all over one side of them.

3) Place kale combination on top of the beet hummus or corn tortilla and voila it's time to EAT!

They left me feeling like this...

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins Are Yum In My Tum!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins Are Yum In My Tum!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins! SCRUMTIOUS!

DC Part 2!

wpid-Photo-Feb-7-2013-1112-PM.jpg

Can you tell I'm in love with DC?! I believe I left off on Monday evening...

Ian and I went out with some of our coworkers for dinner at a restaurant called Founding Farmer's (love the name-www.wearefoundingfarmers.com). It's made up of 42,000 farmers that provide organic foods for the restaurant. How can one not support a business so fabulous? But ladies and gents the food...oh...my...word...AMAZING. The flavors they created in such healthy dishes were mind blowing! I could have kept eating if my stomach allowed it. I got a white bean cutlet stew and Ian got a vegetarian "meatloaf."

 

After a full and happy dinner we slept in the next morning ready to take on the day. Ian had to leave for work but I ventured into the Georgetown neighborhood and fell in love with it. The uneven cobblestone streets, the quaint Cafe's, and a great yoga class filled my freezing body (20 degrees outside) full of joy!

 

 

I popped into Lululemon in Gerogetown to ask them what fitness or yoga studios are around the area and they provided me with a great suggestion a yoga studio called Down Dog Yoga (www.downdogyoga.com). It was a hot and full vinyasa flow class that warmed me up and pumped up my heart rate. The instructors name was, Meg, and she did a fabulous job leading the class through a beautiful flow.

 

That night Ian and I dined at a local and delicious Indian Restaurant called Mehak (www.mehak.com). To all you vegetarian and vegans out there Indian food is a great option for good, filling, and healthy dishes. We had a romantic dinner and I wanted to cherish my last night in DC so we went out for a walk through the freezing cold yet gorgeous streets of DC...

My last morning in DC could not have been anymore perfect. It all began with a jog from downtown, to the national mall, to the capital, to the Washington monument, to the White House, and back. 5 miles later I could have kept going because I was just in awe of all the history I was stepping on and seeing.

 

Ian and I worked up a serious appetite so we decided to stop and grab some breakfast before I had to leave for Baltimore. There is a breakfast spot called Protein Bar (www.theproteinbar.com) that is only in Chicago and DC that a college friend of mine suggested. Boy was it delicious! Quinoa breakfast bowls with agave syrup, almonds, and fresh berries...a green tea smoothie with almond milk, egg whites, and fresh green tea...incredible! We ended my DC trip with a bang!

 

I'm in Baltimore now, working, and pretending I'm still in our nations capital. I couldn't have asked for a better 2 1/2 days! So thankful for our country and for each day of health I have here!

I hope this inspires you to travel and to know that wherever you go, you are able to find healthy foods, fitness studios or the outdoors, and amazing sites. Maybe instead of cabbing it somewhere in metropolitan cities, walk it or jog it so you get to experience the energy, the people, and actually touch the sites.

 

Syd's Visit To Our Nation's Capital

"BEEP BEEP BEEP," went the alarm! Up and at em at 4:30 am in Los Angeles Sunday morning to take off to DC to visit my boyfriend and to sight-see around one of the most incredible places in our country. As our plane began to land in DC there was a heavy cloud cover and then all of a sudden the Washington Monument was breaking through the sky to my left. I felt a jolt of emotion, because here I am landing in a city where all of our presidents have stepped foot. It's overwhelming even as I write this... I'm going to switch gears for a second here. In California, there is an 8th grade trip to Washington, DC that all students are able to take over Spring Break. When I was in 8th grade, my daddy was very sick with cancer, so instead of taking the trip, I spent time with my family. To be here fourteen years later - for the first time - is deeply emotional for me and I feel like I can appreciate it all the more at this point in my life. As I walked up to the White House tears dropped down my face... I was just overcome with emotion. How amazing to be in front of a home where all of our presents have lived (except George Washington, but he had the place built!) To walk around the National Mall or to stand in front of the Washington Monument, I am walking in history. As my mama said, "you can see it, touch it, believe it...it is not a fable!" It is all real and I am honored to be here...

Yesterday I slept in and slowly woke up to start my day. I looked up various yoga studios around the downtown DC area and found a place called Sculpt DC which is a spin/yoga studio. I popped into a 12:15 pm yoga sculpt class. The studio was super chic and urban. You walk in upstairs and the studios are located downstairs. There are gorgeous bathrooms, showers, and even a lounge area for all the fitness goers to freshen up or relax. I like a booty kicking workout, this particular class was a bit more relaxing but certainly a nice way to start my day.

 

Following my yoga class I popped into Le Pain Quotidien for a fresh lentil salad with a cup of vegan black bean soup, yum!

 

I decided to head to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History which is on Pennsylvania Ave and part of the national mall. Most museums here are free, which is a big plus! I could have spent hours in here but having limited time to get all of my sight seeing in, I tried to get as much in as I could before I walked over to the Washington Monument. They had an award winning animal photography section and below were a couple of my favorites.

 

The Washington Monument shines high above all the downtown DC buildings. It's not a city that is built tall like New York or Chicago, but it's architecture doesn't need height to make it beautiful. Here I am in the FREEZING windy weather in front of the Monument.

 

What I love most about being here, is that this city is so easy to navigate. You walk everywhere because you can and in the midst of all the national landmarks you get a 3 to 5 mile walk in! Total health bonus! No wonder DC is one of the fittest cities in the US.

This is just day one here and I have a day and a half to go! I can't wait to see what I can fit in, in just a few short hours...

Love you America!

 

Tales of Portlandia...

Portland hmmm bizarre? Indeed! But I suppose that's what makes Portland well...Portland. I must say I did eat my way through the city and I'm here to share a story or two with you. So in my Friday Faves last week I talked about a restaurant called Andina (www.andinarestaurant.com) which to me just means perfection. It's Peruvian cuisine and the flavors in every bite make me melt, and to top it off they have both a gluten free and vegetarian menus. My boyfriend and I dined with our friends and laughed over silly stories for over two hours! I admit I am a sucker for a great dining experience and I could have probably stayed at that table for two more hours if I didn't have to go to work in the morning.

These are my friends Sara and Kris. They are hilarious and such a joy to be around!

The following morning I got up to work off my dinner at a local yoga studio called Yoga Pearl (www.yogapearl.com). It was 8:00 am Saturday morning and as I was walking waiting for the sun to come up...oops..wait...I forgot I'm in Portland...so as I was saying, as I was walking...in the cold dreary rain to get to class I turned the corner and like a star in the sky Yoga Pearl appeared. It was still a bit dark outside and they has precious white lights hanging in front of their studio that shined bright. I walked in to see a huge space. To my left was an Eco friendly yoga boutique and to my right was a raw cafe. I couldn't believe I was still in Portland, it was a magical space in the midst of a rugged and very eclectic city.

 

That evening we had the pleasure of dining with some friends of ours who just recently moved to Oregon at a place called Saucebox (www.saucebox.com). Conversation was entertaining and the food was magnificent. It's a fusion of pan-asain and pacific island cuisine and has many vegetarian options, woohoo! Picture this tofu, kale, white bean miso soup, sweet potato spring rolls, a red curry plate, and brussel sprouts cooked to perfection. We ate it all. There was not a bite to spare. I can't forget to mention my lavender margarita...unbelievable!

 

Obviously we had to get dessert...

So we went to Oprah's favorite ice cream shop! Salt and Straw! Scrumdidlyumtious! The flavor combinations are out there BUT at 10:30 pm in freezing weather there is a line out the door if that tells you anything!

 

Oh Portlandia, I am so thankful for your food. You may be one of the most bizarre cities I have ever been to but I am grateful for the experience and my full belly which is still full a week later...time to go workout!

 

Stuffed Strawberry Banana Creams Make Me Beam!

wpid-Photo-Jan-16-2013-917-PM.jpg

This past weekend I hosted two of my dear college friends for a girls weekend. We all had the best time hanging out on the couch, catching up, going to the movies, and eating delicious food. We indulged in one too many treats and loved every minute of it! I was looking forward to cooking up a belated birthday dinner one of my best friends, Megan on Saturday night. Since I was hosting the whole weekend I knew I would have limited time to cook up lots of food. So when searching for menu ideas I knew I had to keep it simple. One of my favorite appetizers I made was actually just about the easiest of them all. STUFFED STRAWBERRY BANANA CREAMS (thank you fitsugar.com for the inspiration)

Anything with the word strawberries always catches my attention. Strawberries can stand alone or bring a lot of flavor to a recipe. These stuffed strawberries only require a total of four ingredients and the fourth being the strawberries themselves.

 

All you need are:

1) Bananas (half of one)

2) Vanilla Greek Yogurt (2 oz)

3) Sliced Almonds (you choose how much you want to put it)

And..

4) STRAWBERRIES (8 of them)

Directions:

Wash the strawberries and dry them. Then use a melon scooper if you have one, or a knife if not, to cut out the middle of the strawberry.

 

Cut the banana in half and mash it up with a fork.

 

Add in the Greek yogurt with the mashed banana.

 

Add in the almonds to the banana and yogurt mix.

 

Time to scoop the banana, yogurt, and almond mix into the hollow strawberries.

 

And just like that you have decadent and healthy stuffed strawberry banana creams. They look fabulous on an appetizer or dessert table and I guarantee you your guests will eat them up in a jiffy! We certainly did last weekend!

 

The Not So Green, Green Smoothie

 

I'm at a loss for words tonight. I'm not quite sure why. Maybe because I'm blogging at 1 am. I'm trying my best to equate my delicious smoothie friend here to any aspect of my life right now. Here's an inside look at my brain:

A smoothie is tasty and cold.... It's cold outside. Ugh, gross. Terrible. It's like talking about the weather when you are trapped in the elevator with strangers. And anyone from anywhere in the world knows LA can't really be that cold and hates us for evening mentioning the slightest drop in temperature. {ahem, Golden Globers, ahem}

Ahem... hmmm....everyone is sick, smoothies are a tasty drink to have when you are sick. Are they? Have I ever had a smoothie when I'm sick? It would be lovely, I'm sure. I should totally have a smoothie next time I'm sick. I should totally have a smoothie right now...

::CRICKETS. CRICKETS. Eyes closing. Sleep is eminent:: I like smoothies when I sleep. I would watch a show called I Dream of Smoothies. ::Eyes fully closed, actually dreaming of smoothies. Smoothies start to attack me in my sleep.:: AGH! I'm up!

...I'm hungry. If I drink a smoothie at 1am and no one sees me or hears me, did I really drink a smoothie at all?

... uhhh

So... that's where I'm at. This isn't to say that this smoothie isn't amazingly scrumptious and refreshing in every way. Because, in fact - it is. I'm way into this smoothie. It just seems my moving van has rolled up on the block where all the writers never want to live. (Does that analogy make sense? I'll tell you what, this late at night it SURE DOES! But I have a feeling I might think differently when I wake up.)

Why don't we just cut to the delicious chase and get down to this thing.

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS: {for 2 large smoothies}

  • a hearty 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peach slices
  • 1 1/2 cups of pineapple, orange juice (I used Tangerine, Pineapple, Orange Juice by Cuties)
  • 2 cups spinach

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

Throw your ingredients in a blender. Blend her on up until smoothie-tastic. Drink it up!

It's a great way to get some fruits and veggies into your day. Incredibly light with a tropical twist.