Go-To Green Smoothie

When it comes to breakfast, I’m a creature of habit. For years I had oatmeal with cinnamon and Splenda and then when I started eating cleaner, transitioned to Greek yogurt, honey and granola. However, for the past few years, I’ve been all about smoothies. I’ve changed my smoothie recipe up quite a bit, but my gold standard is a green smoothie. I love that I can start my day with a breakfast that is packed with vegetables and nutrients and it has the added benefit of being super quick to make so that I can run out the door.

For my smoothies, it’s important to me that they have staying power, so I use protein powder as well as nut butter for extra satiety. My favorite protein powder is Rainbow Light’s Vanilla Protein Energizer because it’s a super clean, natural formula that is free of most allergens, has 14 grams of protein and tastes delicious! For added nutrients, I use chia seeds and flax seeds which are both full of Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. I’ve recently started adding Hemp Hearts as well once I discovered that they have a nutty taste and don’t taste earthy at all. I love that they also contain fiber and Omega 3s but pack a protein punch as well. For the green in my green smoothie, I love adding fresh spinach, which if you are new to green smoothies, I promise you don’t even taste. I enjoy this smoothie year-round, but in the winter I always follow it up with a cup of tea!

Go-To Green Smoothie

Go-To Green Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 C. Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 C. Crushed Ice
  • 2 Extra-Large Handfuls Fresh Spinach
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1 T. Hemp Hearts
  • 1 T. Chia Seeds
  • 1 T. Flax Seeds
  • 1 t. Almond Butter

Directions:

In high powered blender, combine almond milk, protein powder, all seeds, almond butter and spinach. Blend until spinach is fully distributed and mixture looks green, then add ice and blend until smooth.

Question:

-What’s your go-to breakfast?

Red Carpet Round Up: Oscars 2015

One thing that I love about the Oscars is that it is the event when all of the celebrities pull out their a-game. They seem to save their fanciest dresses for the night and it’s the perfect way to wrap up award season. I’ll admit that this year’s actual award ceremony didn’t totally grab my attention, but I was, as usual, obsessed with the fashion.

Best Dressed

Oscar Best Dressed

I had a difficult time choosing my best dressed this year because so many actresses hit it out of the park fashion-wise! I absolutely loved Anna Kendrick’s soft coral, Thakoon dress with the jeweled collar and cutout. I think this color is absolutely gorgeous on her and I love how the dress elongates her petite frame. I also am glad to see her in a more sophisticated silhouette especially after she played a princess in Into The Woods. On the other end of the spectrum is Jennifer Lopez, wearing an Ellie Saab princess dress. As you may know, Ellie Saab is one of my favorite designers so it’s no surprise that this dress ended up as a top pick. I think the dress was utter perfection and Jennifer still managed to look age appropriate with the plunging neckline and beautiful detailing. (But then again, I’m convinced J.Lo never ages…) As gorgeous as the dress is in the picture, it looked even more so, when she seemingly floated across the stage to present an award. Finally, I’m so excited to include Rosamund Pike on my best dressed list after she was on my worst for the Golden Globes. However, this red Givenchy dress is fabulous and I love the scallop detail which is so on trend and the tasteful slit. This dress also perfectly highlights her amazing figure and I love the band at the waist.

In addition to their gorgeous dresses, another thing these women have in common is their beautiful hair and make-up. Perfectly complimenting their dresses, all three went for updos with Anna and Rosamund opting for some volume and Jennifer going for a slicked back ponytail. Their make-up was flawless as well, with J.Lo’s signature glow, Anna’s pinky-peach cheeks and Rosamund’s contoured cheekbones, while all three wore for a nude lip.

Honorable mention also goes to Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein Collection. While it wasn’t my favorite dress, the 6,000 pearls on it do make it pretty spectacular!

Worst Dressed

oscars worst dressed

Once again, only two stars made my worst dressed list. Award show veteran, Nicole Kidman, wore this Louis Vuitton sequin dress. Nicole often opts for a column style dress, which she looks great in, but the eyesore here is the red belt. Not only does it look garish next to the yellow sequins, but it completely draws the eye away from her face and directly to the belt. One thing that was working for her though, was her gorgeous long bob and I wish her hairstylist could show me how to inject as much volume into mine! My other pick is Chloe Grace Moretz, a relative newcomer to the red carpet. Unfortunately the fabric on her Miu Miu dress looks more like curtains from the 1970s and the exaggerated hips with the pleated detail is unflattering. At only 18, this dress just looks so dated for her age and I’d love to see her in something fresher at her next awards show. But hey, didn’t we all make a few fashion faux pas in our teens?

Question:

-Who was your best and worst dressed from the Oscars?

Pin, Cook, Eat

I’ve been on a bit of a cooking spree lately and have been making some recipes I’ve long since salivated over on Pinterest. The wonderful thing about Pinterest is that it provides endless inspiration and connects you to great recipes, some from bloggers or websites you know and others that are brand new to you. The bad thing is when you spend time on Pinterest but don’t ever make/style/do the things you pin. So instead I utilize it for things that I know I’m actually going to use, like paleo and gluten-free recipes, as well as style and beauty inspiration. I’ve long since given up on my Feeling Crafty board because let’s face it, I’m never feeling crafty. With my boards continually growing, I’ve been making new recipes weekly and have found some new favorites. Of course, not every creation results in a picture that’s blog worthy, so if you are interested in seeing what I’m eating, drinking and wearing, check out my Instagram!

Crockpot Thai Beef Stew via Against All Grain

Thai Beef Stew

This first one is from one of my favorite paleo bloggers Danielle, from Against All Grain. This recipe is featured in her Meals Made Simple cookbook but she also shared it online so if you don’t have the book, you can still give this a try. I don’t eat beef but I made this for my Mom’s birthday in January and it received rave reviews. It was fairly easy to make and apparently was incredibly flavorful and delicious. Danielle is so creative and I loved the addition of jicama, an unexpected ingredient for the stew that added a great crunchy texture. I served it with her Coconut-Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice which I did have, and it is officially my new favorite Caulirice recipe!

Persimmon and Pomagranate Salad via Martha Stewart

Persimmon Pom Salad

When it comes to holiday meals, if I don’t have time to test a recipe before, I try and go for a trusted chef or recipe with lots of great reviews. I knew I wanted to make a delicious salad with Christmas colors and winter flavors this year, so I turned to Martha. I had made a salad of hers that was fantastic for Christmas a few years ago and I knew that she wouldn’t let me down. This salad was hands down, one of the best that I’ve ever had. And that’s a bold statement because I make and eat a lot of salads. The combination of the peppery arugula with the sweetness of the pomegranate and persimmons and the nutty hazelnuts was perfection. It was a salad that people even went for the next day when sorting through leftovers and we had to ration it between ourselves. It was just that good and now adding pomegranate seeds to salads is my new favorite thing.

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins via Paleo Newbie

Banana Walnut MuffinsI have been completely grain-free for a few months now and it’s been going pretty well. However, lately I’ve been craving something carby and thought it was time that I do some baking. Muffins sounded like the perfect thing so I scoured my Paleo Brunch board and decided on these Banana Walnut Muffins from Paleo Newbie! I made them minus the chocolate chips because I’m not eating sugar right now and added additional chopped walnuts instead. These turned out amazingly well and are are moist and light and filling due to all the protein and fiber from the almond flour and walnuts and I love that they require very minimal sugar. I have a few more bananas ripening now and I think it’s clear that I will be using them for this recipe again!

Questions:

-What do you use Pinterest for?

-What’s a favorite recipe that you’ve made recently?

Valentine’s Day Treats for the Gluten-Free Guy or Gal

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you can’t go to a Walgreens without being surrounded by an aisle of chocolates and sweets. For the gluten-free guy or gal though, this can be difficult as it means an endless sea of nutritional information to read to see what is safe to consume. This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do the work for you and share some great gluten-free options that will make your significant other, friend, family or even yourself, very happy.

V-Day Collage

  • See’s Candies: I’m excited to report that all See’s products do not contain gluten so you can enjoy all of your favorite chocolates safely. For Valentine’s Day, they offer a variety of chocolates in their red hearts, in various sizes. Before going dairy-free, I loved See’s chocolates and highly recommend the Nuts and Chews heart! If you have other food allergies, check out this list to see which chocolates are safe for you.
  • Necco SweetheartsFor a classic treat, you can’t go wrong with a box of Sweethearts! These have been around since 1866 and billions are made every year. With their cute sayings and fruity flavors, they are the perfect little gift.
  • Hershey’s KissesFor another classic treat, Hershey’s kisses are always great for Valentine’s day and you’ll likely see these laying around the office or in your kid’s valentines. Feel free to treat yourself to Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate, all Hershey’s Kisses Filled Chocolates and Hershey’s Kisses Special Dark, Mildly Sweet Chocolate, which are all gluten-free. It’s important to note, however, that the other Hershey’s Kisses not listed are not gluten-free.
  • Taza Chocolate Bars: I first had the opportunity to try Taza Chocolate this summer and instantly fell in love with every flavor I tried! They are rich and delicious and are dairy-free, soy-free, vegan and organic. This cute bundle in the Mi Corazon pack contains the Coco Besos Coconut bar, Raspberry Nib Crunch and Sea Salt & Almond which are sure to be the way to your valentine’s heart.
  • Vosges Exotic Truffle Collection: For your foodie valentine, opt for this truffle box full of flavors from around the world. All of the truffles sound unique and amazing, just like your valentine! These also come in several sizes too to fit any budget. (Important to note: only the square box, not the heart box is listed as gluten-free, despite containing the same truffles.)

Valentine Treats to AVOID:

  • Godiva Chocolates: According to their website, Godiva states that all of their products may contain gluten and they do not recommend any person with a gluten allergy consume their products. The same also goes for dairy and nut allergies.
  • Brach’s Conversation Hearts: Although gluten is not on the ingredients list, Brach’s states that it is packaged on shared equipment that contains gluten, so this might be an option depending on how sensitive you are.
  • Lindt Truffles and Gift Boxes: Definitely avoid these as many of their truffles and chocolates contain barley malt powder and in some cases, wheat flour. They also state that many of their chocolates may come in contact with products containing gluten.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts: Like all Reese’s seasonal items, the Hearts are not gluten-free, nor are the Unwrapped Minis. However, the regular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are gluten-free so you can still get your chocolate peanut butter fix!

Please note that I complied this list from my own research and by reading nutrition labels and allergy information. Before you consume, I always recommend reading the label as ingredients are subject to change.

Questions:

-What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day treat?

-Any other treats you would like me to investigate if they are gluten-free?