7.31.2015

What I'm Reading

I decided to start sharing the books I am reading on my blog! I have received a lot of good suggestions lately on what to read, so I wanted to share my thoughts. I also, wanted to recommend what I am reading!

After finishing Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn I needed something to read immediately. I could not put Gone Girl down, and I loved the plot, and the twists throughout the book. Now I need to watch the movie!



Also, if you loved Gone Girl, I really recommend Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Dark Places was a great mystery thriller, and I couldn't put that book down either. The movie is supposed to come out this summer, and I can't wait to see how the movie compares to the book.

I asked for suggestions on what to read after Gone Girl, and a lot of people recommended The Girl on the Train.   I read that if you loved Gone Girl, you should read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Can't wait to share my review on The Girl on the Train!


A great snack to enjoy while reading is Trader Joe's Almond Butter with dates - SO GOOD!!

 
xo, Stephanie 

7.30.2015

Costco Haul

Costco offers A LOT of healthy options. You don't have to eat Paleo either. They offer a lot of organic, gluten free, and I am seeing more and more NON-GMO verified items too. The prices are really reasonable. I buy all my organic chicken, and ground beef from Costco, and just freeze what we don't use. They have really good prices on  Kerrygold butter, and organic eggs.
 
I am glad they are offering more, and more organic fruits and veggies. The past few times I have gone the organic bananas haven't been the best, but they are about $2 for a three pound bag. You can also freeze bananas if you don't eat them that fast, and use them in smoothies.
 
 

I am a big fan of the avocado oil! We use that to cook with everything, and it makes a great salad dressing too! If you are looking for a Whole30 no sugar added pasta sauce I really recommend the Paesana tomato basil pasta sauce! Also, the prosciutto is a great alternative to bacon while doing a Whole30 if you cannot find a compliant bacon.

Eating healthy shouldn't cost a fortune!
 
 
xo, Stephanie 

7.28.2015

Summer Living | Infused Water

I love infused waters! If you drink a lot of water, sometimes it can get boring. Just add some fresh fruit to your water, and it's even better! You can do so many mixtures of fruit. Even adding fresh basil is great!


I drink about (sometimes more) a gallon of water a day. I notice when I don't drink a lot of water, I am bloated, and I am always craving something bad. My skin looks fresh, and I don't feel tired either. The only thing that sucks about drinking a gallon of water a day - you're always having to pee!
 
Stay hydrated!
 
xo, Stephanie 

7.27.2015

Trader Joe's Haul

I haven't been to Trader Joe's in forever! It's not like it's out of my way, but I like to spend too much time there!

Everything in my cart is Whole30 approved, and not unreasonably priced either!  I got all this for $65! I really love their sauerkraut, and their spicy chicken sausages! I picked up a pack of turkey burgers - I will let you know if they are yummy!

Trader Joe's plantain chips are REALLY good, and I love their burgers. They are great for those night you need to make something really quick. I really wish they had the cauliflower rice, but the store I went to was out.

 
Eating healthy shouldn't be expensive!
 
xo, Stephanie
 
 
 
 

7.23.2015

Munk Pack Review

I am really excited to try the Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze Packs! When they were delivered, Jackson saw them and had to try one immediately. He really enjoyed all three flavors, but I think blueberry acai flax was his favorite! Once my Whole90 is over, I can't wait to try them! The raspberry coconut looks really good, and apple quinoa cinnamon sounds amazing!

These oatmeal fruit squeezes are not just for kids! They are great in the mornings when you are trying to get out of the door and need to grab a quick breakfast meal, or to take on road trips! All three flavors are Non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, plant based. They don't have added sugar (only sugar from fruit), lots of fiber, and the packaging is BPA free!

 
 
You can buy them online here, or you can locate them a store (there's a store finder on their website).
 
 
Cannot wait to enjoy these once I am done with my Whole90!
 
 
xo, Stephanie


 

7.22.2015

Summer Living | Vitacost Beauty Finds

I wanted to share some of my favorite summer beauty finds from Vitacost. If you haven't heard of Vitacost - you should really check them out! They have great prices on all these healthy goodies, and they ship really fast!

Here are a few of my favorite beauty finds!
  • Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Polish Smoothing Sugar Cane | it's free of animal testing, parabens, and cruelty free | I love using this a few times a week before applying self tanner! It gets rid of dry skin, and smells amazing!!
  • Alba Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes Pineapple Enzyme | it's cruelty free, free of parabens, vegetarian | These are great to keep in your gym bag! If you are going straight to the gym after work, and need to remove your makeup these are the best! It's great for sensitive skin too!
  • Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner | vegan, gluten free, paraben free, no animal products, cruelty free | This shampoo and conditioner makes me want to go on vacation on a tropical island! Do you remember the Sauve coconut shampoo? It's like that but a lot better - and cruelty free!
  • Desert Essence Natural Tree Tree Oil Neem Toothpaste Wintergreen | cruelty free, vegan, fluoride free, gluten free, not test on animals | This is my go-to toothpaste. I don't use anything else, and I always stock up when I have to buy again! It leave my mouth minty fresh!
  • Larabar Lemon | vegan, raw, GMO free | I searched all the grocery stores, and couldn't find these lemon bars, but I found them on Vitacost! I had to buy a box, and they taste so good!!
  • One with Nature Dead Sea Mineral Soap Lemon Sage | cruelty free | This is the perfect soap to get your morning started! It smells so good, and refreshing!
  • Thayers Witch Hazel Rose Petal with Aloe Vera Formula | alcohol free toner, organic, paraben free, not tested on animals | I am in love with this toner! It doesn't dry out my skin, it's great when you don't want to apply makeup, and just freshen your skin!

If haven't already check out Vitacost you can get $10 off your first order clicking here!

 
 
xo, Stephanie 

7.20.2015

Farmer's Market Fun

It has been a crazy couple of weeks! I haven't been able to blog that much, or keep up with a lot of things. We haven't been doing a lot of cooking since we were getting our house on the market to sell. Meals have been really simple like tuna fish, grilled chicken, and lots of scrambled eggs. Meals have been really boring to post! Now that our house is on the market, I am back to cooking!

 

I went to our local farmer's market for a few things that I needed. It wasn't much, since I still have some stuff left over from the last trip. I really love the peaches, and plums from one of the stands. Nothing compares to fresh fruit, it doesn't taste like the stuff you buy at the grocery store! Charlotte always requests fresh flowers, even though we have our own growing. Fresh flowers are always the best! All of this was $19!
 
Support your local farmer's market!
 
xo, Stephanie 

7.10.2015

Target Haul

I haven't been to Target in forever - shocking I know. I needed to pick up a few items before doing a major weekend grocery store trip.



Target always saves me during the week with quick items. We love the Applegate hot dogs, and their roast beef is Whole30 approved. I am always stocked up on La Croix water, and kombucha! If you haven't tried the pecan LARABAR's you are missing out! They remind me of pecan pie for Thanksgiving dinner!

Glad Target has a lot of great healthy options!

xo, Stephanie 

Whole90 Style | Snacks

I wanted to share a few of my healthy snacking options while doing a Whole90. I haven't had a smoothie in 61 days!! I have replaced my smoothie love for some kombucha love.

 
If you are looking for something other than coffee at Starbucks, their Iced Passion Tea is Whole30 approved if you get it unsweetened. Trader Joes' offers some really yummy fruit bars too! Anything that is quick to grab makes it easier to stay on track!
 
 
I am a big fan of the Gingerberry flavor kombucha! If you haven't tried kombucha, I really recommend this flavor if you're nervous on the taste. 
 
 
Snacking made easy!
 
xo, Stephanie
 

7.09.2015

The Everything Guide to Going Paleo


I have received several emails asking how I went Paleo, and how I recommend going Paleo. I always recommend to start off with a Whole30. Don't just get your feet wet, jump right in. Before starting your first Whole30 check out all the info here. Meal prepping is key to a successful Whole30, and making sure you are in the right mindset. It's a lot of work at first, but once you get past the first few days, it gets easier.
  
So, what is eating Paleo?
 
Paleo is eating like a caveman - you know hunting and gathering. It's cutting out all crap food, and eating unprocessed foods. I started eating this way over two years ago (not always 100%), and it's the only thing that works for me. It's not a diet, but more of a lifestyle. I love eating this way. I don't have to count calories, or track anything. Plus when I eat certain foods, I feel like crap.
 
What can you have?
 
This is what I like to stock:
  • meats (preferably grass-fed) chicken, pork, beef, lamb, chorizo, sausages
  • seafood
  • fish
  • fruits
  • veggies
  • almonds, cashews, nuts, seeds (hemp, sunflower)
  • dates
  • almond butter
  • olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
  • sweet potatoes
  • white potatoes
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • dark chocolate
  • eggs
  • organic hot dogs
  • kombucha
  • La Croix water
  • coconut flour, almond flour, arrowroot powder
  • LaraBars
  • RXBars
  • Applesauce
What can you not eat?
  • dairy
  • legumes - no peanuts, beans, peanut butter
  • refined sugar
  • processed foods
  • grains, wheat, brown rice
  • corn
What are the gray areas?
  • white rice
  • quinoa
  • grass fed dairy - goats milk, grass fed whole milk products.
I feel like the gray area is how your body can tolerate certain foods. Dairy is easy for me to cut out of my diet. I like it, but it makes me break out. If you don't have problem eating dairy, eating a Primal lifestyle might work for you.
 
Where do I shop?
 
I love sharing my grocery cart hauls! I think it helps people get an idea of what to buy, where to go, and that it doesn't have to be boring. A lot of people get bored eating the same foods over and over again. Even if you are 100%, 80/20, or just a clean eater, you can find really good options here. You can cut costs by purchasing sausages. I really like Trader Joe's spicy chicken sausage, and Aidells chicken apple sausage. Also, Applegate makes a great hot dog that is Whole30 approved. I have stopped buying chicken breasts, and started buying chicken thighs, and whole chickens instead. It's a lot cheaper, and I think the chicken breast meat is dry. Chicken thighs are great grilled too!
  • Wegman's
  • Whole Foods
  • Target
  • Trader Joe's
  • Costco
  • Farmer's Markets
I love to shop around, and find the best deal. Always make list before you go shopping. That will keep you from spending too much, and sticking to your goals. Wegman's has a great app that you can use to create your grocery list. It also helps you navigate the store!
 
Eating healthy shouldn't be expensive, or hard!
 
xo, Stephanie

 

7.08.2015

Whole90 Style | Zoodles

Gimme all the zoodles. I am obsessed with zoodles right now. I don't even miss regular noodles. You don't even have to eat Paleo to enjoy them!



I use my julienne peeler to make my zoodles. After I have peeled my zucchini into zoodles, I place them in a microwave safe dish, add 1/4 cup water, and heat them on high for about 45 seconds. It's just enough to warm them, but not make the zoodles mushy.

Add some Trader Joe's Spicy Chicken sausage, and pasta sauce, and you have the perfect dinner. If are not doing a Whole30 and eating dairy, adding a little parmesan cheese would be great too.
 
Simple, healthy, zero mess.
 
 
xo, Stephanie 

7.06.2015

Summer Living | Weekend Recap

Trying to get back into my running groove. I really miss running, but this summer has been really busy! The weather in Northern Virginia this summer hasn't been the greatest either - insert crying face emoji here.


So, I decided to put on my running shoes, and run the trails along the Potomac River, and take in the DC scenery. It's also a great break from the gym scene.



 
It was a great reason to get in my 15,000 daily step goal.
 
xo, Stephanie

Farmer's Market Fun

Eating healthy shouldn't cost a fortune. I hear people say how expensive it is to eat clean. It really isn't. I try to buy organic as much as I can, and it really hasn't increased my grocery bill. Shopping your local farmer's market can save you more money than going to the actual grocery store. I know a few stands at our local farmer's market will sell you five items for $10. When I go to our local farmer's market, I walk around and see what deals everyone is having before I buy anything. Also, if you go later in the day before they close you might find a better deal than when they first open.

I was able to pick up all of these goodies for $20. I actually got all the food for $19, and bought four zinnias for $1. Fresh flowers are always a plus!

 
Support your local farmer's market!
 
 
xo, Stephanie
 
 

Whole90 Style | Breakfast

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. Eggs over easy is the best, and it's so simple. I could really eat it for lunch or dinner too! One of my favorite Whole30 meals is eggs over easy with a side of chorizo, and a cup of black coffee. 


My Whole90 is going really well. Some days I get bored with eating a lot of meat, and then just settle for fruit, and a really big salad. This Whole90 challenge actually going by really fast. I feel like having all the fresh summer fruits, and veggies really helps too!

Eating a high protein diet keeps me really full, and I am starting to get past the 3pm snack time.

 
xo, Stephanie 

7.01.2015

Whole90 Style | Beef Stir Fry

I have been trying to switch up my Whole90 meals, and I decided to make stir fry! This meal was perfect, and exactly what I have been craving. It was really simple, and didn't take more than 20 minutes to make. Easy peasy!

  • one pound of organic beef sirloin for stir fry (I found this at Wegman's already precut)
  • one medium onion - diced
  • two medium zucchinis (made into zoodles)
  • ghee
  • sea salt & pepper
  • two garlic cloves - diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • one cup cherry tomatoes - diced
  1. brown the beef sirloin in ghee, once cooked to the temperature you like set aside
  2. add the diced onion, garlic cloves to your hot skillet and season with sea salt and pepper with ghee (I just added about a small spoon full)
  3. once the onion is translucent, add the zoodles, cherry tomatoes, coconut aminos, and the cooked beef sirloin to the skillet
  4. stir everything together, and cook for about three minutes (covered)
  5. enjoy!

You can add whatever veggies you want. I just added the items we had from our last farmer's market trip. Carrots, and celery might be a good addition to the stir fry too! I am all about simple easy meals that don't require a lot of time, or ingredients. Also, less clean up is a plus too! You can even make this without the meat, and add shrimp or just all veggies! My husband and kids enjoyed this stir fry on top of rice.
 
xo, Stephanie 

Summer Living | Travel Snacks

I love going on road trips, and I am always prepared with snacks. Always.

If you haven't tried kombucha yet, I really recommend it! Since I can't have smoothies during my Whole90, I have been drinking more kombucha. One of my favorite brands is Synergy Drinks GT Kombucha. They have so many flavors, and I can't pick just one favorite.

Kombucha is great to drink, and there are so many benefits.
  • detoxes
  • great for you mood
  • digestion
  • probiotics
  • energy

I am also a big fan of mango - everything. The Trader Joe's freeze dried mango slices are really great to snack on, and the kids love them!

I know sometimes you want to grab a bag of chips on road trips, but snacking can be healthy!

 
xo, Stephanie 
 

Summer Living | Glamping Westmoreland State Park

If you haven't had the chance, I really recommend going camping. It was a great way to unplug, and regroup! We didn't camp in a tent, but a cabin. The cabin had no TV, just running water, a stove, fridge, and a bathroom. The best part was the screened in porch with rocking chairs. Waking up each morning, and drinking coffee was really nice.

 
 
We went on hikes each day - Westmoreland State Park even encouraged getting your 10,000 steps a day with Hiking for your Health.
 
 
 


 
 
 
The park was beautiful, and so many things to do as a family! We even went up and down the stairs a few times!


 
 
Even though it rained, we stayed as active as we could. Westmoreland State Park had tons of fresh berries to pick, and the kids loved it!
 
 
 
It wasn't hard eating Whole30 approved meals here either. It was actually really easy! Grilling was the best! I just grilled a lot of chicken at once to have for meals during the day, and dinner.
 


 
 
If you ever get the chance, you should travel Virginia. There are so many fun activities to do with the kids, and get out and walk! I can't wait for us to go on our next mini summer trip!
 
 
xo, Stephanie