August 29, 2013

Do You Smell That? season has arrived. Such a love/hate relationship I have with this time of year.

Love me some tailgating. Love me some cool weather watching. Love me some Texans. And along with every other girl in America, I especially LOVE me some JJ Watt in tight pants.

{Insert drooling action here.}
On the flip side, how I hate becoming a football fan widow every Monday, Thursday and Sunday night. Hate hearing about everyone and their dog's fantasy football drafts all over every social media platform invented. And HATE the ever-so-obnoxious "Who Dat?". (Oops. Was that rude?)

Other than that, I'm pretty okay with football season and in honor of this monumental day in every man in America's lives, I present you with quite possibly my favorite YouTube video to date. (Ok-so it doesn't top this video but still...) For the love of GOD, make sure your speakers are on for this one.

My husband is going to be so proud of this post. I just know it.

August 27, 2013

Healthy Dog = Happy Dog (A Recipe)

Two dog posts. Two days in a row. Who am I and what have you done with the old Stephanie?

Some people call it down right spoiling, others call it doing anything and everything you can to make up for the fact that you're shipping her off to camp for 3 weeks. Tomato/tomahto. When Beau's co-worker emailed me this recipe and I saw that A) it only had 4 ingredients and B) 'said' ingredients were all extremely healthy and C) they already resided in my kitchen, I immediately started pre-heating my oven. 
Simple, cheap, healthy and will leave your dog loving you more than ever before...I mean, if that's even a possibility! Obviously, it's not possible in our house. ;)

2 1/2 C flour (I used organic oat flour) | 2 eggs | 3/4 C pumpkin | 3 T peanut butter 

Mix up your dough using your old fashioned hand mixer because A) you don't bake enough to own a big fancy stand mixer and B) you're just too darn cheap to buy one.

Roll out...I mean, roll IT out and use whatever cookie cutter you can find. I, surprisingly enough, only own 1 cookie cutter and it just so happens to be of the best state in the country. (See what I mean when I say I don't bake enough?) This recipe made about 25-30 treats. Depending on your cookie cutter size, it may make more or less. 

Grease a cookie sheet with a little olive oil cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place cookies as close together as you'd like. They don't expand so don't worry about them sticking to one another...just make sure they're not touching.

 Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow to cool completely and then watch your four-legged child go absolutely nuts to the point that picture taking becomes physically, mentally and emotionally impossible. Ears back + eyes closed equals the look of pure bliss. 

Seriously-if this non-baking, non-direction-following dog mom can handle this recipe, you. can. too. Trust.

August 26, 2013

They're Sending Me To Camp? (By: Oakley)

Say wha?

Apparently when you turn 7 months old around these parts, weigh 80 pounds, drag your mother down the street when she tries to walk you and jump on friends when they come over to visit, you get sent to camp. Yes, camp.

I'm not talking about a weekend stay with girl scouts that consists of crafting, s'mores and Kum Ba Yah...I wish. I'm talking about a 3 week's stay at some place they call the "Pet Resort".

3 weeks of hard, focused work, on my end, where I'll learn to be a good girl. I've got this sit, stay, shake, high five (with both hands!), roll over and bow stuff down to a tee but according to my humans, I'm due for some intense obedience training. Womp, womp, womp.

Am I excited? A little.
Will I meet friends like Taco, Walter & Romeo? I sure hope so! ;)
Will I learn to be a civilized Ridgeback? I better.
But most of all, will I miss my mother every waking moment of every single day?
I think that answers your question.

I hope this place is ready for me because I've got sass for days, eyes that get me whatever the heck I want and a lot of learning to do. Bring it, Pet Ranch. Buh-ring it.

Love always,

August 23, 2013

Your Friday Dose of Adorableness

It just hit me that it's been a while since the triplets made an appearance on this here blog and let's be honest...I can brag about these precious angel babies all day long since they're not mine! ;)
Gray: Taylor | Pink: Mallory | Blue: Samantha


My, my, my how I cherish the time spent with these girls. :) They're getting so big, so fast! At 11 weeks old, granted they were preemies, they're all weighing around 9 pounds! What in the world?! It's amazing how quickly they grow and change within the blink of an eye! They outgrew their preemie clothes a while ago and now their newborn stuff is even getting a little snug! Gah! They're starting to fill out and are becoming strong, smart little girls! They track with their eyes, smile, coo and wiggle...a LOT these days!

Though they're triplets, it's amazing to see all their different personalities come out! Samantha is sassy, I've decided. She has this little squeal she lets out when she wants something (like milk, duh) and you know you better get it to her quick. Mallory is my kangababy. She LOVES to be held which is perfectly fine with Aunt Steph! ;) We've spent hours in the rocking in the glider or taking strolls around the house together. I love that! :) Taylor is probably the most easy going of the three...for now, anyways! She's just always so content, whether you're holding her or she's in her swing or she's playing on her mat but sister can put down some food and has THE loudest burps/farts I think I've ever heard. (Yes-I just went there.) Don't let those precious blue eyes fool ya...these little 9 pounds of preciousness make noises from their rearends I never thought existed! ;) (They're gonna kill me for saying that one day!)

Ok...without TOTALLY spoiling the surprise that I know my sissy-in-law will be inevitably posting someday soon...
I mean...have you ever seen anything more precious than three triplet girls? I think not.

Everyone deserves their right to a regular dose of precious babies! ;) Happy Friday! 

August 22, 2013

Baubles & Beads & Bows...Oh My!

Here lately, I've posted several Instagram pics on some recent jewelry finds of mine and have gotten a ton of questions as to where I've gotten what so today, we're here to find the answers to those questions...mmmkay?! If your a blog scanner (#guilty)...go ahead and scroll straight to the bottom of this post for the good stuff. ;) Don't ever say I didn't do anything for you.

Let's take it from the top:

Seaside monogram pearl bracelet - Southern Charm Apparel (so classy and versatile! LOVE!)
Turquoise beaded bracelets - to be honest, I don't even remember. I've had these forever!
White/gold XOXO bracelet - lovely gift from Shay who found it at Charming Charlie.
Gold boyfriend watch - Betsey Johnson (obsessed with ALL of her fun/unique watches!)

Gold chain/bow bracelet - precious gift from my in-laws! Can be found @ My Flat in London.
Gold/black Metro bracelet - The Rad Market (Loving all their trendy, affordable gems!)
Gold boyfriend watch - Betsey Johnson
Black/nude bow flip flops - from a tiny boutique but you can find 'em here!

Gold BFF Bangle (shared with none other than this girl) - Kate Spade
Monogrammed Nautical Rope bracelet - Marley Lilly
Gold boyfriend watch - Betsey Johnson

Gold BFF necklace (also shared with this girl. Yes-I spoil her rotten.) - Cathryn Ann Designs
Gold state necklace - also Cathryn Ann Designs (PS: she makes them in EVERY state!)


And now...the bestest part of all... (because I love you & I told you to scroll down here first!)...

Enjoy 20% off your entire purchase from Southern Charm Apparel when you use the code "BACK2SCHOOL1"!


Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to The Rad Market by simply visiting their site and leaving a comment below with your favorite item! (Giveaway ends next Friday, August 30!)

BUT WAIT...there's more! ;)

Enjoy 15% off ALL orders from Cathryn Ann Designs using the code "STEPH15"!

See...I told ya all this gibberish was worth it!

Thank you.
You're welcome.
Merry Christmas!

August 20, 2013

Summer Lovin' {The Staples}

For some of you, specifically those in the northern states, summertime may be coming to a close. Fall boots, winter scarves and maroon nail polish are all donning your Pinterest boards and the leaves on your trees are about to go from green to orange. 

For the rest of us below the Mason Dixon line, summer is still in full swing for at least another 2 months...easily. That being said, tan lines, sunkissed cheeks and cut off shorts aren't going anywhere any time soon. (Summer lasts at least 7 months out of the year in TX. Kind of like Mexico. Now do you see why I live here?)

Some of these items I've been particularly swooning over all summer long, others are a little new to my summer routine. Bottom line: the summer months are hot and all about simplicity and being the simple person I am, you now know why I always have been and always will be a summer girl...

Summer Staples

Orly Beach Cruiser - probably the hottest pink I've yet to find in stores - and trust me, I've been looking EVERYWHERE! (I got mine from Ulta, to be exact.) I'll be using up every last drop for the next 2 months to make sure I round out summer 2013 with a bang!

Mason Jar Tumbler - river, work, lake, pool, dinner table. This baby has been around the world with me lately. It's the perfect size, doesn't sweat, has a handle (unlike the plethora of Tervis tumblers I own) and it's as precious as all get out! Fill 'em with gift cards, nail polish and lip balm and these babies make the cutest gifts, too!

Gold ball posts - my go-to earrings as of late. Mine are just costume but I LOVE them to pieces. So versatile and very easily dressed up or down. I may or may not be guilty of wearing these to the gym and the pool, too...

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess - I borrowed Katie's for the first time when she came down to visit and oh-my-lanta I've never been more obsessed with another bronzer. Just take my word for it and go snag some. BEST bronzer money can buy and you really don't have to use much!

Country Chic Body Splash - light, crisp and refreshing! Country Chic is definitely my all time favorite scent from Bath & Body Works. Though I'm usually a perfume girl, I hate wasting perfectly good smelling perfume on casual clothes (think: t-shirts). This stuff is great for running errands or if you're like me, for wearing to the pool or gym. (Ain't nobody got time for the B.O.)

Nike running shorts - THESE THINGS. I canNOT get enough of 'em. If I didn't have an upcoming vacation to be shopping for (ahem...52 days!), I'd buy these in every color on the market.  They're so cool and breezy, yet don't have the granny panties sewn on the inside and don't make your ass look like a parachute like the Norts do. And the waistband. OHHHH the waistband... it's the absolute BEST. SO flattering. Buh-bye muffin top.

Zip top hobo - Old Navy for the win...AGAIN! The look and feel of this little gem reminds me of a Longchamp, but without the hefty price tag. It works great for traveling, running errands or even a casual date night!

Braided wedges - because what girl can't have enough pairs of wedges?! I love that these can be worn with jeans, shorts or a dress, for places like church, shopping, dates or even work. The the fact that they're a wedge automatically makes them a winner in my book.

So while you say goodbye, I say hello! 
Hello, second half of summer! 

What are some of your favorite summertime staples from this year?!

Have Blogger BFF. Will Travel.

Ok so Richard Gere will not be attending this event and if you know the plot of the movie, we will not be killing our husbands BUT...

Whatdya do when your husband has a business trip to the windy city? 
You book the first flight you find and go with him.

Whatdya do when your BFF lives w/in driving distance of said 'windy city'? 
You beg her, her husband and their 7 pound ball of fur to hop in a car and drive their butts to see you.

Duh and duh.

Thaz right. My "friend I met on the internet" (weird?) and her husband (who supports this "online friendship"...weirder?)  will be joining Beau and I on our very first trip to Chicago!! Neither Beau or I have gone before so we're excited to go with people who:

A) drink as much as we do 
B) enjoy food as much as we do 
C) accept us for the people we are
D) know how to have a good time 
E) have been there before and can show us around the city

To be perfectly honest, I'm really not sure what I'm more excited about:

  • the fact that I somehow finagled Katie into making yet another trip to see me
  • Rocky (their furchild) joining us
  • getting away from 99+ degree weather (Hello mid-70s!)
  • the possibility of meeting The Daily Tay (fingers crossed!)
  • knocking off #13 on my 30 before 30 list
  • partaking in copious amounts of food, particularly the infamous Chicago brunches
  • being a tourist 
  • snapping eleventy billion selfies in front of the bean
  • seeing what this whole 'windy city thing' is all about
  • taking in all the scenery, the buildings, the changing of the leaves, and everything else!
I don't even know what all Chicago has to offer?! My fellow travel bugs or Chigoans (is that even thing?), where should we go? What should we do? What do we HAVE to see?! 

Down here we're usually in shorts and flip flops in mid-September but Katie specifically told us we could NOT pack cowboy boots because we'd definitely look out of place (she's such a good friend, right?). All that to I really don't know what to pack?! Coat? Scarf? Boots? What the hay do I wear friends?!
This the way...was a pain in my NECK so enjoy it. Please. ;)

August 15, 2013

5 Days in My Stomach (The 80/20 rule)

Well if that doesn't catch your attention, I don't know what will.

To be perfectly honest, I strongly considered titling this post "5 Days in My Mouth" but I thought that was a little inappropriate for a classy, public blog like this one. Yes? No? (Sarcasm, people. You should pick some up at your next trip to the store...)

Either way...title, scmitle. This post is long...loonnnnnng...overdue. I know. But following this post here and this post here, I thought it would only be appropriate for me to give you an example meal plan of what you can typically find me eating during the week. (Keyword: during the week).

Like I've said before, I'm all about balance. I prefer to eat really well 5 days out of the week and "splurge" a little on the weekends to maintain a healthy body weight. This is what works for me. I call it the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I'm really good, and 20% of the time, I'm not-so-good. And by "not-so-good", I mean I'll have wine instead of vodka, fajitas WITH a tortilla or even, dare I say, waffle fries instead of a fruit cup to go with my grilled nuggets at Chick-fil-A. We're not talking burgers, nachos and cheese fries, people.

Now, if I'm wanting to shed a few pounds, there's no 80/20 rule allowed. I believe losing weight is all about making 100% healthy decisions 100% of the time. For me, anyways. I can't lose weight following the 80-20 plan. If you can drop a few L.B.s eating clean 80% of the time, I hate you.

Kidding. I'm just extremely jealous of your fancy metabolism.

FYI-This isn't what I eat every single week, so you know, but give or take a few meals and this is typically what you'll find in my mouth, err-stomach, 5 days/week.

Yes-I eat salad almost every day for lunch. If I'm not eating a salad, I'm eating leftovers from the night before.
Yes-I'm obsessed with hummus and depending on the day, I could probably drink it straight from the bowl. Specifically the Cilantro Garlic Hummus that I make from scratch. (So easy. Don't let it scare you!)
Yes-you'll notice I referenced "pumpkin bread" quite a few times so here is the recipe for that one. Definitely something I could eat an entire pan one sitting.
And yes, I eat pancakes, too. Here you go.
I hope this answers a lot of questions I've been getting lately! I'm hoping to put together a workout post of my favorite arm and leg workouts soon. I know I've been getting a ton of questions about that, too, so don't think they've been ignored!

Now go.
Be happy.
Be healthy!

August 13, 2013

How You Know When You've Hit #Crazydogmomstatus dedicate entire blog posts about 'said' dog spend your Saturday morning at a "desnaking" training course followed by Saturday afternoon with your regular obedience trainer (Proud to say Oakie will NOT go near another snake in her life!)
...your day is 100% scheduled around letting he/she out and making sure he/she gets enough love, attention and exercise
...the last 9 out of 10 Instagram posts are guessed it
...there are baby gates scattered around your house even though there are no real babies in sight spend hours cleaning your house only for it to be torn back to pieces in t-minus 10 minutes
...your shopping budget has gotten smaller but for some reason your dog budget is indisposable have a Pinterest board solely dedicated for your pup've recruited your sweet aunt to come over certain days of the week just to let her out & play while you're at work, road trips, dinners, etc...are put off because you don't want to leave them at home with someone else...or at home in general
...Petsmart is a store you now frequent 2x/week
...your couches are covered in sheets #truestory
...your bed has become her bed
...your desktop, laptop and iPhone wallpapers are all covered in photos of your child
...ok...and so is your entire iPhone case
...your vacuum is now used 3x/week rather than 3x/month can have the absolute worst day ever...I'm talking traffic, bad hair, slipped and fell, missed a deadline, started your period, NO GOOD DAY...until you get home to see a face like this:

If you agreed with more than 10 of the above facts, consider yourself at #crazydogmomstatus.
It's ok. You're not alone. The first step is admitting it.

6 months ago, I would have never thought I could love someone/something as much as I do Oakley. Okay...and Beau, too. ;) So this post is for all you dog lovers out there. Thank you for making me feel slightly less psychotic!

August 7, 2013

Kale + Cranberry Salad

Y'all know I'm all about simple. Right?

Y'all also know how passionate I am about fueling my body with the most nutritious foods. Right?

Ok...for the most part...anyways! ;) 

Whatdya get when you combine simple + healthy?

Well...if you read the title of this post, you would know you get a Kale + Cranberry Salad... and it's easy and delicious as it sounds.

5 years ago, you could have handed me a bunch of kale and I would have never known what it was. I would have tasted it and hated it and never wanted it again. In fact, you probably couldn't have paid me to actually eat kale and pretend to like it. 

Fast forward to now. Obviously...I know what kale is but more so, I've learned just how beneficial kale is to your health and also, ways to actually enjoy it!

Kale Quickies:
  • Highest antioxidant capacity of all the greens. Antioxidants fight free radicals (the bad, cancer-causing stuff).
  • Excellent source of vitamins A ("A" for awesome for skin), C ("C" for collagen-builder and immune booster) calcium (bone builder), carotene and lutein (both excellent nutrients for the eyes and for reducing the risk of macular degeneration).
  • LOADED with fiber. Think "regular". ;)
  • One of the most important foods to buy organic. Remember: the thinner the skin, the more important to buy organic. For example, kale has no "skin" eat it as is. Same with all greens. On the other hand, oranges and bananas both have a thick skin that you don't eat. While it's always ideal to buy these organic, well, I know how expensive that can be and for someone who doesn't have an neverending bank account, I know that buying 100% organic 100% of the time is sometimes impossible. Do what you can and don't kick yourself if you can't. (If you learn one thing from me...I hope it's that you learn to always, always purchase organic greens.)

Okay. Okay. Okay.

Enough with the Bill Nye stuff. Here's what you'll need:
1 bunch organic kale | 1 C dried cranberries | 1 C golden raisins | 3/4 C almond | 3/8 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rinse your kale and cut it into about 2 inch pieces. Toss the thick, veiny base of the stalks. Ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

Find the largest bowl in your house ( kale was so fluffy I thought I was going to have to resort to using my bathtub as my mixing bowl) and combine all ingredients. 

If you're a fan of lemon juice and/or sea salt (raises hand), feel free to add a little to your mix. It's not completely necessary but sometimes I need a little somethin' somethin' to lessen the taste of the olive oil. Lemon juice and sea salt do just that! 

Toss yo' salad and just like that my have just made your very first Kale + Cranberry Salad! Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving because, afterall, who wants a hot salad?

Enjoy as a side dish or if you're me, eat a ton of it for lunch with a side of fresh fruit because you're too lazy to heat up your leftovers. ;)

Don't say I never did anything for you. ;)
 En. Friggin. Joy.

August 6, 2013

Life as of Lately

(Also known as: "Life according to my iPhone", "Life as a blogger with a severe case of writer's block", or "Life as a writer who's busy doing everything except writing"...)
Consider this to be one of the most random posts to ever grace your computer screen. Hey-don't say I didn't warn you...
After him being in Cabo for 5 days (yes...without me...), yesterday morning I woke up to perfection. 4 nights by myself was far too long. Beau spooning Oakie...Oakie spooning her mama...something I never want to end!
The sweetest, most thoughtful package in the mail all the way from South Africa! Beau and I were obsessed with the stamps! I mean, it's not every day you receive a package from what feels like the other side of the globe!! (Thank you, Caley, for these ever-so-fabulous gifts. I did not deserve this!)

Oakley sunbathing in 100 degree weather. What? Why?? And whyyyy does she look SO grown up here???

Did I ever tell you I'm the kind of person who believes it the shoe/dress/shirt/shorts/purse fits, buy it in every color?? No really. I'm like this with pretty much everything. Obsessed with Old Navy's printed shorts right now is an understatement and y'all...get this...they're less than $10 each! You need these in your life. (Use the code "ONSAVENOW" for an additional 20% off your purchase. You're oh-so-welcome!)

So last night I was channeling my inner food blogger (think...a far less talented Kelly Hunt) and I kinda loved it. Like...a lot! Camera: check! Tripod: check! I felt so legit! (PS-this yummy summer-inspired recipe coming to the blog tomorrow!)

Oakley's pawprint of approval of my new door mat. I mean, if this doesn't scream "redneck", I don't know what does.

I started adding blueberries to my orgasmic (yes, I just went there) healthy pancakes and...I can't. I just can't even think about them without my mouth watering. Seriously-stop saying you're "going to make them" and just do it. I swear you will want breakfast for every meal.

Sister Sassypants getting pretty creative with her toys these days. A pink ribbon, wrapped around her raccoon wrapped around her arm. Whatever floats her boat.

Spending entire days with these beauties (plus their missing sissy who was most likely either eating or having her diaper changed, Samantha) makes my week. My days spent with them are so incredibly precious to me and something I'll always treasure. I'm so thankful my sister-in-law lets me come crash their party 1-2 times/week! ;)

Enjoying one too many adult bevvies with girlfriends and happy hours that last until all hours of the night. I mean, that never sucks!

See. Told ya. Randomness at it's finest!

August 2, 2013

22 Foods You Will Always Find in My Kitchen (...Then Some!)

22 foods

As promised, and to follow up with yesterday's post on the 12 foods you will never find in my kitchen, I thought it'd be fun to share with you the foods that you will most likely always and forever find in my kitchen, that is, unless I've consumed them all. :)

Like I said in my previous post, I'm not a nutritionist, a dietician or a doctor. I don't deem myself to be an "expert", by any means. I'm just a girl who loves to read, research and learn about food and the way it can help (or hinder) our bodies. These are just the foods I've found that work for me. They satisfy my hunger, nourish my body, keep me feeling good and help keep my weight down. I can only hope that the way I am eating now will only help as I age over the years to come.

Again-I AM human, y'all! The weekends are my time to let go a little...sip on a margarita or two...enjoy a little chips and salsa...drink a beer by the pool. I've found that as long as I eat clean during the week and eat kinda, sorta clean on the weekends, I still feel good and am able to maintain a healthy body weight. Note: by "letting go a little", I do not mean I veg out on burgers, fries, nachos and pizza during the weekend. I just mean I allow myself to live a little...take a bite of a piece of cake, actually enjoy a tortilla with my fajitas or, for God's sake, eat a piece of pita bread!

Ok. I'll shut up now. In no particular order:
  1. Avocadoes
  2. Veganaise (mayo substitute)
  3. Almonds
  4. Organic coconut oil
  5. Almond cheese (for all you trying to be dairy free, I LOVE this stuff!)
  6. Fresh salads
  7. Tuna
  8. Truvia
  9. Apples
  10. Peaches
  11. Pears
  12. Hummus (I LOVE Sabra's but here lately, I've been making my own!)
  13. Larabars (and more recently, QuestBars)
  14. Unsweetened almond milk (for recipes and protein shakes)
  15. Cucumbers
  16. Bell peppers
  17. 72% dark chocolate chips (to put my sweet tooth in check!)
  18. Organic sugar-free peanut and almond butter
  19. Organic cage-free eggs
  20. Coffee (a must!)
  21. Rolled oats (to use in recipes like this and protein shakes)
  22. keep my sanity!

Of course, not pictured are the specific foods I'd have for whatever meals we have planned for the week. This is usually something along the lines of chicken, salmon, tilapia, shrimp, ground turkey, venison, lots of veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, onions, zucchini, asparagus, etc...), sweet potatoes...and so on.

Also not pictured (simply because I couldn't find the image in the program I was using) but I feel they are important to mention as they are definitely staples in my house:
  • Earth Balance spread (soy-free, dairy-free butter substitute)
  • Oat, almond and coconut flours (for recipes like this one)
  • QuestBars
  • Terra & Lentil Chips
  • Jay Robb Protein Powder (for protein shakes and some recipes)
  • Erythritol (sugar alcohol sugar substitute)

I hope this helps you on your journey to leading a more healthy lifestyle! MANY of you had questions from yesterday's post so please feel free to leave them in the comments section below or shoot me an email at :)

*Rude/snarky/opinionated commenters need not apply.

August 1, 2013

12 Foods You Will Never Find in My Kitchen

health junkie
Allow me to preface this by saying...

I am not a nutritionist. A dietician. A doctor. A nurse. Or anything with a fancy title or initials after my name, for that matter.

I am Stephanie Howard and I simply have a degree in Health Education and Promotion. I've spent the last 5 years of my life in the Health & Wellness industry where I have read hundreds of books on food, nutrition, hormones, wellness, diet, and list just a few of the major topics. I've been a health blogger on the side for 3 years now and not to mention, a self-proclaimed health junkie so learning all I can about food, nutrition, wellness and fitness is just my cup of tea.

That being said...this is all taken from what I've learned from reading, research and my own personal experience. Take it for what's it's worth. Mmmmkay?

12 Foods you will never find in my kitchen...

Milk. Cow's milk...specifically. Ick! Dairy is one of the biggest allergens out there. Not only are most people allergic to milk/milk products/dairy in general, but it messes with your gut and can royally screw with your hormones. Milk is processed, people. Cows are fed hormones and antibiotics and if that's where you get your milk from, guess what? You've ingested those same hormones and antibiotics. I've been 95% dairy-free for almost a year now and I cannot even begin to tell you what a difference it's made in my gut (not near as many stomach aches as before) and it's even helped improve my skin tone (slightly). I don't have any issues with my hormones yet (praise God) but I can only imagine how this is helping my endocrine system. Almond milk is this girl's best friend and if you're worried about my calcium intake, shockingly enough, almond milk (& many other health foods) has calcium in it, too!

Cereals. Processed, processed and more processed. Breakfast cereals (I'm looking at YOU, Lucky Charms!) are loaded with grains, flours, dyes, sugar, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and preservatives. Not just this, but 9 times out of 10, cereal is paired with what? MILK.

Chicken pot pie. I don't know why but you will never, I repeat, NEVER find this in my freezer. SO caloric and loaded with sodium and fat it's not even funny. One of my health education professors once told me this was one of the worst foods you can eat and I've taken her word for it ever since. Not to mention, it just looks nasty and reminds me of middle school cafeteria food. Vom city.

Packaged breads. Again...processed like nobody's business! If enriched wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup and yeast are at the top of your "must eat" list, than packaged breads are just for you. If flabby thighs, stomach rolls and chubby cheeks are also your thing, have at it. As for me and my kitchen, we will not serve Mrs. Baird's.

Soda. Regular and diet soda. All of the above. If you remove ONE thing from your diet, let it be this one. Sodas are nothing but empty calories. The sugar load does nothing but reduce good (HDL) cholesterol and raise blood triglyceride levels. Not to mention, sugar causes inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation throughout the body can be and has been linked to certain cancers and diseases. I gave up sodas 7 years ago and have never looked back. Water...plain water and wine and my BFF.

Hot dogs. Yahoo named this food one of the top cancer-causing food many, many moons ago and though I've never been a huge hot dog eater to begin with (the texture alone...gag me with a spoon. Or a weiner?) this is definitely not something you will ever see me eat. Unless I'm intoxicated to a point of no return. Ingredients: mechanically separated what? Potassium lactate who? Sodium phosphate where? Along with a whole mess of other ingredients I won't even bother listing... I can't. Just can't.

Pasta. 'Tis true. No ca-noodling for this chick. Spaghetti squash is where it's AT! And occasionally...when I'm really, and I mean really, feening for carbs, I'll cheat and have a tiny bit of gluten-free organic brown rice pasta. But that's it. Regular spaghetti noodles are made of none other than white flour...or if we're calling a spade a spade here, simple carbs. AKA: they do nothing for you but sit there in your body. Your body doesn't know how to process simple carbs and therefore, they are left to convert to sugar and eventually, are what you can blame for your cottage cheese legs. Complex carbs, like the brown rice pasta I spoke of previously, is broken down easier and actually provides your body with at least some form nutrition.

Frozen meals. Processed? Guilty. Sodium laden? Guilty. Loaded with corn syrup, sugar, wheat and yeast? Guilty, again. Guilty on ALL accounts, Smart Ones. Weight Watchers can kiss my badonkadonk for this one. Just do me and YOU a favor and don't waste your money on this junk.

Soy products. If genetically modified foods are your thing, have at it but just about all soy products (processed tofu, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy "butter", etc...) are basically the cheapest form of "protein" you will find in cheap foods. Soy can interfere BIG TIME with the absorption of your body's naturally producing hormones and even certain minerals, think calcium, magnesium and zinc...all essential minerals to our health. Not to mention, soy consumption has been linked to infertility, cancers of the endocrine system, premature puberty in kids, etc...If you can avoid soy, please, for the sake of humanity do it. I do, however, have but ONE exception when it comes to soy and that's edamame. Soybeans are the purest form of soy and from what I've ready, is "ok" to eat on occasion. Key words: ON OCCASION.

Canned soups. Step 1: walk into your pantry. Step 2: identify all canned soups. Step 3: throw them away immediately. Every last one of 'em! Step 4: never buy them again. Step 5: Consider repeating steps 1 through 4 to the rest of your canned goods too because you're not going to like what I'm about to say. The lining on the inside of the can is called Bisphenol A, better known as "BPA". BPA is the KING of disrupting hormones and totally effing up your endocrine system. Aside from this...canned soups are stuffed with sodium and fat. Have you ever actually seen how much sodium is in one single can of soup?! For reference, one can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup contains 1700 mg of sodium. There. I said it. Thanks but no thanks, Campbells. You are mm mmm BAD.

Artificial sweeteners. Look here...Splenda (sucralose), Sweet n Lo (saccahrin), Equal (aspartame) and all the other teeny little colored packets you find in the middle of your table at every single restaurant in the world...all terrible for you. Take my word for it and NEVER sprinkle this shit in your drinks ever again. If you're looking for a safe alternative to sugar, here ya go. 

Ice cream. Refer to #1 (milk). Unless it's coconut milk or almond milk ice cream, you will never find this in my kitchen...unless , of course, it's my husband's. :)

Don't get me wrong...just because I don't buy these things doesn't mean I don't have my little slip ups when I'm out and about. I'm a normal person, y'all, with normal cravings and "wants" and I forbid to give up my social life because of the way I eat. Bite of ice cream there, sip of Dr. Pepper here and even a slice of bread from Outback if I'm really living on the edge. ;) It's okay to "cheat" long as it doesn't become a habit. There-you have my permission.

Stay up is a list of foods you will always...and I mean always, find in my kitchen! Hint: they're real foods.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...