Beautiful Burrata Salad

So cheese is like, my biggest food group. Forget milk and butter, I don’t consume either. My dairy square is ALL cheese. And arguably, my favorite of all time is Buratta Cheese. It took over the place Brie had in my heart about 4 years ago, when I first ate the Buratta Toast from Blue Ribbon Pizza (my last dying wish, for real). It rich, creamy, light and salty – basically the most delicious thing ever.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Buratta in the fridge section at Trader Joe’s. I was pretty skeptical too, I only like the homemade stuff to get that real authentic taste. But I decided to give it a try, and although it isn’t quite as amazeballs as the real homemade stuff, it allowed me to get my fix at home and hit the spot.

Here is my recipe for a Beautiful Buratta Salad… you can make anything and put Buratta on it but this mix of flavors, colors and textures was fantastic.

rocket arugula

corn/edamame/red pepper succotash from Trader Joe’s freezer

cherry tomatoes

avocado

buratta cheese from Trader Joe’s fridge

sea salt & black pepper

citrus olive oil from Temecula Olive Oil Company

splash of balsamic vinegar

Buratta Salad

Buratta Salad

Buratta Salad

Buratta Salad

Healthy Habit: Foam Rollin

Recently, I have been a bit of an amazon addict… I know many recovered addicts, and never knew what all the fuss was about. But my oh my was I missing out until now! It was just too easy, and now I am the proud owner of many things I have been eyeing over the past few months.

And my most recent purchase is a fab foam roller !!

foam roller

Unimpressed? Then you OBVS aren’t hip to how awesome foam rolling actually is for you.

In a nutshell, it is like ironing out the wrinkles in your muscle tissue. By massaging your sensory receptors, your blood starts to circulate better, alleviating potential soreness following a strenuous workout. It can also aid in bettering your balance, increasing flexibility, and aligning your spine.

benefits of foam rolling

Foam rollers also come in different densities for different areas, but I ordered one with multiple densities for its versatility. I bounce between cardio, circuit training, yoga and sports so being able to address the challenges of each workout is important for someone like me. But even the most basic plain white foam roller can get you the benefits to better your bod.

But if you’re anything like me – a total skeptic when it comes to using new equipment at the gym – it can be a slightly intimidating challenge. But I promise you, 5 minutes of pain will greatly benefit you in the long run. So suck it up and get to rollin!

For more on the benefits of foam rolling – and to see my post-workout routine – check out my guest post on Graced by Grit!

benefits of foam rolling

Skincare 101: Epicuren Errythang

So the skincare saga continues and some astonishing products have made the cut for my skin regimen 2.0

Since re-vamping my skincare lineup, I discovered different products work at different times of day. I have been loving my Arbonne products, but decided that it is better suited as a night time routine for me. I started looking for a creamier cleanser for the morning, and needed a good new exfoliating scrub after finding out that my age-old St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub was actually tearing holes in my face. Pretty picture, right?

I recently treated myself to a luxurious facial at my favorite little slice of heaven, Bergamot Spa. And while I was telling my technician about my history of being lazy with my face, she told me the only real issue she noted was that I was extremely dehydrated. Drinking more water would be a huge contributing factor to improving my complexion, but a weekly exfoliant and moisturizing cleanser would also help.

Enter Epicuren, a line I have known through my mother for many years, but never realized how amazing, all-natural and cruelty free their stuff was. I really like that they aren’t completely committed to any specific technology, they adapt with the times and what is on the cutting edge of skin science. The Metadermabolic Enzyme that is the core of Epicuren’s line encourages the skin to self- rejuvenate, similarly to how aerobic exercise supports your metabolism.

On top of the fact it is amazing all-natural stuff, it boasts a long list of eco-friendly facts. No animal testing, all made in California, CCOF non-GMO ingredients, etc.

I decided to pick up their Apricot Cream Cleanser (a familiar fragrance I know works well on my face), a light yet moisturizing cream cleanser that smells as delicious as it feels. It is also very cooling, I love using it after a long day in the sun.

For my weekly scrub, I got the Ultra Fine Herbal Exfoliating Scrub. They have a couple more coarse options available, but I figured I would start slow to give my skin a break after the St. Ive’s disaster. It is not overly fragrant either, instead it has an almost earthy aroma that leaves a nice clean face with no frills.

epicuren cleanser and scrub

But if you are going to do one good thing for your face, buy this stuff. Brazilian Propolis Lotion is a super light weight daily moisturizer that hits heavy in the nutrients department. It is made from Propolis extract, a resinous mixture produced by bees that is said to contain healing and cleansing properties. Propolis is commonly used to alleviate infections and troubled skin. This magic elixir also contains Noni juice, which comes from a Polynesian super fruit from the coffee family and is loaded with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, Beta-Carotene, and many other healthful minerals.

I put this on my face under my basic daily moisturizer (with SPF of course) to give my face a big dose of hydration that doesn’t leave my skin super oily. I needed something that gets deep in my pores instead of pooling to the surface since I don’t wear makeup during the day, and this has become my miracle serum! If I could recommend a single product to help give your skin some extra glow, this would be it HANDS DOWN!

epicuren propolis creme

Simple Pleasures

Keeping it simple goes a long long way when you A. live by yourself B. are between living situations C. are ballin on a budget and D. when you are craving something fresh & delicious but aren’t sure what. Since I fall into EVERY one of those categories, I have been a real simple girl lately. So I decided to share some of my most simple recipes in an effort to be your guide when you just can’t figure out what to eat. When in doubt, KISS [keep it simple stupid!]

And since it is hump day and generally we all get a little weary around Wednesday, I figured this would be a nice mid-week pick me up to prevent you from having to commit to cooking a full meal or worrying about dropping money on a meal out.

Caprese

Caprese is one of the easiest, most delicious, and elegant dishes you can throw together. All you need are some ripe tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a handful of fresh basil. Although most of us already know and love this dish, it is actually a quite healthy choice – even with the cheese.

Mozzarella cheese is actually a great source of calcium, protein and a handful of other vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin and vitamin B6. But if you are still skeptical about mozzarella, or any cheese for that matter, read the labels at the store to determine what type of milk is used. Skim milk will cut fat down by up to 15%.

I like to use roma tomatoes, however any good looking tomato will work for a caprese dish. When buying any produce, especially the thin skinned variety, I always shop organic to cut any potential pesticides from being ingested. Herbs – in my opinion – are best grown right in your own backyard. Basil plants are readily available at most grocery stores, and do very well in most regions of the country (if you live somewhere colder, you will want to keep yours inside in front of a window to get the light they need to flourish without exposing them to the severe cold).

Stay tuned for even more tasty simple dishes from my kitchen, up next I’ve got my Yellow Curry in a Hurry 🙂

Beam Me Up Baby

There is nothing better than getting yourself into a healthy rhythm and out of a funk. Recently, I went through a tough transition in my personal life that left me on the couch every night with a bottle of wine and CSI marathons for a week. I was starting to feel really gross and depressed, so decided to give myself a detox overhaul complete with a full on body treatment day, a bevy of activities with friends, and the reintroduction of bright colors in my diet.

Juice and smoothie places are a dime a dozen these days, but Be Beaming is really something special. Beaming’s mission is to inspire and empower people of all ages to experience greater health, happiness and vitality through the power of nutritious plant-based foods that taste amazing. And what about that doesn’t sound freaking awesome? We are always saying how we need to eat more fruits and veggies, and this is a super easy – and tasty – way of doing so, especially for on-the-go people like me.

Be Beaming

Be Beaming

 

Be Beaming Menu

I felt smarter and more educated just be being in the atmosphere. Superfoods, magic elixirs and robust recipes lined the walls and fridges like a colorful candy store except without all the refined sugar and crap. The people shopping and ordering were bursting with infectious energy to the point even I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. I picked up a few essentials… a Cold Buster Shot to give my sinus infection one last kick in the ass, a Rockstar smoothie with a green boost to gear me up for my shift at work (soooo delish!), and a Vitality Shot to give my digestive system a head start on inventory day when I am up before the sun

Be Beaming Shots

Meet my new fave morning pick me up…

Rockstar Smoothie: coconut water, almond milk, coconut butter, Blue Majik greens powder, Beaming Organic Raw Plant Based Superfood Protein Blend, date, banana with an extra spinach booster. YUMMMM!

be beaming

 

 

Skincare 101: Being Proactive with Arbonne

Prologue: I feel like I am in a time warp with this whole daylight savings change. Every morning I feel like I haven’t slept, and I am starting to lose track of the time and days. I completely forgot to post on Monday, so I decided to post a nice hearty entry about my new jam – my new and improved skin routine!

I have always gotten a lot of sun exposure – between growing up by the beach and playing lots of outdoor sports – and haven’t generally been the best about sun protection. I also rarely wear makeup, which has allowed me to think I don’t have to wash my face every night. I actually believed that putting product on my face would cause me to break out, so I dodged the skincare aisle every time I went to the drug store. You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20, so naturally looking back I am pretty skeeved out by what I was allowing to chill on my face. Pollution, dirt, germs, dead skin, ICKKKK!

arbonne

I have recently paying a lot more attention to my skin, and thanks to the helpful advice of professionals who dedicate their lives to the science of skincare, I have finally got my regimen dialed. But I won’t sugar coat it or sit here and act like I am a pro, it took some time and research to figure out exactly what worked for me, and I am sure it will continue to change like the seasons. But once I accepted the fact that there was more I could do to help preserve my naturally beautiful skin, I began making much wiser choices that I know I will thank myself for later when I am old and wrinkle free.

A couple of my friends began talking about Arbonne, a plant-based skincare line that boasts amazing all natural ingredients and a killer anti-aging collection. I attended a little facial party at my girlfriend’s house, where I learned about all the harmful crap drugstore brands put into their products, and I quickly understood why I was under the impression using those products made me break out. Who wouldn’t break out after slathering animal fat all over their face?

The first thing I did was go home and throw out anything I had used or held onto in regards to skin care. I then decided to try out a couple products to see how my skin did and take it from there. I settled on their gentle smoothing facial cleanser to help rid my skin of impurities and makeup residue, and a moisture rich night repair creme to hydrate my skin cells while I sleep. Neither of these were cheap, however after learning about what being thrifty with skin care can lead to, I didn’t mind shelling out a little extra dough for the good stuff.

arbonne re-9

I have to admit, that after about a week of transitionary toxins coming out of my skin, I have noticed incredible results from such a small change in what I am doing. I had a zillion small bumps on my forehead when originally started seeking out skin solutions, and they have long since vanished from my face. I am seeing a lot less dryness, and my complexion is shades brighter. The products even have slightly aromatherapeutic qualities, which helps me fall asleep easier.

All in all, I highly recommend being proactive and getting some anti-aging products ahead of the curve. Because once you have experienced significant sun damage or wrinkles, there is no turning back the clock. Using all natural anti-aging products like these can be preventative, so start doing your research before it is too late!

back in love with an old flame: classic spring salad

Back when I was a teen and lived to shop, I would go to the mall with my mom and grandma and we would spend the day boutique hopping until we made it to the holy grail – Nordstrom, of course. And the best part wasn’t the endless shoe department, the cosmetic department’s candy shop of makeup, or B.P. where we all got our spaghetti strap tanks. I always looked the most forward to lunch at the cafe. My grandma and I would split the spring salad with candied nuts and it alway made me feel so fancy.

Fast forward to now, and all the ingredients of this magical salad are things I usually always have on hand. It’s light and fresh and is the perfect mix of sweet and salty. It is the perfect springtime side and can go great with grilled chicken or Cardiff Crack 🙂

spring salad

2 handfuls spring or mixed greens

2 tbsp dried cranberries

2 tbsp candied pecans

3 tbsp gorgonzola crumbles (or blue, feta, goat)

a drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette

optional: add 1/2 green apple –> adds extra crunch!