This Yogis Breakfast

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oatmeal and pollen

Dear Diary,

This Yogis Breakfast is all vegan protein and all kinds of delicious…the perfect breakfast for a lazy and rainy Sunday morning in NYC…so healthy, so good! You all know that I’m a yoga lover– my Sunday morning routine usually consists of a hot yoga session followed by an epic brunch… but this morning, I’m feeling exhausted… and the bad weather is the perfect excuse to stay in bed for just a little longer.  With some extra time on my hands, I wanted to make something hearty, delicious and of course healthy.

I woke up, made this in about 8 minutes flat, and went right back to bed… haha … and in about 3 hours, I will be having breakfast # 2: aka eggs, avocado, and smoked salmon… sounds like a good plan, right?  Well here’s the recipe if you want to give it a go!

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED/ HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

Boil 1/4 cup of steel cut oats in 3/4 water and 1/4 unsweetened vanilla almond milk

when the steel cut oats are soft and ready to eat, take off the heat and add a half a scoop of Vega One Nutritional Shake “French Vanilla” protein powder

on top: add blueberries, raspberries, chia seeds and bee pollen… or whatever else you have around ;)

HERE’S WHY

steel cut oats: less processed and lots of fiber… oatmeal is the perfect carb to start your day

blueberries: antioxidants, DUHR

chia seeds: omega-3 and antioxidants

bee pollen: hypo-allergenic, sweet and natural energy boost! ** I also suffer from seasonal allergies, so this local NY bee pollen will help my body fight against the elements!

protein oatmeal

Enjoy your lazy Sunday and eat up right!

10,000 Steps a Day Challenge

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Pen and waterbottle

Dear Diary,

First and foremost, Happy New Year SFG readers! We can’t believe it’s already halfway through January – whaatttt??!!! 2016 is starting with me clearly on top of it, as I haven’t written a post in 3 week. So without the ability to drag my feet any longer, time to set the ever cliché fitness goals! I know, I know, but I can’t help it. Between the Weight Watchers and Lifetime Fitness commercials I’m so motivated. I’m also heading to Cabo and being in a bathing suit for 4 days, might be the source of my January fitness vigor.

While in my early 20’s, I would have set some ridiculously unattainable goals, aka Britney Spears body in the “Slave 4 u” video. In my new “refined” age bracket, I find myself setting a more reasonable goal of 10,000 steps a day. I hear some of you saying, but Lauren walking doesn’t do anything!! Hold that thought. According to the Mayo Clinic and The World Health Organization, walking 10,000 steps a day burns 20% of a person’s daily caloric intake. Talk about a life hack – you don’t have to feel guilty for missing kick boxing anymore! Girl, just walk it off!

This leads me to “the how” about measuring your steps and my favorite gift this year – the Motorola 360 Sports Watch. Not only does it track my steps and monitor my heart rate, but it also connects to your smart phone. You can connect wireless headphones, hear Pandora and still alerted of the emails/calls you are receiving when you are on a hike or long walk(without have to carry your phone!). It’s a heaven sent! If you have been dragging your feet on joining the watch tracker crew… I would say stop and get to it.

2016 is going to be great and we look forward sharing our life hacks – you can’t do it all, but you can sure as hell make it look like it!

 

lauren2

Chia Seed Superfood Breakfast Pudding

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SFG chia pudding

Dear Diary,

Hey!  Do you even remember me?  Ha… it’s been a while.  I’m sorry SFG’s but I promise I have a few REALLY good excuses… first, and I’d like to think most importantly, I’m getting MARRIED!!! AHHHH… I’m so excited, and hope to share some of the fun details with ya’ll very soon… but I have to tell you, getting married is just as much work as everyone warns you it is!  I feel like it’s been a roller coaster of planning– the minute you have one thing booked, there’s something else to worry about!  So between the planning, and some family-engagement fun, it’s been a busy holiday season!  Secondly, I just started a new job AND moved into a new gorgeous apartment in the middle of Manhattan’s West Village (AKA my DREAM-COME-TRUE neighborhood)!!! So between all these new changes– I’ve fallen off the blog posting wagon– but now that 2016 is here!  I am ready to be committed again to the SFG movement AND my healthy lifestyle… and after celebrating my month full of holiday and engagement celebrations– it’s time for me to say “no” to sugar, and “yes” to some cleansing, and natural superfood breakfasts like this one!  Chia Seeds are FULL of fiber and protein– so I’m adding them into my morning routine!

chia pudding SFG diary

This breakfast is SO easy to prepare– and is a great breakfast to take with you during your morning rush;  Just pack it in a mason jar and you’re good to go!  Somehow this breakfast makes me feel indulgent, even when I know it’s good for me ;) so what could be better than that?!

SFG diary breakfast chia pudding

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

1 frozen banana

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I do vegan plant based)

1 cup of almond milk

1/4 cup of chia seeds

handful of blueberries

pumpkin seeds

handful of frozen raspberries

1 kiwi

SFG Diary chia pudding

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

over-night (or at least an hour)… combine chia seeds with almond milk in a mason jar and let it set in the fridge

mash up some blueberries (so it’s kind of like a jam!) and pour over the chia seed pudding once it sets!

then in a blender– combine the banana, vanilla protein powder, and just enough water so that it becomes a thick smoothie!

finally, pour over the blueberries, and then add a layer of raspberries & slices of kiwis and some seeds for crunch!

AND now ENJOY!!

chia pudding SFG

You can totally make this recipe you’re own… add some nuts, granola, or drizzle on some honey!  Let us know what combinations you come up with SFG’s!  We’d love to know and share! :)

Vegan Mushroom & Cabbage Pizza

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vegan mushroom and cabbage pizza SFG diary

Dear Diary,

Me and cheese are in a long-term relationship… Brie, Mozzarella, ricotta; name the cheese, I’ll eat it.  But on my quest to eat more vegetables and natural proteins– I’ve also opted to try and eat less cheese.  This means, that while I can’t say no to any cheese put in front of me, I can choose to make more dishes cheese-less.  And that’s where this Vegan Pizza comes in… This pizza is topped with all kinds of savory vegetables (hence the long name ;)… and with a crispy crust and a sweet vegan cheese sauce, I’m sure you won’t be able to resist this dish either, so vegan mushroom & cabbage pizza anyone?

vegan mushroom and cabbage pizza

This Vegan Pizza is not very time consuming– the prep work of chopping the vegetables is almost all that is required.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED/HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

1: place a piece  of Ezekiel brand whole wheat (or flaxseed) tortilla under a broiler to crisp up

2: in a sauce pan saute in 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp of ghee butter: 3 garlic cloves, half a white onion, 3 containers of mushrooms (I used shiitake and button mushrooms)

3: Once softened, add in fresh purple cabbage, cannellini beans and about 10 sliced black olives (I forgot how good these are!)

Mix all together and generously season with salt and pepper

4: Finally, garnish with some fresh (uncooked) purple cabbage and basil

5:  Now smother your crisp tortilla in vegan tofutti ricotta (or regular ricotta if you prefer– you can find both at your local health food market), then pour on the vegetables, and enjoy!

vegan mushroom pizza

Doesn’t this look so delicious?  It is the most satisfying way for me to get all my vegetables in for the day!

SFG diary vegan pizza

You’re welcome SFG’s!  Will you try this at home?

Chicken Pot Pie Make-Over

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Dear Diary,

I’m starting to traveling more and more for work, so I needed some downtime this weekend, along with some comfort food – and nothing is more comforting than Chicken Pot Pie!! However, most recipes are full of calories and would leave me feeling guilty after a weekend indulgence-  #thestruggleisreal! So, I took some liberties with the standard recipe to cut the calories and it was still so tasty! A couple things that cut the calories from the get go, eliminate the crust from the bottom. Also, instead of using crust I used biscuits. Yes, biscuits are not the least caloric thing available, but they are easier! Let’s just admit it, finding the time to make my own crust is on my list, but in the meantime these biscuits will definitely suffice!

Here’s what you need:

5 cups of vegetable broth

1 rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (ones in the hot cases

5-6 medium sized peeled and diced carrots

1 russet potato peeled and cubed

5-6 diced celery stocks

1 1/2 cups of peas

1 medium sized chopped yellow onion

2 1/2 tablespoons flour

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 can of pre-made biscuits

salt and pepper

olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2. Place chopped potato, carrots and celery into a large pot with 5 cups of vegetable broth, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.

3. Place diced onion into a large frying pan – the pan should be the size of what you would use for stir fry, the bigger the better because you are going to transfer the broth and veggies to the pan.

4. Sautee the onions over medium heat with olive and then add flour, cook until the onions are coated. Transfer the veggies and broth to the onions, when they are soft.

SONY DSC

5. Add the almond milk to the this mixture as well as the shredded rotisserie chicken and 2 cups of peas, simmer on medium heat until it starts to thicken 10 – 15 minutes

SONY DSC

6. Add the mixture to a large casserole pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Then remove the dish from the oven and place your pre-made biscuits on top and cook for another 14-17 minutes, until the biscuits are a golden brown.

SONY DSC

Serve each portion with a biscuit and indulge!

laurenSignature

 

Lighten Up!

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Cucumber Salad

Dear Diary,

After stuffing myself all holiday season long I’m now trying to reset! Anyone else feel like they ingested a wet towel? Just me?! Well then, this cucumber salad is just what the doctor ordered…

INGREDIENTS:

* Cucumbers

* Cherry tomatoes 0r Mini heirloom tomatoes

* Basil

* Feta cheese

* Vinegar

* Olive Oil

Cucumber Salad Recipe

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Wash the cucumbers, tomatoes and basil.

2. Then, slice the cucumbers and half the tomatoes. Cut the basil leaves in thin slices.

3. Mix the cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil together.

4. Sprinkle a little feta cheese and drizzle olive oil and vinegar, then mix together.

5. Enjoy!

My BASIL Plant!

Fresh Basil Plant

PS – I’m attempting an herb garden! Anyone who knows me, knows I have an affinity for killing plants. Even desert plants. Yeah, I’m that girl. Maybe my boyfriend will lock it down when he sees me successfully keep my herbs alive… I swear I’ll make a good mother. ha. But in my defense I think I give my little dying succulent garden too much attention… I will say though, I’ve been doing great with my herbs so far (2 weeks) and I love having fresh herbs without having to continuously purchase the tiny containers of overpriced ones that go bad in two days…

What’s your go to healthy recipe?! Please share in the comments.

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Stacked Apple Salad

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Dear Diary,

Happy Halloween! I don’t know about you, but I’m about to go into diabetic shock after the handfuls of Starbursts and peanut butter cups I’ve shoved into my mouth. Hey! That’s what this holiday is all about, right?! Indulging… and procrastinating until the last second to throw together a random costume and even you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be…

Unfortunately, this year I have lots of candy tempting me. I typically can avoid it because I don’t have any trick or treaters come to my door because in LA most people live in apartments and even though we’re in a townhouse we are hidden from the street so no one comes a knockin’… Except for that’s not entirely true…

Last year, Tommy and I stayed in and while we were enjoying a quiet dinner at home we heard a group of kids come through and because we don’t get trick or treaters we didn’t have any candy to give them! We froze. We actually hid until they left. I felt like such a bad person for it, but I wasn’t about to hand over my favorite soup packets or cake mix… And let’s be real giving them our spare set of toothbrushes (everyone has experienced knocking on the door of a dentist and then immediately regretting it) would just make them hate us more than they already did for holding out on the candy that we didn’t have.

When they left we turned our porch lights off for fear we would disappoint more kiddos. Gosh, we’re really terrible people.  But, come on! How was I supposed to know there’d be a ninja kid who happened to venture down a dark back alley that is our front porch?! So this year I came prepared! I bought bags of candy only to find myself binging on all the chewy deliciousness. Oops. I did it again. (That’s it! I got it! I could be Britney Spears for Halloween! But vintage Brit. The good years. I miss those days…) Sorry for the tangent. But really guys, what should I be?!

Stacked-Apple-Salad-Skinny-Fat-Girl-Diary-10190.jpgSo since I needed something of nutritional value besides fistfuls of candy corn (that’s my man’s fav!) I decided to make an adorable little stacked salad that still gave me that pop of something sweet I so desperately desired without all the processed sugar. And apple has become a theme lately so add this recipe to the list!

INGREDIENTS:

* Apple (I used honey crisp)

* Arugula

* Jicama

For the DRESSING:

(I don’t measure this, just add amounts until you get the taste and consistency you like)

* Extra Virgin Olive Oil

* Balsamic Vinegar

* Dijon Mustard

* Pine Nuts

*Shaved Parmesan (only need a tad)

* Lemon Juice

* Pepper

Stacked-Apple-Salad-Skinny-Fat-Girl-Diary-10187.jpg

How To:

* Thinly slice the jicama and apple. Core out the seeds of the apple.

* Place the smallest apple slice on the plate.

* Add the jicama + small handful of arugula.

* Then repeat with the apple slice, jicama, arugula until you completed the entire apple. (basically put it back together)

* Mix up your dressing and drizzle over the top of your apple tower!

Happy Halloween SFGs! How do you curb your sweet tooth?!

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Sit back, relax, and enjoy a Coconut Coffee Float

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COCONUT FLOAT 4Dear Diary,

Another day, another struggle.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a glass half full kinda girl.  I’m all about making the most of what I’ve got, recognizing what I need to change to make it better, and then doing it!  But that’s sometimes easier said than done… What am I struggling with today?  My self- worth… I don’t know about you, but I’m happiest and most productive when I’m busy.  Have you caught on yet that us SFG’s are quite the jugglers!?  We try to do it all!!! And I’m sure you can relate.  BUT this summer, I’m jobless, audition-less… let’s just say I’m pretttttty free.  I was actually at a friend’s house yesterday afternoon and we were talking about taking a vacation– “you’re already on vacation…” my friend smirked.   I was taken off-guard and a little embarrassed…

“I am?” I said… (LONG PAUSE)… “I AM!!!!!!!”

Why was I shy to embrace this, I’m sure to be, short break in my life!?  I had a little money saved, and while I looked forward to finding a job and starting the next phase of my life, it’s important to enjoy this moment for what it is!  When will I ever get this time again!?  I won’t!

Now I still have some sad days where I feel less than– those days, it’s not only important for me to be working towards my next goal, but to also do plenty of productive things to get my mind-set healthy, happy and on track.  Activities are my BFF right now– I go for runs, meet with friends, and spend time outside to take advantage of each day.  Another way to enjoy the time?  I zen out, relax and contemplate my next move in the KITCHEN!!!!!

It’s important to stay positive and savor the moment! And why not savor summer flavors while you’re at it!  Popsicles are all the rage this summer– and it’s so simple to create your own delicious recipes– so I decided to follow that lead and create my take on a rootbeer float.

My mornings can be rough!  Especially right now when I have…er… nothing to wake up for.  But I want to make the most of my day, so I wake up early and get my day started!  A good coffee and a sweet treat is the perfect pep to my morning routine.   This recipe is sweet but healthy and pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee– just dip or melt your Popsicle in your morning joe and you have a new take on your regular routine.

COCONUT FLOAT 1

Enjoy SFG’s!

COCONUT FLOAT 9

Here’s what you need to do (you can use Popsicle molds or ice trays instead):

6 cups of coconut milk

2 tablespoons of stevia

want some texture?  Add dried coconut nibs (unsweetened)

AND THAT’S IT! :)

COCONUT FLOAT 3

Enjoy the summer SFG’s and know that if you keep working hard, you will get to exactly where you want to be!  Just know, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be RIGHT NOW.

coconut float milky

 

 

MEDITERRANEAN STATE OF MIND

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greece 2 Dear Diary,

I spent this week reminiscing about Greece.  It’s my favorite place in the entire world, thanks to my best friend who spoiled me with the most ultimate vacations on her home island.  For those of you fortunate enough to have spent time in the Greek isles, I know you understand… there’s nothing more surreal and tranquil than being on a remote island with some of the best and warm people you can find on this earth.  And there is nothing more delicious and satisfying than a fresh mediterranean feast!  I wish I could go back this second!!! But unfortunately, I’m too broke to be traveling anywhere abroad this summer, so my own recreation of mediterranean classics will have to do!

California is kind of like Greece… except the water isn’t as warm, the culture is not quite as charming… ugh, let’s face it– the only thing california and the mediterranean have in common is the serene landscape, but you know what, I’ll take it!  California is full of consciously healthy eaters, and while in Greece they may not be quite as aware of the latest health trends, they’re diet is so naturally healthy, they don’t even have to stress… so if the greeks aren’t stressin’ neither will I.  I can have my cake and eat it too– or more like, eat exactly what I want, and not worry about it!  That’s the beauty of the mediterranean diet, it’s real food, cooked right!  Here’s what I’m making:

tabbouleh and skin post 002

quinoa tabbouleh:

1 cup of cooked quinoa

1 cucumber sliced into cubes

bundle of green onions

bundle of radishes

4 tomatoes

bundle of parsley

lemon juice/salt/pepper/olive oil to taste

  tabbouleh and skin post 003

 simple greek meatballs with greek yogurt, whole wheat pita & cucumber salad

bake meatballs in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes

1 lb. of organic meat

salt/pepper

chopped white onion, 4 cloves of garlic sauteed in olive oil until caramelized

1 egg

1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs (flax seeds are a great alternative ;))

greek meatballs 024

nutritious & delicious, yes please!!

strawberry banana smoothie and greek meatballs 032

Summer is made for new adventures, traveling, and experiencing something new! To get you in the spirit– here’s a taste of Greece for you!

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and yes… this is me and my girl swimming in the middle of the aegean sea… that’s right!

greece 4

here’s another picture of one of the islands many amazing beaches…

greece 3

… and a view from the top of the island at my friend’s beautiful home… does it get any better!?  Have a greek feast and let’s dream the afternoon away!

 

PB2

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Dear Diary,

I love peanut butter! Like LOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEE it. However, my love doesn’t even begin to compare to the way my boyfriend feels about it. When we first start dating I remember spotting a peanut butter maker in his cupboard (Yep, you heard me right! A. PEANUT. BUTTER. MAKER.) and thinking he might be a keeper. We had a romantic date over grinding peanuts – we couldn’t even hear each other over the loud grinder, but no words were needed. We were falling in love…in a tiny bathroom. Whaaatttt?! Yeah, we actually had to move our fun little operation into the bathroom to help mute the shrill sound.  Tommy used to live in a cranky building and he didn’t want a noise complaint. I’m not sure what they would have judged more… the fact that he had his own personal peanut butter maker or the fact that we were making it in his bathroom.

Despite our love for the spread, we don’t llllooovvveeee how many calories and fat it contains. Mainly because we can’t stop ourselves from eating the entire jar. Enter PB2…

PB2

 PB2 is powdered peanut butter. Yes, the idea sounds frightening but it’s just dehydrated peanuts which removes the oil and you add water back in. Plus, you can’t argue with 85% less fat and calories and three ingredients: peanuts, sugar + salt.

PB2 versus peanut butter

Nutritional breakdown for 2 TBSP:

* Laura Scudder’s: 210 calories, 16 g fat, 7 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 2 g fiber, 90 mg sodium.

* PB2: 45 calories, 1.5 g fat, 5 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 2 g fiber, 94 mg sodium, 1 g sugar.

Instructions:

PB2b

1. Two Tbsp of PB2

2. One Tbsp water

3. Mix together

Peanut Butter

The taste and consistency is exactly the same as regular peanut butter! And you can make it in the comfort of your kitchen. Ha! Don’t believe me?! Give it a whirl… PB2 will change your world!

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Take Control with Portion Control: The key to a healthy happy summer

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Dear Diary,

Sadly my plate often looks like this …

not so healthy plate

… over stuffed with the wrong ingredients, and lacking in the healthy food that would keep me feeling fit and happy.  I consider myself a feast eater– while I know snacking may control my urges for unhealthy food and even increase my metabolism for when I do indulge in the wrong ones… I often choose to eat little during the day and then over indulge with a big meal later.

It’s time for a change people!  I’m taking control of my eating habits (and plate) by making a few small changes that will make a big difference!

I’m not just talking about a difference in my waist-line, but a difference in my confidence, attitude and energy level.  I want to enjoy this summer to the fullest– by just taking a few steps in a healthier direction– you can feel a whole lotta difference!

can you see the differences in this healthier plate? …

healthier plate

Introducing… the little bit of everything plate… everything that you want, but more of what you need!

Instead of piling mac ‘n cheese and potatoes on a big plate, I’m indulging with a spoon full and then filling the rest of the plate with protein and vegetables!

Also instead of a big plate, I’m opting for a smaller one now a days– while I can always have seconds, I find that I am more satisfied and just as full with a small plate compared to a larger one.

the little bit of everything plate

again, here are the rules:

1. Eat what you want… in moderation (less junk on the plate)

2. use a smaller plate and fill it up (just as satisfied, just as full)

3.  Be kind to yourself (you’re not perfect!  If you mess up, who cares!  Stick with it for a healthier mind, body and soul)

Try it out for yourself!  Compare your plates, and you be the judge! Don’t starve, be in charge!

compare

this is a solution to all my feast problems!   No indulgent is too great…

cookies

… as long as you moderate :)

cookie couple

Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it!  Let’s take the control back!

 

Processed Food Junkie… Changing My Evil Ways

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Dear Diary,

There comes a time when you have to be real with yourself…and your habits. Hi, my name is Lauren and I’m addicted to processed food. It never occurred to me just how much I craved packaged food, until I was in Paris. It was a Sunday morning and the thought of indulging in anymore Parisian food made me ill. All I wanted was a bowl of Fiber One and Pretzel Thins… Lucky for me, supermarkets in Paris are closed on Sunday; when I asked for an explanation as to why, all I got was, “because it’s Sunday.”

My want for a “healthy packaged” item was becoming more of a need, at this point. I have a feeling I didn’t any favors for the American stereotype in Paris. I  was a crazed American women roaming the streets asking for a place to buy Fiber One…in English.  I swear someone tried to give me change – thinking I was homeless, instead of on a dire food mission. (scary image, right??)

processedfood

Did I mention I was on my honeymoon? We rented a Parisian flat through VRBO. So that’s why I couldn’t call room service. When I returned from my trek, disheveled and misty eyed, mumbling to my husband, “I couldn’t find anything!” My husband said, “You’re kind of scary right now… I think your obsession with food is sorta disturbing.”

And he might be right. I eat so clean throughout the day, but I never feel completely satisfied. So when I arrive home from work, I’m starved! I head for packaged food, my body craves the quick energy from all the hidden salt and sugars. I know all this, but I’ve been too afraid to change my ways. But, in Paris I had to face them. I could no longer eat packaged food that I knew the exact calorie content…I just had to eat. Want to know the craziest thing, I actually lost weight.

So, now that I’m back in the States and packaged foods are so easy to come by, it’s been hard to say no.  But, I’m determined to end this no-win cycle and give real food a try.

They say it takes 2 weeks to reset your taste buds… It’s already proved to be challenging and it’s day 3…But I’m allowing myself to eat things I used to never enjoy, like avocados. I know! It’s good fat, but I’ve been so scared by the calorie content, I could never bring myself to eat it.  Now, I’m throwing it in my smoothie… this shake has done wonders with curbing my appetite.

–          Quarter of an avocado

–          2 Handfuls of Spinach

–          Cup of Almond Milk

–          Scoop Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder

–          Scoop of macro greens

–          Hearty shake of cinnamon

I know it’s only been 3 days, but I swear my skin looks brighter…Who’s giving up packaged food with me?processedfood2

lauren2

EMOTIONAL EATING

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do i have something on face- sfg Jackie

Do I have something on my face?

SFG Jackie too much foodDear Diary,

Does this ever happen to you? You meant to eat just one piece of pie, but instead…

nothing like eating some cake! SFG Jackie

… you leave only a piece?

SFG Jackie cake smile

Do you ever get down on yourself after eating something you feel like you shouldn’t have?  Do you ever feel like chocolate is the enemy?

Well you’re not the only one…

I believe in a balanced diet with no extremes… I like eating what I want, when I want… but the reality is, it’s not that simple.  I might LOVE pizza… but if I ate it every day… I don’t think I’d love the results.  The truth is that looking great is 99% a result of what we put in our bodies.  Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to stick to only salads and proteins, I’m HUMAN, but it’s nice to know that if you have established a pattern of eating well, it will pay off!

This past year I worked hard to get back into a rhythm of healthy eating and exercise after a year of eating poorly.  I had just gone back to graduate school, was overwhelmed with work and responsibilities, and stopped making myself a priority.  This year, I got back on the wagon and started exercising and eating right most of the time…

As a soon to be therapist (graduating school in May ;)), I thought it was about time to share some of my wisdom…

The other Thursday, I was motivated, inspired, dare I say… optimistic!  I was feeling great about myself; about my decisions and the life-path I was on… “I’m totally in control,” I said to myself… I was eating well, and indulging when I wanted.  I was in a very positive mood; a perfect way to start my weekend.  The next morning I was rushing to work, and when backing out of my spot, I by accidentally banged into the car parallel parked behind me.

The PERFECT way to start my day, right?  I was mortified.

Not only did I make a stupid mistake that could cost me money I didn’t have, but I was terrified about what the car owner’s reaction would be… are they going to yell at me?  Will they be understanding?  The fear was overwhelming… but I knew what I had to do… I checked the car for damages and left a note with my information for the owner to call me.  Now I should add that fortunately when I checked the car, I did not see any damages; the bumper was not even scratched!  But that didn’t mean the owner would agree with me…

To make a long story short… this tiny event ruined my entire day.  I felt terrible about myself, and sadly by the end of the day, my boyfriend found me sitting in the dark, eating a jug of nutella, while watching a Law & Order SVU marathon as punishment to me and my body for my terrible mistake.  At this point I should mention that the driver never called.  The mistake, in reality, could have been  A LOT worse.  It’s a lesson to remind ourselves to SLOW down, pay attention… and also to remember that we’re human and we’re going to make mistakes.

drunk on dessert

It took me days to get out of my nutella-coma before I realized that this self-punishment I like to call emotional eating… wasn’t working for me anymore.  I have better coping mechanisms… life is about CHOICES… feeling sad?  Go for a run!  Hang with friends!  Don’t sit by yourself and eat the whole pint of ice cream damn it!   Wait until you actually want the ice cream… trust me, you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you’re happy.

the moral of the story is… I have no wisdom, I’m completely NOT in control sometimes… and that’s okay!  The important thing is to keep moving forward…

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I have to eat chocolate (in some form) every day… it’s a great end to my dinner.  Sometimes it’s ice cream, some times just a piece of chocolate, sometimes chocolate milk… (I’m 26 going on 6…)

SFG Jackie laughing through cake

it’s easy to punish ourselves with food… and it’s even harder to get yourself out of the funk… just remember you always have a choice.  You want the cake– eat the damn cake!  But don’t think that you’ll enjoy it more by eating the whole thing (psssst… a piece of cake tastes just as good as the entire cake)…

Okay, worst case scenario, like me, you eat the whole pie… don’t beat yourself up.  I swear, one day of overdoing it won’t ruin a pattern of positive habits.  It’s all about attitude…   food is too good SFG Jackie

not to sound like a L’oreal commercial… but you’re beautiful and worth making positive choices for!  Let’s stop being so critical of ourselves!

so… I fell off the wagon… but I’m back on!  I’m feeling like myself; happy, healthy and in control… and yes, I had chocolate today :) 1 scoop (yes 1) of chocolate gelato to be exact… and it was delicious :)

  eat some cake SFGs

EAT THE CAKE SFG’s… but for the right reasons :)

Hummingbird Pilates

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Dear Diary,

With the start of a new year come lots of new resolutions and goals. Ours being focused on fitness especially since SFG Lauren is getting closer to her big day! Operation #ShedForTheWed is in full effect.

Jackie and I thought we would check out a new gym in town to learn more about Pilates and get a good sweat in! We had a private lesson at the very beautiful studio with the owner!

Meet Abey! She is the sweet and very knowledgable owner and instructor at Hummingbird Pilates in Beverly Hills. Pssst, she’s amazing!

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We wanted you to get to know more about what we learned in our lesson and hear what this health and fitness expert had to say. Here’s what Abey shared…

How long have you been teaching Pilates? How long have you owned Hummingbird Pilates?

I’ve been teaching for over seven years. I opened Hummingbird Pilates at the every end of March 2013, so we’ve been open for almost a year now. I love the beautiful studio space and the opportunity to teach my clients using Gratz Pilates equipment which I believe is the absolute best and gives people the best results.

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Jackie and I working it out! Sort of… Thanks for being so patient with us, Abey!

Why did you choose Pilates out of all the fitness fields? 

I did a lot of yoga when I was younger. And I think yoga is great. But when I started Pilates I just loved how it made my body feel, and how it was a fun, hard workout. I think it is the best method of exercise for keeping the body strong and healthy throughout your life.

You’re so well versed in nutrition and health. What’s your approach to fitness and a healthy lifestyle in general?

It’s definitely a work in progress! I’ve struggled with body image since I was thirteen years old and have wasted so much time and energy worrying and obsessing about my weight. What’s helping me right now is to forget the fad diets and the labels and to get back to eating real, unprocessed food. I am loving the book “Real Food” by Nina Planck and Margaret Floyd (www.eatnakednow.com) is a great whole food expert.

I used to workout a LOT…too much. Now I have a much more balanced approach and I think I’m in better shape than ever. I try and do Pilates a couple times a week, as well as hiking or walking my dog and the occasional yoga class or weight training session (with my husband, Matt, a trainer at Gold’s Gym in Venice).

We so often think of health as diet and exercise, but there are so many other facets. I do Vedic meditation because stress is the worst possible thing for our health and I’m a worrier by nature, so I do meditation to  calm my mind. I also aim for the blessed eight hours of sleep, try to get out in nature, as well as connect with friends and family and take time out for myself. It’s all about finding balance and that can be really tough with how much responsibility we all have. But an “easy” thing that doesn’t take up any time: cutting out negative self talk- this is an absolute must!

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What’s your favorite way to treat yourself?

I love to go to Sugar Fish for dinner with my husband and then a movie- a proper date night is such a treat! But of course at the mention of “treat”, the first thing that comes to mind is dessert….oh how I love dessert! I’ve tried to cut out sugar in the past but I’ve learned that when I restrict myself I tend to go a little  bit crazy. So I have some raw chocolate nearly every day. My favorite brands are Sacred Chocolate and Chocolatl (and that’s not a typo!). But when it comes to really going for it, nothing beats a good ice cream sandwich!

If you are just beginning Pilates, what do you suggest should be your goals?

It’s so important to find a good classical Pilates instructor. There are a lot of cheaper studios offering classes that really aren’t Pilates at all. Joseph Pilates was a real man that developed a really wonderful system of exercise and his brilliant method should be respected! A classical Pilates instructor teaches the exercises that Joe created, using his equipment. Pilates should be worked as a system, using the whole studio to address each client’s needs. If you are able to workout on Gratz equipment, the original Pilates equipment manufacturer, then that would be ideal. People often ask me how many times a week they should do Pilates and depends on what your goals are and what else you are doing to stay fit and active…A few times a week would be ideal, but even one class a week will give you benefits- even 20 minutes will give you benefits!

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Getting a nice and deep quad stretch on this crazy contraption. Seriously fun equipment!

What can Pilates do for your body that other workouts can’t? 

Pilates is special because it’s more that a workout. It helps you build muscle and look great, but it also has amazing long term benefits. Pilates teaches you how to use your body properly, thus reducing your chance of injury all while improving the quality of your daily life. Pilates improves your posture, stamina, balance and flexibility, as well as helps alleviate (and prevent) back pain. Joe Pilates said “you are only as young as your spine is flexible”. There are a lot of workouts that will give you results, but Pilates gives you results AND is beneficial for your body. You can do Pilates forever!

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 You’re probably wondering what we’re doing here. Well, it might not look like much, but all these little pulsing movements sure give you a good workout!

We here at SFG love results, can I tone up just doing Pilates or do I still need to run?

Again, it depends on what your goals are. Pilates strengthens your body and helps build muscle, thereby increasing your metabolism. Pilates will definitely change your body if you are consistent. Most people find that they loose inches and see definition, even if they don’t loose weight. But if you have significant weight to loose, it’s important to also get your heart pumping (I recommend walking or hiking) and eat healthy, unprocessed food. Pilates is also a great compliment to any other exercise, like yoga or weight training. Pilates will help your body stay strong and injury free and help you do everything  in your life with great ease.

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Tell us more!

We offer Pilates private lessons, semi-private lessons (two people workout with an instructor) and mat classes, as well as yoga privates and yoga classes. You can call 310-278-8157 to schedule a lesson or email info@hummingbirdpilates.com

Hummingbird Pilates - SFGdiary

Thanks, Abey! Make sure to follow her on Instagram for awesome health/fitness tips and recipes!

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An Ode to Flaxseeds!

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Dear Diary,

Okay SFG’s I know that we’ve been a little “food crazy” this week… but we can’t help it.  With an array of holidays coming up, the best way to celebrate is with good food and good company.  And now that its feeling like fall (even in LA!)  It’s time for the winter hibernation of eating to begin!  But lucky for you all– I have FLAX SEED FEVER.  Yup, you heard right!  I’ve been adding this bad boy to pretty much everything… and it’s healthy effects are helping me feel mentally and physically fit all season long!

A few things you may or may not know about flax seeds:  I’ve heard them be called a “superfood”– but come on!  what does that really mean anyway??  Well while the title is still up for debate, the information I discovered proves that flax seeds are one of the most diverse ingredients with some major health benefits to boot!

Did you know flax seeds may fight heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer?  Now why I don’t usually fall for the hype of “super-food”  (okay, who am I kidding, maybe I do :))… it is full of high omega 3 essential fatty acids that are good for heart health, it also contains lignans (acting antioxidants) as well as fiber, AND it reduces inflammation.  Fwwww… That’s a lot for such a tiny seed!  It’s rich dose of fiber will keep you feeling fuller longer… but that’s not all… what I love most about flax seeds is that they are SO EASY to add to a quick meal or use as a substitute in baking or cooking!  It can take the place of bread crumbs in my favorite meat loaf recipe…

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or in my mama’s Italian meatballs!

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It can also be added to my favorite morning smoothie… or to oatmeal… yogurt… cookies… well, you get the point!  :)

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Flax seeds are better for you than flax oil– so buy the real deal!  It’s accessible almost anywhere!  And if you’re having trouble finding it– seek out your local health food store!  Now remember ladies… everything in moderation!  Even flax seeds too!  But hey– when you’re going to indulge– pick the healthy indulgences when you can… I dedicate this post to the flax seed and flax seed lovers every where!  :) KEEP ON BAKING!

Skinny Fat Girl Diary