5 Tips for the Gal Who Doesn’t Know WTF She’s Doing in the Kitchen

My little sister recently moved into her own place and started her first big girl job (ohh, it brings ya back, doesn’t it?) and she recently asked me about some recipe ideas and tips for cooking at home. So, naturally, my first inclination was to go off on a tangent preparing a whole word doc for her on my fave #BusyGirl tricks for cooking at home, complete with tips, staple items and such, and I thought – why not put this into a blog post? I know I’m not the only one who struggles with cooking for one – and cooking good, healthy meals on a budget, too.

Here are a few tips I’ve found that work for me!

1.Try batch cooking.

Hear me out – some meals are just better cooked fresh. (Soggy salad? No thanks.) But others, think a big pasta dish for example, make for awesome leftovers. Plus, you can make a big batch of something for fairly cheap and it’ll prob feed you for at least a few days. I recently made this amazing Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Bake and literally had lunch and dinner for five days. Just heat up and voila!

2.Always have your staple items on hand. 

Almond butter, oats, black beans, chickpeas, chia seeds & Amy’s organic soups are a few that come to mind when I think of some of the staple items I’ve always got on hand. Your staple items are anything you cook with frequently that will last a really long time, that way you can always have these things in your pantry and whip something up if you’re lacking in groceries. These Black Bean Burgers I made for Danny & I recently were sooo good, and I already had my cans of black beans so I only had to buy like three ingredients.

3.Freeze your produce.

Every week, I grab a bushel (bundle? handful? IDK) of bananas, chop them up into fours and place in a big gallon-sized freezer bag for smoothies that week. Little tip: If you’re not adding nanas to your smoothie, that’s probably why the texture is icy and weird – do it. Living alone, my produce goes bad pretty quickly so I’ll also freeze my spinach or kale for smoothies, and even tried raspberries a couple of weeks back and used the frozen raspberries for mimosas – I mean, it was pretty perfect.

4.Pinterest is your BFF.

As you can see, there’s a theme in this post of a lot of my recipe inspo coming from Pinterest. If you’re in a rut, get to pinning – you’ll feel like a culinary creative genius in no time, promise.

5.When in doubt, it’s okay to go pre-made.

I usually try to stay away from the pre-made aisle of the grocery store, but I will say I’ve gotten some pretty good bake-at-home chicken dishes or salads from the Publix deli when I’m in a real crunch. Other than that, one of my big tips is to buy a rotisserie chicken, cut it up and put it in a tupperware for the week to be used on top of salads, served with veggies or in a wrap.

Happy cooking!

The Diet You Need to Try Right Now (it’s not what you think)

So, guys – I’ve decided to try out a new diet. With 2016 officially upon us, it seems like we’re all resetting our health and fitness goals to finally become the healthiest version of ourselves. But which diet train have I decided to hop on this year? Weight Watchers? Jenny Craig? Slimfast? Nope…

My 2016 will be filled with a lot of champagne!! And a lot of whole, nutritious foods, sweat sessions and self-care routines like bubble baths, lighting candles and curling up with a good book.


Yep, I’m going on The Champagne Diet. 


The last diet I went on was the Special K Diet back in freshman year of high school, where basically all you eat is cereal and snack bars filled with a shit ton of preservatives that don’t even fill you up. I mean, I dropped a few pounds but gained it right back after I got back to eating REAL food. Diets just aren’t for me.

After finishing this book in three days over Christmas vacation, (it’s a great airplane read!) I’m officially obsessed with Cara Alwill Leyba’s approach to living a healthy lifestyle. While I don’t want to spoil the book for you because I highly suggest you pick up a copy if this topic interests you, here are a few key things I took away from The Champagne Diet:

  1. Make your meals an experience. As Cara says “It’s all about cooking a delicious meal while sipping on a glass of wine in an outfit you feel glamorous in, as opposed to heating up a diet pizza in ratty pajamas.” Sure, not EVERY night, but try to do this a few times a week.
  2. The fastest way to be miserable is to compare yourself to other women. The stress over trying to look like someone else will make you fatter – YEP.
  3. Stop doing the *Cheat Day* thing. “By the time you reach that cheat day, you’re so fucking starving that you dive head first into whatever it is you’ve been fantasizing about all week long.” Accurate.  If you have enough willpower to not act in the aforementioned way, more power to you – I simply do not.
  4. Champagne can improve brain function, cardiovascular health, your sex life and your mood – duh. Don’t ask me how, but all the facts are in the book!
  5. Greasy foods and “hair of the dog” actually don’t help your hangover – I know, I know #BaconEggAndCheesePlease? But next time you’ve had one too many Moscow Mules, get it together and start ridding your body of those toxins right away with things like bananas, fresh-squeezed OJ, eggs and lemon water.
  6. Life is too short to surround yourself with anything but the best – whether it’s your job, the people in your life or the environment you live in, you deserve the best.
  7. Do something once a week that lets you be a little girly – whether it’s getting a pedicure, taking a hot yoga class or wearing pumps just because, remember that being a girl is fun!! Cheesy, maybe. But seriously, try it.
  8. “The more you can design a world that is filled with healthy, nutritious foods and calming rituals, the more you will master a sense of calm and balance in your life.” I just love this one.

Who else is ready to “eat, drink and celebrate” their way to a healthy mind and body with me? Happy 2016, babes! xx

5 Tips To Help You Not Let It All Go This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, quality time, being grateful and, of course, feasting! While I have to admit I’m usually entirely too interested in the stuffing and Green Bean Casserole to give a crap about how I’m going to feel in about 33 minutes, I usually regret going for seconds (maybe thirds) –and I’m really sensing a change in that this year.  It’s amazing how lethargic, bloated and straight-up gross you can feel after a big meal. We tend to treat Thanksgiving like an eating contest – but why?! It’s not like we don’t have leftovers for weeks on end…

In order to combat that gross/nasty/”never again” feeling, I’ve come up with a few of my favorite tips that I plan to implement this Thursday to keep a healthy balance. I hope that these can maybe help you to take a step back and really enjoy the holiday with loved ones, instead of being so worried about saving room for an extra slice of pumpkin pie, and then probably feeling sick and gross and like you need to run an extra three miles tomorrow.

SO enough rambling – here’s my tips!

1. Start out the day with a huge green smoothie. Our Thanksgiving veggies usually come smothered in salt, butter or creamy sauces – AKA, not in their purest form – so it’s important to still get your fruits and veggies in. A green smoothie is a great way to get a big dose of good-for-you stuff first thing in the morning. Try a combo of unsweetened almond milk or coconut water, kale or spinach, your fave fruits like banana and blueberries, maybe some chia seeds or raw almond butter and lots of ice. Drink up and reap the benefits pre-turkey.

green smoothie2. Sweat it out. Thursday morning, soon after you wake up, plan to get in a 30-minute sweat session. Whether it’s a hot yoga class, walk or jog around your neighborhood or an at-home HIIT workout, make a commitment to yourself to get it in before the day kicks off. Danny and I are planning on going for a quick trail run and getting a little sweat going before indulging in all the goodies.

3. Don’t forget your water bottle. If you’re like me, your water bottle is with you constantly. So why should this day be any different? Keep in mind how good you feel when you’re drinking a ton of water and keep yourself hydrated in between glasses of wine. Your body will thank you later.

s'well bottle

4. Speaking of water, mix up your beverages. Sure, the whole “drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink” tip is great, but who actually remembers to do it? Trick yourself by adding ice cubes to your white wine or make a spritzer with half wine and half kombucha or sparkling water. You’ll still get your buzz and the good taste without getting overly dehydrated.

5. Bring a healthy option. Whether you’re heading home for Thanksgiving or spending it with your significant other or friends, it’s not only a courtesy to offer to bring a dish or two – but it can help you stay on track, too! If you’re not in full control of the menu, it’s often hard to find healthier options so why not bring your own? For starters, maybe try out these Brussels Sprouts Gratin or this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole. My mouth is watering already.

sweet potatoes

Hopefully some of these tips help you to have a more balanced Thanksgiving and maybe, just maybe you won’t have to unbutton your jeans at the dinner table this year.

What other tips do you have for keeping it healthy during a big holiday meal?