True story: I love butter and cakes and cookies and pasta.
Also true story:I eat healthy most of the time.
I don’t follow a diet nor am I paleo, whole30, vegan, keto or any of that. I like to think that I attempt to practice balance and moderation. It’s something I’m not always great at or successful at achieving but it’s what I strive to do and it works for me. I have a hard time eliminating things completely from my diet, so I eat literally everything, I just don’t eat ALL of it.
Most days I eat pretty healthy and that’s because it makes me feel better about myself. It makes me feel lighter and brighter and keeps my energy up.
These are my three favorite things to keep me feeling all sprightly!
My morning smoothie:
I love having my morning smoothie an hour or so before a later morning workout OR right after a early morning workout.
And then there are mornings where I don’t work out at all and I still drink it.
Here’s what I add:
2 scoops of Vital Proteins Banana Collagen + Whey Protein Powder (I like Vital Proteins because it doesn’t have stevia and just tastes like banana and vanilla)
1 banana (frozen or room temperature)
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1 tablespoon cacao powder
Small handful of frozen kale or spinach
1/4 cup of frozen strawberries or ice
Small handful of walnuts (more for the top)
1/2 cup of almond milk
I add a few teaspoons of chia seeds and more walnuts on top because your girl likes texture!
Reaching balance is on my to-do for spring and summer. It’s obviously something that I’m not always great at. I love cake. I love pasta. And I honestly don’t see anything wrong with having those beautiful things in my life. They’re not going anywhere. But I also have been trying to eat healthier on a day-to-day basis. Having lots of fresh produce and ingredients on hand has been a huge game-changer for me.
Did you know May is also National Salad Month? To celebrate, I teamed up with Rubbermaid to create salads for my entire week! The FreshWorks Produce Savers keep produce super fresh and crisp in the fridge! The CrispTray at the bottom of the container elevates produce away from moisture and promotes airflow to help reduce spoilage. After 5 days of being in the fridge, the radishes were crispy, the arugula alive and well and the green onions were snappy! I love going grocery shopping and then storing everything away in their Rubbermaid home until I’m ready to use them.
Here’s what I like to keep on hand!
3. Cherry Tomatoes
4. Green Onions
6. Italian Parsley
These ingredients make it easy to make a bunch of different salads. I like variety in my routine and it’s way easier to do that when you start with about 6 or 7 different types of produce.
One of the most frequent questions that I get, (besides people asking what Amelia is doing lol), is: “what should I register for?” I think registering is a very opportune time to get all of those kitchen-musts all at once. How great!
An item that I think is a great addition to your list is an air fryer/toaster oven combo. Admittedly, I didn’t really know how to use an air fryer, but now I find myself using it all the time!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of American Egg Board. The opinions and text are all mine.
This post is proof that breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to involve pancake batter or a waffle iron or a whole lot of time. This is something I’ve been eating over and over since the beginning of the year and I am INTO IT.
One of my favorite breakfasts in Los Angeles is at Jon and Vinny’s. First off, their pancakes are a dream. BUT, I never really order the pancakes, instead I always go with the olive oil fried eggs with braised kale. It’s one of those breakfasts that makes you feel good after you eat; I have energy and am so happy.
For this post, I teamed up with the American Egg Board to answer the question: How Do I Like My Eggs? (the age-old question posed in their new campaign). I like ‘em like this! Well, I like them a lot of ways but this way is my favorite (at the moment).
I figured I’d do a version of Jon and Vinny’s dish at home (since the restaurant is kinda far from me). Instead of braised—because I’m always short on time—it’s sautéed kale with tons of garlic, salt, crushed red pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
I love the newness type of feel that January has. It’s so fresh and clean and new. I love it so very much. Like everyone else in the world, I’m eating a bit lighter and fresher this month.
Have any of you done Whole30 before? Last year January I did Whole30 and it was a really interesting experience. I’m not doing it this year but I am definitely implementing a few Whole30-approved recipes into my routine because, like everyone else, I need a bit of break from indulgent foods.
For this post, I teamed up with ALDI where I went to gather all sorts of fresh, high-quality and organic foods. One thing that Whole30 requires is that all of your beef is grass-fed and organic. This shepherd’s pie was made with their SimplyNature 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef that is super affordable.
OMG Whole 30 is officially out of my life and I am happy but still sort of doing it? Yes, I know that’s strange, right? Like if I’m so happy it’s over why keep doing it? The truth is that eliminating some foods for me has been a huge plus.
Ok let’s start at the beginning. I’m going to breakdown my feelings and sentiments thought the process because they weren’t always happy and they weren’t always glowing. There were many times when I really hated Whole 30. And not just because I missed sugar.
I will say that flat-out, if you don’t eat that much meat (I don’t), there will be times where the thought of meat will make you sick.
Ok but let’s start at the beginning:
Day 1 to 5:
This is the part when most people want to die. Haha. You’re sort of in the hangover stage because you miss sugar and alcohol and carbs. But surprisingly this was my easiest time. I think because I was genuinely SO excited to start that I didn’t miss many foods during this time. I ate a lot of meatballs and spaghetti squash.
You wanna know what’s really good for creative inspiration?! Going on Whole 30. You will dream of all sorts of amazing desserts and delicious-tasting things you cannot eat. I have a huge list of recipes I can’t wait to make! Today I’m making rough puff for the third time and I surprisingly wasn’t THAT tempted to eat it.
I think that means the “sugar dragon” is gone. It’s remarkable because no one loves sweet things more than me.
And next week I’m shooting a bunch of V-Day content so we’ll see how that goes! HAHA. I should be fine but it is a huge drag to not just take a gigantic bite to make sure it tastes OK.
This dish right here is my new favorite. I love normal, American pot roast, but this dish is more my style. It’s a cross between traditional pot roast and Seco, which is a Peruvian dish.
Seco is traditionally a cilantro stew braised with beer. Since I can’t consume beer (even if it’s cooked off), I made it a bit different.
It’s not EXACTLY seco, hence the reason why I’m sticking to “Peruvian-ish pot roast.” But it is SO GOOD. It has a whole lot of flavor; is bright thanks to the cilantro and lime; and the onions, oh they’re so good. The jalapeño adds just the right amount of kick.
As you know, I’m on Whole30…also affectionally called (by me) Hell30.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s not a walk in the park. It’s hard and that’s because I’m totally addicted to sugar and my body is really mad about it. I’m technically on Day 10 right now and I feel really good.
The good news is that there are so many things you can eat when doing Whole30. And you can have coffee, which is an absolute must in life for me.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Whole 30, I’ll do a short breakdown:
1. No dairy, no grains, no legumes (this includes soy sauce).
2. There is also a limited number of fruit servings a day (I believe it’s 2).
3. There are also no treats that are meant to resemble fun things, i.e., pancakes, cookies, French fries, etc., even if they use the approved ingredients from Whole 30.
And that’s sort of it. The point is to ween your body off of sugar and other unnatural, processed foods we’re typically used to eating.
As a way to cope with this, I think prepping some foods to have on hand each week is super important. Before I started it, I cooked up a bunch of food and some I used all the time and others I didn’t like.
I’m currently getting this lil’ blog redone, which is LONG overdue; I’m dyeing white linens (with food!) so I can have the exact colors that I want; I’m going to paint some surfaces all the colors that I think of when I think of A Cozy Kitchen; and of course, I’m eating healthy.
SORT OF BORING. Except this soup is not boring.
Eating healthy for the past few days hasn’t been too bad. I’ve been mainly consisting off of these meatballs, boiled eggs, Korean BBQ, roasted chicken and spaghetti squash. I’m going to post my meal prep for Whole 30 on Monday. I wanted to wait a week because I really wanted to figure out what I ended up being my favorites to grab from this week.
This cauliflower soup is healthy and flavorful and the almonds make it part snack, part soup. I have to put lots of toppings in my soup so that it feels substantial.
I’ve also learned that I enjoy chewing foods (if that makes sense). I need soups with lots of toppings so I can chew. It tricks my brain into thinking it’s more of a meal. I always used to eat soup with bread or biscuits so these almonds are a nice healthy option (not nearly as good) but good for the moment. Only 25 more days of Whole 30 lolllll. I CAN DO IT!!
GOOD GRACIOUS! Annnnd we’re back! That break felt so so good. Not gonna lie, I was way burnt out at the end of 2016. I needed a whole lot of days smushed together where I did absolutely nothing.
We went up to the bay for the holidays and then drove back down. Every day we read, hung out at our apt, went to the movies (!!) twice and hung out with a whole lot of friends. It was glorious.
AND, if you didn’t see on Instagram, Joshua and I are engaged! WHAAAT! Yes. On a cliff off the coast of California, near San Francisco, Joshua asked me. It was so sweet and perfect and I cried tears so of pure joy. Josh kept trying to get me to go on a hike that day and I fought it HARD because I was wearing my new boots and I didn’t want to get them muddy and it was sort of rainy. Luckily he convinced me to go on a “light” walk.
The thing they don’t tell you when you get engaged is the next question…like literally seconds after you tell someone is the annoying question: WHEN/WHERE/HOW R U GETTING MARRIED? And the girl who had to be bribed to wear a bra and cried when she got her period because she couldn’t go to the water park with her dude friends, wants to SCREAM, I DONT FUCKING KNO.
And please no one force me to go to my own bridal shower because I can’t.
So the answer is: who knows. I’m not sure yet but I’m sure it will be figured out. The one thing I have thought a lot about is cake planning! Because I’m that human that wants to make her own cake. Maybe I should figure out the cake part and then go from there. Like when you get dressed and start with your shoes first.