Hilton Head Island Farmer’s Market

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I can’t think of anything I love more than Sunday farmer’s markets. I don’t know if its the colorful vegetables, the friendly farmers, or the nostalgic sense of community that gets my creative juices flowing. I went down to visit my mom in Hilton Head and had to stop by the adorable Bluffton Farmer’s Market. Seeing checkered picnic blankets and corn husks immediately takes me to summer picnic BBQ dreamland. I find it really important to support local farmers markets… not only is the produce organic, its so inexpensive and it’s likely that the produce was picked that week so its the ripest produce you can find. Also, you can trust the farmers not to tamper with your food, like putting fake coloring, flavors or GMO’s in it. At the grocery store, it’s likely you’re buying an imitation of an apple from Uruguay. So go out and shop at your farmer’s market! We deserve the right to know where our food comes from.

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{Blueberry Mint & Sea Salted Watermelon all-natural popsicles}

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My next project is to make Cupcake & Cashmere’s DIY Tote Bag, perfect for hauling farmer’s market treasures.

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3 Tricks for Better Digestion

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Did you know digestion takes up 50% of our energy?

No wonder we feel so sluggish after a big meal. Digestion is one of the most important factors in our health, considering its how we process everything we eat.  But it doesn’t have to take up all of our much needed energy… if we pay more attention to how we eat food, we can digest food much easier, and all that energy will go towards beautifying jobs like growing hair and nails, pumping collagen, and metabolizing.

For those of you who don’t know, we digest food in the order we eat it. I used to think that it somehow all got mixed up down there but its pretty orderly; our bodies are insane machines that work in a precise manner. Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution opened my eyes to this concept of digesting for the first time, I couldn’t believe I had never learned it before, it seems like common sense! Today I’m sharing three simple tricks that you can use every day to improve your digestion and ultimately improve your health and energy.

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1. Eat fruit first and in the morning

Did you know that fruit digests in about 30 minutes!? It moves quicker through our digestive systems than any other type of food. Loaded with fiber, fruit acts like a fast cleaning crew scrubbing your body clean of toxins. So if you have fruit on your plate, eat it first before any other food group, this ensures that your body can absorb optimal amounts of nutrients and enzymes from the fruit, and it can do its cleaning job more easily.

More importantly, don’t eat fruit after you’ve eaten a big meal of heavier food, because it will just sit on top of the heavier food that takes longer to digest and can actually begin to ferment in your system and create toxins, leading to gas, bloating, discomfort and even weight gain. It’s best to eat fruit in the morning or on an empty stomach. I also wouldn’t recommend eating fruit as a dessert, wait at least two hours after you’ve eaten or try dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao!

2. Eat greens before your meal & choose the darkest

Just like above, you want to eat greens before your main entree; greens digest faster than our heavy entrees like meat or potatoes. For example, eating a side salad as an appetizer or snacking on celery before your main meal is one of the simplest ways to improve your digestion. More importantly, eating enzyme-rich vegetables before your meal will help give you more enzymes to help digest food. Obviously, we don’t absorb food, we absorb nutrients, and enzymes are responsible for breaking down our food into protein, carbs, fat, etc. so we can absorb the nutrients.

While our bodies produce enzymes, they may only be able to break down and extract about 40-50% of our food’s true nutrient value. And by the time we’re 50, we’ll produce around half of what we did when we were younger. Raw veggies are the most enzyme dense foods, so make sure you eat them before your meals! Also, choose the darkest greens for more nutrients… opt for Spinach and Romaine over Iceburg. Romaine lettuce has almost twice the nutritional value of Iceburg lettuce, which is 96% water!

3. Don’t drink while you eat

It’s obviously extremely important to drink water throughout the day (aim for half your body weight it ounces, so if you weigh 140, drink 70 oz’s). However, drinking a lot of water while eating can dilute digestive juices and acid making it hard to digest food. Think of it as a big swamp in your stomach. Water molecules can also get trapped in the food which can make you bloat and lead to post-meal discomfort. Try to drink a lot of water 30 minutes before you meal (which can help you feel fuller) and an hour after. Avoid guzzling down water during your meals, but sipping is fine as needed.

Garlic Avocado Cauliflower Mash

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I often get in the mood for warm comfort foods that I know I shouldn’t give in to. I was craving creamy mashed potatoes so bad last night, so I tried making Taralynn Mcnitt’s Garlic Cauliflower Mash and I was so surprised by how well it turned out and how delicious it was. I couldn’t stop raving about the flavors in my mouth to my fiance… “It’s like creamy guacamole”… “Wait no its more like garlic hummus”. It definitely hit the spot and I use the steamer bag method all the time now! Better yet, you don’t need fancy food processors or blenders so you can make it anymore! It’s full of fiber, low calorie, low sugar, high protein, and low carb!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head Cauliflower
  • Ziplock Steamer Bag
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder or seasoning like ms. dash
  • 3 tbsp greek yogurt
  • pinch of pepper

Rinse and chop cauliflower, and put in steamer bag. Heat bag of Cauliflower in microwave until very soft (follow steaming directions on bag). In a mixing bowl, add steamed cauliflower and mash with fork, add chopped avocado and greek yogurt, mash with fork until smooth and add seasonings and parmesan! I love to serve these in the empty avocado halves :) Taralynn stores this dish in the fridge with the avocado pit to keep fresh.

Recipe makes 8 Servings, Serving Size 3/4 Cup.

Nutrition Per Serving: 83 Calories, 4.3 g Fat, 9 g Carbs, 5 g Fiber, 1.4 g Sugar, 4.5 g Protein

Vanilla Banana Protein Smoothie

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Fact: fat takes up 18% more space in your body than muscle

Refueling my muscles with a delicious protein shake after an intense class at Pure Barre (especially since I awkwardly rolled over and died from a charlie horse in the middle of class). It’s really important to have protein (10-20 grams) anywhere from an HOUR BEFORE to 30 MINUTES AFTER you exercise to ensure your body is getting the raw material to repair, improve and build muscle tone. This also motivates your body to burn fat stores (aka belly fat)… But if you don’t refuel it soon enough, your hard-earned muscles can deteriorate.

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Blend:

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop Vega Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup water (or more as needed)
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Handful of Ice cubes

12g protein, 150 calories, 8g of fiber

Pineapple Beauty Shot

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Since the beginning of summer, I have amped up my health and workout routine to get in tip-top bikini shape for my cousin’s wedding in Cabo. And now that I’m engaged and there’s a wedding down the line (!!!), my routine has elevated to a whole ‘nother level. The best part about it is that I don’t have to starve myself or crash diet or go to spinning hell everyday like I used to do for Prom or silly events (and gain the weight and then some back the next week)… this is a semi-long-term body investment, just like my best friend Kristen’s blog in Los Angeles, “The Body Project“. Obviously you should practice healthy living everyday, but lets be honest… I’m getting married and I better look damn hot.

In addition to resistance/pilates training at least 3 times a week, and cardio 5 times a week, I (aim) to follow the Tone it Up Pescatarian Nutrition Plan which calls for a morning Beauty Shot to boost metabolism after a 30 minute jog. You totally thought it was beer at first, didn’t you? I love these little shots so much! They are making my skin glow and really curb my post-cardio morning hunger.

This beauty shot has Cinnamon and Apple Cider Vinegar to reduce hunger and balance blood sugar levels while the Cayenne raises body temperature, gets your blood going (aka beauty flush!) and boosts metabolism to help you burn more calories throughout the day.

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4 oz fresh pineapple juice

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp honey

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne

Shake with ice, pour, enjoy!

Fridge Files: Whats in Karena & Katrina’s Fridge?

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 Today were looking into Karena & Katrina’s fridge, the fit and beautiful girls from Tone It Up. These girls have been probably the most inspiring and encouraging cyber trainers I’ve ever had. They became famous from their fun and quick Youtube workout videos and have since become everyones favorite health idols. I follow their nutrition plan (the pescatarian version) and I love their beach babe workout DVD. I also get a killer workout from their workout guides on their Pinterest. I love that they support clean eating and getting LEAN through pilates movements and superfoods. Their figures tell it all, if you want to look like them, just follow what they’re doing. The first step is to see how they eat, so lets check out their fridge!

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Greek Yogurt: high in protein (18g) and low in sugar (0g)

Hummus: they love eating hummus with their veggies like carrots, mushroom and it holds wraps together really well

Goji Berries: the dried berries are high in antioxidants and hold the highest protein content of any fruit

Wild Salmon: filled with omega 3 fatty acids, they prefer wild over farm-raised

Peppers: they love making stuffed peppers with….

Quinoa: a complete protein thats actually a seed, not too starchy and its actually in the spinach family

Garlic: a superfood (Karena’s favorite). People who eat garlic are 2/3rds less likely to get a cold

Cucumbers: very hydrating (95% water) and a fabulous cure for hangovers

Coconut Water & Young Coconuts: super hydrating and filled with potassium, Katrina likes to eat the coconut meat

Berries: All of them! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries! They’re filled with antioxidants

Portobellos Mushrooms: you can do so many things with these, you can grill them and they make the best burger bun, they’re also packed with Vitamin D “the happy Vitamin”

Cacao Chocolate: they recommend if you ever get chocolate to get 60% cacao or higher, which is known to prevent sun damage

Click here to check out the video of this at Bravo TV

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To see what K&K keep in their teal “Liquid Fridge” at work, click here.

Eating Out

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Grilled Chicken sandwiches with Heirloom tomatoes; I had the Vegan Chop Salad with Kale, Beets, Sweet Potatoes, Avocado & Garbanzo beans

& Fresh Squeezed Watermelon Juice

{Malibu Farm, Malibu}

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The Vegas Roll, Fire Roll & Point Dume Roll (not pictured)

{Zooma Sushi, Malibu}

My favorite sushi place in the world 

eatingout3b.jpgVegan Beet, Avocado & Arugula Tacos; Patron, Pomegranate & Lime Cocktail

{843 Bistro, Hilton Head Island, SC}

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Top: Middle St. Lemonade (honeysuckle, strawberry, lemon), Local oyster shooters

Bottom: Whipped Sweet Potatoes with toasted pecans, Ceviche (Swordfish, golden tile fish, white shrimp, leche de tigre & crispy plantain chips)

{SALT, Sullivans Island, SC}

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Left: Morning Quinoa Bowl with Strawberries, Blackberries, Walnuts & Soy Milk with a Green Smoothie (spinach, celery, pineapple & nopal aka cactus!)

Right: Tiffany & Woody’s Rehearsal dinner: Fresh grilled yellowfin tuna fish tacos that the boys caught that morning

{Cabo Surf Hotel, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico}

A Cabo Wedding

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I am finally back from an incredible vacation that took up all of my time for the past few weeks (apologies for the lack of posts!). I flew to Cabo for  a week with my boyfriend for my cousin’s wedding and finished up the trip in Malibu with my family. We stayed at the Cabo Surf Hotel, and since my entire family surfs we spent all day in the water… and all night celebrating in the jacuzzi. It was the most fun my family has had in a long time, I treasured every moment. The wedding was absolutely beautiful; Soft and glamorous beachy chic with starfish & baby’s breath accents. Tiffany wore a glamorous plunging back Katie Mary dress, and was seriously the most beautiful white angel walking down the aisle, I cried the entire time (first time bridesmaid :/..) The rehearsal dinner was filled with excitement and margaritas, we indulged in delicious yellowfin tuna tacos that the boys caught that morning. Everyone had so much fun taking pictures with the cutout mustaches, lips & glasses followed by a quite hilarious effort of Chinese Lanterns since the wind blew the only ones that made it into neighboring houses and almost caught all of Mexico on fire. The wedding reception was magical in the tropical wind under swaying palm trees and big strings of lights. {P.S. My cousins are incredible ice skaters and happened to pull a little spontaneous stunt during the reception… show offs…  the wedding was also featured on the Ice Network.}

IMG_3821{My brother and I on our first wave of the trip}
IMG_4229{My little munchkins and me before the waterworks}
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{The table seating was arranged in a bed of beautiful baby’s breath}

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cabo4.jpg{Tiffany & Woody’s first dance to Sail Away by David Gray accompanied by sparklers}

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{My brother and his girlfriend Emily with their Chinese Lantern}

Miso-Glazed Salmon

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Miso-Glazed Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (For healthier alternative: 2 tbsp honey 2 tsp molasses)
  • 2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Miso paste*
  • 5 salmon filets
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Directions

Preheat broiler. Combine honey, soy sauce and miso, stirring with a whisk. Arrange fish in a shallow baking dish that is sprayed with low-fat cooking spray. Spoon the honey-miso mixture evenly over the fish. Broil 6 inches below heat source for 10 minutes (with door cracked open!) making sure it doesn’t burn. Remove and baste twice more with the miso sauce. Make sure the top is browned and glazed for most delicious results! Sprinkle with chives.

*This glaze can be used to baste any protein, try it on swordfish or a spin on barbecue chicken! The options are endless

*If you don’t have miso, can’t find it, or just don’t even want to try it, this salmon is just fine without it! You can also try substituting miso with a couple things: Add a little tomato paste; Marmite;  Boullion cube (vegetable or beef); or a Knorr Miso Soup Mix powder you can find at almost any grocery store.

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This salmon is a recipe that my mom served all the time growing up, it’s definitely a family favorite. I refrigerate or freeze the leftovers and enjoy it on salads throughout the week. Below is a simple salad with the salmon over a bed of spinach, kale & chard, with blackberries and pistachios. I didn’t even need dressing because the salmon was so delicious!

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If you like salmon, you’ll love my Skinny Caesar Salad with Blackened Salmon