Friday Recap: 4 Things I Learned This Week

10 Dec

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TGIF fellow Healthy Chicks! You’ve finally made it to Friday, and can officially enjoy the week being over. However, instead of celebrating the weekend, I’m going to do a little recap on this week as I’ve learned a lot these past few days…

# 1. Fake Christmas Trees Just Don’t Cut it (And Never Will): The other day I witnessed my first real Christmas tree of the season. I walked into my friend’s apartment and the second I stepped foot inside I could just smell it, fresh pine needles mixed with Christmas that is. I immediately felt warm and happy inside. You see, since we live in a teeny tiny apartment, we decided to settle with decorating our fake palm tree with ornaments and a little tinsel. While it looks pretty, it’s simply not the same. I will never understand fake Christmas trees, and you can ensure I will never have one once I can afford my own place. I already have a whole box of ornaments stored away for when I finally have my first tree (my mom gives my sister and I a few each year for Christmas)!

#2 A Restaurant Serving of Pad Thai will Last You Three Meals: The other night, I went out for Thai and of course ordered my absolute favorite dish: Pad Thai. Some of you may be squirming in your seats because obviously Pad Thai isn’t the healthiest dish – it sometimes comes in at a whopping 900+ calories. However, that’s no need to deprive yourself of a dish you love! Get what you truly want, eat until you’re satisfied and then take the rest home. Let me tell you, I ate my little heart out the night I went out to eat, and still had enough for TWO additional meals- yes, two! Restaurant servings can be far too large for the typical Healthy Chick, but you don’t have to fear them. Just doggie bag them (hehe).

#3 Don’t Overdo it When You’re Sick: I felt a cold coming on a few days ago, but tried to be Super Woman with an “I can do anything” attitude. I did Core Fusion (hey, gotta tone the butt), I hung out with The Boy (all day, oops), I went out for a nice dinner, I ran around like a mad woman trying to finish my Christmas shopping, I drank coffee when I knew it would further dehydrate me, I stayed up late (watching movies and reading blogs), I vigorously cleaned the entire house…I simply didn’t stop. Today it finally hit me and it hit me hard. That’s why I’m currently wrapped up in a blanket on the couch with my laptop and The Apprentice on DVR. Enough is enough. 

#4 Coconut Oil is a Miracle Oil: Ever since I used a heaping scoop of coconut oil in my gluten free cupcakes a few weeks ago, I’ve seen this oil everywhere. In fact, one of my Twitter followers @meagher_erin sent me some Kelapo Coconut Oil to sample. I never realized how much you can do with this stuff! It’s good for your skin (works like a moisturizer), can help with digestion (add some in your next cookies, or even thai rice dish), and can even smooth your hair-move over, expensive conditioners! Honestly, how many oils can you eat, rub onto your skin and put in your hair – that actually smell good. Not many!

How has your week been? What did you take out of your week…learn anything new? 


7 Healthy Ways to Get into the Holiday Spirit (& Burn Some Cals)

9 Dec

The other day, I went to the Prudential Center to tackle some Christmas shopping. When I came out with nothing but some makeup for myself and a couple trinkets for my family, I was a little bummed. Of course, I was happy with my new Sephora goodies, but for all the efforts I went through in the mall, you’d think I’d at least get to cross off half of my Christmas list. Yes, I said efforts…my trip to the mall was more of a workout than a shopping spree. From dodging moms with strollers to running around like a mad woman (I was sweating after just 20 minutes of shopping), my annual Christmas shopping felt like 60 minutes on the treadmill. “Welp, guess I don’t have to work out today,” I said joking to a friend. But really, maybe I was right. With a little research and a little help from Health Discovery’s calorie calculator, I learned that many of our holiday activities are actually burning lotsa calories. So what I’m sayin’ is if you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day baking double-fudge brownies, skip that cardio and do a little butt toning instead ; ). Alas, here are 7 ways to burn the cals* big-time this holiday season, while having a bangin’ time while you’re at it! 

*all calculations are for an average, 150-pound woman 

1. Lend your hubby a hand with the snow shoveling for once. He’ll appreciate it so much & then you have an excuse to down some hot cocoa after when your hands are numb. > 30 min, 216 calories burned 

2. Veg out with a holiday classic like Elf, Love Actually, The Holiday or The Grinch. We even burn calories resting, ladies! >90 minutes, 102 calories* burned (*Note, our bodies are always burning – even when doing nothing – so each additional activity only burns MORE! Neat, huh?)

3. Clean the house for this weekend’s holiday shindig. Blast Christmas tunes & light wintery candles to make the time fly by faster. >60 minutes, 252 calories burned 

4. Grab your best friend, bundle up in your cutest holiday gear, and go ice-skating > 45 minutes, 378 calories burned 

5. Brace the streets or the mall for your annual holiday shopping spree. Warning, wear layers so you can take them off as the time goes by…it gets HOT in there! > 2 hours of moderate walking, 576 calories burned 

6. Head North & hit up the slopes for a skip trip with the entire family! There’s nothing that gets me in the holiday spirits than a good ol’ escape to the mountains! >2 hours downhill skiing, 864 calories burned (cross-country comes in at a whopping 1,152!) 

7. Let’s Get it on…to Christmas tunes, under the mistletoe or by the Christmas tree, perhaps? >45 minutes, 81 calories burned (and that’s at a moderate level, ladies!) 

Happy holidays all! 

Hump Day Lesson of the Day: a Lesson From My Dad

8 Dec


My dad said this to me when I was a 19-year-old hormone enraged college teenager. I had wanted to fly down to Virginia to “chase” a guy I was into. I was going to book my flight, hop on a plane, the whole shabang. Thank god my dad knocked some sense into me. I now like to think I follow my heart instead of those crazy hormones.

The Secret (To Getting What You Want in Life)

7 Dec

So a few years ago, I was roaming through some old books in my grandma’s church “Rummage Sale” and came across a book that caught my attention: The Secret“The Secret. The Secret to what?” I thought to myself as I read the inside cover. The book quickly intrigued me, so I bought it. Heck, I’ll buy anything at a bargained price, but there was something about this book that got me. 

I must say, to this day, I’ve never read a book quite like The Secret. To sum it up, it basically tells you that you can have anything you want in life (yes, anything) as long as you believe it’s yours…and I mean,really believe it. That’s the “secret” after all to changing every aspect in your life to lead to ultimate happiness. 

At first, I thought the book was kind of a whole bunch of bologna. HA. I can just want something so bad and I’ll have it? Yeah right. If that’s the case I’d be in a relationship with a bangin’ body and a phenomenal job. [negative, doubtful talk]

But when I let myself open up to the idea that this philosophy may actually work, I started tobelieve…and boy did I start seeing some changes. After I read the book from front to back in one sitting, I decided to make a “visionary board,” something they talk about in the book. Basically, it’s a drawing of everything you want in your life: a new house, a new job, a new boyfriend, etc. etc. So I made a list. Mind you, this was a few years ago, but I drew everything I wanted at the time. I started off with a stick figure of myself in running shoes (I used to hate running) and wrote “lose 5 pounds.” I then drew a picture of a book and wrote “Healthy Chicks.” Mind you, at this time I didn’t even have a health blog [I actually had a relationships blog], never mind the visions of ever writing a book in the near future. I also drew a picture of myself at a desk and wrote “job,” among some other minor things that I don’t even recall. 

Anywho, within a couple of months, everything I had written down had become reality. I got a job (no, it wasn’t my dream job but I got a job and could finally move out of the house to Boston), I got an apartment with my best friend, I started my own blog “Healthy Chicks,” and eventually wrote my own cookbook “Healthy Chicks in the Kitchen.” Oh, and I now run at least 3 times a week (I started slowly) and the weight easily came off, I think mostly due to me being happy and content with myself.  

You see, the book isn’t magic in any way. It just teaches you to change your thought process so you think in a more positive, optimistic, “I can do anything I want” sort of way. Be a little cocky at times. Dream bigger than you ever thought you could dream. And go out and get what you want, girl!

A couple of weeks ago, I made another visionary board for 2011. I won’t share what’s on it yet…that’s a secret (hehe). But I will tell you, some things are already starting to come true. Funny how life works sometimes, huh? 

Did you read the book “The Secret?” If so, what did you think of it? Did you ever make a visionary board? 


The Wacky Waffle Breakfast Creation

7 Dec

My throat hurts this morning (ouch, Zinc Lozenges you better work!) so I didn’t want anything too heavy for breakfast. I looked at what I had in the fridge (and the freezer, and my counter) and came up with this very odd, yet tasty creation. I think it may be a new favorite of mine. Check it out…

The Wacky Waffle 

-1 frozen waffle of choice (or homemade if you’re feeling adventurous)- I used TJ’s Gluten Free

-1 banana, sliced thin

-2 TB low fat cottage cheese

-1 tsp. cinnamon 

-1 tsp. nutmeg 

1. Toast your waffle how you like it. Spread cottage cheese on top, then add sliced bananas all around (may serve extras on the side).

2. Drizzle on cinnamon and nutmeg, and there you have it…the wacky waffle!

3. Enjoy…I promise it sounds weird but it’s pretty darn tasty.


Quotable Sunday: Words of Wisdom From Buddy the Elf

5 Dec

If You Need a Little Holiday Pick Me Up…

4 Dec

Play this in your head all day long and there’s no way the holiday season won’t be bright ‘n’ cheery for you. There’s just something about this tune that makes me smile ear to ear/want to dance/make snow angels/hug everyone I pass on the street/drink hot cocoa with my friends/get in the Christmas spirit. So let go of that holiday stress, winter blues, and endless thoughts going through your mind and just dance…Charlie Brown Style. 


What’s on My…iPod, workout schedule, mind?

3 Dec

Happy Friday fellow healthy chicks, and hooray for the glorious weekend ahead! Since it’s Friday and I know you’re all just itching to get out of work and get your hands on a martini, I’ll keep this post short ‘n’ sweet. Today we’re going to play a little game over at Healthy Chicks so that you all can get to know me better, and I too can hopefully get to know YOU better along the way. 

What’s on My…? 

iPod: Newly downloaded songs= Katy Perry’s “Firework” (totally motivating and great for an energy boost, plus she totally rocked it at the VS Fashion Show), One Republic’s “Secrets” (also gets me going in the morning along with my coffee), Paramore’s “The Only Exception” (how can you not love this song?), Sad Brad Smith’s “Help Yourself” (have been obsessed since watching the movie “Up in the Air“), George Harrison’s “What is Life” (an oldie but a goodie).

Refrigerator Shelves: Honestly, I’m embarrassed ’cause there isn’t much right now- definitely time to hit up Trader Joe’s. Currently I have eggs (I heart making egg white omelets), a bunch of veggies (including spinach, cucumber, carrots and zucchini), marinara sauce (leftover from when I made “Spaghetti (squash) & Meatballs”, light string cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese (I’m a sucker for the real thing), apples, an orange and brown rice wraps. 

Workout Sched: This afternoon I’m going for a 2ish mile run with my best friend (she’s running her first 5K in a couple of weeks, yay her!) followed by some Core Fusion Body Sculpt in the apartment. I’m going to try to squeeze in a long run this weekend (5 to 6 miles I hope) as well as some yoga/weights at the gym!

To-Do List: It’s a little scary, but it includes interviewing a salon owner for my PT job, buy Christmas presents for mom, dad, sister, friends, etc., edit recipe book & place orders [will probably order 50 to 100 and sell holiday specials], buy a scarf for a special girl who deserves it, pit-stop to Sephora for some makeup, pit stop at CVS for all the essentials, browse Victoria’s Secret for Christmas goodies, grocery shopping, buy mini things for Florida trip so I won’t have to check my bag (gotta follow the 3.4 oz. rule), and the list goes on and on…

Mind: “I can’t wait for Florida…”, “What’s for lunch?…”, “Wow, that dude next to me has crazy hair…”, “This cappuccino is delish…”, “Seriously, what do you get dads for Christmas?…”

Lips: Vaseline (so good for winter chapped lips) & Bath and Body Works’ “My Favorite Lip Balm” with shea butter and almond oil. (It really is my favorite lip balm-I swear by this stuff)

Cool Bookmarked Pages: Hallmarkcontests.com, OMG Facts, PostSecret, Etsy

Calendar next two weeks: Comedy show, Sunday Funday with my friend Megan, a few meetings, two work holiday parties, Ugly Sweater Party (debating whether to go or not), 4 day road trip to Florida, 5K Jingle Run!

If you have the time, fill in the blanks on some of the above questions…I’d love to learn more about you too!! 

Spice Up Your Kitchen (& Your Taste buds)

2 Dec

Yesterday, my roommate came home from a long day at work, and asked me to the usual question, “What should I have for dinner?” As I listed off a bunch of foods, she continued to say she either didn’t have the ingredients or was simply sick of that concoction. After all, she always sticks with the same exact thing: sweet potato with salad, pasta with toast or a turkey burger. After a long day of work, it’s hard to get creative in the kitchen; I hear you. I too sometimes find myself getting into the routine of eating the same exact thing every day…simply because it works. Eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, big salad for lunch, chicken and veggies for dinner. While it’s easy to get caught up in a comfortable routine in the kitchen, it’s way more fun to spice it up. And with the right tips, you can spice up your fridge and pantry pain-free! 

Try At Least One New Item Every Week: The other day, I bought spaghetti squash (something I never buy) to make “Spaghetti & Meatballs.” It was so refreshing to enjoy an out-of-the-norm, nutritious meal for a change, and it came out absolutely delicious. So trade up your pasta for some Spaghetti Squash, buy avocados for your salad if you usually go with tomatoes, try a new flavor of hummus (like spicy chipotle) or pick up a box of brown rice to experiment with. Purchase something you can’t pronounce (or have never even heard of) and give it a try. It can’t hurt, right? 

Prep Meals Ahead of Time: Of course you settle for a bowl of cereal or boring old pasta for dinner when you’re starving, and the last thing you want to do is create a feast. But if you prep meals during the weekend (or the night before) you can freeze them so they’ll be ready to eat in a jiff. I love freezing Turkey Chili, pre-made turkey burgers, chicken cutlets, rice dishes and even the pierogies my grandma just made for me. Simply place your pre-made meal in the fridge the morning you want to eat it, and it’ll be ready for you to eat when you get home from work! 

Spice it up (Literally): Play with spices and herbs to give any ordinary meal a kick. Snazz up your boring pasta with some basil, oregano and parmesan cheese. Add a kick to your morning omelet with cayenne pepper, chili powder or even a scoop of fresh salsa. Play with cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes in your veggie and rice dishes. The possibilities are endless! Good news is most spices cost around $2 so you can grab a bunch and have them ready for any kind of meal. 

Make Your Own Creations: Quite frankly, I’ve never been a fan of “following the rules,” and same holds true in the kitchen. Recipes are great as a guide, but take them as just that. If you’re missing a few of the ingredients, substitute in what you have! If you don’t feel like buying 1,000 new sauces just for one freakin’ recipe, make something up. The kitchen is your place to be creative and let your inner-chef shine. I love the combo of mayo and mustard on my salmon, but didn’t want to load on a bunch of cals so I substituted the mayo with plain nonfat greek yogurt. Who knew it tasted just as good? If a recipe calls for walnuts, I’ll use slivered almonds or sunflower seeds. If I’m all out of broccoli, I’ll use spinach or asparagus. Play with what you’ve got and I can assure you you’ll have much more fun in the kitchen.

Plan Special Meals: Of course we can’t eat glorious, home-cooked meals every day, or I honestly probably wouldn’t be able to afford my electric bill. But, special, extravagant meals are exciting, so save them for a special time. Maybe every Sunday you and your roommates can cook together, and whip up something fabulous? Or take turns cooking for each other once a week. My roommate and I are planning on making Eggplant Parmesan this weekend, something I haven’t had in a looong time. Decide on something ahead of time so you have something delicious to look forward to!

Happy Hump Day > VS Undies & 7 Other Things Totally Worth the Splurge

1 Dec


What’s on my top 8 worth-it list? 

1. Victoria’s Secret 5 for $25 undies. I have an addiction and I don’t feel bad about it at all. A gal can never have enough lacie thongs and boy shorts in her dresser. 

2. A hot, go-to LBD. Every woman needs at least one dress that’ll make you feel sexy, beautiful and confident even on a “fat” day while you are PMSing. I just bought a gorgeous one at Express on Black Friday, and guess what? I got if for 30% off plus an additional $40 off from a Coupon the sales clerk gave me. So it wasn’t even that big of a splurge after all. 

3. A Mini Vacay. These mini vacays keep me sane, so I take them and take them often…guilt-free. I’ve gone on mini trips to New York, D.C., Virginia, and other states to visit friends. I just love traveling, and it makes me feel good so I justify throwing in the dough for my own well-being. In two weeks, I will be taking a “min vacay” road trip to Florida and hitting up Magic Kingdom while I’m at it (wahoo!). 

4. Chocolate. Chocolate cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate peanut butter fudge (especially my mom’s), chocolate Kisses, chocolate frozen yogurt and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting are all worth the splurge in my book. 

5. A Pedi. For me, it’s so much more worth it to go in and get a pedicure than try to give myself one. Let’s be honest: I’m just not as good as those miracle workers in the salons. There’s nothing like hitting up the nail salon with a coffee, laying back with a magazine and letting the pedicurists go to work. When my toes look chipped and my feet have seen brighter days, that’s where you’ll find me. 

6. A Good Book (or 10). I can’t help wanting to buy the entire store every time I walk into a book store…especially a used book store. I just love everything about it: the smell, the feel, the people, the aura. And there’s nothing quite like curling up in bed with a good book and a cup of hot tea, so give in my friend!

7. A gym membership (or the equivalent). If I didn’t work out, my mind would be all over the place and I’d probably turn into a psychotic bitch, which is not me at all. That’s exactly my point: exercising regularly helps keep me “me”: balanced, energized, perky and happy. Currently I have a 20-day gym pass I purchased on a group-buying site for only $19, but I also splurged on the Core Fusion Body Sculpt DVD (totally worth it) for those days I don’t feel like leaving my apartment in the 25-degree weather. 

8. An Extra Cocktail (Healthy Chick Approved of Course). An extra cocktail is almost always worth the splurge for me as it comes in handy in awkward situations, bad dates, good dates, or nights you just want to have a little more fun. Just don’t be downing Sex on the Beach and martinis all night, and you should be good. My fave drink? Vodka + Seltzer + Lime + Optional Splash of Cran. 

What are some things that are 100% worth the splurge for you? 



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