An Attitude of Gratitude

Happy holidays everyone! I hope you are enjoying some well deserved rest and rejuvenation. I know I am. I am so sorry for my lack of posting. I just started an internship at Weight Watchers and took on a freelance fact-checking job in addition to my current Social Media assistant job. Jeez I’m making myself busy but this is all worth it. I am getting into a nice little flow. The moment I get more adjusted, the more I will post. I promise!

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I am participating in a delightful health and wellness challenge for the holiday season: Elf for health.

This weeks challenges have been phenomenal so far. But today is by far my favorite. Today’s challenge is to write down 20 things you are grateful for. I am trying my best to find at least one positive or one thing I am grateful for everyday but today really helped put things in perspective!

Here is my list of things I’m grateful for:
1.My family
2.My incredibly boyfriend (super grateful for him)
3.My close circle of friends (my phenomenal support system)
4. Great health
5. My current education at IIN
6. My current jobs and internships
7. A place to live
8. So so so grateful for Zumba
9. iPhone, iPad. Yes, I’m grateful for technology
10. Vegan cheese!
11. Trader Joes
12. Dark chocolate
13. Tea (yea, I said it. Tea.)
14. My fab Erin Condren planner. It’s that amazing. Couldn’t be without it!
15. Syracuse university. One of the best decisions I have ever made was attending undergrad there.
16. I am grateful for trees and plants. Thank you for providing oxygen!
17. Vegetables and fruits. Actually, I am really grateful for food. I love food.
18. Wine. I love vino. Shiraz, Chianti, Malbec, you name it, I love it.
19. I am sincerely and truly grateful for all the people I have met in my life who have taught me something.
20. I am grateful for my strength internally and externally. And most importantly I am grateful and thankful to be blessed with this life.

What are you grateful for?


Super Greens and Beans Stew

Need comfort on a cold day? Need another reason to get in the kitchen? Want a way to get your greens in without the hassle? Your search ends here. This simply delicious and delightful stew will not only ease those cold weather blues but also satisfy your need for greens! Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! [P.S. This recipe comes with leftovers, so be prepared for a few days of stewy goodness!]

What you need:

2 cans cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1 32 oz carton of vegetable broth/stock

1/4 cup white wine [cooking wine works as well]

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper [I like it spicy!]

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

2 cups fresh kale, roughly chopped

2 cups rainbow chard, roughly chopped

1 15 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes [San Marzano is the best!]

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

How You Make It:

1. In a large pot, heat oil and saute onions until soft. Add garlic, red pepper, rosemary, basil and oregano and pinch or two of salt. Stir in the kale and swiss chard. Stir until kale and chard look slightly wilted.

2. Add in broth, tomatoes and beans. Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and stir.

3. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add white wine and reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Season with salt, pepper and serve with bruschetta or garlic bread.

Veggie Power

Getting in all of your veggies especially in the winter time seems to be a challenge. I am trying to at least eat some raw veggies here and there to maintain balance within my body. I have noticed quite a difference when eating raw vegetables as opposed to cooked. Though I do not have any intention to eat a completely raw vegan diet, I do plan on incorporating some raw food dietary practices.

As I mentioned earlier on in the week, I am participating in Elf for health, a 6 week challenge to keep me on track for the holidays. The support is phenomenal and my elf finally got in touch with me! YAY! One of the challenges this week was to incorporate veggies into every meal. I completely failed breakfast. It’s hard for me to associate breakfast with anything other than fruit. But I do plan on making a nice tofu scramble this weekend! Since I missed breakfast I made sure I noshed on some sugar snap peas, carrots and celery throughout the day. Surprisingly enough, I felt calmer, more content and more focused.

Who knew veggies could have such power? Well, I kinda did. But you’d be surprised how hard it is to really pay attention to the amount of veggies you are consuming. Have you really stopped to think about how many servings you are ACTUALLY getting each day?

Even a vegan, like myself, can dive off the deep end and eat complete junk. Hey, momentary lapses of judgment are all part of being human. We live in a society where junk food surrounds us and lingers around every corner. And let’s face it, sometimes that chocolate chip cookie really doesn’t seem all that bad. 

I try my best to avoid diving off into that end of the pool because I know how it impacts my health. I may be a little uptight about my dietary lifestyle but that is because I know what my body needs to feel lively, healthy and satisfied. But giving in on a rare moment is A-OKAY! [And besides, it keeps you from binging later on. Your hips will thank you later ;)]

Peace, love and no beef here!


What are you doing to make sure you get your veggies in today?

Elf For Health Round 2: Day 1

After a week of seeing tweets about elves and health I thought I’d sign up for a six week challenge designed to keep me healthy and active during the holidays. Even though I missed the first round of elf pairings, I got the opportunity to be paired up with someone to help inspire and push me for the next two weeks. I havent heard from my fellow elf yet, which saddens me but Im sure she will reach out soon! This weeks’ challenges look amazing and incredibly doable. I will keep you all in the loop of my progress with these challenges.

Today’s challenge was to track my water intake and to drink my body weight in ounces of water. At first I was trying to convert my weight of 122 into ounces and then convert into cups and thought there is NO way I can drink 1952 ounces of water in one day. But when I realized I only needed to drink approximately 15 and 1/4 cups of water, I thought okay this is actually doable.

I think we underestimate how much our bodies need water. Water makes up about 70% of our body and can you believe there are people who don’t like water? How can you not like water when you are practically made up of it? Water is completely refreshing, cooling, healing and often a way to cleanse. I drank my 15 and 1/4 cups of water today and felt pretty good. On average we really should try to drink about 8 cups of water a day. Yup, you heard me. 8 cups AKA 64 ounces of wet, flowing, crisp goodness. If you were stranded in a desert, imagine how refreshing and delicious a cool cup of water would be?

I savored every last sip of water today. I noticed that my urges to snack disappeared and my mood felt more balanced. Even though the challenge of the day is over, I am keeping my Integrative Nutrition water bottle near by and clinging to it for dear life. I just LOVE water!

Peace, love and no beef!