Fashion, Fun, & a little Food

Category Archives: Informational Blogs – Low Carb/Primal/Paleo

Hope you are all having a wonderful week! We are having an extended Summer here in the PNW, the weather has been sun, sun, and more sun. It finally cooled off a little bit here today and is beginning to feel a bit more like Fall. Although I think we are going to be back up to 70 degrees for the rest of the week!

This past weekend Michael and I decided we were overdue for a little trip just the 2 of us, so we headed down to Portland Saturday morning. Such a beautiful drive with the sun shining and the leaves beginning to turn.

After checking into our hotel downtown, we headed for lunch at a cute little wine bar. Love a good wine lunch : )

After lunch we did a little shopping and then headed to happy hour at Portland City Grill to meet up with a few of our friends that live in Portland. So much fun and what a view!

Jeans – Hudson, Blouse – NY&Co, Scarf – H&M (similar at Target), and you can’t see, but I’m wearing these Loft mustard suede pumps

After happy hour we headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up to go to dinner.

Here is the only full outfit picture I got.

Jeans – J Brand, Blouse – Loft (similar here and here), Shoes – Max Studio (similar from Target)

 

 

We headed to dinner at Urban Farmer which was absolutely amazing!

We started our meal with a delicious selection of gourmet cheeses

 

Then we moved onto the main course, I had a grass fed filet, while Michael had the New York Strip sampler served along with some amazing green beans and a potato tart. So tasty!

 

Here we are very full…

After a cocktail at the rooftop bar we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep!

We will just call this the Portland Food Tour because the next morning we were ready to eat again!

Off we went for brunch to a place my friend Leslie recommended called Tasty ‘n Sons. We had about an hour wait so enjoyed our coffee out in the sunshine while we walked around the neighborhood and played with the timer on the camera : )

Jeans – Hudson, Blouse – Old Navy, Jacket – WHBM, Scarf – Italy, Shoes – Nine West, Bag – Coach

 

 

 

Brunch was worth the wait – we enjoyed a delicious BBQ chicken hash along with a tomato and roasted red pepper stew with baked eggs.

 

Hope you enjoyed the Portland Food Tour : )

 


Happy Friday everyone! So glad the weekend is upon us. Let’s start this Friday out with a little link love from around the blogosphere.

What you’re Up Against from Free the Animal  – Reading something like this really scares me when it comes to the government taking over healthcare. New views, ideas, and experiences are simply not wanted, we are all about the status quo and proving that what we’ve been doing is right, instead of maybe taking a step back and seeing possible alternatives. Because conventional wisdom has clearly been working so well…

Lessons on Real Food from 100 Years ago – Too bad things aren’t labeled “imitation” anymore. Wouldn’t want people to get the idea that they are eating something fake now would we.

I spend a lot of time reading studies, and weeding out the good from the bad, as well as the observational from the clinical. Biggest thing I have learned is that CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION. Unfortunately so many studies in the media with their scary headlines are simply observational studies that don’t prove anything except a possible hypothesis for clincial study. My biggest frustration is often with magazines who tout “a new study finds xyz something scary” and then we aren’t even provided with the study to look into ourselves. I suggest everyone watch this funny and informative video called “Science for Smart People” so that you know the difference and don’t fall victim to blindly believing media headlines and observational data. (and even clinical studies need to be looked at with a critical eye)

I think that’s enough food related stuff for today, let’s get on with the fashion!

Let’s just say it is COLD here in the PNW today. The news told me 27 degrees when I was getting ready to be exact. Perfect day to pull out my warm faux fur vest and suede boots to keep me toasty. The shirt is actually a rasberry pink, it looks a little red in the pictures, but either way, I always love a little color.

This weekend I have some secret birthday festivities planned for the husband – should be fun! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Jeans – Citizens of Humanity, T shirt – GAP, Vest – LOFT, Boots – BCBGeneration via Ross

 


As I said awhile back, every once in awhile I will put together a full day of eats, so here is round 2 from yesterday.

I started the day with a yummy breakfast cooked by Michael. 2 slices of Zoe’s Meats bacon along with 3 scrambled eggs all delivered by Spud.com  – I usually only eat 2 eggs in the morning, but Michael made 3 for some reason, and I was hungry so I ate them all.

I had a cup of coffee with a splash of heavy cream and a Stevia packet around 9:30am at work

Then around 12:30pm I got a little hungry so ate the small lunch I packed. I realized I’m just not that hungry in the middle of the day and need more of a snack than a full meal so have started packing just a light lunch. Yesterday it was Applegate Farms ham slices wrapped around avocado slices (a half avocado in total) along with organic baby carrots and a mini caprese salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Just a glass of water with lunch.

My office was freezing in the afternoon so I warmed up with a mug of decaf black tea (I can’t drink caffeine in the afternoon) that I added a splash of heavy cream and a packet of Stevia to.

Dinner was a delicious grass-fed pot roast (also delivered by Spud.com) that I made in the Crockpot – so yummy! I used the combo of these recipes from Sleep Eat Love here and here. I didn’t have squash so I used onion, baby carrots, celery, and 1 apple I had on hand in mine for the veggies. Dinner was accompanied by about a glass and a half of red wine, and I munched on 1 little pumpkin spice cake I had left over from the weekend as well. A pretty delicious Wednesday I think!


I’ve had a number of people that ask what I eat all day long, so am going to do a post every once in awhile with a full day of meals. I love how Nom Nom Paleo does this, it can be very helpful to see. Also planning to start doing some restaurant posts when I remember!

So here were my meals yesterday. I rarely snack anymore as I don’t often get hungry now that my blood sugar isn’t constantly sky rocketing and dropping. Now I am in control, not the food.

Michael usually makes breakfast, but he had an early meeting yesterday so I took over. He generally makes bacon and fried eggs, so when I cook I change it up and like to make scrambled eggs. I beat my eggs with a little heavy cream, then scramble them up in coconut oil with a bit of seasoned salt. I served with a delicious Aidell’s all natural chicken apple sausage that you can find at Costco. I just put it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then let it get a little crispy in the pan. I actually only ate half of this sausage, they are pretty big and I wasn’t that hungry. I also had a cup of dark roast coffee with a few Tbsp of heavy cream and a packet of Stevia.

I had another cup of coffee with  heavy cream at work around 10am

Then for lunch, I brought in a chicken fajita salad that I put together from Sunday nights leftovers. Just salad mix on the bottom, added the warmed up chicken and peppers and topped with organic salsa and sour cream mixed together. Yummy!

Had no idea what I was going to make for dinner last night, but decided after examining freezer contents that I was in the mood for some salmon. Michael doesn’t eat salmon, but I keep mahi-mahi on hand to make for him when I have salmon fortunately. Pulled those out, defrosted, then yummied them up by brushing on coconut oil, adding salt, pepper, lemon, and a herb seasoning blend on both sides and grilling up on our indoor grill.

While those were cooking, I decided to make some “fauxtatoes” using a bag of cauliflower that needed to be used. I ran out of butter so I ended up using some goat cheese instead to make these creamy and they were delicious!! I also learned that I need a food processor – our blender just doesn’t work as well for this kind of thing. As soon as we have a bigger kitchen!

Threw some frozen haricots verts (French green beans) into a glass dish along with some olive oil, basalmic vinegar, salt and pepper, and microwaved for about 5 minutes to serve on the side as well.

And here are our dinner plates. I enjoyed mine along with a glass of Pinot Noir.

We picked up some 80% cocoa dark chocolate at the Seattle Chocolate Festival a few weeks ago so I had a square of that for dessert while we watched “How I Met Your Mother” and that was the end of another Monday.

 


No outfit picture today, so going to be a bit of a random post. First a few links that I have found especially fascinating, and then some bargain fashion picks!

Read here about how LDL (a lipoprotein often referred to as “bad cholesterol”) is “calculated”, not measured, and the formula used actually rewards you for having high triglycerides, and can very easily provide inaccurate results. LDL (the small, dense kind) builds up not because of cholesterol, but because of inflammation – check out this article for some great info regarding what you should and shouldn’t be worried about. And run screaming if the doctor tries to put you on a statin.

Looking forward to watching this movie, hoping it comes out on Netflix, called Farmageddon – click on link for synopsis. Also just ordered the book “Everything I Want to do is Illegal” from Amazon because it wasn’t available on Kindle and am looking forward to reading. (click here for article by author that is a more comprehensive summary) Basically this movie and book discuss how the government organizations like the USDA and FDA are making it more and more difficult for small farmers raising animals and farming in sustainable ways to be successful. It scares me to think that it may get even harder to find things not fed GMO corn and grains, or covered in pesticides, in the future.  According to this new study, “contrary to conventional wisdom, organic farming outperformed conventional farming in every measure.” Definitely looking forward to the grass fed cow we are sharing with some friends and picking up a few weekends from now at the 3 Sisters Farm. If you have a big freezer available (our friends our letting us keep our part in theirs) this is a great way to get very affordable sustainable and humanely treated beef, pork, etc.

And for those of you who are only here for the fashion, thank you for humoring me (or just completely ignoring the first half of this blog) : ) Here is another round of bargain picks!

Love the sharpness of this Old Navy blazer, but the softness of a jersey fleece knit – $ 39.94

Searching for an affordable mustard cardigan? Check out this one for $ 36.94

Loving the color and print on this blouse for $32.94

Chiffon in the front, knit in the back – yes please! $26.94

This is the faux fur vest I ended up getting from Express, not super cheap at $98, but a lot less than others I’ve seen and not “too furry”

Looking for an relatively affordable pair of skinny jeans that look great with heels, flats, or tucked into boots? And also tend to look great on a number of different body shapes? Give the Gap Always Skinny a try for $69.95, or as I would highly recommend, use a coupon and get them for less! I had a little Shopping Hiatus slip up and picked these up for $40 – I needed another pair that tucked into boots – I know, I am bad! Right now online only there is a 35% off coupon – not a bad deal.

And what would a bargain picks post be without the Target shoes I am currently lusting after. These cap toe leopard print almost flats are so cute – buy them Mom! $24.99

Women's Merona#amp##174; Mattie Cap-Toe Shoes - Leopard

Happy Hump Day everyone!


Michael had an event at work today and took the camera! Boo! I think I need my own… this also means my tasty butternut squash beef stew recipe will have to wait until Monday.

So hmm, what to blog about today? I’m going to do a beauty blog and give some link love I think.

First some links I’m loving this week:

1. It’s no secret I love Tom Naughton’s blog, his posts always entertain – here is a great one regarding Denmark trying to control people’s food choices through taxes, and another insightful one from awhile back called MeMe Roth: A Burden on Us All.

2. In case you missed it on my post a few weeks ago, the Chicago Dept of Health doing their best to shut down small business owners that are using real food instead of fake stuff.

3. Check out Jessica Quirk’s fun homemade halloween costumes!

4. So excited for lots of squash in the stores! Definitely want to give this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo a try.

5. In the market for a new winter coat? – check out these 20 picks from Angie at You Look Fab.

6. I’m not much of a baker, but my good friend April said these grain free Pumpkin Spice Cakes are amazing and I love pumpkin! Just picked up some organic canned pumpkin from Trader Joe’s and can’t wait to make these for a party I am having in a few weeks.

Now onto the fun make up and hair stuff! Here are my favorite products – what are yours?

Need a hair spray that really works? – my favorite is this Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm hold (and I have tried a lot of hairspray!)

 

Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold Hair Spray

The foundation I use everyday is  Make Up For Ever. I also love their concealer and mascara.

HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Do you ever deal with eyeliner smuging for that lovely black ring under your eyes? Well, problem solved with a thin layer of Benefit’s Shelac – this stuff is a must have! Unfortunately I can’t find this anywhere online, and am hoping it isn’t discontinued because that will make me very sad. If you are interested, stop in at your local Macy’s Benefit counter and ask.

For blush I am a big fan of NARS – just the right amount of sparkle for everyday use.

Orgasm Blush

And my new favorite lipstick is MAC – recently picked up a great color for Fall called Craving.

 Lipstick

Hope you all have a great weekend! Regular recipe and outfit posting will resume on Monday!


Today is going to be a bit of a long post… and a fashion/hair one will be posted as well.

First of all, I survived Crossfit bootcamp!! Yay! It actually was kind of fun, although once a week is a good enough for me for now, perhaps I will bump that up next session. Only downside (apart from the sore muscles) is I have a big blister on my tailbone, but I will be ok I think – note to self, ask for a mat for sit-ups next time! Some good links here, here, and here to read more about how ineffective and even unhealthy “chronic cardio” is and the reason I wanted to give this a try. The workout I did was short but intense and boy was I sweaty! I will note that I am not doing this to lose weight – I believe that weight loss is at least 80% related to diet (along with things like sleep and stress level) and I am currently very happy with my weight and body based on what I put into my body and how I treat it, for the first time in my life I might add. (If you are just doing 45 minutes on the elliptical, or running 5 days a week thinking the pounds are going to melt away, then good luck.) I do however spend 7 hours a day sitting at a desk, and then a number of evenings hanging out on the couch, and I don’t think that is the way our bodies are meant to spend all of their time either. So I am giving this a try to help me stay strong and fit in a time effective and healthy way. I will still continue to do ballet class as well when I can, as it is something that I enjoy. What I can assure you I won’t do ever again is bore myself on the treadmill!

Now onto more random musings – came across this blog post yesterday titled “Switch from real strawberries to corn syrup or get shut down”. I’m sure all of you have heard this government talk about how they are going to create new jobs. This article just reinforces with me that what the government really needs to do is just get out of the way! Funny, do we think that perhaps the suggestion to use corn syrup might be in order to make sure we keep using all that corn the government is subsidizing? Just like their push for the “healthy whole grains” they are subsidizing? Way to go big government, clearly you’ve made us all healthier and opened doors for small businesses to succeed. As Tom Naughton likes to say “Head Bang On Desk”. Check out a related blog here from him showing the government once again overstepping their boundaries as a Chicago school bans kids from bringing lunch from home – apparently they think that they can do better than parents – they will of course undoubtedly provide them with fat free chocolate milk, baked french fries, and plenty of fake food and sugar bombs to make sure they don’t go over the government’s fat recommendations. Let’s blame parents and McDonald’s for our obesity problem instead of just admitting our nutritional advice is based off bad science and a bunch of nonsense. So sad. Ok, rant over. For now.

If you are still with me, last night for dinner I made Nom Nom Paleo’s suggestion of “Emergency Protein“. I went home after my bootcamp, Michael is telling me how hungry he is and I have nothing defrosted – so I decide I am going to just use what I have on hand to create something! I defrost a pound of grass fed ground beef, pull out all the veggies I have that are going to go bad soon and get to work! 2 slices of bacon cook while I chop an onion, then onion goes into the bacon drippings along with a little garlic and coconut oil, then ground beef is added and sauteed a bit before I add the broccoli, cauliflower, half a jar of roasted peppers & shredded carrots I have in the fridge along with a can of diced tomatoes and the chopped up bacon. Added a little salt, pepper, and a herb seasoning blend, along with a few Tbsp. of Tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce) and sauteed until veggies were soft – delicious! I added a little goat cheese on top (in pic) but it was a bit strong and would just leave off entirely or sprinkle with a little parmesean instead. Give it a try next time you don’t know what to make!


While I am enjoying beautiful San Diego wanted to share a few fun blogs and links! Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

1. Check out Rebekah here at Cupcake Caramel, she has lots of great posts about her quest to live a chic, Frenchesque (my word) life – she has lots of fun things to share and makes me laugh

2. Love this idea from Sarah at the Daily Sophisticate for turning your jewelry into decor

3. Have you checked out the new Fall line from H&M – I am loving it! See The Budget Babe’s review here

4. Check out 10 Fall Trends you’ll love to wear

5. I love See Jane’s Fall 2011 essentials

6. The interesting breakdown of 2 recent headlines – Red Meat and Vitamin D and another one just for fun on Salt

7. Recipes I’m looking forward to trying soon! Roasted Curried Cauliflower and Savory Coconut panckes

 


So one of our friends started Crossfit with Michael, and says he would like to try  this lifestyle, but sees it being difficult to do without someone cooking for him, like Michael has. Well this blog is for you Gabo!  I can see how this would seem to be a stumbling block for a lot of people – cooking takes time and it is understandable that a lot of my recipes might seem daunting either to people who just don’t like to cook, don’t have much time to cook, and to the many people who have for a long time depended on frozen dinners and the pizza/chinese delivery guy for most of their meals. As much as I like to cook there used to be a whole lot of Lean Cuisines in my diet (yuck) –  surprise, surprise – I was starving an hour after I finished one!

Well, the reality is, cooking takes some time! And if you don’t like to cook, well, hope you marry someone who does, or suck it up and do it because you know eating foods not out of a box will make you feel your best. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to do this lifestyle that make things as fast and easy as possible. Or easy things to make that don’t require a whole lot of ingredients to put together. My biggest tip would be to spend a day on the weekend (or your day off) prepping to make things easy for the week when you might find yourself short on time.

Here are some specific suggestions for different meals (of course interchangeable, eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner if you want) and some ideas specific to the Microsoft cafe for all you Softies out there : )

Breakfast

  • Hard Boil a dozen eggs on the weekend, or you can buy them already done at Trader Joe’s.
  • Mash some avocado with the hard boiled eggs and serve with a couple of all natural microwaveable sausages (I like Applegate Farms) or whatever meat you want
  • When you do have time, make a big batch of frittata egg muffins – example here. Just refrigerate and then pull out each day.
  • Get some all natural pre-cooked sausages from the refrigerated section, you can change it up with chicken sausages in different flavors (just make sure they don’t have sugar and gunk) and simply poke a few holes in them, microwave for a minute or 2 and then if you have time, sear them off in a pan. I have 2 of these for breakfast when I don’t have time for eggs.
  • Keep all natural deli meat, like Applegate Farms, on hand to grab, and wrap around some avocado
  • Make a big batch of bacon on the weekend and keep in fridge to reheat – save the fat for cooking eggs and other things in
  • You could keep some spinach or peppers that have been sauteed in coconut oil or butter in the fridge as well to serve along side any of these quickly.
  • I drink a cup of coffee with heavy cream and a little Stevia in the morning – go for heavy cream, not milk if you need something in your coffee

At the Microsoft cafe:

  • Simply ask for an omelet with whatever veggies you want and then grab some bacon or sausage for the side – but I would ask them to cook in real butter or at least olive oil – I have no doubt that bottle of oil they use is some processed vegetable oil. Or just ask for some hard boiled eggs and then grab yourself some meat for the side.

Lunch

  • Cook up a bunch of burgers on the weekend and wrap up to take to work (I suggest making your own burgers instead of pre-made ones, because Grass fed ground beef is readily available and worth the cost, so do it yourself). You can also freeze these.
  • In case you don’t have time to make your own burgers, keep turkey burgers on hand in the freezer. Try to get them as natural as possible and without all the fat drained out if you can – not extra lean. Just make some of these up quickly in a pan or grill and then refrigerate.
  • Buy a big bag of frozen veggies (preferably organic), in the morning just put some into a tupperware, add a pat of butter or coconut oil and salt and pepper and then heat at lunch. I also like canned green beans.
  • Buy bags of salad and veggies you like. Cut them up all at the same time and have on hand to add to the salad quickly. Cook up protein on the weekends to add to your salads. I would try to keep a bottle of olive oil and vinegar at work so you don’t have to use conventional salad dressings that are full of unnatural oils and who knows what other junk. Even if they are allowed to call it “natural” junk. My favorite is to make up taco meat and take that along with some salsa and avocado to top my salad. Here is a great taco seasoning recipe.

At the Microsoft cafe (or really a lot of places out in the real world):

  • Order a burger patty, turkey burger patty, or chicken breast from the grill, cheese optional. Top with grilled onion and peppers, with a side of steamed vegetables. Add some real butter or olive oil and salt and pepper to the veggies.
  • Max out the salad bar – just make a salad avoiding any legumes (beans) and other carb heavy items, add some protein like chicken or tuna, and top with olive oil and vinegar
  • The entree station if you have one is perfect, Michael eats here all the time. Just get the meat that is being offered, add whatever non- starchy veggies they have and that’s it. No dinner roll!
  • The Stir-Fry station. Now this is one I would only hit occasionally as they cook in what I’m sure is some kind of vegetable oil, and I’m sure the sauces they use are relatively high in sugar and whatever else. But if you are tired of everything else and craving some Asian food, ask for extra veggies, no rice, and light on the sauce.
  • The sandwich bar! The sandwiches they make at the cafes are huge and a good price value. I would actually order the whole sandwich with lots of veggies, then just throw away the bread and either wrap in lettuce or just eat it with a fork and knife.

Dinner

Here are my favorite insanely fast and/or easy dinner ideas – I count the slow cooker here because it does all the work for you. You can serve any of these with veggies heated in microwave, sauteed in bacon grease/butter/coconut oil, roasted in the oven or grilled. Asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, peppers, spaghetti squash, and green beans are some of our favs!

Snacks

I find that I really don’t need snacks anymore as what I eat now actually keeps me full and satiated, instead of my blood sugar constantly going up and then dropping down making me think I am hungry. But if you do get hungry between meals, here are some suggestions:

  • Small handful of almonds
  • Deli meat like Applegate Farms wrapped around avocado – you can wrap in a piece of lettuce too
  • Tomato sliced up with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Beef Jerky
  • Olives
  • Celery with Almond Butter

Hopefully this is helpful to all of you out there who aren’t big on cooking or are short on time!


Ok, I will try to keep this short and let you do a little reading and watching if you want to learn more, but seeing this has me wondering what I’ve been putting into my body all these years during the ridiculous “low fat” craze I grew up in. How many processed things did I eat in order to avoid fat? Like spray “butter”? Ug, I don’t even want to know. Well, let me just say that I will be avoiding “enriched and fortified” things like the plague from now on.  If I want iron I will get it from natural sources such as beef, eggs, asparagus, and broccoli, not from food that has had all the nutrients striped out during processing only to have to have them try to be added back in. Now, if you take the time to watch the video at the link below, you might think afterwards that it is either 1. a hoax, or 2. perhaps think that it is no big deal to eat  iron fillings, if the government thinks it is ok, then it is obviously a good source of iron. Well to 1. just do a little searching. This experiment is done repeated times all over the internet and is even recommended for science classes. And as for #2, I’m not really sure about the safety or health of these, but yuck! I can get these nutrients from real and unprocessed foods! I have a hard time beliving that the iron fillings in fortified cereal is really just the same as getting iron from beef and spinach.

See for yourself

http://www.michaelmorning.com/2010/01/avoid-enrichedfortified-foods/

Now onto other so called “healthy” foods, like “turkey bacon” instead of real bacon, “egg beaters” instead of eggs, and “margarine” instead of butter. Check out this comparison of what is in each. I’ll stick with the real stuff, despite the government still promoting margarine as a better choice of course!

http://www.nakedfoodcooking.com/real-foods/



%d bloggers like this: