Interesting food facts that make you want to eat healthy!

 

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Something I love to do is learn about the different health benefits of my favorite foods! Once I learn about a new benefit there is to eating a certain food I am so motivated to incorporate it into my next meal! I thought maybe I would share some interesting food facts that you might not know that will make you excited to eat healthier!!

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Arugula: 

Arugula is a nutrient rich green that will add an amazing amount of flavor to any dish you use it in! We love to add arugula to a sandwich or our vegan tacos! Arugula is a tangy delicious healthy food! Rich in calcium, cancer preventing nutrients and vitamins A and K there isn’t a reason not to use this amazing plant in your meals! Arugula has been proven to aid in eye health too! Next time you’re at the store grab yourself some arugula to make a salad or garnish your sandwiches for lunch!!

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Mango

Mangos are such a delicious way to be healthy! High in potassium, antioxidants and vitamins A and K mangos are great for your immune system to prevent colds and flus! Mangos are also a pre-biotic, meaning they provide good bacteria for your gut to prevent digestive problems. Mangos are great in smoothies, fruit salads and even added on green salads for a burst of flavor! There really isn’t any reason not to get yourself a mango and start incorporating them into your meals this week!!

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Cilantro

Cilantro is a delicious herb used for many great recipes!! We use cilantro the most for guacamole! Cilantro is proven to have more vitamin C than even oranges!! Adding some fresh cilantro to a salad is sure to boost the flavor and nutrient value!!

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Peaches 

This beautiful fruit is an excellent addition to any regular diet! Peaches have been shown to benefit the body in many ways. The aroma of peaches is said to have calming effects on the body, reducing pain, lifting depression and creating an overall sense of well-being. They are also a great snack that’s easy to bring on the go!!

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Asparagus: 

Who doesn’t love some beautiful asparagus with dinner? Well asparagus is rich in vitamin K, and is proven to help the digestive tract. It’s so easy to chop some asparagus and add it to a stir fry or as a side dish to any meal!!

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Raspberries

Did you know raspberries can be white? These nutrient dense little beauties whether white red or any other color are great defense against colds and flu. They prevent respiratory infections and are full of phytonutrients which lower the risk of chronic disease! This fruit is one of the highest in fiber content. I love to add some raspberries to oatmeal or even a green salad!

KIWI

Kiwi

Its not surprising to find out that such a beautiful fruit is also packed with so many awesome beneficial nutrients! Kiwis are packed with vitamin C and yet another choice that contains even more than oranges! They can also be beneficial in preventing symptoms of asthma when eated regularly. Kiwis look gorgeous garnishing a fruit salad or as a side to your breakfast dish!

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Bananas

I know I keep using this photo in my posts but just love it! We LOVE bananas in our home!! We always get funny looks at the grocery store during checkout because we buy like 3-5 bundles a week! Did you know that ripe banana with brown spots are full of cancer fighting nutrients (TNF). Basically the riper your banana the better it is for you, which is amazing because super ripe bananas are so sweet! They are excellent in smoothies! Bananas are also full of a nutrient called (FOS) Fructooligosaccharide that helps your body absorb calcium properly! Bananas are a no brained staple for our family and my little one’s favorite fruit!

I hope these tips and facts inspire you and encourage you to make healthy choices! What food facts do you know? I would LOVE to know more facts about the healthy foods we love!! Share and comment below!! Thanks for following! -Alexa-

 

 

What’s on my grocery list | How to make your own grocery list on a budget

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Many people ask me “well you are a vegetarian, and mostly vegan, what do you even eat?” Sometimes they say “what do you eat for snacks?” or “How do you get any protein?” It’s difficult to explain sometimes in a simple answer. So I thought I would write a post about what is on my grocery list. This would show everyone what I typically get in one week for my fiance, our baby (who is now eating solids) and myself. We typically shop at Trader Joes or Whole foods because we feel we can get the best quality produce and everything we need there. Now my list varies each time I shop, it depends on season, and there are some times when you go to the store and get those things you don’t need every time you shop. I am not going to cover those things like olive oil, sriracha sauce, spices etc… Those items we don’t get every week so I am just going to go over the items we get weekly.

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We like to mix it up week to week sometimes getting different fruits then the previous week and sometimes if we have a special recipe in mind then our grocery list will be different. However we have the usual weekly staples. We eat LOTS of fruits and vegetables, we stay mostly in the produce area of the store. I’m just going to give an example of a typical grocery list for my family and also give an example of another grocery list that keeps under a budget of $100.

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To start incorporating healthier foods into your diet you can use these lists as a guide. Start with a typical list you use for your grocery shop and eliminate some of those processed foods like we discussed before (eight tips for starting a healthier lifestyle) and replace with some of the items from these lists. We do a large shop because both my fiancé and I pack lunches and we eat breakfast and dinner at home as well. We also juice which requires more produce. I am not recommending that someone who doesn’t eat this way go out and purchase this exact list. It’s much better to slowly transition into this new lifestyle. So here are the grocery lists!!

Our typical grocery list: 

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Our typical grocery shop falls around $150. This might sound expensive but to me, there is nothing better to invest my money in than the fuel for my body. But honestly with the amount of food we get and the meals we are able to make its totally worth it. We buy most everything organic also which I would highly recommend doing.

Budget under $100 starter list: 

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So I calculated this budget friendly list to be about $80 give or take depending on where you shop and how many of each item you get. This should be a good start with enough food for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Now, of course if you are not a vegetarian or vegan this list will be different. You will have meats on the list or possibly cheeses or eggs. That’s totally fine too! We did not start out as vegetarians, in face we tried it a few years ago and we were so nutrient deficient and tired we couldn’t do it. We were not doing it correctly. We weren’t eating enough food in general. Now we are supplementing with tofu and tempeh as our meat substitutes and eating lots of nuts in our trail mix like almonds and walnuts. I will say making the (totally accidental) transition into vegetarian/vegan eating has made it much cheaper. A container of tofu at Trader Joes can cost about $2 compared to meat that costs around $5-$10 for a small decent cut of chicken. Also a brick of tempeh is $1.99 at trader joes which is just way less expensive than meats.

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Money shouldn’t be the reason you switch to a vegetarian diet in my opinion. However I just wanted to de-bunk the thought that to be healthy you have to spend twice as much. I also like to stay aware of where and when my local farmers markets are, I can get excellent quality food for even less expense there!

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You might look at this list and think it’s completely different from how you shop now which is totally okay. You might think to yourself “three bunches of bananas?? Why on earth would I do that??” Bananas are one if those staples that you can bring anywhere and are delicious yet satisfying. We use them for breakfast, snacks on the go and we peel, chop and freeze atleast one bundle to make our own healthy ice cream in the evenings! You might think a bag of oranges is WAY TOO MUCH oranges for you. That is totally fine, as I mentioned above, we juice so half of those oranges are going into our healthy juices. Same with half our pineapple and sometimes celery and carrots. I hope this post gives you a little insight and inspiration for your next grocery shop! I personally LOVE the grocery store! Here is our little Augustus at Trader Joe’s, as you can see he LOVES to shop!!

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We cook many different types of meals and we typically have no waste from our shop. We like to try and use everything we bought before we return to the store so that way we are not buying double of things by accident and we find it saves money. If we reach the end of the week and say we went out to dinner because of a special occasion, maybe some of our food is going to go back if we don’t use it, we will cook up a stir-fry to take for lunch, or make a healthy juice to drink in the morning. Its going to take some practice and some trial and error. You are going to have to experiment with what you like and what foods work for your typical week of eating. We have had to be really aware of what foods work for our busy summer work weeks and what foods work for our cold snowy weeks in the winter as well. We like to take advantage of what is in season, eating lots of watermelon and berries in the summer, and taking advantage of cold crops in the winter like spaghetti squash, kale and root plants like potatoes. We would love to hear what your grocery shop is like! What are your secrets for staying healthy when you shop? Please let me know if you have any questions about these lists and how to shop under budget! Thanks for following!

 

Iced Coffee | A weakness for many, how to do your coffee in a healthier way!

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Iced Coffee. Most of us love it, some of us cannot function without it, but it can be really unhealthy if we are getting it on the go. I have given up coffee multiple times but being a photographer, late night editing, also having a little baby, sometimes its just necessary. In the photo above this is where you can usually find my coffee right next to me on my desk!

We all know a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee is loaded with heavy cream and sugars, same with most places that serve coffee beverages on the go. Many people have the misconception that coffee itself is bad for your health. Its not the coffee that is the problem, its the dairy and sugars that they add.

There have actually been proven benefits to drinking just plain black coffee in moderation. Read about benefits of coffee here!

What I want to talk about though is how to make a better coffee. Most of us know that making coffee at home is not only better for you but better for your wallet too! Buying a decent bag of ground coffee is less than buying a small cup of coffee every day of the work week. But how do we make a hot or iced coffee that is not only delicious but good for your body?

Tip #1 Make coffee at home: So if you have a busy morning and you think you might not be able to make a coffee in the morning you could always brew some the night before and chill it over night, especially during these hot summer months! Whatever you have to do, like we discussed its cheaper and better for you!

Tip#2 Choose a better coffee: It all starts with the coffee you choose. First of all I would definitely recommend choosing organic if that is possible for you, this way you don’t have to worry about chemicals from how it was grown. Also fair trade coffee is a good way to go also, read more about why fair trade is so important here! I shop at trader joes, they have a few great selections of organic coffee. Click the link if you want to see another brand of coffee I recommend! Organic Coffee

Tip#3 Ditch the heavy cream and white granulated sugar: So this is a big one. Most creams and milks used at these fast coffee places, is filled with hormones and chemicals. There really is no nutritional value in the dairy at all. Try finding a dairy alternative that you like in your coffee. I know some of you might be skeptical about not using the traditional dairy products but this is coming from someone who used to drink milk every day and now is DAIRY FREE. If you give some of the alternative dairy products a try they are much easier on your digestive system and you may even find you like them better! Most are also cheaper than a gallon of milk! I personally like a little organic almond milk in mine, or even organic coconut milk! If you purchase a “vanilla” flavored almond or coconut milk then you might not need any sugar, but if you do at least try and use an Organic Cane Sugar (click the link to find organic cane sugar) and cut down significantly how much sugar you are using. If you use a little less sugar every day you will find you hardly need any after a few weeks. Like we have discussed before, your body will adjust and not want coffee that sugary anymore.

Tip#4 If you do get coffee out, order a better coffee: If I do breakdown and need a coffee while I am out, I always ask for an alternative milk (almond, soy or coconut) and I try and use as little sugar as possible.

Tip#5 Try black coffee: I know many people who tried it and now love it. The healthiest way to enjoy coffee is black. Personally I had trouble liking it that way but every once in a while I try again. Don’t feel bad if you can’t do black coffee, I know I can’t as of right now.

So I hope these tips help! My usual coffee now at home is an organic dark roast coffee with organic vanilla almond milk and no sugar. It is delicious! It took me some time to tinker with what I like the best but you should experiment and give some new things a try! What works for you? I would love to hear about your coffee tricks!! Thank you for following! -Alexa-

Healthy lunch with a kick | Sriracha Tofu Salad

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So when we think of a healthy lunch, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a salad right? You are probably imagining a boring salad with romaine, maybe some onion and grape tomatoes? BORING. Salads are honestly the most versatile meal and have so much potential for delicious excitement!

This salad literally took me under ten minutes. I put my baby boy down for a nap, ran downstairs and decided on this meal and made in less than ten minutes so I could run back upstairs and get some work done before he woke up! The only thing I would have changed if I was going to pack this salad to go would be packing the toppings of the salad in another container so that my greens wouldn’t get wilted.

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I made my salad with tofu (sometimes I use tempeh also) but this can be made with chicken, I could even see this with steak as well or shrimp! The only difference would be making sure those meats are cooked all the way through before adding them to your salad. I chose tofu because I do not have to worry about it being under-cooked and I was rushing!

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What you will need:

  1. Greens: I decided to have an arugula salad. arugula is such a tangy, fresh delicious green and oh so good for you. Containing protein, vitamin C, Vitamin K, and calcium, arugula is an amazing green to have for your lunch! I used about two cups of arugula in my salad.
  2. Raw Veggies: For my other non cooked toppings I decided to use some halved heirloom cherry tomatoes, and some avocado. Tomatoes are a lovely hydrating topping to a salad, their burst of flavor spices up any meal! Avocados are a great source of protein and have more potassium than bananas that are known for their potassium.
  3. Tofu (or a meat option): I chose tofu for my salad, it cooks very quickly and I do not have to worry about salmonella from raw meat. I also threw in red onion and zucchini with my tofu and grilled them on my Cast Iron Skillet with a little olive oil.
  4. Sriracha Sauce: I seasoned my tofu, onion and zucchini with my delicious sriracha sauce from trader joes. (click the link to find out where to get sriracha)

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Process:

Lay your greens in an appropriate sized bowl. Put that aside. on a frying pan heat up a small amount of olive oil (less than a tablespoon) only on medium heat you don’t want to burn anything. I chopped my tofu into cubes, chopped my red onion and zucchini and tossed them on the pan, drizzled them with sriracha. While that was cooking I chopped my tomatoes, and cut my avocado. I placed my tomatoes and avocado on top of my greens in the bowl. Once my tofu and veggies were cooked lightly, I tossed them on top of my salad also and drizzled a little more sriracha on top. (have a glass of water handy though because boy does that sriracha have a KICK) Then, Enjoy!!

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This salad didn’t even need any dressing, the veggies and sriracha were enough to make it flavorful and delicious. I love the spicy kick because eating this salad automatically makes me drink more water because of the spice. I cooked this up so quickly and it was so good! Give this salad a try! Let me know if you did something differently and what you thought? Thank you for following! -Alexa-

My Breakfast Staple | Bananas and dates with almond butter

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Are you trying to incorporate more healthy foods into your meals? Do you often skip breakfast? Do you crave things like muffins, pancakes, danish etc? This breakfast tip is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and get you ready for your day with a boost of energy!

So this is so simple, if you like bananas, you DON’T have a nut allergy, and you enjoy gooey caramel tasting dates then this is for you!

I literally buy 3-5 bunches of bananas at the store (for many different recipes you will find out) because I eat this particular snack sometimes multiple times a day! Bananas are so inexpensive, so delicious. so filling, there are so many reasons to love bananas! If you are not buying at least one bunch at the store ask yourself WHY!!

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FIRST! What you will need:

    1. Nut Butter of your choice: (I choose almond, but peanut, hazelnut, any kind works!) I get mine at Trader Joes, but you can get it most anywhere, click the links below to see the brands I suggest and where you can get yours! Choose a good brand, preferably organic, Raw if you can, without added sugars or preservatives. This is one of the only packaged foods I do suggest buying!
    2. Bananas: I slice my bananas into a bowl to drizzle my other delicious             ingredients on top! Want to slice bananas easily, try a Banana Slicer !
    3. Dates: These tasty treats are amazing in so many ways! (Click HERE to read about the health benefits of dates!) These dates taste gooey and caramely and delicious and you dont have to feel guilty about gobbling them up in your breakfast! I like to pit and chop my dates to add to my banana almond butter amazingness! You can buy organic sundried dates in many grocery stores but click the link above or this link that says “Dates” to purchase the ones I recommend! Sometimes you can find them already pitted which is very convenient! (always try and find organic sun dried dates if you can)
    4. Options: There are also other things I add to this dish on occasion! Sometimes I will add Almond Slices or even fresh blueberries, strawberries, you could even add some Figs! Experiment with your own healthy ingredients, click on the links above to find where to purchase any of the suggestions I have discussed here!

Almond Butter
Peanut Butter
Hazelnut Butter

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Now! The process!

First chop your bananas, arrange them in a size appropriate dish. Then I drizzle the almond butter on top, however much you like depending on the mood you are in, I usually use about two spoon-fulls. Lastly I scatter my chopped dates on the top to complete my delicious breakfast!

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I mean seriously look at that! Are you not drooling already?? I promise you, cereal will just never feel the same after you have had this!!

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Here is your closeup shot. I am getting hungry just writing about this. First thing I am going to do once this is posted is go make this for myself! This breakfast is GUILT FREE!! Bananas are such a healthy fruit, great for your digestive health and containing nutrients that regulate blood pressure and aid in your heart health. Dates are an amazing fruit that contains calcium, potassium, iron and so much more, helping bone health, preventing anemia the list goes on. Almonds and natural almond butters are an amazing energy source containing healthy fat and fiber that keeps you going throughout the day and regulates blood cholesterol levels. Eating almond butter regularly in moderation can help to prevent high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease. If these aren’t enough reasons to try this breakfast out then I don’t know what is!!

Sometimes If I am on the go, I will prepare this in a to go Container so that I can eat it while at work, or in between doing errands, there isn’t any excuse really not to enjoy this healthy energy boosting breakfast! (click the link above for some awesome glass to-go containers I use for my healthy eating on the go!)

I hope you will try this and let me know if you like it! I will be posting this recipe on the “Recipe” page so its easily accessible! As always, if you have any questions concerns or comments do not hesitate to comment below or contact me! Thank you so much for following -Alexa-

Eight Steps to Start Your Healthy Lifestyle!

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So, as promised we are going to get right into it! Here is a little pic of my son enjoying a delicious peach to inspire you! Hehe!

However I bet some of you might be overwhelmed. Maybe you have some questions and you are thinking of this in more of a diet-mindset. Let me be really clear here. I DO NOT advocate for diets. What I do is NOT dieting! DIETS DO NOT WORK. Just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.

What I am talking about is your lifestyle. This means, its a commitment. Before I loose anyone who is intimidated by commitment, its not hard! We are just going to take it one step at a time. That is how I stepped into my now vegetarian, almost vegan, plant based healthy eating lifestyle, or at least that is what I like to call it!

This is about being healthy, so stressing about this, is honestly the opposite of what we are going for. This isn’t meant to be stressful or hard. You should not be depriving yourself, instead substituting old (unhealthy habits) with new healthy exciting alternatives that will become your new staples! Easy right?

Food should be exciting, fun, happy, colorful, delicious and so much more! So lets go!

StepONE

Step One “Don’t overwhelm yourself, take it one step at a time”

This is supposed to be fun like we talked about before, so don’t rush it. It takes time to make any sort of change in life. Do not expect this to be an overnight thing. It takes research, trial and error, and time to implement the things you learn. I certainly did not get to where I am overnight. I just started doing things differently one step at a time. Remind yourself what being healthy truly is about. Its about giving your body what it needs to be at its best, and this is going to be a big change for some of you. Your body will need to adjust to the new way you are eating. So do yourself a favor and take it slow!

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Step Two “Start eating the fruits and veggies you already know you like!”

So this is easy! Maybe when you go to the store you have to keep yourself in budget right? So instead of buying those sweet treats get some fruits and veggies that you already know you like! I like to try and keep myself in the outer isles of the grocery store. I actually stick to mainly the produce section and then only grab a few other items from the other parts of the store but we will get there. So ask yourself, what do you already know you like? Maybe you love bananas? Or peaches? Maybe you really enjoy celery? Whatever it is, get yourself some of those things you already know you love! Don’t go overboard thinking “IM GOING TO BE HEALTHY” and buy a bunch of produce you never buy and never eat. We all know good produce can be expensive and you have to stick to things you know first. Your health is definitely worth investing in but lets make sure you aren’t going to waste it. So make a list of produce items you are familiar with and go from there. Pack an apple in your lunch tomorrow instead of those chips, or have a banana on the way to work. This is easy and will get you going in the right direction.

StepTHREE

Step Three “Eliminate as many processed foods as possible”

Now this step may be a little harder. Believe me, I know it was hard for me at first. I can reassure you though, now I HARDLY crave these things I have eliminated. Let me clarify what foods I am talking about. I am referring to, wheat, corn, sugar products. Cookies, Chips, crackers, snack bars, candy, white breads, muffins, cakes, desserts, and things like that. I am not saying you should eliminate these things all together right off the bat, just try and substitute. Remember the last step we talked about, the fruits and veggies you already know you like? That is what you should be replacing these items with. Skip the poptarts and have some bananas in the morning. Ditch the greasy potato chips and try some carrots and celery with hummus. Kick the packages pastry treats and try some dates, or figs. I know this is easier said than done, you might have to take this one slow and keep at it. Our bodies become very used to what we eat. If we eat sugary, salty, starch processed food products, our body will crave them. The more fresh healthy hydrating produce we eat, the more our body will crave that. So its all about introducing your body to new things and making those things into new habits. Your body will understand and know what to predict and crave the right things.

StepFOUR

Step Four “Stay Hydrated! Water Water Water Water Water”

I cannot say this enough. Did you know that roughly 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? Did you know dehydration has been shown to cause so many health issues including digestive problems, poor circulation, headaches, mood swings, joint issues, extreme fatigue or dizziness and so much more… (Read more about dehydration HERE)

If you can start your day off with a big beautiful glass of water, you will be doing yourself more favors than you even realize. You will have an easier time throughout your day, concentrating, not craving those sugary processed foods, detoxifying your body and so much more! Better yet, start your day with a water and add a slice of lemon and you will be releasing even more toxins from your body! What a delicious and refreshing way to do your body a service, who doesn’t love lemon water? If you can have a glass of water before every meal you will prevent yourself from eating more than you need, hence you may even see some healthy weight loss if that is something you are trying to achieve. Staying hydrated is just a no-brainer!! When I decided I needed to drink more water, I went out and bought myself a HUGE reusable water bottle and I bring it everywhere I go. I make sure I fill that baby up at least twice a day but most days more than that! Sugary drinks are not hydrating for your body and actually leave you craving more junk. The best solution is to kick those drinks and stick with water. If you find it hard to eliminate those drinks, atleast limit the amount you have more and more with time. Try drinking a glass of water before reaching for a soda or bottled juice, that way maybe you won’t need it. This is such a simple yet important step and it will help you with the entire goal of being more healthy over all!

StepFIVE

Step Five “Find someone to join you, a support system”

So this one can be tricky too, but if you can accomplish it, your journey to healthier living will be so much easier. I hear all the time from couples “My husband won’t eat healthy, I cook these healthy meals and he doesn’t like them” or “My kids won’t eat the healthy meals I make for myself I am the only one in my house eating this way.” This is such a shame because working together for this healthier goal is so much better. My fiance and I decided together we were going to make this journey to better living. We have been on the same page every step of the way. We watch documentaries about food together, we shop together, we have made all these decisions together. (I chose this goofy photo of us above to represent this step) This has honestly made this transition so much better. We support each other, congratulate one another on making healthy decisions, and never put the other down if we had a rough day and couldn’t make all our goals. If you can find a friend, a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, family member, anyone who will support you, even if they don’t want to make these same changes, at least someone to share your triumphs with. These triumphs may seem small but with time even the smallest changes you are making are actually huge to your overall health and wellness. Over a years time you will see so much positive change, over a few years, you will never want to go back.

StepSIX

Step Six “Plan your healthy meals, get into the habit of eating healthy”

The next few steps are going to be a bit similar. Step six is about planning on what you are going to eat so you aren’t reaching for junk. This can include being at home or out and about where as step seven is about finding recipes you will like to try and step eight is about trying those recipes and cooking at home more often.

So planning your meals is not only a great way to keep yourself on track with making healthy decisions but it also helps you stay on budget. For us, planning usually consists of thinking about what we might like to eat this week and planning our grocery list based on that. However, we do go out to eat as well, not often but to celebrate birthdays, special events, meet with clients, or once in a while just because we deserve it. We have made a habit out of making really healthy choices to the best of our ability while we are out also. Now the world does not make it easy to have a healthy lifestyle and dine out, but we do our best. If we are going to a restaurant someone else has chosen, we look up the menu and make sure they have options for our lifestyle needs. Its just like if you had a food allergy or maybe lactose intolerance, you would plan ahead to make sure you could be accommodated. Well we do the same with our healthy eating. We skim the menu to make sure we know the options. If the restaurant has not been chosen yet, we suggest one of our favorite places where we know we have healthy options that will keep us in check with our healthy lifestyle. This may seem silly but its really important not to derail yourself because your body will get used to what you are eating and crave those things, give your body the things you want to crave. We make a point to know the restaurants near by that serve really fresh delicious foods we enjoy and try to go to those places when we are going out. We have actually been known to turn down a social event if everyone is going to a place that serves food we know wont be a good idea for us. Some places make it very hard to eat healthy and because of that we do not go there. Some people may think this is extreme and we certainly don’t expect that other people do this or even understand but its just the way we choose to do things. So plan ahead and make sure you are comfortable taking your new lifestyle out to dinner!

StepSEVEN

Step Seven “Find new healthy recipes that you are excited to try, anticipate eating healthier”

Lets be excited about eating healthy!! That is what its all about. Changing your lifestyle is never going to work if you constantly think you are just depriving yourself of the things you love to eat. Instead remind yourself that you are actually giving your body the good stuff. Remember that eating healthy is going to make everything better and the more you do it the easier it will be!

A great thing to do is use this amazing tool, the internet, to find recipes that you are excited about! Scour Pinterest and find some meals that incorporate those veggies you love, or find some cool ways to get more fruit into your every day life. There are so many resources online to help you accomplish this! I will be posting LOTS of recipes on here and you are not going to want to miss them! My trick is I make Pinterest boards for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, I pin a bunch of recipes and once I try them, I print the recipe if I like it and put it in my cook book! Now I have a beautiful book filled with meals I know I love! Easy way to make sure choosing your meals for the week is not a struggle! So invite some friends over, try that new recipe, make eating healthy a fun and social experience!

StepEIGHT

Step Eight “Cook at home more often”

Last but certainly not the least. The KEY I would say to maintaining the new healthy lifestyle you are going to create for yourself is cooking at home! I know life is busy, you families with multiple kids, parents both working, its hard I know. It is possible though. Single people not sure how to cook for one? Invite those friends over, cook together, what a wonderful excuse to have a good time and eat some awesome food. With some meal preparation at the beginning of each week this step can become a reality. Let the kids come help, delegate jobs, “You wash the spinach, and you get out the veggies for the salad” Let it be a fun experience, put on some music, enjoy it. Use those new recipies you pinned on Pinterest, be excited about this meal you are going to prepare, and know that cooking at home and making healthy choices is going to do wonderful things for you, your family or friends. Cooking a meal at home and sitting down as friends or as a family to eat is not only important for eating right, but its a great way to connect with one another too. After all isn’t that just as important to us?

So there you have it. Eight steps to start this journey to a healthier lifestyle. I might have more tips and steps down the road, but this is an excellent beginning. Even if you do one of these steps a week until you are getting the hang of it that is okay. Like I mentioned a few times in this article, I want to stress the point that this is supposed to be enjoyable. This isn’t about counting calories, or weighing yourself daily. This is supposed to be fun, food is fun. Try new recipes, take photos of your food, post it on Facebook and Instagram, who cares what other people think. I am totally that girl who takes a photo of her meal before she eats it, to me, food is exciting. Good food is worth sharing even if its just a photo online. I hope this is helpful to some of you looking for a starting line. Please do not hesitate to ask a question, make a comment, or share another helpful tip you thought of! I would love to hear it!

As always thank you for following me! -Alexa-

 

The true meaning of health, and why? Let me explain…

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So, I have been thinking for a while now as I am getting all the details of this website together so its polished and easy to use. I have been thinking about my first few posts and what I want to say before I get into the fun stuff. There are some really critical reasons I do, what I do, especially when it comes to food. The factors that started the shift into this new lifestyle are really important, so I thought I would share before we got started. I also think everyone has their own moment or story that makes them want to change their lifestyle for their very own reason. Whatever the reason, here you are, here we are!

There are individuals out there who think they know why I, or people like me, make these choices, like “its a fad, its cool to be organic” or maybe “she wants to be better than everyone else” or I have also heard “people eat that way so they can tell others what to do.” Well lets first set the record straight. I do not eat healthy because I think its going to make me “cool” or “trendy.” I also don’t think I am better nor do I want to be “better” than anyone else.  Lastly… this blog or any advice I give to others is not so that I can feel superior and tell others what to do. Honestly this blog started because I frequently have people messaging me for recipes or tips on different food related questions. I post a lot about food on my social media sites and I think people can see that I am passionate about it. I felt like this would be an easy way to share!

So now that we got those pesky assumptions out of the way, lets get down to the truth of the matter. Who cares about people who are negative anyways, lets focus on health and success and happiness! So ever since being an adult and on my own, I have really enjoyed making my own decisions. Of course being a young adult means you don’t always make the best decisions every step of the way but this is how we learn! I think that is kind of the point of being ages 18-21 (that was my weird phase) you are figuring it all out!

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So when I was in college I literally ate crap. I ate pop tarts and chips, candy and just JUNK!! Obviously this didn’t make me feel good but I was young and testing out my adult waters. Through the years eating this way, then turning 21 and combining this with drinking was just not going to work. Once I had found my way through the weird phase and back to my first love, I finally said yes to my future husband, I knew it was time for a change. The best thing ever for a change in lifestyle is to have someone to do that with, someone on the same page. So my fiance and I knowing we would be getting married in the next few years and starting a family made changes. We started slow. We really did not know much about food, health, or any of it at all. Once we took the plunge there was no going back.

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When we started researching food and true health, we were led down paths we never knew existed. We learned things that shocked us, horrified us, made us happy, made us HUNGRY and so many more feelings and emotions. Then it was the year my grandfather passed away. I watched a man I knew all my life go from a huge strong matriarch of my family, to a sick exhausted body barely housing his soul. This was literally the most frightening thing I had ever seen. I knew I had to do something to prevent this from happening to anyone else I loved. So I kind of became obsessed. Anyone who was Facebook friends with me during this time, and still is, obviously cares about me a lot. I posted everything I learned about GMO’s and their effect on the body, pesticides, un-natural big agriculture, animal products etc.

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I learned an entire new perspective I had never seen before about the content we feed our bodies. I decided right then and there, if there was one thing I was going to invest in, it was the fuel for my body. So it was then we stopped what we knew as “regular grocery shopping,” we only went to Trader Joes or Whole Foods, we learned about farmers markets near by. We decided this would have to be a commitment, it still is.

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Now we live completely vegetarian and mostly vegan actually only eating an animal product once in a while trying to completely eliminate those products all together. Honestly this part happened by accident. We did not intend to become vegetarian or eliminate animal products. We just started eating a more plant based nutrient rich diet and it just happened. We preferred eating that way. So just to be clear, I am not saying that to gain anything from my website here, you have to be vegan or even vegetarian. I want my recipes to be friendly to all! I want this information to be helpful to anyone. With any recipes I write I will give suggestions and variations for people who do and do not eat meats and dairy.

Its been a few years now since the beginning of this transformation. Much has changed for me, I am now a mother. However one consistent bit of information has been the most consistent out of anything I’ve read. I want you to read this below, maybe twice if you need to, because if this is all you get from my blog, ill still be happy and you will benefit immensely.

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If you can incorporate more RAW, ORGANIC, GREEN, vegetables into your diet, you will become healthier.

So above all this is really the key. If you can do this, you are on the right track. Its literally shocking to me how many adults and children do not eat any vegetables in an entire week. This is not meant to criticize because I do understand that for those of you who do not do this, it can be hard to start. You find yourself asking questions like “well which vegetables should I buy” or “how much is enough?” or “how can I make them taste good so my kids will eat their dinner?” Well, I am here to show you how I incorporate fruits and vegetables into every single meal and snacks too!

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Its funny, once we began eating this way, we no longer craved junk, we craved the taste of health. I learned from some amazing influential people along the way, I will show you these role models along our journey here. So basically this is for you, so if there is something you are looking for that I do not have here, comment below and ask me about it! I want to make this the one stop shop for everything healthy. This doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be fun! It cannot be a diet, because a diet is temporary. It has to be a change in lifestyle. So lets take these steps together. Lets promise to include more green plants into our meals this week! I promise, will you?

Let’s talk about food!

Hi there! So here we are starting this journey together! I am so excited because I love sharing my thoughts and opinions about food, health and life, and I know some of you have been waiting for this place to share yours too! This is going to be a place for all of us. For me to share, for you to share, find information, inspiration, ask questions, make comments and use resources.

I want to let all of you know this is a nice place too. There will not be any nasty comments, no foul language or calling names. This is a nice place to discuss awesome things! I also want to say, there aren’t any stupid questions. If you see a post about something I make or do, don’t ever hesitate to ask “hey Alexa why do you do that?” because not everyone knows and I want to give as much of my story and explanations as I can!

Im going to talk about the things I do every day. I’m going to be honest, this isn’t pretend. I’m not going to make myself look “perfect” like some bloggers do and glamorize life. I’m going to stay positive and discuss the best things and the happy things but I’m going to remind you that we are all human and we do our best. I’m going to share so many stories and let you know a little about me too. I promise to accomplish all these things and more!

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So let’s do this, let’s chat, let’s talk about food! I’m going to be covering all kinds of things on this blog including (but not limited to) healthy recipes, ways to eat healthy on a budget, ways to stay in that budget every week, incorporating more greens into your diet, eating more veggies, healthy baby food ideas and recipes, and much more!! If you ever want to find a recipie I  blogged about please go to the “Recipes” page! I will be posting them all there as well so they are easy to find.

If you want to stay up to date and follow my posts here please click the “Follow Us” button!! Thank you for reading and never hesitate to comment below, let me know what you think or tell me what you might like to know about healthy eating and lifestyle!!