Thursday, December 8, 2011

Almond Joy

"Almonds are enjoying a new wave of popularity thanks to a variety of almond-based spin-offs: almond milk, almond butter, almond flour and other almond alternatives. All of them are now available in mainstream supermarkets, not just health food stores;" (Handler, September 23, 2011) such a trend in dieting is healthy.  

Almond nuts are an effective tummy tightening food that has countless benefits to the overall well-being of women and men; if you are trying to get or stay lean almonds should be apart of your diet.

Almond nuts are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Moreover, they are high in protein. They are a rich source of energy and nutrients and they are especially, rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that help to lower "bad cholesterol" and increase "good cholesterol." Also, the nuts are an excellent source of Vitamin E, which is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of the cell membrane and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radials. Lastly - but not least - almonds are packed with important B-complex groups of vitamins, vitamin B-6, and folates.    

Due to the nutritional value of almonds I have recently started incorporating them into my diet. Below are photos of my lunch today; it consists of almonds, shrimp, spinach, tomatoes, and red wine vinaigrette. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Mornings

A great morning always starts with a great breakfast. Below are a few healthy breakfast recipes that may help jump start your morning. I haven't tried these recipes yet so once you have tried them let me know what you think; also if you have any healthy breakfast recipes of your own please do share.
Breakfast Parfait


  • 3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, papaya chunks or cling peaches
  • 2 teaspoons toasted wheat germ


  1. Place cottage cheese (or yogurt) in a small bowl. Top with fruit and sprinkle with wheat germ.


Per serving (with cottage cheese, pineapple): 247 calories; 3 g fat ( 2 g sat , 0 g mono ); 15 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 3 g fiber; 632 mg sodium; 479 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (28% daily value), Calcium (33% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 2
Exchanges: 2 fruit, 3 very lean meat
Nutrition Note: Per serving (with yogurt, papaya): 196 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 11 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrate; 12 g protein; 3 g fiber; 140 mg sodium; 738 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (150% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv), Calcium (37% dv), Folate (23% dv), Potassium (21% dv), Magnesisum (19% dv), Zinc (17% dv).

 Egg & Salmon Sandwich


  • 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon capers, rinsed and chopped (optional)
  • 1 ounce smoked salmon
  • 1 slice tomato
  • 1 whole-wheat English muffin, split and toasted


  1. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 1 minute. Add egg whites, salt and capers (if using) and cook, stirring constantly, until whites are set, about 30 seconds.
  2. To make the sandwich, layer the egg whites, smoked salmon and tomato on English muffin.


Per serving: 214 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 7 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 3 g fiber; 670 mg sodium; 221 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Good source of omega-3s.
Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat

Multi-Grain Waffles


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ, or cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Mix buttermilk and oats in a medium bowl; let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ (or cornmeal), baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Stir eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla into the oat mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened.
  4. Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray and preheat. Spoon in enough batter to cover three-fourths of the surface (about 2/3 cup for an 8-by-8-inch waffle iron). Cook until waffles are crisp and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

***Make Ahead Tip: Wrap any leftovers individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven.


Per serving: 188 calories; 4 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 55 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 3 g fiber; 328 mg sodium; 227 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: 144 mg calcium (14% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 2
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/4 reduced-fat milk, 1/2 lean protein, 1/2 fat

All these recipes plus more can be found on, which is one of my "go to" websites for finding new and healthy ways to cooking in the kitchen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Got Pumpkins?

Do you have pumpkins leftover 
from Halloween?
I actually do not have any pumpkins leftover from Halloween; me and my roommates have carved them all and set them outside. However, I have been inspired to buy more, so I can try out some new pumpkin recipes. 

Marbled Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownies 

Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Gingersnap Crumble Pumpkin Parfaits

Pumpkin Spice Whoopies

Cranberry-Pumpkin Scones with Sugared Pepitas

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls with Honey Butter
Pumpkin-Shrimp Bruschetta
Click here, to get the recipes for the dishes above along with 34 other Yummy Pumpkin Recipes. While, some of the recipes may appear to be unhealthy, pumpkins in general are a healthy addition to anyone's' diet. "Pumpkins are a tasty source of vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. It also helps prevent arterosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which can lead to strokes and/or heart attacks." (Filippone)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Impatiently Waiting

While, I am trying my hardest to wait patiently, it just isn't working. It seems as if I can't get out of college fast enough - come January 14, 2012 I will be receiving my Bachelors in Psychology from George Mason University.

In addition to graduation, I feel like a 8 year old excited for the month of November. I really do get full of joy in November; I think it's because I love the christmas decorations, being with family, as well as the merrily and giving spirit of people - corny, I know.

Moreover, I can't wait to buy a few cd's, watch some brand new shows, and go to the movies. It appears that the end of year is "prime time" for producers, and I have to find the time for all  their creations in conjunction with studying for exams. Below are a few expected releases I am waiting for. 
The Rundown
1. October 24, 2011, Coldplay, is the expected release their sixth album, "Mylo Xyloto." The bold new album was produced by Markus Dravs, Daniel Green, and Rik Simpson; it features additional creative input by Brian Eno and even Rihanna, contributing vocals to “Princess Of China.” Moreover, the "awe-inspiring" album includes tracks like: "'Charlie Brown', an upbeat hook-laden Coldplay classic in the making, the high flying 'Hurts Like Heaven'"(itunes) and their hit single "Paradise." 

2. "Remember when Boys II Men came out with their "Legacy" compilation?" (itunes) That was about ten years ago, and I've been waiting for their return of classic soul ever since. I truly loved every track they released on "Legacy," but I think my favorite song they harmonized on was "If I Ever Fall In Love Again." With great vocals and songs, their expected release of  "Twenty" on October 25, 2011 is a must buy. Although, there has not been any singles released nor much publicity, I know the album will be superb - at least I'm hoping.  

3. "With his wit and old school rhyme influences," (itunes) Wale is a relatively new rapper from the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area and he is making strides toward taking the hip hop throne. Similar to Kid Cudi and Lupe Fiasco, Wale "embraces innovation and tradition with equal regard" (itunes) and his album "Ambition" is expected to be just as- if not more - creative than previous albums. "Ambition" is expected to be released November 1, 2011. To sample a few tracks from the album, you can listen to his smooth sounding "Lotus Flower Bomb" single and/or his more upbeat single "Bait" on Itunes, now.  

4.As an aspiring jewelry designer, I am super excited for Lifetime's latest competition series, Project Accessory. It will be hosted by actress and model Molly Sims and it will feature 12 designers, who will compete and "showcase their unique vision for accessories." (Lifetime) The new show will premiere October 27, 2001 at 10:30/ 9:30 c.
Click here to view my jewelry.

5. Expected to be in movie theaters October, 28, 2011, Anonymous, highlights "the debate over whether William Shakespeare could have written the body of work considered the greatest in English literature;" ( although, some may speculate, the idea is "a wild fringe fantasy unsupported by any evidence." Nonetheless, this film - directed by Roland Emmerich - is highly anticipated.
Click here to watch the trailer.  

6. "Immortals follows the story of Theseus as he battles against the titans in order to save ancient Olympus. Theseus is the bastard son of the king, and his quest will have him become the country’s greatest hero." ( Directed by Tarsem Singh, this movie is expected to be released - potentially in 3-D - on November 11, 2011.
Click here to watch the trailer.

7. "The chemistry with producer Howard Benson enters it's third phase - [with the album 'Break the Spell'] -  securing Daughtry's place as one hard rock's compelling bands." (itunes) Daughtry is expected to release it's third album on November 21, 2011. For those - like me - waiting for their album to hit the stores, you can satisfy your thirst for more Daughtry by listening/purchasing their latest single, "Renegade" from Itunes.   

8. While, Red Tails, will not be released this year, it is still a must see movie that I had to incorporate into my list; this movie is suppose to be released next year - January 20, 2012. I can't wait to see it! Directed by Anthony Hemingway, this action packed movie tells "the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II." 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall/Winter 2011 Headgear

While, scarves dominated 2011 summer's head wear - as seen in Headgear - this fall the hottest head wear consists of: wide brim hats, fedora's, and vintage styled hats. Rightfully so, these fabulous hats give a little warmth and a whole lot of style to any fall/winter look. Below are a few fashion designers take on this seasons hottest headgear.






Holly Fulton

Holly Fulton

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

My Take On The Vintage Styled Hat  
Personally, I do not like to wear hats; normally, I wear a hat whenever I am having a bad hair day. However, last year I became inspired by the fashion of the 1920's - the flapper era.
In response to the typical flapper dress, which was often straight, knee-length or calf-length, loose, and sleeveless, I dressed up a sleeveless knee-lengthened dress with a vintage styled hat (seen below). For those who may not typically wear a hat you may feel a little threatened by the idea of incorporating a hat, especially a vintage styled hat into your fall wardrobe; however it definitely would be worth your wild to take a chance and just do it. I know I will be taking chances this season; I plan to get out of my comfort zone and wear a wide brim hat. After all true style comes from taking risks - right?   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Beautiful & Silky-Smooth Skin

Test your knowledge on the subject of removing unwanted facial hair by answering 4 quick questions.

1. What percentage of women remove facial hair occasionally? 
       A. 85%
       B. 50%   
       C. 43%
       D. 10%
2. What is folliculitis?
       A. A receding hariline
       B. Excessive facial hair
       C. A lazy eye
       D. Infection of hair follicles, often from shaving or waxing.  
3. Does facial hair removal make hair grow back thicker 
    or faster?
      A. Yes, especially if you have fair skin
      B. No, there is no conclusive evidence that hair removal results in thicker, faster, darker,
           or coarser hair growth   
      C. Only if you have naturally curly hair
      D. Only when hair is removed infrequently
4. Whats the best way to prepare skin for facial hair removal?
      A. Exfoliation, which removes dead skin cells and allows for improved adherence of facial
         hair removal products
      B. Cleansing with warm water to soften hairs plump them up for easy removal
      C. Applying a hydrating balm before treatement
      D. All of the above

you may or may not have expected...

1. A. 85% of women occasionally remove facial hair
2. D. Folliculitis is an infection of hair follicles, that often comes from shaving or waxing.
3. B. There is no conclusive evidence that hair removal results in thicker, faster, darker 
         or coarser hair growth.
4. D. The best way to prepare your skin for facial hair removal is by: exfoliating, cleansing
          with warm water, and by applying a hydrating balm before treatment.  
Knowing the facts of facial hair removal you may want to take further steps to ensure your maintaining beautiful and silky-smooth skin the right way with a great product.

 Dr. Marina Peredo, MD, "is a New York-based board-certified dermatologist. Her expertise in advanced laser technology, laser assisted liposuction and cosmetic facial skin rejuvenation techniques make her a national trainer for aesthetic procedures.
Dr. Peredo conducts numerous clinical studies that help new products get FDA approval. Additionally, she is a fellow of The American Academy of Dermatology and a member of The Skin Cancer Foundation." Read more about her click here .

 Moreover, Dr. Peredo recommends the New Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo stating that it is " a gentle two-step treatment for beautiful, visibly hair-free skin."  

This product is a uniquely formulated two-step system designed to gently yet effectively remove unwanted facial hair, leaving skin beautifully smooth, conditioned, and visibly hair-free. This gentle hair removal system contains a Skin Guarding Balm, applied before the removal cream, that hydrates the skin to minimize irritation, redness, and other tell-tales signs associated with hair removal creams.
  Sourced from Elle Magazine, October 2011

Beyoncé has beautiful and seemingly silky-smooth skin; recently her radiating skin shinned through in her latest music video "Countdown." Have you seen it yet? 
It's amazing! Personally, I love the layout of the video, which feels like "a pop-art book or art gallery;" furthermore, it is full of fabulous references and many critics agree - to see two critics give their reviw click here. However, there has been charges brought forth of plagiarism by Belgian choreographer, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker who claims that Beyoncé has crossed the line from referencing to copying. In a statement that was translated from Dutch to English, De Keersmaeker says: "This is plagiarism ... This is stealing. What's rude about it is that they don't even bother about hiding it. They seem to think they could do it because it's a famous work."

After all is said and done I still love the "Countdown" video. Similar to her references to Audrey Hepburn in "Happy Face,"  
Beyoncé obviously incorporated  De Keersmaeker's work into her music video. I see no harm done; all I see is a successful video that utilized great pieces of work.   

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's October

It's October, 
so you must know what that means? 
It's National Breast Cancer Month, "an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer  charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure." Since, the campaign's establishment 26 years ago, their has been significant approval in awareness. Countless individuals are participating in spreading the word and supporting the cause. For example, the entire National Football League (NFL) embraced the month of October by incorporating pink ribbons into their stadiums and by allowing their players to wear pink accessories during game time for National Breast Cancer Month.

Furthermore, the White House, lit up pink for National Breast Cancer Month. 

There is no doubt that the breast cancer campaign is truly
making an impact in America and around the world. 

Although, there has been improvement in awareness and funds are continuously being contributed to breast cancer research, there is still no cure. Help is still needed. To help support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation click here and/or to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure click here; both are leading organizations in the fight to end breast cancer.

Moreover, it is imperative for you to get YOUR BREAST examined. Here's what you need to know about examining your breast. First and foremost you should know that "self examination is not a suitable replacement for professional medical examination. Self-tests should only be used to enhance existing medical care and provide additional awareness. Prevention is key when dealing with cancer, thus any possible preventative measures can be beneficial. If you choose to do routine self-exams, it is suggested that you first speak to your physician, at length, to ensure you are correctly applying techniques. You should also wait a period of 3 to 5 days -unless otherwise suggested by your doctor- after your period to test your breasts. The overall value of doing self-test breast exams is indeed debated, though professionals tend to hold them as a viable option for detection.

1. Lie on your back, placing your right hand behind your head. Using your left hand, follow the motions in the chart below in examining your breasts. You should be feeling for any unusual thick or lumpy area. Repeat the process, switching hands, for your left breast.

2. Sit-up and begin to examine the area under the armpit. As archived by the National Library of Medicine, many may fail to realize that breast tissue extends under the armpit. Do not skip this step of examination.

3. Stand in front of a mirror and do a visual inspection of the breasts. You should look out for any unusual lumps, indentations, warping of skin, or odd changes in the shape of the nipple or discharged fluid. If you observe any change that is of concern, set up an appointment with your doctor.

When dealing with the possibility of cancer, there is no such thing as having irrelevant questions or concerns. Men should also be aware of the incidence of male breast cancer. Do not dismiss any changes you are concerned about. Discussion with a doctor, along with mammograms (especially if you are over 40), are great steps to prevention, early detection, and your quality of life."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moo Juice

To moo or not to moo - that is the question.
If you haven't noticed cow-free milk is one of the latest trend in diets. Many have ditched cow milk, and have replaced it with seemingly healthier alternatives. However, there are some things to consider when buying your milk at the grocery store; while, the cow-free milk alternatives may have its pros, it also has its cons. Hopefully, the guide below - retrieved from Women's Health Magazine, September 2011 - will help you in deciding if your going to follow or drop this trend.      

 Almond Milk 
Almond Breeze Original: per cup: 60 cal, 2.5 fat ( 0 g sat) , 8 carbs ( 7 g sugars), 150 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein 
TASTE: Creamy, rich, and slightly nutty with a hint of sweetness
PROS: The least caloric of the bunch, it's fortified with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that fights UV damage, as well as calcium and vitamins A and D. 
CONS: While almonds themselves are a good source of fiber and protein, the milk contains skimpy amounts of these nutrients (that's because the milk is made by grinding the nuts and mixing with water). Almond milk is also higher in sodium than other alternatives. 
BEST IN: Smoothies, coffee, and cereal.

 Hemp Milk
Tempt Original: per cup: 100 cal, 6 g fat (0.5 g sat), 9 g carbs (6 g sugars), 110 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein
TASTE: Nutty and earthy 
PROS: It naturally rich in Omega-3 fatty acids- wonder nutrients for your heart, brain, and mood. Hemp milk is made with cannabis seeds, but it wont get you high, because it lacks THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana). 
CONS: Depending on the brand, you may gulp only 10% of your daily calcium needs. It's not a great source of protein either. 
BEST IN: Mashed potatoes, muffins, and quick breads. Unobtrusive in flavor, it's a good stand-in for cow's milk in baked foods.
 Coconut Milk 
So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage Original:per cup: 80 cal, 5 g fat ( 5g sat) , 7 g carbs ( 6 g sugars), 15 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein. 
TASTE: Thick, creamy, and well, coconut-y 
PROS: It has the least amount of sodium and can be fairly low-cal - even some flavored kinds will cost you only 90 calories per serving. . Plus, most brands are fortified with half a day's worth of vitamin B12, a brain boosting nutrient. 
CONS: "The majority of fat is saturated," says Lauren Slayton, R.D., founder of Foodtrainers in New York City. But at 5 grams per serving, it constitutes less than 8% of your total daily value for fat. 
BEST IN: Coffee, tea, pudding, smoothies, and oatmeal - its a go-to thickener.    
 Rice Milk 
Rice Dream Enriched Original: per cup: 120 cal , 25 g fat 9 0 g sat) , 23 g carbs (10g sugars), 100 mg sodium, 0 g fiber 1 g protein. 
TASTE: Light, watery, and sweet.
PROS: The carbs. "have a glass before or after a  workout - it offers carbs to fuel and fluid to hydrate, and like a sports drink, it's a good source of electrolytes," says Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. 
CONS: The carbs. If your trying to drop a few pounds, its best to eat whole grain carbs, which contain filling fiber ; rice milk has zero. 
BEST IN: Desserts, baked goods, pancakes, and French toast. It's natural sweetness compliments indulgent foods.   
Soy Milk
Silk Original: per cup: 100 cal, 4 g fat (0.5 g sat ) , 8 g carbs (6 g sugars) , 120 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein. 
TASTE: Faintly sweet. Some varieties have a slight tofu flavor.
PROS: It has almost as much protein as cow's milk, plus plant chemicals, that may help inhibit absorption cholesterol. It's often fortified, so shake the carton well - added calcium tends to settle at the bottom, says Zied. 
CONS: Some studies suggest that over consuming soy promotes breast cancer. "A good guideline is about 25 grams of soy protein per day," says Zied.
BEST IN: Creamy soups and salad dressings, sauces, casseroles, and other savory dishes. Vanilla-flavored varieties are great in coffee or tea (or by the glass!). 

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