Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WIAW #3 - A full day of eats!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hey guys! Half way to the weekend :) I finally remembered to document everything I ate yesterday,

so here it is! 

For those of you who don't know what it is, it is a post concept developed by the wonderful Peas And Crayons blog in which you simply post what you ate in any given day (not necessarily that Wednesday).
Enjoy :)

{ 1 cup carrot juice + Oat bran & rolled oats cooked with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, sea salt, stevia, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, tsp coconut oil. Mango + banana mixed in. Topped with more natural peanut butter + Side of coffee with stevia & unsweetened cashew milk }

Love having my oatmeal in a almost empty nut butter jar! The sides get all melty and I get a little bit in each bite. I have been having 1 cup carrot juice every afternoon or morning before breakfast. I will be doing a post very soon on the benefits :) I find I prefer drinking it on an empty stomach because it gives me a fast boost of energy! Another reason why I need a juicer...

{ Collard wraps stuffed with tuna, Ithaca dill + lemon hummus, Avocado, Cucumber + Red pepper.
Plus the rest of the avocado on the side }

I have been loving these raw collard green wraps and Itacha hummus! This hummus is the best i've ever tasted, you can check them out here. Unfortunately, both days of eating this my mouth + ears have gotten tingly/itchy right after eating it, I am guessing a oral allergy to raw collard greens!? I never have them, so I know if I would have experienced this before. 

{ Apple + Natural peanut butter }

Classic snack! I surprisingly have not had this in ages. It hit the spot and gave me energy for my evening work out. I for some reason got a irritating headache right after eating this...pesticides?! I do not know. Maybe I just think too much ;)

{ Grilled italian chicken + Maple roasted acorn squash }

I was on my own for dinner tonight and had chicken marinating in the fridge for days, so I made this simple but delicious dinner! Chicken comes out amazing after marinating for 24+ hours and grilling always makes the best chicken in my opinion. I made the acorn squash last week by chopping it up (very difficult) so decided to simply roast it cut in half & eat it with a spoon. It came out SO good! I usually have some type of greens with my dinner, but if I load up on them at lunch most days then I don't stress about it.

{ Microwaved homemade vegan brownie from the freezer +
dark chocolate with unsweetened Silk cashew milk }

Many times I am full from dinner but sometimes I love having something sweet to top it off! I grabbed one of my vegan brownies from the freezer (made with dates, oat flour, banana...) and some dark chocolate after that :) If you've never tried Silk cashew milk you need to, it is super creamy + the unsweetened still has a sweet light taste!



Do you have any oral food allergies to raw foods?

What is your favorite "healthy" dessert?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

RECIPE « Healthy Turkey Chili

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My favorite cold weather food by far is homemade turkey chili. The recipe is extremely simple, super healthy, and is very hard to mess up! Made with minimal & completely clean ingredients, it is the perfect lunch or dinner, and goes oh so well with a fresh salad or some warm crusty bread.

It is a nutrition power-house! Loaded with veggies (peppers, onions, tomatoes), quality fiber (kidney beans, veggies), lean protein (ground turkey) & metabolism boosting spice (jalepino, chili & spices)

 It is my moms incredible recipe, so I have to give her credit for this one, she is the best cook in the world! I modified it a bit by adding more spices + jalepino because I have grown to love spicy food. I know you will love it as much as I do. It is a hit with everyone who I have ever made it for! This is a great meal to meal-prep during the week, or make a big batch and freeze for future meals! 

You will need:
1 container ground lean turkey (or ground chicken or lean ground beef)
2 green bell peppers
1 jalepino pepper
1 white onion
1 can kidney beans
1 24oz can crushed tomatoes
1 24ox can diced tomatoes
2tbsp minced garlic
olive oil
spices: pepper, chili powder, cayenne, red pepper flakes, cumin

Step 1
Chop your white onion, bell peppers, jalepino & garlic. You can chop them into whatever size you prefer! Heat a large pot on medium heat, and drizzle olive oil on the bottom. Add onion + garlic, and sautee until onion is translucent and slightly browned.

Step 2
Add the peppers and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Add the ground meat to the pot, breaking up into chunks with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir and cook until meat is 90% cooked (no longer raw/pink). 

Step 4
Season with pepper, chili powder, cayenne, cumin & red pepper flakes to your liking. (Important: taste as you go to make sure you are not over-seasoning! A little spice goes a long way.)

Step 5
Add kidney beans, and both cans of tomatoes. Stir.

Step 6
Continue stirring and let simmer on low/medium heat for 25-60 minutes. Add more spices to your liking, tasting as you go. You really can’t over-cook it, and the longer it sits the thicker & more flavorful it becomes! This is one of those recipes that is also amazing leftover cold, and one that gets better & better the longer it sits in the fridge! 

This chili is amazing topped with parmesan cheese. I also paired it with organic rosemary olive oil bread spread with olive oil butter. Soo good!

Friday, October 2, 2015

My tried & true tips « Hair, Skin & Nails

Friday, October 2, 2015
Hey guys! So I know there is so much information out there, and it can be really frustrating/confusing what to believe or what to try. I know this, and I have researched nearly every method out there, and tried things for myself. Here are my tried and true tips that I have done in the past couple months that has definitely made a noticeable positive impact on the health and appearance of my hair, skin + nails!

Biotin (high amount)
Benefit: hair, skin, & nails

This one is well known, but for good reason! I have tried biotin before and not noticed much difference, therefore I think the amount and quality is extremely important here. I take a supplement with 10,000 mcg biotin which you can get here. I take one a day with breakfast and I could tell after one week that my nails have never been so strong, and they have been growing faster than ever before in my life. I also attribute my healthy hair + skin improvement to this, however nail growth was what I noticed immediately!

Carrot juice 1c daily
Benefit: hair, skin, & nails

This one I have been doing for almost two weeks, with a few days missed here and there. Research shows that consuming carrot juice daily has the power to clear your skin, promote hair growth, increase energy, prevent disease, improve eyesight, and more! One cup hosts approximately 850% Vitamin A and a measly little 10g natural sugars. People also have reported on their skin developing a healthy "glow" and in some cases with over-consumption an orange tint! I have not seen the orange “glow” yet but my skin has looked more supple and my breakouts have greatly reduced.  I also attribute this to my healthier hair! Also, I notice a huge boost in energy when I consume this on an empty stomach as a snack, or first thing in the morning. It makes sense, since there is no fiber to slow the digestion, which means the natural vitamins are rapidly absorbed. Just another reason why I need to get a juicer, the hype is real folks!

Sulfate-free Argan oil shampoo
Benefit: hair

Argan oil is extremely good for your hair, similar to the ways coconut or olive oil is. I knew I had to switch from my chemical based shampoo to a sulfate free one that was more natural and nourishing to my hair. I did a little research and found this one by Maple Holistics on amazon which you can see here. It had rave reviews, and I can see why! So far while using it my hair has definitely been softer, shinier, and healthier looking. I massage this through my hair in the shower & leave it in for 5 minutes while I wash the rest of my body before rinsing it out.

Argan oil scalp massage
Benefit: hair

I also purchased pure organic argan oil which you can get here. I massage several drops of this throughout my wet or dry hair, concentrating on the ends, and being careful because too much will make your hair feel greasy. My ends feel and look more nourished & healthier! 

I have also been doing a argan oil scalp massage every other day or so, also known as the “inversion method”. You basically stimulate your scalp while laying upside-down and increase blood flow with nourishing oils in order to promote strong, healthy hair, thicker hair, and hair growth. It has gotten rave reviews and people have reported fast hair growth, thicker hair, and stronger hair within 7 days of doing this nightly. You can do this without oils as well. I lay upside own off the couch with my head towards the ground so that blood is slightly rushing to my scalp. I put 10-20 drops argan oil on my fingertips and massage my scalp firmly in circles for about 5 minutes. It is actually quite relaxing once you get the hang of it! You can find a lot of videos on Youtube demonstrating this, or click here for a descriptive step-by-step guide! It is suggested to perform this nightly to promote the fastest hair growth, but even doing it every so often can reap similar benefits. I do this to my hair the night before I plan to wash it (the next morning) so I go to bed with my head feeling greasy from all the oil but after washing it out the next day with my Argan oil shampoo my hair feels and looks like silk!

Wash hair every other day (or less!)
Benefit: hair  

I have always been pretty good about having at least one day in between washes. Lately I try to stretch it out even further such as every 2 days, at least once a week. When you wash your hair every day you strip your hair of all the nutrients and natural oils it needs in order to be healthy. This leads to breakage, brittle strands, dullness, and a dry scalp. You can actually train your hair to be less greasy with less washing! The more often you go more days in-between washes, the more your hair gets acclimated each time, and therefore produces less & less oil because it realizes it doesn't need to. Yes, the first day going longer without washing it may feel greasy, but just use a little dry shampoo and stick with it for a week. Quickly, your hair starts adapting and will be able to last a few days without getting greasy at-all! I have tried this, and it works.

Heat protectant spray + Serum
Benefit: hair

Aside from using argan oil, I will alternate between several argan oil or keratin based serums and a heat protectant spray. I like to mix a drop of each, a few spritz of heat protectant spray, and a couple drops of the argan oil all together in my palms and then massage it into my hair, concentrating on the ends but avoiding the scalp (weighs hair down + greasy). The serum and spray provide a slippery barrier between your hair and your heat tools, preventing breakage while also providing healthy nutrients to your hair.


That's a wrap! I hope you guys enjoy these tips, if you have any questions about any of the above don't hesitate to leave a comment below! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend :)

What are your plans for the first weekend of October?
Do you have any great hair /skin/nail tips that have worked for you?
Have you tried any of the above tips?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WIAW #2 - Comfort food

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy hump day folks! I must say this week is flying by for me, which means its almost the weekend. I try to not wish the weeks away but the weather is so gloomy lately which totally puts a quite literal damper on everything. One thing that pairs well with gloomy weather? "Healthy" comfort food. Check out a full day of my eats with several meals that just scream "comfort!"

For those of you who don't know what it is, it is a post concept developed by the wonderful Peas And Crayons blog in which you simply post what you ate in any given day (not necessarily that Wednesday).
Enjoy :)

{ Oat bran + rolled oats cooked with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, sea salt, stevia, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, tsp coconut oil. Mango + banana mixed in. Topped with maple sunflower seed butter + peanut butter }

Ultimate comfort food! Excuse the unattractive photo :) Nothing like super creamy, warm oats topped with melty nut butter to start off a chilly morning. This vegan breakfast option fills me up comfortably, gives me energy, and satisfies my sweet cravings. Never gets old! 

{ Herb crusted baked salmon with lemon. Spring mix salad with tomatoes, cucumber, goats cheese + italian good seasons dressing added later }

{ Delallo organic whole wheat shells with homemade pasta sauce + parmesan cheese. Organic whole wheat & sourdough bread with olive oil butter. Pinot grigio }

Comfort food to the max! Growing up an italian, nothing screams home to me more than a big bowl of comforting pasta. This was even my mom's amazing homemade sauce that I had frozen. SO GOOD. Gotta have some doughy bread to soak up the extra sauce of course, and what is pasta if there isn't wine involved? This meal made my belly + soul happy.


Well there you have it! Another WIAW post in the books.

What is your ultimate "healthy" comfort food?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Recipe « Chili Lime Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Monday, September 28, 2015
Hey guys! I hop everyone had a great weekend. Mine was very relaxed. Got a lot of quality sleep, did some fall clothes shopping (finally..cozy sweaters!), and watched a lot of netflix :) Also got a great sweat sesh in Saturday morning (HIIT sprints + abs)

I have an amazing recipe for you guys today! The original is from the wonderful Half Baked Harvest, but I made a ton of modifications with ingredients + instructions so I will post my version below! 

These are so healthy. High in lean protein, healthy fiber-rich carbs from the sweet potato, nutrients + antioxidants from the spinach & sweet potato. Perfect paired with a nice green salad!

You will need:
8 small sweet potatoes or 4 large potatoes
1 package ground chicken (or ground turkey)
1/4c olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1tbsp minced garlic
2 minced jalepino peppers
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp cumin
1tsp chili powder
salt & pepper
1 container spinach
sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry your sweet potatoes, place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes or until fork tender. Let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes before cutting in half. Let them cool for another 10 minutes.

In a bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, jalepinos, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Wilt the spinach. This can be done many ways. I microwaved it in a large microwave safe bowl for a minute. You can also steam it, or wilt it on the stove! Once wilted (not soggy), set aside.

To prepare the ground chicken, simply heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan on medium heat & cook the chicken, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go. I seasoned  the chicken at this point with salt, pepper, cumin, chili, & oregano. This amount of spice is extra and I did not include in the ingredients. You can omit.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scrape 1/2 the potato out of the peel and put filling in a bowl. Once all potatoes are scooped, place them all back on the foil lined baking sheet. Brush the skins with with a little of the chili lime sauce and bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly crisp.

Meanwhile, mix the wilted spinach, cooked ground chicken, remaining chipotle sauce, and leftover sweet potato filling that you had set aside. (I combined all in the same skillet I cooked the chicken in, with heat turned off).

Remove potatoes from the oven and stuff with the filling mixture. Grate & sprinkle cheese on top of each, and place back in oven. Bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly & skins are hot + crisp. 

Wine is optional ;)

Remove, let cool, devour.
These potatoes were so good and made for tons of leftovers. I have been eating them for lunch or dinner every day since I made them. They are good cold, or heated up! I love chopping them up on my salad, as well as picking one up like a taco and eating it with my hands (classy I know).

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites #1

Friday, September 25, 2015
Woohoo TGIF we made it to the weekend! No big plans over here, but looking forward to relaxing, watching football, maybe some shopping, and a little fall baking :) Today is also my first Friday Favorites post! Basically a list of random things I am just lovin' this week, weather that be food, fitness, beauty, movies, links, you name it.

1. Sweet n' Salty Butternut Squash
I bought a butternut squash weeks ago and finally got around to using it last night.

Let me tell you - these things are a pain in the you know what to prepare but the end result is so worth it! (note to self - buy pre-cut squash next time)

Anyways, once I had some help from the boyfriend and got it chopped into cubes, I tossed it in extra virgin olive oil, this pure maple syrup, sea salt + pepper and roasted them at 400F for about 30 minutes. I forgot how much I loved this squash. The combination of salty + sweet was to die for & the texture was right on point. They top sweet potatoes in my book!

2. Arm Workouts
I go through phases with which body area is my favorite to work out. Sometimes it's legs/glutes, sometimes it's abs, but lately it's been arms! I often get inspiration off Instagram or other blogs for new arm exercises, and I perform 2-3 intense rounds until fatigued! I use anything from 8lbs - 14lbs depending on the exercise, and I have recently been incorporating my boyfriends iron gym too (great for pull-ups!)

Here are a couple of my favorite effective exercises I've always incorporated into my arm routine:

3. Wild Friends Maple Sunflower Butter
I had my eye on this product for quite some time since it is two of my favorite things (maple + sunflower seed butter) and I finally splurged when I bought it. I bought it at a local Wegmans, you can find it here. Verdict? Amazing. Although I usually stick to good old fashioned peanut butter, this sweet + salty spread is a tasty change. Imagine this on my roasted maple butternut squash?! Swoon. Taking note of that...

4. Love Language Quiz
This Love Language Quiz is an awesome relationship tool for everyone that my sister showed me (click here for the link!)

"The 5 Love Languages profile will give you a thorough analysis of your emotional communication preference. It will single out your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect with your loved one with intimacy and fulfillment."

You can take the quiz if your single, or in a relationship, and have your partner/family member take it too! I have always felt that every person has a different way of showing + perceiving love and this explained that a lot. There are essentially 5 types of love which are listed below, and the quiz sends you an email with your results at the end, with a ranking of each type of love. It is a great tool to improve relationships in your life once you both have an understanding of what kind of love each person needs!

5. Modern Family
Woop woop, Modern Family is back! I don't have cable, so when I do watch TV it is always Netflix or Hulu. However, I am pumped Modern Family is back weekly, every wednesday at 9pm on abc. I began watching this show last year and it is hilarious. The only down fall is that the episodes are only 30 minutes long, once a week :( Give me more!


Well that's a wrap guys! I hope everyone has an awesome weekend :)

What fall food are you currently obsessing over?
What are your plans this weekend?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) #1

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Wednesday guys! I hope everyone is having a great first half of their week. I am super excited about this post because it is my first ever WIAW post! For those of you who don't know what it is, it is a post concept developed by the wonderful Peas And Crayons blog in which you simply post what you ate in any given day (not necessarily that Wednesday). I have always loved reading other blogs WIAW posts, so I am excited to finally do some of my own :) Here we go!

at about 7:30am
{ Smoothie made with 1/2 scoop Vega All-in-one chocolate shake + 1/2c Unsweetened almond milk + Frozen banana + Frozen berries & cinnamon & 1/2 an Ezekiel english muffin with organic PB + Coconut oil }

at about 12:30pm

Yikes! The busy day caught up with me & I ate before snapping a pic :(
{ Sautéed kale + swiss chard (in coconut oil) + Grilled italian chicken + Avocado + Leftover broccoli }

{ Apple cinnamon oatmeal Detour Smart Bar + 1c Organic carrot juice }

I have started drinking 1c organic pure carrot juice the past week after doing some research on the AMAZING benefits thanks to the idea from my friend Jess... Expect a blog post on this soon!)
+ First time trying these bars, pretty tasty! Only 4g sugar and 10g Protein is what I like to see in a bar.

{ Salad of mixed spring greens + Cucumbers + Tomatoes + Leftover garlic roasted cauliflower + Goat cheese + Leftover balsamic salmon + italian good seasons dressing }

{ A few chunks of 85% + 72% dark chocolate --> Trader Joe's & Green and Black's }

Sometimes I like a little something sweet after dinner or a while later, and nothing quiets my sweet tooth like super dark chocolate! Quality over quantity as rich cacao is filled with antioxidants, fiber, and very little sugar. I used to only have a taste for 72% but I worked my way up to 85% & 90% and it actually tastes amazing to me now!


Well there you have it! My first WIAW post in the books. I promise to work on remembering to take more pictures of my food in the future ;)

What was the best thing you've ate this week?
Have you ever tried carrot juice?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Healthy Fats for Healthy Hormones

Monday, September 21, 2015
Fats are no doubt my favorite macronutrient. Thankfully the fat banning phase where people thought “fat makes you fat” is long behind us (so I hope!) as we embrace healthy fats with open arms and open mouths ;)

It’s no secret healthy fats host tons of health benefits and are essential to feeling good & looking good. Our brains function off healthy fats, they provide us lasting energy & satisfaction, and they are even essential for hormone health.

Why is this important?
Hormones are everything. From your mood to your skin, hair, weight, sexual function, reproduction, and metabolism. Balanced hormones are the goal here, and sometimes they get out of wack due to a long list of reasons. When your hormones are unbalanced, it can lead to irritability, mood swings, fatigue, breakouts, weight gain, insomnia, low libido, hair loss, poor digestion, and more. That’s where the fats come in. Eating healthy fats high in short, medium & long chain fatty acids is a crucial component to healthy hormones. They are the building blocks to hormone production and also boost your metabolism & brain function.
Reference: 10 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally - (2014, April 7).

My experience
One thing I’ve learned throughout my healthy living journey, is that my body thrives off healthy fats. Everyone is different, and you may find you thrive off a smaller or higher amount of fats, therefore trial & error is crucial. I personally cannot go a day without eating them. They keep me full, energized, alert, happy, and fit. I totally notice the difference if I skip out on them in my breakfast, and find it often leads to more cravings later in the day because I was lacking these nutrients. I also notice my hair, skin & nails seem healthier + softer & more moisturized when I am keeping my healthy fat intake high! After all, you are what you eat ;)

Sources of healthy fats:
• coconut oil
• nuts
• salmon
• chia seeds
• egg yolks
• flax seeds
• extra virgin olive oi
• avocado
• full fat organic cheese/milk/yogurt
+ more!

 In addition to my food, I take a high quality omega 3 fish oil supplement that you can see here.

I find it super easy to include healthy fats into my diet because I love the taste of them. I almost always add a scoop of nut butter or coconut oil to my oatmeal, toast, or smoothie. I always use my favorite home made extra virgin olive oil dressing on my salads, and love to add mashed avocado or sunflower seeds in there too. I always cook + sauté with coconut oil or olive oil, and I love snacking on roasted unsalted nuts.


How about you, what are your favorite ways to enjoy healthy fats?

Allow me to introduce myself

Hey guys! Welcome to my blog, and thank you for stopping by :)

I have wanted to start up my blog for a very very long time. Over 5 years ago I first started reading "healthy living" blogs, which is also when I started getting hooked on this lifestyle and found my true passion. If you haven't checked out my "About me" section, you can view it here. But to sum it up, I am a I am a twenty-something year old graphic designer living in upstate NY with a huge passion for living a balanced, healthy life. Balance means something different for everyone.

To me, this is what balance means:

• Eating healthy most of the time but eating food that makes your soul happy, too.
• Working out regularly & exercising because of how good it makes me feel & doing workouts I enjoy.
• Taking rest days & listening to my body when it needs rest.
• Spending time with people who make my soul happy, such as family, friends, boyfriend & dog :)
• Constantly working on self-improvement, and adapting a optimistic + positive attitude towards life and all the obstacles it may through at me. (Less stress --> More living)

Although I am not a registered dietician or personal trainer, I love educating & motivated others, and connecting with others who have the same interest. I can't wait to share my favorite tips, recipes, experiences and everything in-between. This blog will be a little bit of everything, I am excited to see where it goes, and to connect with you guys! Therefore please don't be shy & feel free to introduce yourself below :)

Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

Stef Lia Fit © 2014