What I Eat in a Day | Easy and Healthy Recipes

I love food. I love carbs and pizza and chocolate, and would probably eat a steak and Godiva truffles every day if I could. But after a summer of following too many New York City-based food Instagram accounts and trying out all the goodies the city has to offer – including getting one too many late night orders of Insomnia Cookies – it was definitely time to revamp my diet and take a closer look at what I was putting in my body.

Since today I stayed at home all day and was able to prepare all my food, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to record a few of my go-to recipes for healthy eating. It’s no major calorie or carb-cutting diet, but everything together is under my recommended net calorie count for the day.

Breakfast

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I’m one of those people who has the best start to my morning when I begin with coffee and breakfast. Although I’ve yet to give up my not-so-great processed hazelnut coffee creamer, I’ve switched over to using stevia instead of sugar in my coffee which has saved me on calories and sugar consumption.

One of my favorite go-to breakfasts is egg on toast, which is what I made today. It’s super simple to make:

  1. Butter bread on both sides and toast each side on a pan.
  2. Crack an egg on top of the bread and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
  3. Cover with a lid; when the egg white is partially cooked, flip over until it’s cooked to your liking.

And that’s it! There’s so many different variations you can do with this recipe. You can use any kind of eggs that you want – scrambled, over easy, etc. – and you can also add half an avocado if you like. I typically sprinkle garlic salt on top of my eggs because everything tastes better with garlic.

Lunch

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I didn’t eat a “traditional” lunch today because I was really craving some chips and guac. I made a personal portion of guacamole using a recipe I found on Pinterest, but modified it using what I had at home. I only used one avocado, left out the jalapeno, and used a bit too much lemon juice, but overall it was pretty solid guac. The chips I ate it with were organic white corn tortilla chips, from the Safeway O Organics brand.

Dinner

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I made one of the easiest recipes for dinner, turkey pasta. It’s so simple and ends up being so yummy and filling, and if you make the whole box of pasta like I did, you’ll have plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week.

  1. Bring water to a boil, and cook pasta for 12 minutes.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook and crumble the ground turner in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Once the meat is mostly cooked, pour in the pasta sauce of your choice into the saucepan and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Once pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot.
  5. Remove meat sauce from heat and add to pasta. Mix and enjoy!

The whole thing takes about 20-25 minutes depending on how long it takes your water to boil.

Dessert

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I have THE biggest sweet tooth, so today I ate one of these Skinny Cow cones so I could have a bit of my chocolate and sugar fix for the day. Was it as good as a drumstick? No, but still not bad and pretty fulfilling for 160 calories!

Let me know if you have any other recipes you’d like me to try out, or if you have any other secret ways I can sneak chocolate into my diet without resorting to a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

Photos from San Antonio

I was lucky enough to travel at the very beginning of the new year to a city I’ve never been to – San Antonio, Texas! My sister Hannah got the amazing opportunity to perform with the color guard in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, and of course we had to go to cheer her on. Aside from the weather being extremely chilly, wet, and muggy the first day, all of the All-American activities plus seeing the city made the short trip such an experience.

Exploring San Antonio

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Awards Show feat.  Super Bowl Hall of Famer Lynn Swan

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 San Antonio Day Two

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 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game

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On the River Walk

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 Heading home…

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The Autumn Tag!

My roommate and fellow blogger Rose tagged me to the Autumn Tag! Even though “fall” doesn’t truly come to Arizona until Thanksgiving or Christmas (if we’re lucky), I like to pretend the weather is crisp, there are crunchy leaves on the ground, and the trees are changing colors from green to orange…if only!

Okay, we’re talking coffee – what’s your favorite seasonal drink from Starbucks/Costa/Cafe Nero, etc? 

Three words: Salted. Caramel. Mocha.

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I love the salted caramel mochas (both the hot and frappuccino versions) from Starbucks, and they’re definitely an indulgent treat for those groggy school mornings. I’m not as jazzed about the pumpkin spice lattes just because I have a major sweet tooth, but I love hot chai tea lattes as well. I also like the butter pecan coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts!

Accessories – what do you opt for, scarves, boots, gloves? 

Out of the three of these, I definitely go for boots the most. They’re the simplest thing you can change about your outfit to instantly change it to suit the season. I’m tired of a lot of my scarves right now (an excuse to go get some more, right?) and gloves are barely even necessary where I live, even in the dead of winter. These brown combat boots from Target are my favorites, and I’ve already broken them out for a few rainy days!

IMG_3700_edited-1Music – what’s your favorite music to listen to during autumn? 

I love those songs that seem to transport you to a different time and place, and I feel like now is the ideal time to listen to the folky instrumental songs that are too slow and nostalgic for the summer months. Here are a few songs that make my fall playlist:

“Eyes” – Rogue Wave

“To Build a Home” – The Cinematic Orchestra

“Without Words” – Ray LaMontagne

“Welcome Home” – Radical Face

“Furr” – Blitzen Trapper

“The Moon Song” – “Her” soundtrack

Perfume – what’s your favorite scent for this time of year? 

I don’t change up my perfume that often, as I tend to just choose between the few I already have all year long. I think Love Spell by Victoria’s Secret is a good one for all year long, but it’s slightly more musky which makes it perfect for fall.

Candles – what scents will you be burning this season? 

I’ve yet to make a fall candle run at Bath and Body Works, but I really need to! My absolute favorite scent during the fall from there is Fresh Balsam from BBW. It makes me feel like I’m in a place where the leaves are changing and it’s about to become Christmas time…yeah, I’m cheesy, I know. I love the fresher scents, and I want to get another Mahogany Teakwood and Eucalyptus Mint, too!

What do you love most about autumn?

I love all the new fashion and makeup looks that come with fall. It’s a time where people experiment more with their style since they can layer up more in the cooler weather. I’m not a huge fan of Halloween but I do love Thanksgiving, for the food and getting to see all my family.

Favorite makeup look?

Dark, berry lips, and deep, smokey eyes. I wish I could wear dark lipstick all year long because it works well with my pale skin. I basically recreated that look in this blog post if you’d like to check it out!

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My favorites right now are the new Maybelline creamy mattes, especially this one in Divine Wine. MAC’s Rebel is also amazing, and for a lighter option, Maybelline’s Color Whisper in Berry Ready.

What are you looking forward to most in autumn?

The cooler weather and Thanksgiving! The beginning of holiday season is always so nice and festive, and it feels like the latter third of the year is filled with fun holidays and family. Fall is also football season, so I’m excited to attend a few more UA football games and go home for my sister’s final football game with the marching band. I’m also going to her competition the day after in Flagstaff, so I’m excited to be in chilly weather with pine trees all around, and get a chance to see my friends who go to school there!

Target Haul: The Fun Stuff

IMG_3689_edited-1Oh, Target. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve spent many a Saturday night strolling through the beautiful makeup aisles, getting lost in home decor, and leaving with a much larger dent in my wallet than I anticipated. Today I managed to keep my spending under control since I also did all my grocery shopping there for the week. But I doubt anyone wants to see the lunch meat and ridiculous amount of Amy’s bowls I bought, I’ll show you the “fun stuff” I picked up yesterday.

IMG_3692_edited-1My skin has been going crazy lately, which is a bummer since this has generally been a better year for my acne-prone skin. When my skin was looking really good I was using these two products interchangeably and decided to give them another go.

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser: This is the first drugstore face wash I had found that had charcoal as its main cleansing ingredient, and I think it works really well with my skin. It’s gentle but effect, without the harsh drying effect of a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide.

St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub: People have different opinions on this scrub, but I personally love it. I love using abrasive scrubs several times a week because it removes dead skin and I really feel like it gets every bit of makeup off my skin, and this St. Ives one is tried and true.

IMG_3693_edited-1Justin’s Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: I was SO excited when I saw that Target was selling these peanut butter cups, because they are heavenly. They sell them at Starbucks now and I personally think they’re better than Reese’s, because they’re not as sickly sweet. I only picked up two, but I wish these came in 12 packs or more!

IMG_3694_edited-1Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham: I’ll be honest and say I wouldn’t have picked this up if it wasn’t for a review assignment for work. I’m not a huge fan of Girls, but after reading a bit of the introduction I think I’ll enjoy Dunham’s writing more than her television. And I had a 25% off coupon from the Cartwheel app, so it was a good deal.

IMG_3695_edited-1Maybelline Color Sensational The Mattes Lip Color in “Divine Wine”: The most exciting part of this haul: makeup!!!! I only allowed myself to purchase one item, and after seeing this beautiful dark burgundy shade swatched in several YouTube videos, I knew this was the one in the collection I wanted to pick up. Now if only the weather would get cool enough that I could start wearing dark lips every day!

            

Cake for Dinner

There is no doubt that I have a huge sweet tooth. And yesterday, both Marissa and I were craving cupcakes, so we took to Yelp! and searched bakeries in Tucson. Although it didn’t have cupcakes, we found Sugar Sweet Bakery, which is close to our house and looked to be packed with sugary goodness.

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Before you even walk in, you’re struck by how adorable this little shop is. It has the classic feel you’d hope to get from stepping inside a store of sweets, but with a quirky edge that makes it entirely unique.

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Though they didn’t have any cupcakes, they had so may different kinds of cookies and a few cakes to choose from. Both  Marissa and I got a whopping slice of the chocolate cake, and for only $4 a slice!

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Sugar Sweet Bakery also had these cute little knick knacks for sale, like keychains and plush toys. I thought these kissing puppy salt-and-pepper shakers were too cute!

I didn’t get a picture of my cake because I ate it in the dingy light of my living room, but considering I literally could not stop eating it and it turned from dessert into dinner, trust me when I say it was worth more than $4.

If you live in Tucson and want to visit a cute, unique bakery that gives you a bang for your buck, Sugar Sweet Bakery is the place to see.

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Brunch at O.H.S.O.

I went home this weekend to spend some time with my family, which usually means cramming as many delicious meals into approximately 48 hours. Since my sister was both at band practice and work all day on Saturday, the only opportunity we had to meet up with our Dad and his girlfriend Wendy was at brunch on Sunday. They live in Scottsdale, so in my Yelp search for a good brunch place in between Glendale at my Mom’s house and Scottsdale, I came across O.H.S.O. Eatery and Distillery on Hayden Road. Both my Dad and Yelp described the place as hipster, and I have to agree in the best way.

You walk into a patio of dogs and orange umbrellas, and a giant bicycle inside the bar that definitely gives the place an entirely unique focal point.

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The best part of the menu was that the entire brunch menu was $10, including food and drinks. They actually call it their “Beer Brunch” and you can either get beer or a mimosa. I got a mimosa (obviously) and it was delicious (and huge!).

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I decided on the French toast, and I wasn’t disappointed. It came with a berry compote and bacon and it was overall just amazing. Considering all of our plates were all but empty, I think everyone else enjoyed their meals, too.

8011 8014I loved brunch at O.H.S.O. and now I just need to find a place here in Tucson that makes equally good mimosas and even better French toast.

My 21st Birthday!

This weekend I celebrated a huge milestone birthday – my 21st! Considering I’ve been living with over 21 roommates for nearly two years now, I have been eager to join the legions of legal drinkers. And since I was the last of us to turn 21, that means we could all go out and celebrate together.

We all got dressed to the nines and looked gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Chelsea’s (far right) friend Dung was also with us (and the photographer of these pictures) and was our chauffeur – I mean, designated driver for the night.

10614195_10152460904848355_5463580880565079124_nI absolutely adored my outfit for the night. My dress was from Forever 21 and my shoes I got on sale a year ago at Payless. Who says thrifty can’t look fancy? I also had to accessorize with a little ribbon that said, “21 and Ready for Some Fun!” because I won’t ever get the opportunity again!

The first place we went was for dinner and drinks, called Saint House Island & Rum Bar. The food was amazing – I got a seared ahi tuna salad and the taro chips and guacamole were amazing. My first drink was called the Kingston Heights (pictured below), and was pretty delicious (and strong!). I also tried their mai tai later, but that was really strong and distributed around the table.

 We spent the night exploring the different bars/clubs of downtown Tucson. We went to Hi Fi, which had milkshake cocktails and amazing fried zucchini, then Hotel Congress, which was pretty crowded and had a bit of an older crowd, and my favorite place, Playground, which had music on the rooftop and a nice bartender to boot. I tried a drink called the “Juicey Juice,” which was made with grape soda and pop rocks. We ended the night at the HUB, just to kinda cool down before making the painful trek back to the car in our heels.

The next day I drove home to celebrate with my family! The first night I went to the Melting Pot with my Mom and sister, and although I’ve been before, the food is just as incredible every time. The little display they had with the dessert (flaming turtle chocolate – yum!) was adorable.

IMG_3042_edited-1 IMG_3057_edited-1 IMG_3059_edited-1Although everything about the Melting Pot is good – the cheese fondue, the main meal, and dessert – the whole thing would be worth it just for the chocolate fondue. With dessert I got a Yin & Yang martini, which was beautiful and delicious – basically just a light milkshake (since it is blended with ice cream).

As if my taste buds weren’t already spoiled enough, I got treated to one of the most luxurious meals of my life at Ruth’s Chris with my Dad, Wendy, Mimi, and my sister. I had been hearing about how amazing the steak was from my parents for years, and I was so excited to experience it myself. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

My drink was a raspberry rosemary cosmo, which was super sweet and therefore perfect. I followed with a filet mignon with a bleu cheese crust, and the only words to describe it were Oh. My. God.

10559708_10152460604788355_8482256993786662122_nI shared a creme brulee with my Dad for dessert, which was almost as good as the steak. Everything about Ruth’s Chris is just perfection (and with the price tag, it better be!)

Most of all – as sappy as it sounds – I’m just glad I got to spend my birthday with my friends and family I love the most. They all spoiled me with gifts and affection and I felt like the luckiest, happiest birthday girl.

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Let Freedom Sparkle

Happy (belated) Fourth of July! While today was certainly not as exciting as Independence Day, I got to do one of the things I love to do best – editing photos! I spent the day with my Mom and sister and showed them this blog post about photographing words with sparklers, and lucky for me, they were totally in.

Before we could get into taking photos, we decided to get Mexican food (I know, totally American, right?) and make some patriotic treats! The original fish taco plate from Rubio’s always hits the spot, and after raiding Fry’s earlier in the day we have enough red, white, and blue food for a feast!

The first thing we made were red, white, and blue shortcakes. Extremely simple and bite-sized treats, all you need is angel food cake (or individual shortcakes you can usually find near the strawberries), whipped cream (used Reddi Whip, but you could use Cool Whip, too), and any combination of berries you want. In this batch we used strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

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These little cakes were light and tasty…and gone in about 10 seconds!

After watching two hours worth of So You Think You Can Dance and waiting for the sun to go down, we headed outside with sparklers in tow to start taking photos. Since I don’t own a tripod, my setup was extremely glamorous: my camera sitting on top of one of my Mom’s bar stools. It actually ended up working out pretty well, since the padding gave me extra stability and height to the camera.

For the writing, I shot in shutter priority mode in order to control the amount of time the shutter stayed open in order to capture the entire word or image. We found that the small sparklers worked long enough to write an entire word, but you could also use the longer ones that burn for over a minute or so. For my name the shutter was open for 5 seconds.

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After that I picked up my camera and decided to take some photos of my Mom, my sister, and my sister’s boyfriend when he showed up.

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I’m lucky my family are such good sports about my attempts in photography and that I got to spend the Fourth of July with them!