Q of the Week: Grocery Shopping 101

Question of the Week: What are some basic and key things I should try to get at the grocery store when I’m starved for time and don’t really have an idea of what to buy?

Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil

Lately, coconut oil has been the buzz word (er…food) on the street.  From Dr. Oz, to Self magazine, to celebrities “oil pulling”…this (DareISayIt) fad food is everywhere.  Wait, does anyone remember a couple years ago when olive oil was THE thing to use for cooking?  Thanks to Rachel Ray, EVOO became as popular in the kitchen as Pilates in the gym.  So which one of these oils should you be using?

Olive Oil 5

Extra Virgin Olive Oil 101: EVOO’s claim to fame – heart healthy.  Why? It’s high in monounsaturated fat (78%) and low in saturated fat (8%).  Research has shown that monounsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and LDL levels, which promotes a heart healthy diet.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 101: EVCO’s claim to fame – fountain of youth.  Why? It’s a blend of short and medium chain fatty acids – primarily lauric, myristic, and palmitic acids (94% saturated fat).  While saturated fats are often avoided because they are known to raise cholesterol, studies have shown that lauric acid actually raises the good HDL cholesterol more than it raises the bad LDL cholesterol.  However, the myristic and palmitic acids do not show similar HDL raising effects.  EVCO also contains phytochemicals like phenolic acid, which is a protective antioxidant.  Plus, coconut oil may provide antimicrobial properties that help prevent infections.

And the Winner Is:

BOTH! MODERATION IS KEY for both of these oils.  Calorie for calorie (EVOO has 120 per Tbsp, EVCO has 130 per Tbsp) and fat gram to fat gram (both contain 14 grams per Tbsp), these two are on level playing fields.  Don’t throw coconut oil in the superfood category just yet.  Both oils provide essential fats and benefits in their own way.  Olive oil is great for stir-frying, salad dressings, and baking.  Coconut oil does well in sauces, light-sauteing, and lower heat baking.  Enjoy!

 

 

Chickpea and Kale Salad

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When I read about this salad in Self magazine, I (surprisingly) was eager to try it out.  As I mentioned previously, I don’t love salads, but the idea of adding some of my favorite ingredients: chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives made it sound super appealing.  Letting the salad sit for at least a couple hours (a day preferably) will help soften the kale and enhance the flavors.  However, the recipe took less than 10 minutes to prepare, and I still couldn’t wait more than about 30 seconds to try it out…

Enjoy!

Things I’m Diggin’ Lately

Things I'm Diggin 2

1.. My newest addition to “places I want to go” is largely impressive. (twitter.com)

2. The free app, duolingo, allows you to learn a language via reading, writing, and repeating.  Aprendo espanol! (duolingo.com)

3.. This beach sheet is a must have for my upcoming beach vaca! (islandcompany.com)

4. These boho yoga mats put the OM in OMAZING.  Plus they’re on sale at E! for $83.00 $39.00! (lavienohemeyoga.com)

5. Bastille’s remix of Rythym of the Night – Of the Night is rocking my world these days. (vevo.com)

6. LOVE this idea about inventive ways to give back through recycling. (themindunleashed.org)

Bacon Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

Fun Food Friday is here!

rice krispie 5

So yeah…I feel like there’s not much that needs to be said about these.  Rice krispies are very high on my list of favorite foods, and I don’t usually like to mess with a good thing.  But when tempted with bacon + nutella from this recipe…hubba hubba…it was time to make an exception.  Enjoy!

Southbound & Down: Austin, TX

austin

A few weeks ago, I hopped in the Jeep and headed southbound to Austin.  While it was one of many trips I’ve taken to my old stomping grounds, this weekend was one of my all-time favorites.  I got the chance to kick off the weekend at Hamilton Pool, which I was reminded about by this list.

The next day, my friends and I spent all day at the lake, and that night watching fireworks.  Not too shabby.

Before we headed back to Dallas the last day, we hit up the rooftop pool at the Omni hotel, kayaked in at Lady Bird Lake, and grabbed ridiculously amazing tacos at Valentenia’s on West 6th.  It was a short 2 1/2 day trip, but it felt like a full on vacation that definitely reminded me of why I fell in love with the city back in college.

Q of the Week: Stress Relieving Foods

Question of the Week:  Lately a lot of things have been stressing me out that unfortunately I can’t control. I’m wondering if there are certain foods that can trigger stress or if there are foods that can calm you down and help you manage stress.

Sushi, Shall We?

VERY new concept for me

VERY new concept for me

Last week something strange happened…when my friends and I were picking a place for dinner, I suggested sushi.  This may sound unimpressive, but I’ve only been eating SEAFOOD for a couple months, let alone RAW salmon, eel, fish eggs, etc…

sushi

While the incorporation of seafood has been a slow progression in my diet, I love that I’ve broadened my horizons and not to mention, finally conquered chopsticks!

sushi again

I would love to hear how your tastes have changed as you’ve gotten older.  Cheers!

Things I’m Diggin’ Lately

things I'm diggin

1. I don’t have a Fitbit, but suddenly I’m very interested…all thanks to this super chic Tory Burch bracelet / Fitbit holder.

2. One of my all time favorite boutiques, LF, is having their bi-annual sale. It doesn’t hurt that this shop is right outside my front door.  Not in Dallas? Don’t worry, there’s also LF locations in LA, NYC, Boston, and Miami!

3. T Swift’s explanation on why she looks so glamorous leaving the gym (Note – pretty sure I can’t even get that pulled together on a non-gym day.)

4. My new record player is now my go-to way to listen to some of my favorite classics (e.g. Paul Simon) that I grew up loving, thanks to my dad.

5. Burnt out on post-workout coconut waters?  Can’t wait to try this new watermelon water next time I’m needing a workout recovery electrolyte boost.

6. Now that I’m blogging, my photography skills are in need of some major brushing up. Super excited to try out this silhouette effect during my trip to St. Lucia in September!

Carrot (Cup) Cakes

Cupcake 1

Today is “Fun Food” Friday and I’m pretty pumped about this one.  Carrot cake, check. Cupcakes, check. Add in some tasty pineapple and pecans, check CHECK CHECK!  I stuck pretty closely to this recipe, making only a few changes: coconut sugar instead of white sugar (because that’s all I had on hand), extra pineapple for the frosting.  After a quick taste test / scarf session I decided they were legit.

But it would probably be smart to double taste test before I make any big claims…

Enjoy!

Cupcake 3