Beets and Squash Avocado Alfredo

food

Based on the many horrible foods that we probably shouldn’t be consuming, I have madeFullSizeRender_8 an effort to introduce healthier substitutes for the foods that I do love. One being PASTA! So walking through Wholefoods, I came across beet noodles and squash noodles. I couldn’t make up my mind on which I wanted, so I purchased both. I decided that pasta made from beets and squash would prevent me from eating a bowl full of carbs and would have a positive impact on my health and whoever else would be consuming it. Not to mention, the taste is actually pleasant. Healthy food doesn’t have to be tasteless and boring! Some benefits that I discovered during my exploration for dinner purposes was:

Beets  are high in vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects which benefit the women who plan on becoming mothers one day.

Squash helps improve the quality of your sight, skin , strengthens  the immune system, prevents cancer, manages symptoms of diabetes, builds strong bones, protects heart health, prevents inflammatory conditions, treats arthritis, eliminate ulcers, eliminates parasites and infections, increase prostate health, also protects against birth defects, boosts respiratory health, and reduces blood pressure. With all those benefits, why wouldn’t anyone want to consume a bowl of this stuff.

Ingredients

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 green onion shoots, diced small

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 packaged of beet noodles

1 package of squash noodles

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1 avocado

1/2 cup of cream or milk

Directions

Step 1: Start off my cutting up your avocado and placing it into the blender with a pinch ofFullSizeRender_9  salt and pepper. You then would add your cream or milk and blend them together. Depending on if you like a thicker consistency or not, add less or more milk or cream. In 30 seconds, your Avocado Alfredo sauce is ready to use for later.

Step 2: In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until softened. This will take approximately 5-7 minutes. Add squash noodles and beet noodles to your skillet. Toss to combine everything together. Cook until warmed through. You don’t want to let the noodles cook too long so they don’t get soggy.

Step 3: Stir in the parsley and the Avocado Alfredo sauce you made in step 1. After about 2 minutes, turn the heat off and start plating. Once you are done plating your portion that you will eat and serve, sprinkle some Parmesan on top with any additional extra garnished you would like and give it a taste.

I accompanied my colorful plate of noodles with some baked chicken. This dish would be great with any meat of your choice. I would even suggest salmon filletAND feel free to add any other spices of your preference to satisfy your palette. 

Enjoy!

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Dry Rubbed Wings

food

It’s really easy to cook chicken wings in the oven. I made a spicy dry rub to marinate my wingette and drumette pieces. In my household, spicy food is a must, but you can always leave out the spices that bring heat to satisfy whatever your palette may like. 

Ingredients:

  • 10-20 wingettes & drumettes (will vary depending on how many people you are cooking for)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (more or less for spicy taste)
  • 1  teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley  (fresh cut or dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1  teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1  teaspoon Goya Adobo (all purpose seasoning)
  • 1  teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 Sazon packet by Goya
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Instructions:

baked-chicken-wings

 

1. Make sure your wingettes and drumettes are thawed and not frozen.

2.Then use a paper towel to dry any excess liquid on the wings.

3.Place wings in a large bowl and massage olive oil evenly onto each piece.

4.Combine all the dry seasonings in a bowl and mix them, making sure all the seasoning are nicely intertwined.

5.Sprinkle half of the season mix onto the chicken wings and rub in then Flip wings and sprinkle remaining half onto wings and continue to rub in. (you don’t have to use the entire rub, just use enough to where all wingettes and drumettes are nicely and evenly coated on all sides. (If you have excess rub, you can store the remaining amount in a zip lock bag to use for another batch or other recipe).

6.Place seasoned wings into a baking dish of your choice. I used a Pyrex baking dish.

7.Preheat your oven to 400°F

mash-sweet-potato

I served with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

8.When oven is ready, place your wings into the oven for 35-40 minutes. I don’t usually flip my wings but if you wanted to, then flip them after 20 minutes.

9.Turn oven broiler on high and broil for 5-8 minutes depending on your preference.

10.Remove the wingettes and drumettes from the oven and serve alone or with rice, veggies, mac n cheese or mash sweet potatoes. They will compliment any side dish.

 

Enjoy! 

 

Bucket List

lifestyle

With all the obligations that we all have on the day-to-day basis, it is essential that we make time for the things that make us happy. Doing things that we enjoy often gets placed on the back burner. You then blink and 10 years has passed and you still haven’t accomplished anything you wanted. One fun and effective strategy for ensuring that you take the time you need for the “more fun things” in life (as well as some important goals you may have) is to create a “bucket list”. Some people like to create a list of things they hope to do before they die, but I specifically create bucket lists that I need to tackle within a 24 month period. If I haven’t accomplished it within the first 12 months then I still have time to complete the list within the following year. When everything is checked off, then create a new list to tackle for the next 24 months. You’ll be surprised what you are able to accomplish when you equally focus and prioritize the “fun” things and the “must do” things of your life.

the-bucket-list-logoHopping on the bandwagon of making your first bucket list will help you get in touch with yourself. It will allow you to discover what you value most, it will remind you on what your goals are in life, it will help spark some creativity, and best of all, it will allow you to grow mentally, spiritually and physically all while maintaining your happiness. A good way to keep track of what you have and haven’t done is to keep a checklist. Once you complete the task, you check it off and move to the next item on your list. By no means is there a wrong and right way of doing this. Some items will be easier to accomplish than others. Which is OK.  If you are the creative type, like myself, you can take your list a step further by taking a picture of you completing “the goal”. That picture you take will represent the completed task on your list. When your list is completed, you’ll have a pile of pictures to validate, share and look back on your accomplishments. Keep in mind, 24 months is just a target. If you get to the end of your 24 months and you aren’t finished, then just add them to the next list. I will be sure to share my journey with you all. Feel free to share your own experiences with me too!

My Bucket List 2017/2018 

Go to Music Festival

Go to a Shooting Range

Go to Cuba

Attend a Broadway show(s)- NYC

Cancer Walk-planned 

Milk a cow

Indoor Skydive

Take Acting class

Visit Austin

Visit Toronto

Be a member of TV audience

Take belly dancing class

Visit Hawaii

Go Fishing

Race a go-cart

Visit Niagara Falls

Ride a Hot Air Balloon

Hamilton Play-Chicago

Run a 5k

Go to Disney World

Bruno Mars Concert

Visit Sydney, Australia

Master a 3rd Language

Visit Ireland

Horseback riding

Buy a house/condo

Visit Bora Bora/Fiji

Apply to PA school

Jump off a cliff into the ocean

Ride an elephant

Take a cooking class

Visit San Francisco-DONE

Zip Lining

Visit Savannah, GA

Visit New Orleans

Visit Bali, Indonesia

Volunteer

Get on Food Network show

Sushi making class

Go Kayaking in Maine

 Surfing lesson

Visit Costa Rica

bucket-list

Tea

food

I have never been the one to eat or drink something solely based on its health benefits. Half the time, I assume it’s just bad for me since nowadays, everything we ingest as humans, seems to have cancer as a side effect. So I have decided to make a conscientious effort to find out the beneficial components to what I put inside my body. For the last week or so, I have consumed a lot of tea. Not because I love tea, but because I was under the weather with the common cold, sinus infection, and ear ache. You’re right! I was a train wreck.

I drowned my body in black tea, ginger tea and lemon tea. So what are the benefits of all these teas? Should I be drinking more of one kind than another? Well here is what I found out!

BLACK TEA

Cholesterol Reduction – moderate consumption of black tea has research that concludes it reduces LDL cholesterol by significant amounts and may, therefore, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. LDL is bad cholesterol and HDL is good cholesterol.

bigstock_pouring_fresh_tea__1745053Blood Sugar Control – A British study found that a 1.0g of black tea reduced the late phase plasma glucose response in healthy humans with a corresponding increase in insulin

Ovarian Cancer Reduction – A study revealed individuals consuming two or more cups of black tea daily, experienced a 30% decline in Ovarian cancer risk.

Parkinson Disease and Black Tea – In the Singapore Chinese Health Study, they found that drinking black tea reduced the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. 

Kidney Disease – The US library of medicines database says that Women who drink black tea seem to have an 8% lower risk of developing kidney stones.

GINGER TEA

Cancer Fighter– According to researchers, ginger’s anti-cancer properties are a result of the compound 6-gingerol, which is found in large amounts in raw ginger. 6-gingerol has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities.

Boosts Nutrient Absorption- People only absorb 10-90 percent of the vitamins and minerals in their food. Ginger has been known to boost nutrient absorption to improve your health and help increase weight loss.

Reduces Arthritic Inflammation- Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. For that reason, it can help relieve inflammation-based conditions like arthritis; reducing the pain factor. 

Improves Circulation- Ginger can help thin blood, improving overall circulation. Not to mention, that it can help warm you up on a cold day.

Opens Up Inflamed Airways- If you have asthma like me, ginger has been shown to open up airways by reducing inflammation. It can also relieve pain associated with asthma. Ginger may not solve mine or your asthma condition on its own, but research shows it can definitely be used as part of a comprehensive approach.

LEMON TEA

Boosts Your Immune System- The easiest and cheapest way to boost your immune system is to drink fresh lemon tea in the morning. Providing your body with the proper nutrition in the morning will prepare it for the rest of the day and enhance its ability to fight infection.

Reduce Digestive Issues- Lemons will aid your digestion since they have a similar composition to the body’s natural digestive juices and also to the saliva. Lemons produce acids that make it easier for your body to flush out toxins enabling your body to do an overall cleanse. 

Promotes Healing- Being packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, lemon tea will help your body heal whenever disease tries to take over your body. At the same time will also boost your endorphin levels and reduce the stress and anxiety.tea-cup

Promotes Weight Loss- Losing weight will come easily after you balance the pH levels of your body and keep it hydrated. drinking lemon will boost your metabolism, flushing out all the toxins and making it easier for you to lose weight

Freshens Your Breath- Drinking a  cup of lemon tea daily will keep your breath fresh and remove any unpleasant odors. It’s really effective if you include in your morning. Warm lemon tea in the morning will inhibit the bacteria in your mouth and will keep it clean. 

So basically, I was drowning my body with nutrients that helped me fight my cold, while getting other great benefits at the same time. I will  be sure to interchangeably indulge in a cup of tea more often; not only when I am under the weather, but as a lifestyle routine. It can only enhance me. What about you? I’d like to know what are other tea’s that you like to indulge in? Do you know their benefits?

No More Excuses

lifestyle

excusesNow, I will assume that because it’s a New Year, you have set a resolution for yourself. Wanting to change an undesired trait or behavior is a great idea! So January 1st is officially the new beginning for most of us, but did you know 92% of resolutions fail and ONLY 8% of the population actually succeeds. Yikes! I have sadly been apart of the 92% all too often. Statistically, I am sure many of you have helped me contribute to the failure rate. Roughly about 50% of all “New Year Resolutions” fail after 15 days. Not because people aren’t capable, but because they did not hold themselves accountable. They made other things a priority leaving another year of zero growth.

Accountability is a key component that I feel many people lack. I often run into situations where instead of people looking at what they could have done to make or break a situation, they would rather create scenarios where someone or something else is the culprit to their demise. Sorry, but hopping back into reality, solving anything successfully consists of you being able to analyze your actions first. Your actions are the only factors that you have 100% control over. Think of it this way. Why would you trust anyone to warranty your success and growth? Success is a personal entity. You own it. It’s yours.

Only when you assume
full accountability for
your thoughts, feelings,
actions, and results
can you direct your
own destiny…

I came across many resolutions that people set for themselves. The top five are below along with what the top five should be in order to see results. Practicality is vital.

Top 5 cliché resolutions:

I’m going to stop procrastinating

I’m going to workout everyday

I’m going to be super organized

I’m going to save all my money

I’m going to stop smoking

Top 5 obtainable and more practical resolutions:

I’m going to complete one task early weekly.

I’m going to work out three times a week.

I’m going to implement a planner weekly.

I’m going to save $100 every payday.

I’m going to treat myself for every week I don’t smoke.

By no means am I saying that the cliché goals are not obtainable. What I am saying is if you have not ever achieved your goal before, why would you assume you could wake up the next day and miraculously be cured of your bad habits? If that was the case, than it wouldn’t be classified as a bad habit after all. People need to be realistic and honest with themselves. Every year consists of the same number of months, days, hours and minutes. This leads to so much time to improve and become a better version of you. Keeping in mind, it takes 21 days to build a habit. Having a short and precise timeline allows you to not be disappointed and also helps your quality of success to flourish.

makeup-quotes5

 

We’re human! We love reward, but if you’re not setting your goals to where you can see and measure your progress than they will fall to wayside and before you know it, 10, 20, 30 years will pass and the same resolution will come knocking again and again. Goals need to have phases. Depending on your goal, it could very well take a couple years. Building a better version of you takes time. Don’t rush. Enjoy the process!

As a reminder, remaining accountable for our resolutions and life goals is essential if you want to succeed. It’s your personal choice to rise above your circumstances. Take the ownership necessary for achieving desired results by seeing it, owning it, solving it, and doing It. Let 2017, be the year we all learn to be accountable for our actions and paths to personal growth

Travel Tips

lifestyle

Top 5 Tips: When Traveling

  • Whether you’re packing for work or fun, pack only the necessities. Remember, you still need to unpack.
  • Travel really early or really late. I hate crowds, so I usually fly at 5am no matter where I am going so that I don’t have to deal with the chaos the airport often brings.
  • Always arrive to the airport at least 1 hour early. It makes you feel less rushed and anxious when trying to get to the gate.
  • If you can, try only bringing 1 carryon and 1 personal item. I usually bring a mini suitcase as my carryon and my personal item is usually an oversized bag that I put my makeup, wallet, sunglasses, passport, and 1 crossbody bag that end up using on my trip.
  • Bring enough footwear. I feel like everyone always overthinks their outfits and under thinks their feet. Always bring flip-flops, heels, walking shoes, and sneakers. You should have 4 pairs of shoes for every trip. Out of your four, you should be wearing one of them so you have only 3 pairs taking up space in your bag.
  • Only pack your top toiletries and make sure there are travel sizes. No bigger than 3.4oz. Sometimes, I just buy toiletries when I get to my destination. It’s not always cost effective, but I’ll do anything to maintain my sanity.
  • To condense space, pack outfits that can be worn in both a casual and dressy setting. This will allow you to always be prepared for events that may come up unexpectedly.