Well it has been a minute….
Sir blog has gotten the shaft with work getting cray cray, writing my newsletter and discovering my love affair with instagram. As a result, I have decided that it is time for Mr. Blog and moi to part ways. However, fear not, you cannot get rid of me that easy. Here’s why:
- I post daily food porn and occasional skin nuggets on instagram, so if you NEED to see what I am putting in my yapper then I invite you to follow skinspot on instagram. You will be tickled that you did so- maybe.
- I am in the process of creating a new website and on this gem of a site there will be a portion delegated to recipes and nutrition tidbits, so my culinary skills will still be a part of your life. Lucky you!
- And finally, I am saving my very best content (you know the mind blowing, life changing stuff) and all sort of deals for for my newsletters. If you want to get on this phenomenal train of information then I invite you to sign up for skinspot’s letter of news here.
On another note, I want to thank anybody who has taken time out of their day to read my ramblings. This blog was started to scratch my itch for my adoration of food, exercise, skin care and emotional wellbeing and boy did it scratch said itch, as it has allowed me turn my passions into my career. I think I owe Mr. Blog hug. A. Very. Large. Hug.
I hope to hear from any/all of you on da ‘gram, via email, or if you are feeling old school, give me a ring. All contact info can be found here.
With oodles love, I am signing out.
So is Burt
Recently skinspot brought on two new skin care lines Lira Clinical and Epionce, which means that I am dabbling in oodles of new skin care education. Woot! Basically my former approach to radiant skin has been through two major modalities: exfoliation and nourishment, with an emphasis on exfoliation. I am still advocating for exfoliation and nourishment; however, after recent training I am beginning to believe the emphasis needs to weigh heavy on nourishment. Here’s why… chronic inflammation (i.e. when you are constantly dry, red, or peeling) puts in the skin in a constant state of stress. Consistently stressed skin leads to fine lines, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, and a few other thrilling skin conditions that I am sure I am missing. This is not news to me, but the emphasis that both Lira and Epionce put on repairing the skin’s barrier over all other modalities was a bit of a light bulb moment. Basically if your first line of defense is down, healthy skin is a pipe dream. While creating and maintaining a healthy skin barrier is the most important goal, stimulating new, healthy skin via exfoliation is crucial. However, over exfoliation can take one’s barrier down in a heart beat, so what is a radiant-skin-seeking-being to do? Honestly…. Peel then Heal. Figuring out which modalities are the most efficient for your skin type and condition can take a minute, but once you discover this magical formula you have officially received your ticket to luminous-skin-ville. In my humble opinion the two new lines that skinspot is now carrying compliment each other oh, so well. Lets meet the contenders….
Miss Lira’s speciality is that all of the products in the line contain stem cells. What the heck are stem cells?!! Stem cells aid in repairing the skin and regenerating new and healthy skin. So if you get a chemical peel, a sun burn or perhaps picked too long and hard at an acne lesion, you want stem cells in your daily skin care arsenal to expedite the skin’s recovery. Another speciality of lady Lira is exfoliation via lactic acid, retinol, peptides, enzymes and salicylic acid. As a brief overview here is what do these ingredients do….
Lactic Acid- Derived from milk. This is one of the more gentle AHA’s out there and It exfoliates the skin while hydrating and brightening the skin. Lactic allows for new healthy, skin to shine forth without being overly stripping.
Retinol- Derived from Vitamin A and the gold standard in anti-aging ingredients. Honestly, I have a deep love affair with retinol- if used correctly. Retinol essentially teaches your dead skin cells to behave, which helps to alleviate acne, pigmentation and create overall glowing skin. As if glowing skin isn’t enough, retinol also promotes collagen and elastin stimulation, which equals tighter skin and less fine lines. Be still my heart.
Peptides- Peptides are the building blocks of protein and are all the rage as of late. Peptides are winning hearts due to their ability to aid in skin regeneration like an AHA (aka retinol), without the irritation that AHA’s can cause. Peptides while they are superb at creating new healthy skin, they also expedite the healing process, so your skin gets to repair with more efficiency. Peptides also have a reputation of producing a Botox like effect on the skin. They are NOT Botox, but they help in moving the muscles less that produce those pesky fine lines.
Enzymes- Derived from papaya, pineapple and pumpkin. Enzymes work like pacman on the skin. They come in and gobble up any dead skin hanging around without irritation, which allows smooth skin to make itself known and it allows for any topical treatment product to penetrate with greater efficiency. Win!
Salicylic Acid- Sali is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) derived from the leaves of wintergreen and sweet birch bark that helps to dissolve the oil and dead skin cells in the pore , which aids in keeping sir pore free and clear. Stunning Sali also helps control oil production and is mildly antibacterial. Sali is a great friend to have when trying to achieve clear skin.
While Lira does a stellar job on exfoliation all of their products are formulated with oodles of antioxidants and several skin healing minerals and botanicals. This review on the product truly is just scratching the surface of what Lira has going on.
Now lets meet Contender Number 2: Epionce
Oh Epionce, you continue to surprise and amaze moi. As a former glycolic acid junkie (i.e. I loved to feel the burn) Epionce’s approach to radiant skin via non stripping ingredients and formulations has truly provoked me to reevaluate how I care for skin. Epionce nourishes the heck right out of your skin and protects it like only the best suit of armor could. This line works wonders on acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and highly sensitive skin. Epionce’s star players in their skin care are any of the renewal skin care lotions or creams. These products repair via antioxidants and the perfect combination of ceramides to ensure your barrier remains firmly intact. These products are no ordinary moisturizers and good Lord do they make your skin look radiant. Epionce’s Lytic cleanser and Lytic toner have my heart. They are great for acne prone skin and they do not strip the skin, so your visage is not feelin’ parched after your cleanse. And, to boot, the cleanser and toner make your skin feel so cool and fresh. What more could one want in this world?
These are top 6 (yes, 6) products that I am currently using and adoring:
- Epionce’s Lytic Gel Cleanser- clear skin cleanser
- Epionce’s Purifying Toner- great for keeping skin clear
- Lira’s Pro Lite TX- great for pigmentation
- Epionce’s Renewal Facial Lotion- protecting & nourishing
- Lira’s Pro Retinol TX- great for pigmentation, acne, fine lines, overall amaze-balls skin
- Lira’s Bio BB Tint- SPF, makeup, & treatment all-in-one
Last night I was starving and convinced there was nothing to eat in the house and husband wasn’t home, so it seemed like the just the right opportunity to go to New Season’s salad/ hot. However, I seem to find that very same opportunity on way too many nights. It is becoming a wee bit of a problem. Instead of caving into my New Season’s longing I put my cooking pants and wrangled up some random ingredients and it turned out dang good, better than New Season’s hot bar good. I wish I could take full credit for random creation, but it is heavily based on a meal my husband makes often. In lieu of our different eating habits, the man and moi cook separate dishes for dinner, so I had not had the true pleasure of experiencing his creation until last night. I made a few tweaks to his masterpiece and here is what my version looked like…. Oh, one more thing this “recipe” does not really need to follow any specific measurements because I literally just through everything together last night. I swear I don’t mean that in a I-am-just-that-good-in-the-kitchen-that-I-can-just-toss-together-whatever-I-have-on-a-hand-and-it-tastes-divine kinda way, it is more like this recipe is incredibly difficult to screw up kinda way. Got it? Good. Now back to the “recipe”
- 2-3c brussel sprouts (halved)
- 2-3c broccoli (chopped)- I used the pre cut one from Trader Joe’s. Super simple.
- 1c broccoli slaw- can omit this one and just use more of the broc or b.sprouts
- 1/2 red onion (chopped)
- 1/2 zucchini (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1/2 can of chickpeas
- 1/2 jar of pasta sauce
- dash of hot sauce- to taste (optional)
- 1 can of wild salmon
- 2t cumin
- 1/4t sea salt
- dash of fresh ground black pepper
- 1.5T olive oil
- Heat oil on low to med heat in large sauce pan or medium size dutch oven
- Add onions and sauté until translucent
- Add garlic, spices, sea salt and hot sauce- stir
- Add all veggies and 2T water, stir and put lid on and steam veggies for 2min on low-medium heat
- Add pasta sauce & chicpeas, stir, put lid on and let simmer for 10-15min
- At the very end stir in canned salmon
- Pat yourself on the back, because you just cleaned out the fridge, ate healthy and did not spend money on takeout. Word.
I put this medley over some coked quinoa and mixed it all together, but it definitely does not need the quinoa, so that step could be omitted.
I also enjoyed with this adult beverage:
1shot of organic, local gin + 2T lime juice + 3/4c sparkling water = a cocktail that made me feel good in the moment and not like garbage in the morning. #nailedit.
And with that, I leave you this….
Apparently it is the little things that blow ma skirt up lately- here are some things that have me all sorts of excited:
The homemade gluten-free, peanut butter, protein bars I posted about last week. I seriously look forward to these every morning and they fill ma fanny up.
Switching up my green smoothie recipes:
I have a green smoothie nearly everyday, up until last week I was in a green smoothie rut. However, I put an end to that madness and came up with these two delights….
- 1c unsweetened coconut water
- 1T raw almond butter
- 1 apple
- 1T hemp seeds
- 2-3c spinach
- 5-6 mango chunks
- 3-5 ice cubes
- 1c unsweetened coconut water
- 12c frozen blueberries
- 1/4 frozen banana (peel and freeze and least 24 hrs prior)- could also use a regular ‘nana
- 3-4c Trader Joe’s power greens (could also use spinach or kale)
- 1T raw almond butter
- 1T ground flax
- 2T lemon juice
- 3-5 ice cubes
- dash of cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt (enhances flavors)
Cacao nibs on vanilla siggi for dessert = simmering of ma sweet tooth and helps in operation muscle excavation
Do you spy a bicep?
Another tool in Operation Muscle Excavation= my late afternoon snack
Trader Toe’s has these pre portioned nuts
I add a dark chic chips and wash it all dan with a kombucha. This combo is magical as I am actually full until dinner. This is no easy feat.
The last thing, that is really lighting ma fire =instagram It totally keeps me inspired on consuming healthy eats and moving ma bod. Seriously it is like food blogs without all of the words.
On Another Note
Live in portland?
Wanna Loose Weight Without Losing Your Mind?
Meg Worden of Feed Me Darling and Myself are starting another weight loss group starting on march 19th.
Loose weight. Love the process. Keep it off. Woot!
More Details here
And with that, I am off. Happy Monday!
A tragic thing happened yesterday: I went to the Grocery store and they were completely out of my beloved Perfect Foods Bars. The horror. How was I to survive? I stood there and stared at the empty display case where my besties once lived for a good 30 seconds.
I pulled myself together and decided that I would try my hand at making a homemade version of PFB. Honestly, I love the Perfect Foods Bar and compared to a lot of bars out there they really are full of goodness, but there are two ingredients that kinda bug me: 1. The non fat milk powder is not organic and I would prefer a dairy-free bar. 3. The egg white powder is also not organic. However, they taste amazing and I have tried to recreate this amazing-ness a few times and failed, so I was a little skeptical on the possibility of recreating my beloved. Well, I gotta say I have come pretty darn close. My bars are not as tasty, but Lawd they will do.
Without Further adieu I bring you: Gluten-Free, Hormone Balancing Energy Giving Peanut Butter Protein Bars.
- 2c organic, crunchy natural peanut butter (this ended up being the entire jar)
- 3/4c raw honey
- 1/2c maple syrup
- 2c chocolate protein powder- I used Thorne’s Vegilite
- 1/4c chia seeds
- 1/4c maca
- 1/4c unsweetened almond milk
- Heat peanut butter, honey and maple syrup in an a small sauce pan on low for 2-5 min
- mix the dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl
- add peanut butter, honey & maple syrup to dry goods and stir while adding bits of the almond milk at a time
- after the ingredients are fully combined, spread evenly in a 3qt baking dish
- allow to harden in refrigerator overnight then cut and serve
*serving will vary on how big you want the bars to be. I sliced them into 16 different bars.
*store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Good Lord these are good.
I enjoyed one with a green smoothie after a run and sweaty yoga sculpt class today. They definitely hit da spot. #nomnom
Yesterday, Burt got the left over peanut butter jar:
Dog loves peanut butter.
And for giggles here is the treadmill HIIT I did on Saturday that got me good and schweaty.
And with that I am off. happy Monday!!
Howdy and Happy Monday!
In lieu of my Operation Muscle Excavation mission, I decided to make a protein packed treat that will appease my sweet tooth and appetite. I had a ripe banana staring at me, so I decided to sleuth the ‘net for a protein packed banana bread recipe. I found this Banana Bread Protein Muffins from Dashing Dish and made a few tweaks.
Here is what my recipe looked like:
Banana, Peanut Butter Protein Muffins
- 1.5 very ripe bananas (medium in size)
- 2 eggs
- 6oz of Siggi’s 0% Vanilla yogurt (you could also use any plain Greek yogurt)
- 1/2 c oat flour
- 1/4 almond meal
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder ( I used plant fusion- my fave to bake with)
- 2T maple syrup (grade B is best for nutrient content)
- 1/4c peanut butter chips (could also use chocolate chips, but this would take the peanut butter out of this recipe)
- 1T unsweetened almond milk
- 1t baking soda
- 1t baking powder
- 1/2t cinnamon
- 1t vanilla extract
- Pre heat oven to 350
- Mash banana in a medium size bowl with a fork
- Place the rest of the ingredients (except peanut butter chips) in a bowl and stir until smooth (a few banana lumps is fine)
- Fold in peanut butter chips
- Line muffin tin with paper liners or grease with coconut oil
- Divide mixture evenly between 12 regular size muffin tin.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes- or until toothpick comes out clean
For the most part I eat healthy.
I workout at least 5 days a week, every week.
Where the heck are all of my muscles?
I am not looking to lose weight and I am not aiming to be the next female Arnold; however, I would like to see an ab or two and perhaps meet my tricep from time to time. Given how active and how nutrition conscious I am, this should not be an unreasonable request. Should it?!
If I am completely honest about my muscles’ whereabouts I am fairly certain I can pinpoint their location. They are hiding underneath a layer of Whole Food’s honey graham’s, dark chocolate covered almonds, tortilla chips, chronic cardio, and my inability to fully unplug. There is a part of me that is cool with letting my muscles stay hidden in lieu of how far I have come (I was 40+ heavier a decade ago), I feel really good and I have a healthy relationship with food, so why rock that boat to see more of sir tricep? Well… to put it simply I want to look better, I want to feel better and I want my relationship with food to be better, so I am challenging myself to operation muscle excavation (OME)
OME is going to entail:
- more diversity in my workouts, less routine. this inevitably=more strength training
- more protein, less crackers/ tortilla chips
- more meals, less snacks
- more books, less screen time
- more stretching, less late night cupboard grazing
- more getting ‘er done, less procrastination. procrastination = snacking
To get more tips on how to see more muscles, get on skinspot’s mailing list as I am sending out a newsletter on Tuesday elaborating on my tips. You also get 10 tips to glowing skin when you sign up, so if you are looking to achieve glowing skin and a toned physique than I suggest going here. Just Sayin’…
Happy Friday and have a superb weekend.
I will leave you with
This post is for those people out there who think that eating healthy is only reserved for the few disciplined beings who make it in to the very secret, very elite club of healthy eaters. Or maybe this post is for people who already know the secret code and they could use a few simple eats to add to their repertoire. On any note, allow me to grant you access (whether you want it or not) into this exclusive club.
Allow me to start with my healthy eating manifesto:
1. Healthy eating does not equal punishment inducing food. I assure you there are oodles of healthy eats that taste real good. damn good.
2. Healthy eating does not equal hours slaving away in the kitchen and food preparation. I rarely create a meal that takes longer than 10 minutes. I realize this blog could lead you to believe otherwise, when I do spend a good amount of time in the kitchen I feel the need to document it and present it to the world, so it is very convenient that I have this blog.
3. Healthy eating does not equal a dogmatic set of rules in which there are no indulgences. In fact indulgences are a must.
Without Further adieu, here are list hassle-free healthy eats that I consume on a regular basis:
I always begin my day with lemon water:
I cheat and use pre squeezed lemon juice- it is way easier and a wee bit less expensive than buying 7 lemons. Keep in mind this pre-sqeezed lemon juice is not the same as concentrate. This lemon juice is the real deal.
Why start the day with lemon juice? Well… It is a tastier way to drink water and it offers a few health benefits like alkalizing the body and promoting digestion as well as boosting a good amount of vitamin C.
I generally bounce between:
Perfect Foods Bar and Coffee w/ a dash of nut milk of choice.
or 1/2 Ezekiel tortilla w/ 1T nut butter, 1/2 banana and a wee bit of honey.
Both of these breakfasts take under 5 minutes to prepare and leave me full for a good 2-3 hours. Woot!
every lunch includes a green drink
My current green drink obsession: Super Easy. Super Tasty. Super Nutritious.
- 1/2c organic orange juice
- 1/2c coconut water
- 1 small hunk of fresh ginger
- 1/4 of a frozen banana
- 3-4c mixed kale & spinach combo
- 2t Douglas Laboratories Detox Powder (optional)
- 1/2t matcha (optional)
- dash of cinnamon
- 3-5 ice cubes
With my green drink I usually eat 2 Energy Giving, Hormone Balancing Protein balls. I usually make a batch of these once every 1.5 weeks. They take about 5 minutes to create.
or I eat a plant powered protein wrap
1/2 ezekiel wrap w/ a few beans, 1/4 of avocado, a few hemp seeds & topped with hot sauce, nutritional yeast and and garlic salt.
With either of these meals, I am in and out of the kitchen in under 15 minutes.
Snacks are kinda all over the place, but I try to make them more protein based, so I am not famished for dinner. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t
Vanilla Siggi’s with 1T dark chocolate chips or 1T ground flaxseed
My other go to snack is the avocado & egg mash:
Avocado & egg salad = 1/4 medium avocado, 1 hard boiled egg, small scoop of honey mustard (approx 1t), dash of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, & curry powder.
Sometimes I have a few crackers on the side, or if I am really on top of my game I have a few pieces of roasted squash.
is almost always some version of a bowls of steamed greens
I usually take my pick from one these guys:
I then top with, nut or seeds, sometimes a little seaweed, raisins or cranberries, beans, canned salmon or a veggie burger, & hot sauce nutritional yeast, garlic salt and spicy vegan cashew sauce (I make batch of this stuff once a week)
one of many bowls. More often than not, my husband and moi get home late from work, so we need something that we can throw together fast and these bowls are fast, satisfying and nutritious. Who says you need to spend hours in the kitchen to create healthy eats?!
oh how I love dessert. Dessert is usually one (or more) of the fellas below followed by a glass of vino. yumsicles.
On a really good day:
During the week, I really do not set aside a lot of time for cooking, but I still want to eat well, enjoy the heck out of it and not dish out oodles of money to do so. I really believe you can eat healthy with out slaving away, going broke or compromising taste. I hope these ideas help you out in a pinch.
I am getting back into the swing of things after returning from Maui. Oh, Maui how I adore you.
I kept my ‘puter turned off until the plane ride home yesterday, hence the crickets on da blog, but I did instagram a few pics from our vacay. Here are a few of those pictures and a few more.
Maui Photo Dump:
Pre Flight Workout
Beach. Side Note: obsessed with the Hunger Games series.
I found a food coop in Maui and raided their salad bar more than a few times
This “ice cream” stop was high up in the Maui Hills on the road to Hana. If you think Coconut Bliss tastes delightful you will get your socks knocked off by Coconut Glen’s.
A little yoga in the Condo. This probably should’ve been done on the beach.
Just another day strolling through Maui…
Maui, we will be back to you…
Oh boy these balls are good.
Get your mind out of the gutter.
So what makes these balls hormone balancing and energy giving? Well the protein powder, sunflower butter, organic honey and cacao nibs are major contributors to the magical power these balls possess, but what makes these balls extra magical is sir maca. I am on a bit of maca kick. If you have not met Mr. Maca he is a superfood that boosts many redeeming qualities, a few of which include increased energy, endurance and libido. This crafty superfood also balances the endocrine system to help combat stress, so he really his quite super and he kind of tastes like malt powder, which is also super. No?.
- 1big scoop (approx 1/4c) chocolate protein powder- I used Vegilite
- 6T unsweetened sunflower butter
- 3T maca
- 3T almond meal
- 2T honey
- 2T unsweetened almond milk
- 2T Cacao nibs- could also use chocolate chips
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1/2t cinnamon
- Add all of the above goods to a medium size mixing bowl and stir until combined. If mixture is too dry add a wee bit more almond milk. Your goal is to get the mixture to cookie dough like consistency.
- Roll “dough” into balls. My balls were the size of golf balls and made 12.
- Put in refrigerator for minimum of one hour, but overnight works best
- Store in sealed glass container in refrigerator for up to two weeks- if they last that long.
These make for great post workout fuel or a snack for when you are seconds away from chewing your arm in lieu of incredible hunger.
And with that I am off to pack for Maui. Yes, Maui.
Have a superb week! I will be checking in on instagram (@skinspot) if any body need a dose of sun via social media this week.