lifestyle

Beauty Bites: Cruciferous Veggies

On The Chew, I heard Daphne Oz refer to cruciferous veggies as “colon’s little broom” which I find hilarious. I’ve called them that ever since. Does anyone else really really miss Daphne on The Chew? Come back Daph!  (more…)

Advertisements

Beauty Bites: Dark Chocolate

Hold up! Before you rush to the grocery store and stock up on Reese’s Cups and Snickers bars, I should clarify one thing. The only type of chocolate that will deliver the glowing skin benefits we all desire is dark chocolate. Seventy percent or more cocoa to be exact.

Dark chocolate helps to combat stress, which is one of the biggest contributors to dull and problematic skin. Dark chocolate helps to reduce stress hormones in the body which helps to fight against premature aging.

Not only does cocoa help to combat stress, it is also filled with antioxidants. These antioxidants (flavonols)  protect your skin from UV damage. The less UV damage we have, the less wrinkles we have. Flavonols fight free radicals, minimizing the number of age spots that pop up. Flavonols also increase blood flow giving you that fresh from a facial glow we all crave.

Here are a few of my favorite healthy healthier recipes to incorporate dark chocolate into your life:

Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies are made with raw cacao powder and a special natural sweet ingredient that you might already keep in your pantry. These are the most decadent, chocolatey, and fudgy brownies I have ever made in my life.

bittersweet triple chocolate brownies

Dark Chocolate Meltaways are so delicious, easy to mix together, and you most likely have all of the ingredients on hand. The best part is that you can keep them in the freezer. Just take out a square whenever you need a chocolate fix.

Chocolate PB Meltaway

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies are perfect when you need to whip something up for a party, holiday, or even an afternoon snack.

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies 3

Dark Chocolate Dipped Macaroons are the most involved recipe on this list, but they are so worth it. The macaroons are light, airy, and filled with coconut. The dark chocolate dip and drizzle is a lovely complement. Plus, they are a low cal dessert, so you can have that extra cookie without the extra squats.

chocolate-dipped-macaroons-4

 

Beauty Bites: Leafy Greens

Problematic skin can be a real bitch. And with the ridiculous number of beauty products on the market, crafting a skincare routine has become a freaking nightmare. The whole thing is overwhelming and expensive.

Naturally, the next step would be to do a tedious and extensive amount of research using my good friend google. The results….

“Cut out dairy!”

“Drink more water!”

“Stop using so many products!”

“Use more products!”

“Try sheet masks!”

“Korean Skincare!”

“Keep makeup wipes by your bed!”

“Makeup wipes cause breakouts!”

Yeah, the results were unrealistic and at times conflicting. I was already running to the ladies room all day long due to the amount of water I was chugging.

Image result for meme drinks glass of water and checks skin

Although the myriad of products were still annoying, the dietary concerns really caught my attention. It makes sense, right? We are what we eat. So, I thought I’d research which foods actually made a difference. If you could really get glowing skin from chomping on spinach, wouldn’t more people be doing it? Are more people doing it and I’m just not noticing? I suddenly feel the need to hop in the car, drive to the nearest Mustard Seed or Whole Foods, and inspect people’s complexions. That’s normal, right?

Anyway, lets talk about leafy, leafy greens and how they can give us all that Instagram glow. Greens contain the following beauty boosters:

  • Vitamin A – reduces the amount of sebum (oils that contribute to breakouts) the skin creates
  • Vitamin C – helps boost the skins natural collagen production
  • Vitamin E – protects against free radicals
  • Folate – helps produce and maintain new cells
  • Beta Carotene – an antioxidant that helps to renew and repair the skin
  • Phytochemicals – anti-aging chlorophyll helps prevent damage caused by free radicals
  • Lutein – an antioxidant that boosts hydration, improves elasticity, and protects against sun damage

Here a few recipes that incorporate dark leafy greens that are simple, healthy, and delicious.

Strawberry Peach Smoothie 2

Strawberry Peach Green Smoothie

carrot quinoa salad 7

Roasted Carrot & Quinoa Salad

Brushetta Turkey Burgers 2

Brushetta Turkey Burgers

Aviary Photo_130702119028316183

Turkey Kale Pasta Toss

Enjoy!

xo Ali Taylor

 

 

 

Carrot Quinoa Salad with Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette

 

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is having a beautiful week!

I have to say, as much as I love the warm sunny days we have been having, I welcome the occasional rainy day. You see, the rainy days are perfect for binge watching shows without feeling guilty about wasting a nice day. Lately, we have been re-watching Game Of Thrones in anticipation of the season 7 premiere July 16th. It is insane how much I missed the first time around!

Which shows do you love to re-watch?

Okay, now let’s move on to this gorgeous salad. I love a bright, hearty spring salad. I wanted something substantial and healthy, but needed to go to the store. I decided to make a clean out the fridge salad. First, I tossed some carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika. Then, baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

carrot quinoa salad 3

While the carrots were cooking, I made some quinoa. Make sure to rinse the quinoa well before you cook it. I use a fine mesh sieve and run water through until it runs clear. This will take away any bitterness from the quinoa. I find that the quinoa turns out the best if I cook it plain, without any seasonings. Then, once it is cooked I fluff it with a fork and add seasoning.

carrot quinoa salad

Next, to assemble the salad, I lay down a bed of fresh spinach.

carrot quinoa salad 8

Then, put the cooked quinoa over the spinach.

carrot quinoa salad 2

The next layer is the beautifully cooked carrots.

carrot quinoa salad 5

carrot quinoa salad 4

Finish the salad with a drizzle of Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette and some fresh chopped cilantro. Dig in!

carrot quinoa salad 11

Carrot Quinoa Salad with Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

A bright and hearty spring salad

Ingredients


1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup water

1lb carrots, peeled and sliced into coins on a diagonal

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups spinach

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

vinaigrette:

1 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

10 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, cover, drop the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic. Add to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping hallway through.
  4. Vinaigrette: whisk together the garlic, chili powder, lime juice, honey, and apple cider vinegar. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil. Toss in the jalapenos and season with salt and pepper. The easy way: Put all ingredients into a jar with a lid that seals completely. Shake until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To assemble: Layer the spinach, quinoa, and carrots. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with fresh cilantro.


Enjoy!

xo Ali Taylor

carrot quinoa salad 10