Health & Wellness Vol. I

I sat down to meal plan today, and about 3 minutes in, I put everything down and went to Instagram to scroll because I was SUPER overwhelmed.  I'll explain.

I have decided in the last week, to ensure I eat a vegetarian, plant-based meal for lunch each day during the week, in a general effort to continue my health journey. I LOVED the documentary on Netflix Forks Over Knives, and bought their cookbook and inaugural magazine in the past week. When I started reading the magazine today, I was interested to see some amazing, yet terrifying statistics regarding cancer and heart disease and efforts to prevent certain types of cancers. Then it started getting overwhelming. I know we should be limiting our red meat intake, as well as processed meats such as sausage, ham, and of course bacon- ok, got it. 50g of that kind of meat increased colorectal cancer by 18%. Sweet Jesus.  OK, I'll limit bacon to Saturday morning breakfasts, eat Turkey sandwiches, and limit the Italian sausage to bi-monthly.

Next up? OILS. The magazine went on to say how olive oils, coconut oil, and other oils are so processed, everything of value has been stripped, leaving them a calorie dense food, pretty much guaranteeing you to gain weight. Hmm, ok. So at this time I am not attempting a plant-based diet, but that definitely is not good. I sautè my omelette vegetables for breakfast in olive oil. I roast my vegetables in olive oil. I cook EVERYTHING in olive oil. Now what?!?

This was really conflicting information- I have tried Weight Watchers in the past, as well as LA Weightloss, both of which claim oil as a healthy fat, reminding you to have a tsp a day outside of what is in foods naturally or from cooking. Now it's harmful and could be responsible for potential gains?

I'm so in over my head. Every where I look (read,) there is conflicting information and I'm so frustrated. I'm trying to do the right thing- eat as healthy as I can, yet what one nutritionist is telling you is ok, another is telling you is harmful. WTF. So, after eating a processed lemon biscotti bar and drinking a cup of Peach Cobbler tea, I thought rationally about this and decided to continue as I have been- just doing my best to ensure my health and wellbeing. Trying new recipes, trying to cut out all the bad and incorporate more of the good. Take it one day, one meal at a time.

I am taking a page from Franish and I will be sharing my weekly meal plan and workout plan with you each week- this will keep me accountable, and if you're like me, you like seeing what other people are eating and doing to stay healthy!


Breakfasts- rotate out 2 eggs over easy with Dave's Killer Bread, turkey bacon, and grape tomatoes, oatmeal with apples, raisins, and pecans, Siggy vanilla yogurt with fruit, or egg whites with sautéed veggies. I have decided 2 days a week to have a cup of English Breakfast tea, and 3 days a week to have coffee.  Coffee I only add half & half, tea I add a splash of whole milk.

Lunches- my favorite thing to make for lunches is hearty salads. It's a quick way to get vegetables in, and they are SO versatile! My absolute favorite is a Zoe's copy cat Greek Salad, but honestly most days I heat up leftovers from dinner the night before and throw it over a bed of mixed greens, peppers, onion, tomato, and assorted veggies.  I am interested in throwing in a few different vegetables that I don't always use- like beefing up the salads with purple cabbage, snow peas, and shredded carrots. 

Dinners- We did stop our boxed meals, so I am back to meal planning, hence my beginning rant. Meals planned for this week:

-Sheet Pan Chicken & Roasted Potatoes (Cooking Light Top Rated Recipes)
-Crock Pot Meat Sauce over Spaghetti Squash (my recipe)
-Remaining Plated Meal (Chicken and Roasted Tomato Caesar Salad)

Fitness-  I started up playing tennis again, which is fitness that doesn't feel like fitness because it's fun.  I like to spice up my fitness routine for boredom sake as well as not becoming too complacent and doing the same workout over and over. Fitness plan this week:

-Tennis, 90 mins, 2 Days
-At home walking/HIIT DVD, 45 mins, 2 days
-Yoga 1-2 days, depending on class or doing it at home thru Cody

Wellness- I NEED to do better with getting my water in. It's literally all I drink during the day besides my cup of coffee in the morning and my cup of tea after lunch, but I am not getting enough it. This week I will start with 64oz, and go from there.

For the past few months, I start my day with a cup of warm lemon water- there are a plethora of benefits to this, but mainly I like that it cuts down on bloat, gets a cup of water in, and kind of eases me into the day.

I will also be concentrating on getting to bed earlier- I stay up WAY too late and then pay for it the next day.

That's my plan this week- what about you? Any new recipes or workouts I need to try?

BoxyCharm: October (I Think)

Father's Day and Christmas are our busy season, and I pretty much lose myself for a few weeks. So when I say I think this is October's box, I honestly don't know. I may go do some research on the Google to rectify this, but do you care if it's the wrong month?

BoxyCharm has quickly become my favorite makeup subscription. Whereas ipsy is sample sizes, BoxyCharm are full size products. Coming in at $21, it's twice the price of ipsy, but by far a better value. This box's retail value was $127!

Now don't get me wrong- I don't use all the products all the time, so it's never really retail value, but it is definitely worth the $21. I have added a few regular products to my daily use and my makeup routine that I have only found thru BoxyCharm. First and foremost, Luxie Brushes.

I received my first Luxie brush about a year ago in a subscription box, and it's literally my favorite brush of every kind of brush. My first brush was the Luxie 205 Tapered Blending Eye Brush, which has revolutionized my eye makeup game. It's that great of a brush. Now maybe I love it so much because I equate it with upping my skills, or maybe I just love it because it's pearly pink, rose gold, and extremely soft. Add the fact that it's synthetic and thus vegan and cruelty-free, I'm addicted to their brushes. Real Techniques and Morphe are also super popular brushes- I've used Real Techniques, but not long enough to form an opinion (maybe at a later time.)

I bought this set at Ulta purely for the highlighter fan brush and was very much disappointed. Then again, give me some more time to form a more informed opinion.

All that to say, I was pleasantly surprised to see a 3 pack of blending brushes in October's box. (I have since confirmed this really is October's box FYI.) This set of 3 brushes retails for $36, $12/brush, which is pretty low for eyeshadow brushes of quality. There's a pop up on their site when you leave the window open for a bit for 20% off your first order which is a great deal if you'd like to try them out.

Back to the matter at hand...the brush set. I have not used the bottom, longer, thinner brush as much as the other two due to lack of control. The shorter, stubbier brushes allow you to completely control the shadow you're blending or applying, whereas the longer, thin brush is a bit more loosey goosey, for lack of better comparison.

Enough about the brushes.

Up next, hair care: Briogeo Rosarco, blow dry perfection and heat protectant. Ignore the large tub in the top left, that came September in my PopSugar box. I had planned on doing a true review of the product after seeing it posted about quite frequently around beauty blogs recently. I still may, even if it's just to contradict all the "omg, I LOVE it," "this is amazinggggg" and "so goooood"'s out there.

I digress... the heat protectant creme. I would rate is a 3 out of 5 stars. It has a pleasant smell, a runny formula, but is formulated without paragons, sulfates, and phthalates. Briogeo claims it protects your hair up to temperature of 425, smooths hair, tames frizz, and enhances shine and softness.  Ehh, that's a stretch. I will say it cuts blow dry time by HALF. So those of you with super thick hair who are tired of the time it takes to dry your tresses, use this. Honestly, other than that, I wasn't impressed. I'll finish it, but I won't purchase it again.

Lipstick. I love lipsticks, and this is a gorgeous hue. It's ultra matte, and promises to last 12 hours and not transfer to drinking glass or significant others. Um, sign me up. I wore it this past weekend to a family event- I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to try it out- eating, drinking, smooching, and it would be a few hours.

First off, I LOVE the color. Other than that, it wasn't great. It was sticky the entire time and I detest sticky lip products. I did use a BareMinerals lip liner first, and may have had some lingering chapstick, maybe this is why? It transferred to my water bottle too, even hours after applying. I will give this another go without lip liner and chapstick though because I just love the color. It is definitely more cranberry in color than it appears in the tube, shown here Essie Sable Collar:

On to the palette. Full disclosure- I cannot find it. I must have given it away, because I searched everywhere and cannot locate it! If I gave it to you, let me know how it is? I hope I did, because honestly with the number of palettes I have, I did not want to open it just to try.

So that's it for October's box- what did you think?

If you'd like to sign up for BoxyCharm, you can do that here.