The Benefits of Drinking Smoothies

drinking smoothies

Why Everyone Is Drinking Smoothies

Smoothies are a great alternative for people who don’t have time to prepare all three meals of the day. Sometimes I prefer drinking smoothies for breakfast because they are easy to digest. This gives the digestive system a break, therefore your body absorbs more nutrients. There is so much over processed food that doesn’t provide us with any nutritional value. Replacing a meal with a healthy smoothie can improve your overall health. 

The best part is that you can add vegetables without tasting them in your smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to keep hydrated for people who aren’t the biggest fan of plain tasting water. The consumption of smoothies before and after workouts will also give your body energy for maximum performance. The natural ingredients you absorb from drinking smoothies give the body fats and fuel to burn. 

They are cheap and quick to make, especially when you are on the go. Remember, juicing is a great way to consume fruits and vegetables, but smoothies don’t contain any protein to help boost your metabolism. You can add protein powder or Greek yogurt in order to add the extra nutrients. Here are a few of my favorite recipes I encourage you to try. Let me know what you think!


Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

½ cup orange juice
½ cup plain greek yogurt
1 banana
1 cup strawberries
2 teaspoon honey

Directions:

  1. In a blender or a food processor, pour the orange juice and honey
  2. Add yogurt and fruits
  3. Blend until mixed well.

 

Triple Berry Blast Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup orange juice
½ cup blackberries
½ cup strawberries
3/4 cup raspberries

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, pour orange juice and add fruits
  2. Blend until mixed.

 

Banana Almond Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk
½ cup vanilla yogurt
2 large bananas
2 teaspoon honey

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, pour almond milk, yogurt and honey
  2.  Add bananas and blend until mixed well

 

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

Ingredients:

¾ cup pomegranate juice
½ cup greek yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine pomegranate juice and greek yogurt
  2.  Add honey, lemon juice and blueberries
  3. Lastly, blend until mixed

 

Veggie Blend Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup tomato juice
¼ cup carrot juice
¼ cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ celery stalk
¼ cup spinach
¼ cup parsley

Directions:

  1. In a blender, pour tomato juice and carrot juice
  2. Combine cucumber, celery, spinach, and parsley
  3. Finally, blend until mixed well.
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Skin Care Products For Combination Skin Types

Hey, beautiful! I know how frustrating it is to have combination skin. Moving to the hot desert has made matters worse for my skin. My face can look like an oily slick mess and other days it looks like my skin could crack any second.

If you battle with sensitive and combination skin you know how difficult it is to find the perfect beauty products for your sickle complexion. Combination skin means that some areas of your skin are oily while you also have dryness. This means that you may have to use multiple products for the problem areas of your skin. I’ve created a list of products I recommend for combination skin types.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Cleanser:

Be sure you are washing your face with a gentle foaming cleanser if you have combination skin. Always avoid cleansers that contain fragrances because these will only cause dryness and irritation.

Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser

This product is great for women who are battling sensitive skin or acne breakouts. It cleans dirt from deep within your pores and leaves the skin conditioned and balanced.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser-

Strong enough to cleanse the skin from dirt, oil, and makeup, while gentle enough for daily use. It doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy or dry.

Moisturizer:

You may have to use creamy or textured moisturizers for the dry parts and light gels for your T-zone area in order to bring balance to your skin. You may even want to moisturize only the dry areas and under the eyes.

Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Daily Moisturizer-

This formula conditions the skin and simultaneously combats early signs of aging. It also brightens your complexion and restores the skin’s natural elasticity.

Exfoliant:

It’s important to exfoliate, but remember to be easy and use a gentle exfoliant on your sensitive skin. You shouldn’t need to exfoliate your face more than once a week. This will ensure that you’re not irritating and drying out your skin.

Garner Clean and Balancing Daily Exfoliator-

Lifts impurities and oil from the skin. This formula contains antioxidants to balance combination skin. It leaves your skin feeling fresh without feeling tight.

Toner:

After you cleanse and exfoliate your skin, you can follow up with a toner. A good quality toner can help repair the surface of your skin as well as reduce the size of pores. Choose a toner that contains antioxidants for a healthy complexion. Avoid using products that contain witch hazel or fragrant extracts.

Boots NO7 Beautiful Skin Toner

An affordable alternative to Lancome’s Comfort Toner. This is a very light serum packed with minerals and vitamins gentle enough for sensitive and combination skin.

 

I hope you found this helpful and enjoyed. If you have combination skin, I’d love to hear about your skin care routine in the comments below. Peace & Love.

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Fitness Motivation to Get Started

Everyone needs a little weight loss and fitness motivation to keep on their journey. I don’t know about you but I start feeling less motivated to workout during this time of the summer. It’s hot and it’s in the middle of the year. Who wants to get sweaty? The truth is working out a few minutes a day and taking care of your body can give your health a maximum boost. I’ve put together a few tips I use to stay focused.

Keep a Journal

Writing your goals down will help you focus on exactly what you want to achieve. Whether it’s weight loss or trying to live a healthier lifestyle, you can customize your journal according to your objective. Recording workouts and diet is a great way to stay on track. Everyone has days when all they want to do is sit on the couch and binge eat on sweets. Use your notebooks as a diary and write when you feel these cravings. It’s also a good idea to document how you feel after exercising. Reviewing past entries will remind you how great your mind and body felt afterward.

Accountability Buddy

When you struggle to get off the couch, schedule a date with a friend whose fitness level is near your own. Days when you feel unmotivated to put your running shoes on, call on your workout partner. You can motivate each other and surely thank the other one later. Having someone to push your limits will help you reach your goal that much faster.

Before and After Photos

Take a full body photo or several before you start your fitness journey. (Remember, you’re not comparing yourself to others, but only yourself) This should be about your transformation. Take progress photos every week. You will be able to visibly see the improved results of your health, which will help you keep going!

Reward Yourself

You should reward yourself after each milestone you accomplish. For example, if you complete a week of ab training, buy yourself a new pair of running shoes, or a new beauty product you’ve been wanting to try. This is an incentive to give it your all every week.

Make Exercise Fun

Although working out sounds like excruciating work, it should be fun. Enjoying 30 minutes a day to yourself to be one with your body and mind is refreshing. You can put on a cute workout outfit and favorite pair of Nike’s. Your athletic wear will make you feel like you are running a marathon. Turn on some music that makes you want to dance and viola! Instant body motivation. If you’re trying to catch up on binge watching on Netflix, press play on your show and begin your workout.

Work With A Well Rested Body

All your hard work will only go to waste if you do not properly rest and hydrate your body. Typically, you need 8 hours of sleep every night and drink plenty of water. However, you don’t have to force yourself to drink 8 glasses of tasteless H2O. Try adding natural flavors to make it bearable. Fresh fruits like strawberries, cucumbers, and lemon can turn any glass of water into a tropical paradise.

 

We can all use a little motivation to get moving and stay active. If you don’t have health, what do you have? I hope you guys enjoyed the post and found some inspiration along the way. I’d love for you to share any tips for fitness motivation you have found helpful to you in the comments below.

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Chicken Recipes For Weight Loss

chicken recipes

Quick Chicken Recipes For Weight Loss

Chicken recipes are great for weight loss because it is low in fat and high in protein. If you’re not a vegetarian, you most likely include this poultry in your diet. I eat a lot of chicken when I’m trying to tone my body for the summer. Not only can you build muscle, but vitamins and minerals in chicken also help boost your immune system.

Just make sure you purchase fresh and organic meat and stay away from foods that have been processed with chemicals. Keep reading for healthy chicken recipes for the whole week. These meals don’t require great culinary skill and take 30 minutes or less to prepare. If you have any awesome chicken recipes, leave them in the comments below. If you are interested in more dinner recipes, check out this post

 

Sunday: One Pan Chicken & Broccoli

Ingredients:

½ cup water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

3/4 pound broccoli

1 yellow sweet pepper

2 tablespoons cooking oil

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

2 cups chow mein noodles

 

Directions:

For sauce, in a small bowl stir together water, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, and sesame oil
Cut flowerets from broccoli stems and separate flowerets
Cut pepper into short, thin strips
In large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil over medium-high heat
Cook and stir broccoli stems in hot oil for 1 minute
Add broccoli flowerets and sweet pepper; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes
Remove from the skillet; set aside
Add remaining oil to the skillet
Add chicken; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink
Push chicken from center of wok
Stir sauce; pour into center of wok
Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly
Return cooked vegetables to wok
Stir together to coat
Cook and stir 1 minute more or until heated through
Serve over chow mein noodles

 

Monday: Balsamic Chicken

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

⅓ cup chopped onions

2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves roasted garlic, smashed (or 2 cloves raw)

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon chopped thyme, fresh

½ cup water

1 tablespoons fresh chopped chives

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF
Heat the butter and olive oil on medium high heat in a skillet
Add the chicken breasts season each side with salt and pepper and cook 3 minutes per side
Transfer the chicken to an oven-safe baking dish and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes
When 10 minutes of baking time remain, prepare the balsamic mushrooms
Heat the same skillet used to brown the chicken over medium high heat
Add the onions and mushrooms
Saute for 1 minute before adding in the roasted garlic; cook for an additional minute
Add the balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, and chopped thyme
Heat the balsamic vinegar through for 1 minute then add in the ½ cup of water
Continue to cook until the liquid reduces to about half
Adjust the seasonings to taste
Serve warm with chopped chives or parsley

 

Tuesday: Cranberry Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

½ cup  lite mayonnaise

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley

¼ teaspoon dried dill

3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken

½ cup finely chopped celery or finely chopped apple

⅓ cup dried cranberries

⅓ cup chopped toasted walnuts 

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, lemon juice, parsley, and dill
Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined
Add salt and pepper to taste
Serve chilled on bread or lettuce

 

Wednesday: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

3/4 tablespoon chili paste

the juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the chicken:

1 tablespoon olive oil or sesame oil

1 lb ground lean chicken

1/4 cup lightly salted cashews, coarsely chopped

3 green onions, thinly sliced

16 leaves lettuce, for wrapping

 

Directions:

Prepare the sauce
Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine and set aside
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
Add the ground chicken and break down any big lumps
Cook, stirring occasionally until the chicken is browned
Add the cashews and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, then add the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes more
Stir in the green onions, remove from heat and scoop the chicken mixture into the lettuce leaves

 

Thursday: Cilantro & Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chicken broth

3/4 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 Tablespoons heavy cream

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F
Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt and pepper
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat
Add the chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes, turning once
Set chicken on a plate and cover tightly with foil
Remove skillet from heat and add the broth, lime juice, onion, cilantro, and red pepper
Return to heat
Cook and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
Bring to a boil.
Allow to boil gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes
Reduce heat to medium-low, then add the cream and butter
Stir until butter has melted
Add chicken to the sauce and place the skillet in the preheated oven
Bake uncovered until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 5-10 minutes
Serve chicken with sauce spooned on top

 

Friday: Chicken and Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

10 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of brown sugar

8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

 

Directions:

Saute the garlic in the olive until golden, add the brown sugar until it is a slight paste over medium heat
Remove from heat and spread over chicken breasts placed in a greased glass pan
Season with salt and pepper
Cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes

 

Saturday: Sweet Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:

10 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of brown sugar

8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

 

Directions:

Saute the garlic in the olive until golden, add the brown sugar until it is a slight paste over medium heat
Remove from heat and spread over chicken breasts placed in a greased glass pan
Season with salt and pepper
Cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes

 

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Create A Natural Full Face For Under $25

natural full face

How To Create A Natural Full Face For Cheap

Personally, I would rather splurge on quality cosmetics knowing I will get the most beautiful results. However, I don’t always have the funds to fuel my addiction, much like many women. In today’s crazy world, it’s more important to focus on surviving. Fortunately, there are inexpensive cosmetics on the shelves that still perform. I’m sure you’ve heard about e.l.f. Cosmetics. They are a cruelty-free makeup brand and very affordable. I’ve come up with a list of 7 amazing beauty products that you don’t have to tap into your savings in order to achieve a complete, natural look. It’s possible and easy to create a natural full face look for under $25!

Foundation: e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation $6

This foundation helps to even out skin tones for a smooth complexion. The non-greasy and lightweight formula blends seamlessly on the skin and won’t cause breakouts and clogged pores. Although the liquid is difficult to layer, it already gives you a nice medium to full coverage. It’s great for covering fine lines and wrinkles without creasing or looking cakey. The formula also contains SPF 15 for mild protection from sun exposure.

Concealer: e.l.f. HD Concealer $3

This high definition concealer contains soothing properties like Green Tea and c-vitamins, which helps to improve skin tone and texture. The formula is thick enough to hide imperfections such as blemishes and hyperpigmentation, but light enough to blend naturally in the skin.

Mascara: e.l.f. Eye Enhancing Mascara $3

The wand is sturdy and is easy to separate each individual lash for a defined and natural look. The formula enhances thick and full eyelashes without clumping together. Although it’s not waterproof, it doesn’t smudge. A fair warning to future customers: There isn’t a lot of product in the tube and it starts to dry up after a few weeks. But considering the low price tag, you get what you pay for.

Brows: e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit $3

I personally have rebought this eyebrow kit. The compact and the brush it comes with are worth the $3 itself, but the powder and wax are surprisingly high quality too. I have super fair eyelashes, so this product helps me to achieve a natural thick eyebrow look. I can layer it to create a dramatic and bold look or tone it down for during the day. For a tip, I mix the wax and powder together and apply it with the brush.

Eyeshadow: e.l.f. Baked Eyeshadow Trio $4

Peach Please is the best trio color for ladies with blue eyes. All 3 colors blend well without looking dirty. The pigmentation is high quality. However, I prefer matte but they only have shimmery shades. Since these eyeshadows are baked, you can wet your brush for best results.

Lipstick: e.l.f. Matte Lip Color $3

I love these lip colors in the shades Praline and Tea Rose. The affordable price allows you try out all their colors! Even though they are matte textured, the color slides on smooth and isn’t drying to the lips. There’s even a sharpener that comes attached to the stick.

Lip Liner: e.l.f. Lip Liner & Blending Brush $3

This pencil really does amp up your lips. The defined tip gives you an enhanced and full pout. The color stays on the lips a long time for a $3 lip liner. This liner also comes with a brush attached to the end to blend the color through your lips. You could even smear it out and wear the liner as a lip stain.

I hope this list of inexpensive products help you achieve a soft and natural full face. Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree. I’d love to know what makeup products you use for a natural or “no makeup” look. For high-end product reviews click here. xo!

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