Recipe: Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts

maple

Photo courtesy of hotdinnerhappyhome.blogspot.com

Happy Thanksgiving, Peeps!

Are you one of those people who never know what to bring to a Thanksgiving gathering? This year, bring something that is both a crowd pleaser and doesn’t pack on the calories. I actually made this dish for a Friendsgiving gathering and it wasn’t long before it was all gone! This recipe is super easy as it doesn’t have that many ingredients and once it’s put together, the oven does the rest of the work!

Ingredients:

1 – pound Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

4 Slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Prep Time: 10-minutes

Cook Time: 35-minutes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (200 degrees C)

Place the Brussels Sprouts in a single layer into a baking dish (preferably glass).

Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, toss the sprouts to coat.

Sprinkle with bacon and season with salt and black pepper.

Roast in the preheated oven for about 35-minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and the sprouts are caramelized. Every so often, stir so they don’t get stuck or burned.

Calories:175 per 1-cup serving

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

DID YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU JUST READ? IF YES, THEN SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG, GIVE THE POST A LIKE, OR LEAVE A COMMENT! NEW POSTS ARE UP EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY

Hiking – Purisima Creek Redwoods Reserve

IMG_1101

It had been years since I had been hiking, but I knew that if I found myself again in Northern California, I just had to see the famous redwoods. My boyfriend and I chose to hike up the Purisima Creek trail, since it was the closest to where we were at at Half Moon Bay.

Driving to the location proved to be a feat in itself, as we went up spiraling roads that looked incredibly sketchy at best (think slasher horror movie vibes), but once we arrived at our destination, we were awe-struck by the beauty of the forest.

The Purisima Creek Redwoods are located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz mountains. The trail was filled with coastal redwoods, creeks, ferns, berries, and some seriously large crows.

Now, I’m not an expert when it comes to hiking, so I embarked the hike wearing jeans, a vampire tee, and Doc Martens. What? That’s not the appropriate attire you say? I guess I figured with the gorgeous trees surrounding us that resembled the sort in Twilight, that maybe Edward Cullen would pay us a visit in all of his glittery glory.

IMG_1104

For not being expert hikers (can you believe that we managed to forget to bring water along with us?), we walked the eight mile hike (roundtrip miles) that had slight inclinations and numerous bridge crossings.

One thing that I was very astonished about, was that I didn’t encounter any insects whilst hiking (usually my avoidance of bugs is one of the top reasons why you’ll rarely see me hiking). But I really enjoyed seeing the incredibly beautiful redwoods, and would truly recommend anyone who happens to be in the area to check the out! Not to mention that the trails are so very populated with other fellow hikers that meeting new people was the easiest thing to do!

I enjoyed this hike so much, that I may check out another trail in my near future.

Suggested Pack List:

  • Hiking boots (although my Doc Martens worked out just fine, thankyouverymuch)
  • Backpack (makes it easier to carry anything you need and keeps your hands free)
  • Camera (so you can share all your gorgeous pix with your friends & family!)
  • Water (a must! But we forgot!)
  • Sunglasses/hats (I forgot a hat & sunburned my scalp, yelp!)
  • Sunscreen (if you’re ghostly white like me, you’ll burn even in the shade so don’t forget it!)

Which hiking trails have you done, and which ones would you suggest me to do?

IMG_1110.JPG

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

Erase Cellulite With Grapefruit Juice!

grapefruit

Every gal deals with cellulite, some more than others, and for many, it’s the bane of their existence. But have no fear, I’ve got you covered, ladies.

One sure fire way to erase those annoying lumps is by drinking grapefruit juice.

Why is grapefruit juice so effective?

  • It boosts blood circulation
  • Burns excess fat in a speedy manner
  • Helps produce collagen
  • It effectively metabolizes sugar

Ingredients:

1 Large Grapefruit

2 Oranges

½ Lime

Directions:

Cut each of the fruits in half and using a manual juice, squeeze the juice from the fruits and place it in a glass. Stir the juices together, and you have your drink!

For best results: Try to maintain a healthy diet free of fatty foods, processed foods, sugars, and deep-fried foods.

Please note: If you’re taking any meds, DO NOT drink grapefruit juice as it can counteract the effects of your meds.

Let me know in the comments below what you think about this juice and if it has worked for you!

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

Avoid These Hidden Sugars to Lose Weight & Acne-Free Skin!

sugar

Hidden sugars is one of the reasons why the average adult in the U.S. is culprit of consuming around 22 teaspoons of added sugars every day. Many times, these sugars are hidden in foods meant to be “healthy.” Normally, one should only be consuming around six teaspoons of sugars a day if you’re female (that’s around 100 calories) and nine teaspoons a day (around 150 calories) if you’re male.

Why is sugar such a huge no-no? Well, apart from sugar being one of the leading causes associated with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and cognitive disorders (such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease), sugar is now even linked to cancer.

Now, apart from all those scary diseases, sugar is also a huge culprit when it comes to teenage and adult acne and any other skin conditions (because sugar is known to cause inflammation).

But not all sugars are created equal. The issue isn’t with sugars found in fresh fruits or vegetables, but rather it’s the added sugars found in the majority of the meals we consume that are the so-called bad sugars.

So how are we to avoid such hidden sugars? How do we know where they’re lurking? Below is a list of ten most common “healthy foods” that in reality have more sugar hiding in them than junk food.

TOP TEN HIDDEN SUGARS FOODS

  • Cereals and flavored oatmeals
  • Packaged breads (even those of the whole-grain variety)
  • Granola bars
  • “Lower calorie” drinks such as coffees, energy drinks, juices, and teas
  • Protein bars and meal replacements (think Slim-Fast)
  • Sweetened yogurts and other dairy products
  • Frozen waffles or pancakes
  • Bottled sauces, salad dressings, condiments, and marinades (think ketchup, relish, barbecue, or teriyaki)
  • Dried fruit and other fruit snacks (such as Fruit Roll-Ups)
  • Restaurant foods (sugar is found is almost anything cooked at a restaurant, it’s added in various sauces, desserts, and dressings)

So how are we to avoid hidden sugars? Basically, the issue is you must consume the majority of your foods in their natural state (such as fruits and vegetables). Once foods are processed or prepared in factories or restaurant chains, then that’s when unneeded sugars and sodium are added.

I’m not saying that you must avoid all of those foods on the list above ALL THE TIME, but try to consume them in moderation, that is the key to maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Need a healthy alternative for breakfast? Check out my recipes for GREEN SMOOTHIE and STRAWBERRY KIWI SMOOTHIE.

White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty Logo

Beauty In Breakfast: Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie Recipe

Are you running late and only have five minutes for breakfast? Put down that Pop Tart or doughnut and opt for this nutritional and skin-healthy option instead!

This smoothie not only is it uber simple to prepare, it’s also jam-packed with Vitamin C! And we all know that Vitamin C is essential in skincare, especially since it promotes collagen and prevents wrinkling. Who wouldn’t drink to that? Plus, the honey in the smoothie aids in preventing inflammation (meaning it lowers your chances of getting pimples, BONUS!).

Prep Time: 5 mins.

Total Time: 5 mins.

Calories per serving: 206

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup cold apple juice

1 ripe banana, sliced

1 kiwi, sliced

5 fresh strawberries (or frozen)

1 ½ teaspoon honey

Directions:

Place the apple juice, sliced banana, sliced kiwi, strawberries, and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. Place in a glass or portable mason jar if you’re on the go!

Strawberry-Kiwi-Smoothie

Photo courtesy of:  https://www.wellplated.com

Let me know what you think about this refreshing smoothie if you try it!

Check out my previous installment in this mini-series: Beauty In Breakfast: Tomato Omelet Recipe

By: Azzurra Nox

Beauty In Breakfast: Tomato Omelet Recipe

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, so why not make it the perfect opportunity to eat foods that will give you beauty benefits?

“You can put on all the makeup and concealer in the world, but unless you’re eating a diet of beauty foods, your skin will not look its best,” says Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, the author of The Beauty Diet.

In this mini-series I will provide you with some easy and healthy-skin breakfast options!

In order to have a healthy-glowing skin you need to not only use the right products for your skin type, but you need to be eating foods that boost your skin’s health.

“Sugar may contribute to wrinkles, and there’s research that shows that following a diet lower in refined carbs improves adult acne,” says Drayer.

Throw out your Pop Tarts and Toaster Strudels and give your skin a break.

“Tomatoes are the number one skin-friendly vegetable,” says Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face. Eating bright red vegetables may help fight sunburn, boost collagen, and reduce skin roughness.

Not to mention that eggs are loaded with Vitamin A (your number one skin-friendly vitamin!).

So put down the doughnut and read below for an amazing Tomato Omelet Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 Eggs

1 Medium Size Tomato Finely Chopped

½ Onion Finely Chopped

¼ Finely Chopped Cilantro or Parsley

A pinch of pepper

A pinch of salt

A pinch of Chipotle Pepper

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a pan and heat up.
  2. Beat two eggs in a bowl.
  3. Add the finely chopped onion, tomato, cilantro or parsley, salt, pepper, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix the ingredients.
  4. Then place all the ingredients in the pan and fry until golden.
  5. Enjoy!

    By: Azzurra Nox tomato-omelet-2Photo courtesy of http://fae-magazine.com

Review: Origins Clear Improvement

IMG_0782

Masks have always been my so-called beauty crack (meaning that I could never have too many stashed away!). Although face masks are all the rage lately, I still prefer clay masks overall (mostly because apparently I am extremely impatient and can’t seem to wait 10-15 minutes without doing nothing at all). At least with clay masks I can still do other beauty regimens (like painting my nails!). I’m all about multi-tasking. I may also love clay masks more because I have naturally oily skin, and always feel like this sort of mask truly combats in soaking up some of my natural oils without drying out my skin.

What It Is: Active charcoal mask to clear pores.

What It Does: Unclogs and clears pores.

Active Ingredient: China clay and Charcoal

Verdict: As I mentioned above, I simply love clay masks because they always leave my skin ultra-clean and refreshed. I’ve always been a fan of Origins products, so was very psyched to receive this product in my Sephora Play monthly subscription for November. This mask is simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It will make your skin feel brighter and smoother in less than ten minutes! This mask is especially effective for those who like me have oily to combination skin, but it’s gentle enough for even sensitive or dry skins to use as well as this mask (unlike some other clay masks) doesn’t leave my skin ultra-dried out but rather it leaves it feeling supple, hydrated, but not oily. In other words, it’s the equivalent of drinking a tall glass of crisp cucumber-lime water. A more effective way of using this product is to first use a warm, wet towel pressed against your skin to help open up the pores and then to apply a thin layer of the mask all over your face, concentrating mostly on your T-zone. This mask is gentle enough to use twice a week or you can use it on trouble spots more times throughout the week.

Price: $27

Where To Buy It: https://www.origins.com

By: Azzurra Nox

The Best Green Smoothie for Amazing Skin & Energy Boost!

With Spring in full swing, at times appetite decreases and keeping hydrated is a must! Rising temperatures and humidity do a number on your skin during the Spring and Summer months, so how can you combat both of those things in one easy step?

THE SOLUTION: Green Smoothie!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of smoothies or green smoothies in general (something about the consistency and taste), but here is a quick recipe that isn’t necessarily grainy and quite tasty! Oh, and it combats both hunger and thirst while providing enough vital nutrients and vitamins to help keep your skin looking its best even when it’s sweltering!

green smoothie

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup Almond Milk
¾ cup Coconut Water
½ cup chopped Kale
½ cup baby Spinach
1 medium sized Apple (chopped)
¼ Avocado
Half a Banana
1-2 Tablespoons of Soy Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds

Blend the following ingredients on high speed for about 30-40 seconds, and you’ll be on the road to better skin and an instant energy boost! Basically, a win-win on all accounts. 

Let me know if you try this and how you like it! Enjoy!

By: Azzurra Nox