November 25, 2013

Weekly Wishes # 9


Another week closer to the holidays. Wohooo.
Is it wrong that I am keeping a running count of the number of weeks left before break?
Well I don't feel in the least bit sorry. No apologies round here. No siree, I am beyond ready to enjoy 3 weeks of pure bumness.
Not to mention, Thailand is that much closer on the horizon.

Here is what it's looking like in the weekly wishes department.

Last Week's Wishes
1. Get more rest. I'm bringing this one back. Bed by 10 p.m. Yeah that's how I roll. Granny style.

2. Gym. I've slacked off because I just had a lot going on last week but my goal is to bet back to my 4 times a week gym sess. 

I did way better and accomplished both my goals. I am back to my regular sleeping and gym schedules. Go me!!!

This Week's Wishes

1. Speak positively. Lately I've been super negative in my speech. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. The things we speak over our lives often come to pass. This week I will speak only those things that I want to bear fruit in my life.

2. Stick to my weekly menu plan. 

3. Do laundry. Oof, it's starting to pile up. 

4. Reach out to a friend I haven't spoken to in a while. 

Wish me luck!!!

November 24, 2013

Green Smoothie Recipe



I made this green smoothie for lunch one lazy afternoon. Completely threw it together with some random pieces of left over fruits in my freezer and it turned out to be super yummy and filling.


Green Smoothie Recipe
1.5 cups water
2 cups spinach
1/2 banana
1 kiwi
1/4  gala apple
3/4 frozen peach
1 tsp maca powder
1 tbs melted coconut oil

Blend Spinach and water first. Add banana and kiwi and blend then add the other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Then consume. 

November 23, 2013

Prep My Life



“The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.” 
― Juma Ikangaa


In an attempt to not only make my life easier when it comes to meal preparation but to also save money, I decided it would be a good idea to create a weekly menu plan and grocery list.
In the past I found myself popping into the grocery store 2-3 times a week with the intention of buying one thing because I hadn't planned my meal ahead of time and so needed something quick to cook.
The problem was that I'd end up coming out of the store with two bags of groceries and a fridge full of left overs that I ended up discarding. A sure recipe for disaster.

My big goal with the menu planning is to stay on track with eating Paleo and if I've done the leg work of planning it all out and doing the grocery shopping, then my chances of success will increase significantly. There will be little room for error.

If you're interested in a copy of the menu plan template send me an email or leave a comment and I would be happy to share it.
Have a great day!

Ciao.


November 21, 2013

Instagram-ed Week in Pictures








1. //A beautiful sunrise on the way to work//
2. //Yummy baked egg cups with spinach and ham//
3. //Brussel Sprouts and Steak dinner. New favorite veggie//
4. //Chia pudding desert. Yes ma'am//
5. //My kids looking at the rain falling outside. Sweet innocence//

November 18, 2013

Weekly Wishes # 8


Howdy folks.
Welcome to another Weekly Wishes Monday. The theme this week is memories. This picture is of one of the first road trips I made when I moved to Abu Dhabi. We were on our way out to the western region and came across this herd of camels crossing the road. It was just such a spectacular scene. I was absolutely mesmerized. It was just a cool experience. 


So how did I do with my wishes from last week? 

1. Get some more plans solidified for Thailand. 
I totally kicked butt. I booked another hotel in Chiang Mai and found some tours for us to do in Bangkok. The excitement is definitely building. 

2. Lay off the dates. 
I was mildly successful with this one. Still working on my obsession. I am making improvements. Instead of eating a dozen I limit myself to 2. So not too bad. 

3.  Get more rest. 
Absolutely failed at this. There was just too much stuff to get done and not enough time in the day. 

This Week's Wishes

1. Get more rest. I'm bringing this one back. Bed by 10 p.m. Yeah that's how I roll. Granny style.

2. Gym. I've slacked off because I just had a lot going on last week but my goal is to bet back to my 4 times a week gym sess. 

That's it folks, that's all I've got for this week. 

Head over to The Nectar Collective to check out all the other participants in the weekly link up. 




November 16, 2013

Paleo Eats- Week in Review

I am 2 days away from my first complete Paleo 30 days challenge. 

Overall the experience was amazing and I have not missed any of the foods I've given up. 

The only slip-up I've made which isn't really huge is that I have developed a strong like/obsession for Medjool Dates. If you don't know what those are then be happy. They're seriously addictive and delicious. I need to lay off of them for real. 

So what do I do after I'm done with the 30 days? Well I plan to do the Whole30 but only for the next 3 weeks, so for 21 days I will be super strict about what I eat. I'll delve into it more when I begin.
With the Paleo challenge I was making Paleo approved muffins and pancakes with coconut flour. Although they were healthy and good for me, I feel that they were a substitute for the real thing and I wasn't really challenging myself. 

With the Whole30, I'll be pushing myself a little harder to be mindful of everything I put into my body. I want this to be a new way of life for me and really going the extra mile will help me to make it a habit.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you some of the yummy meals I prepared this week. 

Cauliflower Rice with Spinach served with Grilled Chicken and Pineapple


Sweet Potato Bacon Hash

Cauliflower Rice, Chicken with Peppers and Pineapple

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce
Everything was super easy to make, nothing took longer than 45 minutes start to finish. 
I absolutely love the cauliflower rice. It's easy to make if you have a food processor, even one of those little cheap ones which is what I have works great. 
You rice it uncooked and then sauté a little onion in ghee and add the rice. Cook for about 7 minutes stirring to get it evenly done, add a dash of sea salt and there you have a healthy side dish. You can get creative with it. I add fresh spinach to mine when I want a little fanciness.
You can make fried rice. I haven't done this yet but it's on my list of to-do's.

Spaghetti Squash is also another favorite of mine. Easy, simple and  filling. 
I sauté it with spinach sometimes or just serve it as I would pasta, with some meat sauce made from scratch. 

This week I experimented with baking. Made some Banana Walnut muffins. They were so good I felt guilty for eating them. 

I wish I could take all the credit for these but I found the recipe on this wonderful website with tons of recipes that are Paleo friendly. 
If you're at a loss for meal ideas check out the site, you won't be disappointed.

Ok, so I will stop here. I could go on and on about food. I just love it that much. 
Stay tuned for my Whole30 experience. Should be interesting. No more yummy pancakes or muffins for a while. Wish me luck! 

Have a great week.

November 14, 2013

Weekly Wishes # 7






Can you say "late" ?

My weekly wishes post is days (maybe 2 weeks?) behind but as with all things in life, better late than never. Hmmm..maybe not all things now that I think about it. Anywho…

My wishes this week are:

1. Get some more plans solidified for Thailand. You know, like booking hotels and looking into tour companies. That way we don't end up homeless in a foreign country. 

2. Lay of the dates. Hahaha not like date dates but the fruit dates. Since going Paleo I have not had any sugar, however I've become addicted to these awesomeness and truth be told I might have taken it a tad too far. This week I plan to stay as far away as possible. I'll just finish off what's left but won't buy any more.

3.  Get more rest. I've been slacking off in this department and paid the price. My routine was to have everything done and be in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10.  Lately I have been going to sleep no earlier than 11:30. My mind and body have not reacted kindly to this gross disservice. So it's back to my granny schedule.


Ok folks, wish me luck.
Head over to The Nectar Collective for the weekly link up.

The Nectar Collective
Ciao!

A Spot of Good News

This week seemed like the longest week ever at work. I was exhausted and grumpy. Not a good look for me.
I tend to turn into Negative Nellie, something I dislike about myself (working on it). Let's just say I am glad it is over.
Weekend, I welcome you.

On to more positive things.
I am in the process of buying a car! I still can't believe it. Still pinching myself.
If you read this post then you will understand that this is a huge step for me. Just a few short months ago I was so terrified of driving. Thankfully, my fear is gone and I will be a car owner.

Financially it just makes sense to buy rather than continuing to rent. At the end of the day I can re-sell the car and make a little of the money back. My monthly payments will actually be cheaper than what I was paying for rental, which is awesome. I can use the savings for gas each month. Winning!!!

Buying a car here means that I will be staying put for a while, at least another three years. After much consideration about my future and after loads of praying and asking for guidance, I feel that this is the right step.
While I miss my mom and friends back home, this opportunity is one that I had dreamt of for a long time and I have been hugely blessed to be able to live my dream. I plan on milking it till to the last drop.
Summer visits back to NY will have to suffice for now, and maybe some of them will travel to visit me.

I am super excited about my little Toyota Yaris. It's a very popular line of cars here in Abu Dhabi. Everyone drives them, from locals to expats.  Mine will look something like the one pictured. I got it in Pearl White and the windows will be tinted so I can dance like a maniac without fear of judgement from the  folks outside.

The process has been both fast and slow. Somethings, such as getting the loan approved was fast but getting the approval for direct debit for the monthly payments from my bank took ages. It's kind of ridiculous when you think about it but Inshallah (God's willing) I will have my car by Monday the latest.
I've been bumming a ride with my coworkers. Strange to say this but I miss having my car. Not that I went anywhere besides work and to the grocery store but it was good knowing I had the option to go anywhere I wanted.
All in good time though.

Can't hardly wait…




November 10, 2013

Instagram-ed Week in Pictures








//Sweetest Baby//
//Flag Day celebrations at work//
//My "You're not in Kansas anymore" moment in Starbucks//
//Perfect Paleo Banana Coconut Pancakes with Eggs and Berries//

November 8, 2013

Thankful


thank·ful
ˈTHaNGkfəl/
adjective
  1. pleased and relieved.
    "they were thankful that the war was finally over"
    synonyms:gratefulappreciative, filled with gratitude, relieved 


Over that past few weeks I've been reflecting a lot and thinking about the trajectory of my life.
It is a bit scary thinking about what comes next and the "what ifs".

There are so many things to consider about my future particularly with the end of my two year contract in Abu Dhabi looming in the foreground and while I can make plans, at the end of the day the decisions aren't really mine to make.
I leave it all up to God to choose my path.
Sounds kinda passive right? But trust me it isn't. Being still and patient, requires a lot of work. I have to go against the grain of my own desires.
The easy thing is to go with my impulses, to do what I want when I want. But waiting for God to do his will in his time, now that is hard work. 

All that being said, I have no choice but to believe that he has only my best interest at heart. Somedays I forget but he keeps reminding me.
I am joining the Thankful movement and taking sometime every day this month to think about all the wonderful blessings in my life. 
When I have those bad days or when I feel like nothing ever goes the way I want them to, it will remind me that the glass is indeed half full.

Here are a few of the things I am thankful for:
1. The doors that God closed because he opened doors that led to opportunities that were beyond my realm of thinking.
2. My true friends who love me despite my many flaws. Friends who are still friends despite the many bodies of water that separates us.
3. For the opportunity to live my dream of traveling and seeing the world.
4. My mom. She raised me to dream big and to go after what I want. She been such a huge support system.

There are many more things I am thankful for  but these are just what have been on my mind lately.
I encourage you to really stop and think about your blessings.
It will change your perspective and attitude towards life. There is a certain amount of joy I get from this simple act and I think that is why I am usually a positive person.
Ciao!

November 2, 2013

Paleo in Action

Hey folks, happy weekend!!!

The weekend is here and I am extra happy because it is the Islamic New Year, which means an extra day off from work for me. Three day weekend? Yes please.
I love holidays!

So you know how I've been doing Paleo for the longest while now?
Ok fine, it hasn't been that long.  More like 2 months on and off.
The problem is that I would start to do the 30 days challenge/cleanse but would end up not completing it for one reason or the other. You know, like accidentally putting an entire brownie down my gullet or having milk spilled in my caramel latte. Don't know how any of that happened. *blank stare*
A couple of weeks ago my friend challenged me to complete the challenge.  She said I couldn't do it. A full 30 days of no cheats. Simply Paleo.
Oh, the moment she told me I couldn't do it, I decided to actually do it.
How dare her (despite the fact that she had been right up until that point)?????

Well today is day 14 and I am going strong. No cheats.
I've been getting extra creative in the kitchen and finding ways to enjoy the ride. It's definitely something I want to continue after the 30 days are over.
The hardest part will be living without sugar but I figure I will hold out as long as I can without indulging. I just won't give myself permission to eat it. Realistic? Not sure yet. Only time will tell.

I wanted to share with you some of my meals this week. In case you're thinking about going Paleo and wondering what the heck you can eat, which is the biggest obstacle for many people.
There is so much that you eat. Don't focus on all the things you can't have but focus on all the awesome stuff that you can enjoy. Like bacon and bacon and bacon. lol, there are more things but I like bacon.
Truth is, I enjoy all my meals. I haven't made anything yet that wasn't absolutely delish and satisfying.

Breakfast. Skillet Eggs with bacon, kale, spinach and mushroom. Monkey Salad and coffee with almond milk and stevia.

Grilled steak served with spaghetti squash sautéed in coconut oil  with onions and broccoli. I topped it with a fried egg. 

Hamburger on Portobello Mushroom, topped with a fried egg and organic mustard served with baked sweet potato fries.

Thai Chicken Curry with Cauliflower Rice
When I get hungry between meals I snack on fruit or nuts. I have to say though that those times are rare. I usually stay full and have to force myself to eat something because I don't want to skip meals.
If I have a craving for sweets, which happens sometimes especially when I'm hormonal, I have dates. Omg, those things are addictive!

It isn't as hard as it seems guaranteed. Even going out to eat doesn't have to be frightening or disconcerting.
Get a hamburger and take the bun off, eat salad instead of fries.
The cravings subside over time and it gets easier. Pinky promise. I was had a serious sweet tooth which has been tamed.
Also, losing weight is AMAZING. I am down 15 pounds, even with my inconsistency. Hoping to lose 9 more.

Fingers crossed!!