DIY Vanilla Latte

I love trying to make dupes of my favorite drinks and smoothies. This time I tried to master the Vanilla Latte similar to what I get from Starbucks. I’m trying to cut back on how much I eat and drink out so this recipe will be perfect for those days I don’t want just regular coffee and need the kick that espresso gives.

You may feel that espresso is bad for you and may have even been told to cut back, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not all bad. Espresso actually has many benefits that you’ll love.

Better Concentration

The energy you get from espresso can also make it easier for the brain to focus on daily activities. It fires up dopamine in your brain to help concentration and fight exhaustion. You will even notice your productivity level increase, but be careful to not consume too much because it will affect your sleep.

Helps With Weight Loss

You probably didn’t know that espresso can make your workout feel less intense. It helps you endure more to lose weight with all the energy you get from it. You also will be less sore and the espresso itself is low in calories to aid in your weight loss goals. So take the time to have a little espresso before your workout. Trust me you’ll see a difference.

Boosts Mood

We all know that the caffeine in espresso is a powerful stimulant. It can help with low moods throughout the day especially if you suffer from depression by helping to remove exhaustion and boost brain activity too.

Loaded With Antioxidants

Just like coffee, espresso has tons of antioxidants that can help with inflammation, preventing diseases, and even protect you from UV rays and pollution to name a few.

Those are just a few of the benefits of espresso. Go to Expresso Experts to learn more about the health benefits it has.

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Milk of Choice
  • 2 teaspoons of Instant Espresso (Medaglia D’Oro)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Syrup (Torani)

This recipe is super simple and super delicious! You start by putting 1 cup of milk into a saucepan and heat it until you see vapor and a slight simmer. While that is going on, put 2 teaspoons of instant espresso and 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup (I use Torani but any syrup will do) in your mug or travel mug. Once your milk has a slight simmer and vapor coming out, pour it into the mug with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Now enjoy your latte!

I hope you guys try this recipe out and tell me what you think!

 

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How My First Juice Cleanse Went

Anyone who knows me knows that I hardly ever go without a real meal. I’m definitely the hangry type so making sure I eat is good for everybody especially my sanity. With that being said I decided to mix it up and do a juice cleanse. They’re a great way to detox your body faster and give you that energy boost you need after a long week of eating poorly and gulping down a ton of caffeine.

I have a plethora of cookbooks and a nice selection of them involve juicing and smoothies. When I realized that buying pre-made juices would really hurt the bank I looked through my cookbooks and decided to make my own.

My detox of choice came from the Juice + Nourish: 100 Refreshing Juices and Smoothies to Promote Health, Energy, and Beauty by Rosemary Ferguson. She already has 3 detoxes ready to go in the book. All I had to do was follow them. In the cookbook, there is a one-day detox, two-day detox, and three-day detox. As mentioned before, I get hangry so, for now, I went with the one day detox. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll be able to do the three-day beast.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you guys my personal experience doing a juice cleanse. That will entail how I felt before, during, and after my cleanse was over.

How I Felt Pre Detox

Before I started my cleanse I felt super sluggish. I’ll admit as much as I love being healthy, the last few weeks I significantly slacked off. With my birthday being last week (Woo 24!) and Valentine’s day, there was plenty of opportunities for me to eat like crap.

I love sweets so the cake and chocolates were right up my alley. I had Chinese food, burgers, tacos you name it I ate it. I also haven’t been able to work out too much because I started a new job and trying to figure out my new routine. Enough of the excuse though.

Another symptom I had was my skin. My skin went on full breakout mode. I have never seen my skin act so bad in my life. It didn’t matter what products I put on it, nothing was working.

I also noticed I have been pretty bloated. That’s not like me and yes I did gain a couple of pounds. Still, I shouldn’t feel so uncomfortable because the extra weight was only about 3 pounds.

Another sign I needed a detox was my sleeping habits. I don’t mean that I would decide to stay up knowing I had to get up early. Oh no, this was I tried to go to bed at a decent hour and just couldn’t. Insomnia has been hitting me hard and little did I know that it could be a sign that I needed a detox. So, of course, that was the icing on the cake. No bloating, get some sleep, fewer breakouts, and no more regret from how terribly I ate. I would say it’s a win-win.

The Detox

The day I decided to do the detox I prepped my skin by exfoliating and I got in a nice workout early in the morning. After my workout, I had my first drink at 6:30 AM that she calls the “Tumeric Dream”.

The “Tumeric Dream” had a sweet and savory taste to it. It’s made up of apples, carrots, celery, pears, lemon, and ground turmeric. The reason for this juice was to kick start my liver for the day.

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The next juice I surprisingly enjoyed at 11:30 AM. It’s called “Super Green.” By the name, I thought I would hate it because normally green juices are gross if I’m being honest. This one was different.

“Super Green” has Kale, Spinach, Celery, parsley, apple, pear raspberries, and lime. It was refreshing and sweet and definitely gave me some energy back. I was getting hungry by this time and the juice was just what I needed to fill me up and add nutrients to my body.Β  That was the point to having the super green next so that the body can continue to get rid of toxins while getting nourishment.

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Around this time I also felt a little nauseous, but that is normal because of all the toxins leaving your body.

At 2:40 PM I had the next drink, “Berry Boost.” Out of the previous two, this was my least favorite. I could taste the berry, but it wasn’t very sweet. It almost had a bitter yet clean taste to it. Even so, it was still drinkable.

By this time I had an on and off again headache and was still hungry. I considered multiple times eating something, but I was determined to make it through all four juices without faltering.

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When 6 PM rolled around I had my last juice for the night and some chipotle (shhh). The last drink was called “A bit of Papaya.” It was good and I could really taste the ginger in it. This one is good to help you relax.

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How I felt After My Detox

I’ll admit, that first night I didn’t get much sleep, but I did feel energized and still do. I was able to catch up on my sleep the next day and I haven’t noticed any new breakouts. I also noticed I’m not having sweet cravings as much anymore and I think it has to do with the juice cleanse I did. Overall, I feel and felt good so I recommend people try it at least for one day like I did.

My First What I Eat In A Day

I always think it’s fun to see what people eat in a day. It gives me great ideas and overall interesting to see how or what kind of meals people put together. With that being said I thought it would be a good idea to share my first “What I eat in a day” type of post like I see on youtube.

Now for a disclaimer. I don’t normally cook every day, but last Wednesday I had the opportunity and I took full advantage of it.

I started my morning at around 4:30 AM with some avocado toast with everything spice (made from scratch) before I went to my barre class. I’ve started to try to eat before my workouts for more energy and to not starve to death afterward.

After having an amazing workout at barre, I refueled with a beet smoothie around 7 AM. I know I start my days early, but surprisingly it gives me way more energy than sleeping in. That is especially true when I workout to begin my morning.

When it hit noon I decided to go ahead and make lunch. I enjoyed a delicious pre-made quinoa patty on multigrain bread. I like gluten-free bread because it’s light and I feel that it doesn’t bother my digestive system as much. I added mustard, ketchup, and kosher cheese. Talk about delicious!

Around 2 PM that day I wanted a snack. I kept it simple with your basic banana and I made another smoothie because the beet one wasn’t that great. I don’t really care too much for earthy smoothies and should have put more fruit in it. The second smoothie I made was a mix of frozen banana, kale, and frozen dark cherries with rice milk. It was yummy!

At 5 or 6 PM I went ahead and made dinner. That included grilled chicken, mashed sweet potatoes and the best vegetable in the world, brussels sprouts. As a side tangent, I think everyone should invest in a George Foreman grill. It cooks the meat fully and fast while keeping it flavorful and juicy. A trick for the brussels sprouts is to put salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar on them for flavor. Roast them for about 12 minutes at 425℉.

I know you shouldn’t eat after 6 PM, but I couldn’t resist. I had to get some french vanilla ice cream that I got from Whole Foods. It was definitely worth indulging in.

Below are photos of how everything turned out:

The Best Detox Water Ever! (Pineapple-Lime Blueberry Infusion)

I have always been into detox water, but lately, I haven’t been making my own. That all changed recently when I was just messing around in the kitchen and discovered a yummy combination that I have to share! If you’re tired of regular lemon water, then try my pineapple-lime blueberry detox water. You’ll love it!

The Benefits

Pineapple

There are tons of benefits to using pineapple for your detox water. My favorite thing about using pineapple in my detox water is that it is excellent for balancing electrolytes. This is great during recovery from your workout and helps with cramps or injuries.

It’s also great for whitening and preserving your teeth because it acts as a natural stain remover. Best of all if you’re looking to lose weight, this fruit can assist with that too due to its ability to prevent sugar and fat cravings while increasing Thiamine to boost your body’s metabolism.

Blueberry

We all know that blueberry is great when eaten on its own, but its flavor is just as good in your water. The advantages of consuming this nutrient-dense fruit are endless. For one, it has anti-aging properties from its antioxidants that assist with removing free radicals associated with disease and aging.

Another benefit is the anti-diabetic properties that are in blueberries by helping to improve insulin sensitivity and problems with low blood sugar. Contrary to what you may think, blueberries are actually low in sugar in comparison to other fruit making it more beneficial for those with insulin instability or issues with glucose metabolism.

Lime

My favorite thing about lime beside its tangy taste is the fact that it helps improve the quality of your skin. The vitamin C and antioxidants that are packed in this fruit promotes better-looking aging skin.

You should also be aware that lime helps prevent the growth of micro-organisms. Specifically, it aids in preventing the accumulation of streptococcus bacteria. This bacteria is the culprit of a variety of infections and health conditions, this includes respiratory and mouth infections. When you drink lime water, it helps stop these harmful organisms from developing thus preventing bacterial illnesses.

Of course, there are way more benefits I could name that these fruits support. You can find out more about lime, pineapple, and blueberry benefits at the links provided.

Now let’s get into the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 Lime (Sliced)
  • 16 oz Water
  • Water Bottle

This recipe is straightforward. You will first want to slice your lime and place it in your water bottle then add the pineapple chunks and blueberries. After your fruit is in your water bottle add the water, twist the lid back on and shake it up. Finally, you need to place the detox water in the fridge for at least five hours for the fruit to fully infuse into your water before you enjoy your detox water.

That’s it! I hope you try this fruit infusion water and let me know what you think. I would love to hear your thoughts!

The Best Way to Get Omega-3 Without Eating Fish | Health & Fitness

If you’re anything like me, you want to get your nutrition from different types of methods and foods. If not you’ll get bored and your health will wane. To keep me in tip-top shape and not getting tired of fish, I eat Chia Seeds. I like to add them to oatmeal or my smoothies as a quick way to gain omega-3.

About Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are part of the mint family and come from the desert plant, Salvia Hispanica. They are believed to have come from the Central America region and were part of the Aztec’s diets. Today this tiny seed is used for many nutritional benefits and can be easily added to pudding, oatmeal, smoothies, and even pancakes! But, you can use your creative juices or google to find out how else to make chia seeds part of your healthy treat.

The Benefits

Chia seeds have so many great benefits it’s hard to name all of them. For starters, Chia seeds raise good cholesterol also known as HDL. I have personally had to fight against high cholesterol for years even as petite as I am. I don’t know if Chia seeds are to thank, but I do try to consume them a couple of times a month, and my cholesterol is finally healthy.

If you have digestive problems, chia seeds can help with that too! That is because it has the right amount of fiber that will keep you regulated and feeling good.

These seeds are also useful for naturally regulating your blood sugar. Now, I’m not saying stop taking insulin if you’re a diabetic, but I am saying if you’re a non-diabetic whom occasionally has a drop in their sugar, chia seeds can be useful to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.

Are Chia Seeds Cost Effective?

You can get chia seeds for as cheap as $4 or as expensive as $20. It all depends on how much you get and the brand.

Chia seeds may not be a complete alternative for fish, but they can be a great addition especially if fish isn’t your thing. I love chia seeds since they are an easy addition to any food or drink. Being high in Omega-3 makes them a great healthy option to include in your diet.

Fashion & Beauty | Look Book Fall 2018 + Sideways (Foodie Finds)

The adventures of Nicah and Paige continue. Today we went to the Harbor in Rockwall, TX. We decided to put together my first lookbook for the blog and it came out great! The look we were going for was business casual to casual. We ended the night with some delicious BBQ from Sideways. Enjoy!

Hair Credit: Natalie from Forney Salon Suites

Moments captured with Canon Rebel T7i

Health & Fitness | Mango Chai Tea Latte Smoothie

Hey, I’m back with another recipe that is sure to be a treat! I was playing around in the kitchen and had my staples on deck. Mangoes and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. That’s when I thought, hmm, what could make this more interesting.

Ding, ding, ding! The Tazo Chai Tea Latte Mix, of course! Now this might have already been done by someone else in the bloggersphere, but I haven’t seen it so in my mind I made it up. At least until proven otherwise.

I’m not selfish though, so I’ll share the wealth. Also I purchased the Chai Tea from Target, but trust me this post is NOT sponsored. Without further ado, here is my Mango Chai Tea Latte Smoothie Recipe:

Step 1:

Pour 4 ounces of Tazo Chai Tea Latte mix in a measuring cup
Chai Tea

Step 2:

To top off the chai tea mix, pour in the unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk and stir. I use Silk because it doesn’t have that overpowering nutty flavor like say Almond Breeze.

Chai Tea latte

Step 3:

In your blender, add 2 cups of frozen organic mangoes. Use organic whenever possible because it has less pesticides than its non-organic counterparts.

Mangoes frozen

Step 4:

Add the Chai Tea Latte Almond Milk mix to the blender.

Mango Chai Tea Latte blender

Step 5:

Blend for about 30 to 60 seconds and add more almond milk if you feel the mixture is too thick.

Mango Chai Tea Latte Smoothie

That’s it, your very own, Paige original Mango Chai Tea Latte Smoothie.

Mango Chai Tea Latte Smoothie Recipe:

  • Ingredients:

  • Directions:

     

    1. Pour 4 oz of Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk and 4 oz of Tazo Chai Organic Latte together in a measuring cup. Stir.
    2. Put 2 cups of Organic frozen mangoes and liquid together in a blender
    3. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds
    4. Add Β more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick
    5. Enjoy!

Health & Fitness | Mango Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Smoothies are a great way for anybody to get in their fruits and vegetables without having to chew every bite. Lately, I’ll admit I haven’t been eating the best so in order to counteract some of the damage I’ve been doing, I decided to put this quick and easy smoothie recipe that you can do too!

The great thing about this smoothie is that you’ll already have 2 of the 3 servings of fruit you need in a day. Come on now that is awesome! I use a Nutri Ninja blender to get all of these delicious, nutrient-dense ingredients into a simple decedent blend.

Mango strawberry smoothie

Some of the key vitamins and minerals you’ll find in this smoothie, starting with the strawberries are Vitamin C (Skin) and Potassium (heart). The Pineapples are jam-packed with all kinds of nutrition such as Vitamins A (immune system) and C, Calcium (bones), Magnesium (blood pressure), and even Iron and Vitamin B-6 (Heart disease) to name a few. Mangoes are my absolute favorite and they’re equipped with Potassium, Vitamins A, C, and B-6, Calcium, Iron (red blood cells), and Magnesium. But, enough education let’s get down to the good stuff and make this thing:

Mango Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/2 Cup of Frozen Mangoes (Use Organic when possible)
  • 1/2 Cup of Frozen Pineapples (Use Organic when possible)
  • 1 Cup of Fresh Whole Strawberries (Use Organic when Possible and another trick is to leave the green stem on for extra nutrients)
  • 1 Cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (Use your favorite brand; I used Silk)

Blend for 1 minute and Enjoy πŸ™‚

*Serving sizes are One 24 oz or Two 12 oz

Mango strawberry smoothie blend

Foodie Finds | Decaf Coffee, Pumpkin Pie Spice & Everything Nice

Now if you know me then you will know I am literally obsessed with Starbucks and coffee in general. But what I’m not obsessed with is the feeling of too much caffeine, especially with anxiety. Depending on how much I or anyone who struggles with anxiety has it can make it soar through the roof and not to mention cause insomnia and other problems. However, today my coffee lover friends all that changes!

While I was in Walmart (I know huge shock because I am an avid Target fan, but they weren’t open yet so Walmart it was) just looking for some powdered creamer, I came across not only the creamer I was looking for but my new best friends FOLGERS DECAF COFFEE CLASSIC ROAST and DELIGHT PUMPKIN PIE SPICE CREAMER! Like oh, my word how did I get so lucky today!? I have been trying to find Folger’s classic roast in decaf for a good year now and couldn’t find it on Amazon for my Keurig or in Target (God’s gift to shoppers). So I am so so excited that I don’t have to give up Folgers and since it is Fall I will definitely pumpkin pie spice it up every chance I get! Of course, as soon as I got home I dug into them and made myself a special decaf treat and it didn’t disappoint even if it came from hell…I mean Walmart. Here’s how I made my cup in no particular order:

  • 2 single cups of Delight Pumpkin Pie Creamer
  • 1 teaspoon of Folger’s Decaf Classic Roast
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (I know that’s a lot, but hey there’s no judgment on this page)
  • 8 oz of hot water from my Keurig (not that that’s all that important, but you do need hot water – major key)

The end results….deliciousness and my personal heaven for my taste buds!

My thoughts on the creamer: I usually go with Coffeemate for my creamer, but this Delight one was really good and pure. It tastes like legitimate pumpkin spice and not that artificial mess they try to give you from brands that won’t be named. Overall I’m pleased with my purchases and will actually go to Walmart again *gasp*. What can I say I give credit where credit is due.

*Everything was purchased by me and all opinion and thoughts are, of course, my own πŸ™‚

Health & Fitness | The Chronicles of Anxiety Part 1

Y’all, I’m going to be super honest. My anxiety has been through the roof & the worst part is I can’t seem to find my medicine so what is there for me to do? Today I’m going to share some simple yet effective tips on how I’m making due without my old friend Klonopin (that is prescribed and not misused).

1. Watch what I eat

I have noticed that when I eat right or at least less processed foods my anxiety starts to decrease. I feel more energized and more comfortable. Yay! So eat your fruits and vegetables and whatever else is on the food pyramid that balance is good for you or at least it is for me! This doesn’t mean I don’t eat junk food, but it means I can tell when I’m eating a little too much of it. Also, drink plenty of water!

2. Exercise

I love to take out in a sprint when I have anxiety it raises your heart rate to where I forget I was anxious and of course releases endorphins that help me feel good and turn the anxiousness down. You can do any exercise you want though. At times I just take a walk or maybe a brisk walk if I don’t feel like running and guess what; it still works!

3. Deep breathing

My Apple WatchΒ (series 3) is a champ at reminding me to do this. Breathing deeply helps you focus on something else and allows you to catch a breath. It also helps that my apple watch will show me what my heart rate is and keep track of my breathing throughout the day and I can turn this off when I want too. (Promise this is not sponsored)

4. Write

You don’t have to post it anywhere, but just writing your thoughts and feelings down can really help you get more in touch with yourself and ease your pain I mean anxiety. I always have a pen and paper or my notes open on hand so I can quickly jot down whatever and wherever I’m at, at that very moment. Use your tools! It doesn’t have to be a perfect moleskin, it can be anything! Just write!

5. Spend time doing fun things with those closest to me

This does the trick most of the time! Spending time with my best friends and family gets my mind off of myself and into the moment. For instance, this past Saturday Nicah and I bartended at a house party and the whole time I was in the moment just hanging out with her and making drinks for the party goers it didn’t dawn on me that I didn’t have my anxiety medicine or feel anxious. Get outside of yourself because sometimes being alone and getting deep in thought can make it worse if you haven’t gotten the tools down to handle it just yet. I haven’t so I know I need to have some social time, some deep breathing and all the other good things I’ve listed above. Please don’t isolate yourself!

6. Rest

Now this tip here is a major key! I don’t mean just sitting down I mean getting that sleep in Y’all! You need to really go to sleep and if you can’t try a natural substance like melatonin to help. I’ve added a link to it so you can read more about the great benefits and even side effects, but don’t let it freak you out that defeats the purpose. I take it only at times my anxiety is super high and I know I didn’t sleep well the night before because too much of a good thing is a bad thing. If you can get to sleep and a deep sleep at that without it then that is great! Keep up whatever you are doing and sleep, sleep, sleep!

Okay, rant is over and I hope these tips help you ease your anxiety like it does for me! Let me know if you try any of these tips or have in the past. Did it work? Did it not? I want to know πŸ™‚ (Also this post is not sponsored I just put in links in case you want to check them out)