09 December, 2010

On The Flip Side.....No Cost Shopping From Your Own Closet

I don't know fashion, but I know someone who does 
& I'm putting her talents to the test. 

You can usually find Kristine scouring downtown shops and tough-talking vendors on her search for the perfect fabric and hardware. Yes, this 4'11" Filipino, is a fashion force to be reckoned with. 
The lil' one, Kristine Magante, a super chic stylist, shoe whore, and lifestyle blogger here in Los Angeles shows me what to do with the things I already have.

Check her blog On the Flip Side & stay tuned for her new Bali influenced line this spring.

The challenge:  Could she give me a style makeover without spending a dime by using items from my own closet?  

She accepted the challenge....well, she didn't so much accept the challenge as she did the invitation to watch Eat, Prey, Love and drink cocktails at my apartment.  In fact, she had no idea and no time for preparation.

I had my closet spread across the living room and a rum punch in hand when she arrived.

After quickly considering my entire wardrobe and knocking back half her drink, she was off.

Taking a "bottom-up" approach, pairing several tops with each bottom, outfitting with several shoe options, and layering with scarves, purses, and bags.  

Working off a few key pieces she was able to pull together over 30 outfits from my own supply!!

Warning: Not the best picture quality but somehow the camera was still able to add 10 pounds & 2 cup sizes.
Oh yeah, shield your eyes from the whiteness.

Black Leggings

Straight Leg Hudson Jeans

Wide Leg Express Jean

I think these are my faves.....
Plaid Skirt
OMG...don't you dare say a thing about my white legs.  I KNOW!!  I tried to fix it with iPhoto but I don't have the skills. Obviously, tights or a tan are in order here.

 Dark Grey Pencil Skirt

I LOVE this look...so sexy, so "good secretary" "bad secretary"

Chords Cream & Black.....missing some pics but will update as soon as Kristine figures out how to email them from her Blackberry (winky face).


Losing Weight Is Like Collecting Your Paycheck

Losing weight is like collecting your paycheck.  Think about it.  When you get your paycheck you're being paid for the work you did last week or even two weeks ago.  The work you do this week shows up on the next paycheck....two weeks from now. 

The body totally works the same way!  Hear me out.  Doesn't it seem like your body takes it's sweetass time to catch up with the work (or damage) you've done? I can be up in the gym workin' on my fitness all week and still not lose a single pound.  Wth? 

And it goes both ways too.  How many times have you gone on a week long bender, aka vacation, winter break, a break-up, firing, freshman year, or college if you were lucky enough to go to a party school, holla.....anyway, how many times have you eaten and drank your way through the week only to step on the scale to see that not a pound did you gain.

You think to yourself, "Damn, I'm good.  I mean really, I'm just lucky.  My metabolism is fast."

But guess what jack-ass, you're not lucky.  You're body has just been waiting to drop the bomb, the "what the F bomb" a week or two down the road those excess calories end up right on the scale.

The reality is that losing weight, especially for women and even more so as we age, is a tricky and delicate balance.  What should be as simple as calories in vs calories out, just isn't.  Hormones & emotions (yes gentlemen, hormones and emotions are two different things) play a huge part.

If you get into that old dieting mind-set you may cut your "calories in" too low and then you've tricked your body into holding onto everything.

On the other hand, you may be working out so hard that your body wants some of those calories back so it stimulates your appetite.

What's the solution?  Well, while I'm trying to find the holy grail of nutrition the best advice I can give is to stick with the plan.  Be patient but stay determined.  Don't judge yourself but become more aware.  Visualize the way you want to look while accepting they way you are right now.  If you're only looking for the flaws---they gonna get bigger!

You gotta know that you're going to be whatever you picture in your mind.  
You have to believe it before you'll start to see it.  

XOXO & Happy Holidays

08 December, 2010

So, You Don't Bake. Who Cares....You Know Someone Who Does

Every December I help the non-bakers of the world by creating decadent gift assortments for the holidays....it should be considered my good deed for the year.  Order up....my oven is waiting!!
Happy Holidays

Chocolate Turtle Cookies from Holiday Cookies by Cook's Illustrated
Oh my goodness, I just creamed my butter.  I'm looking at a copy of Holiday Cookies from Cook's Illustrated, drooling.  Looks like holiday baking just got a little more ridiculous.  I mean that in the best possible way, of course.

If you want to deny yourself joy this holiday season--don't place an order.  If you want to experience cookies and brownies so good you'll proudly sing Fa-La-LaLaaaa at the top of your lungs.....gimme a shout.

With last minute additions like, Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies, Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars, Cinnamon Swirls, & Hazelnut Chewies....you'll be debating whether these cutesy comfort gifts are better to give or to receive. 

Be the one who starts the season of giving, even if it's to yourself.

First things first, the cookie jar.  
Order your cookies in 1/2 or full batches
(average batch yields 24-32 cookies but number varies based on recipe )
The Cookie Monster Assortment ~32 mixed cookies

Give: to the people that get you through the year, co-workers, friends, hairstylist, neighbors, & nannies.  Keep: for a cookie swap, Christmas day, or as your private stash of sugar joy.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies (soft)
                                           Chocolate, pecans, and caramel....Joy to the world.
Hot Chocolate Crackle Cookies (soft)
A picture perfect holiday cookie with an attitude.  Dark chocolate, cinnamon, a dash of cayenne.
The OMG Bite (soft)
Two of my top five sweets hugged into one...My chocolate chip cookie wrapped around Reese's miniature peanut butter cup.  Shut the front door!
Hazelnut Chewies (soft)
 I am Italian in spirit & so are these beautiful babies.  Chocolate, Hazelnut, Nutella, Espresso.....Omg, all we're missing is a pizza and glass of wine. 
Cinnamon Swirls (crunchy)
Imagine Cinnamon Toast Crunch only bigger.
Almond & Orange Shortbread (crunchy)
Lightly sweetened cinnamon almonds and bright orange zest in a rustic sliced cookie.
Bubbie's Snowball Cookies (crumbly)
Subtle and sweet these simple powdered sugar balls are holiday perfection.
The OMG Bite
Hot Chocolate Crackle
Hazelnut Chewie from Cook's Illustrated

Mint Chocolate Chip JoyCake

 Introducing JoyCakes.
JoyCakes, aka cakeballs, are a mixture of cake crumb and frosting that have been scooped into two-bite sized balls & dipped in white or dark chocolate.  
Order JoyCakes by the 1/2 or full dozen or in a 24 piece assortment.
Give: to the host or hostess of a holiday cocktail party.  Keep: to dress up your dessert tray

Mint Chocolate Chip (dark), Red Velvet (dark), 
Maple Bacon (white), & Blueberry Cheesecake (white).

Blueberry Cheesecake JoyCake

Brownies & Bars
Order by the 1/2 or full dozen or an assortment of 15 pieces.
Give: to anyone who made the nice list.  Keep: for when you're feeling a little naughty

Layered Mint Brownies
Three layers of love starting with a base of fudge brownie, a thick and soft peppermint middle, and a dark chocolate ganache to finish.
Caramel Blondie
Homemade caramels, salted peanuts, & a tender whole wheat blondie batter.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
A cream cheese center smashed between dark chocolate to balance the sweetness of the raspberry jam
Brown-Butter Rice Crispy Treats
The original recipe is great but my recipe is perfect.
Oatmeal-Butterscotch Bar
Browned butter and toasted oats are the secret to this chewy bars deep flavor

Caramel Blondies
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Something extra.....you're so thoughtful!
Give: because you have to bring something, it's just polite.  Keep: to share at your own fabulous family gathering.

Maple Rosemary Walnuts
Just a little something to have sitting around.
Cabernet Cranberry Sauce (2 cup serving) 
All other side dishes will stare when you arrive with this sophisticated whole berry sauce.
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes (12 mini cheesecakes) 
The only way pumpkin pie could get better is if you make it into a cheesecake. 
Ultimate Coffee Cake (6 mini-Bundt sized cakes) 
Lemon olive oil makes this coffee cake super special and extra moist.
Almond Zucchini Bread (loaf)
What? You've never had zucchini bread??  First-timers, I'll have you spoiled.  As for the rest of you, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the tricks in this recipe.
Almond Zucchini Bread

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Cabernet Cranberry Sauce

Lemon Olive Oil Coffee Cake

Send your questions & requests to hdmay211@yahoo.com
Or text me @ 310.593.1335.

xoxo HMay

04 December, 2010

I Love Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothies

My current favorite blender recipe combines two familiar tastes of the holidays, cranberries and pumpkin.

Smoothies are so easy because the blender does all the work.  Not just in preparation but also in the absorption.  Your body can easily digest and use all the good stuff.  Add protein to your smoothie for the perfect post-workout meal.  The combination of carbohydrates and protein provides all the necessary nutrients to repair and build muscle.

Gather your ingredients: baby spinach, canned pumpkin, unsweetened almond milk, Stevia, cinnamon, frozen cranberries, blueberries, and pineapples.  I like to add a few pieces of ice and a scoop of vanilla vegan protein.

In your blender layer 1-2 handfuls of washed baby spinach, 1/3 cup each of frozen cranberries, blueberries, & pineapple.
Measure 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin puree, 1/2-1 tsp good cinnamon, & Stevia to sweeten, usually 2 packets.  Honey would be a beautiful replacement for the Stevia.
Add protein powder, a few pieces of ice, and blend until smooth.  You may have to add a few tablespoons of water to reach a drinkable consistency.  Enjoy!

Balsamic & Chocolate Roasted Almonds

A vicious chocolate craving struck last night and if I hadn't been too lazy to leave the apartment I may have never created these Balsamic & Chocolate Roasted Almonds.

Gather your ingredients and set your oven to 350.  Use a non-stick spray or olive oil to lightly coat a baking sheet.

You'll need raw almonds, cocoa powder, Stevia, a really good balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, & maple syrup.

In a small bowl add 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder, 2 Stevia packets, 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt

Add 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar,  2 tsp Maple Syrup, & 2 tsp Water.  Stir until wet and combined.

Coat 1 cup raw almonds in chocolate mixture.

Spread almonds in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and place in oven until the surface of the nuts appear dry.  About 4 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir.  Arrange into a single layer and return to oven for another few minutes, maybe 5-6 additional minutes. 

Have a piece of foil or parchment waiting.  Use a spoon to remove the nuts and allow to cool completely.
After nuts have cooled use 1/4 cup to measure single servings into snack size zip lock bags.
Looks may be deceiving because these almonds are nothing but crunchy chocolate yumminess!

14 November, 2010

The Fitness Critic: Birkram Yoga Silverlake

Birkram Yoga Silverlake = 2
"it's ify at best"
*I found this studio on LivingSocial.  The deal was
$30 unlimited classes for 21 days**   
(Overall rating based on Environment, Vibe, Instructor Energy, Class Construction, & Execution.  On a scale from 1-5 where 1=complete waste time  5=kick ass total experience.)

I love Silverlake, I really do, but if this is the best yoga in the area I feel sad for it's residents.  The actual practice was decent, if you can appreciate this sweaty style of detoxifying yoga.  The unfortunate problem with Birkram yoga is also it's defining characteristic....sweat.  When not properly addressed you get the warm stench of a teenage boys locker room.  Which is exactly the scent of the this small studio.  The gross thing is that you actually get used to the smell!

If....if...... I lived very near this studio I would probably continue to make the occasional appearance.  Making certain, of course, to park in the designated parking lot-across the street and behind the drug store-to avoid yoga hating residents who are quick to leave a printed copy of a handwritten note demanding their street parking respect.  Thankfully, L.A. is flooded with yoga studios and I have relocated to West Hollywood.  So, goodbye stinky studio with crabby neighbors, I wish you well.

On to the next workout experience......CrossFit!!
@ Brick Sport Performance Training
**New Members Get One Free Week of Unlimited Classes!**

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Don't need that much attention? Ask about SkinnyFood @ Home....Just Delivery

SkinnyFood @ the Office.
Don't stress about the lunch hour.  I'll make sure you aren't sabotaging all your best efforts. Good Girls specializes in healthy breakfast and lunch catering for your small office.

Ask about a complimentary tasting to discuss pricing and availability.

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12 November, 2010

10 lbs in 6 Weeks...Are You In??

I'm dedicated to being healthy but I'm far from perfect.  In fact, I recently gained 8lbs.  That's right, in the midst of my "healthiest year ever" I gained 8 freakn' pounds!  

Now, there are a few excuses I can throw your way.  Such as, "I fell madly in love".  

Yes, the "Boyfriend" excuse.  An oldie but a goodie.  Unfortunately, it's true.  Boys tend to eat whatever they want and rarely care about a a little weight gain.

It's far too easy to get caught up in the euphoria of a new relationship.  Plus, I didn't want to seem like a complete food nightmare.  I'm already,  "No meat, no dairy, no gluten, no soy for me please".  So instead, I found myself ordering french fries, downing cocktails, and requesting a fro-yo stop every night.  

Soon, I was stretching my cheat day into cheat weekends.  Those weekends quickly spilled into entire weeks.  And now I'm certain that all of October must be considered a "cheat".  

My second attempt to rationalize this eight pound weight gain...."I started taking birth control".

Another valid excuse, birth control is notorious for causing slight weight gain.  I don't care what anyone says, birth control has always been a guaranteed five pounder.  Five pounds, right in the thighs, ass, and breasts.  Not a complete waste of fat however, unwanted non the less.  

Since I refuse to fall out of love with the man of dreams and therefore, will not stop taking birth control I have to lose these 10lbs (notice I'm giving myself a two pound cushion for the holidays) the old fashioned way!  Decrease calories in and increase calories out. 

Six weeks and 35,000 calories to go...... 

Bonne Chance SkinnyFoodies & Enjoy the Day,

For The Love....

For the love of food.....
I was cooking before I was five, dominated the family kitchen, studied the effects of food on the body in college, and graduated from culinary school in 2007. 

I LOVE FOOD.  Next to sex and exercise, food is my favorite topic.

That's probably what makes staying skinny so hard!! 

I'm constantly putting myself in situations where I'll be tempted with culinary delights.  I'm a baker for god's sake! I want to eat thin crust pizza from Bottega Louis just as much as the next foodie.  But, garlic herb fries from La Poubelle aren't going to keep me thin.  And I really want to be skinny.

Not just because I think 110 looks better on my 5'2" frame than 120 but because it represents so much more.

To me, thin means I'm healthy.  I've been avoiding foods that cause excess fat gain.  But I'm not so skinny that I don't radiate a feminine softness. 

Thin means I'm happy.  When my outlook is positive and upbeat I can easily avoid temptations.  When I'm stressed or depressed I tend to over-indulge. 

For the love of being healthy.....
I like to eat a clean mostly-vegetarian diet, avoid gluten and dairy, limit my intakes of sugar and alcohol, and workout at least six hours a week.

Bonne Chance & Enjoy the Day....