Sunday, July 15, 2012

As Healthy as Cheesy Vegetable Chowder Gets...

Around 3pm today, my stomach started growling. I've been doing well with eating right lately...although yesterday I allowed myself a cheat meal (cheesy potatoes oh em gee) and I was craving a comfort meal. We pondered over Cracker Barrel but it's so far and I don't think I can control myself in there just yet.

I decided to make Broccoli Cheddar soup, but then figured 'why not throw in every vegetable in my fridge?' soup. 

I wanted to keep eating healthy but I also wanted something that was filling and tasty. I chopped up two red skin potatoes, a few carrots, 1/2 of a red onion (I didn't have any other kind), a spear of broccoli and 1/3 of a yellow cauliflower. I then threw all of the veggies in a big pot and filled it up just so the vegetables were covered. I tossed in a tablespoon of butter, a chicken bouillion cube, garlic salt and pepper. Then I let that simmer until the veggies were cooked.

After that, I gave it all a quick mash with a potato masher (I think? It didn't have any holes and it was smooth...but it mashed so...) and here's where I substituted. Every creamy soup has some kind of dairy/fat that makes it so delicious. Instead of cream or half and half, I used 1 cup of 1% milk and 0% Greek yogurt. I whisked those together and dumped them in. It obviously wasn't as creamy as other soups but it did the job.

I then added some extra sharp cheddar cheese, which is the only bad part of this recipe. It thickened up the soup and also gave it some flavor. You could definitely add low fat or no cheese at all though, it's up to you.

And that was that! My whole house smelled like Panera and I got to satisfy my craving for a creamy, cozy soup..without all of the fat and calories! And that dangerous little biscuit up there? Yeah, I had one (er, two) of them, but I figure it all balanced out. Back on the grind tomorrow! Happy Sunday :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

And this time, I'll keep it off.

After about a month of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, I needed some serious detox. It was like I allowed myself to have an eating vacation. Being busy really does make it hard to eat healthy. Between surprise 50th birthday parties, graduation parties and family reunions, I've been pretty much surrounded with junk food, also known as my favorite food. I ate my body weight in cheesy potatoes and pizza last month. I'm done. Not only do I want to eat healthier, I want to be in better shape. I have a 5K coming in two weeks and if I don't want to be the laughingstock of the whole race...well, I will probably do something embarrassing enough for that to still be true, even in the best shape of my life.

You know you have been eating too much junk when you actually crave carrots. During these past four weeks I've had little to no water each day. It's much easier to grab a pop from the fridge and go. That's where I started, cutting out pop.

I don't need pop and when I don't have it in the house I rarely drink it. I normally choose unsweetened iced tea or water with lemon. The more I drink pop, the more I crave it. So, no more pop.

I don't have the strength or will power to go through another fruit and vegetable cleanses so I just decided to eat right. What a concept, huh? I don't want it to be about "I'm not allowed to have this, I can't eat that." I just want to make better choices in general and improve myself and my diet in time. I don't think that's too much to ask of my brain. My taste buds are a different story.

So here, I'm vowing to myself that I will try my darnedest to drink at least 64oz of water per day. To choose healthier options. To eat more fruits and vegetables. To not have empty calories. And to be more active. Being busy and being active are not the same thing, trust me. I've been on the go all month but I haven't worked out once. That's all about to change. I've pinned a bunch of quick workouts on my Pinterest boards, read every page of Undressed Skeleton and acquired all the motivation I need to start. You really do have to be ready in your mind before you will actually stick to something and believe me, I'm ready.

So here's what I had to eat today. It's not perfect but it's a start. I'm thinking of doing these posts every few days along with some grocery hauls, just to hold myself accountable. What do you think?

Breakfast: coffee, of course, and oatmeal with raspberries, a banana and a teaspoon of honey (it didn't really need it)
Lunch: strawberry Activia yogurt, baby carrots, strawberries, trail mix and sweet potato kettle chips.
I also drank 3 Camelback water bottles

After work I had a Tazo black iced tea, lightly sweetened.

Dinner: we had guests tonight so I didn't have much of an option. I skipped the bun but had a hamburger with a piece of sharp cheddar, mustard and ketchup. I also ate a lot of grilled asparagus. The lighter asparagus is pickled. So good!
Other than this, I might have a bowl of cereal later. I don't go to bed until late and I'm working on not eating right before I sleep. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eyeshadow Dupes!

I know how very rare it is to come across a true "dupe" in the beauty world. I haven't seen many for myself, most I'd file under "extremely similar" or "you don't need both."

I love watching dupe videos and reading the blogs comparing products...before I buy any eyeshadow, lipstick, nail polish, etc., I google the color to see if anyone has taken any comparison pictures with other colors so that i don't end up with two (or more) of the same shade (that's happened to me way too many times to count).

Anyway, I spent about an hour and a half the other day watching Lifetime movies and swatching eyeshadows from my collection. I figured I had about 30 taupes, two of them had to be the same. They weren't. I did come across a few other shades that I'd be willing to say were extremely similar to each other and if you have one, you don't need both. I only picked a few to share because these are the ones I thought were truly the closest in color in real life. Enough we go!

First up, a nice highlight or all over lid shade. Obviously one of my favorites, MAC Shroom is a beige/cream shimmery shade. Here it is next to Urban Decay Virgin from the Naked Palette. In the pan, Virgin looks more pink than Shroom but when swatched, they look incredibly similar.

Left: Urban Decay Virgin, Right: MAC Shroom
Left: Urban Decay Virgin, Right: MAC Shroom
Next we have another gem from the Naked Palette, a nice crease shade called Buck. Here it is next to MAC Cork. I never really thought of how close these shades were but I do use them both for the same thing, darkening up the crease. They're pretty dead on. Buck looks warmer in the pan but on the eye you cannot tell the difference.

Left: Urban Decay Buck, Right: MAC Cork
Left: Urban Decay Buck, Right: MAC Cork
Moving on from the Naked Palette, we have another pretty MAC shade called Twinks. This is my sister's favorite, a nice plumy/brown/burgundy shade. Here it is next to ELF Saddle. I actually find Saddle to be more pigmented than Twinks (and it only costs $3!)

Left: ELF Saddle, Right: MAC Twinks
Left: ELF Saddle, Right: MAC Twinks
Now we've arrived at my favorite "dupe." This little cheap Maybelline trio that I've had for, oh I don't know, forever called Bronze Glitz. I'm pretty sure this is still available for under $5. This palette contains two dupes of two NARS shadows.

NARS & Maybelline Dupes

NARS shadows are so soft and pigmented and these maybelline ones aren't that too shabby either. The first "dupe" is NARS California. I got this color for more than half off when Sephora had it for sale for $9 as they often do. Here it is next to the bronze shade in Bronze Glitz. While they're both shimmering warm copper shades, the main difference is that the Maybelline version has a little more of a gold sheen than the NARS.

Left: NARS California, Right: Maybelline Bronze Glitz 

Left: Maybelline Bronze Glitz, Right: NARS California
The final dupe I have to share with you is probably the closest in color in my opinion. The NARS version is from the Cheyenne duo. Sort of a mustard yellow almost metallic shade. The Maybelline is the top gold color from Bronze Glitz.

Left: Maybelline Bronze Glitz, Right: NARS Cheyenne
Left: Maybelline Bronze Glitz, Right: NARS Cheyenne
Well there you have it. My first dupes post. I hope this helped someone out there save some money (or realize you may have dupes of your own!) Now I'm curious about my lipsticks and blushes!

What are some dupes from your collection?