Healthy Eating Doesn’t Have To Be Intimidating!

Healthy lifestyle vector illustration with typography. Design elements for a poster, flyer, graphic module.
“Eat a lot of everything, but not a lot of anything”
– Giada de Laurentiis

Two of my biggest passions in life are food and nutrition. While I can say that food, in general, was a favourite of mine growing up, nutrition definitely was not. I had a horrible diet, ate and drank junk food at every meal and ate out at fast food restaurants far too often. It wasn’t until I was in University and discovered a love of cooking that I turned my “diet” around and made a healthy lifestyle for myself.  Soon after I loaded my meals with fresh vegetables and whole grains, I saw so many of my health issues diminish: no more unexplained rashes, digestive issues or exhaustion. I understand that many people can be intimidated by finding ways to eat healthy and to actually maintain that lifestyle…I know I certainly was.
Before diving into any of the recipes I may post, I want to remind you that healthy eating doesn’t have to be intimidating. You don’t have to be a nutritionist, health coach or personal trainer to know how to eat well. Additionally, you don’t need a million complicated ingredients to make a delicious, healthy meal. Just know one thing, coming to this blog is a good start! The first thing is to remember to start off simple! Here are my top 5 tips for starting (or maintaining) a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Moderation & Eat Smart
    My first piece of advice to myself, and now to you, is to start off by eating specific foods in moderation. I started off eating the things I loved but in smaller portions. If you like having an egg sandwich in the morning, opt for 1 piece of 100% whole grain toast, 1 egg, 1 slice of cheese and a handful of spinach instead of something that is loaded with unhealthy calories and too much fat. If you like pasta, have it…just in a smaller portion, or opt for whole grain or brown rice noodles instead of the normal processed white pasta. Remember, you can live a healthy lifestyle without dieting! Eat what you love but remember to eat smart!
  2. Find Inspiration
    All in all, if you have a favourite food you can still have it, just find alternative ways to make it healthier! That’s the glory of the Internet. If you ever need help finding new ways to adapt recipes or find new ways to eat better find blogs like this one, Pinterest, or follow healthy Instagram pages to give you inspiration. The possibilities are truly endless!
  3. When in doubt: Veggie it up!
    Veggies, Veggies and more Veggies! My favourite thing to do is sneak in vegetables wherever I can. If you have a favourite list of vegetables, eat them! So many of us put a small portion of veggies on the side, who is to say that you can’t eat a whole plate loaded with veggies? Almost any meal can be complimented with vegetables so don’t be afraid to add them into your meals.
  4. Be Realistic—One meal won’t ruin you, just like one meal won’t make you healthy
    If you want to go out and have a burger and fries, go out and have a burger and fries! If you want to go out for some drinks with your friends, go out! Again, just in moderation! You can find new ways to alter these drinks/meals as well. If you get a burger, get a side salad instead of fries, or even better…a lettuce burger wrap! If you want to go out for drinks, opt for something lighter – A vodka cranberry or a beer can be replaced with vodka water with lemon instead! It is important not to shame or guilt yourself for enjoying food, you only get one life after all, but it’s important to treat your body right!
  5. WATER!
    I know you have probably heard this again and again, but water is so, so important! I used to drink milk and diet Pepsi like it was my day job! In second year University, I switched over to drinking almost only water and I will never go back. I felt more energized, my skin improved and I felt way more hydrated than I ever had before. My favourite combo to spice up my water is adding two slices of lemon, a few slices of cucumber and a few pieces of mint leaves. If you are feeling a little bit under the weather my favourite drink is warm lemon water with a teaspoon of all natural honey. Trust me, it works!!

I hope that my blog helps you on your healthy eating journey and that you can find some inspiration from my recipes to continue a healthy lifestyle into the future. Find your own healthy balance!

If you have any questions let me know!

Lipstick Round Up: Fall/Winter

I don’t know about you guys, but I love the Fall & Winter seasons because they allow you to get creative and play around with all the best lipstick colours that the brands have to offer!

I think it was in the Fall/Winter time just a few years ago that I truly began experimenting with lip colours.  There is something just so fun about being able to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, bold and on trend.  I’m not going to lie, there is also something about throwing on some great lipstick that makes me feel like I’m a real adult and not just an overgrown teenager who still likes to watch the family channel from time to time (guilty)…

MAC was my first (and current) high end brand of lipsticks that I have experimented with, and I haven’t even begun to dig into the vast collections that they have to offer. From what I have tried, here are my top go-to MAC lipstick shades for the Fall & Winter:




Rebel:

Described as a “Midtonal Cream Plum” shade with a Satin finish. This is one of MAC’s best sellers during these seasons, and for good reason! This shade looks good on almost anyone and any skin tone.
Get it here

Diva: 
Described as an “Intense Reddish-Burgundy” shade with a Matte finish. This is another one of MAC’s best sellers for the cooler months. This is an awesome colour for those days that you feel like expressing your inner Beyoncé Bo$$-Lady…or if you are a red wine fanatic like I am and feel like being festive 😉
Get it here

Ruby-Woo:
Described as a “Very Matte, Vivid Blue-Red” shade with an intense Matte finish. This is my favourite “Christmas” lip colour that you will most definitely find me rocking around the Holiday season. It looks great with blondes and both fair-medium skin gyals. This colour is especially amazing for all you blue-eyed beauties out there who really want your features to pop. Reference: My soul sista Christina Aguilera.
Get it here

Modesty: 
Described as a “Muted Neutral Pink” shade with a Cremesheen finish. If you are one of those girls who hate lipsticks because they make your lips dry, this is seriously the lipstick for you. In fact, any Cremesheen finish from Mac would be awesome for you to try. This shade is perfect year round, but is my go-to colour right now for both the day time or if I’m looking for a lip shade to finish off my night on the town makeup look. It is also a good colour for those who are looking for a nude lip but you can’t usually rock the classic nude colours.
Get it here

Brave: 
Described as a “Pink-Beige With White Pearl” shade with a Satin finish. This shade got huuuuge this summer with the whole Kylie Jenner lip craze. Despite the photo & description, I like to describe this as a Mauve colour that is perfect for a more relaxed look for both the day and night. I have recommended it to a lot of friends and in my opinion, it looks great on everyone.
Get it here 

Please Me:
Described as a “Muted-Rosy-Tinted Pink” with a Matte finish. This is one my favourite all year round lip shades that I usually tend to wear more in the Summer months but have been using it quite frequently this Fall. It is perfect for those of you who want to keep things warm, and also for those of you who aren’t comfortable going for some of the more bold shades listed above.
Get it here

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Let me know if you decide to give any of these colours a go! What are your favourite lip shades for the Fall/Winter?

Avocado & Salsa Omelette

Hello everyone, and happy “hump day”! I decided to kick off my morning with this delicious and colourful breakfast omelette. This recipe is dairy free, gluten free and acceptable to eat on the Paleo diet.

I am always experimenting with omelette recipes because sometimes I find that they can be quite bland, even with the added vegetables. After eating this breakfast, I can assure you that this omelette is far from bland, and the real star of the show is the avocado and salsa on top.

Ingredients:
2 Eggs
1/2 ripe Avocado
1 Tbsp Pico de Gallo/Salsa (I used Mad Mexican)
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 small Sweet Bell Pepper
1 handful Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 tsp Basil
1/4 tsp Onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Steps:
1. Chop your Garlic, Bell Pepper, and Cherry Tomatoes.
2. Heat your frying pan on medium heat, spray with coconut oil. Add in veggies and cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. In a bowl, combine Eggs, Basil and Onion Powder and Salt and Pepper. Whisk together and pour into frying pan over veggies.
4. While Omelette is cooking, slice Avocado and set aside.
5. Cook your Omelette, and set on a plate. Add Avocado and 1 Tbsp Pico de Gallo/Salsa on the top.

*Tip: This is how I cook my Omelettes, this technique really works!!

Green Power Breakfast


I originally made this in the summer after a very indulgent (oops) weekend. The weekend was filled with girls wine & cheese night, patio drinks and eating out so I definitely needed to reboot my system. 
This breakfast was packed with feel-good ingredients, antioxidants and vitamins. The best part about this recipe is that the warm baked avocado and egg is perfect year round, I know I will be making it as we transition into the colder weather here in Toronto.

I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients for Baked Egg & Avocado with Lemon Asparagus:
1 ripe Avocado
2 Organic Eggs
4 pieces of Asparagus
1 tsp Chives, chopped
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp Butter or Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Ingredients for Green Spa Smoothie:
1/4 cup Cucumber
1/2 cup Mint Leaves
1/4 cup Almond Milk
1/2 Lemon, juiced
Handful of ice cubes

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut Avocado in half and remove the seed. Scoop out a hole in each Avocado half and set aside to top your baked Avocado after.
3. Crack two eggs in each Avocado half. Season with Salt & Pepper. Place on baking sheet.
4. While waiting for the oven to preheat, prepare Asparagus by rinsing and chopping off the ends. Fill frying pan with water and boil Asparagus water over high heat.
5. Bake Avocado for 15-18 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your eggs.
6. While waiting for Egg & Avocado and Asparagus to cook, prepare your Spa Smoothie. Chop Cucumber and place inside blender. Add in Mint leaves, Almond Milk, Ice Cubes and Lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
7. Sprinkle Egg & Avocado with chives and let cool while you drain your Asparagus and season with Lemon & Butter/Olive Oil.

 

Let’s Talk About Skin Care

As I have left behind my teenaged years and entered into adulthood, I have found few things (beauty & health wise) that are more important than proper skincare. I have also found few things that are more annoying than acne and breakouts. Whether you dealt with the stereotypical version of acne in your teen years, or developed it a little bit later on, we can all agree that it can be a pain in the you know what. 

Enter, Adult Acne Rant:
*If you aren’t in the mood for a good old rant, kindly scroll to the bottom to view my skincare favourites*

Growing up, I never had to worry about acne or horrible breakouts, when I did get a pimple (because lets get real, who doesn’t?) it would only be the occasional one here and there. I had soft skin and an even skin-tone and had absolutely NO complaints. Fast-forward to my early 20’s, and my skin took a drastic change for the worst. I’m talking painful, annoying, and impossible to cover cystic adult acne. It was a big shock to me and made me super self-conscious, especially since I never had to deal with it in my teen years. Many people told me this was “hormonal” or “stress” acne, or in other words nothing-you-can-do-about-it acne..and that explanation wasn’t good enough for me.

For around a year and a half I tried everything to the moon and back for “blemished” or “acne” prone skin. From herbal remedies to expensive, chemical-laced products, and nothing was working. I had almost given up until I came across a Youtube video of skincare products and I found the best thing that has ever happened for my skin: The Simple Skincare Line

In sum, I discovered that all I needed to do was find simple (no pun intended) products that provided gentile ingredients for my skin and most of all, to be patient. My skin took a few weeks to adapt to these products listed below.

Without further ado, here is my current skincare routine, along with the products and some description about why they are so great:

Simple’s Cleansing Facial Wipes
What sets these apart from the other brands is that they are gentile and cater to sensitive skin (which does not mean you have to only have sensitive skin to use them) They are free of perfumes, chemicals and dyes that might harm your skin, and include ingredients that you can actually pronounce. It removes my makeup and gets the job done, all the while not irritating my skin. 

Simple’s Cleansing Micellar Water
I use this with an organic cotton pad after using the makeup wipes. Again, it is free of perfumes, chemicals and dyes. Some people might think this is excessive, but you wouldn’t believe what this stuff gets off of your face, even after you have used the makeup wipes AND washed your face. EXAMPLE:
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I know…I couldn’t believe it either. 

SpectroGel Blemish-Prone Skin Cleanser
Another sensitive skincare line, that is fragrance and dye free, uses non-irritating ingredients and restores the PH balance in your skin. I use this after the Micellar water, rinsing it off with my hands and not using a wash cloth (can hold a lot of germs).

Simples’ Soothing Facial Toner
Again, free of perfume, chemicals and dyes; it helps restore ph levels in your skin, and uses ingredients such as witch hazel, water and flower extract to calm and renew your skin. I use this after every time I wash my face.

Live Clean’s Fresh Face Smoothing Facial Scrub
Another great, natural skin care product. I use this 1-2 times a week to remove dry skin and promote skin renewal. It is made with plant-based ingredients, is naturally derived, hypoallergenic, chemical free, pure vegan, dye free etc. etc. etc. (basically everything good for you and amazing)

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 5
For the really pesky breakouts that don’t seem to want to leave, I use this as a spot treatment. I use it typically for 2-3 nights after I remove my makeup and it works wonders. 

All in all, the purpose of this post is to hopefully help some of you out there who may be lost and confused in a world filled with millions of skincare products. The biggest thing to remember is that everyone’s skin is different, what works for me might not work for you…but I sure hope it does!

Leave a comment below if you have ever used Simple’s Skincare Line, what products you swear by and any questions you may have! I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Refreshing Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

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I was sitting in my house one chilly winter day and decided that I wanted a little bit of summer back in my life.  In my opinion, winter is fun for Christmas time, but after that it’s time for the warm weather! So I thought that despite the cold, I was going to bring a taste of refreshing summer into my breakfast routine (mind over matter right?!).

This recipe is highly versatile and can include your favourite mixes of toppings and fruit! It is a great way to add in fruits and superfoods into your diet without all the hassle. Although it is optional, I encourage you to add in a few tablespoons of your favourite nut butter or protein powder to add in a little bit of protein into the bowl.  I hear a lot of people talking about how fruits have too much sugar to be eaten in large amounts, or that you should avoid consuming them at breakfast time, but I don’t agree with this! Fruits are filled with natural sugar, and are packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants that help create a healthier you! The chia seeds and nuts add an extra dimension by adding some crunch and keeping you full until lunchtime!

I don’t have Smoothie Bowls that often, but when I do, I feel more energized and happier to start my day, especially when it’s early!

Ingredients: 
1 cup frozen berries (or Acai pack from your local health food store/Amazon)
1 ripe banana
1/4-1/2 cup of water (depending on your preferred thickness)
1 handful of your favourite fresh fruits
1 tbsp crushed nuts (I chose almonds) *optional 
1 tbsp chia seeds *optional
2 tbsp of nut butter or 1 scoop of protein powder *optional

Steps:
1. Blend frozen berries (or Acai pack), banana, nut butter/protein powder, and water together in a blender
2. Once blended, pour into a bowl and sprinkle (or create a cute design) with your chia seeds, nuts and fresh berries!

Enjoy!!

About

Welcome to my lifestyle blog, I’m so glad you stopped by!

Here you will find up to date advice, inspiration and reviews on all things beauty, fashion, health and life.  I am hoping that the content posted weekly will inspire you to try new things and guide you in finding your healthy balance in life.

Who Am I, might you ask?
In short, my name is Jenna and I am a Twenty-something, fashion loving, lipstick wearing, nutrition obsessed, aspiring marketing and events extraordinaire.

I’d love to hear your opinion on anything that is being posted! Feel free to comment or ask any questions.

Jenna xo