Blissful Burger

Who says non-meat eaters can’t enjoy a delicious, sloppy burger every now and again!?!?! This spicy black bean burger with roasted onions, peppers and corn/black bean salsa is delicious and contains no meat nor dairy!

I admit nothing in this post is homemade (unless you count roasting the peppers and onions; which, for the record, I do). Though I pride myself on making most things from scratch, sometimes life can get in the way of your best intentions!

When life’s craziness doesn’t allow for home cooking, morningstar farms, desert pepper and some easy techniques take over and my meals can still be healthy and satisfying! Not all frozen or packaged food is made equal and by choosing organic, natural options – with fewer ingredients you can actually pronounce – you can still feed your body what it needs!

After roasting half a bell pepper and a quarter of an onion (10 minutes @ 400) I slide my burger and whole wheat bun in to heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Once everything is nice and hot I heap some corn and black bean salsa on the bun, layer on the burger and veggies, top with the rest of the bun and BOOM burger bliss!

In a pinch, grab health frozen options….ENJOY!


Food for Life

whatueatI just couldn’t help myself when I came across this! I have been talking a lot recently about getting out of your body what you put into it, so I figured today was the perfect time to post about it!

One of the things Josh, founder of IIN, talks extensively about is the idea that your blood is made from what you eat. Personally, I feel like looking at food consumption that way puts a whole new spin on “you are what you eat.”

The nutrient rich or nutrient-less food we consume determines our blood composition and in a lot of ways, how effectively or efficiently our bodies function. I know with my own diet I recently spent a week allowing myself to indulge in things I normally wouldn’t put in my body and reducing my exercise by 75%.

In just one week I felt my body slow and begin to feel heavy. I know it sounds odd but everything from walking to breathing felt a bit more difficult and I can’t help by attribute it to what I was and wasn’t putting in my body!

Whether you give my little experiment a try or not is entirely up to you but don’t forget….you get out of your body what you put in it!


Smell the Flowers

Simple but true, getting sunshine daily is amazing for you! I know its hard with busy days at the office to take a quick jaunt outside but the Vitamin D and fresh air can do wonders for your mood, skin and overall well being.

Forget the fact that getting outside and taking in some rays helps improve your peace of mind and your ability to have a restful nights sleep, Vitamin D is essential to many bodily functions.

Taking in Vitamin D helps lower blood pressure, boosts your immune system, lowers cholesterol and has many other healing benefits!

Not like I need an excuse to go outside but knowing the health benefits makes me that much more likely to take a break in the day to smell the flowers!


Okay…you caught me! I am totally on a cado kick….but they’re just so yummy!

Ditch the mayo for this silky super food and transform your tuna from tasty to tastetastic! Mix half an avocado, a can of chunk light, lime, Tabasco, salt and pepper and you’re good to go!

Delicious in a refreshing lettuce cup, or on your favorite sandwich bread this spicy tuna salad is healthy, filling and delectable!

Spice up your tuna…Enjoy!

Moment of Zen

Who has a spare ten minutes everyday? With all of life’s commitments and activities, the prospect of taking between five and fifteen minutes to meditate seems daunting and dare I say unproductive….”you mean you want me to sit there and do nothing but breathe?!!? I have things to do!”

While I agree it doesn’t seem very productive, the damage you’re UNDOING through meditation is arguably the most proactive thing you can do for your health. Stress can literally kill you if you’re not careful but in the short term it can combat all the positive things you might be trying to do through diet and exercise.

Stress causes cortisol levels to spike and your immune system to depress leading to all sorts of fun things like a slower metabolism, inflammation, weight gain, lack of energy, etc..

Taking a moment to meditate daily has been proven to counter and improve the negative effects of stress. Meditation practitioners have higher energy levels, faster metabolic rates and stronger immune systems than their non-practicing counterparts.

Still not convinced? Give yourself a moment of zen once a day for a week and see if you’re better able to manage stress!

Cilantro, Lime Shrimp and avocado salad

What do you get when you mix the rest of the shrimp cocktail, the last avocado, the end of a lime, what’s remaining of a grilled pepper and some fresh herbs?!? The most delectable leftover salad ever!

After a long holiday weekend with my family, we had a ton of leftover food. With a little help from my urban herb garden my leftovers were transformed into a refreshing, delicious salad. All I had to do was mash the avocado, squeeze in lime juice, chop the shrimp and peppers into chunks, sprinkle with salt, pepper cilantro and you’re noshing on a superfood sensation!

While I am all about using leftovers you shouldn’t wait until you’ve got these sitting in your fridge to give this shrimp salad a try!

Toss atop greens, wrap in a whole wheat tortilla or on its on…enjoy!

Game plan

I’m back after a lovely, long, relaxing weekend and I hope that same can be said for all of you! For as fabulous as the weekend was, the reality of a busy (short) week is sort of smacking me in the face!

Just like most days, weeks…months, haha, there is seemingly more to get through than there is time in the day! Determined to make it work, even when I know sometimes it won’t, I write out (yes, I go all old school with a #2 and some college ruled) a game plan. Sometimes its simple, I just make a quick list of the things I need to accomplish to keep my focus on track but lately, I have needed to take more detailed measures.

While it does take an evening or few hours of dedicated focus, I have found it so helpful to map out a game plan week to week, month to month. Now, I am all for living in the moment, being spontaneous and having a good time, but things need to get done, haha! By laying out my weeks and months (hour by hour), I was able to see where I was wasting time and where I could be more efficient. The best take away from it all is the realization that it all fits.

Living a full life doesn’t have to be stressful if you have a game plan!

Show Appreciation

shortcakesToday’s posts are tied together, so if you’ll see this yummy recipe a little later but don’t they look delicious!?!?!

Its always nice to be thanked, told you’re doing a good job or be given a proverbial ‘pat on the back’ but lets be honest, that only goes so far! I try to use certain peoples’ birthday’s as an excuse to show a little appreciation.

Today was one of my coworker’s birthdays and he is one of the nicest people in our office! We have more of a family than a staff and Greg is always looking to help everyone in the AWG family….never asking for anything in return.

Baking strawberry shortcakes from scratch definitely takes a little bit of time, but it’s one of the perfect ways to show a little love – not to mention they’re soo delicious and adorable!!!

You don’t have to spend two hours in your kitchen to show appreciation but giving a little bit of yourself goes a long way – write a quick card to thank someone, pick a flower for that special someone in your life, whatever…

…just spread the love!

Zesty Zucchini!


If it isn’t easy, healthy and delicious, it isn’t me and this yummy lunch, side or late night bite is no exception!

Zucchini is one of those incredibly delicious, versatile veggies you can eat in many different ways and in many different dishes. Low in calories but high in nutritional value zucchini is one of my favorites to simply grill or ribbon into pasta or bake like this AmAzInG dish that tastes like perfection!

Crank the oven to 400, slice your zucchini and season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Grease your sheet pan, place the zucchini face down, bake for 10 minutes, flip over to sprinkle with parmesan cheese and just let it melt for a minute or two. While the zucchini cooks you can chop some herbs (lemon balm,parsley, chives) to sprinkle on top.

This cheesy, delicious zucchini literally takes 15 minutes and couldn’t be more delicious! Zest up your next meal…enjoy!

Change it up!

Just like the header of my blog (did ya notice, no more Big Sur?!?), its always good to change things up, keep them interesting and branch out!

I know the header of my blog isn’t THAT big a change but its a perfect example of my point. When I started the blog I wanted a peaceful, natural image and that was the best one I had. The image was shot by one of my colleagues, Vince Piecyk, and I always meant for it to be temporary. The newest image I’ve added was also shot by Vince but the colors, life and natural feel of the flowers/foliage resonate strongly with my personality and the message I’m trying to send. For me, there is still a sense of peace in the chaos!

Finding peace and happiness in the chaos of life is exactly what I strive for and I find that keeping things interesting, by changing it up, helps me accomplish just that.

There are so many ways you can make little changes in life to keep things interesting. In my opinion, we all are guilty of becoming complacent in our routines and could stand to spice it up a bit.

Whether its a change in your workout routine, a change in the color you paint your nails, a change in the cuisine you choose when dining out, whatever…just change it up!