Sunday, April 28, 2013

All Natural Skin Care

My journey to an all natural skin care regimen began just like my natural hair care regimen did: with pure vanity.  Since I got pregnant with my daughter three years ago, my face has been a wreck.  I've battled acne like a pubescent teenager, and my face has had random dry patches and redness.  I tried every type of face cleanser, astringent, lotion, and spot treatment.  But the more I threw at it, the worse it seemed to get.  Eventually I decided to cut back to a simpler routine, and I started washing my face once a day with Cetaphil Gentle cleanser, and that seemed to have improved my skin the most.  However, my skin was still far from perfect, so I continued my search for a solution.

The Discovery

Friday, April 26, 2013

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is derived from my former tried-and-true recipe for tacos.  The difference is, my old recipe called for higher fat ground beef, copious amounts of cheese, and absurd amounts of guacamole and sour cream.  And of course I served it all on overly-processed flour tortillas.  Man, were they good.  I'm not going to promise that this healthier version tastes better than the original, but I can promise that it's pretty darn close.  Plus, it's nice to not feel uncomfortably full after a hearty Mexican dinner.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


June 29, 2014 Update:  I wrote this review over a year ago, and a few months after it was published, I noticed that Peppino's pizza's quality had deteriorated.  I held out hoping that I was catching them on a bad day, but it has now been more than a year of nothing but disappointing pizzas.  They have traded out their creamy, thick cheese for a much cheaper, stringier and drier version.  The toppings are incredibly sparse.  Everything I loved about Peppino's pizza is pretty much gone.  So it is with a heavy heart that I have to renounce my positive review.  If you are looking for a good slice of pizza, I now recommend Little Italy's pizza in downtown Athens (ironically owned by the same folks as Peppinos--hopefully their ingredients don't begin to suffer too).

Hand's down, the best pizza in Athens is Peppino's.  Located on the corner of Whitehall Road and Milledge, it is a hidden gem on the Eastside.  I am pretty picky about my pizza, and until I stumbled upon Peppino's, I had found Athen's pizza scene a little wanting.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Oh man, these Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are goooooooooood.  It took everything I had not to eat the entire 16 bars in one sitting.  Even the batter is amazing.  Since it's vegan, it's perfectly safe to eat in dough-form.  My toddler thought she won the lottery when I handed her the cookie dough covered spatula. 

Like almost everything I put on my blog, these cookie bars are deceptively healthy.  They contain no eggs, oils (except to grease the pan), or even flour.  In fact, the bulk of these cookies are...chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans).  You'd never know it just by taste though.  I urge you to give it a try!

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Natural Hair Care Regimen

There are many great reasons to switch to a natural hair care regimen.  Some people switch because it is better for the environment, and others switch because they don't like the idea of putting chemicals all over their hair.  Others switch because it is significantly less expensive to do go natural.  As for me? I did it mainly for vanity. That's right, vanity. I'm not afraid to admit it! I have never been able to find a shampoo and conditioner that consistently resulted in soft, shiny hair, despite what the advertisements promised me. So when I read about how commercial shampoos strip hair of their natural oils, resulting in a flaky scalp and dull hair, I began to wonder if that was my hair's problem. I decided to try switching to a natural hair care regimen and see if I saw an improvement. To my complete surprise, it worked amazingly. My hair is now shinier, more full-bodied, significantly softer, and definitely way less oily. Plus I have the added bonus of not putting chemical all over my hair, and I save a ton of money.  But honestly the best part is how non-oily and soft my hair is now!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thai Coconut Curry

I love Thai food, particularly curry.  It's just so flavorful and hearty, yet at the same time, somehow still light and healthy. I always feel pretty great after eating a big bowl of curry, instead of feeling groggy and heavy like I do after most hearty meals.  What I love most about curry is that it is so flexible.  You can play around with the spices, use whatever vegetables are in season, and add in whatever protein you have on hand.  Furthermore, you can dress it up with garnishes if you are feeling fancy, or keep it simple if your are feeling lazy.  I do recommend you have Sriracha Sauce nearby if you like your curry to have an extra kick.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

I love Mexican and Tex-Mex food.  Unfortunately, in the hot summer months, the cuisine's heavy and spicy character can be a turn-off.  So when the temperature soars, and I'm craving some Mexican food, I like to make Santa Fe Chicken Salad.  It's packed with protein, and is a great way to sneak some veggies into your diet.  If you serve it on a lettuce wrap, it is a very diet-friendly yet filling meal. It's especially good when it's topped with cool, creamy avocado. Yum!  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Slow Cooker Sriracha & Honey BBQ Chicken

I remember the first time I laid eyes upon Sriracha Sauce, a spicy garlic chili sauce sent straight from heaven.  It was almost a decade ago, and I noticed bottles of it sitting on every table at the Dekalb Farmer's Market's cafeteria. Feeling adventurous, I squeezed a little bit onto some roasted eggplant I was enjoying.  I fell immediately in love.  It's spicy and garlicky, and adds the perfect amount of heat to pretty much any entree or side dish you can think of.  So when I saw a recipe for Slow-Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken from Foodie with Family, I made it immediately.  I altered the recipe just a tad, and I changed the way it was served in order to make it healthier and lighter.  The result?  A sweet and spicy barbecue that is easily made in your slow cooker.  Made with Sriracha AND easy to make? Score!