New Changes for Me and the Blog!

Ta da…my blog can now be found at sequinsandsushi.com! No more long link to find it 🙂 I finally bought the domain so now it will be much easier to share the link and also no one else can take the name, yay! However, all of the old links to sequinsandsushi.wordpress.com will still be directed here, which makes it so easy. I’m so excited!

Thanks to Jess, I have also now become a Blue Diamond Tastemaker, which means I can sign up for projects involving certain products of theirs (almonds, almond milk, crackers, etc.) and write a blog post about them. In exchange for the blog post, they send me the products free; I can choose to put them in any recipe I would like! Currently all of the projects are full but I am hoping to do a sponsored post soon. Check out Jess’s post using Blue Diamond vanilla almonds to make banana nut bread muffins!

I also started a new workout regimen this week (titled Time for a Change…how fitting!) that I had pinned on Pinterest awhile back. Let me just say, I am hobbling around like an old person right now. It hurts just to sit on the toilet, but no pain no gain, right?? On Wednesday I did “Monday” and yesterday I did “Tuesday”, and since I work at the bar tonight this will have to be one of the “take it easy” days…but I usually do a lot of running around at work, so I won’t necessarily be taking it easy! I like that it can be customized to each person’s weekly routine, and it also allows you to choose your own ab exercises and cardio, so you can try to improve each week. I like having a structured “plan”, otherwise I end up just doing a bunch of random things at the gym. The soreness makes me believe it’s working so far!

I also found a few good articles on the My Fitness Pal blog: this one about how to eat well while on vacation (probably should have read that before my trip…) as well as this one about the importance of having a treat day/meal/snack every once in awhile. If you deprive yourself of something, you will eventually snap and binge on it. I think of the times when I “cheat” and order a meal/dessert that is fried/unhealthy; usually after having just a few bites I realize I don’t want it anymore, but by telling myself I couldn’t have it, I just made myself crave it even more and I’ll eat the whole thing. Thinking ahead and planning for these treats can allow you to enjoy something you love without going overboard. Also, by not letting yourself have treats as often, they become something you look forward to!

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Vacation Recap: Myrtle Beach

Hello everyone! I had a great week in South Carolina with my brother, sister, and brother-in-law…I enjoyed lots of sunshine, shopping, drinks, food, and relaxation time. But reality hit quick and it’s back to work for me…just wanted to share a few pictures from my week away!

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Greeted by palm trees upon arrival 🙂

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First beer of the trip: a hef at Gordon Biersch

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Great brewery tour at New South in Myrtle Beach!

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Beer time!

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Up close and personal with some sharks at the aquarium!

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Broadway at the Beach!

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Feeding the fox squirrel- indigenous to SC!

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And of course…sushi

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Family 🙂

Sunday Morning Egg Scramble

Happy Mother’s Day! Unfortunately I don’t live near my mother and I work on Sundays, but I’m excited to see her tomorrow and take her out for the day. Although in reality, I think every day should be Mother’s Day, because my mom is awesome and I hope she knows that! Since I wasn’t there for the family breakfast, I made myself an egg breakfast at home. Eggs are a perfect way to start your day, since all the protein will keep you full and you can add plenty of veggies for more health benefit. Hope everyone enjoys this lovely Sunday!

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Egg Scramble

Ingredients:
3 eggs, scrambled
Veggies! (I used onions and peppers, but use anything you would like)
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful shredded cheese (I used soy)
1 slice 100% whole wheat toast
1 tbsp butter/margarine (I use Earth Balance organic buttery spread)

Heat olive oil on a skillet at medium high heat and add veggies, cook until tender. Lower heat to medium and add eggs; scramble with the veggies until cooked. Top with cheese and mix, then remove from heat. Add a piece of toast with butter and a piece of fruit and you’ve got a balanced, filling breakfast!

Recipe of the Week: Creamy Tomato and Veggie Polenta

So I once again slacked and didn’t take any step-by-step photos of my recipe this week :/ I tend to cook while doing other things and before I know it I’m done and out the door! However, this recipe was really good and I sort of made it up in my head, so I’m proud and wanted to share it (hence the Tupperware lunch photo). I decided to make this because I love polenta, I found pre-cooked polenta at Trader Joe’s (in a cookie-doughish tube, so it was super easy), and I wanted to recreate the Polenta Provencale that I had bought from Trader Joe’s last week, but without the peas (I’m not a big fan). So here’s what I came up with!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package pre-cooked Trader Joe’s polenta (or you can make your own from scratch!)
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves
  • Grape tomatoes, halved (however many you desire)
  • 1 tbsp diced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jar Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato and Basil sauce
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
  1. Boil about 1.5 cups water and add the bag of frozen broccoli. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender. While broccoli is simmering, open tube of polenta and cut into small slices, then into cubes, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic and spinach leaves, cook until wilted. Then add the polenta cubes and cook for a few minutes in the oil. Mix in the broccoli and tomatoes and stir-fry them all together.
  3. Once cooked, add the jar of sauce and mix well. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste (depending how spicy you would like it).

Healthy Snack: Arctic Zero Mint Chocolate Cookie “Ice Cream”

I normally don’t have a big sweet tooth; I’m more of a crunchy, salty snacker. However, sometimes I just crave ice cream, cookies, the whole nine yards. But dairy ice cream usually gives me a stomach ache, besides being pretty unhealthy. I had recently seen Arctic Zero referenced on a blog as a healthy/dairy free alternative to ice cream, and was surprised to find it at Walmart! It is made with whey protein and is almost completely dairy free, and very low in sugar. Here’s the real wow factor…the ENTIRE PINT is 150 calories! Mind blown.

I decided to try the mint chocolate cookie flavor, but was a bit disappointed when I got home to see that there were no cookie bits in it! So I bought a box of 100 calorie Oreo packs which I figured I could crush and add to the Arctic Freeze. Tonight after the gym I finally tried it…I was not disappointed! I saw reviews that said it is best if you let it soften a bit (to a soft-serve like consistency) before eating, which was definitely a good tip, and once it was mixed with the Oreos it tasted like a guilty treat…for only 135 calories (1/4 of the pint with one 100 calorie pack). Now I’m excited to try the other flavors! Anyone have a suggestion of which to try next?

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Atlas Fitness Tracker

I’ve recently been looking into getting a fitness tracker to help me keep track of calories burned and the duration of my workouts. I was looking into the Polar FT4 (around $65) and the Polar FT7 (around $75), both cheap enough that my parents might consider getting me one for my upcoming birthday! However, today I saw a post for the Atlas fitness tracker. It’s new (only available by pre-order) but it will not only calculate calories and duration but also identifies your exercise (so cool!), calculates the number of reps, and evaluates your form. Check it out here; there’s a cool video on how it works in real time. It also isn’t a super bulky “manish” watch, and doesn’t appear to require a chest strap! It runs for around $180 though, so not a cheap option. But it sounds really, really cool…and I kind of want it. Thoughts?

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Atlas Fitness Tracker