Ingredient of the Week

A few weeks ago, I recognized an all too familiar feeling of tiredness and weakness that’d been hanging over me like a heavy cloud. I’ve been dealing with iron deficiency issues my whole life, off and on, and I could tell that I was yet-again running too low on the mineral. Times like this one, when the deficiency isn’t too extreme, I just start taking some iron supplements and up my intake of iron-laden proteins that I’m not always the biggest fan of. So this time around, instead of ordering a big hunk of meat every night for the next few weeks, I decided to look to one of my favorite but easily forgotten sources of iron: cream of wheat!

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photo via: quemas.mamaslatinas.com

Cream of wheat always brings me back to my childhood, when my parents would heat me up a bowl in the mornings, with a touch of sugar and milk swirled in. My sister and I loved having cream of wheat for breakfast, with its savory-sweet smell and comforting warmth filling our bellies. Not only is it a yummy and filling breakfast, but it’s also very nutritious. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, with iron being its top bragging right, this classic breakfast is anything but simple. While I enjoy eating it plain, the same way that I did as a kid, ever since I decided to add it back into my eating regimen, I’ve been playing around with some fun toppings to give my breakfast an extra kick. I usually resort to adding a sliced banana, slivered almonds, and a bit of honey to my cream of wheat, but after browsing through these recipes that I randomly found, I can’t wait to mix up my routine a little more!

What do y’all think about cream of wheat? Have you tried it before?

An Awesome Fall Ingredient To Bring Into The Kitchen

Now that it’s the season for fall ingredients to start hitting the grocery store shelves, I’ve been hitting up the local Whole Foods and Fresh Market for the best of the best. One of my favorite fall foods that I … Continue reading

Reasons why a coconut oil obsession can be the best (and sometimes worst) thing ever:

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Admit it, about a year ago, 99% of us hadn’t even heard of coconut oil.  Upon hearing the word coconut, we usually just experienced flashbacks about the coconut rum-filled regrets from high school or the makeshift Hawaiian bras that all of us ladies have secretly (or not so secretly) tried on before.  However, nowadays we can barely go a week without hearing the word coconut oil being name-dropped by celebrities and the media as the new “miracle food.”  I’m not ashamed to confess that I am among those gals who have jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon over the past year, and I have happily used the product for many different purposes.  Unfortunately, over this past week on my last spring break, I wasn’t reminded of the numerous benefits of coconut oil, but instead of a downside to using it incorrectly.  Check out the list below, where I’ve rounded up my favorite uses of the tropical oil as well as a few pointers to make sure you’re getting the best out of your purchase and don’t make the same mistake I did!

  1. It’s great for baking yummy (and healthy) treats- it’s a great replacement for vegetable oil
  2. Put a little into your morning coffee or tea instead of creamer… it may seem scary but actually tastes GOOD
  3. Use it as a delicious-smelling body and face moisturizer- it won’t dry out your skin later since it isn’t made with water
  4. It will give your hair the tropical vacation it deserves- it’s a great conditioner for the dry ends and adds shine
  5. Use it to remove your eye makeup- super moisturizing and gentle on that delicate skin
  6. It’s a fantastic lip balm- it tastes yummy too

Tips:

  1. Yes, it does serve as a great tanning oil but it only has SPF 4 and won’t protect your skin from high-intensity sun without any other sunscreen— this is where I made my mistake on my spring break cruise, as I relied only on the oil to protect my fair skin on the first day
  2. Make sure the type you get is extra virgin, non-hydrogenated, non-bleached, unrefined, and non-deodorized (you also might as well get organic to ensure perfection)
  3. Eat it in moderation- since it IS still an oil and high in saturated fat
  4. Be aware that it liquefies when the temperature is above 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so store it depending on how you want to use it
  5. ENJOY!

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This is the kind I use!

top photo from coconutoil.com

New Year, New Hobby

Whenever the New Year rolls right past our dizzy and soon-to-be-hungover selves at 12am, January 1st, everyone seems to have the highest hopes for the year ahead and a list of resolutions already written in their head or the Notes app. on their iPhones.  I, on the other hand, find this “resolution” tradition quite silly and almost always ineffective.  Instead of making a resolution for something we should’ve already been doing or done, and which only lasts for (at the most) a month, we should start a new tradition of doing something much more practical and doable.  My suggestion is quite simple, easy, and won’t leave you overly disappointed after realizing you kept up with the typical resolution you made for no more than a week.  Instead, try to view the New Year as a chance to push the past year’s baggage aside and try a new hobby.  Beginning something new can be really exciting, motivating, and stress relieving.  Even better is that if you aren’t good at this new “thing” or completely give it up after 2 days, you won’t feel the usual guilt from dropping yet another new years resolution.

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I started a little early on my most recent hobby/resolution because I desperately needed a stress reliever after the hell that my final exams put me through.  I decided to start playing guitar again, after a long hiatus of waiting for my hands to grow big enough to use a normal-sized guitar.  It’s been great to get back into music and especially nice to be able to practice with my guitar-loving dad.  I’m glad that it’s taken the place of a New Year’s resolution and given me something to put my mind and energy into without the pressure and constant nagging that comes along with a typical resolution.  If picking up a musical instrument doesn’t sound as appealing to you, check out a few of my other suggestions for new hobbies to get into right below!

1. Yoga: I’ve been attending Yoga every now and then at school and it truly does heal both the mind and body.

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2. Crafting: Use Pinterest as an idea starter (bracelets, dream catchers, etc…)

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3. Writing: It can be so therapeutic as well as exciting to write about anything your heart desires- and who knows, you may discover a new talent!

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4. Drawing/Painting

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5. Learn to cook

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…so you can cook a delish breakfast like this

6. A new sport that doesn’t require a team: Paddleboarding/Surfing, Golf, Snowboarding, etc…

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7. Explore the dream world by starting a dream journal and/or try out lucid dreaming

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8. Reading: You may think this is the lamest hobby ever, but if you don’t already, you should start reading.

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9. If you’re still struggling to figure out a hobby that’s the best fit, I’ll cast all judgments aside if you feel the need to resort to the most universally feasible hobby there is…Netflix

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