Would You Go Naked?

Naked Juice has become a pretty popular drink in our growing health conscious society. With its “100% Juice” labels and all fruit ingredient list, it seems like this juice is the perfect on-the-go alternative to a homemade smoothie. They sell Naked juices and smoothies all around campus, and I’ve had them less than a hand full of times. HOWEVER, it never fail to make me feel less healthy than I had before drinking.  Curious to what exactly Naked Juice’s deal was, I did some research. Here are my finding:

Stripping down Naked Juice:

  • There are 60 grams of sugar in one bottle of Naked.
  • Most of the boost and vitamins are added to the juices
  • Naked juice are highly caloric, with their products ranging from 120-230 calories per serving (1 serving is 8oz, only half the bottle!) 
  • In August 2013, Naked faced a class action lawsuit over their  health claims (This concerned some of their labeling including “Non-GMO”, “All Natural Fruit,” and “All Natural Fruit + Boosts”) More information about the lawsuit here!
  • Naked Juice is owned by PepsiCo, if that puts the “naturalness” of these juices into perspective.

Next time, instead of reaching for a Naked Juice, try making your own smoothie or juice!

Here are a few of my  favorite smoothie combinations/recipes:

  • The classic strawberry banana smoothie: A whole banana, a couple of strawberries (frozen or fresh), and some ice. Blend it all up and enjoy!
  • If you looking for a boost of protein try this banana, spinach, and chia seed smoothie! Chia seeds are PACKED with protein.
  • Or make your own healthy smoothie, using the chart below
    how-to-make-a-perfect-smoothie

    Photo Retrieved from Positivemed.com

    Personally, I think I am going to stick to my homemade smoothies and juices where I can monitor what and how much is put into it.

But, if you are still looking for that same accessible smoothie for all your on-the-go needs, try Florida-based organic Noble Citrus juices and smoothies. Sold all over the US, these drink are similar to naked, but made with all organic produce!

~Stay Sweet~

 

 

 

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DID SOMEONE SAY CUPCAKE FESTIVAL?

Processed with Rookie

Whats better than a street fair? A street fair DEDICATED to cupcakes, of course!!!! You can only imagine the excite that came over me when my roommate uttered the question,”Do you wanna go to a CUPCAKE FESTIVAL this weekend?” As  mentioned in my prior post, The Most Unlikely Place to Eat the Best Pizza, I attended the K 104 Cupcake Festival in Fishkill, NY, and it was a sweet adventure!

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Vanilla Salted Caramel Cup Cake from Flour and Sun Bakery

Background on the festival:

  • This year, 2014, was the 3rd annual K104 Cupcake Festival.
  • May 4th, from 1-5pm on Main St. in the Village of Fishkill
  • Free Admission!! (But you have to pay each vendor for cupcakes and other baked goods)
  • 17 cup cake vendors, 5 food&beverage, 26 goods&services, 5 fun for kid stands/vendors
  • Cupcake Wars competition: 12 competitors compete for the award of Best Cupcake with an $1000 prize!
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ShopRite’s beautifully decorated cupcakes

Spotlight on the Cupcakes:

  • Vegan and Gluten-Free- Eat This Bakery– This cupcake bakery had some of the most exciting flavors, including a cinnamon toast crunch
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    Forget Me Not’s Cupcake Bus

    and strawberry lemonade cupcake! With traditional, gluten-free, and vegan options!

  • Amazing Decorations– ShopRite of Wappingers Fall: This may be a shock that among the many cupcake venders I saw at the festival, ShopRite had the MOST BEAUTIFULLY decorated cupcakes.
  • Cupcake Bus- Forget Me Not Cupcakes: Not only did Forget Me Not Cupcakes win last year’s Cupcake Wars, but they are serving their award winning cupcakes out of a custom cupcake bus!!
  • Most Festive- La Sweet Cakes: Being the fourth of May, with Cinco de Mayo just a day away, their Cinco de Mayo cupcake with tequila-lime cupcake stuffed with fresh raspberry jam was decorated as a festive drink, with a straw and all!

 

 

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La Sweet Cakes tasty treats! Top: Cinco De Mayo Bottom: Lemon and Raspberry

Not only did they have cupcake venders, but jewelry stores selling cupcake merchandise and a coffee brewer selling CUPCAKE FLAVORED COFFEE!

For more information on the festival, vendors, and competition visit K 104’s website!

If you are like me and can’t get enough of these food themed festivals, check out this website to find a festival in near you!

 

Celebrating My Favorite Snack

HAPPY NATIONAL PRETZEL DAY!! Pretzels are my snack of choice because they bring everything to the table.  Soft or hard, with or without salt, there are endless varieties of pretzels guaranteed to satisfy! From pretzel buns, to chocolate coated, and even being put inside of M&Ms, it seems that there is no place pretzels can’t be taken (figuratively and literally).  My personal preference when it comes to pretzels would have to be a hard sourdough or a regular twist pretzel dipped in peanut butter. I basically could eat any kind of pretzel dipped in peanut butter to be honest!

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My mom, brother, and myself (from right to left) at Julius Sturgis back in 2005.

If you wanna celebrate National Pretzel Day in all its glory, here are some great ideas:

  • If you are willing to make the trip or live in the Pennsylvania area, head over to Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. This over 150 year old landmark hold interactive tours where guest learn to tie their own pretzels and watched them get baked off! I’ve actually been there, and can attest to it being a fun and interesting experience!  CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION!

If you’d rather celebrate in the comfort of your own home here are some awesome recipes you may be interested in:

  • Feeling ambitious enough to make your own soft pretzels? Take them to the next level by adding spinach, artichoke, and bacon!! Check out Half Baked Harvest’s Spinach, artichoke, and bacon stuffed beer soft pretzel here.
  •  Try out this sweet and salty Carmel Pretzel Brownies.(I may actually make these tonight!) RECIPE HERE

MY TIP: If you live in an area where Wawa convenient stores are located, stop and eat one of their delicious soft pretzels. You will not regret it, and if you are not doing for yourself, at least do it for me!

Enjoy your day, today & enjoy your pretzels, always!!!

Egg-static About Brunch

 

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My DELICIOUS Easter brunch!

The trend of Brunch has recently EXPLODED in modern American culture.  Brunch is everywhere! From brunch recipes on the Food&Drink page of Pinterest, to Brunch @ Bobby’s that airs on the Food Network, to Yelp-ing the best brunch places everywhere you go (that last one might just be me… BUT ANYWAYS), this mystical meeting of breakfast food and day drinking has rightfully won a prominent place in our hearts. Some do it for the social aspects, some from the food (or the booze), but for whatever reason you brunch, it’s clear that we can’t just like brunch, but rather we’ve become obsessed with it.

You know something is “IN” when Buzzfeed creates a quiz or post about it, and right now there is no shortage of brunch posts on their site. FOR INSTANCE:

Whether you have a go to brunch spot or  prefer to do your brunching at home, good food and good company are what count!

AND do not fear if you are out of town and miss your weekly hybrid of bfast and lunch, for Food&Wine Magazine has established a list of credible brunch places in major cities throughout the US to tickle your brunch fancy wherever life may take you.  Click here to check it out!

Of course, I myself have fallen under the luster of brunch.  As I usually participate in a Saturday 11 am brunch that  lasts until 2 pm or longer, because lets face it, us brunch-ers take our brunching VERY seriously.  It has a way of making waking up mid afternoon and stuffing your face with food and drinks for hours so elegant. Essentially, brunch can be made into anything one desires from healthy and light pickings to a calorie-dense sweet and savory buffet of goodness.  With nothing but positive vibes, there is NO DENYING  that brunch is here to stay.

Whats your favorite brunch recipe? REPLY IN THE COMMENTS!

~Stay classy & keep brunchin’ ~

RUN WHILE YOU CAN

Photo retrieved here.

Photo retrieved here.

By no means do I consider myself to be excellent runner, with my only real competitive running experience was being a member of my middle school’s cross country team, but it’s something I really enjoy doing. Although, it wasn’t until after I joined my college’s crew team, did I truly discover my love of running (this may be because ANYTHING is better than crew workouts).  I’ve since quit crew, but my love for running still prevails.

Running is a freeing experience for me. It allows me to clear my mind of any worries and just focus on the road ahead of me.  I am a fan of trail runs (or running outside in general) because of the different terrain and difficulty of the trail paths; however, because of weather restrictions this isn’t always possible. So, in the winter months I find myself running on the treadmill (YUCK!). BUT thanks to Pinterest and the beautiful people of the internet, I’ve found several guides to make treadmill workouts a bit more bearable:

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • This workout is a more structured schedule.
  • This workout gives you more freedom to customize.
Scenic picture of the Hudson, I took on one of my many bridge adventures.

Scenic picture of the Hudson, I took on one of my many bridge adventures.

 

Now with the weather warming up, I am back where I belong running outside, and with the Walkway Over the Hudson  and the FDR Trails within miles from my school, I’d say I’d hit the running jackpot! After a long day of work and classes, it’s great to be able to clear my head and take in the fresh air and not to mention the beautiful view! Hoping to run a 5k sometime this summer, I am taking advantage of these resources more and more as the weather is warming up.  Even if you are not a runner, both the Walkway and the trails are beautiful destinations to take a leisurely walk! Here are some links that will lead you to more information on Walkway Over the Hudson and the FDR trails.

 ~Stay motivated~

Soulful Outing

Going to school in the Hudson Valley, for a foodie like myself, is dream come true. Down the road from Culinary Institute of America and surrounded by tons of amazing eateries, I’ve taken advantage of all the good food surrounding me. This weekend a friend and I ate at a place I’ve been eyeing for quite a while,  Soul Dog, and I can tell you it was an extremely soulful experience.

The soulful low down:

Our Dogs: Top- Sam's Paleo Dog: chicken dog with quac and bacon in a bun (usually in a lettuce wrap) Middle- Soul Fries Bottom- My Thai Delight Dog: chicken dog, spicy peanut sauce, cucumber, jalapeño scallions, in a lettuce wrap (usually served in a bun)

Our Dogs:
Top- Sam’s Paleo Dog: chicken dog with quac and bacon in a bun (usually in a lettuce wrap)
Middle- Soul Fries
Bottom- My Thai Delight Dog: chicken dog, spicy peanut sauce, cucumber, jalapeño scallions, in a lettuce wrap (usually served in a bun)

Soul Dog- a glutton free oasis, located in Poughkeepsie, is a specialized hot dog shop providing customers with more than your basic beef hot dogs. They have chicken, beef, tofu, and italian sausage dogs to fit the fancies of all their patrons!  But these aren’t just your normal dogs with ketchup and mustard (although you can get that!). Some of their specialty dogs include:

  • The Picnic: a beef dog with mac’n’cheese, baked beans and BBQ sauce
  • Tex-Mex: a beef dog with black bean salsa, guac, and chipotle cream
  • The Herbivore: a tofu dog with guac and quinoa chilli
  • The Soul Dog ( of course!): a beef dog with soul sauce, sloppy joe, and chipotle cream
  • along with many others that can be found on their MENU

They even have the option to create your very own customized dog in which you select the type of dog, bun, and array of toppings you want all with the option of making them glutton free! They also have sandwiches and other specialty items, including soups, nachos, a beer and wine menu, and a kids menu, so Soul Dog is guaranteed to satisfy.

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A look at the interior of Soul Dog!

Not only is the food awesome, but the interior of Soul Dog is bright and unique. With crayons on every table, guest are encouraged to draw something soulful that they may even hang on their walls!

I LOVED everything I had at Soul Dog (a Thai Delight dog with Soul Fries) and

Our soul-art. Top: My Soul Dog (Obviously I'm not an artist) Bottom: Sam's psychedelic Soul Dog

Our soul-art.
Top: My Soul Dog (Obviously I’m not an artist)
Bottom: Sam’s psychedelic Soul Dog

have made it a mission to try everything on the menu! If you are in the area, I encourage you to check it out because it’s affordable and pretty stinking good. Whether you are glutton free or not, Soul Dog has a little bit of everything to insure a soulful eating experience for all!

“There’s an APP for that” PART 1

I will not lie,  I spend a majority of my day (whether it be consciously or subconsciously) using some sort of technological device, most commonly my iPhone. So naturally, I have tons of apps that pertain to my love of both food and fitness. SO, I thought it would be a great idea to have a series of post highlighting my favorite apps:

App: Nike Trainer

Category: Health & Fitness

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Different goal choices. (Screen shot from my Nike Trainer App)

This app allows you to customize a workout program specifically to the kind of work out you are looking to get.  To start off, you choose a GOAL (get lean, get toned, or get strong). Next,you choose your LEVEL (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). Lastly, you choose if you’d like to include running into your plan.  From there, the app produces a 4 week workout program to follow with specific workouts for each day, Basically acting as a personal trainer, but saving you hundreds of dollars! The app is formulated to provide you with different types of workouts for different days.

APP HIGHLIGHTS:

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Nike Trainer also includes workout highlights from celebrities and athletes. (Screen shot from my Nike Trainer App)

  • Customizable to your individual goals
  • Includes step by step videos on how to do certain workouts
  • Keeps a log of all the time you spend working out
  • Provides additional workouts (the aren’t apart of a program) that can at  any time
  • Price: FREE from the App Store!

I personally use this app quite often on top of my regular cardio routines. I really love the different variety of workouts that are provides from relaxing yoga to intensive strength exercises.  It is also a great solution to days that I do not have time to make it to the gym because of my busy schedule, with each exercising ranging from 15 to 45 minutes.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE APP!

What are some of your favorite apps? Share in the comments!

In Need of a Little Motivation…

Even as much as I love working out, and I really find it to be a soothing and freeing experience, with the semester progressing and the workload for all my classes piling up, I find it a struggle to get to the gym, or find enough time to get the workout that I’d really hope to get.  ALSO the weather has been very unfavorable (tomorrow morning’s weather report is showing less than ten degrees WITH WINDCHILL), making the trek from my dorm to the gym very undesirable. Honestly, I find myself more and more wanting to stay in and consume as much food as my cabinets can hold. Which I will admit, I have done more often than not this semester….

HOWEVER, I know this is simply detour in my journey and I hope by voicing it on here that I will start to get back on track! Gotta stay positive and motivated! I mean, spring break and summer are quickly approaching.

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My beloved beach cruiser (left) on one of my many bike trail adventures.

SPEAKING OF SPRING and the promise of warmer weather there are a few things I CANNOT wait to do  including:

  • RUNNING OUSIDE. There is nothing like running outside on a beautifully sunny spring day (ideally with a slight breeze). With a park with a great variety of running and fitness trails located within minutes from my house, I spend a lot of time there when the weather is warm.
  • BIKING. I love biking, more so for leisurely fun than intensive exercise. On spring and summer mornings, my best friend and I will ride on the 30 mile bike trail that ends at the beach. Conveniently, our favorite ice cream place is located right off the trail, and after biking 30 miles, I feel much less guilty about eating my vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles!

What are some of the ways you stay motivated? What can’t you look forward too about the summer? Reply in the comments!

Emergency Crunches

emergencyAs a college student, I look forward to the weekend from the moment I walk into my 8 am on Monday morning.  The weekend is the time to be lazy and a little bit crazy. Whether it be hanging around campus or going out with friends to dinner, a party or a bar, a girl always wants to look her best.  However, we all know the horrid feeling of not looking/feeling our greatest before we leave the house for a night out. Maybe your shirt-pant combination is really highlighting your waist in all the wrong ways, or you are still feeling the bloat from that burrito you ate earlier.  We’ve all been there. This unflattering feeling can totally put a downer on your entire night!

BUT don’t fear because I have found the solution to this menace. And it’s what I like to call the emergency crunch.

Basically whenever you are feeling this way before you are ready to go out you simply do a 3-10 minute sequence of your favorite ab routines (the amount of time is up to you, I personally do my emergency crunches for about 5 minutes).

Not only do emergency crunches make you feel better physically, but they can mentally makes you feel happier.

Emergency crunches are my solution to this problem; however, you can transition this to any body part you wish to accentuate. Emergency squats? Emergency dumbbell curls? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.

HERE ARE A FEW OF MY GO TO ROUTINES FOR EMERGENCY CRUNCHES:

Any suggestions? What are your favorites? Leave a comment!

DISCLAIMER: This may not work for everyone. However, I am a firm believer in emergency crunches.

Photo retrieved here 

Food Appreciation

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This peanut butter brownie sundae from the Palace Diner could bring world peace. (Photo taken by me)

I love food, I really do. I am constantly thinking about food (which is better than constantly eating, I guess).  Planning my next meal while I am on Pintertest looking up recipes or watching the Food Network. I can’t even go to the gym without watching the Barefoot Contessa or Giada cook up one of their mouth-watering meals as I run on the treadmill. I don’t just love eating food, I love the emotion that food brings the moment it touches my tongue.  How a fudgey brownie with a molten center can make me feel so euphoric and how a simple garlic shrimp taco, garnished with nothing but purple cabbage and a sprits of lime, can take me to an entirely different place. A majority of the most significant moments of my life were followed by meals fit for a king. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday simply because it’s a non-stop food fest. Food brings people together. How many times do you hear of people getting a divorce or into a physical altercation about different opinions of ice cream flavors or pizza toppings?  I can’t speak for you, but I haven’t heard of many.