Inspiration Nation.

I’ll catch it a little here and there, but I don’t watch the Olymics religiously. Yet when I do, I’m always inspired by the dedication and focus of these athletes. These folk must sip some kind of magic juice day after day to go for their dreams in gold. My juice? Jesus and Pinterest quotes! Sit back and sip up some inspiration for your day!
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FOOD: A Few Thoughts & a Few Recipes

I love holidays. Especially when they fall on Mondays and I can stay in bed for as long as I want and pinterest and reminisce about all of the great food I’ve cooked up over the weekend. So…I’ve been MIA here on Bird’s Nest. Between work, a last-minute weekend trip to Miami, and keeping up with my workouts, I’ve been living! Oh yeah, and A LOT of scouring Pinterest for healthy food recipes.

It’s clear by my facebook, twitter, and instagram that I love to post pictures of the food I’ve been eating. You probably roll your eyes and think, “Another one?” every time I post a food pic, but…sorry, I can’t help but post about what I love!

Some of you know that I’ve made some signficiant food changes over the past 5 months. I’ve up’d my workouts, and have followed Advocare’s 24-Day Challenge as a companion to my intentionally healthy lifestyle. The end result? I’ve lost 23lbs! And mom is on board…she’s lost over 20lbs herself!

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I’ve never felt better, stronger, and healthier. If you’re interested in the 24-Day Challenge, comment or email me! I’ll give you the deets.

In any healthy lifestyle, it’s seriously 75% of what you put in your mouth. Processed & refined foods are killings us, people! And before they take our last breath…they’re making us fat. Our diet should mostly consist of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, healthy carbs (black beans, quinoa, etc.), and healthy fats (pure nutbutter, nuts, avocado, etc). White pastas, breads, sugar, oil, salt, alcohol, sodas, sugary juices, chips, crackers, packaged box meals, canned foods, freezer meals…or basically everything in the center of the grocery store that has a label…those are toxic “food-like” substances.

This post really isn’t to vent about food and what you should or shouldn’t be eating. I am just amazed at the power of “clean eating” of raw, whole foods that are actually food. They’ve changed my body and my life. Of course I crave my chick-fil-a on occasion and enjoy a slice of bourbon pecan pie… I’m human! However, I know how hard I’ll have to work it off and know that it WILL hurt my stomach because my body isn’t used to dealing with all of those ingredients chemicals anymore.

Back to what I’ve been scouring on Pinterest…and have actually tried!

1. This Shaved Apple, Fennel, & Celery Salad was SO good! It keeps well over night, so I was happy to have left overs. Great flavors together…a recipe I’ll be repeating!

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2. My usual go-to protein is chicken. I eat a lot of chicken. I’ve needed to change it up a bit and wanted to eat a “clean” version of Herb & Garlic Pork Tenderloin. I made it last night with the salad above and it was great!

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3. Another raw veggie recpie that I MUST make within the next week: Zucchini Noodles with Basil + Balsamic Marinaded Tomatoes (with garlic and pine nuts!). Y’all, do ya self a favor…make it.

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4. Salad, made by yours truly. I cannot stop eating this:

  • -spinach and spring mix salad greens
  • -sliced red grapes
  • -1 raw fig
  • -1 strawberry
  • -small handful of blueberries
  • -small handful of pomegranate seeds
  • -crumbled goat cheese (just a little!)
  • -a few walnuts, crumbled
  • -1/4 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 3oz grilled chicken
  • -Walden Farms Raspberry Dressing

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5. Healthy “Cake” Pops. I made these last night and I’m still undecided about them…which probably means I won’t recreate them anytime soon considering I have a freezer full on them. However, I liked the strawberry flavored ones MUCH better and will probably make them when I have kids one day because I fully intend to trick them into eating desserts that are healthy! If you make these, try the strawberry ones and keep in freezer…and add a few mini chocolate chips.

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6. Raw Garlic Herb Spreadable “Cheese.” Within the past few months, I’ve come to a new realization about myself: I am obsessed with cheese. I can’t remember a time in my life where I’ve craved soft goat cheese at every meal and had my self control put to test when I’m around manchego cheese. Too much cheese isn’t good…so I tried this recipe that’s made out of soaked cashews (like the cake pops). I like this recipe but need something delicious to put it on. I’m thinking about making these Grain-Free Rosemary Olive Oil Crackers for my spread tonight.

7. Grilled pizza. Ok, no it’s not the healthiest, but it was delicious and I’ve never had grilled pizza before!

-buffalo chicken pizza: buffalo sauce, orange peppers, mozzarella, blue cheese (or feta), & chopped celery

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-whole-wheat dough with spice marinara, red pepper flakes, mozzarella, prosciutto, & arugula

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-whole-wheat dough with goat cheese, figs, honey, balsamic vinegar, & fresh rosemary…because I am obsessed with figs!

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All that food. Within one weekend. Yep…I eat a lot of meals that look like this:

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But I eat a lot of delicious, flavorful meals that consist of REAL, colorful & flavorful food. Healthy, clean eating isn’t done in one meal, nor is one “cheat” meal going to make us fat. Consistency & creativity with food…I’ll cheers to that (with my Le Croix, fresh berries, & mint drink!).

Happy Labor Day!

DIY Canvas & Wood Lettering Wall Art

By now you know I love all things crafts from Pinterest. I saw this project and wanted to recreate it with a phrase I’ve been repeating daily, inspired from my last post on being brave.

Materials needed:

  • Cavas
  • Wood letters
  • Super glue
  • Spray paint

Steps:

  • Arrange wood letters
  • Super glue
  • Allow it to fully adhere and dry
  • Spray paint
  • Dry & hang

Ta-da!

What mantra would you want on a canvas?