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Blog REVAMP!

Hey guys! I’m BACK!

I just bought a brand spankin’ new shiny laptop, I’m full of new ideas, and have literally no time–but hey, I’m going to MAKE it happen! I received so many encouraging comments from all of you, and I’m excited to be back in the Blogosphere.

Please keep an eye on the blog for: new recipes, ideas, tips, tricks, etc. for a healthier lifestyle! Also…tell me: what do you want to hear about? What do you need recipes of? Let’s talk, learn, and grow!

Yours,

Tiffany

encouraging1

Rough Monday? Here’s some wisdom for your soul

Just Breathe
Encouragement
Encourage

My Monday has been such a Monday!

A brief summary: I overslept and missed my 5:30 am running group. My car had troubles on the way into the office; it has since been towed to a local auto shop. I had a bit too much chocolate yesterday (can you relate!?) so my skin is feeling extra oily today…(and my oily skin reminds me of the chocolate I ate, which reminds me that I didn’t workout this morning, which makes me upset–so, consequently, I want to eat more chocolate… )

Oh boy.

I realize that at this point, I have two options. Option ACall today a wash. Go to the local organic market and buy myself a pumpkin turkey enchilada and carton of pistachio gelato, plop on the couch, and turn off the world. Or Option BChoose to believe that tomorrow will be better. Perhaps, jog a couple of miles to cool down after work, and then retreat to the fireplace with a good book after making myself some warm root vegetable soup…

I choose Option B.

New look, New goals! Bring it on, 2014!

2014

Hi friends & fellow bloggers,

It’s been awhile, am I right?

Like many of you, I view the start of the new year as a time to start afresh. After the holidays (lots of food and little sleep) I am more than ready for this ‘reset’ button. Here were my four primary NY resolutions of 2014…

1. Get more sleep! Last year, though I put in tons of hours at the gym and yoga studio, but far too few sleeping in my bed. After reading some articles about the importance of sleep (it fights premature aging, helps mental clarity, helps reduce the number on the scale, etc.) I realized it was time to make an adjustment.

2. Finally kick artificial sweeteners–completely. So far, I’ve eliminated artificial sweeteners in everything except for coffee and tea at the office. In 2014, I’ll kick them completely.

3. Start saving money! A girl’s gotta start sometime…

4. Travel some. New York, anyone? Europe? Somewhere?!

5. Write daily, and blog weekly! Someone told me that, “write every day. Something will end up being great” \

6. Pray, reflect, journal each day.

Join me as I (attempt) to follow through with these resolutions!
Cheers to our 2014,
T

Welcome

10 Ways to De-Stress (When Life Gets Crazy)

Okay friends—school is back in session, work is in full-swing, I’m helping friends plan their weddings, I’m trying to stay in shape with the holidays right around the corner—and life in general seems to be moving at a million miles a minute! Does anyone else feel my stress?!

stress

In an effort to calm down, mellow out, and think more clearly—I’ve come up with a list of things that help alleviate the urge to tense up and freak out when stress knocks at your door (or breaks your door down completely). I hope you find this helpful (and if you have additional tips, please don’t be shy—I love to hear others’ thoughts!).

1)      Eat clean for a clear brain. It is tempting to let our emotions get the best of us—especially when we’re stressed out. Eat Clean!Research shows that eating clean (“clean” means a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and lean meats—while avoiding as much as possible processed, sugar-laden, packaged temptations) helps with mental clarity. So, instead of reaching for the carton of Ben & Jerry’s the next time you have a presentation due and a class to prepare for, make yourself a big bowl of chopped fruit, drizzled with honey and perhaps dolloped with a tiny bit of whipped cream! I promise you’ll be satisfied without the accompanying guilt in the morning.

2)      Meditate to start your day. –I make my quiet time a priority each morning. Even if I am meeting my running group at the crack of dawn, I make it a priority to have at least 20 minutes of prayer and reflection by myself before leaving the house. This helps me start my day with a clear mind, a solid foundation, and a sense of inner peace.

3)      Plan times to relax. –If you’re on this blog, or if you’re anything like me, you’re probably a workaholic. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, but there is something wrong with working hard without breaks. I suggest you plan a time each week that is solely dedicated to recharging you. Different people recharge in different ways. For my boyfriend, recharging looks like videogames and computer coding (I know, he’s a dork—but they make the best boyfriends!). For me, recharging looks like a manicure and back massage, baking while listening to Jack Johnson, or a good, long run by myself. Consider your time to recharge as a valuable time to unplug. I promise, if you do this, you’ll be more efficient when it’s time to get back to work!

4)      Open the window. Get some fresh air. I spend at least 8 hours of the work week inside. Whether I’m in an office or a classroom, I’m in. To de-stress, it can be very effective to get out. Open the window and simply breathe in the freshness that is the outside. (Unless, of course, you’re in Los Angeles…then, I suggest you drive outside city limits and breathe cleaner air!)

5)      Send yourself flowers. I’Flowers!m not at all ashamed to admit that I buy myself flowers all the time. There’s something about the bright, vivid colors that makes me happy regardless of how long my to-do list is.

6)      Workout! Endorphins, which are touted as the chemical release that makes you feel “happy” are produced when you work out. This means that moving can actually help you feel happier. (Not to mention, working out is crucial to staying in shape—which can be difficult when we’re stressed to the max!)

7)      Become a Yogi. Though Yoga is a form of working out, I really think it deserves its own line. Why? Because yoga is just as mental as it is physical. The act of yoga allows you to reach a calm, centered space—and who doesn’t want that in the middle of chaos?! Become a Yogi

8)      Go out and let your hair down. When you’re stressed, plan a day or night to spend with your buddies. This could look like a group hike, heading to on the town (though I definitely do not recommend alcohol as a way to cope with stress), or having the girls over for a movie night. Regardless of what you do, it is crucial that you have something to look forward to—and nobody helps us forget our stresses than a bunch of friends!

9)      Count your blessings. It’s easy for me to get caught up in making future plans and fulfilling obligations when I get stressed. I find that when I stop and think about what I am thankful for, I learn to live in the moment to cherish what I currently have. This mindset makes coping with the details of each day much more bearable!

10)   Read this blog! J Sure, this is shameless self-promotion, but I really do strive to provide helpful tips on living healthier as a busy individual. Check out healthy recipes, advice, and motivation here at tiffstips.wordpress.com!

Tuscan Tomato Basil Salad

Perfect Summer Dish: Tuscan Italian Tomato Basil Salad

This delicious salad takes just minutes to throw together and adds color and fun flavors to any meal! It is perfect for a light dinner or as a side salad to any lunch or dinner entrée. It should be noted that it holds for approximately 3 days—but it’s so delicious that it’s usually gone by then anyway! Image

(This recipe makes approximately 1 meal-sized serving or 2 side servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of heirloom tomatoes, organic (the more colorful—the better!) (this is approximately 3 cups of a variety of heirloom tomatoes)
  • 1 small red onion (you’ll only need about ¼)
  • 1 tbsp.  crumbled feta or your desired amount of fresh mozzarella or –if you don’t do cheese products, skip this step! The salad is delicious without the additioImageImagen of cheese.
  • ½ tbsp. fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. organic Italian dressing (I use the creamy Italian from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • just a pinch of Himalayan salt or sea salt

Directions:

  1. Wash, dry, and halve all tomatoes. Place them in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a small dish, combine the balsamic vinegar and Italian dressing (of your choice). Once mixed, pour over tomatoes. Stir this mixture gently. (Do this first so that the tomatoes can “marinate” while you prepare the other ingredients.)
  3. Chop approximately ¼ of a red onion (or your desired amount) into thin pieces. Add the mixture to your tomatoes.
  4. Add basil and feta or mozzarella to the mixture.
  5. Mix thoroughly albeit gently, so you do not crush the tomatoes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
tiffswatermelonberrysalad

The Most Refreshing Salad on Earth

Hi y’all! I hope you are well! I’ve been doing superb myself, though working a little too much. I’ll be striving for better personal-work balance from now on…and you know what that means! — More blogging! (It’s my personal way to unwind.)Image

Over the last week I have been craving salads of all sorts. I’ll post a few “unique” salad dishes for you to try, starting with this BERRY refreshing salad! (Points for being clever, right?!)

This salad is unique because it incorporates the refreshing taste of mint and the sweet, melt-in-your-mouth summery fruits. The flavors awaken your senses, the mint promotes a fast metabolism, and this salad is QUITE beautiful to look at!

Because it’s unique both in taste and in aesthetics, your guest (boyfriend? Husband? Wife?) will think you took a long time on it—when in reality it takes just a few moments to throw together. (I love easy!)

Ingredients (for a serving for 2):

½ cup blueberries, organic

½ cup strawberries, organic, halved

½ cup watermelon, cubed in 1-inch pieces

1 /2 tbsp. organic Stevia

1 tsp. honey or agave

1 tbsp. water

1/2 tsp. grated lemon or lime

½ tbsp. fresh, finely chopped mint leaves

Directions:

  1. Wash all fruit and set aside to dry.
  2. In a small bowl or dish, whisk together stevia, honey/agave, water, and lemon or lime zest. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, add in the finely chopped mint leaves.
  3. Put all fruit in a serving bowl; pour the mixture over the fruit and mix thoroughly.
  4. Let the fruit sit in the fridge, covered, for at least 30 minutes. (The natural sugars in the fruit are accentuated by the lemon and lime zest! This assures that the minty flavor is not too strong!)
  5. Enjoy!

Happy cooking, friends!

-Tiff