The Benefits of Going Selectitarian

Whether it’s taking on the Paleo Diet, being gluten-free or deciding to become a vegan, Americans are paying more attention to what we eat. And because of that, we’re leading healthier lives.

If you’re like me, there are many reasons why veganism and vegetarianism are attractive to you. For starters, I am an avid animal lover. Little cows and chickens are adorable, and I’ve watched more horrifying food-oriented documentaries than I care to admit. Second, going vegan or vegetarian does wonders for your energy and your health. Third, just because you have to give up animal products doesn’t mean you have to give up everything, so there’s still a whole world of delicious food that you can munch on. I love tofu and Boca burgers and could easily live off of them for an eternity.

The Benefits of Going Selectitarian

All that being said, there is one major reason veganism doesn’t appeal to me: cheese. I love the stuff. And I know dairy isn’t exactly the healthiest thing to consume, but literally everything is better with cheese on it! What’s better than throwing a slice of pepper jack cheese on top of a free-range egg, cooking up some organic bacon and throwing it all on an English muffin?

I’ve gone on vegetarian stints before. I didn’t eat meat for an entire year and it was great! But here are some issues that arise when you choose to not eat meat (even if you don’t go full-on vegan):

  1. Unless you live in California, get ready to eat salad at every restaurant ever (with your only other option being French Fries)
  2. Get ready to have your grandmother be offended by your refusal to eat every meal she cooks
  3. Get used to the idea of cooking your food separately from your family’s because you’re the only one not eating the chicken casserole for dinner

Basically, here’s the solution I’ve come to: I want to be more eco-friendly and not eat little baby cows and chickens, but I also want to eat meat sometimes because it’s convenient and delicious. Hence, I’ve become what I like to call a “selecti-tarian.”

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4 Tips for Staying Healthier During a Night on The Town

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media GroupTM and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways http://my­disclosur.es/OBsstV”

Who’s excited for warmer weather? I sure am!

With nicer weather right around the corner, it’s finally time for more fun nights out on the town. Winter is totally a time where I hibernate. There’s a lot of sleep and working going on in this girl’s life and not very much social life. Although I tried to do something at least a few times per month with my friends.

I’m excited to get out and finally experience more of what Chicago has to offer. I mean. I know what Chicago has to offer quite well. I’ve worked in nightlife industry for what, 4 years? But it’s different when you work and when you get to go out with your girlfriends. I love the fun times!

I wanted to talk about some ways in which you can be a wee bit healthier while going out on the town!

1. Pregame

We like to pre game before we go out. Why? Because drinks are super expensive that’s why! Especially in Chicago. I’ve got enough expenses as it is, don’t need any more to add to the list. So we like to hang out for an hour or two beforehand and drink a little bit and talk and just enjoy each others’ company before we go out.

My drink of choice? Whiskey and Ginger. Always. Well, at least always when I go out. I do love my wine and beer too but those are for more chill nights in or during dinner.

Photography by Kamila Gornia

I usually use the regular stuff because I like the flavor more and just to warn you – I don’t drink soda. Like ever. The only time I ever drink soda is when I drink cocktails. So there, now you know. But when I do drink cocktails, I don’t even care – I’ll drink it and I just want it to taste good!

I recently got to try a different variety of the TEN products from Dr. Pepper Snapple Group that I got at Walmart. The flavors they have for this are Ten 7Up, Ten Sunkist, Ten A&W, and Ten Canada Dry. You probably already know what I picked. I was pleasantly surprised that this drink has the FULL FLAVOR you might want from regular mixer but has way less calories. So you’re not sacrificing taste for health. I dig it. (Psst… You can like them on Facebook or follow on Twitter. )

Photography by Kamila Gornia

2. Dance it off

When you’re out – move your body! Seriously. Not only is dancing fun, it’s great great exercise! It’s like a fun sweat session except it won’t feel like you’re working out :) I need to dance more when I go out. I know this. Okay. Point taken.

3. Drink water between drinks

I personally don’t drink a lot. I like to pre game a little bit and then get one or two drinks at the bar, depending on how long we stay. I get hungover pretty quickly so I make sure not to drink too much. A big thing is to drink water in between each drink! Not only is this healthier for you and it saves you empty calories, it will be kinder to your body that day after. Seriously. Do it.

4. Don’t go for that 2am taco

Just don’t do it. Drunk eating… sure, it’s pretty darn spectacular. But then you wake up and you’re all confused and you only feel guilty for eating it when you know you weren’t even hungry. Don’t do it. Just go home. At that point, it’s time.

And maybe drink some more Ginger Ale by itself to calm that tummy :) I forgot how good this is by itself… oops!

Photography by Kamila Gornia

PROMOTION:

$0.50 off of the purchase of TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4­pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. Offer available while supplies last, from 3/27­-4/17. 

One last photo… cause I really like the look of these bubbles.

Photography by Kamila Gornia

The Myth of “Perfect” Eating

We’ve all said it before:

“Tomorrow I’m going to eat perfectly.”

We say it after a dinner out with friends when we indulge in too many desserts, after any calorie-laden, feast filled holiday, and after we devour a gallon of ice cream following an awful day at work.

It seems completely realistic and feasible when we proclaim our plans of perfect eating. We map out exactly what we are going to eat and promise not to deviate from our predetermined food plan. Perhaps we have a day (or even two) of success, where we adhere to “perfect eating”.

Perfection

But then our well-intentioned plans go awry. Something comes up that we hadn’t foreseen-a friend invites us to a happy hour, a coworker leaves homemade cookies in the break room, or our significant other brings home pizza for dinner when a salad was planned. Inevitably, something derails our plans of perfection.

We end up eating even more than we intended because we were trying SO hard not to eat anything “bad”.  Wondering where we went amiss with our grand plans of perfect eating, we lament over feeling like a failure.  Yet the feelings of disappointment and failure only cause us to try to get back on the perfect eating train “starting tomorrow”. We don’t realize how this cycle escalates each time we try and fail, once more, to eat perfectly.

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Here’s what happens when a couple cooks together

Why It’s Important to Have a Healthy (Food) Relationship with Your Significant Other

It’s all too easy for couples to fall into the same old, take-out routine. When “Honey, do you want pizza for dinner?” and “Hey, how about Chinese tonight?” become your daily dinner-talk, it’s time to change a few things.

Not only does cooking healthy food at home help your body and your health, it’s also a great way for couples to spend time together.

When couples cook together...

I know what you’re thinking: “But we’re SO busy!”

That may be true, but being busy is no excuse to neglect your significant other, and it certainly isn’t an excuse to eat take-out 5 nights a week.

My husband and I cook together regularly, and we have a great time doing it! That’s why I’d like to share with you what I feel are some of the most important reasons to have a healthy food relationship with your significant other:

Reason 1: It encourages you to be an awesome team

When you and your spouse cook together, you naturally decide who does what tasks, you maneuver around one another, and there’s usually a fair amount of passing salt shakers and spices back and forth.

When you act as a team, you not only get your meal prepared faster, but you’re also more satisfied with your dinner, and you get to interact with one another throughout the entire process.

Unlike my grandparents’ version of cooking dinner, which involves my grandfather watching TV while my grandmother cooks in the kitchen, cooking dinner with your spouse lets you catch up on the day, laugh together, and spend what precious little non-working time you have in each other’s presence.

What happens when you order takeout? You sit on the couch and shovel pizza into your face, right? (I do.) Doing something active and engaging with your spouse to get dinner ready is a much more proactive way to eat together. Not only will you have a healthier relationship, but you’ll find yourself eating healthier foods as well.

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