30-Day Challenge.

I have been so bad about posting lately. I've made a commitment for April to get back into the swing of things. It's amazing how quickly things become an 'unhabit' -- so it's time to change this around for the better. Not only do I want to focus more time on the blog, but I want to start eating and doing healthier things for not only myself, but my family! So starting tomorrow, I plan on joining the 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge for the month. They did one back in February and I was very sad that I hadn't jumped on the bandwagon. Check out their website and sign up for the challenge or if you're on Instagram, look up @simplegreensmoothies and make sure you #hashtag your daily green smoothies!

What are some of your favorite 'green' smoothie recipes?


I've been cheating lately and just buying my juice from Juice Nashville, but I commend everyone that still juices on their own several times a week or even daily! I wish so badly that I could get back into the habit, but I honestly find it hard to go back now that I've had the good cold pressed stuff. Thinking about investing very soon in a Norwalk. But until then, enjoy some Instagram Inspiration on me :)

@fijipearl -- love this red color!
@jessiemayy -- love this prep photo!
@freshncrunchy -- looks so refreshing

What have you been juicing lately?

More 'Pasta'.

So I told everyone I knew today about my raw pasta dinner last night and got some pretty mixed reviews. I'm telling you, if you haven't done it before, you should try it at least once. I started scouring Instagram and found that a TON of people do this on the regular and I got some great inspiration. Enjoy!


Now are you tempted to try it?

Meatless Monday.

So the hubby has been telling me that he wants to start eating healthier. I don't blame him really. We've both been feeling rather 'blah' lately and it's definitely time for a real change. It's much easier when you have a support partner though. It's hard to want to eat a salad while you're better half is eating wings on the couch next to you :) So tonight we decided to finally whip out one of my unopened Christmas presents and make dinner. I got this little gadget via Amazon -- I think it was under $25 bucks! There are so many brands out there and they are all super cheap. If you don't have one, it's definitely something fun and cheap to invest in. You just stick the produce to the 'claw' on the right, then choose which blade you want (mine has three different kinds) and then turn! Viola! Done in less than 3 minutes. Most people choose to eat theirs raw, but since it was our first time, I lightly boiled in water for about 3-4 minutes. I would suggest a shorter 'cooking' time since it was already getting pretty soft!

I found these Meatless Meatballs by Veggie Patch at the local Publix over in West End. I've been noticing quite a few things from this brand lately. They're usually over in the salad section where the fresh healthy food is. Second place to check would maybe be with the meat stuff? But not likely. We heated them with the sauce over the stove and it was surprising how good they tasted. I wouldn't have guessed that they were meatless at all! And 6 meatballs = 15g protein and only 140 calories. Pretty stoked!

Might not be the prettiest picture you've ever seen of food, but trust me, it was DELICIOUS! This might become a regular weekly dish since it was so easy. I use to (and still do, really) hate to cook. There's so much thought that goes into it usually. You have to shop for something, thaw it out, plan the meal and then create it. Usually I get stuck somewhere between step 2-3 and then end up making pasta. Well, this is a great alternative to normal pasta night!

Have you ever made your own vegetable noodles?


So it's been a while since I did some weekly Instagram Inspiration -- so I made sure to bring you the tastiest and prettiest pictures that I could. I can't wait till we build our house this year and have a kitchen that has natural sunlight. I'm going to feel like a photography/foodie rock star :) Enjoy guys!

@allencstern -- one of the most amazing stories on Instagram that I've
recently found. This man has come so far and still hard at work to get to
where he wants to be. Check him out!
@delilahm -- looks so yummy!
@fullyrawkristina -- also an amazing inspiration on IG.
@jessiemayy -- simple OJ. 
@melchrisp -- looks refreshing!
@xo_dominichulinda -- beets!

What have you guys been juicing up lately?

Smoothie Challenge.

So still playing catch up -- but thought you guys might like to know that I have been in the smoothie frame of mind for a couple weeks now. It's starting to dwindle a little more each week, but @simplegreensmoothies is getting ready to kick off another 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge and I am up for the task! How many of you would like to join me in the venture? Seriously, what's the worst that could happen? Even if you miss one or two days for whatever reason(s), you're still getting more green smoothies in a month then you currently are right? So let's do this!

So here's a few snap shots of some of my most recent smoothies that I've been concocting. I've been buying tons of 'add ins' on Amazon lately and have been playing around with different ingredients. There are a few things though that I'm hesitant about investing in until I know more about them -- not to mention that a lot of them are pretty expensive. But being unhealthy is just as expensive in the long run. Guess I should just suck it up huh?

I won't really hit hard on the ingredients for now as a few of these are getting ready to be reviewed -- including the Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Harvest and a ton of stuff from Amazing Grass. I will tell you this though, I am going thru a TON of PB2 powder lately. I finally just bought some via Amazon and was completely stocked when it arrived. If you're a Prime member, it's completely worth checking out. There's are a few of my great buys recently!

So whose up for the Green Smoothie Challenge? Would love to get some feedback on your favorite recipes too! I usually just cheat and make mine 'green' because of my add-ins but I'd like to start putting actual kale/chard/greens into them as well :)

More Local Eats.

Ok, so more yummy eats. Again, I'm not only trying to eat healthier but I want to be able to describe myself as a locavore one day. More on this one later though. I've had the great pleasure of eating at Eat Well Market several times and each time just keeps getting better and better. If you've never heard of them, their over in East Nashville off Riverside Drive. It's a little out of the way, but the food is definitely worth it if you're looking for healthy and/or gluten free options. She's recently all but perfected GF Hot Chicken which is almost always on the menu and she had a two potato gratin (sweet potato + regular potato) with cheese and spices that was out of this world. I also decided to get a little side salad -- she uses fresh mixed greens, not the kind you buy in a bag! She doesn't have a website, I linked her Facebook page as the go to for menu/specials and hours/location. Certain days their closed and they shut down between lunch and dinner. So definitely 'like' them on FB because every day the menu is different based on the fresh ingredients!

I also went to Bar Louie's in the Gulch over the weekend and enjoyed a little Girl's Night Out time over appetizers and wine. If you ever get the chance to check out their happy hour, it's really the best time to go. They do half price drinks and apps and you can literally stuff your face for cheap. We opted for their Hummus Plate that include tzatziki and cucumbers, Spinach Artichoke dip with chips, Adobo Shrimp Skewers over spinach with  some yummy additions and one of their Roasted Vegetable Flatbreads. I was so full when we left, I almost had to be rolled out. I don't even want to show you a picture of the monster chocolate cake we got after eating all this!

Calypso Cafe is another Nashville gem that I often forget about even though I drive passed it almost every day -- they have 5 different locations scattered about. Their menu is very vegetarian/vegan friendly and you get a TON of food for a good price. I opted for the Black Bean Salad (with no meat) and it was seriously the heaviest to go box I've ever gotten. It was just mixed greens, tortilla chips, rice, black beans and cheese with some sour cream. It was kind of weird eating this as a salad though and I might opt for the nachos in the future -- the lettuce just didn't really do it for me once I got down to the bottom!

Last but certainly never least in my book -- we had some friends over Sunday night and got Wild Cow to go. Everyone else's meals were so colorful, but I was really just craving their Lentil Stew with Garlic Aioli and a side of Black Beans with vegan sour cream. Couldn't tell you which picture is which, but I know a Far Eastland Bowl was ordered and a Taco Salad. Don't remember the other one. All in all though, we haven't gotten anything we don't absolutely love.

 What are some of your favorite places to eat in the Nashville area?
I'm always looking to try something new.

Mad Platter.

I have so much fun stuff to catch up on -- and where better to start, then sharing some of the yummy local eateries that I've found (and finally tried) and a few of my old favorites. This might take two days worth of posting since there's been a TON of great food eaten over the last month and I don't want you guys to miss out on any of the eye candy. My husband's office is over in Germantown and we are always driving passed Mad Platter. We had date night a couple weekends ago and tried to get into Silo on a Saturday night with no reservation, so we drove around the neighborhood and remembered MP. It's not that we haven't wanted to eat there, it's just a little 'off the beaten path' and we don't always remember it until it's too late. We walked in around 8:30 and low and behold, thanks to the Nashville 'blizzard' (sarcasm), we were able to get a table. I love the food trend that Nashville has going on right now. A lot of new restaurants are adopting the farm-2-table concept and their menus usually change daily so it makes deciding even harder because you don't want to miss out on anything. The beau ended up going with a yummy looking fillet with potatoes and asparagus. I personally went with the Garden Linguine which surprisingly was to die for. It had julienne carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes in white wine sauce with some cheese on top.

I can't even describe the flavor that it had, but it's definitely something that I'd love to recreate in the kitchen! The service was a little slower than I'm use to at other restaurants. Luckily we ordered a bottle of wine that helped pass the time. Our waiter offered us their Five Course Dinner -- it's basically your choice of soup, appetizer, salad, entree' and dessert. -- all for an extra $20 on top of the entree' price. At first I thought this was a lot until I started really looking at the menu (and listening to my stomach growl for the next 25 minutes) and realized that it was the way to go. He even suggested only getting one of the FCD's add on's and splitting it. We didn't think we were hungry enough to fully enjoy it, but we decided next time it might be a good idea! After practically licking our plates, we opted for dessert -- which if you get, I promise you won't regret.
The Chocolate Elvis -- milk, white and dark chocolate layered
with raspberry sauce
So we liked our experience so much, that we had lunch there again that same week. And brought a friend. Again, it was surprisingly easy to get into during peak lunch time and we got our food much faster than before. Their known for their Quesadilla of the Day -- which happened to be chicken, peppers, onions and cheese -- served with rice and black beans.

I opted for the Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad -- which included mixed greens, black bean and corn salsa, cheese, tomatoes, fried tortilla strips and chipotle ranch. I was a little bummed with the 'spice' factor -- I definitely was envisioning something that would make me break a sweat (I like spicy things) but it didn't really have much flavor until I put the dressing on it.

 My friend is a huge connoisseur of Reuben sandwiches and since they boast 'Nashville's Best', she had to order it. She did ask what makes there's the best and the waitress told us that they slow cooked their meat in house first thing in the morning and it was raised locally with no hormones. One bite in and I thought she'd died and gone to Heaven. She said it definitely was one of the best she'd ever had -- and look at all that fresh fruit it came with, instead of chips or fries like other places.

It's not one of the cheapest places for lunch/dinner, but it certainly is one that will leave you happy that you came..even if your wallet is a little lighter than you want. I definitely can't wait to go back, but this time with a reservation. Just in case!

I'm Back.

Miss me? I decided to take a little break as you can see. I was starting to get really overwhelmed with all the demands that I had going on in my life. I had to take a step back and remember that my family and spending time with them was top priority amongst a few other things. I was starting to spend less time putting 'quality' stuff together for my posts and felt rushed to get something up so that I wouldn't get behind. Looking back over the last several months, I wish that there were topics I had tackled when they were relevant (think, Prop 37) and I wish that I'd spent a lot more time on certain topics that I've already posted (don't worry, I'll backtrack and tackle them again).

I've also started to slowly watch my eating habits and lifestyle choices spiral out of control and at times I feel hypocritical for even mentioning the words 'eat your colors', 'vegetarian' or 'juicing'. I honestly can't tell you the last time I juiced out of my home. I have a beautiful Breville just sitting on the counter begging to be plugged in. I have all kinds of kitchen tools and gadgets that are just sitting around collecting dust. I have countless cookbooks that I've picked up over the last few months to help me eat healthy just sitting in a corner. I've let so much produce just go bad in my fridge. I've been embarrassed (inwardly) several times in the last months when people refer to me as their 'healthy' friend or someone that's a 'go to' for all things good. I cringe when my friends mention my blog while I'm hovering over a hamburger and fries.

I've realized over my longer than expected break though, that it's ok. No one is just born with the 'healthy' choice ingrained in their brain. No one is perfect. Good friends (and readers) won't judge me. If they're truly there for me, they'll be a support. Not a stumbling block. It takes time and research and will power to make those decisions and re-create yourself from the inside out.

So today, I begin anew. I don't expect overnight change. But I do expect change.