Skin.

What is it? What purpose does it have? Why do all of ours look different? Why does it have a mind of its own? Does it actually?

These are some questions that have been roaming around in my head lately. Well…those and throw in a few choice words would probably make it more accurate. If any of you know me, you know that I have been battling acne for the majority of my teen and adult life. I want to put a disclaimer in right now and say that I’ve battled mild acne and I am incredibly thankful for that. I realize these days as I sit in front of the mirror and hate the picture staring back at me, that I am incredibly fortunate that it is not worse.

Still, there is always that underlying fear that I could wake up one morning and it will be just that. Worse. See I feel like no matter what I do, my skin just doesn’t seem to cooperate. It has a mind of it’s own, and I am definitely not able to read it.

It’s a little ironic that these are the thoughts that go through your head when battling acne – thoughts of fear, anxiety, stress, depression, sadness. I say it’s ironic (perhaps that’s not the best use of the term but humor has to be injected in somewhere) because if you think like I do, you think that acne is not caused mainly from population or “clogged pores”. It’s an internal force. Something behind those layers of skin and physical matter that is causing some sort of imbalance. And thinking depressing/maddening thoughts, will only make this imbalance worse. In short – it’s a vicious cycle.

Over the past 2 months, I’ve noticed my skin getting increasingly worse. My acne is still located in the same region for the most part, the sides of my chin, with the occasional movement upwards to my cheeks and lip area. However, the type of acne is painful. Large, cystic acne that will pop up on one side and then when it subsides (either naturally or by physical force on my part) seems to migrate over to an untouched area and wreak havoc on a new playground. Just to torture me.

I’ve done my fair share of research but it makes me more scared and anxious than anything else that I could say to myself. The bottom line with acne is that there really is no cure. Nothing is definite. There’s no telling which way it could go next..

I realize this post sounds a bit dramatic, but I wanted to get it out in the open, just for myself. It’s hard to talk about these things because it’s embarrassing. I’m (newly) 27. Part of the growing percentage of adult acne sufferers. However, when I look around, my skin seems to stick out like a sore thumb. In a corporate world where I already look adolescent, my teeny-bopper/hormone inflamed skin does not seem to help my case.

I fell into a state of depressing about 5 years ago when I suffered a strange outbreak on my chest after returning home from Europe. At first the doctors thought it was foliculitus. Then just acne. It eventually went away but those few weeks/months felt like a lifetime and were just darn right scary. I’m worried about that happening again.

This post is also serving as a note to myself. To “keep on keeping on”. Some things I want to remember:

1. Stay positive. Don’t hide indoors because you are embarrased. Get out and see the sun. Talk to friends. Be active. You may be staring at your skin, but perhaps no one else is.

2. Stay active and hydrated. I want to keep working out and treating my body well. Drinking plenty of water and trying to flush out any toxins on a routine basis. That being said, I’m going to try and cut down on the caffeine and alcohol. 1 Cup of coffee a day (max but not necessary) and minimal / controlled drinking. My social life may suffer but it will if my skin continuous to worsen so I’m willing to take this on.

3. Diet. I don’t want to restrict my diet but I’m going to be pretty serious about the grain and dairy intake. While I don’t typically eat any dairy, I’ll just be sure to watch this when out at restaurants or scenarios where there is cheese / yogurt and I may let myself slip. Grains I will have to experiment with and will likely not cut them out.

4. Regimens. I’ve read so much about different skin regimes that might be “miracle workers” but I’m nervous about a lot of these. Honestly, my acne is most likely hormonal and without going on birth control pills I’m afraid this is just par for the course. That being said, just sticking to the dermatologists regimine (have an appt in november to reevaluate the situation) and washing with a gentle cleanser and a little bit of honey at night will be my go to for the time being unless things get worse.

5. Stay positive. I want to add this in again because I really do think that this makes the biggest different in mine and anyone elses skin. I’m going to start blogging again once a week. I’m going to sign up for yoga classes a few times a week and try to find a dance class. I’m going to focus on my Nutrition business and see what I can make happen/solidify during my free time. I’m going to spend time with my amazing family, friends, and boyfriend and take comfort in the fact that they will love me despite my insecurities at this time.

 

Nuff said Smile

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Holding On to Looking Forward

Let me start this post by saying I’ve recently had a realization. BUT I’m going to counteract that by saying I’m not necessarily sure that I’m ready to realize it yet. Does that make sense? Probably not. Most things I say don’t, but somehow in my head, it’s working..Let me explain

I moved out of New York City in April last year (2012) to pursue a new career opportunity in Philadelphia. Since then, so much has changed. I was driving in the car this morning, with a smile on my face, thinking about just how different my life really is, and how I vividly remember getting the call that told me I was being offered a job. Isn’t that strange how you can forget things that happened yesterday, but things that really caused some sort of knee-jerking, stomach-flipping, brain-swirling event in your body, you can’t seem to shake. So cool. The human body. SO. COOL.

Aaanyways…I finally made it back to NYC last weekend and it was just as glorious as I remembered it! Friends, and Restaurants, and Celebs..dare I say it…oh my!

or so I thought…I’ve been sitting on my throne back here in Philadelphia comparing everything to “the city”. “the real city”. But honestly, going back there made me really happy about my choice to move to the city of brotherly love. And everything that I had previously thought the world revolved around, really didn’t look too pretty in the smug, hot, air. I dont know. Maybe I’m just coming to terms with my decision to move to a different city, on a whim, and maybe I’m really starting to come into my own in this new “real city”, but if feels good, whichever it is.

All that being said, I’m still not ready to let go of amazing New York things like top notch broadway and open air italian wine bars.

but maybe I don’t have to quite yet…

Do you ever feel like you’re holding on to something that may not have been that good all along?? 

Any fun plans for the weekend?

 

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Thriving

I’ve found a new obsession.

Did you know I have an addictive personality? Yes. It’s true. I get addicted to particular things, television shows, vacuuming, green smoothies, running, fro yo on sundays…and then I get over them rather quickly. And then I start again. It’s an addiction..

But I’ve found my new front runner. Hot Yoga. Power Yoga. @ Thrive Yoga in Philadelphia. It’s sweaty. It was affordable. It’s relaxing. It’s sweaty.

I love it.

So much so, I walk 30 minutes (or cab it) to class. Do you feel wierd taking cabs to the gym? I do. I get off a block early just so no one can see me, yoga mat in hand, taking the easy way out. Seems un-zen. Or something. Here’s a quote that makes me feel zen.

Or it is motivational I suppose. Just makes me smile.

I’ve been going to yoga every morning and every night I can. And it feels AMAZING. 7 days in. Let’s keep the count going.

Do you have any addictions that pop up occasionally??

Posted in philadelphia, workout | 4 Comments

Green Smoothie Experiments

If you’ve been reading my blog over the past 2 years, you’ve probably noticed that I am fully on board the green smoothie train. I discovered green smoothies after reading Kimberly Snyders book and discovered that they made me feel super healthy and made my skin much healthier looking – go figure.

I used to be pretty regimented about my green smoothie recipes, but recently I’ve tried experimenting wish some awesome combinations: oranges, kiwis, mango, almond milk, frozen pineapple, you name it.

This morning’s was no exception. Gotta love those greens!

 

  • .5 C water
  • .5 C almond milk
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 3 romaine leaves
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 pear
  • 1/2 tspn chia seeds
  • 1/2 cucumber

Do you have a go to recipe – share here!

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Newport Wedding & 8 Weeks..

In 8 weeks, I will be whisked away from my day to day responsibilities in Philadelphai, and transported to beuatiful, romantic, picturesque Italy. I. Cannot. Wait.

Can you tell?

I’ve been day dreaming about adorable outfits and sipping cappuccino’s on the river.

8 weeks.

__________________________________________________________

On another note, have you ever heard of rent the runway? This past weekend was my college roommates wedding in Newport, RI and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to wear besides COLOR. I was picturing everyone having these gorgeous bright dresses, right on the water, and all I could picture was sporting a green dress. Of course I don’t have one. That’s always the case.

RTR is one of the best things that I’ve tried this summer with all of the weddings I’ve been in. You pick out the exact dress that fits what you have in your head, order 2 styles, pay for insurance and shipping (and the dress of course) and it arrives the day before! So far, I’ve rented twice and both times have had one of the sizes fit.

(That’s me in the green)

The wedding was such a blast and it was so crazy to see my sophomore roomie in a white gown looking so grown up!! I cried of course. It’s becoming a trend. An embarrassing one. Otherwise, it was such a fun time and I’m glad I had a comfy party dress to dance all night in!  My only complaint is that I wish I could buy the dress at the end of the rental. Probably saves me some $$ ,but a gal can dream.

Maybe they have some great italian dresses for me to rent for 2 weeks?? ;)

Have you ever done RTR?

 

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Food for Thought

Take a look at this video when you have 3 minutes

This is 200 Calories

Something that I have learned over my past few years studying nutrition is that diets are not the answer. In order to lose weight or feel strong or be healthy, you shouldn’t be restricting what you put into your body, but increasing it! That said, you should be increasing healthy nutrients, fruits, veggies, healthy grains, organic meats..and decreasing chemicals, artificial sweeteners, trans-fatty acids. All those things that make your hair, skin, and body slump – you should be shrugging off.

This video really puts into perspective how much MORE you can eat, depending on what it is!

Do you have any other 200 calories snacks / meals that could fit into this video?

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AM Routines

When I think about things that are important to my sanity and well being, AM routines come to mind. There is nothing that keeps me healthier, calmer, and happier than getting a few things before noon:

1. AM Workout

2. Greens!!

3. Coffee

4. Water water

Don’t be mistaken, this doesn’t always happen. But because #imnotperfect, that’s how I know how much better I feel when I can check off each of these four categories.

My work schedule has been a little more leniant this week, which has been both amazing (and frustrating). Amazing, because my AM routines are back in action and I’m sticking to them. This morning I got 8 hours of sleep, rocked out an Insanity! workout in the comfort of my own living room, and sipped a little of this around 10 am.

(spinach, cucumber, 1/2 banana, pineapple, and ice)

Followed by 2 hard boiled eggs a little later, and this made the perfect start to the morning.

Is there any sort of routine that you follow that makes your mood?? #sanitycheck

 

Posted in Back on Track | 2 Comments

Berry Picnic [Paleo] Cobbler

As promised, here’s a look into the healthy side of Picnic cooking:

This was one of the easiest desserts to put together, made ahead of time, and perfectly simple. Just the way I like it.

Berry Picnic [Paleo] Cobbler (inspired from Delighted Momma)

  • 1 carton of blueberries
  • 2 cartons of blackberries
  • 1 carton of raspberries
  • 1.5 C almond meal/flour
  • 3 T melted coconut oil (virgin)
  • 2 T raw honey
  • cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Grease 8×8 baking dish with baking spray or coconut oil
3. Mix together almond flour, coconut oil, cinnamon (use your judgement) and honey in a large bowl (I used a fork to keep it crumbly)
4. Place berries in baking dish and cover with almond flour mixture
5. sprinkle cinnamon over top for an extra special flavor!
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on oven) or until topping looks crisp
7. Serve with whipped cream or coconut cream to keep it paleo!
 

 

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Summer Pizza + Summer Weddings

The past few days have been such a whirlwind – but in a good way.

Friday started with a Spring Picnic themed party at work, where everyone brought in some healthy recipes and transfer-friendly snacks for the whole company to munch on. That also included Happy Hour @ 3 pm. Rough life..

I made desserts, as per usual, and opted for one healthy and one sweet. All about balance right ;)

As I expected, the less than stellar for your waistline recipe, went the fastest. Isn’t that always the case..?! I will admit though, I’ve made this treat for the past few years (graduation parties, 4th of july barbecues, and now picnics) and it’s always a major hit! Definitely not one for the light of heart but it will kick that sweet tooth craving into submission.

I left the next day, after nursing a rather aggressive red wine hangover, to head down to Maryland for my cousin Eric’s wedding! It was in a gorgeous venue, looking out into the forest, and was perfect. Especially for the two of them – you could tell how meaningful it was. 10 years they had been together!! #finally

Quotes hanging from each chair down the aisle

Quotes hanging from each chair down the aisle

They met at VTech and opted for cupcakes instead of a cake. So cute!

Me and my two younger cousins who were bridesmaids!

Such a gorgeous wedding and I’m so glad I was there to celebrate! Congratulations guys!

Now back to dessert…. ;)

Fruit Pizza

  • 1 18 oz. package regrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tb whipping cream (you can substitute milk of half and half)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • fresh fruit (raspberries, strawnerroes. klwi, peaches, pineapple)
  • canned fruit (mandarin oranges, canned pineapple)
  • 2+ TB apple jelly
1. roll or pat cookie dough into a 12 inch pizza pan coated with cooking spray – or just line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Flute edges slightly. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, until cool. Cool completely (I did this the night before and put in the refrigerator)

2. Beat cream cheese at mediium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, whipping cream, and vanilla. Beat well. Spread over cookie crust, leaving a tiny edge of cookie showing.
3. Cut the fruit into shapes – circles, traingles – any shape you like. Arrange the fruit in a circular pattern (or whatever creative pattern you like!)  on the crust.
4. Melt the apple jelly in the microwave and brush over the fruit.
5. Chill. Slice into wedges to serve.
Note – although the crust can be made well in advance, it is best to assemble the pizza close to serving time so that the ingredients do not cause the crust to get soggy.
6. Allow your guests to indulge
Posted in parties, recipes | 1 Comment

Restaurant Review: Sabrinas

Mondays are typically when most people post “back on track” days or “detoxing” recipes. I on the other hand, would like to start to frame up Mondays as a glorification day for some of the amazing food that I had over the weekend.

I have no shame.

This weekend, was no exception. On Sunday AM, me and the main philly guy in my life (we can call him PG “philly guy” moving forward – he is typically my partner in crime at most restaurants I go to so odds are he’ll be popping up quite frequently) took a leisurely stroll to Sabrina’s in the Italian Market. I’ve been to Sabrina’s once before with a girlfriend back in the fall, and had really enjoyed it. I haven’t been back since it’s a little off of the beaten path, and there is typically a wait, but I figured on a lazy Sunday when neither of us was about to eat our own stomachs, this might be the perfect fit.

Pros:

  • Right near Italian Market which is an awesome place to check out if you are in the Philly area
  • High quality food that is really different but tastes awesome
  • Huge portions
  • Friendly staff
  • Family friendly

Cons:

  • Huge portions (can be a bit much – literally the french toast looked like a half loaf of challah)
  • Family friendly (depends on whether you want babies near you at breakfast)
  • No alcohol (depends on your feelings around having a boozy brunch – but at least good to know ahead of time)
  • No reservations & typically a wait (we waited 30 minutes)

I was not all that starving so I opted for the Tofu Veggie scramble. It was a little different than I thought as it was entirely vegan, all tofu / no eggs, but still delicious. PG got some monstrocity that included banana bread french toast topped with eggs, sausage and gravy.

I don’t understand how he was functioning afterwards but to each their own right?!

Overall recommendation: 4/5 forks!

Definitely a restaurant to take family / friends out to if you don’t mind waiting a bit and want a delicious breakfast that will suite just about anyones taste buds

 

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