An Instagram Weekend

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The wine list at Wok in the Park (Minneapolis) :: I love the gigantic paper lanterns :: My date :: A delicious spicy basil noodle dish

Road trip snacks :: Wisconsin themed waxed cheese (and delicious cheese curds) Appleton, WI :: A pile of pallets

My fortune (so true!) :: Saturday, day drinks ::  Pictures at the bar

It was hard to wake up Sunday morning ::  The best Kleenex box ever

More to come this week!  Including making Coconut Flour Tortillas!!

Allie

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Stuff I’m Crushing On..

In honor of Valentines day this Thursday, I didn’t want to post any recipes because there are plenty out there! I wanted to show you guys a different kind of love, not found in a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers.

I’ve got a list of stuff I LOVE for various reasons.  One similarity between the items — I am incredibly happy with all of them.  And thats what love is all about.  Being happy to the core.

1. Flannel Sleep Shirts

This is the "Boyfriend Shirt" from Dorothy Perkins, my current favorite sleep flannel.

This is the “Boyfriend Shirt” from Dorothy Perkins, my current favorite sleep flannel.

Anyone that has seen me in the morning lately (meaning the last year or so, let’s not joke), knows that I have a serious connection with flannel sleep shirts!  I know it sounds silly, but they are so warm and comforting.  I absolutely can not stand pajama pants or anything similar because they just get all tangled up and turned around.  A flannel shirt + shorts is the best combination and if you haven’t tried one out, you should.  Unless you’re my sister, who would wear a sweatshirt and down parka over her sleepwear because at that point, anything will be cozy, flannel or not.

2. Dr Jart+ BB Cream

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

Yeah, yeah, another post about BB cream to convince you that it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  <- Which isn’t even that cool to me since I don’t really eat bread, and if I did I would want to slice my own piece so that it is massive, duh.

Anyways, back to this BB Cream, I received a couple samples of various BB Creams in a few of my Birchboxes and tried Dr Jart+ BB Cream Water Fuse. I LOVED it.  It is moisturizing, but not greasy or thick, has a great color that is not too yellow or pink, and absorbs completely into my skin.  Another fantastic quality about this cream is that it has SPF 25.  I have stopped using foundation, cut back on concealer and have stopped using powder most days too.  This has not only made my morning routine much quicker, but it has also saved me some money!  And on top of that, my skin is clearer (although I do attribute this to a few things).  There are a few different kinds of this BB Cream from Dr Jart+, and I just received a new-to-me sample in a recent Birchbox, so I will be sure to let you all know if I love it too!

3.  Almond Milk

Oh man do I love this stuff.  I’ve been drinking almond milk almost exclusively for the past year or so, and let me tell you, it rocks!  It gives me no problems with my stomach and 8 oz (Unsweetened, Original) is only 1 point!  Oh also, I’m on WeightWatchers, so that’s why I know the points value.  This means my morning smoothies are truly good for me and my gut.

4. My Sorel Boots (Joan of Arctic)

My boot hair needs to be brushed.

My boot hair needs to be brushed.

These boots have been my jam for the past month and a half since I received them as a Christmas gift from my mom.  I knew I wanted some hardier boots for the winters here in Minnesota, but never did I think I would love a pair of boots so much!  I wear them with everything, from casual yoga pants or leggings (most common) to skinny jeans and even tights. Leah, my sister, also got a pair of these boots for Christmas, but in the tan/camel color.  She says they rock also, so that’s two rave reviews from northern girls about the amazingness of these beasts.  Fyi – they are rated up to -25°F, which means that my toes are warm even when the rest of me feels like a popsicle.

5. The COLOR Purple

No, not the book, but the actual color.  In recent years purple has solidified itself as a preferred color of mine, and I love it so much that my love for this color is nearing that of my love for turquoise (which is obnoxious). If something comes in purple, chances are that is the one I choose.  I have water bottles, socks, hoodies, underwear, bedding, notebooks and pens, and even jewelry in this perfect hue.

6. The Blender Bottle

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Ok, I confess, I do not always use this bottle to mix up a perfect protein shake, but I also use it as my normal water bottle and smoothie carrier.  I now own three of these bottles (one in each of my favorite colors, obviously!), two 28oz and one 20oz.  Oh man, these bottles are the best!  Not only do they mix shakes and protein powders to perfection, but they remix my smoothie (and are large enough to fit my smoothies!) but they also have a really tight seal, and have NO STRAW!  I have grown to hate my “bite and suck” Camelback because not only do I not feel like I can get as much water as I want, but I just don’t like water bottles with straws. Basically, these bottles are my jack of all trades!

7. My Car

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I will forever hold a special spot in my heart for my current car.  That thing is a monster and is serving me well even 210k miles into it’s life.  Not only that, but it’s the car I learned to drive in, so I know it’s little quirks and oddities.  The Rejuvaru (haha, we have 3 Subarus in my family and all nicknamed them) has been through a lot, numerous road trips, being a street parked car for a year, and of course, the constant beating of salt and sand in the winter.  I’ve got nothing but love for this car, maybe I should vacuum her out for Valentines day?  Weird?

Of course I’m thankful for all the amazing people in my life whom I love and who love me back, but this was about material items I love.  And really, whats more important?

Kidding!

Happy Valentines week everybody!  Stay warm!

Hello!

Hello Readers!

First of all, thanks for making your way over to my little part of the blogosphere!

I am a native Minnesotan, living in the suburbs of Minneapolis, trying to find MY healthy path in life.

The necessary ridiculous selfie.

I’m also a vinyasa yoga fanatic, attempting to-be runner, body -weight exercise lover, and avid cook and organizer.

I love trying new recipes and workouts (Crossfit was rough!), reading blogs and surrounding myself with people and things that make me happy!

My life motto.

A few years ago, I saw a holistic doctor who changed my life.  I had rapidly been gaining weight, getting ill, and had been feeling pretty crummy all around.  Previous to this visit, I had suspected I might have a dairy and gluten sensitivity, but the scope of how messed up my insides were was unexpected.  I still struggle with an upset stomach every now and then, but it has helped to know what the triggers may be.  I do not eat gluten or soy and I try to eat as little dairy as possible, definitely no cows milk!

As a kid my favorite foods were bagels with cream cheese (I think I had one for lunch almost every day of kindergarten) and pasta with butter and parmesan.  As I grew up I dabbled in vegetarianism (Fell off that wagon for bacon!) and finally came to settle on a pretty healthy diet, or so it seemed.  I had switched to whole wheat carbs, soy milk and lots of fruits and vegetables.  I was baffled at why I was gaining weight so rapidly, almost 60 lbs in 4 years.  I did indulge in normal college activities (drinks, late night snacks, takeout!) but it was way more than the Freshman 15.

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My holistic doctor ran some tests, which were fascinating – s0 much so that my mom who was there to take notes, forgot to until I asked if she was getting it all. HA!  Hopefully I’ll go more into depth on that sometime, but essentially he let me know that I am severely sensitive to gluten, dairy, soy and a whole slew of environmental toxins, including formaldehyde and petroleum.  I was stunned that my suspicions were confirmed.  I had to change my whole diet especially since my “healthy” switch to soy milk was just as damaging as the cows milk, and potentially even worse for me since I had also just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, an auto-immune disease in which ones thyroid does not produce enough TSH, our metabolism producing hormone.  That was another reason I was gaining weight.  The puzzle pieces were all starting to come together in my gluten-induced brain-fogged mind.

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So what was the solution?  Stop eating gluten, dairy and soy products and start taking an arsenal of vitamins daily along with my medication for my thyroid. Easy enough?  Not at all.  The life change was the hardest thing I have ever done.  I still struggle, but I have learned to set boundaries and limits for myself and am practicing self control when in the midst of my previously beloved wheat products.  I cried many nights because I either felt deprived, alone and isolated or because I was experiencing the worst stomach cramps and pains of my life.  I had no one to blame but myself for those days I thought I wouldn’t feel sick after eating pizza or pasta.  And as for feeling deprived, I now have more knowledge about foods and strange ingredients, and Love to experiment with recipes.  I don’t feel alone AT ALL.  I have a fantastic support system of family and friends who all understand, know and are willing to keep me in check if I feel like I’m going to fall back into a wheat or cheese induced coma.

That said, I still do eat cheese and yogurt, in moderation!  I definitely feel much lighter and clear minded when I do not have any dairy, but I have no interest in attempting to cut it out completely.

Where to go from here?  I’m eating clean, working out when I can, and keeping my mind positive!  I’m losing weight and am ready to see where my journey takes me.

What you can expect to see here?  I’ll be sharing some of my eats, exercises and healthy choices!  I also plan to throw in some posts about decorating/thrifting (fun stuff!), organizing projects that I undertake, and some random posts about things I like!

So thats my story! I hope you all keep reading!

Allie