Between trying to abide by my dietary restrictions and still trying to cook delicious meals for myself and my husband, things can admittedly be a bit challenging. If you add in trying to stay on a budget…. my head is spinning.
That’s why I can’t wait to welcome Sprouts Farmers Market to the neighborhood! I’m not kidding, I’m actually counting down until the grand opening of the Ellicott City, MD location in two weeks (March 14, 2018). Not only are they a healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural, and organic foods, they are offering them at really great prices. I’m not trying to jump to conclusions here, but any place that allows me to eat well and have left over money to feed my Amazon Prime addiction, I feel like I really am going to like.
Here’s the skinny on what they're going to offer (aka why I’m so freaking excited):
Included in these numbers are a variety of Sprouts brand products that are cost effective and delicious (and a TON that are gluten free).
What else caught my eye and will most definitely be a game changer for meals on the go is their Market Corner Deli. Here you can find prepared items. This means, I don’t have to cook, but can still bring a healthy and delicious meal home to put on the table. They have entrees, sides, a salad bar, soup, fresh sushi, and juice.
As if the whole food aspect of Sprouts wasn’t enough to have me totally sold the vitamin/ body care department would probably be enough do the trick. Rumor has it they have a ton of body care products that are made from sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients. As for the vitamins, the Sprouts brand offers the daily essentials for a fraction of the price of brands you’d find elsewhere. Literally a dream come true!
Throughout this week I have the opportunity to try a sampling of Sprouts brands products which I’m beyond excited about! I’m going to do a post next week talking about all of the deliciousness but if you follow me on Instagram you may catch a few sneak peeks beforehand.
Even if you aren’t in the Ellicott City area, there are over 280 stores coast to coast with 30 more scheduled to open this year. If you do live in a city where you’ve had the pleasure of experiencing all of the Sprouts goodness for yourself drop a comment or shoot me a message letting me know what I have to try!
In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Diane and I decided to take the plunge and share our truths about ED recovery this week on the podcast.
I started my journey through treatment and towards recovery 8 years ago now and have learned that it is a just that... a journey. There is no magic switch that makes an eating disorder go away, not to mention the havoc that my Crohn's has wreaked on my body image.
It took me a long time to want to share my story so publicly, especially on my own platform, which I know seems weird coming from someone who talks about bowel movements and vomiting like it is my day job. For some reason (which we dive into in the podcast) talking about a mental illness was more difficult for me to address than talking about my physical one.
The topic of ED's and even more the topic of recovery are so near and dear to Diane and I. We've both suffered, fought, been knocked down, gotten back up again, and that is why we share our stories, as uncomfortable as it may be. You're not alone.
Whether you have an ED, have had an ED, know someone who has an ED, or just ever experienced negative self talk and put yourself down because of something related to your body, please give this a listen.
Listen to our stories, feel free to share with us yours, and lets continue to fight this stigma and utilize this community to continue healing.
Stay tuned this week because there are some more blog posts coming about ED related issues, recovery, and a whole lot of realness.
Our new podcast is up on iTunes! We are recapping all of the details of our trip to Charleston, SC. Make sure to give us a listen below or via iTunes.
If you want to help support us please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes!
I have been down and out for the past few days because I have come down with the, much dreaded, flu. I got my flu shot early this year but being immunosuppressed and all those vaccinations don't always do the trick. I've been laying in bed for, I kid you not, the last four days. I've been feeling absolutely miserable for one, but on top of that, I'm getting very stir crazy. This has been the first few hours that I have been up to even looking at a computer screen (besides from answering critical emails because I can never totally unplug....) and of course I needed to get a new post out to bring me back in touch with the living world that is not on Netflix, Hulu, or On Demand.
I figured what more relevant that to share with y'all some at home (and most of them natural) remedies that have helped me deal with the flu this season. These can really be applied to any time you are feeling under the weather which I know is unfortunately all to common with some readers. Especially with the flu being so bad this season and so many of us being immunosuppressed (or even if you're not), I highly recommend you stock up on these supplies just in case. Anyway, you know the logic of the world, if you are prepared for something then it won't happen right? FULL DISCLOSURE ** THIS DID NOT REPLACE REGULAR MEDICINE - I like to handle things naturally when I can but messing with the flu and a subpar immune system is not cool. Tamiflu was needed. These tips are meant to supplement not replace what your doctor recommends. And in case you need reminding I am not a medical professional so always run these things by your doctor before trying.
Here we go!
First up on my list is....
I use Young Living (I'm not a rep and I don't get anything if you purchase these oils so rest assured) but I just started with these and got hooked. I mix 4 drops of Thieves, 7 drop of Eucalyptus, and 9 drops of Lavender in my diffuser and keep it going 24/7 in my bedroom while I'm sick. These past few days specifically but overall this whole season I have been seriously struggling with my sinuses and this has been one of the only things that truly has helped.
The lavender is calming and helps to relax me (and to be honest when I'm sick anything that can help me doze off is much appreciated). The thieves is known to help with respiratory health and can help to lower fevers. The eucalyptus is my personal favorite touch in this combo because it is extremely refreshing and helps the make your sinuses feel clearer. Like I said, I've kept these going most of the day and I feel like they have really helped.
I have usual combos that I like to use for bedtime put I'm going to do a whole separate post about all of the other oils I've been experimenting with.
For the past month or so I've been all about CBD oil. I've been taking it to help with anxiety, help with insomnia, and help reduce my muscle and joint pain (especially around Remicade infusions). Another whole post is coming about this too so I'm telling you for now to just trust me because you can get so many more benefits out of this stuff besides just when you are sick.
While I've been under the weather I've been using it to help with my body aches mainly. I take two droplets twice a day and it has made a night and day difference. It doesn't get you high or anything which is the most common question I have gotten but it does give and overall calming effect and help to reduce anxiety. Anxiety is already something I struggle with so it is not helpful in anyway when I am cooped up at home especially feeling sick. Thank you CBD!
You can really get any kind of these but the ones I usually like are these, just $5 generic Target brand. Usually I don't take melatonin to sleep because it actually works too well and I will be out for way longer than the time I have to sleep on a regular night. When I'm sick though, it is a different story. This time around my head hurt so bad I couldn't even watch TV or read so what else was there to do? Sleeping through the worst of it was the answer. I took two gummies and within 20 minutes I was feeling ready to snooze despite the headaches and sinus pain that was keeping me up before.
For me personally I can't recommend these as a nightly thing (I much prefer the aforementioned CBD oil) but when you have 12 hours to sleep then I give it two thumbs up.
I feel like the only time most people have drank Pedialyte is when they were toddlers or when they had some seriously hungover Sunday mornings in college. Thanks to Crohn's Pedialyte has been a must have in my household for the past many years of adulthood. I never think to drink it unless I am having a GI related situation going on but my husband insisted I was going to get dehydrated even though I don't have the stomach flu. I seriously doubted him because I was religiously sipping my water next to my bed. I hate to admit it but of course he was right. Through sweating and sleeping so much it slowed my usual water intake no matter who conscientious I was, I definitely got very dehydrated. I took swigs of Pedialyte when I could and this helped decrease my headaches as well and help me feel a bit more energetic.
You can pick up Pedialyte at pretty much and drugstore or of course, you can use it as an excuse to go to Target.
Hopefully everyone is staying well and ya'll had a way better weekend than I did! I love sharing fun tips with you but I also like to keep it real with the not so fun stuff, ie. being sick with the flu. I can only hope that even if you are not sick, you stock up your home with these essentials because they make your recovery a whole lot smoother.
Also, huge thanks to everyone who reached out via social media to wish me a quick recovery and provide me with a plethora of Netflix suggestions.
I will leave you with this as a little reminder that even if you aren't chronically ill or sick right now, we all need to recharge sometimes.
Living in Baltimore, we have the advantage of be driving distance to so many cool day trip or long weekend destinations, one of my favorites being the Big Apple. My short stint living in NYC mad me realize two things, 1. that I could never actually live there long term, and 2. that New York is still one of my favorite cities ever. While I am more of a suburban girl as far as living arrangements, the appeal of NYC never faded when it came to visiting and experiencing all of the life that that city has. For the past few years my mom, sister, and I have made it a tradition to visit New York at least once a year during the holidays. I try and visit more often because it is home to some of my favorite stores, restaurants and other hidden gems to visit but that doesn’t always fit in with my schedule. I always know that I can look forward to a long weekend around the holidays where I can not only enjoy time with my mom and Amanda but also indulge in some of my all time favorite places to eat and drink!
I wanted to put together my list of favorite spots to eat and drink from our most recent visit so that you can enjoy NYC how we did next time you go. My picks are based on food, drinks, and definitely atmosphere. One of my favorite things about visiting another city’s restaurants is experiencing new atmospheres, and let me tell you, New York has quite the array of ambiance.
I hope you guys try some (or all) of the places on this list because, I promise, you will not regret it! I made sure all of the places are dietary restriction friendly and accommodating so that you can relax and feel taken care of! Make sure to drop me a message and let me know where you have tried from this list and where your favorite New York City spots are!
I can’t wait!
373 Park Ave S.
This is one of my all time favorite Mexican food places. I love any place with good guacamole, tacos, and tequila and Dos Caminos does not disappoint in any category. It has been a tradition for years that every time we visit the city we have to go to Dos Caminos. We usually go to the Park Ave. location which has a fun atmosphere as well.
As far as good goes— the salsas are to die for and are delivered to your table ASAP. Aka a hungry girl’s dream. I usually forgo my usual tequila/ soda water/ extra lime combo and splurge to try one or two of the margaritas on the cocktail list. I definitely recommend getting the fresh guacamole because in all of my guacamole sampling I’ve only found one place that I think gives them a run for their money. At this point I'm pretty full but leaving without trying their tacos would be a travesty. Even ordering an order for the table (they come with three) is perfect because you get a little taste of the deliciousness. I’ve tried quite a few of their tacos over the years but my tried and true are the fish tacos.
For everyone with food allergies they are seriously accommodating and will make sure you are taken care of. This makes dinner infinitely more enjoyable when you know you can trust the kitchen and relax.
No lie, I’m going to dream about their guac tonight.
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
230 5th Ave.
My mom and sister came across this rooftop bar when they were visiting the city two years ago. I hadn’t been before so this year my mom insisted we go so that I could check it out. After taking an elevator to the top of the skyscraper you walk out onto a heated rooftop deck, complete with heated igloos to stay warm in! We were there during the holiday season so there was Christmas music blaring, fake snow falling, and a view of the Empire State Building lit in red and green. I can’t imagine this is a place where locals frequent but that means more room for me to bask in the holiday cheer. I’ve always been so anti “touristy stuff” because I was scarred from a long semester of working in retail in Herald Square. This place really changed my mind though. My mom who loves anything holiday and anything themed was completely living her best life.
They have a variety of delicious beverages, most of them hot which is needed when you are at the top of a building in the dead of winter. The spiked hot chocolate was mouth watering but I stuck with a white beach Bellini.
I definitely recommend checking this place out if you are visiting and if you are a local and haven’t been I recommend it to. There is something to be said about playing tourist in your own city!
THE FLYING COCK
497 3rd Ave.
This was a really, really good brunch spot. Pitchers of bottomless mimosas and Bellinis were flowing, the food was amazing, and the music/atmosphere was upbeat. This place is definitely worth a visit but you have to get there and get in line prior to opening to ensure you get a table, especially if you have a large party (they don’t take reservations). Depending on the day the wait time varies but I would recommend getting there at least a sold 10-15 minutes before opening.
The music is fun and the servers are great and so friendly. They make sure to keep your drinks constantly full which is a big accomplishment for a busy, bottomless brunch spot. The menu has a variety of options from classic egg dishes, to salads to burgers, to breakfast sandwiches, and some more unique picks as well. I am in love with the baked eggs in tomato sauce which is something I’ve made many times at home but never found one at a restaurant that I really like. Well, I found it.
174 Elizabeth St.
To be honest, before I visited this place I thought it was just an Instagram fad. I mean, what 90’s girl doesn’t love a place that feels like a real live Barbie Dream House but was it really more than that? It is.
The cozy environment with limited seating makes Pietro Nolita feel wildly exclusive and the all pink decor makes you feel like you are in a dream world. We stopped by here for drinks and were not disappointed. We sat at the bar and tried a few cocktails that were as pink as they were delicious (very pink, very delicious). My favorite was the Voiletta which was lavender vodka mixed with elderflower, lemon, and honey. This is definitely a place to grab cocktails or brunch with your girls. With the husband? Not so much. Matt thought the drink were good but the overpowering pink and lack of draft beers had him wishing he was back at The Flying Cock (ample beer there!). My sister, mom, and I absolutely adored it though.
550 LaGuardia Pl.
Usually I am not a dessert lover. Every now and then I will go for a creme brûlée or gluten free chocolate lava cake, but I am usually craving something salty instead. The raw cookie dough craze has been something I had pretty much ignored due to the lack of gluten free option and just overall lack or interest but when I hear about Do I actually really wanted to give it a try. They have gluten free options which are surprisingly delicious and a line that runs out of the door that boosts their credibility to those passing by.
I got a small gluten free chocolate chip scoop and couldn’t even finish because of how filling and rich it was. Definitely yummy and worth a taste but I recommend splitting with someone because they give you quite a decent amount.
WHILE WE WERE YOUNG
183 W. 10th St.
I love this place. LOVE LOVE LOVE. The decor makes me wish my whole home looked like the inside of this restaurant and the drinks were so freaking delicious. While We Were Young, like Pietro Nolita, has a small but exclusive seating area. The booths are blush colored velour and the tables are a clean white marble which, like I said is the dream of what I want my home to be. The bar is very cutely decorated and the bartenders were insanely friendly which made this a pleasant place to pop in to grab a few cocktails before our trip home.
I became seriously obsessed with their ‘Too Good For You’ drink. It is tequila, kale, lime, agave, and cucumber. I also had them add chili to it, extra chili if we’re being honest, to make it spicy. I felt like I was drinking a refreshing kale juice spiked with a bit of iced tequila. The other drinks that I sampled were just as delicious, not too sugary, and had unique ingredients mixed in. This place just screams Sunday Funday spot for either you and your girls or even a date (Matt’s verdict was the pink here was a lot more manageable).
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.