Why a detox? (+ giveaway!)

In addition to participating in the #SparklingDetox, there is also a chance for you to win free Gerolsteiner water by entering this giveaway: bit.ly/SparklingDetox . I would love for you to join me during this detox from September 12-16! I have been looking for a opportunity reason to cut out caffeine from my diet to see how my body responds, but it has been a hard change to implement. I always joke that caffeine is my one vice in life, which is true, but I am curious how I would cope without it. In the past, I had headaches when attempting to cut back on caffeinated beverages, but I’ve definitely decreased my consumption since then.

When making changes like this, I think it is far more important to think about what you are adding to your life rather than what you are giving up. Sure, I am giving up caffeine, but I am adding a hydrating, nutrient-packed beverage! I have been on-the-go, on the road, and in the air all summer long, which has prompted me to ditch some of my usual routine. I have tried to get some form of physical activity everyday, but I have been far from consistent! With the lack of regularity in my workout schedule, my muscles have been feeling more sore than ever.

Magnesium is crucial for healthy nerve function and muscles, plus there is some evidence that is helps with fatigue and mood. In the past, I have taken magnesium pill supplements, but magnesium has increased bioavailability (i.e. the body can absorb more) when it is consumed in liquid form. On top of the health benefits, drinking mineral water is FAR more enjoyable than taking a huge magnesium pill!

My favorite way to enjoy is pouring a bottle over ice with a squeeze of lemon. I am planning to also add some fresh mint and a dash of stevia to create a faux-jito, which I tested out the other day with great success (see recipe below). How do you drink your mineral water? Do you look at it as simply a beverage, or also as a nutritional supplement of sorts?

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Faux-jito for one:
Combine one sprig of mint, 5-10 drops of stevia, 1-2 tsp lime juice, and 8oz of Gerolsteiner sparkling water in a glass and enjoy!

A Little Lovin’: Life Lessons in Amore

Amore Brand sent me an amazing gift package to sample some of their new (and old) products:

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Look at all those goodies! Pasta, pastes, a water bottle, even a portable charger–a huge thank you to Amore for their generosity.  I am pretty picky when it comes to savory foods and tend to opt for high quality options and strong flavors, so I held these products to a high bar. All of their products are made in Italy with only high quality ingredients and the pastas and pastes are all vegan!

Tomato paste: fresh, delicious, natural. This tomato paste goes ABOVE and BEYOND the tins of tomato paste I usually buy. I didn’t notice before a metallic taste before, but after tasting this tomato paste I don’t think I can go back to the little metal cans! I highly recommend the paste, and a little goes a long way.

I tried out the tomato paste in the recipe below; it’s crazy easy, quick, and a perfect weeknight meal after a long, hectic day.

Tomato Sauce For One Recipe:
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. water (use to thin sauce to desired consistency)

Shrimp Veggie Pasta Recipe:
1 package shirataki noodles (or one serving regular pasta)
6-9 frozen shrimp
1 cup roasted veggies of choice (I used eggplant and broccoli)

1. Place shrimp on the stove over medium heat with a few tablespoons of water or olive oil for a crispier finish. Watch and stir until thoroughly cooked (about 4-7 minutes).
2. Prepare pasta following package directions (directions vary by brand and type of pasta).
3. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.
4. Heat sauce in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until hot.
5. Once noodles are prepared, add sauce, shrimp, and veggies and stir well.
6. Enjoy! (Optional: garnish with basil and feel fancy)

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This recipe for one is making me miss family dinners at home already. I recently moved back to college in Atlanta and will start having more single-serving recipes again! Although being a part from family and loved ones is always hard, making recipes that capture the flavors of home certainly help ease the homesickness!

Do you have any quick, easy pasta recipes? Do you prefer a certain type of pasta? What flavors remind you of home?

Summer, Sun, and Sparkling Water

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When I was invited to participate in Gerolsteiner’s #SparklingDetox, I could not turn the offer down! I always love a challenge, and what’s not to love about sparkling water? For five days, from September 12 to September 16, 2016, I will swap out all my usual beverages for Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. It’s a super simple way to take a break from highly processed beverages and excessive caffeine to see how my body responds. In addition to changing my beverage of choice, I’ll have the support of  the Sparkling Detox Facebook Group. I know I am going to need all the support I can get with limited caffeine in my system!

A photo posted by Hannah (@craving_happy) on

I am excited to participate in #SparklingDetox because I get a lot of my nutrients from supplements (calcium chews, magnesium pills, etc.) and I am excited to get the same nutrients from an all natural mineral water source. I encourage everyone I know to take calcium supplements or make sure to get enough calcium from their diet–I even got my roommate hooked on calcium chews! Ensuring adequate calcium intake from a young age through adulthood is essential for so many reasons, but especially when it comes to bone health. I was lucky enough to have a DEXA scan (fully body composition scan) that analyzed my bone-mineral content and it showed I have strong bones, which I attribute to getting plenty of calcium in! I understand hesitancy when it comes to taking processed supplements, but with another great option of mineral water to get this key nutrient…it’s hard to have a good excuse!

I have a hunch that Gerolsteiner sparkling water might be a better source of calcium than pop-tarts 😉

Although this is #SparklingDetox, I do not support detoxes that claim to be quick fixes or require strict diets in any way, but I am a huge fan of adjusting aspects of your lifestyle to see how your body responds. Health is a process and oftentimes changing it up and exposing our bodies to something new can be beneficial. I am so excited to see how drinking Gerolsteiner benefits my body. If you want to join me on this journey you can win a free supply of Gerolsteiner for your own detox here: sparklingdetox.votigo.com …

Look out for an upcoming post with more information on this detox.

Life Abroad: Catching Up and Life Lessons (Part 3)

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For anyone studying abroad, here are a few life lessons I’ve learned along the way…

1.Expect the unexpected–keep an open mind and prepare as well as you can, but beyond that try and let go and live in the moment! For example, my flight back to London was cancelled after a lovely weekend in Amsterdam. Immediately, my travel buddy and I began brainstorming and contacting airline companies, train services, bus lines, and our parents. We did as much as we could to solve our problems and it ended up working out, despite some added stress and running at breakneck speed through the Amsterdam airport at 10pm.

2. Take time for you–I made sure I always had a few extra minutes in the morning to enjoy a warm cuppa’ tea and some mornings I even practiced my pilates. Physical activity is important to me and I always feel better when I include it in my day, but I was flexible and listened to my body. If I walked ten miles around the city one day, I felt tired and my body was happy without extra Pilates. Did I lose some strength and progress in my Pilates practice? Yes. Do I care? No, because I spent that time exploring London, making friends, and truly living. (Tip: Buy a yoga mat off a Craigslist-esque site [Gumtree in London] for about $7 to use while abroad–cheaper than a gym membership and perfect for yoga or Pilates!)13423846_10209697634663451_4362321088019609836_n

3. ENJOY–just breathe, be quiet, look, and listen.

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4.Go it alone–solitude can be a challenge for many people, especially during college! As an introvert, I enjoy a certain amount of solitude and I loved the occasional afternoon jaunt on my own. It can be scary to explore an unfamiliar place alone, but it helps develop confidence and is always a learning experience. I highly recommend getting lost (in a safe area) and simply wandering.

13576626_10209863416647897_1535386564398928668_o5. Journal–do not think you’ll remember the little daily occurrences and events; write them down. Each night, take as little as five minutes and make a note of what happened that day, a new experience, or something you learned.

A photo posted by Hannah (@craving_happy) on

6. Set goals–I was overwhelmed by the amazing number of opportunities in London and had no idea how to visit them all in three weeks. I prioritized them and made sure to schedule in the top places I wanted to see, made plans with friends, and made it happen. This is an example of using SMART goals…I plan to do a whole post on SMART goals within the coming weeks, so keep a look out!

A photo posted by Hannah (@craving_happy) on

 

Have you studied or lived abroad? What advice do you have? Any favorite memories?

Life Abroad: London Eats (Part 2)

London was pretty amazing…the sights, the food, the culture…all of it. One of my favorite cultural differences was the endless number of fresh food markets. Beyond the famous markets, like Borough or Camden Market, there is a fruit stand on nearly every corner in many areas throughout the city. I loved grabbing a pint of strawberries or fresh cherry tomatoes to munch on as I explored.
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I was lucky enough to meet a very kind chef who hooked me up with a delicious kabocha squash since I couldn’t find them anywhere! And yes, it was as delicious as it looks.

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Of course I had to try some of the amazing health foods…these Grenade Carb Killa Protein Bars were delicious!

 

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My favorite meal by far was from Goodlife Eatery with some amazing ladies of Quest Europe!

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