Dine-In For Valentine’s Day

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Are you worried about breaking the bank on Valentines Day? Are you dreading breaking your new year’s resolution diet, letting yourself down in order to indulge in the celebratory yet fattening restaurant meal you and your honey will most likely eat?

Don’t you worry girl friend because this Valentines Day will be different! Learn how to cook a fabulously healthy, inexpensive and restaurant-worthy meal for your honey all while still keeping yourself happy!

Much like the romantic love book and film “Like Water for Chocolate”, where Roasted quail with rose petal jam was the dish that turned everyone on fire in the story. Pair the roasted quail and rose petal jam with roasted potatoes and rose sparkling wine for a sparkling night of love!

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Roasted Quail Rose Petal Jam

Ingredients you need

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 tbs rosewater
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) lemon juice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 8 small quail, butterflied
  • 6 tbs rose petal jam* or quince paste

Directions

  1. First, place half the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the cumin, rosewater and 2 tablespoons each of lemon juice and oil in a glass dish. Stir to combine. Add quail and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat a grill or barbecue plate to high. Remove quail from marinade and grill quail for 2-3 minutes each side, basting with marinade, until cooked through.
  3. Place jam, remaining garlic, cinnamon, lemon juice and oil in a pan over low heat and cook very gently, stirring until combined and heated through.
  4. Lastly, Serve quail with a little sauce and scatter with rose petals.

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Roasted Potatoes

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
  2. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with parsley. Toss the potatoes to coat.
  3. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside but tender and cooked through on the inside.

Rose Petal Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 pint boiling water
  • 1 lb rose petals
  • 1 lb caster sugar
  • 2 lime, juice of
  • 2 lemon, juice of
  • 2 drops rose water

Directions

  1. Fill a large pan with the boiling water. Add half the rose petals, cover and leave to stand for two hours.
  2. After two hours strain off the liquid and transfer to a clean pan. Discard the steeped rose petals.
  3. Add the sugar to the rosewater and stir over a low heat until dissolved. Add the lime juice and remaining rose petals, reserving a handful for later.
  4. Bring to boiling point, reduce the heat and simmer until setting point is reached. To test for this, pour a little onto a cold saucer. Push it gently with your finger. If it wrinkles, it is ready. If not continue to simmer for a little longer.
  5. Add remaining rose petals and simmer gently for another three minutes then pour into a sterilized jar and seal. The rose petals should rise to the top leaving clear jelly underneath.
  6. Pot and cover the jam.
  7. Note that you’ll need to sterilize the jars or your jam will go mouldy. Wash them thoroughly in warm, clean, soapy water, drain upside down on kitchen towel and place on a baking tray in a preheated oven at 140C/fan120C/gas 1 for 15 minutes.

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For an excellent Rose sparkling wine, try this website for great suggestions!

And if that doesn’t turn you on then there’s nothing that some good home-style Italian can’t do! – Make eggplant parmesan for your sweetie and pair it with a nice red wine for a guaranteed romantic meal while still staying on the healthy side!

Now you have no excuse not to make your honey a delicious meal on Valentine’s Day while still pleasing yourself! Each recipe is fairly easy to make, requiring little time in the kitchen so you can have more time in the bedroom! Bon appetite lovebirds!

Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!

Gym Going Resolutions

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The holiday season might be over, but that doesn’t mean we’re done making a list and checking it twice. As we enter the new year, the naughty or nice list is replaced by the New Year’s resolution list, creating the incentive that gets half the population off the couch and to one place; the gym.

Every year Americans make fitness goals, hoping to turn over a new leaf and finally commit to the healthier lifestyle we strive for. The most popular health and fitness resolutions are to lose weight, get back in shape, and go to the gym 2 to 3 times weekly.

While these resolutions are set with the best intentions in mind, by March, motivation begins to vanish as the number of gym goers drastically dwindle down. There are many reasons why consistency can become a challenge when pursuing a new fitness lifestyle. Unsure of Where to Start- Any permanent change requires planning and sometimes, that’s the hardest part.

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For those who are very new to the gym, the overall environment can appear intimidating without knowledge of what steps to take to achieve the results you’re looking for. Luckily, most gyms offer one free session with a personal trainer that can outline and demonstrate workout routines, equipment and classes to start with.

The best aerobic classes to help you trim down include cycling and kickboxing, known to burn over 700 calories per hour. If you’re looking for sculpting and toning, Pilates and bootcamp classes target your core along with strengthening the entire body.

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Lack of Time – It can become a hassle trying to fit gym time into a busy weekly schedule.

When setting any fitness goal, the time frame set to accomplish goals should be long enough that it works with your schedule, enabling consistency but not so much time that it might cause you to lose interest. Before signing up, research gym hours and class times, ensuring they coincide with your own hectic schedule. For most people, mornings are usually the best time to get in a workout before other daily responsibilities get in the way.

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Reduced Motivation- The desire to see quick results quickly leads to disappointment and discouragement.

People are easily influenced by trends like 6 minute abs and celebrity diets causing them to create unrealistic goals, eager to see drastic changes. However, lack of success can be attributed to the types of goals set. “Get back in shape” is too general; Goals should be specific enough to enable measurement of progress. When reasonable progress is seen, it aids motivation.

Examples of success-achieving goals are:

To lose “X” pounds of fat

To gain “X” pounds of muscle

To fit into that new dress

Make your New Year’s resolutions into a permanent lifestyle change through hard work and consistency. Commit to a dedicated fitness plan and by March, while others have abandoned their goals, you’ll be reaping the rewards in time for spring.

Written By:  Janurie Ulett: Hailing from quaint suburbia, Long Island meets the fabulousness of NYC. With a Bachelors degree in journalism from Brooklyn College, Janurie’s passion for writing comes naturally, fueling her career as a health and fitness freelance journalist. Her signature flair can be described as 19th-century English meets modern day Dear Abby as she faithfully satisfies her readers’ appetites, one word at a time.

 

 

 

Be The Star of Your Life

Your Best Self Pic

BE THE STAR OF YOUR LIFE: Living everyday as your best self.

Every year we look towards its finish, by aiming to have a better year.   We make “Resolutions,” for self-betterment, in hopes of having a successful 2000-whatever.  This year, U Blush would like to encourage you to “Be the star of your own life,” by striving to be what you envision as your best self.  In order to provide you with some pointers, we have interviewed three women from different walks of life, and asked them to describe the best version of themselves, providing examples of how they embody this everyday.

“I know my weaknesses, and I know my strengths,” answered Ayla Jackson, 25, when asked if she is currently her “Best Version of Self.”  Ms. Jackson with a shy giggle described the best version of her, as a woman who patterns the life after her faith in Christ.  “He set the best example.  I don’t believe I am as close to him, but I try to better myself…that’s all I can do,” said Jackson.

Similarly, Bree Jenkins, 29, who is both a Marriage & Family Therapist and Fashion Blogger of The Gathered Lady, said her best self is something she aspires to be, but she does realize that it will always be somewhat unattainable. Following Ms. Jenkins, Clinical Social Worker and Mother of two, Mrs. Valerie White, 31, said she is about an 8 out of 10 of her best self.

The Best You

So how can you become the best version of yourself? Here are some trending standards for living life as your “Best Self.”

  • Spiritual Connectedness- “Spiritual exercise … strengthens you, disciplining your mind so that love and love only guides your thinking and illumines your heart.” – Marianne Williamson (Internationally acclaimed author and lecturer)

“I make sure he’s included in my life,” said Jackson who indicated that she turns to her faith to overcome life’s obstacles.

  • Encouraging Relationships- It is important to have relationships that push you to better yourself.  Remember, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

“You have to monitor and make sure that the relationships that you are engaging yourself are …for self-enhancement,” said Jenkins.

“Surround yourself with people who do what you want to do…go getter’s,” said White.  “If everyone around you sits and just talks about what they want to do, then you are most likely going to be the same way…. Be with people, who are successful in a way you want to be.”

  • Be Good To YOU- The best thing you can do to be your “Best Self,” is to take care of you.  If you are not healthy there’s no way you will be able to help others, or even yourself succeed.

“Talk nice to yourself,” said White. She chooses to speak with nurturing and encouraging words, instead of those that would tear her down.  In addition, White encourages a healthy lifestyle along with your occasional and affordable spa day.

  • Plan to Succeed – Many are turned off by the phrase “New Year’s Resolutions,” so instead of making a list of resolutions, make a plan for living your life completely and as your “Best Self.”

“The first step is, I have to believe in myself,” said White.  Her credo is failure is not a reflection of your [lack] of greatness, it’s a reflection of your preparation.  So write it out, and make your plan of action to succeed.

Each woman we interviewed felt as if they were not yet their best selves, but in actuality because they live their lives today striving to be better, they are indeed their “Best Self.” The best you is the person who, lives through her passions, loves without fear, and knows she is worth it all. Be Your Star Today.

Written By Ricki Jae. Morris: “Since of Style Need Not Make Sense,” is her motto.  This Southern Cali Girl is not opposed to standing out in the name of Fashion & Art. As a mother of a 4-year old daughter, she strives to set an example of “Success with Class,” by always being a lady and staying true to self.  In her spare time, Ricki Jae. Blogs about Fashion Designers and Events.

 

Have Sunshine During The Winter Gloom

Sunshine-Story

Tis the season to be Gloomy?  Unfortunately, for some people this is the case.  When the sun no longer shines as bright, and friends and family disappear into the holiday cheer of their families, there are some who are left alone to deal with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

“A lot of my clients, they are struggling when the holidays come around,” said Complete Game Plan, Therapist, Todd Deutsch, MFT.  “…They’re feeling overwhelmed because of the lack of family involvement, (or perhaps they lost their loved ones) it could be a very troubling time.”  Deutsch is a licensed therapist, counselor, life consultant, educator, and mentor who works with both adults and children struggling with a diversity of issues.

WebMD describes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), as a mood disorder that happens every year at the same time. The most common time of the year that this occurs is the during winter months.  SAD happens more often in women than in men, and can start as a teenager or as an adult.  This happiness stealing disorder is triggered by: Insufficient vitamin D caused by the lack of sunlight exposure, due to the longer winter nights.

In spite of the lowered amount of access to the feel good rays of the sun, or the bright smiles of family, there are still ways to maintain your inner sunshine during the winter gloom.  Listed are some tips from Mr. Deutsch.

  1. Imitation to sunlight. Since the winter wants to take away our sunshine, bring the sunlight back with a lamp that replicates the suns natural light.  There are many types to choose from, some lamps even mimic the suns natural twelve-hour cycle, so you feel like everyday is a beautiful sun-shinny-day.
  2. Work it out. It may be cold and dreary out, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a couch potato.  Get up and put some pep in your step by joining a workout class or working out in the comfort of your own home.   In an article called Power Surge: The Hidden Benefits of Exercise, it says that research has shown that as little as 30 minutes of cardio three to five days a week will add six years to your life.  A longer healthier life can boost anyone’s mood!
  3. Call on your inner yogi. Stretch, breathe and let go of all your worries and tension, with the relaxing movements of Yoga.  When you release the tension of your muscles, you also release clusters of stress built up in your body and brain.
  4. Surround yourself with love.  When you’re busy laughing and enjoying an outing with friends, or any supportive group of people, there’s no way you will have time to focus on sadness.  Elementary school faculty worker, Gloria VanVactor, says she enjoys being around her sisters during the holiday season, especially when they sing holiday songs together.  Mrs. VanVactor has dealt with SAD since the passing of her Mother and Husband and finds comfort in the presence of family and friends.
  5. Depression-fighting Vita-D.  Give your body the mood-stabilizing boost of vitamin D.  There are many ways to get vitamin D: You can take supplements, cod liver oil or you can get it from certain foods and beverages (e.g., fatty fish, milk or orange juice.)
  6. Positives subtract negatives.  “You is kind, you is smart, you is important,” as said so eloquently by Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), in the hit film The Help. “Typically, (with) depression and anxiety, it’s all about reducing the negative thoughts we have about ourselves,” said Deutsch.  “(It’s) positive emotion…instead of negative.”
  7. The eye of the tiger.  There is happiness and strength in your naturally born talents. “Finding things that you do well and like to do…reinforce a positive side (of you,)” said Deutsch.  So if you are a writer write, if you are a physical person get physical and so on.  Bringing out the best part of you is happiness in itself.
  8. Give The Best Gifts.   Holiday shopping can be stressful, especially during a recession, but the best gifts aren’t necessarily those that affect your pocket book.  Use your talents we mentioned above, and give a gift reflective of you.  Remember those clay handprints you made for Mom & Dad, when the concept of money was foreign to you? That title token of love was probably one of their favorites gifts.

Todd Deutsch’s Complete Game Plan counseling center is located in Los Angeles, CA. Visit his website for more information about his program. Remember, Tis the season to be Jolly.

Written By Ricki Jae. Morris: “Since of Style Need Not Make Sense,” is her motto.  This Southern Cali Girl is not opposed to standing out in the name of Fashion & Art. As a mother of a 4-year old daughter, she strives to set an example of “Success with Class,” by always being a lady and staying true to self.  In her spare time, Ricki Jae. Blogs about Fashion Designers and Events.

 

 

 

 

Dynamic Duos! Try these food pairings for optimum nutrient benefits!

Some combinations are a match made in heaven, like corona and lime or Bonnie and Clyde. However, did you know that some nutrient combinations when paired together have amplified results? According to Elaine Magee, the author of Food Synergy and a registered dietitian stated that with certain food pairings, “It’s like adding 1 plus 1 and getting 4 instead of 2. The total is greater than the sum of the individual parts.”

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Combining certain foods can enhance their nutritional value, allowing your body to better absorb and reap the benefits. Be good to yourself! Eat these foods pairings and get more out of your food!

Broccoli + Tomato

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According to a 2007 Cancer Research study, John W. Erdman Jr., Ph.D., of the University of Illinois found that broccoli and tomato, when eaten together, were effective in fighting prostate cancer. John Erdman, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois stated that, “When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it’s because different bio-active compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways.”

Green Tea + Lemon Juice

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This duo when consumed together allows you absorb the powerful antioxidants naturally found in green tea. According to a 2007 study at Purdue University, adding some citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit for example) to your green tea reduces the breakdown of the antioxidants in our digestive system, allowing our body to more easily absorb the antioxidants.

Spinach + Strawberries

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Fruits full of Vitamin C when paired with any plant-based source of iron will allow the body to absorb the iron that much better.  The iron from the spinach will allow your body to have a healthy immune system and healthy cellular functioning, and when paired with Vitamin C, like strawberries, the iron is able to absorb in a super way!

In this age of endless processed foods full of cancer causing elements, it’s more than time to take back control of our health, and what better way than to synergize the whole foods we eat to get even more of a bang for our health!

Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!

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