Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sometimes the simple times are the best times...

              It was Friday and I couldn’t wait to get out of work, get home, and not worry about rushing right back out the door. I was looking forward to the chance to do absolutely nothing with Stephanos for the first time in a long time. Our schedules are usually crazy, especially in the summer, but for some reason, we had no plans all weekend. There was no place we had to be, nothing we had to do. I was so thankful to sit on our front porch, eat some snacks, and pop a bottle of champagne to our quiet weekend. Just breathing in the fresh air made me happy……..but it also made me hungry. So, like any girl who has ever had a serious craving for ice cream, I took Stephanos by the hand and we walked to Hayward’s where I gave in to my need. I usually never ever crave ice cream or sweets, but there was something about this night, and with no regret, I ate a whole kiddie cup of coffee oreo ice cream, and it was delicious.

               The next day, Stephanos went golfing and I cleaned the house until there was not a spot left to clean, then I went to the gym. I sweat my butt off. It felt awesome. I love that feeling. Call me weird, but I think sweating is such a fabulous release. Stephanos and I then made lunch, relaxed, and had my parents over for dinner and a bonfire in the backyard. We laughed, told stories, ate good food and drank good drinks. I wanted to freeze time and just hold on to the warm breeze, the taste of my pumpkin beer, the sound of Bob Marley on my Pandora, and the smell of the burning wood in the fire. (I, however, did NOT want anything to do with the mosquitoes that used my ankles and feet for their dinner. How annoying)

I took a minute to sit on the bed and enjoy our clean room :)


               Sunday came and I woke up feeling eager and ready for the day. Stephanos & I went to the gym, and then we visited my dad at work. Then I hung out with my mom, and we went to the lake where we saw tons of the cutest (and some slightly annoying) children, and just laughed. She then asked me if I wanted go walk around the block. The weather at this time was beautiful with a cool breeze, and I saw some beautiful hanging flowers that I would love to have hanging from my front porch. As I walked by her side, I realized how special it is that my mom and I are so close. She is by far one of my best friends. I think once you move out of your mom & dad's house and start really growing up, you develop a whole new respect for your parents. You actually want to see them and hang out with them, and you go out of your way to make time for it. It’s funny how things turn out.


               Sunday night slowly came to an end, and so did the season of one of our favorite shows, “True Blood”. For any other Bill Compton lovers, how messed up was that ending?? Then I closed my eyes, had some weird dreams, and along came Monday. Work was pretty busy, andbefore I knew it, 5:00pm had arrived. This meant I got to go home and wait for my best friend Jade to come over. She and I had a mini fashion show, stalked people on facebook (per usual) and made the most scrumptious whole wheat vegetarian Greek mini pizzas!  

The recipe we used is as follows:

*             Use whole wheat Naan bread (as crust)
*             Spread a tiny bit of olive oil over the crust
*             Spread Cedar’s plain hummus (or whatever type of hummus you like, Sabra and Joseph’s are good too!)
*             Top the pizza with crumbled feta cheese, black olives, onions, and some basil and parsley.

*              Put them on the grill until they are nice and crispy, and you're done!

(These are so easy to make, and you can add any toppings you want!) De-lish!


               Yes, it was a simple few days, but it was filled with so many healthy, happy memories, and I’m glad I got to spend a weekend just doing whatever I wanted. I texted my mom telling her what a relaxing yet fun weekend it was, and she replied with “sometimes the simple times are the best times”, and man, was she right. What a wise woman. See, this is why I call her my best friend J

               What did you do over the weekend???



Monday, August 20, 2012

look back, Fall ahead...

   It’s always tough getting out of bed on a Monday after a jam-packed weekend, but there was something different about this morning. I woke up to the window open and a cool breeze blowing in on my face, and it felt so good. Usually, I would want to nestle back up under the covers and steal Stephanos’ body heat, but today, I wanted to jump right out of bed and scream, “Fall is on its  way!!!”, but I didn’t want to wake my exhausted boyfriend from his much needed sleep.

   There’s something thrilling about knowing that Fall is coming. Maybe it’s the excitement for cute jackets and tall boots. Maybe it’s because I’m anxiously awaiting the taste of pumpkin beer and the sound of leaves crunching under my heels. Maybe it’s the perfect hair days and the smell of everything autumn in the air. Whatever it is, I’m excited, and I wish every morning could feel like this one.

   As I was singing in the shower, I realized that summer really is slowly fading, but that’s okay with me. A lot of people get down knowing that they have to wait another full year for warm weather and beach days, but not me. I’m just happy that I have a lot of fun memories from Summer 2012 to reflect on. I began replaying this past weekend up at Old Orchard Beach in my head. There’s nothing better than sitting around a campfire with good friends, drinking delicious drinks, hearing your favorite songs come on the IPod, grilling up some tasty vegetarian burgers, getting noise control warnings, and dancing the night away at the bars on the beach. (the rest of the weekend is still being pieced together, ha-ha ;) ) Here’s a little sample of what the weekend looked like:

Nala tried to sneak her way into my bag...

I think she really wanted to come camping...

I started off with a Chobani before I left work and hit the road!

Who says you can't eat healthy when everyone you're with wants to stop at BK?

Men hard at work setting up the camper!

Livin the good life.


A little rain didn't get us down!

We had beautiful sunshine on Saturday!

Drinks on the pier

Summer lovin' :)

Amusements :)


Best friends!

We met Elvis ;)

Dancin' the night away!

So relaxed!

   I made certain to have an entirely full and fun experience on vacation, camping, while still eating 100% vegetarian food. I want you to know that it’s completely possible to maintain a healthy and happy vegetarian diet while vacationing.  Of course I may have eaten and drank slightly more than usual, but let’s face it, I was on vacation! You’ve gotta step outside the box every now and again, right?? Remember, it’s okay to cheat when you absolutely need to! Some people like to drink their calories, some people like to eat them, but as long as you monitor them and burn them off on the dance floor, you should be good to go! ;)

   If I’m vacationing or visiting some place special, I sometimes chose to drink my calories. Here is a list of many different vegetarian and non-vegetarian beers:  http://www.barnivore.com/beer# 

   Did you even know that many beers are not vegan/vegetarian? Neither did I until last year, but luckily for me, the beers I enjoy most just happen to be vegetarian. Like I said before, you learn something new all the time about being eating! That’s what makes it exciting!
   To wrap this post up, I’d like to ask you some questions What are your favorite vegetarian foods and drinks to have on vacation? What season do you like better, summer or Fall? Like I said before, Fall is only a beautiful month away, and I can’t wait to have a delicious Bluemoon Harvest Pumpkin (vegetarian) Ale in my hand!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer moments that have made me smile...

Hi everyone. Happy Hump Day!! There are only 2 more days until Friday, and that makes me smile. Unfortunately, this morning, I was doing everything but smiling (but don't worry, I'm all smiles now!)

7:00am- I woke up with a headache, took some advil, took a shower, rushed to get ready for work, got in my car, got a coffee at the drive through, waited there forever because their power was out, and by then I was so flustered I drove away without my coffee, so I had to go back in! When I was walking in, I slipped on the wet floor (never realizing there was a massive "CAUTION: WET FLOOR" sign right infront of me) got my coffee (which the girl made wrong twice, I think her morning was starting off similar to mine) and sat in the.worst.traffic.ever. Finally, I got to work, 10 minutes late.  Once I got to work, I took a deep breath, got a very sweet text from my boyfriend, realized how lucky I am to have such a great job to worry about being 10 minutes late for, and I was instantly in a better mood.

See, sometimes all it takes is a special text from your boyfriend to make you smile again :)

So, I wanted to post a blog to reflect on some of my favorite summer moments so far that have made me smile. Enjoy!

4th of July in our hometown of Chelmsford

Three blondes

In the car being crazy in PA

I love beach days w/ my babe!

Me & Ziggy Marley hangin on his bus

One big happy family

Girls just wanna have fun

My beautiful aunt & sister in PA

My favorite place on earth.

Booze cruise!

Family forever

My bestest friend in the world

Being a free spirit

Loungin' w/ my kitty girl

The best friends a girl could ask for

Now tell me, what/who/where makes YOU smile???

Have a wonderful day, everyone, and remember, everything will be alright if you just take a deep breath, sit back, and smile :)

Peace & Love,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tips for Eating a Healthy Vegetarian Diet!

              Hi all, hope you enjoyed your weekend. Did any of you visit any special vegetarian restaurants or cook any new vegetarian recipes? Has anyone decided to make the switch to vegetarianism? Have you entertained the thought at all? If not, that’s fine, I totally understand that making a vast lifestyle change can be scary and overwhelming. I can promise though, if you educate yourself enough, the switch becomes a lot easier and less intimidating.  It even becomes quite exciting. Once you start feeling healthier, cleaner, lighter, and less fatigued, you will be looking forward to all the healthy ways you can cook, eat, and continue to feel. Your skin will become clearer, your energy levels will increase, and your mood will be more stable. I’m not here to force you to do anything or make you feel bad if you aren’t interested. I’m just here to help educate you if you have questions!

             I know a lot of people think that if they stop eating meat/poultry/fish, they will be constantly hungry and will have a big void in their bodies that needs to be filled. This is true to an extent if you don’t do it right! Today I have decided to gather some extremely helpful tips for anyone who is interested in learning how to eat vegetarian while feeling completely satisfied at the end of each meal! Remember, the most important thing I tell everyone about becoming a vegetarian is that whatever necessary nutritious items you remove from your diet (such as protein, iron, calcium, etc.), you need to put back in somehow! You will figure it all out. I promise you that very soon, you will be able to answer all those questions you had in the beginning.  You might even start educating other people as well!
            I hope my advice helps. Please let me know any further questions or ideas you may have!
  • Build meals around protein sources that are naturally low in fat, such as beans, lentils, and rice. Don't overload meals with high-fat cheeses and tons of carbohydrates to replace the meat.
  • Please remember, many foods that typically contain meat or poultry can be made vegetarian. This can increase vegetable intake and cut saturated fat and cholesterol intake. Consider:
    • pasta primavera or pasta with marinara or pesto sauce
    • veggie pizza
    • vegetable lasagna
    • tofu-vegetable stir fry
    • vegetable lo mein
    • vegetable kabobs
    • bean burritos or tacos

  • A variety of vegetarian products look (and may taste) like their non-vegetarian counterparts, but are usually lower in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol.
    • For breakfast, try soy-based sausage patties or links. (I recommend Boca and Morning Star products). Also, try oatmeal, whole wheat or multi-grain english muffins with peanut butter, fruit, jam, etc. (Remember, jelly is not vegetarian. Jam and preserves with pectin are fine)
    • Rather than hamburgers, try veggie burgers. A variety of kinds are available, made with soy beans, vegetables, and/or rice. (Again, Boca and Morning Star make wonderful veggie/vegan, meatless chicken patties, etc. These are a great and affordable option to bring to a cook out!) Visit these sites to learn more! http://www.bocaburger.com, and http://www.morningstarfarms.com/msfhome.html   Add vegetarian meat substitutes to soups and stews to boost protein without adding saturated fat or cholesterol. These include tempeh (cultured soybeans with a chewy texture), tofu, or wheat gluten.

    • As mentioned above, for barbecues, try veggie burgers, soy hot dogs, marinated tofu or tempeh, and veggie kabobs.
    • Make bean burgers, lentil burgers, or pita halves with falafel (spicy ground chick pea patties).
    • Some restaurants offer soy options (texturized vegetable protein) as a substitute for meat, and soy cheese as a substitute for regular cheese.
    • Hummus is a wonderful option for dipping purposes. It is very healthy too!
  • Don’t worry about what’s going to happen when you go out to eat. Most restaurants can accommodate vegetarian modifications to menu items by substituting meatless sauces, omitting meat from stir-fries, and adding vegetables or pasta in place of meat. These substitutions are more likely to be available at restaurants that make food to order. Also, remember to make sure they are not cooking in beef or chicken stock and that they are not frying anything in animal fat! It never hurts to ask!
  • Many Asian and Indian restaurants offer a varied selection of vegetarian dishes. A lot of them use eggs though, so if you are going egg-free, remind them to please keep the eggs out.
  • Eat a dark green vegetable (broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens) at least three times a week. Also, try drinking your greens. You might enjoy Naked Juice’s Green Machine—it’s made with fruit juice as well as greens.
  • Take a vitamin supplement that contains B12!
  • Water water water! It’s been said over and over again for a reason—because its true! Most people don’t drink nearly enough. Keep a water bottle at your desk, in the car with you, etc. Water is especially crucial when adjusting to a new way of eating, as it will help curb any cravings you may experience.
  • Make it a goal to eat at least one piece of raw fruit or a handful of raw vegetables every day.
  • Reduce your refined sugar intake. If you have a big sweet tooth (like many people), you can try to keep it under control by using such sugar replacers as maple syrup, stevia and agave nectar whenever possible (such as in coffee and tea) and indulging in the refined stuff only occasionally.
  • Keep your favorite salad dressings on hand. Many people are much more likely to eat their veggies when their favorite salad dressings are in the fridge. A little variety is great too.
  •  Eat the rainbow! Fruits and vegetables all contain different nutrients. A simple way to remember to eat a range of vitamins and minerals is to vary the colors of the vegetables and fruits you eat.

      I hope this helped a bit!! Please let me know if this answered some of your questions and what else you'd like to know! I will do my best to help!

      Xo, Holly

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Friday!

             Hey, everyone! TGIF! Hope you all enjoyed my last blog. Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback. The wonderful texts, messages, and e-mails I have received from you are beyond amazing. I’m so glad that I have inspired so many people with my words!!  Thank you so much!

               I thought I’d write this blog today because of a comment I received on my last one regarding bullying. I know some of you will find this humorous, and who doesn't need a good laugh after a long week?? Anyhow, I have this one annoying follower who keeps posting negative comments, and this “anonymous” person has been getting very upset that I am not making his/her outlandish comments public for everyone to see.  They have been calling my blog "foolish" and stating that they are "going to have all their non-meat-eating friends stop following" me because I'm not publishing their rude comments. The way I see it, if you don’t have the guts to publicly post your thoughts, then I don’t think your comments deserve to be seen. Sorry that you have to hide behind a computer screen to project your own insecurities onto me. I probably don’t even know who you are anyway, therefore, your opinion doesn’t matter. Hope you’re having fun at the bottom of my “deleted comments” trash can. Your stupidity and self-loathing doesn’t belong here, and this is exactly why I don’t want your posts to be public.  I don’t need your toxic attitude on my page. No one wants to hear your pathetic comments because you’re jealous of our happiness. No one feels sorry for you.
             So please, if you don’t have any constructive, polite comments to make, don’t even waste the time typing them. I’m going to delete them. I hope this is the last time I have to say that. I am more than happy to welcome any genuinely helpful advice you have to offer, though. I actually encourage them! Please help me make this page more attractive. Please tell me what types of stories and recipes you'd like to see!
              On that note,  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend…. I know I am going to. Tonight I’m going out with the best group of friends a girl could ask for. I can’t wait to eat dinner and drink and laugh and share stories with all my beautiful friends. This is what life is all about. What are you all doing this weekend? Are you going any place special? Are you trying any new vegetarian restaurants? Are you going to simply hang in and enjoy the company of the people you love? Let me know, I'd love to hear!
             Finally, to the person who posted the above-referenced comment, here’s my advice: go get some friends, get a life, occupy yourself with something worthwhile, learn some manners, and then maybe you’ll learn how to recoginize happiness. You most likely won’t have as much free time on your hands to hate on others. If you need any advice, I’m here. I wish you well. Bless your heart.
           PS. Don't I have such a gorgeous group of friends? How lucky am I?!

 That’s all for now,
 Love, Holly