SHOP MY CURRENT FAVORITES


Im trying out Jenny Craig!

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. Tried other diets? It’s time for Jenny Craig!

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, even though I am extremely busy and always on the go, maintaining my diet is my highest priority right now. It has not been easy at all. And quite frankly, I stopped cooking meals at home and ended up eating takeout food several times a day. It was definitely time for a drastic change. Not only for my body but also for my mind. The results of stress made me fall out of my eating schedules. It was easy to forget to eat, and I’d sometimes skip lunch, and not eat until I got home at night. That habit is what kills your metabolism even though you don’t eat very much. It is what killed my metabolism and made my body store fat rather than burning it.

I came to realize that exercising 5 days a week didn’t change anything if I didn’t eat healthfully. So, I was approached by Jenny Craig, a tailored program designed to provide structure and support to help members lose weight and learn how to keep it off. It’s not the type of program that will tell you how many calories you can eat or sets you strictly on shakes and soups. It’s a well-designed program which provides you real food that actually makes you want to eat. And you’ll lose weight as well. I met with my personal consultant Laura to talk about how I feel about my body and my view on food. And also, why I felt like I needed to do this. It felt great to have a personal contact that not only can help me with my goals but also can support me mentally and physically. My center is open every day and if I have any questions I can just call her.

My main goal right now is to eat often but in the right portions. I need to get my metabolism in shape which might take a while but I have to start somewhere. So far, I have only been on Jenny Craig for a week and I have already lost 1.2 pounds*! My biggest struggle at first was eating at the right times. I watched the clock a bit too much at first, but now have the hang of it and am getting used to eating so often! What I liked the most is that I received a weekly meal schedule including 3 meals and 3 snacks per day. Each day was structured with breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and a snack. And Jenny Craig provides the meals and snacks. The only thing you have to buy at the grocery store is fruit and veggies. *Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. I received promotional consideration.

Some of the food that I have eaten on the program is Margherita pizza, chicken tacos, cheesy broccoli and cinnamon buns. The food is developed by more than 40 professional chefs and it’s really good, which makes you want to stay on the program. My daily calorie intake is about 1,200 calories, but so far, I have never felt hungry. But, I do definitely get the late-night cravings if I am up late studying. The solution for me is the unlimited free foods list. Not only do you get a food schedule, but you also get a grocery list. On that list, you have some unlimited foods, which you can pretty much eat as much as you want from. But of course, don’t overdo it.

I have experienced some energy dips at night and have been sleeping a lot more during the week than I usually do. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, it does create some stressful situations when I need to get studying done those nights. Since my calorie intake is very low compared to what I’m used to taking in, my body is probably just adjusting right now. I will keep you updated on this in my next post.

As for week 2, my goal is to start exercising with the program and keep more active while maintaining normal energy levels. So, hopefully my body is now starting to get adjusted to the program.

 

Why probiotics are important in your diet

It’s been a while since I posted now and there is really no other reason than life got busy. Going back to being a full-time student I am still trying to get into the groove. While also trying to make time to cook my own food and going to the gym regularly. Right now my number one priority is my diet. What I eat. How I eat. Supplements have become a big part of my diet so today I am going to talk probiotics with you.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are great for your health. Especially your digestive system. Even though probiotics are a bacteria, it’s a good bacteria. There are two different groups of probioticsLactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is most common and can be found in several different fermented foods like yoghurt. Probiotic can also be found in whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, honey and artichokes.

What are the benefits of probiotics?

So now that you know a little bit of probiotics. What are really the benefits of probiotics?

  • It helps you colon digest and work properly. 
  • It can reduce symptoms of IBS. 
  • It might help you with your urogenital health. 
  • Reduce the severity of colds and flu.
  • It might help you with your skin problems.
  • It can boost your immune system.

And the list goes on when it comes to the benefits of probiotics.

OLLY Nutrition recently came out with their new Quick Melt Probiotic Sticks for both adults and children. Each stick contains Bifidobacterium Lactis HN109 which helps with your digestions. Bifidobacterium Lactis BL04 which helps you with your immune system. Lactobacillus Adicophilus NCFM which helps support digestive and immune health. And lastly Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG. The sticks are extremely convenient since I can just put one in my bag and go wherever I need to be. So instead of buying dairy products and try to have that with me I can just grab a stick. One per day is enough. So far I have been loving the Crisp apple flavored one. If you are interested in trying samples for free you can request them here.

Swedish style Taco Casserole with Wente

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Sponsored Post: This post is intended for 21+ and sponsored by Wente Vineyards, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

 

One of my favorite things to do when I have time is to cook. Whether you’re preparing food meal for a few days. Inviting company over or just having dinner with your family. This dish and recipe is perfect for any occasion. What kind of person says no to tacos? No one, thats right! Pared up with a glass of wine from Wente this makes the perfect dinner. I am making this dish kind of Swedish Style because I am using taco mix spices that we have there. They are just simply the best. You can just use any taco spice mix that you find at the store and is to your liking.

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This is a really easy meal to make and can really be paired up with anything on the side. If you simply want to dip nacho chips in it you can do so. I personally like it with a side salad and some nacho chips. I am going to post the recipe at the very bottom of the post. Even though I am the worst at cooking with recipes (I always alternate them to taste better and don’t really keep track of measurements). I have kind of kept an eye on how much I have used for this recipe. img_5853 img_5857

The wine I decided to pair with was the Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay. As a personal preference I usually reach for the white wines. If you follow me on social medias already you know that I will gladly have a glass of wine every now and then. If you haven’t yet, I truly advice you to check out his video from Fifth Generation Winegrower Karl Wente who shares his two biggest passions: winemaking and music. Watch the video on Wente’s Facebook page here.  right now you can also get free shipping on your Wente wine order with code JRNYSHIP1. So make sure to check out their website right here as well.img_5859

Recipe:

1/2 onion

2 lbs of ground beef

2 packs of taco seasoning mix

1 small pack of cheese

2 cans of tomatoes (Diced or crushed)

Any sides of preference

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Cut onions fine and cook in pan
  3. Add the ground beef and cook
  4. After cooking the ground beef add the taco mix into the meat
  5. Thereafter add tomatoes and bring to boil
  6. Put your sauce in a oven safe dish
  7. Top off the meat sauce with cheese and cracked natcho chips if you want
  8. Put the dish in the oven for 10 minutes
  9. Take out and serve!

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Visiting L.A LIVE – WP24 Rooftop Patio Bar

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

On the 24th floor of The Ritz Carlton Downtown Los Angeles is the WP24 restaurant located. Trough a locked door, only available for hotel guest majority of the times, is a way to a separate elevator to the 26th floor where WP24 rooftop bar is located, along with the hotels rooftop pool and lounge area. Open for the public Friday and Saturday from 6pm-9pm from June 3 to September 3, this is a must go summer spot for anyone in Los Angeles. However, if you are a hotel guest to The Ritz Carlton you can visit year round by reservation. I got the opportunity to try out this magical place with a friend. After visiting the WP24 restaurant last year my expectations were high.

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With a chill patio wine and a bar this is the perfect little hangout for some snacks and a drink before you head on out in the town. Being on the 26th floor gives you an amazing view over Downtown Los Angeles as far as you can reach both ways to the mountains of San Fernando Valley and on the other side all the way down to the Santa Monica Beaches. The view itself is stunning as the sun goes down during the time you are there. But enough about the amazing spot as it is, lets move on to some of the food that we tried out.

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Yukon Gold Potato Chips $7. Togorashi, Toasted Nori, Yuzu, Sour Cream.

These are by far the best potato chips I have eaten in my entire life. Im not sure how or what they are fried in but they taste amazing. They come with a nice of dill sour cream dip that goes along amazingly. (And you know us Swedes, we love our dill). These are the cheapest item on the menu and believe me, order them because you can not go wrong with them.

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Confit Pork Belly Sliders $12 Caramelized Onions, Argula, Apricot Mustard.

Sliders are one of my favorite things to snack on. These were really good but I wished that these had more of the apricot mustard on them!

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Grilled Jidori Chicken $17 – Tandoori Spices, Cucumber Yogurt, Lime Pickle, Grilled Naan.

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House Made Bratwurst $16 – Grilled Bread, Herb Mustard, Brown Butter Aioli. IMG_5029

Hawaiian Albacore Poke $17 – Seaweed, Sesame, Red Onion, Puffed Forbidden Rice.

Out of all the different items, the Chips and the Sliders were my absolute top favorites. Unfortunately we didn’t try the lobster rolls but they looked so good as well! The Poke was really good with the Forbidden Rice puffs that were amazing. With a few drinks and some of these small meals it makes the perfect spot for a light date or just drinks and talk with the girls!

Where: WP24 Rooftop Bar, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. 900 West Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015

Open for public: June 3- September 3 Friday and Saturday 6pm-9pm by reservations

Price: about $30-$80 per person (Food and drinks)

Visit Sponsors Site

Discover LA: Baldoria DTLA

Newly opened restaurant Baldoria in Koreatown, DTLA offers not only an astonishing and beautifully interior. But, also food and drinks that noticeable has been carefully crafted where every little detail has been accounted for. The dishes are also meant to be shared and are therefore made in several smaller pieces. I was one of the very lucky people to get to visit them and experiencing what they had to offer. This is truly a spot for anything. Whether it is a lazy sunday brunch with your friends or for taking a drink with that cute guy you just met. (And believe me when Im saying that you WANT to show people this place because that is how amazing it is). We arrived at a Sunday at noon. What surprised me the most was that we were the first customers of the day. The two guys that greeted us were so passionated and friendly when talking and explaining everything about the drinks, the food and the restaurant. And we could clearly see why. It is definitely a hidden gem located at the edge of Koreatown below some huge apartment complexes.

IMG_3955Lets start with the drinks. I went for a traditional Bloody Mary (oh god I’m so boring) while my friend went with the Baldorian Cold Brew that they brew in house. How cool isn’t that? It has the special coffee vodka with amaretto and orange bitters. It was pretty strong, but really good! We were both pretty amazed by this huge ice cube and just found it amazing. If you check out Baldorias Instagram (or tags from there) you can see that most drinks are served with this single, huge, ice cube. IMG_3957

Since I had seen a few of my fellow Instagram friends visiting this spot before me I had already seen some of the amazing food that was being served. I already had my eyes out on the chicken waffles that were topped with some special Whistle Pig barrel aged syrup. This was actually my first time ever eating chicken and waffles. It is really not something we would eat in Sweden and the last time I went to a waffle place with my friends I ordered a regular waffle with fruit on while they tried the chicken waffle and claimed it had changed their life. So, of course what better time to try it then now? IMG_3960

We also got the Mrs. Croque pizza with Black forest ham, Grand Cru gruyere, browned butter béchamel and egg on top. It was so yummy! The pizza crust was baked just right and the gruyere cheese gave a great taste together with the ham. You could distinctly taste the yummy browned butter as well. My favorite thing was to spread the perfectly cooked egg and let the yolk soak into the pizza.

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Lastly, the chef sent out a complimentary heirloom tomato and grilled peach salad. Super fresh and very light. Tomatoes and peaches topped with burrata and a 6 year balsamic. So, saying that I loved this place is probably an understatement. Every dish has thoughtfully been cooked and every ingredient has been carefully selected. The dishes are made with only the best ingredients and the guys were so wonderfully passionate about telling us where all the products are from or how they had been made which a lot of places won’t tell you. I will absolutely go back there, and I hope that whoever sees this and can go there do so as well.

Coffee Confessions

I think that we all have those mornings where everything seems to go wrong because we skip an important routine: coffee. Thermos sent me an overnight coffee delivery which was LIFE. One less thing to think about that morning and I had plenty of coffee to sip on throughout the day since Thermos kept it warm.

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Confession: I don’t really need coffee but I drink it everyday anyways for some reason. It may be the fact that I am from Sweden, one of the country that drink coffee like its water. Even if I don’t intend to, I always end up with a cup of coffee in my hands every morning. Wether its some cold brew I have in my fridge, or coffee from the coffee place next to work. Its not necessarily something I must have to function, it has just become a part of my daily routine and no matter what I do or don’t do I do have a cup of coffee every morning.

I have to admit though that I have made the occasional mistakes, like putting on a t-shirt inside out, or forgetting my keys, but this doesn’t stop me from being fabulous every day. Coffee may, or may not be the reason for these things but just to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again I stick to my coffee routine. IMG_3537

What is your Coffee Confession? Tweet your Coffee Confession to Thermos using #CoffeeConfessions and @thermos for a chance to win an overnight Coffee delivery so you have one less thing to think about in the morning.

The Overnight Coffee Challenge

Today is National Thermos Brand Day and I have partnered with no one else but Genuine Thermos® for this post! A strange package appeared by my door at 9.am Saturday morning, what was it? Well, it was of course an overnight coffee shipment from Thermos themselves. Inside the huge package that I got was a Thermos (the Vacuum Insulated Stainless King™ Beverage Bottle) filled with hot freshly brewed coffee and a bag of freshly roasted beans. So fresh that they were roasted the same day they shipped out!

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At first I was a little sceptic because of previous experience with other thermoses. So I wondered when exactly the day before was the coffee shipped out and would it really still be warm? Well I found out soon enough, and yes the coffee was in the perfect temperature, not so hot that you had to wait to drink it but also not so cold that you couldn’t take your time to drink it. Now of course I couldn’t drink up all the coffee that I got.The Thermos holds 40oz of coffee which is way to much for me to drink in one day. So I left it sealed over night and to my surprise the coffee was still warm the following morning. Of course not hot but still warm enough to be drinkable throughout that day as well. So Thermos truly holds the 24 hour warm or cold beverage claim.
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Having coffee being delivered to your door in the mornings like this is just so convenient. For me working both full-time at a job and then coming home, or spending the days that I am not at work, working on my blog and social medias every minute of time counts. And adding the conveniency of not having to make my own coffee this morning was great!

So, not only did I get some awesome coffee sent to me. But also this amazing Thermos that I will definitely use a lot in the future. This will be great for brining any liquids that I need for work or for a trip. The color for this one is Midnight Blue, but honestly it just looks like a black thermos with a glossy finish. IMG_3465 IMG_3482

Do you want to win an overnight Coffee delivery? Of course you do! Thermos is giving away 25 overnight coffee deliveries in honor of National Thermos Brand Day and you can enter the giveaway at Thermos Facebook page right hereGood luck coffee lovers! 

Back to healthy eating + Thai inspired salad

I’ve slowly started to go back to my healthy “diet”. Its not really a diet, more that I take in consideration what I eat, and how much I eat. I have been eating really crappy lately. Long workdays have made me tired and lazy so I kind of got used to buy food with me home instead of cook myself. I love cooking but sometimes it’s just easier to grab food on the way home. I do kind of think that buying a meal with me has contributed to me being tired because the portion sizes in the US are so big and when you have this portion of really good food its harder to limit your eating and you end up forcing yourself to eat it all. And after that your just so full you cant bother to do anything and your body have to digest all this food so you just feel too tired to do anything. Anyone recognize themselves?

I have decided to stop doing this and go back to the diet I was on for a while last year. It may be tough some days when I have a lot to do, but I am gonna try. I already have a lot of things down like not drinking sodas or eating candy. I haven’t had soda in a long time and my body kind of don’t like it anymore. If you drink a lot of sodas, especially coke, you need time to kind of detox from them. I used to be addicted to diet coke but now I dislike it. All this sugar makes your body addicted to things without you knowing it. But, if you stop you won’t have the cravings anymore. I still enjoy snacks like chips and popcorn but that is mostly because of the texture when you chew it rather then the taste. So, instead I am going to experiment in the kitchen to find things that are similar but much healthier. I also avoid dairy as much as I can because it does bloat your stomach, you probably doesn’t notice it because you’re so used to eating dairy. Instead i substitute with coconut or almond milk and I also buy organic when I can. I have this great little market at work that has organic and local produce and groceries that I buy from. I really recommend for you to buy and eat organic for numerals of reasons.

I also really want to start sharing more recipes and yummy things I do on the blog because it is something that I enjoy and love to do. And, I am going to start with this kind of lazy but super yummy salad recipe influenced by asian flavors. I don’t follow measurements so you’re gonna have to go on your gut feelings and personal preferences here.

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Ingredients for the salad:

  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber (English)
  • Tortilla strips (optional, for crunch)
  • Chicken
  • Teriyaki marinade
  • Asian Style Sesame Vinaigrette

I marinated the chicken bites in a teriyaki marinade and added some black pepper and honey glazed it. Then I just cooked it in a pan. For the salad i just blended it all together and used the Asian style Sesame Vinaigrette from Simple Truth Organic. now if you want to be ambitious you can make the vinaigrette yourself but I made the lazy choice and bought it ready. Just mix it all together and serve with the chicken. Super simple, health and so yummy!

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Acai Bowl

One of my absolute favorite to go for an easy snack meal is by far Acai bowls. I have a Jamba Juice just minutes from my house and they aren’t too expensive so I like to drive by fast to pick one up if I am in need of a snack meal during long work days at home. My favorite one is the ones with berries, granola and coconuts on top of it. I really need to learn how to make this on my own. Do any of you guys have some easy recipes for ace bowls?

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