White Chocolate Ricotta Mousse

Friday, December 20, 2013

White Chocolate Ricotta Mousse


I've been looking for a gluten free dessert for awhile now. I'm pretty much obsessed with cupcakes, and if I'm going to eat a cupcake, it won't be gluten free (I can taste the difference). So I just need a new dessert completely. After scouring the internet for gluten free desserts, I ended up coming across a pretty interesting one - white chocolate ricotta mousse - and since I like ricotta and I like white chocolate, I decided to try it.

One Whole Foods trip later, and I followed the directions on the recipe which really was only one thing, mix all ingredients in a food processor. Yeah, well since the ricotta was cold, the melted white chocolate seized up, and I was left with a mess. But I refused to quit (mainly because I was in the kitchen all night, and I didn't want to be in the kitchen the next couple of nights). So I took a pot, placed everything from the food processor in it, and turned the heat to low. I wasn't fully sure what would happen - would it melt completely or burn - but I was surprised when everything melted together and looked like a legitimate mousse. I placed it in the refrigerator and an hour later, tasted it...and it was quite good. So I managed to make a delicious gluten free dessert in only 40 minutes. The next time it should take me only 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Take all of the ingredients and put them in a sauce pan. Turn heat to low; continually stir until all chocolate is melted. 2. Place in refrigerator til cool - at least 1 hour. 

Workout of the Day | HIIT Abs

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FroBunni | HIIT Abs Workout


*Everyone, especially pregnant women, should consult a physician before beginning any fitness activity. Not all exercise plans are suitable for everyone. Please discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert. Any liability and/or damage in connection with the use of this workout, including but not limited to any liability loss or damage resulting in the performance of the exercise demonstrated or the advice and information given within this blog is expressly disclaimed.*

Workout of the Day | Full Booty Workout

Tuesday, December 17, 2013



*Everyone, especially pregnant women, should consult a physician before beginning any fitness activity. Not all exercise plans are suitable for everyone. Please discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert. Any liability and/or damage in connection with the use of this workout, including but not limited to any liability loss or damage resulting in the performance of the exercise demonstrated or the advice and information given within this blog is expressly disclaimed.*

Why I HIT!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

FroBunni

I've been active for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, my parent shuffled me between soccer, softball, and basketball. And when I was older, I took taekwondo. I never worried about the Freshman 15 because between classes, studying, and parties, I was in the gym on the elliptical or running on the track. Being active has always felt very natural to me. But, outside of the running high, it never felt intense enough for me. I always wanted my workouts to completely exhaust me. I wanted to feel like I pushed my body to my breaking point and beyond, but no matter how many workouts I did or martial arts classes I took, I could never feel that. And because of that, I never really enjoyed working out.

I had to be active though. So I traded my time in the gym for time in the studio. Dancing became my workouts. I plied, booty popped, and shimmied through my "workout" (I never feel like I am working out when I dance). Dancing gave me two things that working out didn't - creativity and perfectionism. I was obsessed with getting each move right and being perfectly in sync with the music. Dance also freed me - and most nights, i would dance until i couldn't feel my legs. I couldn't think of anything I would rather do than dance. I would skip meals, sleep, and work just to dance. It gave me the challenge that working out didn't, so for awhile it stayed as my main form of exercise.

After graduating from Graduate school, I stayed with my mom until I could get a job. I continued to dance, but due to having a lot more time on my hands, I started researching different forms of fitness. Compound circuit training - combining weights with cardio - seemed the most interesting to me. So, I bought Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred to see if it could challenge me...and I've never felt so sore. Having never truly lifted weights before, her workouts gave me a different type of challenge and a different type of goal. After a week of doing her workouts, I started see little striations of muscle in my arms. And, for the first time ever, I wanted to be toned. I wanted to look like I worked for my body. I wanted every hour, every minute, and every second to my workouts to show in my body. And at that moment, I truly became a fitness fanatic. But, I still ran into the same problem as before, my workouts never left me feeling defeated. But I continued with compound workouts for the next two years...until I discovered HIT.

Being a fitness fanatic, Amazon is my best friend. I can have almost any workout video with the click of a button and most reviews are honest and fair. Through Amazon, I grew my collection of DVDs from 5 movies to 50 workout DVDs and 5 movies. If there was something I wanted to try, I bought it, and I consider none of my DVDs to be a waste. I buy a new workout DVD probably every 6 weeks. So on this particular day, it wasn't much different. I was perusing through the new fitness DVDs and one in particular caught my eye - ZCUT Power Cardio Series by Zuzka. I had seen her YouTube workouts but never watched more than a minute. I read through the reviews and not one negative comment in sight. Then I looked at the price, for only $15 I got a 90 day workout plan. I couldn't say no. I placed my order and within 5 days had a new workout to try. I went into my apartment, quickly opened the package, put the DVD in the player, got my workout clothes on, and pressed play. 10 minutes later, I never felt so exhausted. I was laying on the floor in my own pool of sweat, unable to catch my breath, and yet I had the biggest smile. I finally found my workout.

I became obsessed with HIT workouts. I would do 2, 3, 4 of them a day. Some people called me crazy because HIT workouts aren't supposed to done like that. Technically they are a derivative of HIIT - high intensity interval training - workouts, but minus the interval. So you're going full throttle with not even the smallest break. They are generally a supplement to a workout schedule, not the primary workout. But that logic never made sense to me. I thought if athletes can train for 8 hours a day, only to do it again the next day, then so could I. Truly the only difference between me and them was that they got paid to physically exert themselves. So I HIT everyday. I did burpees until my arms gave out. Did lunge jumps until my legs burned. And pushed myself until my breaking point...only to keep going and push harder. I felt amazing and my body looked even better. I dropped 10lbs over the course of two months. I started to become toned. I watched a v-cut make its way to my lower abs. Saw definition created in my triceps, and for the first time ever, I actually saw muscle develop in my thighs. My body was the prize to all of my hard work and fat burned.

It's been 9 months since I started doing HIT workouts. And I love that the workouts haven't gotten easier; I still feel completely exhausted after each one. I still do other forms of physical activity. Dance is still one of my staples, yoga is a nightly routine that keeps me zen, and I will always have a soft spot for compound workouts. But every morning, I wake up and do at least a 10 minutes HIT workout, and almost every night, I do another 10 minutes, but that is only if I don’t have time. Most nights, it is more like 20 to 30 minutes. While my body is definitely being put through an intense workout, it's the battle of the mind that makes me love them. I've contemplated stopping for every workout. It hurts. I'm winded. I can't do it anymore. But stopping wouldn't be a weakness of my body, but instead, a weakness of my mind. I know that my body can take a beating. But the mind will quit way before my body will even falter. The way I think of it, HIT workouts are so intense that if I quit, I am ordinary. But if I push through, I am extraordinary. And if I can push through four workouts in a row, there is nothing on this planet that I can't do.

Morning Yoga Practice | Strong Legs & Balance

Friday, December 13, 2013

Evening Yoga Practice | Supple Spine

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My First Fashion Post | Work Attire Inspiration

Monday, December 9, 2013

Despite having my blog for 6 months, I have yet to write a fashion-esque post. I couldn't think of what I would write since truthfully, I am more of a follower than a trendsetter (I have no qualms admitting this). It was easy deciding what to wear for summer and fall, but now that winter has come to DC, I have had difficulty being both fashionable and warm. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to start a Pinterest for fitness inspiration and gluten-free/paleo recipes and decided to also create a board for fashion. I saw many different winter-friendly work attire that can be created without having to buy an entire season's worth of clothes. Instead all I really need are a few pairs of tights, boots, and scarves, and everything that is already in closet is now perfect for the winter.

Items to Buy:
Colored and textured tights
Brown boots (both flat and high heels - I already have black)
Thick scarves
Warm sweaters and cardigans

This is probably the easiest outfit to wear considering I have many skirts (and dresses) and more than a few black tights.

This one is a bit more difficult, but I am sure after an H&M run, I can manage to acquire colored tights.

 Pants are the most difficult for me since I have very few that I have a desire to wear. I wish I could find a pair of wide leg pants though. I am sure ASOS is my best bet.

A perfect Friday causal outfit. I love the pop of color and truthfully, I would keep the scarf on at work since somehow I am sitting underneath a vent.


*Pictures are from Pinterest
**See a picture that is yours? Just email me and I can take it down, no questions asked.

Workout of the Week: No Sweat Workout

Fitness Motivation

This morning I was gifted with a 2 hour delay (hooray) so I decided to do another workout, but I have to do one where I don't sweat because I am not in the mood to shower again. This workout can also be done if you're sick. Not "I have a fever and severe headache" sick since it is better to take the off day for that type of sickness. But more so for the "I don't feel like working out. I'm feeling off today" sick. Enjoy!

20 Minute "No Sweat" Workout
Squats
Bicep curl while walking in place
Wide leg Squats
Hammer curl while walking in place
Closed leg squats
Overhead press while walking in place
Ballet Squat
Tricep Extension
Side Squat
Lunge with torso twist (Right side)
Clap Push-Ups
Lunge with torso twist (Left side)
Front Kicks
Walking Pushups
Donkey Kicks
Ab Toe Touches
Fire Hydrants
Plank
Bridge
Ab Flutter Kicks

*Everyone, especially pregnant women, should consult a physician before beginning any fitness activity. Not all exercise plans are suitable for everyone. Please discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert. Any liability and/or damage in connection with the use of this workout, including but not limited to any liability loss or damage resulting in the performance of the exercise demonstrated or the advice and information given within this blog is expressly disclaimed.*

Workout of the Week: Tabata Workout

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fitness Motivation

Lately, I've been doing high intensity Tabata workouts. They are really intense, extremely effective, and can burn the most amount of calories in the shortest amount of time. For each exercise, do the exercise for 20 seconds, then take a 10 second break. Repeat 5 more times before moving on to the next exercise.

30 Minute Tabata
Side to Side Squat Jumps
Burpees
Alt. Lunge Jump
Supermans
Butt kicks
High Knees
Mountain Climbers
Walking Pushups
Reverse Crunches
One Legged Hops (Switch Sides each time)

*Everyone, especially pregnant women, should consult a physician before beginning any fitness activity. Not all exercise plans are suitable for everyone. Please discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert. Any liability and/or damage in connection with the use of this workout, including but not limited to any liability loss or damage resulting in the performance of the exercise demonstrated or the advice and information given within this blog is expressly disclaimed.*

Weekend Workout | Strength Training Workout

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fitness motivation

Each circuit is 5 minutes with each exercise being 30 secs. The strength circuits are repeated twice, while the cardio circuits are repeated 5 times. Remember to warm-up and cool down.

30 Minute Circuit

Strength Circuit #1: Shoulders
Shoulder Press w/Squat
Front Raise
Lateral Raise w/backward lunge (alt. legs)
Bent Over Raise
Deadlift w/Upright Row

Cardio Circuit #1:
Hi Knees
Wide Leg Hi Knees

Strength Circuit #2: Chest
Walking Pushing Ups (move left, pushup, move right push up)
Dumbell Fly
In and out Push Ups (hands together, pushup, hands wide, push up)
Bench Press
Clap Push Ups (complete on knees if it’s too hard)

Cardio Circuit #2:
Ab Twist Hops
Jumping Jacks

Strength Circuit #3: Triceps
Curl w/forward lunge (alt. legs)
Tricep Dips
Hammer Curl w/side to side lunge
Tricep Press w/sumo squat
Close-Up Grip Bench Press

Cardio Circuit #3: 
180 degree Burpees
Plie Jumps


*Everyone, especially pregnant women, should consult a physician before beginning any fitness activity. Not all exercise plans are suitable for everyone. Please discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert. Any liability and/or damage in connection with the use of this workout, including but not limited to any liability loss or damage resulting in the performance of the exercise demonstrated or the advice and information given within this blog is expressly disclaimed.*

Leftover Celery: Pear and Celery Salad

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Celery

The holiday means one thing for me: leftover celery. I only use it in stuffing, but I always buy too much and have a few stalks leftover. Sometimes I use it to make a soup, but soup is almost always labor intensive for me (just for the sheer fact that I go all out and have to make the most complicated soup ever). Other times, I try to eat it with hummus, but I am not really fond of eating a stalk of celery regardless of how delicious the hummus because of its stringy texture. So, most times, it just goes bad, and I am left with the guilt of throwing out food. But hopefully, all of that will change since I had the bright idea of throwing it in my salad.

Over the weekend, while grocery shopping, I had bought some romaine lettuce, pears, and craisins to make a salad with no intention of using the leftover celery I had from the week before. It wasn't until I was putting my groceries in the refrigerator that I thought to use celery, and just cut it up in small pieces to make the stringy texture indistinguishable in the salad. I tried the salad today, and I am happy to say that it was quite delicious. While this salad is pretty plain, you can add your own touch to it by adding ingredients like Gorgonzola or chicken.

Pear and Celery Salad
Ingredients:
1 pear, chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
1.5 cups of romaine lettuce
Small handful of craisins
Juice from half lemon
Salad dressing of your choice, balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette pairs well with this light salad

Directions:
1. Combine pear and celery together in a bowl. Pour juice from lemon juice and toss to prevent browning.
2. Add lettuce and salad dressing. Enjoy!

Workout of the Week: Cardio AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fitness Motivation

Each week, I will provide you with a workout that you can do every day for the entire week. Each workout is no more than 20 minutes and will vary between cardio, weight lifting, and stretching. Remember to warm-up before the workout and stretch after the workout.

15 minute AMRAP
2 min. High Knees or Jump Rope
1 min. Crunches
2 min. High Knees or Jump Rope
1 min. Burpees
2 min. High Knees or Jump Rope
1 min. Clap Push-Ups (can be done on knees if too difficult)
2 min. High Knees or Jump Rope
1 min. Around the World Squats
2 min. High Knees or Jump Rope
1 min. Mountain Climbers

*Everyone, especially pregnant women, should consult a physician before beginning any fitness activity. Not all exercise plans are suitable for everyone. Please discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert. Any liability and/or damage in connection with the use of this workout, including but not limited to any liability loss or damage resulting in the performance of the exercise demonstrated or the advice and information given within this blog is expressly disclaimed.*

The Best Hair Day Ever: A Flexi Rod Set on Natural Hair (and follow me on Twitter!)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Flexi Rod Set on Natural Hair

On Wednesday, I had the best hair day to date. Unfortunately, no one saw it since my attempt to take the metro to work ended up with me going back to my apartment an hour later (*sigh* oh Metro, why do you suck?). Anyway, as of late, I have been wearing my natural hair very stretched since it seems to be very happy in this state. Not only do I retain more length, but the nighttime and morning maintenance is no more than five minutes, and I am able to show my length. It really has made my life a bit easier, so I have no complaints about the change. 

To obtain this style, all I did was spritz my hair with a mix of water and Giovanni Direct Leave-In, seal with an oil mix (coconut, olive, castor), make about 16 two-strand twists, and set them with flexi-rods. In the morning, I just took the flexi rods out, untwisted my hair, separated each twist, and twirl the ends around my hair to encourage them to stay curled. I didn't really maintain the loose curls, but to keep my hair stretched, I spritz with my Giovanni/ water mix, made a low ponytail, twisted my hair tight to make a bun, and voila. I am ready for bed in less than 2 minutes. In the morning, I just take out the bun, and my hair is stretched to about 70% of its length (a bit longer than bra strap length, I am currently waist length).

Hopefully I will be able to recreate this style, but who knows. I am re-attempting the style tonight. Even if it isn't successful, I find that flexi-rods are great to stretch my hair and get a kinky straight look to it. 

And with that, I should mention, I am on twitter!!! Follow me @Frobunni. 

Namaste | Yoga and Tea Challenge

Tea

With the holiday season in full swing, my diet has been horrible. I have pretty much put no carbs on hold until after New Year's (especially since I currently have macaroni and cheese and stuffing in my refrigerator). With my diet going completely downhill, I have decided to start two different but similar challenges to get it back on track - yoga and tea. I used to do yoga and drink tea a lot, but for some reason, I just fell off for both of them. They really kept me balanced, and I decided to bring them back, to not only get my diet back on track, but also from a restorative perspective. I've been very stressed lately, and calming down and just letting go is something that I need to take to heart. I have a lot of great things going on in my life, and I don't need to worrying about the few bad things.

The challenge is pretty simple. For yoga, I am required to do, at least, 5 minutes of yoga and 5 minutes of meditation a day. And for tea, I am only allowed to drink tea and water, nothing else (meaning I have to say goodbye to eggnog and coffee for a bit). These are pretty small changes, but I know by the end of the week, they will make a world of difference.

Namaste

Eggnog Here, Eggnog There, Eggnog Everywhere

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Autumn brings in two things of my favorite foods - pumpkins and eggnog. I had my pumpkin overload back in September/October and now that Thanksgiving is creeping up, eggnog is starting to make an appearance in grocery stores everywhere. This past weekend, I went to Wegman's and was happy to find that they are stocked full of the seasonal treat. I picked up a liter on Saturday and went to get a half gallon on Sunday, lol. With all of the eggnog in my refrigerator, I've been thinking of different ways to enjoy and have narrowed it down to 3.

Eggnog Cheesecake: I made Eggnog cheesecake this weekend and it is quite delicious. I need to tweak some more ingredients and the cooking time, but the recipe is pretty solid regardless

Ingredients:
2 packs of Cream cheese
1/2 cup of Eggnog
1 tablespoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
Graham cracker crust

Directions: Mix ingredients together in food mixer and pour into graham cracker crust. Place in oven for 45 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove and let cool, then place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

Eggnog Latte: I got an eggnog latte at Wegman's and it was delicious. I knew I had to make it a staple in my holiday diet. Any latte recipe will do, just replace milk with eggnog.

Eggnog Pancakes: I've had eggnog pancakes only once and they were at I.H.O.P. While they were very tasty, I know that I can't constantly eat I.H.O.P pancakes all the time (there isn't one near me nor are they healthy), so I will try to make eggnog pancakes. I've been looking at a few recipes and again, it will be the same for a latte, just replace milk with eggnog.

24 Hours in NYC: A Visit to Kru Phil Nurse

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A few weeks ago, I went to NYC to visit one of my good friends, Max, from college who I haven't seen in almost 4 years. The point of the visit was to see Max, but since I was going to Manhattan, I figured I could also go and visit the WAT gym in Manhattan. It's not really a secret, but I have my black belt in Taekwondo, receiving it when I was 17. I have been into martial arts since then and tried a variety, including Kung Fu, Aikido, and Karate. I have known of WAT gym owner, Kru Phil Nurse, during my Taekwondo days when I was looking for motivation to train harder. I decided to create a poster of about 10 black martial artists including Kru Phil Nurse. I read their bios and watched their fights and training sessions on YouTube; I became obsessed with these people and wanted to emulate their styles and followed all of their tips. During the week day, I would get up at 5am to train and shadow spare before school. I ate, breathed, and slept Taekwondo because I wanted to be like my idols. And in June of 2006, I received my black belt.

I never kept up with Taekwondo with the level of drive that I did while in high school. College took control of my life, which meant less time and less money to devote to Taekwondo. But because I made that collage and learned about the different marital arts from my idols, I decided to take pay-as-you-go beginner classes. Fast forward 7 years and I have since taken Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Akikdo, Karate, Boxing, and Jujitsu. But, I still haven't taken Muay Thai.

In early September, a few of my closest girlfriends and I had decided to take a weekend trip to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, some things had fell through the cracks, and before September was over, the trip was cancelled. I had already pumped myself up for finally being able to go out for Halloween (I hadn't done so since I was 13), so I was determined to go out, and I knew staying in DC would cause to me stay in. I decided to contact my Max who had been asking me to come out for some time, which I had yet to do (and I will admit, it was completely my fault - I was too lazy and didn't want to ruin my weekend routine). Well, he confirmed the date, I got a costume, and at 3:30am on Saturday, November 2, I was up to catch a 5:30am train to NYC, where I would be for only 24 hours.

FroBunni | Shrimp and Grits at Sugar Freak in NYC
(Shrimp and Grits at Sugar Freak)

I arrived in NYC a little bit before 9am, got a Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Latte, and waited for Max to pick me up. He finally arrived and we went to Queens so I could drop my bags off at his girlfriend's, Liz, place. We went to get some breakfast at a cute little place called Super Freak (I got the shrimp and grits, it was pretty good), and we discussed the details of visiting the WAT. I had sent an email to the WAT about 10 days earlier (I kept thinking I should send one earlier but never really got around to it) asking if it was ok for me to visit. I didn't get an answer, but I was determined nonetheless. So, all I was able to give Max was the address. We finished our meal, stopped at Liz's one more time to recharge phones, and went off into Manhattan.

FroBunni | New York City

FroBunni | New York City

FroBunni | New York City
(Scenery from the neighborhood surrounding the WAT - I really don't know exactly we were)

After about 20 minutes on the subway (of which I was completely amazed at how efficient everything was…sadly the DC metro does not compare), we arrived in Tribeca…or Midtown…or the Financial District. Ha ha, I will be honest, I do know. We were about a 10 minute walk away from the WAT, and that 10 minute walk turned into 30 because we got lost not once, not twice, but thrice. And we also couldn't find the entrance (it was partially underground).
FroBunni | The WAT schedule
(The WAT schedule. Travis was nice and took the time to circle some of the classes I would be interested)

We finally arrived at the WAT and I must admit, I got really nervous. I wasn't sure if I would be welcome (I've come across this issue at more than a few gyms). Well, I opened the door and was welcomed quite warmly, but Kru Phil Nurse wasn't there. While mildly disappointed, the man at the front desk, Travis, was very friendly and recommended that I return at a later date (but to call instead of email). He showed me a bunch of classes and even made a pitch to Max to join the gym, which he declined, lol. I decided then that I would return soon to meet Kru Phil Nurse.

FroBunni | New York City
(Some of my favorite pics from my trip: From top to bottom, left to right - Max and I with Star Wars characters, a dinosaur in the Toys R' Us in Time Square, The Chrysler and Empire State Building, Time Square, Grand Central Station, and me in front of the Seinfeld dinner)

All in all, my NYC was quite enjoyable. The weather was beautiful (I even took my coat off while we were walking in Manhattan), Manhattan and Queens were quite lovely, and the NYC bug was put back in me (I lost in some time ago when I realized NYC was very expensive - eh, I live in DC, I can live with it, right?). I am hoping to return in December to see Max and Liz again, spend more than 24 hours in NYC (it should be known that I was up for that entire 24 hour period), and visit Kru Phil Nurse.

FroBunni | Foliage in Baltimore MD
(One of my last pictures; it was just outside of Baltimore - I had a lot of fun, but I was happy to be almost home. Autumn is my favorite season so I absolutely love this pic)

Pasta Alternatives | Replacing Pasta with Vegetables

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Low-carb tips, alternatives to pasta | FroBunni

Not eating carbs during the week has been pretty hard (and I've cheated often). I am so used to eating pasta every day, but since I go carb-free Monday through Friday, I have to be pretty creative for some of my recipes. In replace of noodles, I have used vegetables as my alternatives.

Spagetti, Alfredo and Vodka Sauce
I find that spinach and broccoli work best with sauces. Personally, I like broccoli the best since it doesn't have as much water as spinach, which can water down the sauce.

Lasagnas
Meatier vegetables like sweet peppers, asparagus, and mushrooms work well as lasagna noodles. Asparagus is more expensive unless bought in season during the summer, but because it is my favorite vegetable, I will occasionally indulge in the fall and winter. Sweet peppers can also be expensive unless bought in season or during a sale. Mushrooms are probably the cheapest depending on the type of mushroom and the size of the pan.

Noodles
I got this idea from a paleo-diet blog awhile back, and it's a great idea. If you like having the noodles, consider julienning some vegetables to mimic a noodle. Carrots julienne pretty well along with many squashes (both winter and summer).

I've tried all of these options and to be honest, I actually prefer them to noodles. Along with being healthier, I feel satisfied and energized when I eat the vegetable alternatives. I definitely won't stop eating noodles, but now I just eat them for a special occasion instead of daily.

Natural Hair Friendly Halloween Costumes

Thursday, October 31, 2013

This post probably should've been written a couple of weeks ago, but since it's still Halloween, it's still appropriate (if only for a few more hours…but then again, I am sure a lot of people aren't officially celebrating until tomorrow or Saturday). But nonetheless, here are 5 natural hair friendly Halloween Costumes.

Susie Carmichael from Rugrats
Susie Carmichael - Rugrats
Depending on the length of your hair, you can either do Susie from Rugrats or Susie from All Grown Up!

Hilary Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Hilary Banks - Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Don't let the looser curls keep you from trying this one. You can achieve a similar look with a bantu knot out.

Tia Landry or Tamera Campbell from Sister Sister
Tia Landry or Tamera Campbell - Sister Sister
Another one with looser curls, but again, a similar look can be achieved with a twist out.

Valerie from the Josie and the Pussycats
Valerie - Josie and the Pussycats
This one is perfect for the ladies with a twa.

Gerald Johanssen from Hey Arnold
Gerald Johanssen - Hey Arnold
Can't forget the guys. You may need to buy a wig and sculpt it to get that "tower."

The Emergency Wash Day

Monday, October 28, 2013

frobunni natural hair wash day
My hair 2 days after an emergency wash day. I decided to blowout my hair.

I try to keep my wash days fairly short. No more than 3 hours long, and 3 hours is when I am doing the most - pre-wash conditioning (I don't like the term pre-poo, it sounds weird), detangle, wash my hair in sections, rinse, condition, deep condition, apply leave-in and oil, and then style (which is usually medium sized two-strand twists, 20-30 total). Every so often, I find myself crunched for time, but I still have to wash my hair. During these rare moments, I do my emergency wash day process, which is an extremely abbreviated version of my wash day meant to get me out the door within an hour. It begins with washing my natural hair loose, conditioning, and putting my hair in a bun. This keeps it stretched while I finish in the shower. Afterwards, I apply Giovanni direct leave-in, seal with with oil, and then bun my hair again. I finish the rest of my wash day process - detangling and styling - whenever I find the time, which can be either a day later or a few days later.

Having afro-textured hair and devoting a lot of time to my hair in general, I find that the emergency wash day is an invaluable technique to have as a part of my natural hair regimen, but there are some tips and tricks to ensure that an emergency wash day doesn't become an emergency hair disaster.

  1. Don't try something new: The point of an emergency wash day is to get the hair clean, styled, and get out the door as soon as possible. It isn't the time to try new products or techniques, but just to use tried and true methods to get you out the door feeling confident and looking gorgeous. I know that Giovanni Direct Leave-In and coconut oil are going to always do my hair justice, so there is no reason to use anything else when I am rushing out of the door.
  2. Is this an Emergency Wash Day or an Official Wash Day: Decide if you want the emergency wash day to be your official wash day or just something to hold you over. If it's your official wash day, make sure you thoroughly cleanse and condition your hair so that it is clean and properly moisturized until your next wash day. If it is just holding you over, consider cowashing so that you don't dry your hair out due to over cleansing. Due to the fact that I generally dread wash days, my emergency wash day also doubles as my official wash day since I am not willing to invest two days a week to washing my hair.
  3. Keep the essentials: Decide which products and techniques will get you out of the door the fastest. The longest element of my wash day is detangling because it is very labor intensive, and I have to go very slowly to decrease the amount of breakage. I just keep my hair in a stretched state with a bun or braid, and detangle when I find the time. Pre-conditioning and deep conditioning are actually not necessary to keeping my hair healthy and moisturized because I find that my hair does fine so long as I moisturize and seal every night. 
  4. The right hairstyle is everything: The right hairstyle on the emergency wash day is important because, depending on what other steps you have to complete later, it will either make it easier with little damage and breakage, or make it a natural hair nightmare. Styles like braids and buns help to keep hair stretched and also look really good. My hair style on the emergency wash day is consistent - bun, braid or flat twist. I am trying to keep my hair as stretched as possible since it will be easier to detangle my hair later. 
  5. Do not place speed above care: The emergency wash day is meant to get you out of the door as fast as possible, but you don't want to put speed above care, and cause a setback in your hair journey. It is important to still be really gentle with your hair. If an emergency wash day is something that you cannot do without damaging your hair, consider wearing your hair in a style that will hid dirty hair and allow you to postpone your wash day. This is the exact reason why I leave my detangling session for another time; it is impossible for me to detangle, wash, condition, and style my hair all within an hour without causing a lot of breakage. 

Homemade (no egg) Caesar Salad Dressing

Saturday, October 26, 2013

SweetGreen Caesar Salad with Buckwheat Bread
 SweetGreen Caesar Salad with Buckwheat Bread

I love Caesar salad. If I am at a restaurant and it's on the menu, then there is a good change that I will be eating Caesar salad with my meal. My refrigerator is always stocked with romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and anchovies (which perfectly accompanies any Caesar salad worth its weight) to make the delicious salad on the fly. And if I don't know what to eat for lunch or dinner, I can add an egg, chicken, or shrimp and get the perfect meal that satisfies, but still feels like a treat.

But, the one thing that has always eluded me with Caesar salad is Caesar salad dressing. For some odd reason, I just could never get it right. I would try to elevate store bought dressing with lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, attempted a homemade dressing with raw egg and oil, and even tried to make a purely oil based dressing. But I can never nail down the flavor or the consistency. I figured that if I wanted a delicious Caesar salad with delicious dressing, I was just going to have to go out and find it…that is until I went to SweetGreen.

Generally, I go out for lunch once a week. On that day, I never really finalize my decision until I am at the register - sometimes I find myself in Cosi, other days it's Panera, and I don't normally deviate from the two, but this week, I decided to try SweetGreen hoping it would be my Chop't replacement (I use to work by a Chop't, which I loved, but ended up getting a new job with no Chop't near by).

I was a little wary of the little restaurant as I had checked their menu before and a plain Caesar could not be found. I had (and still have) no intention of eating the Kale Caesar Salad as I am not really fond of kale, even when crisped in an oven. So I decided to just make a custom salad along the lines of a Caesar salad - romaine lettuce, shrimp, and Parmesan cheese with the quintessential Caesar dressing. Upon reaching the cash register and taking my salad, I was actually pretty disappointed. For a SweetGreen salad, I got about a 1/3 less salad and paid $2 more compared to a Chop't salad, and the salad looked exactly the same.

I walked back to work hoping this salad would be worth it, got some utensils, and sat down to enjoy my meal. I was actually surprised. It tasted a bit better than a Chop't salad, and the buckwheat bread (my carb cheat for the week) was very soft and buttery. My meal was satisfying without me feeling stuffed. After eating, I went online to find their nutrition guide to log my calories in MyFitness Pal and discovered that they list the ingredients for their dressings. Caesar salad dressing was yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, anchovies, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. If their salad dressing was that delicious and that simple, I got the bright idea to make some when I got home.

Fast forward past my mini trip to Whole Foods to grab some Parmesan cheese and lemon juice, and I was mixing everything in a food processor hoping my excitement wasn't for naught. I take a spoon, dip it in the dressing, and to my surprise it tasted exactly like what I had earlier that day. I finally was able to make the perfect Caesar salad dressing to accompany the perfect Caesar salad (and as such, had Caesar salad for the next three days).

Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
Homemade Caesar Salad with chopped chicken
Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 of a oz can of anchovies
3 garlic cloves (I like a lot of garlic, so adjust according to your taste)
Small handful of Parmesan cheese (I actually put the Parmesan cheese directly on the salad, but you may like it mixed in the dressing)
Salt and pepper for taste

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and well blended

AMRAP Workout

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fitness Motivation

Circuit AMRAP: 12 minutes
Alternate Lunge Jumps
Ab Twist Hops
Burpees
Low Jacks
High Knees
Clap Push-Ups

Need a more natural foundation? Try Cacao Powder and Rice Flour

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cacao Powder Foundation and Rice Flour Setting Powder
My face with the rice flour and cacoa powder mix

My face hates foundation and powder. It always feels hot and heavy on my face, and it actually makes my face itchy. After trying dozens of brands, I decided it would be more beneficial to find a more natural foundation. I first heard about rice flour in a book called Passport to Beauty, but never gave it any serious thought. It wasn't until I was at Ulta and saw Freeman's Strawberry and Chocolate Facial Clay Mask that I got the bright idea to use chocolate as a foundation and include the benefits of rice flour. But the thought of using random Hersey's kisses was a little odd and extreme, not to mention very processed and sticky. So I googled pure chocolate, discovered that chocolate is made from the cacao bean, and then found that many health food stores sell cacao powder.

My foundation mix consists of 1/2 rice flour and 1/2 cacao powder. I find that the rice powder is actually transparent on my skin and can be used alone. Adding the cacao powder gives a hint of color and blurs imperfections (doesn't get rid of them completely, but it does make my skin look even). Depending on your complexion, you may want to adjust the ratio - less cacao powder if you are lighter, and more cacao powder if you are darker.

There are many benefits to using rice flour and cacao powder on the skin. Unlike commercial makeup, you will find that it leaves your face healthier and healthier after each use.

Benefits of Rice Flour
- All day oil control
- Natural Sun Sunscreen
- Leaves skin softer
- Fades dark marks and scars
- Brightens skin
- Decreases size of pores
- Non-comedogenic

Benefits of Cacao Powder
- Treats and heals damaged skin
- Antioxidant
- Smells very yummy (although it is actually really bitter)

No Carbs for the Week and Coconut Sugar

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coconut Sugar
This week, I am going to try something a little different in my diet to get me to eat better; my diet will be more in line with the 80/20 theory, which means that 80% of the time, I will eat healthy, and I can cheat 20% of the time. I find that breads and carbs seem to fill up a large amount of my diet and they aren't really the good kind.  Leaving my carbs to the weekend will ensure that I am eating healthy 80% of the time.

My other vice is sugar, which is significantly more in my diet that breads and carbs. The amount of sugar in my coffee exceeds the daily amount of sugar, add in the natural sugar in fruit, and I can easily be 3x-4x over the recommended daily amount. I did some research on sugar alternatives, and I read that coconut sugar is a better alternative that is very low on the glycemic scale and also has less calories that sugar.

These two changes in my diet will force me to really prepare what I eat each day and to be more creative with my meals. I already went to the grocery store and have prepared Monday's meals.

Breakfast
1 egg with cheese
Coffee w/coconut sugar and milk
Mid-Morning Snack
Parfait (Greek yogurt, granola, and apple)
Lunch
Salad w/steak
Snack
Grilled portabello mushroom w/hummus
Dinner
Tomato basil soup
Roasted pumpkin w/honey and cinnamon

"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I make the effort to go running once a week on Saturday mornings. I've found that they are a great way to start my weekend and say goodbye to another work week. While my run wasn't particularly difficult, it did mark the first time that I went for a 30 minute plus run without walking. I also decided that I would run without stopping to look at my phone to see where I was. I ended up on the other side of my neighborhood completely unfamiliar with my surrounds. Despite the fact that I didn't know where I was, all I could do was laugh, googlemap my location, and walk back home. I didn't feel unsafe or worried, but I actual enjoyed the fact that I was learning more and more about neighborhood and my surroundings. Plus, it helped to remind me that getting lost isn't always a bad thing.

Chicken Tandoori with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Chicken Tandoori with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
(I had the chicken with a Dole Caesar Salad)

Awhile back, I had tried some plain Greek yogurt, and while I find it inedible to eat plain without any honey or fruit, it tastes exactly like sour cream. So last week, while buying groceries, I decided to buy some to replace the sour cream I use when making lime-cilantro salad dressing for taco salad. I still haven't made the taco salad yet, but I did buy some chicken and decided to make yogurt sauce to go with it. The result was a delicious Tandoori Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce.

Ingredients:
4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
6 oz of plain Greek yogurt
9 teaspoons of Tandoori seasoning (I got mine from The Spice and Tea Exchange)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper for taste

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts, then lightly sprinkle 3 tsp of Tandoori seasoning on both sides of chicken
2. Take two spoonfuls of Greek yogurt and spread evenly on both sides of chicken.
3. Sprinkle another 3 tsp of Tandoori seasoning on both sides of chicken
4. Put chicken on a baking pan and place in an oven for 20 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 10 minutes.
5. While the chicken is baking, take remaining yogurt and mix in remaining Tandoori seasoning, lime juice, and cucumber.

Product Review: Andalou Moisture Rich Argan & Sweet Orange Styling Creme

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Andalou Moisture Rich Argan & Sweet Orange Styling Creme
Since reaching mid-back length (MBL), my hair has been super determined to be in a curly state instead of stretched. To make a long story short, I spent over a year being miserable because I could no longer attempt the braid outs and twist outs that I love. Once I went outside, my hair would immediately frizz up as it attempted to form kinks, ringlets, and curls. Fast forward to about a month ago, and I realized that I could no longer keep on trying to go against my hair; I had to work with and began doing wash and gos. Finding a gel has been, to say the least, very difficult. My hair is extremely particular and hates most gels. 

On a recent shopping trip to Whole Foods, I saw they had Andalou Naturals hair products, and having a good experience with their skin products, decided to try the styling cream as an alternative to gel. Last night was the first time I used it, and I must say, I was very pleased. It has a very thick, creamy consistency, but stuck to my hair like a gel. It also helped my hair to curl back up on itself after towel drying took some of the curl out. Generally, I wash my hair at night and make 4-8 chunky two strand twists to keep my hair from fizzing the first night (this does not create a twist out look on my hair, but encourages clumping). When I took the twists out in the morning, I had nicely clumped curls that were not crunchy, but still had hold. There is a pleasant fruity smell to the cream, which despite my sensitivity to smells, did not bother me, but even if it had, the smell completely dissipated when the product was dry. My hair was also very soft and shiny. Also, the ingredients are all natural with aloe vera juice first on the list (my hair absolutely loves aloe vera).

On first try, I would rate this product a 5 out of 5, and I am definitely purchasing again. 

Garlic Seasoned Roasted Potatoes

Sunday, August 25, 2013

FroBunni | Garlic Roasted Potatoes


I love roasted potatoes, and on an easy Sunday like this, roasted potatoes are the perfect breakfast. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking a day trip to Annapolis, MD and discovered the store The Spice and Tea Exchange. Being a die-hard foodie, if I have a vice it's anything culinary, so I had to buy some of their spice blends. I was going to buy 6 one-ounce bags, but signed up for their mailing list and was gifted an extra bag plus 10% off my entire order!

From left to right, top to bottom: Vik's Garlic Fix! Seasoning, Signature Blend Seasoning, Tandoori Roasting Spice Blend, Expresso Steak Rub Seasoning, Backwoods Hickory Spice Rub, Popcorn Seasoning, Seafood Blackening Seasoning

Fast forward to this morning, and I knew the Vik's Garlic Fix! Seasoning would be perfect with my red potatoes. I washed and cut the potatoes into slices, placed them on a roasting pan, added some olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and about 4 tables spoons of the garlic seasoning. I roasted the potatoes for 20 minutes, took them out of the oven, and sprinkled the potatoes with cheddar cheese. I added a banana and blueberries, and it was the perfect breakfast for an easy Sunday morning.



Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Ingredients:
6 red potatoes
5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons of Vik's Garlic Fix! Seasoning
1/8 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Clean and cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
2. Spread potatoes evenly on a baking sheet
3. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over potatoes, then Sprinkle garlic seasoning over potatoes and mix all together with hands.
4. Place potatoes in a 450 degree oven for 25 minutes
5. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle cheddar cheese over potatoes

Check out The Spice and Tea Exchange at spiceandtea.com!

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ― Carl Bard


I guess this blog marks my life as an adult fully in control of her life. Living alone, I must pay for my own rent, buy my own clothes, and cook my own food. While this may scare some people, I find it completely freeing - I am no longer influenced by friends' opinions, my parents cannot leverage my decisions with their money, and I have the ability to travel anywhere and at any time.

So here I am to finally stretch my wings and be free.