February 2017

Lifestyle

At the start of every new year almost everyone vows to work out more, drink less, eat more greens and do a 180 on their lives. But let’s be honest, how many times have we set too many resolutions only to come crashing down on them a week later…So in regards to that, it is better to take things slow; remember slow and steady wins the race. Let’s begin by tackling our eating habits. It is very easy to get caught up on all the detox and diet fads that will work for a couple of days but then probably make you overeat and end up with even more pounds to shed. By making simple changes to our eating habits we can start making healthier decisions that will feel less like a hassle and more like a better lifestyle AND they will last a lifetime.
 
  • Say YES to water Instead of reaching for the soda or alcohol, choose water. In addition to having no calories, it helps keep a clear complexion and actually refreshes you without causing a sugar rush. Also, water is very filling so you end up eating less when you have a glass of water prior to your meal. Try to buy a water bottle that keeps it cold for 24 hours so that you can have water on the go, whenever you want.
  • Downsize your portions When eating out it is quite easy to overeat because portions are not small at most restaurants. Aim to eat half of your meal, or just make sure you don’t eat everything and take it slow.
  • Cut down on carbs Yeah, yeah I know you might be thinking this is impossible, but you will feel SO much better after, trust me. Switch the muffin or bagel breakfast for more protein, like boiled eggs. It will keep you fuller longer and will lead to less of a sugar spike after. Once you start cutting carbs, you stop craving them as much and you’ll see yourself reaching for healthier options at the dinner table.
  • Hide the sweets The easiest way to not eat unhealthy food is to not bring it home with you but if that’s not possible, try to keep them out of your field of vision. Keep cookies in the pantry and fruits on the table where they are easy to reach. Also, if you buy soda to bring home, keep it out of your field of vision on the fridge and make water the first thing you grab when you open the door.
By following these simple steps you can start making healthier choices that will benefit you forever.
-N

Life.batter

As you all know from reading the blog, I love to bake. I love taking the time to prep something delicious, it can even be therapeutic. If one day you are feeling down, go and bake something. It will surely help you clear your mind. Here in Puerto Rico we didn’t have a Williams Sonoma store until recently when The Mall of San Juan opened. Williams Sonoma could very well be every DIY foodie’s dream! I feel like I could walk the store for hours. So a couple of weeks ago I finally went to the store and WOW! Their baking section is to die for. I noticed they had cupcake mixes by Georgetown Cupcake. They make awesome cupcakes, I tried them when I was in Boston a couple months ago and I definitely recommend them. The cupcakes are very moist, tasty and they offer a variety of gluten-free and sugar-free options, as well as some very creative concoctions.
One afternoon while at Williams Sonoma I found this product: Williams Sonoma Georgetown Cupcake Mix, Red Velvet. They also have more flavors to try like Vanilla, Chocolate, Lemon, and for the gluten-free foodie they also had Gluten-Free Vanilla. I’ve found it hard to find a cupcake mix that actually makes moist and yummy cupcakes so I was a bit skeptic at first. Alas,  I love red velvet, I love cupcakes and I love a quick recipe so I decided to give this mix a try.
Things you will need:
  • Electric mixer, or you can mix it by hand
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp of butter, at room temperature
Once you have those things, just mix in the sugar packet with the butter at room temperature. When that mixture is smooth, add in the egg and mix until smooth. Start adding the cupcake packet and milk, slowly. When the cupcake mix is creamy, divide in a cupcake pan (makes 12 cupcakes), set in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes and VOILA! you have delicious cupcakes.
For the frosting you can follow this recipe:
  • 1/4 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp of butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Start by beating the cream cheese and butter together, until smooth. Then add the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time so you don’t get the mix all clumped up. Finally add the vanilla, and mix until smooth. Apply to your delicious cupcakes using a spatula or pastry bag.
Your cupcakes might end up looking something like this:
They are delicious!
I recommend this cupcake mix if you are looking for something quick, sweet and delicious! They ended up being very creamy and yummy. A sure hit anywhere you take them and they only take around 30 min prep. I am looking forward to trying out different flavors, probably Lemon will be next : ) If you are starting out baking and need help choosing items for your endeavors, check out the list below. It includes a couple of basic necessities to begin baking and enjoying every moment of it.

Have fun baking!
-N
| This post is my honest opinion and contains affiliate links. |

Life.Batter

Life as a medical student can become pretty hectic. Between all your tests, volunteer work and days at the hospital it is sometimes difficult to maintain a balanced life. This gave me the sometimes-unhealthy opportunity to try out many food places in Ponce, PR because of the lack of time to prep meals at home. Food is something I am very passionate about, especially when it comes to baking, pizzas and pasta. It also gives me a chance to catch up with friends when you don’t have much free time. Here is a round-up of some must-try places if you ever visit this side of the island.
  •  Rico Buey Gyros You might think this is just a food truck and drive by it without a care, but trust me, you are missing out on some delicious gyros and burgers. The lamb burger is to die for with its soft kaiser roll and signature homemade fries. Can’t miss this local favorite.
  • Campioni Pizza Birra & Tapas Another local favorite with its signature wood-fired oven pizzas. A hotspot for the college students and young professionals featuring live music every Friday and Saturday. You can’t go wrong with their scrumptious lasagna.
  • Coffee Sides Recently booming due to local delivery service, this coffee shop has a signature “Mallorca Burger” that will leave you begging for more accompanied by their french and sweet potato fries. Don’t leave without trying the fried cheese appetizer.
  • Fresco Aroma A local coffee shop with their signature coffee selection and the “best baristas of the south”. Make it your mission to try the “Brown Sugar” sandwich with ham, pesto sauce and spinach served on hot and toasty artisanal bread with a side of wedge fries.

Indulge!

-N