An ongoing love affaire with all things fashionable, tasty and fun

Posts tagged “The Fitnessista

{Guest Post} Food & The Daily Battle

Welcome to Part II of the Women’s Health series here on Moi Contre La Vie. Today we’re going to hear more from Megan of Kaia F.I.T. Sacramento on the daily struggle to eat well. If you’re new to this series be sure to check out Megan’s bio {Guest Post: Women’s Health} and her previous post – Fashion of the Fitness World.

Part 2: Food… The Daily Battle

I love ice cream, especially cookies & cream. I love cheeseburgers and extra crispy french fries. I can put down a serious amount of pizza. I love crafty cocktails and champagne. I worked in fine dining restaurants for 10 years and was privileged to indulge in some amazing dishes and glasses of wine…

But now I work in the fitness industry. And I constantly try to balance my view of food… Fuel or Delicious Goodness? My answer is both.

The majority of the time, on the day-to-day, food is fuel. Looking at it that way leads me to eating cleaner, leaner, and healthier. I view myself like a machine and if I want to run properly, perform well in my workouts, and feel energetic all day, I need to provide myself with the best fuel available.

I personally feel the best when I eat multiple times throughout the day, always beginning with breakfast. I feel great when I eat lean meat and eggs, lots of veggies and greens, and fresh fruit. I like nuts and trail mix for snacks and dried fruit for dessert. Avoiding the starchy carbs, dairy, and sugar is essential to feeling good.

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However, coming from the restaurant industry, I love nothing more than a nice dinner out. I appreciate a perfectly cooked noodle and a salty piece of pork belly. And I absolutely love home-made ice cream and cookies at my mom’s house. These are the good things in life.

So, how do I balance it? When do I decide to devour a sandwich and when do I stick to a salad full of veggies? I practice MODERATION. I try to stick to healthy ‘fuel’ most of the time. When I treat myself to ‘carbs’ and sugar, I view it just that way… As a TREAT. I think it’s better that way anyway. I feel like crap when I eat sugar and bread days in a row and I stop appreciating it.

Everyone has to make their choices, each and every day. But awareness is where it all begins. If you never go without bread, dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc., how will you ever know how you feel without it?

Our go-to detox at Kaia FIT is 7 days without the following:

  • All starchy ‘carbs’ (bread, tortillas, rice, potatoes, etc.)
  • Sugar over 9g per serving (besides sugar naturally found in fruits/veggies)
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy
  • Processed Foods (if you can’t pronounce something on the label, avoid it!)

Eating clean is a great feeling and I highly recommend letting yourself experience it. And remember, “All things in moderation, including moderation.”

A big thank you to Megan for this great insight into her way of thinking about nutrition. It’s very easy to get into patterns of binging or restricting, so avoid all the negative side effects of both of those ways of eating and try practicing moderation as Megan has suggested.

What’s your personal approach to your daily diet?


Beginner Fitness

In 2012 a reader came to me with a simple request – Could I help her ease into a workout routine that would put her on the path to overall better health? I documented a part of the process in the following series of posts – Want To Achieve Gym Goddess Status?, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part V.

I’ve recently received a similar request and thought that 2013 would be a great time to share some of the details with my readers again because I think it’s such a worthwhile topic and achieving better health is widespread goal. I’m sure there have been countless New Years Resolutions related to this so why not get started on your path to health and happiness now?

In addition to providing short beginners workouts for the next few weeks, I’ll be recommending reading and do my best to keep you all motivated and inspired – Which is half the battle.

Workouts:

You want to ease into a new workout regime regardless of your current level of fitness, however if you’re not currently working out, attending classes, and/or running on a regular basis I would suggest starting with one or two small workouts a week and gradually increase to 3-5 as you start improving and feeling stronger.

Let’s start Week One with two short workouts to get us in the mood:

Day One

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*My recommendation is to turn this into a mini circuit workout – After your warm up do one set of planks, one set of lunges, and one set of squats, then repeat the process a second and third time to complete the circuit before your warm down.

Day Two

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

  • Reverse Lunges {FitSugar’s Back to Basics: Stationary Reverse Lunge} 3 rounds of 10 lunges on each knee
  • Crunches {Dummies.com’s How To Do Crunches} 3 rounds of 20 – Be sure to watch your form & keep your chin & elbows UP form is important w/ this move
  • Leg Lifts {Shape Magazine’s Double-Leg Lower & Lift} 3 rounds of 20

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Nutrition:

Following diets, participating in cleanses, and going through detox programs are interesting ways to find out how your body responds to things, but they’re not a way of life. Learning to eat well & make smart food choices on a daily basis is going to do much more for you than any short-term healthy eating “fix.”

Depending on your typical diet transitioning to a clean eating regime can seem pretty daunting, so to make the switch more manageable I’ll just recommend a few tips and suggest some things to cut out of your diet each week.

To start, it’s time to get cooking! Your first goal should be to cut out packaged, processed, and pre-made food from your diet. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to order Chinese again or never enjoy a handful of chips in the future, but if you want to transition to a clean diet the first step is to eliminate all of these types of foods. So your mission for the next two weeks is to start giving up anything processed, stop hitting the drive-through, and spend more time in the kitchen and less time at restaurants.

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Here are a few alternatives:

  • If you like chips or salty other snacks – Try raw almonds, butter-free air popped popcorn, or baby carrots w/ hummus
  • If you crave the beta-endorphin rush of sugary treats, baked goods, or candy – Switch these high calorie picks for fresh fruit, natural almond butter, or homemade sweet treats like Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower or Maple Cinnamon Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Homework:

Understanding why you feel the way that you feel and how to improve your health is important. Anyone can blindly follow instructions, but learning about health, nutrition, and your body will help you for your entire life.

So with the goal of educating yourself and expanding your horizons here are some interesting articles you might enjoy:

  • Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts & seeds {in moderation} are an important part of a healthy diet. Learn more about this subject by reading Natalie Jill Fitness’s Eating Fat Will NOT Make You Fat…
  • One of the things that impacts your health almost as much as nutrition and fitness is stress. You need to pay attention not only to how much stress you have in your life, but how you deal with it – How Stress Affects the Body.

Stress

So what do you think of this new series? Are these topics and the information I provided above interesting and relevant to your life?

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, doctor, or dietitian nor do I have any certifications associated with physical fitness or nutrition. I’m merely an enthusiast {and former athlete} who reads & does research daily and has worked out alone or with coaches & trainers since the age of 6. I am lucky enough to have access to a handful of blogs, websites, and trainers to answer my questions though. Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet I suggest that you consult a physician.

For more inspiration, my daily workout routines, and more Moi Contre La Vie you can find me on these platforms:


Links You’ll Love – Resolutions Edition

We survived 2012 and celebrated the end of the year, and now that the first week of January is coming to an end those New Years Resolutions are starting to look further and further away. This week’s Links You’ll Love post is here to help keep you motivated, inspired, and on track with your resolutions. Whether your goals are aimed at career success, personal improved, fashion, health, or fitness – Keep yourself going with these great inspirational pieces!

Fashion:

I love the idea of this No Shopping Challenge {Inspiration: My No Shopping Challenge} from Style Within Reach – It’s a great idea to not only purge your closets at the beginning of the year, but take stock in what pieces you have and try to mix up your current wardrobe rather than blindly adding to it. But in practice I’m not sure that I have her self-control… What about you?

Refinery 29 is here to help you with your Fashion New Years Resolutions – 20 Influencers, 20 Resolutions To Adopt Now.

Fashion magazine’s are a great place to find inspiration – From fabulous advertisements to glossy, well-styled editorials to great articles filled with advice & ideas from industry insiders:

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Staying inspired and motivated to try out fun & interesting new trends and styles can be hard – But Pinterest is a great tool for fashion stimulation, so check out my La Mode to get yourself in the mood!

Health & Fitness:

Ever wonder how the models with killer bodies keep themselves in shape all year around? Check out this interesting article from Modelinia – Behold the Ultimate Model Master Cleanse! 

red lentil soup 7710 thumb   Most Popular Vegan Recipes of 2012 {#30 16}

While you have your health & eating better on your mind, why not try out some new recipes? Here are a few great round-ups from some top food bloggers of their favorite recipes from 2012 – So give something new & delicious a try!

Are you determined to shake things up at the gym this year but not quite sure where to start with your fitness resolutions this year? Check out The Fitnessista’s 12 Days Of Fitness.

The Whole 30 is a great clean eating plan that you could try in 2013 – So do some research, check out other people’s thoughts & experiences, and try some delicious new recipes – Holly Would If She Could’s Whole 30 Meal Plan – Week One (Plus Homework!)

I’m not a huge proponent of cleanses and detoxes that are too restrictive or severe – But this clean eating version is great, filled with healthy, nutritious, easy to digest suggestions – New Year New You: Easy Detox.


Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

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Packing lunch during the week is a great option to save money and make sure that you’re getting a healthy, nutritious meal mid-day to keep you going. I like to do some work in the kitchen during the weekends to prepare for the week {Sunday Prep}, you can also get some killer tips from Choosing Raw – Monday’s Lunchbox.

Thinking about jumping on the treadmill or elliptical for some cardio and neglecting the machines and weight racks are you gym? Think again! I’m a huge advocate of not only changing up your gym routine on a regular basis but of foregoing machine cardio for walking and weight training. If you don’t believe m just read this piece from Natalie Jill Fitness: Only WEIGHT and INTENSITY Will Change Your Body – You HAVE to lift HEAVY if You Want to Lean Out and Change Your Body!

Fitting in a workout is a MUST during the hectic holiday season – It reduces stress, gives you some much-needed alone time, produces endorphins, and keeps you healthy & fit so you can enjoy the holiday festivities with your friends and family. Regardless of whether you have an hour or 15 minutes available, or if you even have time to make it to the gym – Make time!

Fashion:

I love the old Hollywood, film noir feel of killer black & white photographs. The subjects somehow always manage to appear chic and timeless, regardless of the year, the pose, the style of their clothes… I just can’t get enough and neither can A Fashion Friend – It’s Better In Black & White.

Have you ever been tempted to run off to Paris so that you can live a fashionable, glamorous life? If the answer is yes, you probably shouldn’t click on these links because you will most likely run off to Paris to live a fashionable, glamorous life.

As you may know – I adore stripes – Whether they’re the traditional nautical variety for Spring or demure pinstripes for the office. So why not take this fabulous print into the Fall season as well? Harper’s Bazaar definitely agrees – Shop the Street Style Look: Summer’s Stripes for Fall.

Are you a jeans girl? There are so many varieties this day in age there are almost endless choices when you head into a store and start to peruse their denim department. 70’s flare, wide-leg, cropped, skinny, cut-off, distressed, boyfriend, boot cut… Check out Love Me Jeans for some serious denim inspiration and worship – What’s your favorite pair?

We’ve all had the rule “No White After Labor Day” repeated ad nauseam over the years, but is this a rule for our grandmothers and not for our generation? Well The Man Repeller is making quite the argument against this rule with her fabulous photographs from Nolita – Accent In White.


Fall Fabulousness

Fall is by far my favorite season – I love the weather, I love the fashion, I love the holidays, I even love the decorations – From Halloween pumpkins to Autumn leaves to Thanksgiving turkeys. And here in San Francisco, Fall has most definitely arrived.

As far as I’m concerned the decorations box or closet it one of the best parts about changing seasons! So why not try some of these fun ideas to spice up your home for Fall – Glitter Guide’s 10 Simple Fall Decorating Ideas.

If you’d like some seasonal pictures frames why not try this too cute technique to spice up your photos! Easy Halloween Framed Pictures from Lilac & Lace.

If you’re not in the mood for traditional orange pumpkins this season than give this fun new style a try – DIY Glitter Pumpkins from The Glitter Guide.

Taste of Fall

A lot of what makes Fall to me is what I’m putting in my mouth! 🙂 I’m always dying to break out the squash, pumpkin, and apple pie by the time Summer wraps up. Here are some fabulous recipes to get you in the mood too.

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What’s your favorite part about Fall? Do you like recipes that showcase all of the Fall produce that’s hitting the stores?


Links You’ll Love

Health & Nutrition:

Treadmill

Sometimes going to the gym sounds like the worst thing in the world. Sometimes the weather is awful when you were dying to go for a run. Well if you have a set of dumbbells (or you could easily use a kettlebell or weighted bosu ball) you can tackle this rainy day workout!

I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting smoothie recipes so when I was browsing Organice Your Life and saw this Raw Green Coconut Shake recipe I was thrilled.

Don’t think you have time for a full workout? Why not try this Women’s Health Get Fit In Only 15 Minutes: Skinny Jeans Workout which includes the very important squats & lunges or FitSugar’s BOSU Circuit Workout.

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In the mood for something sweet? Or do you want a treat for family or friends that’s healthy as well as tasty? Check out the super healthy and oh-so-simple Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies over at Peas And Thank You or

I always get excited when I can add a fun new recipe to my rotation of favorites. Something quick, easy, and delicious. Well, if you’re like me, you’ll want to try Choosing Raw’s Curried Quinoa & Aduki Bean Patties – They’re savory and filling, and easily adapted based on the ingredients you have on hand, a home run in my book.

Fashion:

Whenever I want a dose of inspiration one of my go-to websites is WhoWhatWear – From Style Stalker posts to reviews of new collections to street style breakdowns, they’ve always got you covered – Styling Tips For September.

Street style is a fun and evolving part of fashion and fashion blogging and I’ve been enjoying the pictures online for ages – From bloggers to fashion insiders to models to celebrities. It’s a great way to get inspired or to see what’s trendy and hot right now. And with four Fashion Weeks coming up, it’s time to give it a closer look – A Street-Style Primer For The September Shows. Or check out one of my favorite model street style blogs out there for up to date shots from the shows – Altamira: Models Off Duty.

The accessories are probably my favorite part about dressing for Fall and Winter. Scarves, gloves, hats, outerwear… Swoon! FabSugar agrees – Best Fall Scarves 2012: It’s a Wrap — Shop the Best Layering Scarves For Early Fall.

I love vintage-inspired styles and loved this post on finding some great pieces that are perfect for Fall and fabulously retro – Finding the perfect 1970s shoulder bag.

I’m a bun girl through and through so I was excited by all of the buns on the runways for Fall. If you’re of a similar mind, check out Harper’s Bazaar’s The Return Of The Bun or Best Celebrity Top Knots: The Fun Bun Hall of Fame.


Links You’ll Love

Let’s start this Sunday off with some INSPIRATION – Wise Words: 24 Inspiring Prints to Start Your Day

Fashion:

I’d hate to label myself as lazy, but even I have to admit that I definitely get into fashion ruts so… Stop Being Lazy: 7 Chic AND Easy Switch-Outs from Refinery 29 with fun new options like trading your old, torn cut-offs for some adorable printed shorts or trying cropped trousers so you can give up your legging habit. Definitely some great ideas!

If you’re looking for some new products to add to your skin care routine why not take some Kiehl’s suggestions from Italian blogger and fashion It Girl Eleonora Carisi – I Can’t Live Without.

Need some fabulous fashion inspiration for your next tropical vacation? Unstoppable Style: Poppy Delevingne Shares Her Ultimate Summer Wish List.

Want to create the perfect pair of jean shorts this Summer? Follow The Glamourai’s step by step instructions and enjoy the fabulous results! { DIY } Denim Cut-Offs.

If you’re in the market for updating your accessories stash or just looking for some advice on styling, why not turn to a professional? Anna Dello Russo – 10 TOP Rules for ACCESSORIES.

Health & Fitness:

A major part of finding internal motivation to hit the gym or trails is feeling comfortable and confident in your workout clothes. A great pair of pants that highlight your assets are going to get you out the door much faster than a tattered, stretched out pair of yoga pants. Trust me. Check out The Fitnessista’s recommendations – Summer Workout Gear.

Who better to give health & fitness tips than someone whose livelihood is based on their body? Top model Izabel Goulart shares her Five Minute Brazilian Butt Workout with Modelinia. What else does she mention? Walking! I just can’t recommend it enough – Low Intensity Fasted Cardio!

If you need to amp up the healthy fats in your diet avocados are the perfect choice during Summer, so pick some up next time you’re at the store and take of these recipes for a spin – 5 New Ways to Use Avocado.

Finding the right snack to give you energy and satisfy you before a workout without causing a sugar crash or an upset or overly filled stomach is a balancing act. See what Fit Bottomed Girls suggest – 4 New Healthy Snacks to Put in Your Gym Bag.

In the mood to get a little creative in the kitchen? Why not whip up some healthy desserts in the form of vegan ice cream? I made Choosing Raw’s Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream and it was divine, so follow my lead and give one of these tasty recipes a try – Veg Out: Dairy-Free and Delish Ice Cream Recipes.

No matter what your diet is, putting together a good grocery list is a Must. Check out FitSugar’s 7 Grocery Shopping Tips For a Plant-Based Approach or Caveman Strong’s Grocery List Paleo Style.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend and has a great Sunday! I’ll be back tomorrow to share with you all weekend in sunny, secluded Fallen Leaf Lake.


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Here’s a serious, fashion-forward French manicure that’s perfect for your next big event – DIY Nail Art: A Modern French Manicure Inspired By Marchesa.

If you love the current reigning queen of fashion, Diane Kruger, as much as I do, you’ll adore this interview from the Wall Street Journal – Diane Kruger: 20 Odd Questions.

I’m a huge devotee of ballet flats, they suit my classic and simple, but feminine style to a T, but I love to mix things up. This summer has been all about topsiders, smoking flats, and Oxfords. Don’t believe me? WhoWhatWear – How They Wear Summer Oxfords featuring celebrities like Audrey Tautou, Jessica Alba, and Rihanna, and fashion insiders like Olivia Palermo and Annabelle Dexter-Jones.

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Shoe porn anyone? How about closet organizing and gorgeous shoe storage? Thought so… Be Frassy – Shoescribe & Frassy.

Health & Fitness:

If you’re like me and enjoy trying new and interesting ways of eating in order to find the best way of eating for yourself, then here’s another to try. Paleolithic, primal, caveman – These have all been used to describe the high protein, gluten-free diet known as Paleo. Check out this health nut’s experience –30-Day Paleo Challenge: I Tried It!

If a gym membership is too pricy for you right now or even if you’re just not in the mood to head to the gym, it doesn’t mean that you have to skip your workout. Try Women’s Health’s Work Out At Home for great body weight moves you should incorporate into your workouts.

Some new duds always motivate me to get my booty to the gym, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank! Get Your Om on For Less: Yoga Tops Under $30.

Not sure about you, but I whole heartedly believe that there are healthy desserts out there that you can indulge in without guilt. And while I wouldn’t say it’s my life’s goal to try them all, that statement wouldn’t be too far off. Case in point? The Fitnessista’s Sweet potato chocolate chunk cookies – I made these with a few little adjustments, MCLV Mange post to come soon!

Whether you’re a native San Franciscan like I am or new to the City By The Bay, if you’re looking for some great places to workout look no further than the FitSugar headquarters – Work Out Like a Local: San Francisco Edition.


Links You’ll Love

Health/Fitness:

Need some good reading materials? Here are two  healthy & nutrition related pieces to check out: Is Fructose Being Blamed Unfairly For The Obesity Epidemic from Science Daily and Dr. Terry Wahl’s video – Minding Your Mitochondria, about the unparalleled benefits of following a Hunter/Gatherer diet.

How to Fall In Love With Healthy Living from the amazing & hilarious Rachel Wilkerson – her latest article for Shape Magazine.

Interested in probiotics but not sure where to start? Here are a few pieces that you can read to help educate yourself: FitSugar’s The Pros of Probiotics and Choosing Raw’s Probiotics: To Take or Not To Take.

If you’re beginning a new workout regime or interested in really focusing your energy in order to get the best results possible at the gym than the word for you is INTERVAL. Intervals, Tabata & HIIT are the most effective ways to drop weight and build muscle through cardio. Here are some good basics to get you started:

Fashion:

If you haven’t seen Garance Dore’s hysterical Fashion Week diaries they’re a MUST: Pardon My French Part I, Pardon My French Part II & Pardon My French Part III. Gorgeous shots from the shows, backstage and the parties & events, all narrated by . Too cute.

Spring staple to get your hands on? The shirtdress! The Stylist’s latest recurring series is called Lessons For A Modern-Day Lady and their most recent piece is titled: How To Wear A Shirtdress.

Fun boots were all over the runways for Spring, what version are you going to live in? Modelinia has models loving their brown, low heeled ankle boots, FabSugar has the How To on wearing Winter boots with breezy Spring looks, The Stylist shows chic celebrities in Rain Boots or you can try combat boots a la Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. What is the right style for you?

In the mood for some grown up arts & crafts? Check out FabSugar’s DIY: Make A Sequin-Collar Top video, Design Sponge’s DIY Project: Leather Lunch Tote or the great DIY: Beaded Collar Blouse post from Moda, Moda that found when I was working on the Freckles In April 10 Day Style Challenge.


What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’

While I plan to share more of my eats and the dishes that I throw together on a regular basis soon, I’d also like to share with you some of the recipes that I’ve cooked and have been enjoyed by others recently.

I didn’t start cooking until a few years ago, and at that point I was already eating a mostly vegan and mostly gluten-free diet, so my cooking skills aren’t exactly what you’d call “well-rounded.” I’m really interested in expanding my repertoire though so using my very brave boyfriend and friends as guinea pigs, I’ve embarked on a mission to learn to cook meat.

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Recently the MCLV kitchen has made…

Turkey and Bean Chili

Turkey & Black Bean Chili from Eat, Live, Run (recipe here, picture above): My parents live in Albuquerque these days so I’ve learned to appreciate chilis and HOT food. I thought I may have overdone it with the spices in this dish, but since I came home to find the Tupperware container of leftovers completely empty I think it was a success after all… 🙂

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Stuffed Chicken Breasts from The Fitnessista (recipe here, picture above): Two of the BF’s favorite things to eat are chicken and goat cheese so when I saw this recipe I KNEW it would be a hit. I wasn’t wrong. Another bonus of this one is that it’s incredibly easy and quick, with virtually no prep work.

Pumpkin Chili from The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson (recipe here, picture above): While I take the 5th on whether or not I made this chili in the buff – a la Rachel – I can tell you that it was quite the success. It has the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor without being too overwhelming, but was still hearty and wintry.

Coconut Chicken Fingers Recipe

Coconut Chicken from Cooking Light (recipe here, picture above): Coconut anything (milk, flakes, water, oil, butter, flour…) is a major ingredient in my apartment these days and everyone I know loves it so when I read about Rachel’s experience with this recipe I decided to use it as inspiration and tweak it a bit. Rather than breading the chicken breasts with coconut flakes, egg, and flour, I decided to just use coconut flakes and coconut milk as a marinade w/ some serious chili sauce for the perfect kick.

Spiced Honey Chicken Thighs

Honey Spiced Chicken from Holly Would If She Could (recipe here, picture above): This is everything that I look for in a recipe – quick, easy & composed entirely of ingredients that I already have in my apartment! The verdict? Mikey likes it! 🙂

You may have noticed that I stole borrowed pictures from the recipe sites, well unfortunately my boyfriend seems to be in a constant state of starvation – I feed him, I swear – and tends to eat everything before I can get a picture of it. I’ll try to do better in the future, even if I have to invest in pepper spray!

Stay tuned for a new weekly MCLV segment on cooking and recipes – from Paleo-friendly eats to vegan, gluten-free and raw recipes. A little something for everyone.