BEAN SALAD: Quick and Easy Snack

Bean Salad

I wanted to share one of my favorite snacks that is super easy to make and on the healthier side.   I call it, bean salad.  I have been so into it lately.

AND it’s so much better for you than eating cookies and donuts and all of that crap that can be so tempting when it’s sitting around your office.

Once again, it is super simple to make (you can find everything at the grocery store), it’s packed with fiber (hell yea!) and fills you up.  These are all things that win at life.

One batch makes enough to last me the week.  In the morning, I will fill up a little tupperware dish to take to work.  I keep it in the refrigerator there until it’s time for my 2 o’clock snack.  After that, I’m usually good to go until dinner.  Do you guys snack around 2 or is that just me?  If I don’t, I am ravenous when I get home.

Bean Salad Ingredients

Here’s what you need:

◊  1 can of garbanzo beans

◊  1 can of cut green beans

◊  1 can of kidney beans

◊  1 can of corn

◊  ½ cup of champagne dressing (I like Girard’s and get the ‘light’ champagne)

Here’s what you do:

  1.  Pour one can into a colander and rinse the beans under water, then let it strain and put them into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Repeat with all 4 cans.
  3. Once the 4 cans of beans and corn are in the large mixing bowl, add the champagne dressing and stir it up.

First, rinse the beans

Second, put beans and dressing in a large bowl

Balsamic Glaze and Bean Salad

Then, to finish it off, you can add a bit of balsamic vinegar.  When I put the concoction into my tupperware in the mornings,  I drizzle a little bit of balsamic glaze (that I’ve talked about before)  on top and then mix it in.  Then, when hunger strikes at work, I will grab this and I am good to go.

I love this recipe because it’s straight forward and easy, it makes enough to last me through the week, tastes delicious, and fills me up.

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Let me know if you guys have any snacks that keep you going through the day.  I’m always looking for something  healthy, delicious, and easy to make.

♦ Stephanie

BENEFITS OF DRINKING WARM WATER WITH LEMON

Lemon Water

For the past few months, I kept coming across articles about all of the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.  I am huge on drinking tons of water throughout the day.  I always have a very large and in charge cup by my side at all times.  I also regularly incorporate lemons into my diet.   So drinking this in the morning was a natural step. Not only do I love the taste of lemons, but the health benefits are worth it alone.

I start all of my mornings by chugging 2 glasses of water right when I wake up.

I’ve been doing this for years and if I ever skip this, I definitely feel it later on in the day.

After seeing these articles talking about how good warm water with lemon is for you first thing in the AM, I decided to look into it.   If I can improve my morning ritual with something so easy that also packs a healthy punch, why the hell not?  I read claims for top 5 benefits…top 10 benefits…top 20 benefits!  So I looked into it a bit and found that some of these benefits aren’t proven (mainly overhyped) but there are definitely a few benefits that make this little daily ritual totally worth it.

Here are a few of the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon in the morning:

◊  Helps with Digestion

This might have to do with drinking water in general and less about the lemon, but it can help flush the system and get everything running smoothly again.

Making sure to drink water when you wake up is super important because your body has gone without water for 8 hours and this helps to rehydrate and energize.

The fact that the water is already warm helps the body absorb it faster because it doesn’t need to use more energy to process the cold water.

◊  Immune System Boost

Lemons contain Folate, Potassium and Vitamin C, which are all amazing for you.  But “Vitamin C is vital to the function of a strong immune system” (via)

◊  Healthy Weight

This is more about drinking water and starting the day off right.  This won’t be a miracle cure for weight loss but there are reports “that water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories.” (via)

◊  Better Skin

Lemon water can benefit the skin because of the fact that it improves digestion and flushes the body.  This is also a benefit from drinking plain water.  Also, Vitamin C is needed for collagen production, which lemons have plenty of.

So these are few of the pros of drinking warm lemon water right when you wake up.  I have been trying to drink this as often as I can, and I have been feeling more energized (even before I have my morning coffee!) and it kinda sets the tone for my day.

I like to squeeze ¼ to ½ lemon into a glass of warm water.  If the seeds bother you (because they will get in there) you can use a strainer.  I also like to drink mine through a straw because I tend to have really sensitive teeth/gums.  Also, with lemon water, you should brush your teeth before drinking it, or you should wait at least 30 minutes after drinking it to brush, so you don’t mess up your enamel.

The taste can be a little strong at first, so you might want to start with a ¼ of a lemon.

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So really, my main suggestion would be to start upping your water intake in general.  Especially drinking water in the morning.  And if you want an extra boost, add in some lemon and get all of those amazing health benefits that this citrus has to offer.  If you want any more information on all of the benefits of lemons, check out this site.

Fun Extra Tip:

I like to zest the lemons I use and add it to a container in my freezer and then use that for pasta dishes or sauces.  Love getting more than one use out of something (!!!)

Any other easy tips to add some healthy extras into your diet? If you’ve tried lemon water at the start of your day, what benefits have you noticed?

♦ Stephanie

Fine Dimes: Loving Lately

( Loving tulips lately )

( Loving tulips lately!  I picked these up when my in laws came into town earlier this month.  I think yellow is my jam )

I wanted to talk about a few things I have been using and loving for the past few months.  And if I’m loving it, I gotta spread the word.

So first things first…

Blaze

Balsamic-Glaze

Okay.  Let’s talk about Balsamic Glaze (Blaze in this case).  I love regular balsamic vinegar.  I will add it to my avocado toast, eggs, or tomato and mozzarella << one of my favorite after work snacks. Then, about a month ago, I heard about balsamic glaze.  I went out and found this one at my local grocery store.  It’s more concentrated, less messy, and tastes better than regular balsamic vinegar IMO.    So I have made the switch and have been using Blaze on the reg.  Oh ya, and the consistency of it let’s you make fancy designs on your food.  Double win.

Playlist

This playlist is awesome.  I found it through my favorite blogger girl that I’ve mentioned before.  I have been listening to it while I’m at work, while doing my hair, while cleaning, or putting it on when we’re cooking dinner. It’s the best playlist for any mood.  Definitely check it out.

La-Mer

I got these teeeeeeeny tiny La Mer samples at Nordstrom a few months ago.  The tub one is about the size of a quarter.  These babies are small.  Of course I grabbed one because everybody talks about how amazing they are.  I’ve seen La Mer on top ‘best moisturizer’ lists for years.  And there is a reason why.  I loved using these.  I started using the heavier moisturizer (the one in the tub).  My skin was still incredibly dry from the winter and this felt so rich and thick.  It made my skin feel silky smooth and hydrated.  My only problem was that it was so thick that I was really tugging on my skin to spread it around.  All of that tugging and pulling cannot be good for wrinkles.  The other bottle of moisturizer had a thinner consistency, perfect for the warmer months.  You can use it as an eye cream too.  It glides on super easily.  Again, I loved the smell and how it made my skin feel.  So these guys are a definite win.  HOWEVER,  I will never pay $300 for a moisturizer, so there will have to be some crazy amazing sale for me to purchase these.  Or maybe I’ll just keep my eye out for more sample giveaways.

Salad-Dressing

Another fine food dime ; ) My friend introduced me to this salad dressing a few years ago.  When she told me about it, it was the first time I had heard about it and it completely changed my salad game.  It’s pretty much the only dressing I use.  And last week we were just randomly talking about how great it was (it’s that good) and she was telling me that a lady at the grocery store saw it in her cart and was raving about it too. It was at that moment that I thought I better share this with you guys, just in case someone’s dressing world needs to be rocked.

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Those are some things I have been loving lately.   Let me know if you get to try some of them out, or have already tried any of these already.

I just got back in town from a weekend in Nashville with a group of college friends.  I will have to do a recap of that trip and let you know how much I am loving HomeAway.  This may be the only way I travel from now on.

♦ Stephanie

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Favorite Easy Breakfast: OVERNIGHT OATS

Overnight OatsOvernight Oats is one of my absolute favorite healthy breakfast options.   I have been making this for the past few years and still look forward to eating it.

I am always on the go in the morning.  It’s not that I wake up too late, it’s just that I lounge around with my coffee too long.  All of sudden it’s, “Oh crap, I’m late!”  Then the rush is on.  So I like to have something easy and filling to grab on my way out the door.  This simple recipe uses 4 ingredients and is super quick & easy to make.

Ingredients

Ingredients:

◊  ½ cup of rolled oats

◊  ½ cup of vanilla (or plain) yogurt

◊  ⅔ cup of almond milk (unsweetened vanilla)

◊  Sprinkle of cinnamon

◊  Mason jar or container

Instructions:  

Mix all of the ingredients in a mason jar or container.  Then let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 3 hours.

Layers

( How it looks before mixing )

You can substitute the vanilla yogurt for any kind you like (greek, strawberry, plain).  Same goes for the milk. I am all about almond milk these days, but you can use regular, rice, or any variation.

After you take it out of the refrigerator, you can eat it just how it is or you can jazz it up by adding different fruits or chopped up walnuts. Raspberries and blueberries are my favorite.  The other morning, I added blackberries and a sliced up a banana and it was a little sweet & tangy party in my mouth.  Sometimes I will drizzle a little bit of raw honey on top too.  Play around with different fruit combos and get creative with it.

If you try this, let me know what extras you added to it that you love.  Do you have any quick and easy breakfasts that save you time in the morning?

♦ Stephanie