Journey

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Past used to haunt this soul like a nightmare…
Thoughts of never moving forward were a way of life
Hiding under a mask of guilt
Till the sun seeped through so bright
Warmth of a new day
The thought of a new you

The birth began
Vivid and clear thoughts
New dreams of strength
Love
Joy
Passion so strong you taste it
For you found the love in you
This love where you can do whatever you imagine
Be whoever you want
Do whatever you want

Imagination can now become reality
Dreams can come true
For life is but a journey
And my journey of this new life starts now
Grateful
Happy
Blessed
I will take this journey
And begin this life anew

Live your life to the fullest because life is way to short. As I begin new projects and a new lifestyle, it is an ongoing journey that I am grateful and happy to take. So follow yoir dreams no matter what it may be. You never know it may come true or become something even better 🙂

7 Days Clean and Awaken! My Journey Through The 7 Day Slim Down…

Food and Fitness go hand in hand [Image from: www.healthcareguaranteed.org ]

Food and Fitness go hand in hand [Image from: http://www.healthcareguaranteed.org ]

Hello my fellow foodies especially Team Fit and Clean! (Or getting there like me! lol)

So this is a couple of days in the making, my schedule this week has been fun but beyond busy and now we are here at the end of the week! I wanted to talk about my journey through the 7 day slim down challenge designed my Jillian Michaels through the Body Revolution (90 Day Fitness Challenge). I was inspired to buy this because I honestly wanted a workout routine that I knew would give me results but I also wanted something that was longer than 30 days but also realistic. I am NOT going to lie, I have not worked out in a MINUTE! Thank God for my job that keeps me busy and active throughout the day, because without it I have NO CLUE where my “fitness” would come from lol. Unfortunately I have been lazy for quite some time using the excuse, “Oh I am so busy I have no time to workout!”, but truth was I just did not want to workout, mentally or physically.  I had rather laid in bed catching up on my favorite shows eating ice cream or going out with friends, baking, the list goes on. While in this state of laziness, I was not happy with myself. I did not like the way I looked, I felt so unmotivated about life, and health wise I felt sluggish and gross. One day I looked at myself in the mirror at work and said, “What the hell happened to me!” I used to love life so much, I was ambitious, I felt like the world was at my fingertips, but now I was so mad at everyone but I really had to say I am mad at myself. I made myself this way, no one but me. So I said, ENOUGH is ENOUGH! I am too young to feel like this, and I went on the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution website and bought the DVD set after looking at all the great success stories of real people. I felt like if they can do it, so can I so after about a week of waiting I finally received it and got to it!

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Kit

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Kit

So as you guys had noticed I had been on a slow but positive journey of clean eating. Clean eating (in my opinion) is consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood, whole grains, etc and excluding lots of things like processed foods, fast food, high calorie/sugar foods; basically all the fatty but the oh so tasty stuff! I had also stopped drinking coffee as well which was sooooo HARD! I am a avid coffee drinker who had at least 2 cups a days. So when I stopped, it felt like an addict going through withdrawal, I felt so so sick that I thought I was dying! Well after that lovely experienced subsided and eating pretty clean for almost a month helped me transition into the 7 day slim down. Now the 7 day slim down may seem easy but I DO NOT suggest to go cold turkey or binge right before this diet. If your a big eater try to eat less at least a week before this diet, if you love carbs, try to consume fewer carbs, or love sugar, ease your way down. If you can do this for at least a week, the transition to the 7 day slim down will be ALOT easier than if you just jumped right into it. Now to some of the key components of the 7 day slim down:

  • No fruit, sugar or artificial sweetners such as Splenda, or carbs throughout the whole 7 days
  • You are allowed 3 meals and one snack which is great so you are eating throughout the day
  • 1 low calorie dairy product a day such as plain non fat greek yogurt
  • No alcoholic beverages, and only one serving of caffeine if otherwise
  • Now raw veggiess such as broccoli cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and kale, bamboo shoots
  • No bacon (I know tear), lunch meat, hot dogs, or sausage
  • Drink lots, lots, lots of water – Great concept but I will not lie I have been making A LOT of trips to the bathroom….(Not fun AT ALL…)

With these rules in mind I knew my meals would consist of lots of greens and protein such as chicken and fish. Jillian Michaels gives you an option of following her meal plan during this slim down and I have to say it was pretty great. She had lots of stuff like steak salad, poached eggs, turkey burgers, greek yogurt with almonds,

Yummy non-fat vanilla greek yogurt with silvered almonds and cinnamon

Yummy non-fat vanilla greek yogurt with silvered almonds and cinnamon

to say a few. I did not follow it to a T because I was not crazy about all the items, plus I do not have time to make myself a full fledge breakfast but I did enjoy the greek yogurt with the almonds, which I ate everyday. Also you do two 30 minute workouts everyday instead of one. This was a bit challenging at first because the workouts are intense but you feel soo accomplished after that it is all worth it. Now throughout the weeks was some highs and some lows, heres how my week looked like:

Monday – Yes I am so excited about this, I do miss carbs but I can do it!

Baby Veggies with Grilled Chicken and Sauteed Spinach

Baby Veggies with Grilled Chicken and Sauteed Spinach

Tuesday – Wow I feel soo light today and yesterday was not so bad. The workouts were intense and I am sore but hey I am good!

Spring Mix Salad with lean  steak strips and avocado

Spring Mix Salad with lean steak strips and avocado

Wednesday – Okay…no offence I would KILL for a piece of bread (damn today is roll day at work….) I can do this though..I feel lighter than ever and hey is my face shrinking!

Thursday – Sore but I feel strong  and lighter than ever before. Well I am sick of eating nothing but boiled eggs for snack so lets try a scramble with avocado (Yum!)

Friday – I want PIZZA! Oh well I have this yummy stir fry to hold me off. Workouts kicked my ass but I am still feeling good!

Broccoli and Chicken Stir Fry with Green Beans and Almonds

Broccoli and Chicken Stir Fry with Green Beans and Almonds

Saturday – I am hungry and a bit tired. The week was long and the transition was not so bad. For some reason I am feeling a bit bitter (I did 2 intense cardio sessions)…I crave chocolate and keep telling myself two more days in my head…

Sunday – its the LAST DAY YAYYYYY!!!! I ate my spinach and tomato omlette like a champion

Spinach, Tomato, and Cheddar Omelette..yumm

Spinach, Tomato, and Cheddar Omelette..yumm

and enjoy turkey burgers and veggies. I feel soo light and strong and the fact I have a break feels sooo awesome 🙂

Delicious homemade turkey burger with low fat cheddar cheese, tomato, natural guacamole on a bed of  romaine lettuce

Delicious homemade turkey burger with low fat cheddar cheese, tomato, natural guacamole on a bed of romaine lettuce

Now as you can see I experienced some highs and lows but it was a great feeling to finish. I have to say I have not once cheated throughout the whole 7 days and I was BEYOND proud of myself. I reminded myself a couple of things, first how I love working out, how I love the euphoria feeling at the end of it, how eating more healthy can give you energy that you forgot you had, and I am A LOT stronger than I thought I was. This week was not only a test but a HUGE wake up call. It reminded me of goals I wanted to accomplish and I am so excited to continue to do this journey. It has been 2 weeks since I have started Body Revolution and I have to say I am in love with it. I have lost over 10 pounds and I feel soo great and have energy for days. I hope I can continue this amazing journey with you all and I will strive into bringing not only yummy but healthy dishes that I love.

I hope you guys think about goals you once had and really see if you can tackle them. Whether fitness, health, fashion, beauty, baking, whatever it is, if you have a goal, YOU CAN DO IT! I am working on my goals and I have to say, my outlook on life is better than ever! If I can do this, you sure can accomplish ANYTHING!

♥The Sky Is The Limit! Go For It And GOOD LUCK ♥

Always remember no matter what...

Always remember no matter what…

 

Enjoying the Friday Night Sky…

The beauty of the lights...[Image from: fineartamerica.com]

The beauty of the lights…[Image from: fineartamerica.com]

The beauty of the bright lights…

…Twinkling in the night sky

The pours of a sweet beverage…

Temptations opening new inhibitions…

…Doors opening to a new beginning

Adventures yet to come…

Hope you all have an amazing friday night and a great St. Patrick’s Day weekend! Even though who cannot enjoy a lovely cocktail (Health Cleanse), I can dress up a water and still have fun haha!

Delicious and cool water with lemon ;-)

Delicious and cool water with lemon 😉

Have fun and stay safe ♥

Peace

Peace Within...

Finding the peace within [Image from s628.photobucket.com ]

Peace
The calm within me
Soothing like a cool breeze on a hot day
Engulfing me with sweet and gentle air
Able to breath without pain

Peace
The calm within me
Sweet like a first kiss
Thoughts feel like walking on air
Light and airy
Feeling confident even without solid ground

Peace
Inner most sweetness
Painless and most effortless
Like a moth to a flame
I am drawn to you
Beautiful
Gentle
Sweet
Ever so sweet
Peace

Peace
Words cannot describe
The love of this feeling
Is beyond compared
I am falling deep
Ever so deep
Into this peace
Please
Please
Please
Never forget me
For I may fall without you
Never leave me
Keep me grounded and safe
My gentle
Ever so loving
Peace…

 Hoping you all are having a great weekend and hope you take the time and enjoy finding your inner most peace in life 🙂

♥ Norah

Instagram Quote of the Day

Instagram Quote of the Day

Always remember to love yourself 

I found this beautiful and simple quote written on my Detox Yogi Tea tea-bag at work today and I wanted to share it with all of you. It had reassured me that this health journey I am going through is more than just losing weight or looking better, but to honor my body, life, and soul. I hope to never forget that and I hope that whatever you are going though to remember to appreciate and LOVE YOU FOR YOU!

Norah ♥

Sweet Sundays: Oreo Chocolate Madness!!!

Chocolate Oreo Madness :-)

Chocolate Oreo Madness 🙂

Hola My Foodie Lovers and Friends! ESPECIALLy the Sweet Tooths :-)!

First off hope everyone had an amazing weekend, hopefully filled with fun, good food, and of course some much needed REST! I know for myself my weekend was pretty decent and it actually taught me a lot (I know how can two days really teach you anything, but it did!). Lately I have been feeling that I am at a crossroads. There are so many different opportunities to choose from and with a busy yet pretty much redundant schedule I was losing my love for life. In other words I felt like I was stuck in a HUGE rut! People around me seem to have a lot more going while me was same old same old! Than I realized that I cannot just sit there and let life pass me by, but rather create new opportunities and experiences for me. I almost thought that running away from this place was the best option but I realized that it would not help my situation of my lack for lust of life. So I decided to LIVE, LIVE, LIVE. I am expose myself to new and more exciting experiences and hope that it will cure this “ailment” so to speak LOL. Only time will tell but I will DEFINITELY keep you in the know 😉

This week I was inspired to bake because not only had it been a while, but I wanted something to pick me up from my “funk”. Cooking as I have said before is one of my forms of therapy and I love to go through the pantry and create new dishes or treats that I know my family and coworkers would enjoy. Thats when I decided to make a cake with crushed Oreo’s and a yummy chocolate drizzle. Decadent I know but oh so yummy! I even cheated a little bit from my clean “diet” and had a small slice just to test it out of course. This cake recipe is simple and oh so delicious and is HIGHLY recommended for the chocolate lover 🙂

Ingredients:

  • For  Cake:
    • 1 box of Betty Crocker Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
    • 3 Eggs
    • 1-1/4 cup of Milk (I used 2%)
    • 1/2 cup of cooled melted Butter
    • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
    • 1 box of Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
    • 1-1 1/2 cups of crushed Oreo Cookies
  • For Oreo & Chocolate Drizzle/Ganache Topping
    • 9 ounces of Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate Chips
    • 1 cup of Heavy Cream
    • 1 cup of crushed Oreo Cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven for 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine dry ingredients: cake mix and pudding mix and set aside.
    Cake and Pudding Mix

    Cake and Pudding Mix

     Also crush your Oreos for both the cake and your cake topping and set aside.

    Crush Oreo Goodness!

    Crush Oreo Goodness!

  3. In a medium-large size bowl whisk together your eggs, milk, and melted butter till combined.
    Egg Mixture

    Egg Mixture

    Than pour your cake mix into the egg mixture and whisk till combined and smooth.

  4. Pour in your crush Oreos and fold into your cake batter till combined.

    Oreos folded into cake batter

    Oreos folded into cake batter

  5. Spray your tube cake pan with baking non stick spray and pour in your batter. (I was lucky enough to find and aluminum angel food cake pan so cleaning was essentially a breeze!)

    Cake batter in pan

    Cake batter in pan

  6. Bake the cake for 20 to 30 minutes or until center of the cake is baked (toothpick test).
  7. Once bake remove from pan and let the cake cool till cold to touch.

    Delicious and warm cake!

    Delicious and warm cake!

  8. Meanwhile you can make your chocolate ganache: add your chocolate chips into a medium size heat proof bowl and set aside. Add your heavy cream into a small sauce pan and heat till simmering (small bubbles in the corners). Than pour your heavy cream to your chocolate chips and whisk till combined and has a velvety texture. (This recipe makes about 2 cups so you can use the amount desired for your cake!)
  9. Once cake is cooled pour about half your ganache onto your cake (I use a cup to pour the ganache to make it easier). Than add your crushed Oreos and pour the rest onto your cake (Make a drizzle effect).

    Finishing of a ganache and drizzle oreo cake

    Finishing of a ganache and drizzle oreo cake

  10. Let this set for about 20-30 minutes before serving.
  11. Slice this yummy cake and ENJOY!

    Sliced deliciousness :-)

    Sliced deliciousness 🙂

This cake was yummy and I think it came out pretty awesome! It was moist and soo delicious and it was gone in about an hour at work. I wanted to put up this recipe because its deliciously homemade and easy enough for any baker who is just starting. It does not matter that the starter is a cake mix, creativity makes anything yours. So go out and buy any cake mix and add some delicious add ins! You never know what you can create 😉

Love you all and hope you have a happy and yummy rest of your Sunday and a great week!

Norah 🙂

Life Motto [Image from: www.verybestquotes.com]

Life Motto [Image from: http://www.verybestquotes.com]

For The Clean of You

For The Clean of You

Delicious and fresh grapefruit 🙂

To be clean or not to be…
Not the most simple question
We want health
We need health
And yet we are tempted by the bad
But the “Oh so GOOD!”
The convenience
The thrill of the smells
The watering of the mouths
The perfect first bites
We crave these moments
The flavor
The taste
We need these moments
But while we do have these moments
We tend to forget the simple joys
The makings of a new a fresh dish

The beauty of creating a dish [Image from: well.blogs.nytimes.com]

The beauty of creating a dish [Image from: well.blogs.nytimes.com]


The simplicity of a piece of fruit
The crispness of a fresh veggies
The warmth of fresh baked bread
The smoothness of a hot cup of tea

Warm and Soothing Tea [Image from: www.fanpop.com]

Warm and Soothing Tea [Image from: http://www.fanpop.com]

To be clean or not to be…
Is this your answer?
With busy lives
No time to think let alone breath
Strangled by the thought of freedom
Can we take control in what we eat?
Let alone how we eat
Commitment can be a thought of fear
For failure can be an option
But forget perfection
Focus on the thought
Of freshness
Of peace

To be clean or not to be…
That is my question
Struggles of the past
Grief of the present
Will no longer be my future
Taking control can feel like deprivation
But the end goals taste sweet
To be clean is a goal I will always strive
To indulge in the process of fresh
Creating from inspiration
Beginning life from scratch

To be clean or not to be
That is my answer
For simplicity will be a way of life
To lose I will gain
But fear not
Simple will lead to clean
And clean will lead to well
And well will lead to free
This journey is mine
Is it yours?…

Life Goals [Image from: suhanijain.com]

Life Goals [Image from: suhanijain.com]

I wanted to write a poem about my on going journey of trying to eat clean. It all started because of weight loss but the more I research and eat the more I love the idea of it. I hope to share lots of recipes and stories about this journey and hope I ignited the thought in anyone about eating clean 🙂