WORE IT WEDNESDAY: PALTER DELISO’S PRETTY PRETTY PUMPS

My BFL (Bestie For Life) Jesse Palter always used to tell me that her great-grandfather invented the slingback, the platform and the peep toe. And as if I already didn’t think my bestie was the coolest person on the planet, that little gem of a fact really solidified it given my fascination with shoes at a VERY young age. Jesse and I always talk about how cool he was, look up his old shoes on Ebay and dream about how if only Palter DeLiso shoes were still around so that our feet could be made for oh-so-fashionable-walking for all of eternity.

Um, we would SO still wear these!

Palter DeLiso originals– Um, we would SO still wear these!


Alas, the amazing, beautiful, you-want-every-single-shoe-you-see Palter DeLiso brand eclipsed in the 1960s and so for as long as Jesse and I have been friends, we’ve known that just like Britney & JT rekindling their love, this was one dream that just wasn’t going to happen.

Well here’s a lesson in the whole never-ever-ever give up on your dreams thing- it’s like Jesse’s great-grandfather Dapper Dan Palter heard our wishes and sent Lauren Bruksch and Taz Saunders to be our real life fairy shoe godmother/father: thanks to this dynamic duo, Palter DeLiso is BACK and better than ever!

Lauren and Taz discovered Palter DeLiso on their own while working on a project and loved the original shoes so much they wondered why the brand disappeared. After some research, they realized that they could buy the trademark and the revival ensued (read more about the fascinating story here!)

Flash forward to present day when Jesse found out Palter DeLiso was back and reached out to them. Jesse was invited to go meet them and see their show room right here in Los Angeles and she asked if I could tag along. I was honored! And excited! But also a bit nervous. This was something Jesse has dreamed about forever and the truth is, anyone could have bought the rights to Palter DeLiso and that meant that the shoes could either be total beauts or totally awful.

After we set foot into their showroom, it was instantly clear that Palter Deliso was in good hands. Lauren and Taz have the worlds BEST taste because holy amazingness to the max– pair after pair after pair were take-your-breath-away beautiful.
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beyond in love with these White Vixen pumps with scallop detailing.

beyond in love with these White Vixen pumps with scallop detailing.


And what’s even more, Lauren and Taz are SO committed to keeping the original integrity of the brand woven into their revival. From the logo to the designs to the lasts that are used to mold the shoes, they have kept so many of the original elements that it really felt as if Palter DeLiso never stopped making gorgeous shoes and bags.
Old shoe box and label on the top, new Palter DeLiso shoe box and label on the bottom

Old shoe box and label on the top, new Palter DeLiso shoe box and label on the bottom


Left: Vintage Palter DeLiso floral pump. Right: New Palter DeLiso floral pump!

Left: Vintage Palter DeLiso floral pump. Right: New Palter DeLiso floral pump!

The last (mold) used to make Palter DeLiso shoes use the name names paying homage to the original shoes!

The last (mold) used to make Palter DeLiso shoes use the name names paying homage to the original shoes!

It was SUCH an amazing day, meeting these incredible co-founders and seeing what they have done with the Palter DeLiso name.

Jesse with Lauren and Taz, the brilliant co-founders of Palter DeLiso

Jesse with Lauren and Taz, the brilliant co-founders of Palter DeLiso


And while of course I had a total blast trying on the shoes (trust me, you will want them all), it was SO much more fun and meaningful for me to watch my best friend take it all in… and try on shoes that bare her name! How cool is that?! Lauren & Taz had so many of the Palter DeLiso original shoes, bags, advertisements etc and Jesse finally got to see them and touch them and it felt like she really finally got to know a piece of her great-grandfather.
Jesse holding a Palter DeLiso original!

Jesse holding a Palter DeLiso original!

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An old advertisement and pair of shoes greet you when you walk into the show room.

An old advertisement and pair of shoes greet you when you walk into the show room.

Vintage Palter DeLiso on the wall!

Vintage Palter DeLiso on the wall!

It was so amazing to see how this new brand has evolved while still honoring the shoes and bags of yester-year. Make new friends but keep the old, right?!

Jesse making friends with a new Palter DeLiso handbag!

Jesse making friends with a new Palter DeLiso handbag!

We made friends with these "Kiss" pumps. Ub-sessed.

We made friends with these “Kiss” pumps. Ub-sessed.

The whole Palter DeLiso team was so generous with their time, and it was such a special day for us both! Not only do we have a new favorite brand (obviously!) but now, we actually can sit and talk about how cool it is that our feet can be made for oh-so-fashionable Palter DeLiso walking for eternity.
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Keep on dreaming, folks.

To shop (and drool over) all things Palter DeLiso check out www.PalterDeLiso.com

Photos: Jill Salama & courtesy of Palter DeLiso

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TRIED IT TUESDAY: THE Product That Banishes Blemishes Forever! (It’s Not What You Think!)

I am the yo-yo dieter of skin care.

Much like those girls who had the perfect metabolism until college introduced them to keg stands and late night pizza, I had perfect skin that no matter what I did to it — and I should mention I had a passion for putting frosting on my face like Mrs. Doubtfire at every single birthday party I attended in the 90s– but my skin was always radiant and pimple free.

That is until college when Mount Rushmore decided to relocate to my face. And since then, I have been desperately trying anything and everything to get my skin back into tip-top shape. 

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My skin circa 2008. I hated feeling so vain but this terrible breakout made me so horribly self conscious. It also made me realize I was allergic to dairy…

 

From Pro-activ to apple cider vinegar (both drinking it (gross) and putting it on my face (that is, until the boy I was dating at the time told me my face smelled like a salad)), prescription meds, lotions and potions from the Dermatologist that come with a laundry list of things to beware of, supplements, laser treatments, facials, cutting out diary, cutting out gluten, pro-biotics… You name it, I’ve tried it — and I’ve probably shelled out a least a few fancy schmancy vacations worth in the skin care goods department.  

Most have not worked. Or at least not long term. #shouldvegonetothailandwithapimplyface

But I finally found a skin care line that is not only good for you (No harmful chemicals! No preservatives!), it… WORKS (cue the fireworks and the clear skin).

Haunted by another breakout in January, I stumbled into a local shop here in L.A., The Detox Market where everything in the store from their makeup to their cleaning products contain no toxic chemicals (adore that!). After pointing to my chin, I was escorted over to a section of the store with skin care products by a brand called Odacite and was informed that what I needed was to put their Black Cumin oil on my face.

Oil on my pimples? Um, okay lady. Seriously, what kind of drugs were these people on?! I mean sure there is the random “expert” on shows like Dr. Oz who sometimes goes “out of the box” and suggests toothpaste but… OIL? As in the thing that often causes pimples?! These detox people were drinking some serious kale-aid.

But the very nice lady did have very nice skin. And she swore to me that a tiny drop of this oil on my face 2x a day would clear up my skin. She also sent me home with their aloe vera based cleanser and a sample of their toner and moisturizer. Skeptical but desperate I gave it a try.

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Truth: I can’t say putting oil on my face was an easy thing to do. I was more than convinced I would wake up the next morning looking like Kelly Kapowski when she put on Zach and Screech’s acne cream- as in the ONE time Kelly Kapowski was not cute:

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But really and truthfully, within two weeks, my skin was clearing up. My friends were noticing a difference without me telling them I was trying anything new. And just like any new convert, I went back and bought the rest of the line and naturally talked about it to anyone who would listen. I practically considered going door to door. Then I remembered I have a blog! #knockknock 

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Every item I’ve tried from this line, I’ve loved. What I didn’t love? Those dark spots on my face that weren’t going away. So a few weeks ago I went back for another Pure Elements Booster meant to target hyperpigmentation (the line boasts essential oils for multiple skin issues from cell renewal to acne to firmness and more). After a few weeks of using that their Papaya Geranium oil, my hyperpigmentation spots have faded! 

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My skin feels smooth and looks the best it’s looked in years. Of course I still get the occasional zit that makes me feel like my 2008 self all over again but I finally feel more comfortable going makeup free. Also, while I never thought I would come around to the idea of putting oil on my face, I have to admit, I’m a believer! I drank the Kale-aid and I liked it.  

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Yes, I also follow a gluten free and mostly dairy free diet (that 2008 breakout was how I figured out dairy + Jill + Jill’s skin don’t mix so if you’re suffering from major breakouts I highly suggest also trying a dairy free/gluten free diet) but trust me when I say this is the best skin care line I’ve tried in the last eleven years! I love everything I’ve read about this company and what they put (and don’t put) in their products because so many skin care products out there are doing more harm than good. BUT most importantly, the proof is in the pudding lack of pimples. 

And here’s the best news: Odacite offers 15% off for first time buyers! I highly recommend their Try Me kit and a Pure Elements oil or two of your choice (you can put it on alone or drop it into your moisturizer) to get started. 

*Also, I’ve started taking a daily pro-biotic in the last week and using Eminence Organics Bright Skin Moisturizer with SPF 30 from Eminence in the day-time.

Xo!

 

 

 

 

 

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Tried It! Spring Trends (VIDEO)

I had the opportunity to share some of the top spring trends you should try last week on Fox Detroit’s morning show, The Nine! Always have a blast visiting Fox in my home state and had even more fun sharing the spring trends in fashion, beauty, fitness, food and more!

Spring Trends (VIDEO).

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ATE IT: SWOONING OVER (PALEO) SWEETS

I’m a terrible flirt. Really, I am. I’ve got precisely one weapon in my flirting arsenal: a signature arm hitting move. All my friends know “the move” because it’s the only move I’ve got. But lately, I’ve found a new form of flirting and I’ve been doing it up big time.

Now before my Grandma Bea gets out her best gown (purchased from Loehmann’s no doubt #RIP) in hopes of a wedding, I must admit that this new form of flirting I’ve discovered has been with… the Paleo Diet. Sorry G’ma. Still love you lots though.

Just like a really great first date, the basic/surface level promises and appeal of going Paleo left me excited and intrigued. I’ve followed the lifestyle here and there. I’ve dabbled in reading Paleo books (some a few chapters, others from cover to cover- highly recommend “Eat the Yolks” by Liz Wolfe and “Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It” by Gary Taubes) I’ve stalked some Paleo bloggers and in a moment of motivation found myself on an intense Paleo themed Instagram following spree.

But before I can fully commit to being in an “In a Relationship” status with Paleo, I need to be 1000% certain that my feelings are there. And by making sure my feelings are there I mean making sure that there are Paleo friendly foods that satisfy my sweet tooth cravings so that I don’t become a total bitch and hurt everyone else’s feelings on the regular. They say love makes you do crazy things but I have a very strong intuitive feeling that love-crazy has absolutely nothing on the crazy-crazy that I would become by taking sugar, grains and peanut butter away from me on a permanent basis.

And let it be known, it’s been said that I have a VERY strong intuition.

So like any normal person would do after a great first or second date, I did a little research on my prospective new companion. You know, to make sure I’m not being totally blindsided by some huge secret crazy factor that pops up down the road. And while I found out there are TONS of homemade Paleo treats out there on the interwebs and Instagram feeds, I just don’t have patience to go all ‘Betty Crocker does Paleo’ every single time a hankering for something sweet comes along. Sometimes you just need something decadent that doesn’t involve a blender, a box of cacao nibs or a huge mess to clean up after you’ve made your blender/cacao nibs concoction.

In other words, I need something packaged that doesn’t break the Paleo processed/sugary/packaged rules.

So in effort to determine if I can see myself going steady with Paleo, I tried out some of the yummiest sounding Paleo Treats out there. No mess. No baking. No freezing and waiting for something to set. No ordering some obscure ingredient. Just sweet sounding goodness that promises the good stuff without the sugary/bad for you hangover.

Enter: Paleo Treats.
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They sounded like they would be just the match I was looking for. So a taste test was in order. It was a late night last night here in Detroit (I’m home visiting my parents) when I broke into these bad boys. One by one. Bite by bite. Treat by delicious treat. And what I learned was: if this is anything like what wedding cake tasting is like then I want like, sixteen weddings. #aretherepaleoweddingcakes?

THE TREATS!

THE MUSTANG BAR
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INGREDIENTS: almond butter, coconut oil, walnuts, honey, almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, almond flour, coconut, vanilla, salt
TASTES LIKE: Truth be told I prefer my sweets to have some vast amounts of chocolate. So I was prepared to like the Mustang Bar well, not at all. But one bite and I was proven wrong by the Paleo Treats gods. The sweetness of the honey against the crunchiness of the nuts paired with the perfect amount of salty pumpkin seeds and… salt, makes this one bar that needs no chocolate preceding it. #Eatit

CACAO NOW
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INGREDIENTS: honey, cacao butter, almonds, raisins, cacao powder, pistachios, goji berries
TASTES LIKE: Chocolatey crunchy fruity goodness. You need to really like the texture of raisins because the goji berries and raisins offer a whole lot of chewiness to this chocolate mix. You also need to be okay with fruit in your chocolate (I am sometimes- other times not so much). I like raisins but being new to this whole Paleo thing means I’m pretty new to the super goji berry and wasn’t used to their flavor. However, the intense chocolate? Yeah, I’m into it.

BANDITO
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INGREDIENTS: almond flour, roasted almond butter, coconut oil, honey, cacao butter, flax meal, dried unsweetened coconut, cacao powder, vanilla extract, salt.
TASTES LIKE: If going Paleo means I can swim in a bath of Banditos while being spoon fed Banditos by a hunky Bandito, then I’m all in. This treat is pure deliciousness. Just writing about it makes me feel the need to go… and… just… one… bite… okay I’m back.
My heart is yours, Mr. Bandito.

BROWNIE BOMB
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INGREDIENTS: honey, pecans, eggs, coconut oil, cacao powder, almond flour.
TASTES LIKE: These Brownie Bombs are the bomb-diggity. The bomb.com. The bombizzle. No really though, This bombastic Brownie Bomb really tastes like a real non-Paleo brownie only made with six very real ingredients. And THAT is da (brownie) bomb.

MAC ATTACK
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INGREDIENTS: shredded coconut, egg whites, honey, cacao powder, cacao nibs, vanilla extract.
TASTES LIKE: As a Jewish gal who grew up eating a lot of nasty Passover macaroons, this fabulousity really restores my faith that delish Passover desserts can in fact exist. And besides, anyone who knows anything good about life knows that coconut and chocolate mixed together is like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake circa 2002: a perfect pairing that you never want to end. Sadly much like the tumultuous break up of Brit Brit and JT, this Mac Attack had to end. When I finished it. And not un-similar to the Spears/Timberlake breakup, I may have shed a tear (or ten) when I finally accepted that it was over.

After I sampled a bite of each I (reluctantly) offered to share with my parents to get their take. My Dad’s eyes lit up like a baby eating cake for the first time at his first birthday party when he bit into the Mustang and Cacao Now treats. He kept going back for more bites (until I went all 15 year old moody teenager on him and told him to back off).
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My Mom was a fan of the Mac Attack. She’s coo-coo for coconuts like any good human should be. Also, moms are always right and she is most definitely right about loving the Mac Attack.

Sooo I’ve been convinced. Refined sugar free/grain free/paleo friendly treats do not mean they are void of deliciousness. And it’s looking like Paleo & I might be taking a step towards becoming exclusive. Not quite yet (I’m not that kind of girl) but it’s looking good. See Grandma, who said there has to be a wedding to have something exciting to look forward to?! You’re welcome.

And that’s a WRAP(er), Folks.
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Been There: The Time I Crashed My Brothers Romantic Maui Vacation

There are tons of perks re: my move from the frozen tundra that is Chiberia to sunny, warm, I-am-complaining-to-my-best-friend-Jesse-that-it-is-TOO-hot-in-January-as-I-type-this weather. (Side note: she just said everyone I know will want to punch me for that comment. My apologies, Everyone I Know, but 8 degrees cooler would be ideal.)

Anyway, one of the biggest perks that I didn’t even think about when I decided to pack up and ship out to Los Angeles?

I am close to Hawaii.

Well not close as in weekend getaway close (nor do I have the budget for that…yet! Let’s be real folks – I might have worked for Oprah, but Oprah I am not).

But I am close enough to Hawaii that when my brother tells me that he and his (relatively new) girlfriend are going there for a winter getaway/work conference and that the hotel room has a pull out bed and I should come along because I’m already so close- I say “um, OKAY!” You might argue I’m being intrusive on their romantic trip but really when looked at from another angle… It’s more like QT with my brother and his new GF! And after all, I am SO CLOSE that it would be rude NOT to join them. And of course there’s the fact that we are blood and I’m pretty sure it says in the Torah or at least on a cheeky/cheesy greeting card in one of those quirky gift shops that there’s no such thing as intrusive when it comes to family, right?

Aloha to me.

I (overpacked) my bags and hopped on a plane hoping that Hawaii would bring me as much love and fun as it did to Jason Segel and Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Sadly the other doctors attending this work conference my brother was going to seemed to be balding or married. Or in most cases, both. And truth be told, I was just hoping that this trip would bring me love WITH Jason Segel – but astonishingly enough he was nowhere to be found.

Love or not, this was my first time getting Lei’d and let me tell you it was every bit as exciting/thrilling as I thought it would be.
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My Brother and his awesome GF arrived later that night and what followed was four fun filled/sun filled days. Sadly, The GF got sick on day two (but the silver lining is her flu further proved that the universe wanted me to come all along lest my brother be sad and lonely on the island all by himself! There’s really a silver lining in everything, sometimes you just really have to look hard for it. But it’s there. Oh it’s there.)

Here were some of the highlights that I recommend to anyone visiting Maui– granted a lot of the amazingly romantic sunset views/romantic dinners/insert other romantic thing here because everything on Maui is pretty damn romantic– I told my brother and GF to save for after my departure. See! I was so not intrusive! I was thoughtful! And besides, now I have a reason to go back. With Jason Segel. I mean after all we do live SO close. Like romantic weekend getaway close. God I love California.

Another thing to note: Prepare to be lamer than your grandparents on this trip. While My grandma is usually cooler than me on most days, she was light years cooler than me while I was on this vay-k. I was asleep every night by 9:30 and up by 7. Pretty sure an 89 year old took over my body. Actually, now that I think about it, my hips were aching and I even caught myself putting sugar packets in my purse. Hmm.

SLEPT HERE: Fairmont Kea Lani
We stayed at this beautiful hotel in Wailea. They offered morning Yoga outside that most days I observed from my room while drinking a latte– convincing myself that it counted as a workout. I finally joined in and was glad I did. Great instructor and a super relaxing and beautiful way to start the morning.

Namaste

Namaste

Other perks to this hotel: Gorgeous pools, helpful staff, beautiful beach front and very easy to get around. Also, even though I smuggled almond milk in from Cali (I realized that if I put as much thought and planning into how I carefully wrapped and packed the almond milk- lest it ruin my flowy beach coverups- I would probs be richer than Mark Zuckerberg by now), they had it in their coffee shop. It was a Hawaii miracle. Additionally they had menus for literally every diet in existence.

Almond Milk Latte with a View. #TheBestPartOfWakingUp

Almond Milk Latte with a View. #TheBestPartOfWakingUp

DO IT: Beach Path
My favorite thing to do every day was walk/jog the beach path from the Fairmont all the way down to the Andaz. It was SO beautiful both at sunset and made working out in the morning enjoyable (I promise!) It’s also fun to do a leisurely stroll and stop off at all of the hotels along the way (to determine where I will be staying on my next trip, of course!) The Four Seasons and the Andaz are both amazingly gorgeous. And the Marriott has a Starbucks (a triple the price Starbucks but a Starbucks nonetheless. #coffeedrinkersunite)
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One day I got caught in a whole lot of rain but it led to a double rainbow followed by another rainbow that was the brightest, most vividly gorgeous rainbow I have ever seen. And it was the first time I ever saw the end of a rainbow! Sadly there was no pot of gold BUT I did see it while sipping a delectable almond milk latte and noshing on gluten free pineapple bread at the Four Seasons so in my world, I would say it was like practically the same thing.
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ATE IT: We loved dinner at Joe’s and Monkeypod for casual but delicious fare. The fish served up at Monkeypod is caught day of and it’s delicious #sorryfishies. Sushi at Sansei was okay- good but not great- but fun to see a place that locals go.

SAW IT: We did a 1.5 hour drive up the mountain to the Haleakala Crater for sunset. It was a stunning drive high above the clouds. Always a beautiful reminder that by simply removing yourself from what feels so BIG in life, it instantly becomes small or even insignificant. A great way to get perspective. Just remove yourself and “rise above.”
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Sadly as we got to the top it got a bit too foggy for sunset but was a gorgeous drive and I highly recommend it. A lot of people do this drive for sunset but really who wants to wake up at 3 A.M.? Not this girl thankyouverymuch. Note: If you do this drive bring lots and lots of layers. It dropped to about 40 degrees and my beloved jean jacket (serving me since 1999) was just not cutting it.

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TRIED IT: Kai Kanani Early Morning Snorkeling. I am not one for adventure. Roller Coasters? Hate ‘em. Roller Skating? Miserable. Water Sports? Pretty sure (actually positive) that I fell in the first and only time I went paddle boarding, pulled a muscle and a man on a jet ski from another house had to pull up to see if I was okay. And no I wasn’t 12. I was 28. So you can imagine that every person I told that I went snorkeling met me with comments that varied from “Really? YOU?! You don’t strike me as someone who snorkels” to “weren’t you scared?” to “You got up THAT early? TO SNORKEL”
Yes, Yes and Yes.
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And despite what my sweatshirt says, I’m so glad I did.

I have never snorkeled before, and let’s face it getting up at 5:30 AM is not something I generally enjoy (truth, we ran up to the boat as it was pulling away and thankfully they let us on) BUT it was such an amazing morning. The staff was amazing, the fish were beautiful. And while snorkeling at the Molokini Crater, I felt like I was in an extra special deleted scene that only comes with the purchase of Finding Nemo on Blue Ray.
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Then we boated over to “Turtle Town” and Cool Guy Mike (I mean seriously how cool is your life if you spend your days boating in Maui?! #Idtakethatjob) convinced me that the only way in was to jump:
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The saltwater up my nose was totally worth it. After snorkeling around the turtle cave, I spotted a huge and adorable sea turtle that had me gleefully giggling like a 6 year old kid. This whole adventure thing might not be so bad. It was such a blast and I highly recommend this to anyone visiting Maui.
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Mahalo Maui and to my Brother and GF for the incredible trip!
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ALWAYS! <3

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ATE IT: Healthy Snack Alternatives as seen on Fox Detroit

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/23366719/2013/09/07/healthy-snack-alternatives-from-jill-salama?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9282587

This past fall I got to share some of my favorite healthy snack options on Fox Detroit. We ate, we schmoozed, we ate some more and we didn’t feel the least bit unhappy about it because these snacks were g-double-o-d and good for you too!

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It’s a tempting world out there- football season lead us into Halloween which took us to Thanksgiving then into the holidays and now it’s all about Valentines day it’s been a slippery slope of candy, chips, fried food and all sorts of treats that of course taste great but definitely isn’t great for you. To help with that I’ve tried and found the best snacks out there that aren’t only good for you but they TASTE good too. Because lets face it, if our snack or dessert tastes like cardboard we don’t care how low calorie it is, we are reaching for the gigantic muffin and our muffin top is just going to keep growing.

Here are the products featured on FOX 2 News Morning on 9/7/13 in Detroit:

DROUGHT JUICE
These Raw, Organic, Cold-Pressed Juices are made in Detroit and are absolutely amazing! Their delicious flavors like apple lemon ginger, carrot coconut and watermelon are all produced in intimate batches to assure quality and flavor consistency. These juices are the perfect way to get your fruits and veggies in while still feeling like a treat!

Locations: 441 w. Canfield – (Midtown) Detroit
470 Forest Ave.- Plymouth, MI

KIND HEALTHY GRAINS
KIND Healthy Grains is being KIND to us because their DELICIOUS Granola has less fat, sugar and calories per serving than typical granola– and on top it’s Gluten Free! (and it’s usually hard to find Gluten Free Granola!) They come in six fabulous flavors which are made up of a blend of five 100% whole grains. Such great grains that one serving fulfills 1/3 of your daily whole grain requirement. It’s great with milk or yogurt (try adding berries) but truthfully this stuff is so good on it’s own that it’s a great snack to take in your purse or gym bag on the go!

MATT’S MUNCHIES
It is SO hard to find a fruit snack that isn’t packed with sugar and so many of them don’t even have real fruit! Matt’s Munchies to the rescue! I have become totally addicted to these and carry one in my purse at all times. These fruit snacks have absolutely NO added sugar- and are made with Certified USDA Organic fruit. They are also gluten free, kosher, pareve and vegan, no nuts, no soy and no GMO’s just pure deliciousness that are FUN TO EAT! They are great for on the go because they come in one serving bags and most of them are under 70 calories.

EMMY’S ORGANICS- MACAROONS AND CHOCOLATE SAUCE
These little gems are vegan, gluten free and raw but don’t let that fool you because they are so satisfying and delicious. Made with shredded coconut and coconut oil you can feel good about getting in a healthy fat. Coconut oil is often called “athlete’s fat” because of it’s fatty acid chain length. Coconut is composed of medium chain fatty acids which work with the body and are immediately converted to energy after consumption. Many years ago, coconut started getting bad press because on the nutrition label, it says that its saturated fat content is high. This is true, but it is the way that this saturated fat is comprised that makes it such a special and healthy fat. These macaroons come in delicious flavors like Dark Cacao, Lemon, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chai Spice- and each one is better than the next. Take one spoon of their chocolate sauce and you will consider becoming a raw, gluten free vegan yourself. Their richly luscious dark chocolate sauce (which is made with only FIVE ingredients) is heavenly when drizzled over raw fruit, ice-cream, blended into smoothies, or even enjoyed straight from the jar.

POPCHIPS
Take one bite of a popchip and you will become instantly addicted– in the best way possible. A single serving bag has only 100 calories yet has more chips per serving than fried chips. They are NEVER fried (unhealthy) and they are never baked (undelicious) They are popped (so much more fun!) They come in 14 flavors- original and bbq are must haves for football season but they have tons of fun flavors like Sweet Potato and Katy Perry’s own flavor- Katy’s Kettle Corn. They even have a line of popped tortilla chips. On top of being super low in calories I love that they have no fake colors, no fake flavors, no preservatives, no trans-fat and no cholesterol- they’re even certified kosher and gluten-free! These chips are incredibly crunchy and incredibly satisfying but if you eat the whole bag (which I may or may not have done) there is nothing to worry about!

UNREAL CANDY
UNREAL has reinvented America’s favorite candy, replacing all of the junk with real food ingredients, reducing the sugar, and making it taste better. Their candy has no corn syrup, no hydrogenated oil, no artificial flavors, no GMOs, no synthetic colors, AND has 30-40% less sugar than comparable candy products on the market today! Not to mention this genius idea was all started by a 13-year-old kid whose mission is to take the junk out of junk food. You can get these at Target or on their website and are a GREAT option for candy that you can feel good about giving your kids. Prices ranging from $1.19 to $1.49 for individual bars and $3.99 to $4.99 for family sized bags.

SKINNY COW ICE CREAM CANDY BARS
Skinny Cow Ice Cream Candy Bars are made with low-fat ice cream and are a perfect treat to enjoy after meals or as a snack. they come in two delicious flavors: Salted Caramel Pretzel (you can’t beat the taste of a layer of salty caramel over vanilla ice cream topped with a layer of chocolate) and Cookies ‘n Dough (crunchy cookie bites and a cookie dough layer dipped in yummy chocolate!) – and here’s the best part (well aside from being totally mouthwatering) both only have 160 calories each! Ah-Mazing!

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ATE IT! Cup4Cup Gluten Free/Dairy Free but NOT Delicious Free Brownies

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What do you do when your friend is going through a rough week? You know those weeks where nothing is going right and everything’s a mess (okay so I’m pretttty sure I just quoted an Avril Lavigne song) and job troubles, boy troubles, hair troubles, money troubles come crashing down all at once. One of those weeks where life is just out to get you.

Normally the answers to all of the “Is it Friday yet?” weeks can be found at the bottom of a pint of ice cream but when your friend is a healthy/gluten free/dairy free chic who runs screaming in the other direction at the sight of the boys every girl depends on the most (Ben & Jerry – obvi) what is one to do?

Enter the easiest and most scrumptious option ever. Let’s face it, a lot of gluten free replacements taste like cardboard. They are often super dry, super blah and super not worth the calories. But Cup4Cup has come out with a gluten free/dairy free brownie mix that makes homemade warm, gooey brownies a possibility for those of us on the “gluten is evil and dairy is Satan” bandwagon.

And even better? For those of us who are challenged in the kitchen (I may or may not have had a trip to the emergency room last year over an epic steak cooking fail…) or pressed for time, these bad boys couldn’t be easier to make.

What you need:
Coconut Oil (or butter if you still eat dairy), eggs and water. Oh and the brilliant mix.
That is it.
Nothing else.
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You just mix and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.
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See? Just mix. And put in a pan- it’s FOOL PROOF. But not delicious proof.

And while you can get all fancy schmancy and use the mix to make fancier chocolate goodness like Devil’s food cake, lava cakes, cookies etc- the straight up brownies are fabulous all on their own.

Oh and the batter is pretty excellent too.
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And yes, that is me eating batter while still in my gym clothes. It doesn’t count if you eat batter while in your gym clothes… right? RIGHT?

I took these out of the oven with about five minutes left and added some chopped up 85% dark chocolate for some extra yumminess (and antioxidants, of course!)
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The next step? EAT. Well… okay wait for them to cool but I’m never good at that part.

The verdict: my friend forgot all about her boy/job/life troubles and our non gluten free pal couldn’t believe these little squares of heaven were gluten free. And while my friend forgot about being sad, I was all of a sudden secretly sad for giving these away. I know, I know- life is better when you share!
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Well life is better when you share. But no one says you have to share ALL of it. So sometimes it’s perfectly fabulous when you give half of the pan to your sad friend and keep the other half for your very happy self… My next morning self was so glad I thought this one through…
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Who says brownie’s aren’t allowed for breakfast? Well, my mom probably did when I was like 5. And 15. And 25. But that’s the beauty of being a grown up. And besides, there’s an egg in the batter so it’s basically like I’m eating eggs for breakfast.

Really delicious, gooey, yummy, chocolatey eggs.

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ATE IT: Quite Krazy for Quite Cheezy Kale Chips

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Okay you guys, It’s a serious addiction but I’ve recently become ub-sessed with Quite Cheezy Kale Chips by Alive and Radiant/Kaia foods.

I can’t lie to you, when I first heard of kale chips I thought the world had officially gone mad. I get that kale is the “it” vegetable of the moment (move over, brussel sprouts, you’re fifteen minutes are O-V-E-R!) but kale CHIPS? Really? I was convinced snacking on kale and pretending it’s as satisfying as potato chips would be the equivalent of telling yourself that Selena and Justin are JUST like Britney and Justin of Yester-year. Deep down you know you aren’t fooling anyone. There will never be another Britney and Justin. Let’s all pause for a moment of silence. Not only for their failed relationship but also for that red-carpet matching denim ensemble that is etched in our brains for eternity.

So how did I become addicted you ask? Well, while shopping at Whole Foods minding my own business and getting ready to hand over my life’s savings for the 8 items in my grocery cart, they had a whole bunch of Kale Chips at the register- on SALE (they ALWAYS get you that way!) and in an impulsive moment, I decided I should to take one for team. Confirm once and for all that kale chips taste like feet, banish them to bad snacks disguised as good snacks hell and we can all go happily back to potato chips or other drug salty snack of choice.

Well friends, I was sorely mistaken. Unless feet taste like heaven. Because these things are the bomb.com and after one bag I was hooked.

I originally started an addiction to the Perfectly Plain flavor but then switched over to the Quite Cheezy and haven’t looked back. These are the perfect afternoon salty craving munch! Who knew?! Well the kale chip creators, that’s who. Those people are brilliant. and as an added plus, they come in a bag of two servings (100 calories per serving) so if you’re like me and can’t exercise portion control in the snack department, there is no shame in eating the whole bag! Open a second bag? It’s okay people- you’re eating KALE.

The downside is that these bad boys cost a pretty penny ($4.99-$6.99 per bag depending where you live) BUT they are a great way to get your greens and satisfy a snack craving.

nom. nom. nom.

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