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Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Beauty Means to Me

Beauty is an energy that special people project toward the outside world. It has no limits and can’t be defined by a physical shape, hair color, or facial feature. Beauty is not a tangible good, cannot be bought or fit into a box. Beauty isn’t simply what you see in a mirror, it is who you are. Do you remember meeting your best friend for the first time? There was probably something you couldn’t pinpoint that drew you to them. He or she light up the room and radiated confidence. These types of people embrace what they have, accept who they are, appreciate what they have been given, and work towards becoming the best version of themselves. They have made the choice to be beautiful. I made this decision two years ago while I was at a casting and told I was to curvy for the part, mind you I am a size 0. Naturally this upset me and I called my agency in tears. My agent said, “don’t worry, this client was seeking a different look and the right opportunity will come to you soon.” I needed that reality check, I can’t be who everyone wants me to be all of the time without losing myself. At that point I decided I needed a mental and physical makeover. I outlined a plan inspired by an acronym I once heard, LEAF, Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, Food. First, I adopted a socially responsible lifestyle by volunteering for organizations such as Feeding America, Equality California, and now the California Right to Know campaign. I started recycling and reducing my carbon footprint. The hardest part was swapping my old beauty product favorites for new natural color cosmetic and skin care alternatives. Second, I took up yoga, pilates, hiking and dance. These types of exercises reduce stress, build strength, encourage me to connect with nature, and make me smile. Third, I started a mental makeover by incorporating positive affirmations and meditations into my daily routine. I keep a notepad on my nightstand and before I go to sleep I write the affirmation and repeat in in my head. In the morning I read the affirmation again and say it in front of my mirror. Repetition adds power to what I am trying to achieve. I also write them on my calendar in my kitchen, set them as reminders in my phone, and I have positive words on refrigerator magnets and on my phone background. Some of my favorite affirmations are “I uplift everyone I meet,” and “Every thought I think is creating my future.” Lastly I changed what I ate to a whole foods, organic, vitamin and enzyme rich diet. I consume a lot of raw leafy green vegetables, fruit, grains like quinoa, healthy fats like avocado, and lean protein like fish and chicken. It is also important to stay hydrated. I feel that what I put into my body gives me the energy to project a beautiful personality which attracts other positive people to me. I also enjoy taking care of my skin to prep the “canvas” for what I will create with color cosmetics. I love getting creative with color cosmetics but most of the time I use make up sparingly to enhance my natural beauty. Occasionally I’ll do something different like a  purple smoky eye, or pink lip. Fragrance is another thing I like to add because I think it helps express my personality and is my “mood ring” to others. All of these things I do make me happy internally and help me project my best self to the world. Beauty is accepting that you are a unique individual and choosing to be confident. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

TREND: Vending Machines
We know about online shopping, even mobile commerce but what about in person on the go shopping? What used to be for convenience foods like soda and candy, is now becoming a high end shopping experience. Vending machines are seen in hotels, retailers, and even restaurants. The vending machines are now stocking items such as iPods, name brand jewelry, high end cosmetics and more. 
This machine below I saw at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. It has a touch screen operation and guests can purchase items they would usually get in a gift shop or mall. 
This Best Buy vending machine stocks items like mp3 players, phone chargers and cameras. The vending machines can be seen in select Macy’s stores.

 This colorful vending machine can be seen outside the Sprinkles cupcake shop in Los Angeles. It allows people to skip the long line and get there cupcake packed and ready in seconds. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Earth Hour "I Will If You Will"

WHAT: Earth Hour
WHEN: March 31st 2012 8:30pm
WHERE: Everywhere in the world!
WHY: To help reduce the planet's energy usage... in turn saving mother nature!
HOW: For one hour wherever you are at 8:30pm this Saturday turn off all lights and unplug electronic devices.

If 100 people participate and tweet me a photo of your dark adventure I will send each of you a signed photo from my Playboy pictorial!

While it is important that you participate it's also important that you make it fun.
Some ideas of things you can do: Cook outside, go for a swim in the dark, candle lit family game night, prepare a raw vegan candlelit meal, or have friends over to host a candle lit clothing exchange. It would be great if you could host a party because it gets more people involved.

Chace and I will be having a candle lit raw vegan meal and might play a game or add to our inspiration board.

Aside from Earth Hour it is important to take care of our planet every day. Here are some tips below, also be sure to watch my YouTube video for more tips.

  1. Recycle (well duh) But also when buying products try and choose those without as much packaging, or that have recyclable packaging. If you have a garden use your leftover food scraps for compost. Your soil will be happy!
  2. Reuse: A lot of the containers I buy I end up washing and throwing other things into them.
  3. Buy in bulk. Try and shop in the bulk section to reduce packaging. I love buying almonds, dried fruit, spelt flour, coconut sugar, flax seeds and all sorts of other things from the Bulk Section at health food stores. This way I save money and I can place all of these items in glass jars or tins that were once used held another product.
  4. Choose Organic. Organics are chemical free & all natural this means its healthier for you and the planet.
  5. Shop locally. I try and shop at farmers markets. Its fun, supports the local economy, you can find unique items that aren't typically available in a supermarket, food is fresher, and large trucks aren't driving it around polluting the earth so it can be delivered to you.
  6. Use your own canvas bag. If you must: choose paper; plastic bags end up in landfills and do not ever absorb into the earth. 
  7. Don't buy greeting cards. People read them and throw them away a few days later. Why not create your loved ones something more sentimental like a frame, pillow, candle, or plate. 
  8. Give gifts in reusable bags. Adds a little bit more value to the gift also! 
  9. Buy organic/natural beauty products. If this idea seems new to you then look up the ingredients on your beauty products, lots of them cause cancer and most are bad for the environment.
  10. Plant trees
  11. Use alternative transportation. Bikes, subways, walk, carpool.
  12. Maximize your gas mileage by getting the proper tires, changing your oil, and if you can afford it switching your car that gets a better MPG at best it would be an electric or hybrid vehicle. 
  13. Switch your animals food to organic and use biodegradable cat litter. 
Hope some of these help!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wheat Free Dairy Free S'More Cupcakes

Hey everyone I decided to try and make s'more cupcakes that were as healthy as possible while still being delicious! They turned out amazing and I made them for my little brothers birthday. I was inspired by Sprinkles' s'more cupcake that Blake Lively designed so I created a recipe that I could enjoy being wheat and dairy free.

A S'more cupcake is pretty much a chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker crust and toasted marshmallow top.


-Preheat Oven to 325

-Place cupcake papers in cupcake pan. I made 12 big cupcakes and 24 minis. 

-For the graham cracker crust:
  • 1 Box Organic Gluten Free Graham Crackers (minus one cracker if you plan to use pieces as a garnish after) I used S'moreables by Betty Mills. 
  • 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance (natural vegan butter substitute) or organic extra virgin raw coconut oil. (I used Soy Free Earth Balance) 
  • Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until they are crumbly. 
  • Pour in melted Earth Balance or coconut oil while pulsing until mixture is combined but still crumbly. Do not pulse too much or the mixture will be gooey, and we want crunchy for this recipe. 
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the cupcake papers.

-For the Chocolate cake:
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups raw organic coconut palm sugar or 1 Cup agave
  • 1 cup organic spelt flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoons Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 cup cultured coconut or soy yogurt (plain or vanilla flavor) *if you eat dairy you can use goat or greek yogurt.
  • 2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range *to make vegan substitute two flax eggs. I'll show you how to make flax eggs below.
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan all natural butter substitute) If you can't find this simply use all coconut oil.
  • 2 Table spoons Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mix liquid and dry ingredients separately then combine in a mixer. Cake batter should look like gelato if done properly!
  • Pour cake batter on top of graham cracker crust into the cupcake wells. 
-Chocolate filling
  • For a chewy chocolate filling drop an organic dark chocolate truffle into each cupcake. I used Vegan dark chocolate balls from Whole Foods, you could also use something that resembles a Hershey Kiss (except please don't use processed/artificial chocolate.)
  • Bake until center is set and a tooth pick comes out with a few crumbs on it. If you bake until the tooth pick comes out clean cake will be too dry. 
-Marshmallow topping
  • One 10 oz package of All-Natural Vegan Gluten Free Marshmallows. (I used Dandie's) 
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • Melt both ingredients into a saucepan on low.
  • Pour Marshmallow cream into a frosting/piping bag and top the cooked cupcakes
  • Use a kitchen torch to "toast" the marshmallow. If you don't have a torch try the broiler for a few seconds. Don't walk away from it, sugar burns easily! 


*** To make Vegan-- Substitute two eggs for two Flax Eggs.
Flax egg is 1 TBSP Flax to 3 TBSP water refrigerated for at least 15 min until it is a gummy gelatinous texture. 

***To make Gluten Free sub equal parts Spelt Flour for Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Southern Comfort Food made healthy! Fried Chicken and Cheese Grits

Buffalo Fried Chicken w/ Ranch and Cheese Grits

So we all love comfort food, but everyone knows you gotta keep that tiny waistline. One of the most delicious and equally unhealthy southern dishes that has always been a favorite of mine is Fried Chicken and Cheese Grits. Here is my version of this hearty dish, it's Organic, Gluten Free, and Dairy free.

What you'll need

For the chicken:
Two Organic/Vegetarian Fed/Free Range Chicken Breasts
Organic Quinoa Flour
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Organic Buffalo Style Hot Sauce
Earth Balance Butter (Vegan Butter Substitute)

For the grits:
1 Cup Organic Buckwheat Groats
2 Cups Purified Water
1 Cup Daiya Cheese (Vegan Cheese Substitute)
1/4 Cup Organic Unsweetened Soy or Almond Milk
French Celtic Sea Salt to taste
Organic Black Pepper to taste

For the ranch:
Organic Ranch Packet
Soy Milk

1. Boil the two cups water in a saucepan
2. Clean chicken and pound it out with a meat tenderizer
3. Cut chicken into desired size pieces. I prefer small bite size pieces
4. Dredge the chicken in the quinoa flour
5. Heat 4 tbsp coconut oil in fry pan
6. Pour the cup of Buckwheat Groats into the boiling water and reduce heat to low. Simmer groats covered until all water is absorbed and groats are cooked thoroughly.
7. Add chicken to medium high pan and fry. Continuously stir until chicken is cooked all the way through and crispy.
8. Toss in 1/4 cup Buffalo sauce and 1/4 cup earth balance to chicken. Stir until earth balance is melted and everything is evenly distributed throughout the pan.
9. Stir in 1 cup Daiya cheese to cooked groats until cheese is melted.
10. Add a splash of soy or almond milk to groats, just enough to make sure its creamy.
11. Add salt and pepper to taste

Mix Ranch Powder with Veganaise and soy milk until it is a good taste and consistency

Here are some fun facts about the nutritious ingredients in this recipe.

Quinoa is rich in protein content. In fact, it is a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids, especially lysine, which is required by the body to grow and repair tissues.

Buckwheat contains linoleic acid, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, E, P), essential amino acids, minerals - chromium, copper, manganese, folic acid - and is an excellent source of magnesium.

Coconut oil
In addition to a whole host of amino acids, coconut is also a great source of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, as well as vitamin C and riboflavin (vitamin B2). Also contains Omega 3 fatty acids!