Fall in Florence

Ciao from Florence! After a long plane ride across the pond, a brief overnight in London & a 2-week orientation in Marina di Pietrasanta, I am finally feeling settled in Firenze! Although I am still getting used to the change of lifestyle, I am very excited for what is to come in the next 3 months abroad. . .

easelly_visual

1. Hervé Chapelier - Durable, carry-on bag for weekend trips {Next stop: French Riviera!}

2. Military Jacket - Lightweight & neutral for the crisp fall days

3. HUE Leggings -  Stretchy & comfortable, these are absolute must-haves! {especially on those days you plan on having that extra panini at lunch. . .}

4. Lululemon – A staple for anyone trying to stay fit in style

5. Sperrys -  A cute & supportive shoe to wear while touring the city

6. Sisco + Berluti Stacks – My suitcase just wouldn’t be complete without my stacks {even if they were the reason my bag was overweight . . . resulting in a very heavy carry-on when I had to take them out!}

+ enough tanks, sweaters, boots, leather jackets, scarves, sneaks, high-beam & other odds and ends to fill up two overstuffed suitcases & a carry-on bag!

InFATuated

Yes, I have officially become infatuated with the fat.

avo forwardAvocado has stolen the spotlight in the majority of my dishes–both sweet and savory–because of its its creaminess & versatility. It serves as a flavorful topper to a salad, a thick spread to a sandwich, a chunky dip with some chips, a creamy agent in a smoothie (with no added taste!), and a perfect pair with ripe tomatoes (with a sprinkle of sea salt).salad shrimp plateForget about fearing the fat and focus on becoming infatuated.

avo sideeeHealth Benefits of Avocados:

  • Full of heart healthy monounsaturated fat
  • Monounsaturated fats aid in the absorption of antioxidants (lycopene and beta-carotene)
  • Meals with small amounts of fat will leave you feeling full & satisfied
  • Monounsaturated fats can help maintain moisture levels in the epidermal layer of your skin, making it look & feel healthy
  • Good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C,K, folate, and B6
  • Aids in lowering cholesterol levels & regulating blood pressure

salad shrimpGrilled Shrimp Topped with Guacamole & Pico de Gallo

Perfecting the Parfait

Breakfast parfaits are one of the most pretty & tasty morning treats.. but how healthy are they? Here are some pointers on how to perfect the parfait:

- Yogurt: Opt for plain, unsweetened yogurt. Many yogurts are loaded with high fructose corn syrup which is high in carbs & sugar. For an additional protein punch choose Greek yogurt.

- Fruit: Pile on the fruit! Not only will it add an extra burst of sweetness, but also a healthy dose of vitamins. Blueberries are my personal favorite & loaded with antioxidants.

- Crunch: Sprinkle almond slices, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, or a little low-sugar cereal or granola. Limit granola to 1/4 cup because it tends to be high in sugar & calories.

- When done right, the layers of creamy yogurt, juicy fruit & crunchy grains can make a satisfying snack or breakfast that is packed with protein & fiber.

Screen shot 2013-08-13 at 12.49.42 PM Screen shot 2013-08-13 at 12.49.19 PMScreen shot 2013-08-13 at 1.15.53 PM

Stacked Up Smoothie

While interning at Sisco+Berluti, stacking is always on the mind. Finding the right colors and textures that will complement each other when layered together is a true delight. Every time I create a stack, I indulge in the endless possibilities of unexpected pairings of arm candy. I love changing things up and making a new creation from bracelets that I already own.bracelet stack postWith stacking on the mind, I was inspired to try something new: a stacked smoothie. I layered a thick blueberry smoothie over a ripe peach & banana smoothie, and let me tell you, the end result was a perfect stack.

photo 5photo-58

Stacked Up Smoothie

1 serving

  • 1 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c. frozen ripe peaches
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 c. frozen blueberries
  • 5 ice cubes
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Stevia to taste
  • Combine the milk, Stevia, cinnamon, peaches, ice, banana & peaches and blend until smooth. Pour half of the smoothie into a glass. Add in the  blueberries and blend until smooth.  Pour the remainder on top of the banana & peach smoothie. Top with fresh berries or granola. Enjoy!

Unwrapping the Sushi Roll

Without a doubt one of my favorite foods is sushi- the smooth wrapping of nori around the sticky bundle of rice, creamy chunk of avocado, crunchy cucumber, and fresh piece of salmon is simply the perfect combination in my mind.  Add in a side of seaweed salad, pickled ginger and a little soy sauce and my meal is complete.

quinoaBut before you break the chopsticks, sharpen up on the following facts that you might have wished had come in your fortune cookie.

Fish: tuna, yellowtail, salmon, or shrimp

*Be aware that many crab rolls use imitation crab instead of the real thing

Rice: brown, black, multi-grain, quinoa or none. These options are full of complex carbs & fiber. One of my favorite rolls is riceless and simply wrapped with cucumber!

*White rice is high in simple carbs which digest quickly & will leave you feeling unsatisfied

Tempura:  battered and deep-fried, try to avoid these rolls & instead add some crunch with fresh cucumber

*If you’re really craving the crispy crunch, stick to one roll

Inside: any fruits or veggies- my favorites are cucumber, mango & avocado

*Avoid heavy additives such as cream cheese and mayo

Sauces: low-sodium soy sauce & wasabi is a flavorful combo that is low in calories

*Spicy mayo is high in fat & sauces (eel) are normally high in sugar. Ask for the sauce on the side and instead use it as a dip!

Keep in mind- sushi can be a very healthy, balanced meal of carbs, protein and healthy fats when done right. Don’t be afraid to try new things & if you are choosing to indulge, balance it out with a simple salmon, tuna, or veggie roll!