Being a Taco lover is I made it a mission to find some healthier recipes. Restaurant tacos are exploding with sodium and often enveloped in fried tortillas. Using fresh ingredients to eliminate the sodium was easy but finding a substitute for that oily, crunchy shell not so much! Here is a list of my shell alternatives, ingredient upgrades and tips!
Taco lettuce wraps: What I like about these is that you still get that crunch when you bite into them. I like to use a full romaine leaf for these.
Avocado stuffed tacos: Avocados are a great source of healthy fats. However it’s best to limit your portion to half of an avocado if you’re watching your calories. Depending on the size an average avocado can pack 250 calories! There is a ‘light’ avocado available in supermarkets. It’s larger, has more of a watery then dense taste and of course less calories. The flavor of your taco stuffing completely masks the lack of fat flavor and the texture is identical. I like to use these when I can find them and fill them with meat and tomatoes!
Taco stuffed peppers: This is an easy alternative to a shell. Cut bell peppers down the center, remove the seeds and stem and stuff away!
Taco stuffed sweet potato: This is my favorite of all the options! You’re probably thinking potatoes are high in carbs. Well carbs are not bad for you, especially healthy carbs that come from vegetables vs processed tortilla chips. This is a great post-workout meal!
Lentil Tacos: When you make lentils from scratch they have much less sodium then those you find in a can or frozen. So for my vegan fans consider these protein packed legumes.
Taco shells made out of zucchini and eggs: The best way to make these unique shells is to use zucchini zoodles and chop them up into bite size pieces. Saute them in a pan with egg and create a small omelette, cooking on both sides. Fold them up like a pancake!
Black bean & corn: If you’re looking for a meat alternative try fresh black beans and fire roasted corn. Grille the corn until it has grill marks and then cut it off the cob with a knife (watch your fingers!). Boil the beans yourself to avoid extra sodium. Add cilantro, salt, tomatoes, onions, cumin and jalapenos to taste.
If you’re looking for a way to incorporate more fish into your diet, tacos is a great way. Most people tell me they don’t eat fish because they don’t like the taste. The toppings in a taco can easily mask the fishy undertone and using a less “fishy” fish should help. I like swordfish and tuna. Both are very mild and the texture it more dense than a typical fish. If you don’t have a grille you can use an air fryer to crisp up the fish! This works best with a cod like, white fish. You can even coat them in panko bread crumbs before frying.
Hosting a taco party? For bigger portions consider stuffing spaghetti squash with your taco filling.
Cauliflower crust taco pizza: Cauliflower crust is available at Trader Joe’s and Wholefood stores nationwide. Bake your crust, add your topping, bake again and bam you have a healthy taco pizza!
Mason jar tacos: And last but not least, layer a mason jar with all your favorite taco ingredients. You eliminate the shell and create a portable taco! You can take it to work, have a taco picnic or surprise a hangry boyfriend.
I never would’ve guessed I would be modeling swimwear in my 30’s but here we are!
I was working on an article about the benefits of coconut water when I came up with the idea of a beach photo. I wasn’t too excited about wearing a bikini on film but I used this discomfort to motivate myself at the gym.
Then shopping day came. I tried on 50 bathing suits but none seemed to flatter my shape. Being petite and having a naturally high waist can be a difficult combo to flatter. When I came across Montce and their cheeky, modern designs I rushed to their store in Fort Lauderdale to try them on. I fell in love with their high-waisted sets that fit me so perfectly, flattered my waist, made me look taller and the smooth material was comfortable. Score! Since then I have purchase several more.
What keeps bringing me back is the unique designs. I have linked some their new styles that are truly distinctive compared to the rest of the swim industry. Montce was the first designer to carry high-waisted and high hip items. They have a large selection of custom fabrics and prints that you can’t find elsewhere.
Here are my tips: If you have a store near you check out the sale bins. The majority of the difference between the sale pieces and the new pieces is the color and fabrics. A lot of the sale pieces are just as beautiful.
All the tops come without padding. For a few dollars more you can add a thin pad. I like to add the padding for structure. and I feel like everything is more secure
The suits run small, sizing up is usually a good idea.
They have a variety of butt coverage styles. If you’re ordering online make sure you study the coverage chart before selecting. Their version of Brazilian bottom might be different than yours.
Here are some of my favorites from their newest collection with links!
Pampas Ruffle One Piece– Available on Intermix.com If you sign up for their emails you can get 15% off your order. It comes in petite!
Many young women don’t realize the importance of skincare.
When we’re young we mostly focus onpreventing the occasional breakout, covering up the dark circles under our eyesfrom lack of sleep and not looking pale. Unfortunately, the consequences ofneglecting our skin at this age are harsh! As a medical provider I seeclients of all ages, races and a variety of skin complaints. The number onecomplaint is always age related. In older generations sunscreen wasn’t used,sunbathing was glorified and skincare products didn’t exist. The hardest thingto do as a provider is reverse the signs of aging. Prevention is so criticaland can have such a large long term impact that I can’t stress it enough to myyounger clientele.
Weall know we’re supposed to wear sunscreen and not smoke, but there is so muchmore to skin care especially when preventing signs of aging. Here’s my list:
Don’t neglect your neck and chest. The neck and chest age quicker than your face. The skin on your chest is very thin and it’s takes on pigmentation easily. Count the freckles you have on your chest and multiply that number by 10, that’s about how many sun damaged areas you have that will show up when you’re older as of right now. You have to apply sunscreen with helioplex to this area daily and multiple times if you’re at the beach or exercising outdoors. There are very few treatments that can erase the lines on the chest and the sun spots. You can’t botox or use filler to fix these lines, once they’re there they’re permanent! Your neck is also thin skin and the skin is constantly being stretched by your movements. If you want the skin to stay tight start using a neck cream like <a href="http://“>Nectifirm.
Start using a Retinoid cream. Retional creams have powerful anti-aging properties. They force your skin to constantly regenerate a new fresh layer, leaving you with radiant skin. They can even help treat adult acne and reduce fine lines. There are several options available over the counter or see your provider for a prescription version. They’ll make your skin more photosensitive so you’ll have to wear sunscreen with helioplex during the day. I recommend SkinCeuticals Retinol Cream
Preventative Botox. I realize that many people are hesitant about Botox or think they don’t need it, however Botox is not just for the correction of wrinkles and lines but also to prevent them. Look at the lines on your forehead when you raise your eyebrows. You’ve been creasing those lines for 20-30 years and at some point it will be 50 years! There comes a point where Botox will no longer help reduce that line. The line will be permanently etched into your skin due to the loss of collagen in the skin from the constant creasing. Getting Botox while the lines are mild, paralyzes the skin temporarily so it has a chance to regrow collagen exactly where it was previously creasing. In addition, if you have a Botox treatment every 4-6 months at this age you will need less and less of it as you get older. That will save you a lot of money and you will be getting carded for wine well into your 40’s!
MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE! My younger clients always laugh when I suggest they use a night cream. They think night cream is something from the 1950’s that’s sold on QVC or door to door by Mary Kay reps. If you have dull skin, dry skin, wear foundation or you use acne creams you need a non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores) night cream. My favorite is <a href="http://“>Neutrogena deep moisture night cream. Put it on immediately after the shower, put some on your neck and chest and I like to put some on my legs because they get dry after shaving, but that’s another article.
Wash your face in the shower and stop using towelettes. Whether it’s a cleanser or an acne wash, it’s best to use it while in the shower to ensure no residue is left on your face. Residue from soap leads to bacteria and fungus growth which leads to more acne and build-up of dead skin cells. Towelettes basically spread the dirt and bacteria on your face to different areas. Although they’re convenient they have to go! I suggest trying exfoliant cleaners with medicated beads such as <a href="http://“>Neutrogena Grapefruit Face Wash or the Fresh Star line by Dermaologica (available in my office)
Genetics. Take a look at mom and dad. How is their skin? Do they have a lot of wrinkles, sun damage? Is their skin hanging? We can learn about how our skin will age from our parents. If you’re the spitting image of mom you better believe you’ll have her jowls too. How do you prevent sagging skin? Maintain an effective skin care regimen, avoid smoking, sun exposure, keep the skin tight with PRP facials to boost the collagen, sleep on your back and avoid excessive weight gain.
Start sleeping on your back. Often people have asymmetries in their face. You can prevent an exaggerated flattening on your cheek and drooping on one side by sleeping on your back. You can also prevent wrinkles. This rule also applies to leaning on your hands which stretches your face and repetitively touching or rubbing your face.
Prevent acne before it leaves a scar. Medicated masks and cleansers are important. Another pertinent factor at this age is pregnancy acne. It’s safe to have Lactic acid chemical peels during certain trimesters of your pregnancy. They can help treat the acne and reduce scarring. Remember with everything regarding skin it’s much easier to prevent than to repair. The <a href="http://“>Peter Roth Sulfur Mask is great for acne prone skin and for spot treatments!
What do I do if I already have fine lines, sun spots, acne scars or losing youthful volume in my face? Your custom treatment plan would be based off the depth of damage you already have. In most cases we clear the sun spots first and then start a series of Platelet Rich Plasma facials (vampire facial). This quick, painless procedure is as effective as most lasers and is the only procedure with only 1 day downtime that can actually reverse the signs of aging. There are no injections involved and post procedure redness usually resolves overnight. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) facials, also known as collagen induction therapy provokes your body to rebuild the collagen in your skin for a more youthful skin texture and glow, while reducing fine lines and acne scars. In combination with a skin care regimen you should be able to regenerate new radiant skin and maintain it.
In my practice we offer free consultations so that the clients have an opportunity to discuss all their concerns, explain what’s available to them and realistic expectations. We create custom plans for each client and can even design them around a specific date (for example a wedding). We carry a variety of skin care products in the office and have the ability to order or prescribe whatever you may need. Packages are available for multiple skin treatments and combination therapies.
This is another great transitional outfit. I’m wearing their off the shoulder James top with their Pink Peony Mid-length Sweater and Juliette ankle jeans. My favorite feature of these jeans is that they’re ankle length which is perfect for someone that is petite like myself! I don’t have to roll the hem or have them altered.
*This is a close up of the James Top
Layering is key when transitioning. It allows you to stay warm while featuring more than one new item. Also, the layered pieces can be later worn in spring individually.
This is their I Lilac You Sweater. The color is gorgeous and perfect for rolling into spring. It had a cute knot back and I wore one of their bralettes with the outfit. I am also wearing their Brook Jeans!
This is my last outfit! This isn’t necessarily a transitional outfit but it is a great date outfit! This beautiful silky top is so flattering. It’s cut to taper into the waist and the back is open. It’s called the Backless Betty Top! The beautiful burnt orange color even makes me look tan!
We took the funicular to the ferry into the city of Lucerne. This is a very walkable town. On the outskirts is the large Musegg wall which was built in the 14th century. 4 of the 9 towers of this wall are still remaining and you can climb the very narrow steps into the top of the wall. You can also cross the historic Chapel Bridge that’s covered in beautiful flowers and original paintings, constructed in 1333. Another historic area is the famous Lion Monument. It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. It it much, much larger in person than in photos. We walked about 10 miles just in this city so we even out the calorie loss with sampling swiss chocolate!
On the last part of our trip in Switzerland we took the train to Lugano. Lugano is a small city on the Italian border. It’s a mix of mountains and lake. We stayed at Hotel Villa Principe Leopoldo & Spa. We stayed here not only for the amazing view (see our last photo) but because they have a Michelin rated restaurant on site. They have a small pool but their rooms are gigantic with a huge terrace! I would definitely recommend this hotel and suggest making a reservation for their restaurant in advance. They only serve for one sitting and then they close. I included some of our food photos below.
When enhancing the lips there aretwo routes to consider: Dermal fillers and Platelet Rich Plasma.
Dermal fillers are used to add shape, structure and volume to the lips.They are made of a liquid gel called Hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a naturalsubstance found in our bodies. The version used in medical offices is producedby bacteria in a lab and is sterile.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a protein and growth hormone rich solution derived from the clients own blood. Blood is drawn just like it would be for a normal doctor visit, only a few tablespoons are needed. Since PRP comes directly from the client there is no risk for allergic reaction. PRP provides small amounts of volume and stimulates the body to regrow collagen in the lips over time.
Whywould you use choose one product over another?
Both Dermal fillers and PRP havetheir benefits. Dermal fillers offer immediate volume, they’re longer lastingand dissolvable. PRP offers a temporary enhancement allowing you try out a pairof voluminous lips before committing to more treatments or a dermal filler.This treatment is desirable for those who have had reactions to dermal fillersor are uncomfortable with the use of dermal filler.
Howlong will it last?
Depending on the brand of dermalfiller used, your lip filler can last from 6 months to 1 year. One treatment ofPRP will last 1-2 weeks, after 3 treatments you can expect a natural growthover the course of 6 months.
Whichbrand of dermal filler is right for me?
After discussing the goal you wouldlike to achieve during a consultation with our provider, the provider willchoose the brand that’s most suitable for the desired result.
We take every precaution to keep youcomfortable. We apply numbing cream before the procedure AND every product weuse contains a numbing agent. In addition, you have the choice of having adental block where, you’re entire mouth will be numbed by intraoral injections.
Howlong will I be swollen or bruised?
This is entirely patient dependent.We advise avoiding alcohol, vitamins, NSAIDS (ibuprofen, aleve, advil) for 48hours prior to your procedure to decreased bruising. Applying ice after theprocedure can help reduce swelling. Arnica cream, which is readily availableover the counter at all pharmacies, can also help resolve bruising. Mostbruises can be easily covered by makeup. If you have a bleeding disorder or aretaking blood thinners make sure to alert your provider. It’s best not to planany important events or photos until one week after the procedure.
Whatif I don’t like the way they look?
The initial volume associated withPRP injections resolve on its own in a few days to one week. Dermal fillers canbe easily dissolved in minutes with injection of a dissolving agent.
Howmuch does it cost?
Pricing for dermal fillers dependson the amount you receive and the brand. For example one full syringe ofJuvederm Ultra, which lasts one year, is $600. Currently this is the mostpopular brand due to its lasting ability. If it any time you decide to dissolveyour filler the fee is $350.
Whatabout cold sores?
If you have an active cold soreinfection you’ll have to wait until it has cleared to undergo injections. Ifyou have a history of cold sores, but no active infection you may undergo theprocedure. Lip injections can trigger an outbreak. Be sure to let your providerknow so they can give you a prophylactic antiviral medication to prevent theoutbreak.
Mylips are naturally uneven can that be fixed?
It’s very common for people to haveasymmetries in their face. Usually one side of the face is smaller orflattened. It could be genetic or if you’re a side sleeper it could be the sideyou sleep on. Think of the right and left side of your lips as a balloon, ifone balloon is large than the other and I add one cup of fluid to each balloon,one balloon will still be larger. Corrections can be made however, it’s nearlyimpossible to correct 100% without correcting the entire side of the facethat’s affected. Discussing asymmetries with your provider is advised toexplain realistic expectations.
I have four jobs! Yes you read that correctly four. Being able to quickly transition between different offices, meetings and social events can be difficult to navigate. Not to mention I am not a morning person and like to throw on my clothes and run out the door, there is not time for debating tops! Since I wear a lab coat at two of my jobs I also need light weight, comfortable pieces that allow my skin to breathe, that doesn’t cut my circulation off when I sit at my desk and shoes that won’t hurt my feet after I walk 17k steps a day.
Here is my list of go to pieces!
Knee length skirts. They’re comfortable, light and appropriate. I prefer them high-waisted to create a long lean look. I’m petite and don’t want to look any shorter than I already am! Click on this link for my favorite skirt, it’s from Express
Favorite top: The slim-fit sleeveless portofino shirt from express. I have this shirt in 8 colors! It is the perfect length (covers the booty), it’s light weight and breathable and it comes in so many colors and patterns that you can find one to match anything!
Athelta Herringbone Mercer Tight (THEY’RE ON SALE!!) These pants are amazing! They look like work pants, they’re a heavier material with a very work appropriate herringbone pattern. Here’s the trick, they feel like yoga pants!!!! They stretch, they bend, don’t believe me order a pair! I have recommended these pants to many people and I have never heard a complaint. When you visit the Athleta website make sure you zoom in on the pattern so you can see what they really look like. The photo show is a little deceiving. In person they truly look just like tailored work pants. They come in Navy and Grey. I wear them both with my Black portofino shirt.
Do you want to look trendy and still be comfortable? This next shirt is for you! The Leopard Print Camp Shirt from Ann Taylor. This is what I love about Ann Taylor, they carry every size! Plus to petite. We all know animal prints are hot right now but it’s hard to find a print that’s really pretty. Sometimes the colors are too warm, too gold, too muted. This shirt is a perfect print. And they have 40% off sales all the time, so you can definitely score a deal!
Here’s my last staple: Full Length Align Pants from Lululemon. So you’re thinking I can’t wear workout pants to work. Well think again! These babies are matte. I buy them in black and they look just like any other legging pants. When paired with the shirts above, your booty is covered and no one can tell the difference. I wear them with my Toms flats and frolic comfortably around my office. These are a godsend on bloated days. They’re also high-waisted and give you support all day.
Although we didn’t travel during their famous Tulip season we did visit a tulip store. I had read that most of the bulbs they sell are a scam, they don’t grow or there’s less in the bag than stated. So we didn’t buy any but it was nice to see all the varieties available.
These house boats are all over the main canals. Each one is unique and decorated differently. As you can see in this photo they often have smaller boats attached that they use for travel and the house boat mostly stays in place all year long.
This is dam square. Lots of performers and protests in this area. It’s a great spot for people watching.
Last and not least dinner! We had the most amazing food at a tiny boutique like restaurant that we found on tripadvisor at the last minute. Pictured are the stairs to the bathroom. All the stairs in Amsterdam were like this. We don’t advise this city for elderly people or those afraid of heights. This staircase was about 25 feet long and winding.
Lake Como, located in Northern Italy is a large lake surrounded by small ports to very small towns. We stay in Tremezzo at The Grand Hotel Tremezzo. The service at this hotel was in the best in our entire 2 week honeymoon trip. The food was amazing both in the hotel and in the towns. My favorite meal was a $10 pizza we had just 5 blocks from our hotel. This hotel is one of a kind with several restaurants, a daily wine tasting, candy in the lobby, an outrageous breakfast buffet, a pool in the lake, a 3 floor gym, an outdoor pizza oven, spa and fabulous rooms.
There are a few hiking paths worth mentioning. There is a very small trail right on the hotel grounds that leads to a nice view of the mountains. There is another trail about 3 hours long that takes you through the domestic areas, passed farms and into a mountain to a church. If you’re taking this trail go prepared with a map, water and food. Also there is no cell service on this trail so only go if you’re physically fit and with a group of people. You” see some grapevines along the way, cows (stay away they can be dangerous) and you’ll find some local hidden restaurants.
You can take ferries to all the towns on the lakes. The town of Bellagio was our favorite and the most populated with stores and eateries. We did visit some of the other towns but I honestly wouldn’t recommend any of them.
Meditation is a proven method of relieving stress. Starting and ending your day with this practice can improve your life overall. Before jumping into meditation some practitioners believe you need to realign your chakra’s to remove any negative energy effecting your body. I have attached a link to a youtube video that helps you reset your charka’s in 7 minutes. Even if you think this is silly or doesn’t work it’s 7 minutes you’ll spend doing nothing but focusing on relaxing. That alone will improve your overall health. Think of this as a start meditation video. Click here to watch!