The Easiest Way to Eat Healthier

Let’s talk about healthy eating.

One of my 2016 Resolutions was to eat healthier. I’m one of those and I’m not ashamed of it. (Okay, maybe a little ashamed). And I’m also the kind of person who likes to take the easy way out.  So you can bet the first thing I do is search for some healthy eating hacks that don’t break the bank.

Easy Way to Eat Healthy

 

To do so, I vowed to do more at-home cooking and experiment with healthier recipes.  Which brought back an old best friend into my life:

The Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Easy Way to Eat Healthier
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And no, that is not the name of some new sexually transmitted disease.  It is the name of my favorite kitchen apparatus. And what will be your favorite very, very soon.

This hand-held little wonder will turn vegetables into pasta for just $10 dollars, and five minutes of cranking. And I know that sounded dirty, but that’s not how I meant it so I’m going to pretend I don’t see it even though I called it out. Moving on.

My easiest and go-to meal is sweet potato spaghetti and meatballs.  After work, I can toss some delicious Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs and Trader Joe’s pasta sauce (not sponsored, but totally open to the idea, Joe!) into the microwave to heat up. While doing so, I grab a sweet potato and start twisting it through the Vaggetti, creating sweet vegetable noodles.  If I have them on hand, I’ll crank a carrot or two through there as well.

It takes about 5-7 minutes on medium heat over a skillet with some garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to soften the noodles, and voila, you’ve got yourself a guilt-free but totally satisfying dinner. Toss some parmesan on there too, who cares. You’re eating NOODLES made of VEGETABLES. A little cheese is just your reward for filling up on the good stuff, man. Enjoy that beta-carotene with a size of delicious cheese.

And this is all done in with very little preparation in about 15 minutes– which includes eating time as well. That is, if you’re me and inhale your food before it’s even cool enough to touch.

The possibilities are endless. Prefer something other than a sweet bowl of noodles? Make some zucchini noodles instead and get your greens. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I’ve also seen other suggested noodles include parsnips, squash, eggplant, and turnips.  And spaghetti squash is another personal favorite of mine, so I really don’t think you can go wrong with some Squoodles. Plus, you get to say Squoodles!

Once you have a spiralized slicer, just do a quick Pinterest search and marvel at the dinner ideas. It’s almost absurdly easy to get your vegetables when you have one of these bad boys. Invest in one and you won’t regret it. Plus, you’ll get to add “oodles” pretty much anything, which is always fun.

To get you started, here are some awesome recipes to test out:

BRB while I wipe the drool off my computer keyboard.

Do you have a favorite kitchen appliance that encourages you to eat better, or another healthy eating hack that you swear by? Tell me what it is. I love gadgets!

 

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Fall Skincare Empties: Serums, Pore Strips, and Micellar Water

Reviews of Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, Bioré Pore Strips, Simple Cleansing Micellar Water, L'Oreal Age Perfect Cell Renewal Serum, and DERMAdoctor Ain't Misbehavin' Medicated Acne Control Serum

Y’all know I love skincare posts.  Maybe it’s because I have acne, or what, but I can’t get enough skincare posts. Tell me your good, your bad, and your ugly about the products you try.  I will eat it up with a spoon.That being said, I have been trying a lot of new things the past year, and especially have been trying to test them out the past few months to track some change.  And now that I feel I have a good range of things to show off, allow me to share my thoughts with you:

Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment

This was a trend I jumped on last year.  Totally crazy price-tag be damned, I ordered one as soon as I heard some major gurus spitting it’s praises. Immediately, I wasn’t a major fan, but I wanted to give it time.  I even did a full review of it last year after buying a second bottle. But instead of returning the second bottle, I decided to use it and see if I was wrong.

Nope.  I was right.  This was a total let down for my skin.  I actually finished it up a few months ago, but kept it purposely for this post.  Now I am going to throw it away and enjoy every single moment of it.

L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal (Golden Serum)

Along the same lines, I saw this little ditty in a tiny tester size at Target a few months ago.  I wanted a chemical exfoliator serum (it has LHAs in it, similar to AHAs, check my review of Good Genes I linked above above if you want to know what I’m talking about!), so I thought I’d try it.

I enjoyed using it in the morning, as it definitely gives my skin a glow after application, but I used it daily for about 8 weeks, and didn’t see too much of difference in my actual skin.  I had purchased it in hopes that it would help fade my hyper-pigmentation from my acne, but if it did, I still haven’t noticed.  For people who don’t have bad scarring or red marks and are just looking for an exfoliator or something to help them sparkle underneath their make-up, I’d recommend trying it out.  Though it is really scented, so those with sensitive skin, beware.

DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated Acne Control Serum

I can’t remember if this was recommended to me or if I just grabbed it online, but it became my holy grail acne treatment.  It really calmed my breakouts for awhile, and I just actually purchased a new tube after I squeezed the life out of this one– as you can tell.  It was my ride-or-die, so when I just orderd my second tube after running out for a few weeks, I was super stoked.

Unfortunately, I’m becoming disenchanted with it now that I’m on this second tube.  I apply it after my toner, let it dry while I brush my teeth and change my clothes, and then apply moisturizer.  This has been my routine for as long as I can remember with this product.  With this new bottle, however, it has started balling up on my skin when I apply moisturizer.  Literal tiny white balls, like my moisturizer is rolling the layer up off my skin when I apply it.  Which means two things to me: 1) It’s not soaking in, even though I’m giving it a good 5-10 minutes to do so, and 2) It’s not treating my skin anymore because it can’t soak in.I tweeted DERMAdoctor about it this morning (because I’m that kind of person!) and they responded with “….Generally that means you need to use less. 2 pumps at most and let dry before moisturizer.”

…Mmmkay.

Even though I already only use 1 – 1 1/2 pumps, I am going to try using even less and seeing if it works.  If not, I am going to return the bottle.  I have no time for bad products when it comes to my acne. Especially with it’s higher price tag.

EDITED LATER: I tried using only one pump, and making sure to spread it over my entire face, and not just the lower half of my face like I had been doing.  And what do you know, it stopped balling up on me. Who knew that if you just followed the instructions, products could work?

Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

Tried these for the very first time.  I got a box of 6, was not happy with the price in the first place, and now I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing.  I can very clearly see gunky pores on my nose, and onto the tops of my cheeks (TMI, but totally true).  I tried these –and I’ve used all 6 of them, so I feel like I’ve given it a good try– and I am not impressed.

A few times I tried pulling them off and they left a white layer on my skin, like the strip separated or something, and I had to wash the white layer off. Or, if that didn’t happen, then literally nothing came out of my pores, and I got back a blank strip with no gross but satisfying little gunk lines on it.  I followed the directions, tried making them more wet, less wet, leaving it on for longer, for shorter, etc, but these did just work for me.  If anyone has any other ideas, or has a trick for them, let me know, please!

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

Overall, not impressed, but didn’t hate it. I like having it around for just taking off my make-up because it does a good job of doing so without leaving a film on my face.  But other than that, it didn’t WOW me.  I may repurchase, but I recently switched to oil cleansing my face, which also takes my make-up off amazingly, so I’m not sure if I really even have need for it anymore.

And that’s it.  I’m now testing a new cleanser, which I am loving so far, so I’ll give an update on that at the end of the month.  But that’s it for my finished up products for this fall.Got any skincare favorites you think I should try? Please let me know!

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Current Skincare Routine (For Acne-Prone Skin!)

Cetaphil, Dermadoctor, Boots No.7, Mario Badescu, Simple Skincare, Origins | Candidly Kelsey

It just hit me that for how much I have talked about my skincare and acne woes on my blog, I have yet to share what my actual daily skincare regime is.

Though I’m always trying new things, and there are a few that have stayed tried and true through the long haul.  And as my skin is probably the best that it’s been in a while– due partly to one of my new favorite products, and partly because I’ve gotten on birth control to help control the hormonal acne –I think this is my best routine so far, I thought I’d share!

Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser/Generic for Cetaphil (I’m using Kroger brand at this moment!).  A dermatologist recommended this, as opposed to acne-specific cleansers I had been using.

I swap between the Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion toner at night, which is specific for further cleansing the skin as part of their acne line.  And the Gylcolic Acid Lotion toner, usually in the morning, which is more for gentle exfoliating.  I like to swap them out like this so I’m not overloading my face with different treatments all at the same time, because I like the acne-treat at night.

In the evening, I will move on to my current favorite acne product: DERMADoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated Acne Control Serum.  Ho-ly crap, guys.  Though I’ve raved about Mario Badescu acne products in the past, this has by far surpassed those in effectiveness and ease (SORRY MARIO!! STILL LOVE YA, KISSES).  I will do a whole post on this in the future for any other acne sufferers who are interested, but let’s just say this is my savior and I will bow down to the DERMADoctor Gods for the rest of my life.

In the morning, however, because my active breakouts are mostly gone at this point (knocks on wood), I skip the DERMADoctor and go straight for eye cream, which is the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream.  I’m not a giant fan, but I’m using it up while looking for something else.

In the evening, I use the Boots No. 7 Youthful Eye Serum.

Then I top it off with my favorite moisturizer, which is the Simple Skincare Replenishing Rich Moisturizer.  It is so calming, and just the right amount of richness for me, so I don’t wake up in the morning with an overly oily face.

Aaaaand that’s it.  Simple enough, but working for me really well at the moment.

Got any skincare favorites I should know about? Let me know!

 

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Pizza, Chips, and Macaroni: New Favorite Healthy Recipes

I’ve been experimenting with different healthy recipes lately.  In an effort to bribe myself to eat healthier, going a little more in depth than chicken and vegetables everyday has been helping.

I’ve been looking for good substitutes for some of my favorite indulgences: Kraft Mac and Cheese, Thursday Night Jed’s pizzas, crunchy Chez-Its.  These obviously aren’t exact replacements– no amount of cheese or cream will ever make spaghetti squash rival the deliciousness of really bad, cheap, bleached white flour pasta.  But they’re good for when you’ve got a craving.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Spaghetti Squash Macaroni ‘n Cheese

Oven-baked Chicken Fajitas

Kale Chips and tons of different ways to season them

Homemade Mexican Rice

Chicken and Avocado Salad

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups

And of course, the Sweet Potato Gnocchi recipe I shared last week.

Got a favorite healthy recipe? Let me know! I’m down to try anything.

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Idiot Proof Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I had fancy gnocchi at a fancy Italian restaurant in Chicago about two years ago, and it’s been in my dreams ever since.  Chewy potato dumplings in delicious sauces… basically tiny mashed potato balls.  Fancy Italian carbs?!  I’m so down.

So, like all good curious twenty-somethings, I searched Pinterest for an easy recipe to make my own.  And what’s better than regular potato dough balls?  Sweet potato dough balls.  Say it with me: YAAAAAAAAAAAS.
Full disclosure, I was apparently too lazy to actually click the link to the recipe, and instead just followed the directions in the pin description.  My method was as follows:
Step 1: Cook sweet potato (roast it for better flavor, or boil in microwave for laziness)
Step 2: Mash sweet potato.
Step 3: Add flour until it reaches a dough-like consistency, about 1/2 – 1 cup per potato.  Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Form into gnocchi shapes, and boil until they float.
Optional Step 5: Toss in butter, shredded parmesan and chicken, and then devour like you’ve been stuck on an island for a month without access to what one could loosely refer to as Italian food.
Optional Step 6: Tease your cat with it.
The pin links back to what looks like a delicious recipe from The Kitchen Paper.  In addition to the sauce she calls for, her recipe for the gnocchi gets kind of fancy, calling for adding egg and cheese to the mix before boiling.  Having made it several times using my very stupid simplified recipe above, I think adding the egg and cheese would probably take this to another level.
If that’s your style, that is.  My style is laziness and low standards, but whatever.
The best part of this recipe is that it’s super hard to screw it up, because even if you undercook the potato or overcook the gnocchi, it’s still chunks of sweet potato.  How is that a bad thing?  
Answer: it’s never a bad thing.
Bon Appetit!

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