Everyone loves a good mixed drink but none of us love the calories it comes with. Simple syrup is an easy way to make your waistband expand, so I’ve been using a skinny version that I have used over the years and recently perfected with my use of Young Living Essential Oils Orange Oil (Here’s a link to save 24% on oils; post on how Young Living changed my life coming soon!). This simple syrup can be refrigerated after cooled to use other times as well. I do a few different versions of this, including a blueberry simple syrup for my blueberry margarita that’s to die for! Check out this lovely recipe and let me know what you think!
Skinny Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup Splenda/Truvia or any other zero calorie powdered sugar substitute
1-3 drops of Orange Young Living Essential Oil (click the link to get them at a 24% discount as a wholesaler! If you don’t have this and are making my Skinny Margarita, add some fresh squeezed orange juice to margarita)
Take pot and pour water into pot. Place on stove and bring to a rolling boil
Add sugar substitute slowly to the pot stirring to dissolve until you have poured all the sugar in.
Remove from heat and let it cool.
Bet you didn’t think it was that easy did you? Takes no more than about 5-10 minutes to do and once it’s cooled you can use it in recipes like my Perfect Skinny Mango Margarita recipe and other that are soon to come on the blog!
Growing up your parents always told you that your sibling was your first friend. In my case my first friend came out about 4 years after I did, so was pretty excited and apprehensive. Fast forward to today, we have weathered our parents’ divorce, lived thousands of miles away from each other, talked and laughed until we cried, and hugged it out or punched it out depending on the day. Today things are a little different because he and I are both adulting but I had tried to take the role of a third parent to try to guide him. I have shed many tears, carried lots of stress internally, and even popped a few pimples because of my worries.
This doesn’t just happen with family, but can also happen with our closest friends. It’s a fine line that we walk on between wanting to be helpful and being a complete enabler. I made many excuses for him to my parents, justified what he did, and even insisted that they were not being considerate enough when talking to him. It took me a long time to realize that I was not helping him, I was enabling him to continue on the path he was on. Now mind you, my brother is not addicted to hardcore drugs or anything like that, but addiction comes in many forms and so do enablers. I put my foot down not too long ago with great difficulty, but it has changed my life for the best. I love him and will always be there for him, but I cannot continue letting him steal my happiness if he is not willing to help himself.
He may be mad about me posting this, but this is a way for me to cope and hopefully the light I shed on the ways our relationship has changed will help someone who’s struggling with supporting their loved one from a distance.
Be a Supporter, not an Enabler
Ever seen the show Intervention? It was one of my favorites when I was in college. I had to close my eyes with all the needle parts, but it was fascinating. The show highlighted addicts but it also showed the enablers that fed into the addict’s lies and helped them ultimately get what they wanted. Now, I am not throwing shade at these people because when you love someone, you’ll do anything to help them and see them happy. But at what cost? Stop and ask yourself every time you think of sending/lending money to that person if you are sending it to them because you know they will be using it for what’s right? If it’s groceries they need, get them a grocery store gift card. If they need some things for school, send them an office supply store gift card or an Amazon.com one. Don’t be fooled by elaborate stories they tell you otherwise you’re only hurting them, not helping.
Think of this as your “terms and conditions.” When I finally decided enough was enough, I had to create some boundaries. I wanted to make sure he knew that I was serious and that he had to meet my terms and conditions before I will speak to him again. I told him to please only contact me if he has made the right steps needed to better himself and his life. This put the ball in his court because he knows clearly what I want, and what I will ask him about if he does decided to contact me. I was always running around alongside my mom trying to pick up the pieces for him, offering to help him get a job where he was, but all it did was stretch me thin and cause stress. You have to remember that you can’t help those who are not ready to help themselves, but you can help jump start their recovery by setting some clear boundaries.
Open Up, Don’t Bottle Up
Ever seen a volcano explode? Me either, but when I see it on TV or online I realize the amount of damage that it causes to surrounding areas. That’s what happens when you bottle things up. We all, especially women, like to think we are so strong and can handle anything without having to talk about it. And then one day a lady cuts in front of you at the pharmacy and YOU LOSE YOUR SHIT. Normal? I think not, but I’m sure it’s happened to every one of us. Talk it out. It doesn’t matter who you choose to talk to about it but it’s important that you share how you are feeling for YOUR sanity and also bounce ideas off of a somewhat objective party. As fantastic as my fiancé has been with supporting me through this, my boss has been a great blessing as well. He’s gone through similar stuff so that helps to talk to him. Can’t tell you the times that he’s made me feel like I was not going crazy.
Remember the definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If what you’ve been doing to cope with your sibling or friend’s issues has not been working, STOP AND REEVALUATE! Talk it out, find a new way to support them, or just step back from the situation all together. Though these choices may be hard, they are necessary and could possibly save your loved one in the end.
Have you dealt with a friend or family member that it has been difficult to support because of their choices? Share your story below or leave some suggestions!
As you probably realized in my first recipe post, I love me some breakfast. I think it’s a meal that people tend to forget about until they have some time to make it on the weekend, but I make sure I get that meal in every day. I used to get up early and make breakfast for my fiancé and I but I realllyyyyyyyy also like sleep, so I re-evaluated what I should be doing.
I remembered my days of meal prepping. Back before I met John I was basically a 20 something obsessed with working out, sitting by the pool when the weather was good, and eating super healthy. I still love those things but I was kind of crazy before and I’ve definitely have found a middle ground for myself by following IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros, more on that in another post).
So with my new eating style of actually being a normal person and eating carbs (again, based on my macros) and my dire need for sleep and meal prep, I decided to do some digging around for a cool egg recipe I could make and modify to my liking. I found a bunch, but the one that I have on this post is officially my favorite version I have perfected. If you’re single, freeze/refrigerate these and pop them in the microwave/oven. They’ll be delicious even heated up later and should last you for the work week. If you’re in a relationship, he/she may want two for themselves so it may only last a couple of days. Go crazy with the veggies if you don’t like the ones I picked, I promise I won’t get offended!
I hope you enjoy it and if you try it, please leave a comment below!
Egg Casserole-Breakfast for the week!
Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
1 13×9 pan
Olive Oil spray
1 tbsp olive oil
2 small sweet potatoes, shredded (1 large is fine, just make sure it covers the baking dish)
1 cup mushroom, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup spinach
1 tsp garlic salt
6 egg whites (liquid substitute is fine just remember 3tbsp = 1 egg)
6 strips of uncured turkey bacon (I like Plainville but you can use anything you’d like or you can choose to use chicken sausage and I like al Fresco and I would use 4 total)
¾ cup of shredded cheese of your choice (I prefer sharp)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Spray bottom of the pan with olive oil spray to make sure it does not stick
After shredding the sweet potato, take a cheese cloth (if your fancy, I either use a clean dishcloth or paper towels) and squeeze out some of the water that is naturally in the sweet potato. This will help the crust cook a bit faster
Line the bottom of the pan with the sweet potato. This will serve as your hash brown crust to give you those good carbs your body loves!
Bake sweet potato for 20 minutes.
While sweet potato is cooking in the oven, heat up a saucepan at medium high heat.
Once warm, add olive oil and chopped veggies. Add garlic salt and sauté until soft. Add in chopped chicken sausage/turkey bacon and heat through (most of these are somewhat cooked and will cook more in the oven)
Crack eggs and add egg whites to a bowl and whisk until yolks have been broken. Add sautéed veggies to the egg mix. Mix in shredded cheese.
Remove the sweet potato from the oven. I add a little olive oil/cooking spray just because I’m paranoid about it sticking and being a mess. Add egg mixture to the sweet potato and place back in oven.
Bake for 20-30 minutes based on oven. Cut into 8 squares once cooled and store for eating later or serve immediately!
What’s your favorite breakfast? Are you a fan of egg recipes or would you like to see some other breakfast recipes from The Fit Britt? Share your comments below!
Memorial Day is coming up and if you’re anything like me, you’re terrified of going anywhere for all of the deliciousness that may derail your otherwise perfect diet (total sarcasm here but you know what I mean). I spent a lot of years as a lacto-ovo pescatarian (a person who gives up pork, chicken, turkey, and beef but loves seafood and eggs/dairy). It was a good 6 years (2008-2014) because I learned a lot about how to properly fuel my body. I learned how to cook which sparked a passion in me that I love to share with others.
Sometimes it was hard to come up with a variety of things to eat so that I wouldn’t get bored and turn to unhealthy fast food options (I pretty much don’t eat fast food minus places like Starbucks for breakfast when I’m on the road for work). I turned to dear old Skinnytaste every moment I got because she had an index of a ton of recipes that were friendly to my diet.
Fast forward to 2017. I now eat chicken and turkey but still haven’t touched beef or pork in almost 10 years, but sometimes I catch myself still eating like a pescatarian, especially when I am out of town for work since it’s just me eating and I don’t have to worry about my fiancé getting tired of having seafood too often. I have fallen in love with a recipe from Skinnytaste that I have adapted over time to make it more Fit Britt flavored (love me some garlic salt!).
So below is my recipe for Lazy Girl Ceviche, a dish that will satisfy others and yourself (I have made this for friends and it was HUGE hit). Ceviche typically takes a few hours to make and is delicious, but I always run short on time doing this thing called “adulting” (yeah I know, lame right?). This is great to bring to a cook out or just to enjoy on a lazy summer afternoon. To eat it, you can be a creep like me and eat it without chips or with cucumbers (low carb, low calorie, and serving of veggies) or with my favorite Baked Ritz Crackers (Sour cream for me please!)
Check it out and let me know what you think!
Lazy Girl Ceviche (Modified from Skinnytaste Zesty Shrimp and Lime Salad)
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 bag of cooked (frozen or fresh) shrimp (12 or 16 ounces, your choice)
¼ cup of sweet white onion (about a quarter/half of a whole one)
2 limes juiced
½ tsp garlic salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 ½ tbsp cilantro
Chop onion, juice limes, and add oil and garlic salt to a bowl. Set aside.
Defrost shrimp if frozen and chop into bite size pieces. Set aside
Chop tomato, avocado (careful not to smash avocado when doing this!)
Add shrimp to onion mixture and mix. Add tomato and cilantro and stir that bad boy up. Lastly, add the avocado and carefully mix it as to not smash the avocado
Eat until you’re content!
And that’s it! It’s just that easy and is an INSTANT party pleaser! Partner it up with my skinny margarita (featured later this week) and you’ll be on your way to being the fittest party girl you’ve ever seen! Enjoy!
How do you try to stay fit during the summer holidays with all these cookouts? What are your favorite recipes?
Raise your hand if you love to travel! I have to say that traveling is my #1 favorite thing to do with my money because I feel that experiences will last so much longer than that $1000 Louis Vuitton purse or $300 Jordan’s you’ve been eyeing. Many people assume I make the big bucks or just charge a lot on my card in order to travel like I do, but I actually take the time to budget my trips, plan strategically, and stay the course in order to make our travel dreams come true. 99% of the time I pay for my trip in cash or pay it back on my card within a week (I use my Discover card sometimes to get that wonderful cashback and just pay it off).
If you’re reading this after I post it, you’re catching me about a week out from a Disney Trip I started planning sometime last year. I’ve saved so much money but yet managed to travel at a great time of year—so how did I do it? I’ll share the details of that specific trip in a few weeks with some fantastic pictures and all about how I did it!
Not sure how to get started? Scared to travel alone? Now this blog is not exclusively a travel blog, but my friend Courtney definitely has some more information about seeing the world on her blog Thirty30Courtney. I’ve got some amateur advice for you so scroll down to see how I save money and plan a badass vacation…
How do I Save?—Apps, Points, and More
Saving money is always a tough thing but the good thing is that we live in the age of technology! We have tools available to us that can make saving so much easier. One that I have personally been using is Digit which is a great tool to take small amount of money out of your account without you even noticing. You can adjust how aggressive you want it to save for you and even put in specific goals and deadlines you have to save for!
I also love to use hotel and airline points. My advice: find one or two of each and stick to it. My preferred partners are Hilton, Delta and Southwest (No thanks United!) because they all give decent rewards and a decent amount availability. If you use Hilton be sure to sign up for all of the double and triple opportunities with them! You tend to get treated even better when you are a part of these hotel programs as you start to accrue points. Half of our one week stay in Disney/Universal Studios was paid for because of points!
I also love using travel agents if you need some time to pay things off. My favorite one is Dream Vacations. You get plenty of time to pay off your cruises or other vacations through them which makes it kind of like a short term bill in my opinion. I usually put down a couple hundred a month which makes $1000 looks much better than having to pay it all at once.
AirBnB is also a great option! I have only used it a couple of times but the experience has been great. I know this is a big one for people who are traveling in Europe. I’ve seen rooms for like $20 a night and no, it didn’t look like a creepy dank room where you’ll wake up with someone standing over your bed braiding your hair. Just be sure to look at reviews and ask about any hidden clean up costs or deposits that might cause your price to go up.
The 3 D’s–Destination, Determination, Deliberation
Why yes, that is a Harry Potter reference but also a motto to live by when it comes traveling the world. Determining the destination can be difficult but only if you’re really picky about what time of year to travel. We don’t have kids so we don’t normally have to travel when they are on break, so we pick times of the year where we know that they will be in school to avoid crowds. Also, it’s a very good idea to check out if there are any national holidays at that time if you’re traveling abroad as this can spike prices as well. We usually travel in April/May (be careful with Easter falling late and Memorial Day!) and September/October (Labor Day can be tough but most of the other time you’ll be good). We like warm weather vacations and those times of year allow us to escape a lot of crowds and high costs. You don’t have spring or summer break any more so think outside of the box when it comes to when you are going to travel.
Determination is important because, honey, it’s going to take some to save up for this! Depending on what type of trip you’re trying to plan you may have to cut down on some spending to make it work. No more sushi dates and movies on weekend evenings if you want to save up! But there are always alternatives especially if your partner is on board with all of this. Rent movies from Redbox (make sure to return them the next day please!), find Groupons to save money and try new places, or even find a recipe to make together to make up for that date night that you guys used to have and grab a bottle of wine. That old $60 date can turn into a $20 date pretty easily and without much sacrifice if you are determined to see the world.
Deliberation usually occurs if you’re not traveling alone. Sometimes it’s really hard to figure out where you want to go! There are so many amazing places in the world and if you’re like me, you want to see as many of them in this lifetime as possible. I suggest using things like Kayak’s Explore function and put the length of your trip, home airport, and price range in to give you some unique ideas on where you can go. I also like to do a lot of research on travel blogs. Minus the one I mentioned earlier, you may want to check out travel posts from LiveLifeWell as she does many trips with couples, girlfriends, and family.
The People You Bring Will Make or Break Your Trip
I cannot emphasize this enough. Just because you’re BFFs at work or regularly doesn’t mean that you travel well together. I have traveled with groups I knew like the back of my hand (or at least thought I did) and groups that I barely knew (that I came to love and cherish) so here’s my advice: go with people who have similar styles as you. For example, I take about 20-30 minutes MAX to get ready (mainly because of my amazingly low maintenance hair), so I have a hard time traveling with people who take more than an hour to get ready (I can handle it if we’re going to a nice dinner but to go to the beach???). I feel antsy, annoyed, and quite frankly like I am wasting my time. I also don’t do well with SUPER cheap people. I may be money conscious about saving to take the trip but I also try to keep a sizable amount of money to enjoy myself when I get there. What’s the point of going somewhere where I have to sacrifice learning and experiencing the culture because I’m too cheap to pay more than $5 for lunch? For some of my friends, that’s not important, but I love to eat and drink, so I am going to save my money for those experiences when I travel. Roll with people who are willing to spend what you’re willing to spend.
Splitting the bill also may be something you have to consider when you’re traveling with others. Set up accounts with Venmo or check what bank they have so you can send money quickly to each other when you have that illustrious Wifi connection. Also make sure you don’t jampack your days so that you don’t come back more exhausted than you are when you left for your trip. We like to take naps on vacation and have days where we just kind of chill, so if that’s you, make sure you’re vocal with your travel partners.
Back in my first post I tried to explain that being “fit” isn’t all about being physically fit. I hope that after this post you realize that being culturally fit—seeing and traveling the world and exploring new cultures—is not as difficult to attain as maybe it was 20-30 years ago. Your journey to being culturally fit starts by taking a chance and trying to see what you need to do to make it happen because, my friend…it is very possible.
I am hoping to see as many cultures, countries, and people in this world as I possibly can, are you? How do you find ways to save money when traveling? Where are some places you’re hoping to go this year? Where would you suggest?
Do you sound like Ruby from this episode of Blackish? Are you constantly questioning people’s choice in food? When I saw this plus a couple of comments on good ol’ Facebook, I knew I wanted to write about these “health haters”.
Let’s be real. Part of being fit has nothing to do with what goes on externally as far as your physical appearance. It also deals with what goes into your body. I try to avoid things like processed food, ridiculous amounts of sugars (but hell, I love margaritas and brownies…balance right?) but it seems that when we start to make lifestyle changes when it comes to food, everyone’s got an opinion about what’s right and what’s wrong. I’ve chosen to follow a flexible dieting plan called if it fits your macros (#iifym for short) and I love it! What I don’t love is when people try to tell me what I should and should not be eating. I have educated myself over the past four years on how certain foods affect your body and I know what works for ME. Remember my last blog post when I shared that being fit is all about what you believe works for you, not what everyone else things.
“Oh that’s loaded with sugar alcohols, you shouldn’t have that.”
“That’s loaded with sodium, you shouldn’t drink that.”
“You really shouldn’t have that second glass of wine if you’re trying to lose weight”
“Ew, cauliflower mashed potatoes. No thanks, I don’t think I’ll try that.”
Whose business is it what you eat and drink? Who says that isn’t a cheat meal or in your macronutrient count for the day? Now I’m not saying you should call yourself “fit” from the inside when you eat McDonald’s fried chicken sandwiches every day multiple times of day. I love things like Halo Top and other delicious items that do have sugar alcohols in them as well. And I surprisingly have a pretty good grasp on controlling my sugar cravings when I supplement things like that in my diet. I used a great IIFYM calculater (I’ll post how and why I count my macros in another post…can’t spoil all the fun now!) and I account for everything I eat on MyFitnessPal, good and bad. It’s called flexible dieting…look it up.
And why are people always hating on people who are trying to swap unhealthy foods for a healthier alternative? One big one I saw recently was someone hating on cauliflower mashed potatoes and saying they would never try it. How do you know you won’t like it? It’s not like asking you to eat raw fish (which is delicious, thank you!), it’s asking you to make a healthier choice to have a meal that feels satisfying. For someone who loves mashed potatoes, it may be hard to give them up for the sake of losing weight, but having something that satisfies that craving and gives you the consistency and flavor you’re looking for, why not give it a try? I notice a lot of this talk happening in the black community (I am about to get a little controversial, sorry). I love my fellow black people, but our rate of diabetes, heart disease, and other weight related issues is always on the rise. Many of us struggle to make the steps necessary to lose the weight and get healthy, so when you see someone trying, don’t bash their decisions to make a healthy choice, try to uplift and encourage them. Maybe it’s hard for them to get vegetables in their diet because they just really hate the way they taste and they found that cauliflower mash is an easy way to get that food group in their diet.
It’s hard enough to take the first step, so here are some ways you can support others that are on a journey to be more healthy, and ultimately, more fit. Be open minded, you never know what may change your life and outlook on health and fitdom…
Don’t knock it til you try it! You never know if you like something until you try. Try googling what I mentioned earlier—cauliflower mashed potatoes (Check out a recipe for cauliflower mash here and a few more delicious ones!). If you google cauliflower mash or look it up on Pinterest like I did, you’ll even get hundreds of positive reviews about them on various sites. I challenge you to give it a whirl!
Ask the person what they like about it—people often like to share their journey when asked about it, especially if they really like what they made. I promise you they will want to talk about their experience and you showing your support by asking is a great way to help make them feel assured and more confident about their choice
If you’re the one getting hated on, remember you’re doing this for YOU. I’m sure by now you’ve checked out my first post and saw that I’m all about redefining what it means to be fit. You chose to eat the way you do now because YOU want to see change for YOURSELF (right?). Don’t let the haters get you down because they’ll always be there. But for every one of them, there’s ten more people that love and support you (like me!).
Do some research and take baby steps—I love all the recipes on skinnytaste.com. She has fantastic recipes and substitutes for many of our favorite comfort foods and you won’t even feel bad about it. I have made probably over 50 recipes from her page (many of which I’ve added my own twist and will review here) and I have been happy with EVERY ONE OF THEM! Don’t take my word for it—ask my friends who’ve come over for some of our parties. Check out my first recipe I created here.
Do something daring. I did this back in 2008 when I decided that I was only going to eat seafood and give up all meat. At the time I BARELY ate fish and had to force myself to get creative because I knew I couldn’t live off of shellfish (well I could but my cholesterol would probably be off the chain and I would probably be broke) and salmon. I lasted for 6 years and I started eating turkey and chicken again about 3 years ago. I still stay away from red meat just because 🙂
Last but not least, be patient! It takes a while for your taste buds to change! I remember thinking about how gross some vegetables were but now I love them. Give things a try more than once and slowly ween things into your diet. Going drastic may shock your body too much and cause you to develop some hatred towards certain foods.
Healthy food doesn’t only have to be boring! It only has to be if you choose not to experiment and try things. Still afraid? I’ll make them for you and review them right here! If you click the subscribe button below you can stay up to date with all the unconventional healthy meals I make for myself, my fiancé, my friends and family!
Have you been hated on by friends of family for making healthy changes? Have you been a hater yourself? Share what your hesitations or qualms about healthy eating have been so we can better understand one another!