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Main article: Health

What I Eat in a Week: Oatmeal, Smoothies + French Fries



Hey Merbabes! I recently did a poll on my story to gather inspiration for my next blog post.  The overwhelming winner of said poll was 'what I eat in a week'! So here we are. I kept starting then stopping tracking my daily food intake because I was a little shocked by the amount I ate when it was written down on paper.  On Monday I decided to finally commit, I tracked everything I ate Monday-Friday and I am excited to share with you all!

A little background on my diet, I have been completely vegetarian for over five years now, meat wasn't a large part of my diet growing up so I don't miss it.  I keep my dairy intake on the low, it gives me headaches + pimples, so I save dairy for special occasions, like Jeni's Ice Cream + Kelly's (thats my mom) mac + cheese.   I truly believe in listening to your body for the answers to your dietary needs! When you listen to you body there is no need for unnecessary restrictions or counting calories.

With that being said, lets jump into day one!

Monday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal. I eat the exact same breakfast everyday.  Everyday.  Steel cut oats with chia seeds, flax seed, apples, banana + pineapple.  Topped with berries + mango.  It's a lot of food + it's my absolute favorite way to start the day.

I also drink a cup of hot lemon water + hot green tea with my oatmeal.

Rehearsal Snack: Dance rehearsals run right through lunch time so I always have a smoothie with me.   Monday's smoothie was made with frozen blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, beetroot powder, Garden of Life Plant Protein Powder, and Forager cashew milk.

Lunch: Monday's I usually get home after 2 + make myself a quick leftovers lunch.  This week I was truly blessed by a fridge full of Easter leftovers.  I had dairy-free egg strata loaded with veggies + diced sweet potatoes.

Dinner: Monday night dinners are my favorite of the week, because its rice + beans night.  I had brown rice, black beans, corn, avocado, and salsa!

Snack: Since I did a late afternoon SoulCycle class I was hungry again a few hours after dinner.  I had peanut butter + jelly toast with my nightly cup of tea.

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal.  See above.

Smoothie: frozen blueberries frozen banana, spinach, arugula, kale,  Garden of Life Plant Protein Powder, Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen, + Forager Cashew Milk.

Lunch: I had a lunch date with momma at True Foods, one of our favorite spots!  We ordered cauliflower to share +  I ordered my go-to ancient grain bowl.  The grain bowl is topped with glazed sweet potatoes, snap peas, onions, mushrooms, and the best cilantro pesto.  With my grain bowl I ordered a cup of Ginger Tusi Tea, its the warmest, coziest cup of tea out there.

Dinner: For dinner I threw red peppers, mixed greens, avocado, + salsa over leftover brown rice.  I love rice!

Snack: Oranges, dark chocolate, cup of tea.


Wednesday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal. Duh.

Lunch: Sandwich with homemade hummus, mixed greens, red pepper, pickled carrots + onions. Sandwiches are a staple in my diet, I will never get over how good a PB+J is.

Dinner: Snuck over to Bad Hunter for an early dinner.  This obviously consisted of their to die for veggie burger (sans cheddar) + fries!

Snack: Apples + oranges with a cup of tea.

Thursday:

Breakfast: You already know.

Smoothie: Same as Tuesdays!

Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with kale, zucchini + walnut pesto, ugh to die for.  I just had a bowl of leftovers while writing this post.  Pasta is my favorite food, I could eat it every single day.

Snack: Apples, oranges, dark chocolate with a cup of tea.

Friday: 

Breakfast: Oatmeal!

Smoothie: Peanut butter, frozen banana, blueberries, arugula, spinach, Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen, Garden of Life Plant Protein, + Forager Cashew Milk.

Lunch: Hummus with carrots, tomatoes, crackers + pretzels!

Dinner:  Urbanbelly at home, obviously I had my favorite rice + veggie bowl with tofu.  This bowl is jasmine rice topped with arugula, eggplant, kimchi. cucumbers, tofu, spicy sauce, and the perfect soft boiled egg.  I can't go longer than five days without consuming this bowl.

Snack: Homemade matcha chocolate, find the recipe on Instagram!


That's what my week of meals looks like.  This was a pretty basic week for me, and one where I ate pretty clean!  To be honest the week before was filled with ramen + tacos + I have no regrets! Balance + moderation is key. Eat well +  Eat lots! 





apr 8 18, 15:42
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Get Your Glow: Beauty Rose Tea Latte


Hey Merbabes!  I am always on the hunt for a magic potion that will clear up my skin, make my hair shine, and give me an all around glow.  Well, I found it, even better I made it myself, and so can you. This Rose Tea Latte is made with Tulsi Rose tea, Beauty Dust by Moon Juice, and Coconut Milk for the ultimate, vegan, beauty-drink, plus it tastes divine.  

What you need:





To make this latte, all you need is Rose tea, Beauty Dust, and Coconut Milk.  I used this Tulsi rose tea for the amazing healing properties found in Tulsi.  Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb, adaptogens help the body adapt to stress by normalizing levels of stress hormones.   Moon Juice is a company that creates adaptogenic goodies such as their moon dusts, I recently got the sampler pack with two of each moon dusts.  For this recipe I used the beauty dust because I am all about getting my glow on, but you could use any other dust as well!


I began this latte as you would any cup of tea, I filled a mug about half way with hot water then added my rose tea bag.  After the tea steeped, I added in a packet of beauty dust, and stirred it up until the dust was dissolved.  



I let my tea cool since I wanted a refreshing drink for this summer day, then I relocated my beauty tea into a larger glass.  Then, I poured in the coconut milk; I used full-fat coconut milk because I adore how thick and creamy it is. You could substitute coconut milk for any of your favorite non-dairy milks.



Grab your prettiest paper straw and enjoy! Xo




jul 20 17, 01:31
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Beauty Foodie: Eat (and Drink) Your Way to Better Skin

natural acne remedies

Hey Mer-babes! I am all about that clear and healthy skin, and I truly believe "you are what you eat". Everybody and their momma claims they have the perfect diet to clear up acne, or that you need to cut gluten, dairy, blah blah blah.  I am not here to tell you what not to eat because I nor anyone else should pretend to have that kind of authority over someone, but I am here to share some of my favorites foods and supplements to add to your diet.  Who doesn't want an excuse to add things to their diet? Literally no one.
Shop the Post:



That being said none of these items are magically going to change your skin overnight, I have learned that the hard way with many, many tears.  Instead they all have amazing benefits that are about as close to magic as I can find.  I promise when I find the magic ingredient to instantly get rid of acne you babes are the first ones to know.

Maca Powder




Maca root is shown to naturally balance hormones which can be helpful for treating acne that is caused by hormonal imbalance.  Maca is also an adaptogenic herb which helps to balance and heal the body based on an individuals needs.  Adaptogens are known for regulating your adrenaline system which can better manage your bodies reaction to stress, another common cause of acne.  Maca root is also known to boost energy and combat fatigue.

I have been adding maca powder to my daily smoothie and never want a smoothie without it.  I didn't expect maca powder to have a taste but it adds a brown sugar-like sweetness to the smoothie and it is beyond delicious.  Highly recommend it for the taste alone but also for all the amazing benefits, DUH.


Chlorophyll 


You babes should all know what chlorophyll is,  hello biology class.  You probably don't know that amazing health benefits and the wonders it can do for your skin.  Chlorophyll boosts red bloods cell count and oxygen levels within blood, which then increases the oxygen being delivers to cells including the skin.  It also is high in antioxidants, when combined with the oxygenating powers combine to give you your best glow yet.  Chlorophyll also has anti-bacterial properties that can speed up the healing process of pimples.

I take mine in the morning and at night in a capsule but many people take their chlorophyll in liquid form.  Not only is it good for your skin but it is also known to reduce body odor and bad breath, and is one of the best natural deodorants out there.



Collagen


I'm really having a collagen moment lately.   I talk a lot about the amazing benefits of collagen for your skin in an earlier post so I don't want to spend too much time on it.  Collagen promotes healthy skin by improving elasticity and restoring skins natural moisture which is vital this time of year.

It is never too early to begin an anti-aging routine and collagen is a great way to start.  I eat it in chew form, I don't really eat candy so these are the ultimate treat for me, and I drink it in the my smoothies in powder form.



Tulsi



Tulsi is an herb found in India that has amazing healing powers, it is another adaptogenic herb like maca and it has all the same amazing benefits.   Tulsi is known to tighten pores, prevent inflammation, lighten scars and marks, and prevent pimples by removing toxins from the blood.

I drink my tulsi in tea form and its lovely.  It has a little peppermint flavor, a hint of licorice and is caffeine free making it the perfect cup of tea for before bed.









What are your favorite beauty foods? Let me know in the comments below!

xo

feb 4 17, 18:56
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Playing Favorites: Week of January 16



Hey Mer-babes! We've made it though another exciting week of 2017.  My favorite part of these weekly round-ups is taking a step back and analyzing my past week.  Not only do you get to relive the best moments but there always seems to be a hidden theme.  This week my theme was for sure, wellness.

 I always feel like my best self when I am most active, for me exercise is truly the best medicine.  Mermaid Waves Real Life Fact: A killer workout releases 100 times the endorphins of an online shopping purchase.  Seriously, think of how good you feel when you leave a workout out drenched in sweat, literally nothing beats it.  Not only do I feel amazing when I am active but also eating what works best for me.  For me thats a vegetarian diet with little to no diary (except for pizza days), and lots of whole grains, preferably bread.  I don't believe in restrictions but instead recognizing the things that you eat do affect you.  For me dairy causes headaches and breakouts, I steer clear of it most of the time for those reasons but sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich is worth a few pimples.

Now lets get started with this weeks favorites! Shop my Friday tee.

Soul Cycle


It is honestly impossible to walk out of  Soul Cycle without a smile, or at least a feeling of triumph.  I have heard so many stories of fear that keeps people away from taking their first class and I completely felt the same way.  I walked into my first class alone and was probably the only person at the lockers who wasn't covered in Soul Cycle gear, I had literally no idea how to set up my bike or clip in my shoes.  So embarrassing.  As the class began the lights went down and the music went up, I felt like I was in a haunted house, and I was completely out of breathe before the first song ended.  At the end of class, I couldn't figure out how to unclip my shoes and began to panic again that I would be stuck on the bike forever.

Then I went the second time, I had previously googled how to successfully clip in and out of the bike and I was ready to go, I had the best time ever.  Since my body knew what to expect and could relax a bit I got to actually dance, sing, and enjoy the full Soul Cycle experience. Now I go at least once a week, and it is honestly my favorite part of the week.  Each class is a new challenge and brings new good energy into your life!  Plus, it has done wonders for my legs and booty.

Sign up for your first class and get $10 off! This isn't sponsored just my personal referral link for you to use!

Scratch Goods Mask Bar


This week I visited the Mask Bar at Scratch Goods for the second time, and I am ready to go back again.  Scratch Good's describes their mask bar as an interactive, customizable skincare experience, and I couldn't say it better myself.  Think of it as a guided facial, where you are in charge. You get to mix your mask, apply the oils, and learn how to take the best possible care of your skin.  When you get a facial its easy to leave their feeling wonderful, duh, but then returning home and going back to your everyday routine.  During the mask bar you not only learn how to do things, but why it is important and how it can lead to your best skin ever.  It is honestly just as relaxing if not more relaxing than any typical spa facial experience.

My favorite tip is to apply all products to your face using outward and upward motions.  We are so quick to just smear cream or makeup all over our face as fast as possible, without even thinking about the effect that may have long-term.  By using outward and upward motions you are teaching your face muscles to stay in those positions, when you pull your face downward you are literally assisting gravity in the drooping of your skin!

Matcha Green Tea


Babes, I have a new favorite tea.  I love matcha to infinity and beyond, but it is not the simplest thing to make at home.  You have to manually whisk it, blah blah blah, my point is its not simple.  I discovered quite an exciting thing at Whole Foods last week, Rishi's Matcha Green Tea.  The sencha green tea and matcha powder live happily in harmony in ONE TEA BAG!  Not only is it the simplest way to make matcha, the flavor is amazing.  It is a little more subtle than straight matcha because of the sencha but has bolder flavor than your average green tea.  I highly recommend adding it to your daily tea intake.

If you aren't a tea drinker you should be, matcha is a much healthier source of caffeine than coffee.  The release is much slower and lasts longer, leaving behind the spikes and crashes the coffee drinkers often feel, with only a fraction of the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Neutrogena Light Therapy Mask

Ok, so I bought this last night and have only used it once, but I am seriously so excited about this mask I had to include it.  I have heard some good testimonials from my followers and friends and after having a tearful breakdown about my acne yesterday morning I decided to go for it.  It uses two kinds of lights to treat breakouts, the blue light targets acne-causing bacteria and the red light reduces inflammation, one of my biggest pet peeves.  You simply turn on the mask and sit for 10 minutes, I took selfies, wrote an email, and watched TV, it wasn't too obstructive and I felt totally able to multitask during the treatment period.

I am going to document my journey with it and will be posting a full review on my YouTube channel at the end of my first 30 days.   I found it cheapest for $34 here.

Bollywood Groove
You need this Bollywood Groove class in your life immediately.  I took the Cardio X class in West Loop with my bestie this week and am still smiling and recovering.  I like the think of myself as a pretty fit person so I am usually skeptical about the intensity of fitness classes.  When I stepped into the studio I had no idea what was coming at me, I thought it would be a low impact fun Bollywood Dance party.  I was drenched in sweat by the end of song one, I kid you not.  Not only was I sweating but I was laughing almost the entire time because I was having that much fun.   I am an extremely competitive person, I blame it on my ballet upbringing, so I like to be the best one in the room.  That being said I was going really hard, like my life depended on my Bollywood moves.  I was so sore and I am finally feeling a bit of relief this morning, three days later.  That is truly the sign of a good workout.   I literally can not wait to go back and get dancing again!


For more Wellness check out the new Health + Fitness section on Mermaid Waves! Featuring recipes, workouts, and healthy living.


jan 21 17, 18:16
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Get Your Glow On: Three Ingredient Collagen Beauty Smoothie for Healthy Skin


Hey hey Mer-babes!  I drink a smoothie everyday, I can not last without eating between meals so a healthy and dairy-free smoothie is my go-to for staying satisfied during the day.  Lucky for me, my mother is the smoothie-queen, for real.  I was seriously raised by Martha Stewart's cooler (although Kelly would disagree, because no one is cooler than Martha) younger sister.  Not only is she the smoothie-queen, today she is the birthday queen, although she truly is the queen of everything everyday in my eyes.  Happy Birthday Mommy! Thank you for being such an inspiring and creative force in my life and the lives of all you touch around you.  She's one of those mom's that makes you unsure if your friends are friends with you for you or your mom, ya know?

With all that being said,  I am excited to share with you the simplest smoothie ever.  Even those who missed out on the Martha Stewart gene , will be able to tackle this treat.  Pro Tip: Always keep frozen bananas in your freezer ready to go.  Frozen bananas when blended are not only incredibly creamy (and the best ice-cream replacement, but thats for another post) but allow you to ditch ice cubes, which make smoothies icy and watery.  If there is anything I have learned from my mother, it is not to put ice cubes in your smoothie!  All the smoothies we make are always dairy-free and creamier than any dairy-full smoothie you have ever had, promise.


As you know, 2017 is the year of healthy skin for me.  I have been trying so many different products and I am excited to bring you my first favorite.  Collagen Beauty Greens by Vital Proteins is a perfect addition to your daily drink of choice.  I added it to my daily smoothie, but I am excited to try it in a matcha latte next.  Collagen Beauty Greens includes marine collagen peptides, plus raw greens like alfalfa and spinach, hyaluronic acid, and probiotics.  Collagen promotes healthy and youthful skin, while hyaluronic acid keeps your skin moisturized.  Collagen makes up 70% of the protein in skin and is a vital part of skin health.  As a dancer and athlete, I love that collagen also replenishes and repairs muscles and ligaments.

Not only is collagen fabulous for your skin but my nails have literally never been so good.  I have the worst nails, I would text and break a nail, it was so frustrating.  Since I have included collagen into my daily diet my nails are so strong and have been growing like I never thought was possible.  Needless to say I'm a happy girl.



Recipe for one:
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk 



This smoothie is so creamy and I love the slight coconut vanilla flavor.  It is just enough sweetness but not overpowering with the sweetness of the banana.  For someone like me who has an irrational fear of cooking, yes I consider making a smoothie cooking, I love that the greens are right in the powder.  There is no need to worry about how many kale leaves to add or fear that you over spinach-ed the smoothie.  These are real things that I worry about!

I am so excited to start sharing some more Beauty Smoothie recipes with you babes and more of my favorite Beauty finds.  Cheers!




jan 17 17, 20:49
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Love Yourself and Your Life: YOUTUBE CHANNEL + Best Butt Ever

http://mermaidwavess.blogspot.com/2017/01/love-yourself-and-...




Hey Mer-babes!  I just finished filming my first fitness YouTube video and I am seriously so excited.  YouTube is going to be another spot that you can head to when you need some inspiration, whether it fitness, food, or fashion, I have got you covered.  I want you to live the life you have always dreamed of living and I am not just going to say it.  I am going to help you make it happen, we are going to create our dream lives together!



The first video on my channel is a booty blast workout!  Growing up as a skinny ballet dancer I had no butt, I literally used to call myself "negative booty" because it was true.  As ridiculous as it sounds I wanted nothing more than to have a Kim K booty.   My resolution for 2016 was to have a butt, and a year later I think I did a pretty solid job.  As small as this example may seem, setting any size goal and achieving is the best feeling.  That is why my first video is all about the booty.


I am really excited to dive more into the fitness and health vertical, because it is something I truly believe in.  I want you to feel amazing and confident about your body; for me I found that confidence through working out.  When you realize how truly strong your body is you gain such a different appreciation and love for it.  I have started cycling, running, and doing lots of strength training on top of my usually ballet schedule, and I am truly more in love with myself than ever.  I haven't lost weight (thank God) or magically changed my body, but I have gained lots of confidence and a little (lot) bit of muscle too.  I want you to walk by a reflective surface, check yourself out and say "yasss" every single time.

This video is made up of the moves I do on the daily.  You can do this workout in your dorm room or your living room and there is no equipment necessary.  In under 15 minutes your booty will be burning like it has never burned before.  Turn on your favorite workout playlist grab your yoga mat and LETS GET PEACHY!



With all this being said check out my first workout over on the YOUTUBE! Let me know what you want my next video to be!




jan 13 17, 06:38
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Eat Out Eat Clean: Healthy Restaurants in Chicago



Hey Mer-babe!  I love food, but you probably already knew that; with my love of food comes my absolute love of eating out.  There is a common misconception that all restaurant food is bad for you, and that is so false.  There are so many restaurants that offer clean meals even in the land of deep-dish pizza (aka Chicago).  I don't mean there is one healthy thing on the menu, all of the spots I'm sharing have dedicated their culture to providing healthy options.  Not only do these spots offer clean and healthy menus but they all offer amazing vegetarian and vegan options.

Below are three of my favorite destinations in Chicago for a healthy meal out.  Plus I am sharing exactly what I order, because I can never quite stick to what's on the menu.   Bonus points if you already know where that vegan pizza I'm eating above is from!


True Foods Kitchen

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNfKpAiAXMl/


 True Foods opened around Thanksgiving and I have been there every week since, except for I believe one unfortunate week where I didn't make it in.  It has long been one of my favorite restaurants, it was a mandatory stop whenever we were in Phoenix or Santa Monica, so I was thirlled that True Foods was coming to Chicago.  I either start with a Matcha Horchata or a Ginger Tulsi Tea depending on the time of day.  The matcha horchata is perfectly sweetened, I love my matcha straight up and don't love a lot of sweetness to my teas, this drink is my favorite matcha latte in the city.  For my meal I alternate between two favorites, the butternut squash pizza or the ancient grain bowl.  The pizza is vegan and topped with an almond ricotta that is to die for, as a non-dairy lover like myself it is a dream.  I order my pizza with no dried cranberries, just a preference, I think they are weird.  The ancient grain bowl is far beyond any other grain bowl you have had before.  It has the most amazing glazed sweet potatoes, and lots of veggies.  True Foods has tons of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, and almost everything can be made gluten free if you ask.  They are super accommodating to allergies and willing to fit your personal dietary preferences.  


Sweet Green


Sweetgreen is another exciting and recent addition to the Chicago food scene.  This is honestly the only salad I have ever had outside of my home that qualifies as a meal in my eyes.  It fills me up for hours which is seriously hard to do,  I could eat an entire pizza and my stomach would still be growling within three (maybe four) hours.  I couldn't just order off the regular menu because that would be too simple, so I custom order a salad each time I go.  I have perfected my salad by now, it has: spinach/kale (depending on my mood) and mesclun as the base, topped with portobello mushrooms,  avocado, roasted sweet potato, onion, spicy broccoli,  sometimes hot chickpeas (depends on the mood as well), and medium to light spicy cashew dressing.  The spicy cashew dressing (vegan ) is honestly life changing. 

 Left Coast Food and Juice

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFmTmojnI0F/


Left Coast is another healthy paradise, everything on the menu is marked from vegetarian, to vegan, to gluten free, and dairy free.  It makes ordering a breeze for just about every dietary restriction.  There are almost too many options at Left Coast, I have had so many different things from the acai bowl to avocado toast, but I think I have finally discovered my forever meal.  The Montecito Hash is so flavorful and has the perfect yolk break factor.  I order mine with no lemon yogurt or queso fresco making this meal vegetarian and dairy free.  Plus they serve breakfast all day with makes Left Coast a real winner in my books, along with salads, grain bowls, and wraps. 

jan 11 17, 19:00
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