Going Meatless: First Month Observations

April 29, 2018

 Monday will make a full month that Ive been completely meatless.  I realize I should just refer to it is going vegetarian but I don't want to do that just yet.  Placing that label on what I was doing felt too huge of a commitment that seemed so final, it messed with my head and I thought it would surely end in a failure.  I don't know that I'm ready to say I am a vegetarian although I have been living a vegetarian lifestyle for a month.  Another thing I did to trick myself was calling it a month challenge.  That gave it a deadline and shrunk the change for me.  Shrinking the change, making it more manageable allowed me an "out".  If it wasn't going well, hey its only a month, try it, give it all you got make it to that 30th day and then your done.  No harm, no foul.  It has worked for me!

Some people suddenly decide to live a healthy lifestyle and they will say "I will workout four days a week, cut meat out completely, and meal prep healthy meals for lunch and dinner."  For some people they can do that and stick to it and that is great.  For the majority of us going from not eating right, or eating out a lot, never working out or at least not consistently to such a dramatic proclamation feels too overwhelming, we don't know where to start and the smallest setback leads us to quit.  It's too hard and its too much at the same time.  I wouldn't recommend that for anyone trying a new lifestyle change, you must be honest with yourself and outline a plan of action that is attainable.  This meatless challenge didn't just happen.  If you read my first post here then you know I was already packing lunches and healthy snacks while incorporating more vegetables and veggie recipes into my diet for months.  I made that part a habit.  After a few weeks of packing a healthy lunch I didn't want to eat out for lunch anymore.  It took time and around the holidays I fell off the wagon but as soon as I realized it I jumped back on and reestablished my routine.

Now, I am a full month in and I wanted to share with you a few things that I have observed about my digestion and overall health and appearance.

1) Skin

My skin has a natural glow to it.  I have pretty clear skin with an occasional pimple here and there.  A week into this new meatless diet and my skin is clearer, more even toned and glowy.  I don't need to layer my skin with foundation and concealer.  One thin layer of foundation followed by light concealer under my eyes and I am done.  On the weekends, I wear no makeup at all.  I might put a tinted moisturizer but that is it.  I have a pretty solid skincare routine that I shared with you a few months ago that Ive linked here.  Masks, lotions and scrubs are important skincare tools, but a natural glow to your skin, that starts with your diet.  Now that I am not eating meat I have had to be smarter about what I put in my body and making sure that I get all of the proteins and nutrients I am supposed to get in order to keep my body nourished and energized.  Avocado, olive oil, beans, eggs, lox, fish, spinach and mixed greens all of these staples in my diet have contributed to glowy, even skin.   SkinnyMs. is a fabulous blog that talks about this specifically here, definitely worth a read.  She also shares some great recipes and meal planning tips.

Side note: I don't know for sure if this has anything to do with my new diet but I have been doubling my water intake.  I am not complaining because I know that water helps to hydrate and flush out your system.  I just don't know why I have cotton mouth. I will keep an eye on it and see what it might be thats causing the thirst.

2) Digestion

One of my biggest reasons for trying this out was for a healthier digestive system.  I just could not digest meat without paying for it with bloating, cramping and indigestion for the two days that followed.  My digestive system is the best it has ever been.  I go to the bathroom regularly and the bloating is almost non-existent except for when I have had a black bean burger, lol. So delicious but the beans make me gassy.  #truestory Joking aside I am very happy with my new bathroom routine.  I have noticed a difference in the way my clothes fit around my belly now that I am not bloated or backed-up.

3) Weight 

I don't want to preach that if you drop meat from your diet you are going to lose weight.  Even vegetarians and vegans are tempted by all of the non-meat products that taste so damn good!  Think, cookies, muffins, ice cream, buttery croissants etc.  I am a chocolate addict.  I love chocolate and like to have something sweet after every meal.  This is something I have struggled with my whole life and taking meat out of the equation sometimes makes eating these goodies justifiable.  It isn't.  I know that I am not adding any nutritional value to my diet by indulging.  It is a process, I think the better I become at feeding my body and thinking of it as a machine that must be properly maintained in order to function at his highest potential the better I will become at cutting out the excess that doesn't serve me.  In 2017, Jane E. Brody wrote a piece for the New York Times Health section, called Good Vegan, Bad Vegan that dives into this misconception that cutting meat from your diet is all you need to do in order to maintain a balanced diet.  It is worth a read because there is no perfect diet that covers all of the bases at the root of any diet plan is a human being tempted by all of the things we have been hardwired to love.  I do pack more fruit and sliced apples are my go to snack at work.

I will say that my clothes fit a lot better and people have commented that I look like I have lost weight.  My jeans are loose and I don't have a muffin top anymore.  I can't tell you how much in pounds because I don't weigh myself.  Once upon a time I was a slave to the scale and it just isn't the reason I am doing this.  The number on the scale doesn't matter to me.  I no longer look at my progress as a number on a scale.

4) Shorter Menstruation 

Ok, real quick I just realized that the root of that word is "men", why, it's something that only women experience.  So a normal period for me lasts between 5-7 days, with the first 3 days being the heaviest.  This month my period included 1 and 1/2 days of heavy and a few days of light spotting.  Which was a little weird for me so I wondered if it had anything to do with not eating meat and sure enough there is a connection due to low iron.  I am not concerned about a shorter period, I mean 7 days is a long period, my concern is whether or not I am getting enough iron in my diet specifically around my menstruation period.   I could take vitamins but I would rather get the nutrients I need from a better diet.  Some foods that are high in iron are leafy greens, beans and lentils, brown rice, nuts, eggs and fish of of which my diet already includes but I might need to increase the intake of so I don't run into any issues that low iron can create like dizziness and fatigue.

Wrap up:  I am not preaching that this lifestyle is the best for everyone.  I am sharing how and why it is working for me.  I will say that everyone should strive to be in tuned with their bodies and what works and doesn't work for a healthy one.  Eating shouldn't be a thoughtless, mechanical process.  We should consider better options for our bodies.  We should shift our thinking from, I am hungry let me stuff my face with something that is quick and easy and instead take time and make more of an effort to have healthy options available to us.  Proper diet is key to a healthy strong body and mind.  Even the smallest change can make a difference.  For example my skin and my menstruation, both of those responded positively to my new diet.  Our bodies are so complex and what we feed ourselves contributes to wether or not it functions at its highest potential.

PS: Shout out to my 100% supportive husband who has come along with me on this journey, he still eats meat but he will prepare a meatless option for me too.  That makes a difference when you are trying something new, people who support you and take you seriously.  Thanks hubby. ๐Ÿ’—

Until next time, cheers to another month!

Are you trying any new diets or lifestyle changes?  Share below.  Are you a vegetarian?  How do you curb your sweet tooth?  What are some good snack alternatives?

Thanks for reading!

by LifeStyledbyErica ๐Ÿ’‹

Mental Health: Why It's OK to Take a Day Off from Adulting.

April 16, 2018

Happy Monday guys! Today I took a much needed Mental Health day.  Have you heard of that before?  It is a day you take off from work not to tend to errands, doctors appointments or housework,.  It isn't a day where you say to your team, "I'll be on email or my cell if you need me." It isn't a day you surprise your husband with lunch at work or you prepare a meal for when everyone gets home from their day.  It isn't a day to meet with a friend who might need someone to talk to or lean on.  And it isn't a day to help someone with their deadlines or projects.  It isn't a day where you cake on makeup and head out to conquer the world.  It isn't any of those things.  A mental health day is your day.  It is a day to lounge around in your pjs with your hair in a messy bun and your fresh clean face caked in some argan oil, between your bed and your couch, reading, writing or watching t.v. without feeling guilty or lazy or anything else you might feel when you aren't filling up your time with endless to-do's for others.

I know this might seem shocking and dare I say, "selfish" and "scandalous".  But that is where you need to change your thinking.  Have you ever heard the saying, "you can't pour from an empty glass?"  Well that has been my mantra for the last year.  These last few weeks have been non-stop with work and work events, late nights, meet-ups and catch-ups with friends, family events, home repairs and the list can go on forever.  I was getting burned out and running low on patience and energy.  I decided I was long over due for a mental health day, actually my entire team at work will be taking a day this week to recover from work/life obligations.  I have got a great team at work and an even better teammate at home.  My husband went off to work this morning and I woke up to a text that read, "Enjoy your rainy day in bed catching up on your lifetime movies. I love you." (Isn't he the best???!) I am very lucky to be surrounded by such supportive and caring people, I know this.  But they were never the issue.  I was the one with the issue.
Growing up, I hardly ever saw my mother relax and when she did my father would make a sly remark.  Both of my parents were very hard workers but also very unhappy, I can't help but think their exhaustion and lack of personal care was at the heart of their discontent.  That example and being a single mother responsible for another living person since I was 20 years old made it nearly impossible for me to take a day for myself without feeling guilty.  Instead,  I would burn myself out and wait for my body to decide it was time to take a break, which usually came as a cold or some other virus that would leave me bedridden for two days.  I know, not the best way to take care of myself.  The truth is when I was younger I had something to prove, not anymore.  I know who I am and I know what I bring.  There is a certain calm in occupying space like that.

I realize I am in a certain position where I have paid time off and seniority at my organization and this might not be the case for everyone.  Not everyone can just take an entire day off for themselves.  Fair enough.  How about half a day when it is slow?  Or a Saturday morning, maybe you can get a friend or a family member to watch the kids and just stay in bed and disconnect for a few hours?   I promise you it is just as important as keeping up with your doctor's appointments.  You owe it to your family, your friends, your coworkers but most of all you owe it to yourself.





Shop this look.

By the time my husband came home I felt refreshed and recharged.  He noticed the difference in my mood and my overall body language.  Having this day off allows me to return to work and "adulting" tomorrow ready to conquer the week.

Show yourself some kindness and care tonight.  Repeat this out loud to yourself: You are smart.  You are beautiful. You are important and valuable.  You, as you are, right now are and always have been ENOUGH.

Love always, 

LifeStyledbyErica ๐Ÿ‘„  

Going Meatless Starter Kit - What You Need to Know

April 9, 2018



Easter Sunday was the last day I had meat the next day I decided I would go meatless for the entire month of April.  Read all about why here. I promised I would check in and document the process.

How I feel

One of the reasons for trying this out was simple, I was having a lot of stomach problems starting with my digestive system; bloating, constipation, gas (not pretty, I know, but these are the facts).  In the last few weeks it became unbearable and hard to ignore.  So now that I have a week under my belt, have these issues been addressed?
  • Bloating - YES!  I mean I still have some bloating but it is hardly noticeable, as uncomfortable or requires any meds to resolve.  I consider that a win.  I do think that I was still cycling out the pork I ate for Easter dinner at least for two days last week so I am hoping this next week will get a lot better. 
  •  Constipation - YES, YES, YES. Ok sorry this may be TMI but the truth is we all move our bowls, all of us!  I know we hate talking about it but its important for overall health and happiness to have regular bowl movements. I did not.  Last week, I did. ALOT actually. 
  • Gas - A concern I had was, "would eating more veggies make me gassy?" Ok, I actually feel uncomfortable writing this, lol #prude. Honestly, veggies make you gassy but better out then in. Ok bye. 
So now that I have addressed the burning issues let's talk about how I feel overall.  I do feel lighter especially after meals.  I don't have the 2pm crash where I would need a cup of coffee to get me through the rest of the work day.  There is a noticeable glow in my skin, I mean people actually said to me today that my skin looks great! How often do people say that to one another?  It could be a number of things but I have to believe diet is key.  Also, I am not sure if I can fully attribute this to not having meat in my system, but I felt especially clear minded and creative this weekend.  I had a lot of ideas for content and the will (not the time) to get it done.  I will keep an eye on this spark of creativity and see if if grows over the next three weeks.  So allow me to walk you through what my first week looked like in terms of my shopping list and meal preps.  Keep scrolling.




What Does a Shopping List Look Like?

If you watch me on Instagram Stories then you know I live in the supermarket on the weekends.  I thought it might be helpful to provide what a typical shopping list looks like for me.


  • Veggies - boxed salads like mixed spring or baby spinach are my favorite go-tos. Tomatoes, avocados, green or red peppers, cucumbers, red onions, scallions - salad starters
  • Fruit- apples, grapes, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and pears are a few of my favs.  Apples will last you a long time in the fridge and I love to slice them up and eat them throughout my day or dip them in peanut butter...soo good! Lemons (its a fruit right?) I like to add lemon slices to my seltzer water for a kick 
  • Nuts - I like to eat raw, unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts or pecans.  You can nuts to a lot of meals for a fun, unexpected twist.  Think oatmeal, cereal, salads etc. 
  • Beans - I go for black beans or chickpeas they are delcious and a great source of protein that I add to my salads.  One can of black beans can last me three salads.
  • Oatmeal- I like the steel oats variety.  It is the best to use for overnight oats which is delicious, build able and a quick meal that leaves you feeling full for hours.  
  • Frozen Aisle section - I love the frozen fruit for my shakes, typically I reach for mango slices and the mixed berries.  Shakes are a quick treat to hold you in between meals or as a meal substitute.  I also LOVE Birdesye SteamFresh products.  These can be GREAT stand alone meals or sides.  I can't tell you how many times they have saved my life.  Somedays we are busy and don't plan ahead, coming home late and tired its so easy to think about ordering which isn't always our best dietary choices.  These steam fresh products cook in the bag and take 5 - 8 minutes to cook in the microwave.  My favorite are their protein bowls and their couscous couscous and spinach, OMG soo good!  I always catch them on sale for about $2.50 a bag, lifesavers.  Just grab a few to try, I promise you will love it! 
  • Dairy - Almond Milk, its a must for my shakes.  I don't care for milk and haven't for some time now.  Almond Milk is gentle on my stomach and tastes great!  I ALWAYS stock up on my Chobani specifically their flips. It is low fat and really satisfies my sweet tooth.  This is a great snack to have after lunch or at that 3pm snack attack hour.  My fav!  Cheese.  I love it, specifically the Laughing Cow brand, such a yummy, quick snack option spread over some crackers, DONE!
  • Bread - Whole wheat all the way.  Aside from the slice bread, I do treat myself to some bakery fresh bagels, like poppy seed or an everything bagel.  For a Sunday treat I will toast these babies, spread some low fat cream cheese and some fresh lox. SO GOOD (have I said that a million times already?? )Ok my mouth is watering.  
If you can visualize this and are familiar with what a typical supermarket layout looks like, I have pretty much made a u-shaped tour of a supermarket.  You start in your veggie section, stop in the canned beans and nuts, then over to dairy and right out to check out.  All of the aisles in the middle of this U, I question their food value.  I realize this is a side bar but why do we have so many cracker varieties? Am I the only one that is kind of freaked out about that?  But I digress, allow me to put together some meal ideas for you.  



Meals

Breakfast Ideas
  • Half a toasted bagel with mashed avocado and tomatoes, a little bit of salt and pepper. Done.,or
  • Hard boiled egg, a slice of whole wheat toast,or 
  • Yogurt and two prunes (I didn't mention prunes on my list but you should be getting these anyway, they help with digestion and bowl movement.  These have saved me while on vacation, just saying'. or  
            • Overnight Oats Recipe
1 glass 16 oz mason jar
3/4 cup of steel oats
1 cup of almond milk
Tablespoon of peanut butter
a teaspoon of chia seeds
Mix it up. Cover it up and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning add your fixins'.  I like honey, bananas, berries, almond slices and coconut flakes. DONE! 

Lunch

I pretty much build a salad for lunch.  You can check out what that looks like in my Instagram Highlight titled "Going Veggie".   A typical salad includes the base, spinach or mixed greens or both, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, artichokes, beans, carrots, walnuts, shredded cabbage..etc.  Its a salad, put what you would like to eat in there and top it with some chia seeds (I hear its good for you).  I also shared link in my first going meatless post with some great salad ideas.  For your convenience I will share the link again here

Snack Ideas- It is important to keep stuff handy so if you are hungry after lunch or between meals you are prepared with some healthy options.  Here are a few that you will always find in my lunch bag:

  • sliced apples (make it fun by slicing up some cheese to pair with the apple or peanut butter is always a win win for me.)  
  • laughing cow spreadable cheese and a few crackers
  • raw nuts or granola
  • yogurt
  • slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, sliced bananas and a drizzle of raw honey. (this can work for breakfast too!)
  • Shakes - frozen mango slices, a banana, almond milk, peanut butter and a handful of spinach. Blend. DONE.  Quick, easy and delicious. 

Dinner

I have to say that I am not a huge dinner person. I workout after work so I tend to just not have an appetite for anything heavy at night, I prefer a bigger breakfast the next morning.   I can do a salad or a steam fresh package and be satisfied during the week.  If I am craving something warm, I opt for tikka masala by Tasty Bite, it is vegetarian and ALL natural. Seriously.  There are five to seven ingredients and you can read all of them like potatoes, chick peas...all natural.  It cooks in the bag (are you seeing a pattern?) and I like to eat this on its own with maybe some avocado or over rice if I am really hungry.  Highly recommend you give them a try.  It is really tasty and keeps my tummy full all night or sometimes I will have this for lunch.  Tikka Masala is a favorite but Tasty Bite has a few other options, punjab eggplant, vegetable korma and madras lentils to name a few vegetarian options.  On the weekends we might make fish, so like salmon or tilapia are my go-tos.  Salmon is huge and I don't eat a lot per meal so a piece of salmon can last me for up to three meals.  

So there you have it, my first week wrap up.  As I mentioned in my first post, I didn't decide this overnight and I have been working on weening myself off of meat for a few months now.  I think moderation is key for success when considering a lifestyle change.   Full disclaimer, I am not a nutritionist.  I am a woman who has lived in her body for quite some time and is finally ready to really listen to it.  Meal prep is important, healthy options are important and self denial doesn't help anyone in the long run.  My point is health isn't a race you have got to win in two months, it takes time to understand your body's needs and how to meet them with the food you eat. Be patient with yourself.  No one is perfect.  No one is your ideal.  You, as you are, are beautiful.  This is a path to feeling even more beautiful in your skin knowing that you are taking care of yourself from the inside out.  Good luck!  I plan to update you on this journey next week.  

What are your health goals?  What are you doing to work towards them? Share your tips with me!

Thanks for reading, as always, its appreciated. 

LifeStyledbyErica๐Ÿ‘„

Honest Review of Amazon's New "Prime Wardrobe" Service

April 6, 2018



I have to admit this morning when I came into the office and started the mundane ritual of checking several email accounts to catch up on what happened while I was sleeping, I was intrigued by an email sent to my personal account.  Amazon Prime sent me and no doubt, hundreds of thousand other prime members an "Exclusive Invite" to try Prime Wardrobe, a new way to shop online! Here is how it works, first you have to be an existing prime member.  If you don't know what Amazon Prime is yet, allow me to explain quickly to you.  Consumers are becoming more and more reliant on having special "can only find online" items and more and more regular everyday items (think dog treats, cotton balls, books etc) delivered to their homes every.single.day.  Amazon saw the trend and pounced.   They figured a way to make shopping online irresistible by seducing consumers with a yearly plan that would guarantee FREE, two-day delivery on everything they ship for about $100 a year.  Free shipping on almost everything you can find on their site including that cheese clothe you need to wrap your thanksgiving turkey in? Delivered right to my front door? within two days? for FREE!? I locked in early and have never turned back.  I will admit this perk works.  I could be at a Barnes and Noble wandering the aisles for a new read, when I glance at the price and I think to myself,  "hmmm I wonder how much Amazon has it for?"  Sure enough, I end up ordering online.  (This was when I was buying books, I'm now a library rat and borrow everything I read, but you get the point.) Now that we have got the understanding and the power Amazon has acquired over the last 8 or so years lets dive into their latest endeavor.  So, when I got this email about their new service, I was thrilled and immediately clicked on the link.  The landing page explains that "prime members can order three or more pieces from their curated selection and have it delivered free of charge and have up to 7 days to try the pieces.  You will be charged for the pieces you keep with $20 off a purchase over $200 or return any or all pieces in a return bag for free.  Great concept right?  Think of sites like Stitch Fix or Daily Look without the stylist or the great pieces!

So here is what you see when you enter the Prime Wardrobe page.

Screen shot of the landing page, looks promising, right?
From this screen you can choose where you want to go, if you choose "women" here is what you get.


Looks promising right?  So as the titles might suggest you can shop by occasion or by your style trendy, romantic, sporty and casual.  I chose the "shop by occasion" "desk to dinner" option and then every single other tile available.  I was completely underwhelmed by their two page per tile options, some a page and 1/2 with just three choices on the second page. (Did we really need a second page for that Amazon?) And that is mostly how I feel about the selections Amazon has in the fashion department, underwhelmed.  One, I think it is on a higher price point, most pieces are over $100, which is ok, not my first option but thats not so bad.  What is bad is that there really aren't any pieces that I feel I MUST try on and potentially own.  It is a feeling I have felt almost every time I peruse their ladies fashion page.  Underwhelmed.

Listen to me Amazon, I appreciate your ambition, I really do.  You are the online retail giant that has scared book stores big and small, changed the way we buy and listen to music, movies and original programming, you have threatened supermarkets and the way people shop in them, you had Etsy shaking in it's boots when you annoucned your own "handmade" department and your latest triumph is putting the fear of gawd into big box stores like Walmart!  You are big and powerful, no doubt about it.  But here is the thing, you are a bit arrogant too.  Now please don't revoke my membership because I am "critiquing you", I love you guys.  I swear I do!  And now that you know it is coming from love and a real desire to want to use this very smart service, please accept my humble criticism or let's say feedback.  You have got your tentacles in everything and you just aren't doing anything particularly well, specifically your fashion picks.  This might sound harsh, but you can't just do everything and anything you want because you want to.  Online retailers like asos, h&m, and zara eat, breathe and sleep fashion.  It is their singular mission and they do it well. Their sites are high fashion, inclusive (both in models of color and models of different sizes), high glam with a huge variety of categories to choose from, I mean they just do it well and we appreciate them for it. (Don't we ladies?)  I enjoy just visiting their sites and quite often get into trouble by filling up my cart with pieces that I don't need but MUST have.

Bottomline: Not impressed even though I really, really wanted to be.


Thanks for reading.

LifestyledbyErica ๐Ÿ’‹

Why I Am Going Meatless For A Month

April 3, 2018


For those of you who missed it, yesterday I announced that I would cut meat out of my diet for the entire month of April.  Why, you ask?  I am fairly well versed on the ethical and environmental arguments that some people use when they decide to go vegetarian or vegan.  I will go on record to say that I 100% agree with those arguments.  I also think that meat is no longer meat in the US.  There are hormones and genetically altered meat products that we are eating, everyday.  I know that it is making us sick.  I also know that when I travel and eat outside of the US I don't end up feeling sick, sluggish or bloated.  And yet what has made me decide that I should try this is simple, these last few weeks the abominable pain and discomfort I have been feeling every night became unbearable and I had to stop at the drugstore to pick up some meds to help with the bloating and indigestion.  I decided enough was enough.  I need to pay attention to my body and I certainly did not want to make my body conform with the assistance of meds, to a diet that was no longer compatible with my digestive system.

You should know, while the decision was only just made this week, I have been preparing my body to this lifestyle change over the last four months.  The first is that I have been planning and packing my lunch at home.  I can't begin to tell you what a life changer this is!  I would come to work with no snacks and no meal prepared so I would go out to buy lunch everyday and on most days what I would buy for lunch was based on how I was feeling at that time.  (Think stress from the work day = bad eating.)  I would say, ahh let me get that burger or that pastry.  There was no thought and planning going into what I put in my mouth.  Scary.  The calories and the money spent on these meals really add up!  I have lost 8lbs and felt a difference in my clothes since I started to plan my meals.  Lunch options no longer were reliant on mood or feelings.  I had what I had packed the night before, and it was sensible.

I have been going meatless for certain meals (breakfast, dinner) and on certain days (enter, meatless Tuesdays) and doubling my vegetable intake at every meal.  Aside from the doubling of the vegetable intake, I have been substituting certain meals (Saturday or Sunday lunch) with a delicious smoothie.  (Think mango, bananas, spinach and raspberries with a scoop of peanut butter and almond milk!!)  Having done all of this I believe the transition will be a lot smoother this time around because I am armed with some quick and easy meal ideas that I have been perfecting for a few weeks now.  I say this time around because I have tried this before, twice actually.  Once as an undergraduate and the second time right before my wedding.  The first time was for ethical reasons and the second time was to drop weight fast for the upcoming nuptials.  I think it is going to stick now because I am more mindful and have created this rhythm in my diet that wasn't there when I tried the first two times.  I also am a bit older and have a deeper understanding of how important my long term health is, I don't want to take meds and I don't want to feel sick, so I have got to think outside of my "norms" if I want to see change.

Now, planning is everything!  "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!"  I never liked how true that saying was but it is SO true!  Meal prep is important.  Enter my research component of this new lifestyle change. I stumbled upon this incredible article pulled together by Buzzfeed with 18 Mason Jar Salads!  They are quick, easy, healthy and beautiful!  Who do you think has just ordered 6 mason jars linked here and will be putting these recipes to good use? If you guessed me, you are right!

Here is the first recipe I will be trying as SOON as those jars are delivered (minus the chicken and the bacon, of course):






Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salad compliments of food blogger, Strictly Delicious.  Recipe linked here.

















TheKitchn.com has provided detailed instructions on how to create any mason jar salad in their article linked here .

I mean these mason jar salads once prepared can last in the fridge for up to 5 days! So I can set myself up for the entire week on a Sunday with minimal effort.  And the best part of these mason jars is how easy they are to carry around with you, unlike how bulky tupperware can be.

I am sharing, not to preach but because sometimes we are in such a rush that we are unaware of where things might stem from when they are happening.  I noticed fairly quickly where I should start and I hope my journey takes me to a healthier and happier digestive system.  What do I have to loose by trying?

I hope you enjoyed this post.  I hope to share updates with you throughout this month so don't forget to subscribe to the blog so you won't miss a thing!

With love,

LifeStyledbyErica ๐Ÿ’‹

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