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Hi Everyone! I'm Lauren and I started Style me Lauren after being encouraged by friends and family for years to somehow document my personal style.
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Bacon Wrapped Dates…
I used this recipe. For those of you who are skeptical, seriously just give these a try. They are the PERFECT appetizer to bring to any party, or to have at home for dinner if you are doing a casual appetizer dinner (like Austin and I did last week!).
Austin and I have made these bacon wrapped dates 3 times in the last 3 weeks and can’t get enough. I love that they are Paleo, Whole30, and are so super satisfying. This recipe from Pinterest was awesome, but we did a few things differently you should know about!
- Austin and I used Nitrate Free, Sugar free, gluten free (etc) hickory smoked bacon. Using good quality bacon makes a big difference because the quality of meat is so good.
- We added jalepeno to 1/2 of them every time. This gives your guests a choice if they want a little heat or not. To add the jalepeno, pit the pepper and then slice it in thin slices (I’d say about 6 spears per pepper). When you wrap the date in the bacon, throw the small pepper spear in and wrap it up together.
A few other tips/tricks…
Definitely line your cookie sheets with foil, get pitted dates, and if you have the time, flip the dates 1/2 way through. Also, everyone’s ovens are different, but we liked them better when they were done a little bit more, and the bacon was a little crispier than what the recipe called for. ALSO- nuking the bacon for 1 minute before wrapping them was so genius, do not skip this step!
Ooey Gooey Paleo Brownies
Ok, so these brownies were a huge hit! They are free of refined sugar, dairy free, gluten free, Paleo, and are incredibly satisfying. I used this recipe
Here are my tips/tricks…
Absolutely leave them in the oven longer than 10 minutes. I would say at least 20. I took them out after 10 because they looked done on top, but after I let them cool for a little bit in the glass pan then tried to transfer them to a wire rack and they started falling through!! I quickly got them back in the pan and put them back in the oven for probably 15 min.
I have to say, eating a brownie that is refined sugar free and super satisfying feels so so good.
All images via Pinterest
Do you ever set goals and not follow them? Or are you pretty good about sticking to them? For the most part, I’d say I’m pretty good at sticking to them but recently I’ve been challenged in a new way when it comes to follow through.
One of my mentor’s always says “a goal isn’t real until it’s written down” – and I’ve always loved this thought. I believe if you write down your goals, the simple act of writing them out will help you attain them. Once it’s written that goal is somewhere in your subconscious and I think you end up working toward that goal whether you realize it or not.
Austin and I are actually really good at this as a couple. Before we were engaged we each took time to write down what our ideal 5 year plan looked like. He then gave me his, I gave him mine, and we compared notes. They both included getting engaged, married, moving etc. And sure enough, all of those things have happened. I strongly recommend doing this if you’re in a serious relationship because it really lets both of you open up and have a real life check in!
But, ANYWAY, what I really want to write about today is the recent challenge I’ve been experiencing of sticking to my goals. One of the goals I set for myself this year was to become physically stronger. I love when I can help lift something, or do something on my own because I’m strong. I’ve most recently (in the last few years) have started to feel this way, but this year I’ve been making an effort to improve my strength.
Why has this been a hard goal to stick to? Well, because I have figured out that one of the best ways for me to exercise is through group fitness classes. I love the motivation that comes when you’re working out with other people, and the intense workout in a group class that is way more challenging than if I were working out on my own. (Anyone else always looking at the weights like…okayyy what do I do next?!)
This has been a transition because of scheduling. Every time I go to a class, I’m losing time for social engagements. As silly as this sounds….maybe you can relate?! How many times have you not gone to workout because a friend invites you for drinks? Or your boyfriend wants to take you out to dinner? It’s been such a mental change for me to say no to those things because I have a workout class I want to go to. But what I’ve realized is having that me time, and working on my body makes me a happier person when I do get to go out to dinner or spend time with my husband or friends. Also, getting stronger is something that I have been able to feel, and it makes me feel confident and happy! What are your biggest struggles when it comes to goal setting? Leave your comments below!
Also, check out my last health post here!
Shop my latest active wear cravings below by hovering over the piece you want to shop and clicking on the hotspot! XO
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It’ been a while since my last health post, (which you can read here) and as we are starting a new year, I can’t help but think about the goals I set for myself this year and what they mean. Part of the “problem” and why I feel like I need to write this post is because there are soooo many diets now a-adays, and I keep asking myself, “Should I be doing that one, or that one?!” Whether it be the Whole 30, Paleo, Keto, dairy free, gluten free, etc. I almost feel a little guilty that I’m not advertising to the world that I’m doing XYZ diet. Anyone else feel the same?
As far as I’ve come on my health journey, for me, 2017 is about practicing what I’ve learned since I started caring about the food I put into my body in 2011. And I truly mean, what’s good for MY body, not someone else’s. I think we are in an era of comparing ourselves to one another, and just because someone is doing a gluten free diet, doesn’t mean that you should be too.
I do think however, that challenging yourself mentally and physically to do a diet like Whole 30, is an absolutely fabulous way to understand what your body needs and how it best functions.
But for me…I’m having a hard time this year saying I’m going to do XYZ for a certain period of time. I think it’s probably because I’ve been there, done that. I was Paleo for a year and really enjoyed seeing how my body worked without dairy or any gluten/grain or legumes, but I also really missed my whole fat dairy products. When re introducing them, I realized my body missed them too. Lucky for me (at this stage in my life- yes our bodies and allergies/needs change), I don’t have an adverse affect to dairy. (yippee!) But I will say, doing that diet made me realize that my body doesn’t need processed carbs to be happy, and in fact, it’s much happier without them.
This topic is always an on going conversation, and an ongoing journey and it always will be. I’m not saying I will never go Paleo again, or never do the Whole30, I’m just saying that I’m going to continue doing what feels good for my own body without consciously comparing myself to others. That’s a huge goal for this year…to listen to my body and continue learning and figuring out what works best for me.
Please feel free to comment below…I’d love to hear your thoughts and what your healthy goals are for 2017!
Also, while we are on the health topic, one thing that really helps me stay on track is eating a great breakfast. I whipped up this egg skillet for busy weekday mornings, and I think you should too!
It can be dairy free, gluten free, paleo…whatever you are into! You can absolutely adjust and modify all ingredients…which is why I love this recipe so much!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Aidel’s Sausage (any variety you like, I would suggest the chicken apple or artichoke garlic)
Milk (of your choice)
Coconut oil for the pan
To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a cast iron skillet, brown the sausage to your liking. Then remove from heat and let rest. In the same pan add 2 very large handfuls of spinach to the cast iron skillet with a little water and wilt for 3 minutes. Remove spinach and wipe pan with coconut oil (if you are cooking raw sausage then you can use the fat from the sausage and omit this step). On the side, beat 6 eggs and 1/2C milk of your choice (I used whole) and salt and pepper (I used Nature’s Seasoning). Chop cherry tomatoes and mushrooms so they are bite size pieces. Now that the sausage has cooled a little, cut 3 sausages length wise and then chop them into bite sized pieces. Add everything to the skillet, including the egg mixture, add more s+p to your liking and put in the heated oven for 20 min.
This protein and veggie packed breakfast is the perfect make ahead meal for busy weekday mornings! I also love getting in vegetable servings in the morning as well! Such a plus 🙂 Enjoy!