Top 10 Summer Faves

Happy Friday! I am SO exited to present my top 10 favorite finds this summer. These items are the things I’ve been buying over and over again and highly recommend you do the same. I’ve had a lot of people ask me what to buy at the grocery store and ideas for healthy snacks—well, you’re about to find some of my tips and tricks (and the not-so-healthy too!) Let’s get right into it!

summer faves

1. Angie’s Boom Chicka Puff: It’s like fancier, more nutritious adult Cheetos. If you love white cheddar, these will be tough to keep your paws off of. I’m a little ashamed of how fast I’d go through these bags–but hey, it’s made with ancient grains, so it’s not as bad as many other things, right? :) I found these at Fresh Market, but am sure you can find them at Whole Foods, Central Market, etc.

2. Organic India ghee: I’m late on the ghee train, but I’m so happy I finally boarded. I’m not a nutritionist, but I do know it’s grass fed, it’s healthy fats and you can cook it safely at any temperature. It’s just clarified butter and it makes my whole house smell like butter. YUM. I’ve sauteed veggies in it, cooked pancakes in it, spread it on an Udi’s English muffin, you name it. 

3. Peaches: Pretty self-explanatory, but I just can’t get enough stone fruit in the summer. Peaches, nectarines, plums, gimme. it. all. I find stone fruit to be MUCH more flavorful and tasty than apples around this time, and they make the perfect afternoon snack or pre-workout snack in the morning. I also threw them into green smoothies, chopped them up for yogurt bowls, topped off my acai bowls with them, make fruit salad…I’m a freak!

4. Siggi’s strawberry rhubarb: This is a new discovery! The flavor and richness of this whole milk Icelandic style yogurt is tough to beat. The “whole milk” thing freaked me out and I’m so used to Greek yogurt, but the consistency and flavor is spot on. They also don’t use any artificial sweeteners, so no unnecessary sugar in your yogurt goes a long way. #ammiright

5. Ancient Harvest Gfree Lentil & Quinoa Rotelle: You’d expect this to be super milly, dry and flavorless, right? WRONG. This pasta is the best tasting and the most nutritious out of anything I’ve tasted thus far. It’s a little pricey, but you’re getting plant based protein in your PASTA. It’s pretty much a dream come true. I’ve been cooking up “pasta primavera” here at our house– this pasta + homemade pesto + sauteed veggies. Perfect meal. 

6. La Croix Coconut: My husband and I are obsessed with this beachy flavor. It’s the perfect sparkling water, and we’ve gone through a bunch of flavors and boxes of La Croix in this hot Texas summer. Coconut is the winner!

7. Tower Garden: It was the product that kept on giving this summer. We grew tons of basil (hello, pesto!), kale and spinach. I didn’t even have to buy lettuce this entire summer and had enough for salads and smoothies. Incredible. The Tower Garden is an aeroponic gardening system that doesn’t use dirt. You just plug that sucker in, put water in the reservoir (at the bottom) and it circulates water up the tower, bathing the roots and causing your food to grow 30% faster than if it were in the ground. Can’t get much more local than that! If you’re interested, I can hook you up with one! Click here.

8. Trader Joe’s Yogurt Pretzels: The bane of my existence. If these are in my house, they will be eaten. By me and only me. There’s not many redeeming qualities nutritionally-wise, but they’re creamy, sugary, salty handfuls of bliss. 

9. Eat Pastry Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Ohhhh. myyyyyy. gosssssshhhh. Vegan, Non-gmo, egg-free cookie dough made for eating by the spoonful. Seriously. It’s SO tasty and SO bad for me to have in my fridge. But you have to buy some…it’s that good. The danger factor comes into play when you start spooning out little bites here and there. If it were a plate of cookies, I wouldn’t be tempted. The fact that I get to ration out little amounts at a time—that’s what gets me. But it’s totally worth it ;) Also, their Instagram is pretty much what piqued my interest and had me looking around Whole Foods for it. It’s hilariously raunchy.

10. Wawamelon: all day everyday. Watermelon by itself, in a salad, in a cocktail, as a refreshing juice. Just give me all the watermelon!

 

If you haven’t tried some of my summer faves, I encourage you to do so! You won’t regret these purchases– That Foodie Girl approved :)

Anyone have fun plans this weekend? We’re going to start with cocktails this evening to celebrate a few milestones for his work and mine, and nothing on the agenda for tomorrow except get a workout in, stop by our favorite bakery and be lazy. Sounds good to me! Have a good one!

Etre Belle Spa

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Morning!

I hope you all had a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend. We sure did. We have to be very purposeful about our weekends these days– if we stop saying “yes” to every social activity or event, we can actually have some time just us (the husband and me) and get some relaxing in. It’s tough to say no to hanging out with friends most of the time, but after a weekend of recharging, it’s totally worth it. 

{before we go any further, I must let you know that this post was sponsored by Etre Belle and I did not pay for these services}

I began the weekend a little early on Friday morning at Etre Belle. Etre Belle is a luxury spa and salon that offers cutting-edge medical cosmetic services like cosmetic injectables and laser skin care, massages, facials, nails, hair and it’s located inside Northpark Center on the second level between Neiman’s and Nordstrom (across the walkway from Madewell). Etre Belle opened in May 2015.

 After two-a-day intense workouts of practically every variety—thanks StudioHop ;) I was more than ready to work some of the knots out and take a breather. I was greeted promptly as I arrived and was taken back to the waiting room area. I loved the colors and the trendy interior. I also got to enjoy some spa water–there’s nothing better than spa water in this Texas heat!

I enjoyed an hour long massage from therapist Shante. She did a wonderful job and made changes in pressure as I asked, and did a wonderful job working out some of the knots I created throughout the week. It was so relaxing that I woke up to myself snoring…so that’s embarrassing. 
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After the massage I took a peek at the nails/hair room. How comfy do those chairs look!?

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All in all, my experience at Etre Belle was really good. I enjoyed my massage, the space was friendly and clean and I left feeling rejuvenated. The price of the massage was reasonable (~$80 without tip), but it did feel a little weird getting a massage at NorthPark. I really enjoy the “spa experience” of getting in the hot tub, sauna, steam room, spending time in the relaxation room and treating myself to a long shower post-massage. Unfortunately, you can’t do this at Etre Belle, but if you need to pop in for a regular massage or nails/hair or anything else, this place is for you. I think I will be back for another service, but for massage, I prefer to cough up the extra $$ to get the spa amenities, but that is just me!

Either way, go pop in and check them out. They sell all sorts of high-end beauty products like Moroccan Oil. 

Wishing you all a happy, relaxing week—it’s all about the mindset :) Happy Monday!

Alcomar: Mariscos y Mas

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Hey, remember me?

You know those friendships where you can live cross-country, be away from each other for a 1 year+ and the second you’re reunited, it’s as if no time has passed? Well, we’re going to be those kinds of friends and pretend no time has passed ;)

Now that I own 2 businesses, I’ve been asked if I am going to give up That Foodie Girl. The answer is a resounding NO WAY! I absolutely love getting to share recipes, products, healthy living tips and fun restaurants I’ve found wherever I am, and I hope that you enjoy reading it. Either way, I acknowledge the fact that I don’t blog regularly, but I still truly love this creative outlet and hope to connect with more of you as I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest healthy snack, trendy new restaurant and fun new workout.

Speaking of workouts, I am exhausted from a week of workout “research” for StudioHop. We were pulling two-a-days and my body is happy to be on the couch now. 

Ok, let’s get to the point. Alcomar in Austin, Texas. We went for Father’s Day (yep, that long ago) and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It’s the freshest, most flavorful Peruvian seafood you’ll ever have…ok, so most of you have probably never had Peruvian seafood, but just go with it. 

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The decor and overall feel of the restaurant is beachy, trendy and fun. I LOVE the atmosphere–perfect for brunch (which is what we did), happy hour or a night out. 

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Their cocktail menu is fun and Latin-inspired–I opted for the Alcomar (how original of me). Dulce Vida reposado, damiana, grilled pineapple & lime with a Bolivian pink salt rim. So fancy. The husband got the HEMINGÜEY. Best name ever. And my mom and sister got watermelon mimosas. Mmmmm.

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After scrolling through some Yelp/Instagram photos, I had an educated and well-researched appetizer order. This is serious business, you guys. This is the Cebiche Peruano– ahi tuna, ahi amarillo, ginger, corn nuts, sweet potatoes served with yucca chips. Thanks to all you people on Yelp/Instagram. This dish was super refreshing, all the flavors played quite nicely together and the textures were on point. 

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My main dish was some more ahi tuna, because you can’t get enough of that stuff! I definitely won #1 dish at our table of 6 :) This is their grilled tuna tostadas, off of their lunch menu (served from 11am-3pm). Grilled tuna, guacamole, arugula pickled onions, arbol oil and saffron rice. Anyone’s mouth watering?

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The husband got the steak torta ahogada. Texas wagyu hanger steak, refried white beans, manchego cheese, pickled onions in a warm salsa. He gobbled it up, so I’d say he enjoyed it. …and I was too lazy to snap photos of the rest of the meals, but just RUN to Alcomar. It’s a refreshing change of pace and you will love it.

Now time for some reading, watching mindless TV and relaxing time. Who’s excited it’s the weekend?!

A Mexican 4th of July

This 4th of July we were not very patriotic and spent the holiday celebrating in Mexico with mojitos and margaritas. It didn’t feel like the usual 4th, but the beach time sure made up for it. We were in my favorite place: Akumal, Mexico for 4 days with 2 couple friends and crammed as many of our favorite Akumal to-dos as we possibly could. We lounged by the pool, went snorkeling at Yal-Ku Lagoon and the main bay, swam, explored Tulum, ate, drank, napped, read, drank some more, ate some more. It was my ideal vacation…it just needed to be a little longer.

Tulum is booming and so is Akumal. If you’re looking for fun spots to eat in Tulum, a few of our faves are Tabano, Casa Jaguar, Hartwood and Ana y Jose. In Akumal, the obvious best option is LolHa Restaurant. I’m biased but it’s the truth. (do NOT miss the coconut mojitos, fish tacos, coconut curried shrimp or tampiquena).

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{view of Akumal Bay}

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{celebrating America in Mexico the way we know: wings, chili fries, burgers, coconut shrimp. so basically, food overload}

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{this was a (twice, sometimes thrice) daily occurrence: caipirinha + fresh chips and pico de gallo}

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{I was surprised with a beautiful chocolate cake to celebrate my birthday a few days early. Singing waiters included. thanks husband + MIL!}

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{the cutest baby squirrel that the receptionist rescued as a baby–such a friendly little fellow!}

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{Enjoying the moment–WHAT. have YOU held a squirrel before!?}

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{an incredibly gorgeous eco-hotel in Tulum. They built it with their HANDS. No machines. Intricate and gorgeous. Suenos Tulum.}

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{The husband looking so stylish in his Trunk Club outfit on the rooftop of Suenos Tulum. Jungle for miles. Breathtaking.}

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{Tabano in Tulum}

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{Tulum has this weird thing about menus. You are required to get up and memorize your selection rather than holding one in your hand. #junglehipsters}

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{Their house salad exceeded all house salad expectations. Pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. SO refreshing.}

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{Tabano’s take on a tomato goat cheese salad–also very refreshing. Fish tacos in the background.}

If you’ve never been to the Riviera Maya (or Akumal), it’s a must! Be sure to stay at Hotel Akumal Caribe and sneak out for a day trip to Tulum. 

I’ll be back with a few posts this week–one being our first El Bolero experience. Delish! Stay tuned.