Tag Archives: food

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

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The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

Hi! One of my favorite snack foods has to be spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips or Wheat Thins. I love the cheesy goodness along with the crunch of your dipping utensil and I enjoy it so much that I can eat it by the fork full! One of my client’s moms just so happens to make the best spinach artichoke dip that I have ever tasted and I am going to share it with all of you. The secret ingredient? Water chestnuts! Prepare to drool in five, four, three, two, one…

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 bag of fresh spinach (Think the size of a salad mix)
  • 1 bar of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 can of water chestnuts
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 small bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Chop up the veggies, mix everything together, and bake until light brown on top.

This recipe for spinach artichoke dip surpasses any kind that I’ve ordered at the restaurant or bought at the store by a landslide. The variety of cheeses combined with the crisp crunch of the water chestnuts makes my taste buds do a dance for joy every time. This is the perfect treat to make for a party or game night with your friends (I’ve already made it quite a few times for my “crew” and it has been a hit.) … But you might want to double the batch as it will go quick!

What is your favorite snack food? What do you like to cook for entertaining guests? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Actually… any holiday that revolves around eating is my favorite holiday. But, seriously. There is nothing better than spending the morning helping my mom cook Thanksgiving dinner, chilling in the afternoon, and then sitting down to a beautiful meal with my loved ones.

The food is the bomb, the cozy atmosphere of my home is perfect, and the time spent with my family is second to none. And, I sincerely hope that the same goes for all of you. I always try to remember what I’m thankful for on the daily and all of my sweet readers in one hundred and eighty-eight different countries are on my list every time – especially today!

Thank you to everyone who has supported lifewithlilred throughout the years and, no matter how you spend today, I hope that it is an amazing one. Much love. -Sarah

Dollar Tree Haul

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Dollar Tree Haul

Hello everyone! If there’s one thing that Lil Red doesn’t believe in, it’s paying full price for just about anything. So, it’s pretty shocking that I really didn’t get into shopping at the Dollar Tree until this past year. One of my clients loves that store and I always end up there at least one time a week. It wasn’t until I took a closer look around until I realized that the Dollar Tree is friggen awesome and I have had much success shopping there, especially since moving into my apartment. Don’t believe me? Check out this big ol’ haul for yourself:

tree

For twenty items I paid twenty dollars altogether and I am confident that if I purchased all of this at a normal grocery store it would easily be over fifty dollars. The Dollar Tree pulled through in the clutch for me at just the right time because after all of my holiday shopping this month, my credit card bill is going to be huge. BUT, I also have no food in my apartment. This will definitely tide me over until my bill turns over in December and I can do a bigger grocery shopping trip.

Also, can we please talk about the potato gnocchi and Arizona nacho trays?! They are both SO freaking good and the only thing that isn’t pictured is the nachos that I already ate, lol. They are a perfect snack for when I get home from work and I was so stoked that the Dollar Tree that I was at had them that I just had to get six, lol! The gnocchi is also a quick, easy, and delicious meal that my boyfriend and I both love and will be a perfect, simple dinner after we’ve both had a long day.

I have never quite understood the people that considered themselves above discount shopping but I, for one, will never be. Compliments of shopping at TJMaxx and Marc’s (a discount grocery store in my neck of the woods), I am sure that I’ve saved over thousands throughout the years and that ballin on a budget train isn’t going to end any time soon!

What is your favorite discount store? How do you ball on a budget for your grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Warning! These Signs Show That You Need A Detox ASAP

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Warning! These Signs Show That You Need A Detox ASAP

The body is a tireless machine that works even while you sleep. It flushes out toxins or those chemicals and foreign elements you’ve picked up from the products you used, the pollution you’re exposed to, and the food and substances ingested. However, like any machine, the body can get overwhelmed, and its efficiency can go downhill with little to no support from you.

This is where detoxification comes in. It helps the body deal effectively with the toxin buildup that can result in health conditions. While detox is closely associated with fasting, losing weight, and doing a short-term diet, this act of cleansing can be a periodic activity and carried out as necessary.

Listen to your body and be attentive to your current physical condition. Do you feel older than your years? Do you have trouble fulfilling routine tasks? Think of these as signs that you need a detox. Take a look:

You Feel Tired:

Something’s off when you feel fatigued despite getting enough sleep and rest. This constant sluggishness can be a symptom of adrenal fatigue, which happens when the adrenal glands are unable to produce enough hormones, such as cortisol, which handles stress and other responsibilities.

Many reasons cause this adrenal burnout:

  • Lack of nutrients, like zinc, which supports adrenal health
  • Chemicals from food and drugs or materials that come in contact with the body
  • Excessive stress and unhealthy responses to them

You Have Not Been Sleeping Well:

A healthy person secretes cortisol in response to a fight-or-flight situation and switches this off. As the day wears on, the cortisol level is also expected to go down so you can sleep. The opposite occurs for some people who can’t sleep at night because of heightened alertness caused by high cortisol levels.

Aside from addressing any cortisol imbalance, as noted above, your lifestyle affects how you sleep. The usual suspects are the following:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Heavy meals before bedtime

detox1

Unsplash Image

As you age, your liver is not in the optimal condition to break down the above substances and flush them out. Thus, alcohol takes longer to metabolize and hits you with hangovers.

You Are Beset with Digestive Issues:

The digestive system is among the first to suffer when harmful elements accumulate in the body. Some manifestations include diarrhea, constipation, gas pains, and the like. When your stomach is out of whack at the slightest provocation, then you probably need to carry out these things:

  • Do an elimination diet. It’s a method to confirm food intolerances that can irritate your stomach.
  • Add fiber to your meals. A diet rich in high-fiber sources like fruits and vegetables promotes a healthy gut. Dietary fiber enables regular bowel movements and stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the colon through probiotics.

Speaking of gut bacteria, another telltale sign for detox is when you always crave for sweets. According to research published on PBS.org, the sugar in these foods can impede the production of proteins critical to the growth of the good bacteria.

You Have Skin Problems:

What’s happening inside of your body is reflected in your skin. Rashes, pimples, blemishes, and skin discoloration are clear-as-day signs. To heal your skin and restore its health, you must start from within and work toward the outside:

  • Cleanse your liver, and support its health. Enrich your diet with garlic, carrots, green tea, avocado, apples, and walnuts.
  • Hydrate your skin. Water aids in digestion and replenishes fluids you lose through urine and sweat.
  • Care for your skin. Select toners, cleansers, and face masks with natural ingredients to clean your pores from the outside.

You Need to Pass a Critical Test

You may have consumed alcohol or taken certain recreational substances at some point. Whatever your reasons or motivations, the exposure is there, and you need to be clean for a job offer. A detox is clearly in order to eliminate toxins from your body and help you pass the test.

In doing this kind of detox and ensuring you have the right program, consider the following:

  • Level of exposure (i.e., the type of substance you took and the frequency)
  • Your body weight and height
  • Metabolism rate

As with any detoxification program, drink lots of water and eat high-fiber foods. Indeed, by going through this detox, not only are you preparing yourself for a significant career milestone, but you are also cleansing your body of harmful toxins.

Your body deserves a break. Give time and effort to help it cleanse, heal, and restore itself. Living in a toxin-free environment is impossible, but you have detoxification programs as necessary for your health and well-being.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Breakfast Of Champions

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Breakfast Of Champions

*Trigger Warning: This post contains references to eating disorders.

Hellooo everyone! Eating “normally” has always been something that I’ve struggled with. From eating too much to not eating at all and a battle with bulimia, food turned into my best friend and worst enemy. I still struggle with occasional spurts of not wanting to eat or a strong desire to have a binge and purge sesh and do my damnedest to fight the urge. And, I have to say, I have been doing a great job and I am proud of that.

One thing that has helped me with my food related issues has been trying to create a normal schedule for myself of when to eat. And, for once, this includes breakfast – something that I would avoid until around May of this year when I was settled into my apartment. For some reason, there was nothing more satisfying to me than waking up in my own place, opening my refrigerator to examine the food that I bought by myself, and making something tasty to eat.

Now, mind you, it’s never like I’m making some super gourmet breakfast extravaganza. Rather, I usually opt for something easy like my favorites of eggie in a basket or a bagel with a sunny side up egg and a slice of cheese on it. I also will go for just eggs and toast or a bagel with cream cheese. As a vegetarian and not a vegan, I am very mindful of where my eggs come from and always choose the cage free/free roaming option and these are a staple you can find in my fridge more often than not along with bagels and a grainy loaf of bread.

Eating breakfast was never important to me until I started realizing the impact it had on my day. It made me drive to work without dreading it, I would feel satisfied but not bursting at the seams, and I wasn’t obsessively counting down the minutes until lunch. My attitude seemed to improve tenfold and by the time lunch rolled around, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to indulge in a huge meal.

Of course, I value my beauty sleep and don’t always have the time to cook something for myself in the morning. But, I like that I have made this positive and healthy change in my life and have been keeping up with it. And, guess what? Adding an extra meal didn’t effect my weight in any way shape or form, which was my main concern.

Living as an eating disorder survivor is a difficult thing, because it’s always going to be a nagging little thought in the back of your mind. Very much how it is with my self harm struggles. But, the harder I work at making healthy choices when it comes to food, the weaker those voices become. And, maybe some day, I won’t ever have to deal with them at all.

What do you like to eat for breakfast? How do you make healthy choices when it comes to food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Items To Buy Before You Pick Up Your New Puppy

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Items To Buy Before You Pick Up Your New Puppy

Bringing home your puppy for the first time is an exciting time and, if you have children, it’s going to be even more of a special experience. It’s not something to be taken lightly, of course, and you need to think about how much time, effort, and money you have available for this new puppy. But, if you’ve already thought about it thoroughly and you have made the decision, then you can be sure that there are some things that you are going to need to purchase. Puppies need a lot of time spent on them primarily, but there is also such a vast world of puppy items too, including the pooper scooper, all of which you’ll have to consider carefully.

Food:

There is considerable debate over what constitutes as a proper diet for your dog. There are many articles out there are explaining why a particular dog food should never be given to your pet, and also lots of information regarding raw feeding. Raw feeding is simply a diet that consists of uncooked meat, there is a community of people that believe raw food is the ultimate option for any dog. But, you have to take many things into consideration, do your research and find the right thing for you and your pet. Make sure you stock up, as these little puppies eat and grow in vast quantities.

Bedding:

Having a safe spot to sleep and hide is an essential thing for a new puppy. They are going to need to feel safe, and the “cave” option for them is important. A puppy who is happy, content, and not scared is a puppy that will listen and make good choices. Mostly, if a puppy is destructive and not listening to the training, you will find that it’s because they don’t have everything they need, including good direction. Many people believe that crate training is important for a puppy’s development and potty training, and others believe that leaving the puppy to sleep on your bed with you is the ultimate. Whichever you choose, you will no doubt be looking for a puppy bed before you bring them home.

Training Books:

The most important thing you can do to keep your puppy happy and safe isn’t just about controlling the dog, it’s making sure they know what is expected of them and are challenged mentally. Training books such as easy peasy puppy squeezy, give great insight into puppies, why they do what they do, and how you can set them up for excellent training. Don’t miss this step and wait until they are ‘older’ as they are like sponges when they are little. They won’t remember everything all of the time but it’s recommended to get started straight away.

To help with your puppy’s enrichment and entertainment, which in turn stops them from being destructive, you will need to provide them with toys and training opportunities with high-value treats. It can be as simple as a toilet roll with treats wrapped inside (supervised) or a puppy Kong filled with dog-safe peanut butter. Good luck bringing your new pet home!

Featured Image By: Austin Kirk on Unsplash

Vacation Eats: The Moose Cafe

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Vacation Eats: The Moose Cafe

Hello, hello everyone! When it comes to family vacations, my dad is the king of planning. From activities and shops to hikes and the best restaurants in the area, he spends time scouring the internet and travel books for stops to make for the ultimate vacation. While in Asheville, North Carolina for our vaca, we had dinner at The Moose Cafe after shopping a charming little farmers market right down the street. Although the menu wasn’t the most vegetarian friendly, I still managed and ended up with a massive plate o’ carbs. Check it out:

carbs

^^^ Awwww yeahhhhh

During one of our previous trips to Asheville, we had breakfast at The Moose Cafe and that was really crazy good. And, despite only having one option to eat for dinner, it was still really crazy good. I was able to pick four side dishes to form one mega meal and went with the cheesy grits, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, and French fries as well as a slice of cornbread. As if that wasn’t enough carbohydrates for ya, don’t even get me started on the pre-meal biscuits and apple butter. YUM!

From a health perspective, this might not have been the best meal. But, from a “I was super hungry” perspective, this meal fucking SLAPPED. The biscuits were huge, soft, and fluffy. They literally melted in your mouth with a butter and honey finish. And, committing even more carbicide on the main course was just what I needed after a long day.

Some of the sides were definitely better than the others and I have them ranked in the following order:

  1. French fries
  2. Cheesy grits
  3. Mashed potatoes
  4. Mac n’ cheese

However, once I had them reheated as leftovers, they all tasted really freaking good! Funny how that works out!

What is your favorite spot for breakfast in your neck of the woods? Where do you like to eat if you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Facebook