Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pink Peacock

I LOVE this faux fur vest that I picked up from Target last year. I mean it's pink! I've never been a pink kind of girl, but I'm starting to appreciate it much more as I get older. There's something so feminine about it. Especially in softer, more muted shades. Every girl needs a vest like this in her closet. Besides being the ultimate statement piece, it's an instant mood booster. Seriously, try being upset when you feel like a pink peacock. It's damn near impossible:)





White shirt & shades : Forever 21, Pink vest: Target, Pants: TJ Maxx, Shoes: ModCloth, Bag: Ralph Lauren, Bracelet: Old Navy, Necklace: Thrifted


Sunday, January 17, 2016

TGIM!

Here's a few shots of an outfit I wore to church a few weeks ago. I remember being so on the fence about this midi. Crazy right?! It's not that I didn't like it, but I wanted to make sure that it wasn't a fading attraction. Especially since Forever 21 has this crappy in store policy where you can only exchange items or return them for store credit (once they have your money, they're not letting go!). I went to Forever 21 on two separate occasions before I actually bought it. I'm so glad I finally did. The color and texture of the skirt make it a perfect transitional piece to wear into fall or winter. It will also work quite well in the spring or summer paired with a silk burgundy cami or with a scoop neck cotton white or grey short-sleeved tee for a more casual look. 

Style aside, this weekend has been exactly what I needed. I've managed to get some work done and rest, all while enjoying some pretty good food:) I made some cinnamon oven roasted butternut squash and put it in a salad with some cranberry cinnamon goat cheese and pumpkin seeds that I got from Publix. Amazing! I'm grateful that it's not over just yet though. I still have Monday to help ease me back into the week. Since I don't have classes on Monday this semester, I think I may need to officially coin the phrase TGIM!

Sweater & Skirt: Forever 21, Shoes: Target, Pin: Thrifted, Bracelet: J. Crew










Friday, January 15, 2016

One Down and Miles to Go Before I Sleep

I survived my last first week of classes! It feels like a big accomplishment. The first week back after a long break is always a little rough for me. I have to get used to having a strict routine again. My calendar has already filled up with assignment deadlines, research meetings, TA duties, and writing sessions.

As overwhelming as this can be, it's also a bit refreshing. A new semester brings new subjects, new research ideas, new people, whether they be professors or classmates, and new experiences. There's this anxious, frenzied energy in the air. People scurry around campus trying to find classes in buildings they've never been to before (me on Tuesday), crack a smile as they run into a friend that they haven't seen since before break, and decide whether they're going to stay in that stats class that meets on Monday morning at 8. It's kind of electric.






One thing I'm sure of is this semester will not lack in excitement. It's only been a few days and I'm already involved in a project to help communicate success stories about meeting healthy food guidelines in federal worksites (right up my alley:).




Faux Leather Jacket: JcPenney, Blue & Gray Sweater Top: JcPenney, White Top Underneath: The Limited, Jeans: Target, Shoes: Forever 21, Chain Necklace: Express, Gold Bangle: Old Navy

Besides the excitement the new semester has brought, there is a little intimidation. By May I'll have to make some big decisions (e.g. settle on my dissertation topic, form my committee, and begin seriously thinking about post-graduation career plans). So let's just say I'm not in a rush for the semester to end:) This weekend I plan to take it easy by doing some reading and resting. Technically, the honeymoon is already over. My professors have wasted no time in assigning plenty of readings and assignments. I'm going to extend it for a few more days though because once Tuesday comes, it's a race to the finish.






TGIF!
xo
Chioma

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chicken & Apple Pita Wrap

Now that the spring semester has officially begun, time is at an ultimate premium. I need as many quick and healthy meal ideas in my arsenal as possible because my schedule is going to be packed. Fortunately, I can add this chicken and apple pita wrap to the mix! It only involves four ingredients, is super easy to assemble, and totally customizable depending on my preferences. Bonus points for the pita pocket making it perfectly portable as well.


Ingredients:
3 oz chicken
1/4 of a medium sized green apple
1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 whole wheat pita pocket

Directions:
  1. Slice your green apple into fourths, taking one of the fourths and dicing it into smaller one inch chunks.
  2. Take your chicken, cottage cheese, and green apples and mix them all together.
  3. Carefully place the mixture into your pita pocket and enjoy.
I'll usually have this with some yogurt, crackers, or a piece of fruit (like the remaining 3/4 of my green apple). A note about the chicken: I usually nuke it in the microwave for about 20 seconds but you can also have it cold like a deli wrap. And if you're wondering where to find pita pockets, they're usually hanging out with the breads and soft taco wraps.






Hope you're having a wonderful week!
xo,
Chioma

Friday, January 8, 2016

Sunny Side Up or Scrambled?

Two scrambled eggs with black pepper, sea salt, and goat cheese, avocado & cilantro rose salsa, with cilantro & lime chicken sausage. Delicious, filling, and pretty darn healthy;)


The nutrition world is all abuzz with the release of the most recent federal dietary guidelines. You likely won't be surprised by many of the recommendations - eat whole fruits, colorful vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and seafood, and whole grains, but one of the recommendations about eggs may catch you by surprise. So what is the new guideline - that you can eat them! For years, people have avoided eggs and opted for their reduced fat and cholesterol counterparts like egg whites and egg beaters. Eggs first received a bad rap in the 1960s after an American Heart Association report linked diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats to poor heart health. Egg consumption in the US significantly declined following this. The egg industry has since worked vigorously to get back in the good graces of former egg lovers (remember the Incredible Edible egg commercials?!), and this recommendation could be a step in the right direction.

On a personal note, this is one of the reasons I was drawn to my field - health communication with an emphasis on diet and nutrition. Nutrition science is constantly evolving. As more research is conducted, new information comes out, and that information gets shared with the public. Some people may then make modifications to their diet based on these "hot" new research studies. I find it fascinating, but it's also a bit worrisome. Basing your diet on one or a couple of new research studies isn't a great idea. Now that's not the case here - this was an official report released by the American Heart Association which was based on years of scientific research, but I'm using this as a detour to make a point. When it comes to your diet, stick to tried and true recommendations like the ones above (e.g. colorful fruits and veggies, lean meats, & whole grains), and let the rest of your diet be varied. It's all about moderation and variety. Eat some eggs, have some tuna, or enjoy some full fat milk (*gasps*). What you want to avoid is having your diet consist primarily of one or a few types of foods. Think of it this way, your body is a complex organism with millions of various functions that it has to perform on a daily basis. In order to perform all of these different functions, it needs different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The way to get them is by eating a wide variety of foods.

So go ahead and order that omelet at Sunday brunch! And politely tell the server you don't need to substitute them for egg whites:)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Unfolding the Vision

Happy New Year friends! I hope the first few days of 2016 have been treating you well. So far I've spent the new year thinking about that one question that we all dread, but seem to get asked more often as we get older - "Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?" It's crazy how such a deceptively innocent question is so challenging to answer. Part of the reason is because there are so many different directions you can go with it. And to be completely truthful, how you answer depends on who's asking. I can guarantee your mother isn't looking for the same answer as a potential employer. I've decided that this will be the year that I really spend more time developing that five to 10 year vision for myself. This includes everything from the personal to professional. It's important for me to know exactly what I want out of my life, so that I can be intentional in the choices that I make because,

How do you know you're lost, if you don't know where you're going? 

There are many things that I don't have figured out. I mean it's only day five of the new year, but there are many things that I do know I want. I'd like to build this blog into a solid brand, and a community where I can connect with people who share my passion for health, style, and beauty. I plan to be a homeowner. I will have started my own consulting firm. I also plan to meet and work with Michelle Obama.

Don't ask me how - I walk by faith. 

I just admire what she does, who she is, and what she represents to the world. She's a strong, intelligent, charming, and poised black woman, who's a champion for healthy living. What's not to love about her. Funny thing is, last August when I gave a presentation at a health communication conference in Atlanta, a young lady who worked for Let's Move Childcare approached me and asked to feature our program on their website. In my mind, that meant that there was a chance that Michelle Obama read words I wrote! That was all the proof I needed that our paths will cross in due time:) 

So that's part of the vision. The rest is still under construction. Fortunately, I don't have to have it all figured out to start making intentional choices like saving a set percent of my income, networking, and developing a schedule to put out quality blog posts consistently.





Coat, jeans, & scarf: Asos, Shades: Target, Shoes: Kate Spade for Keds 

 
May prosperity, health, and joy be yours for the taking in 2016!
Love & blessings,
xo Chioma;)