New Face – Alyssa

3 Jul

This is my first official “new face” test, she has just signed with CW Management and is looking for an agency in New York City. This girl is rad! She has such a range of strong facial expressions and understands how to make an interesting and captivating image, and she’s only 15!  It was a breeze to shoot with her. This girl will be killing it very soon. I kept it soft and feminine with her with this just-woke-up kind of look. I used real objects in front of the lens to create these hazy color blurs. Enjoy!

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Hello! & 5 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating

7 Feb

Hey there! Me here, toughing out this New York winter. Good thing I have an obsession with coats, see here:

instacoat

I’ve had a lot of time to experiment with different foods and find out which works with me. I’m pretty set in my ways once I find food that serve me well, are healthy, give me energy and support my weight desires. Here are a few foods that are staples in my diet and why!

  1. Grapefruit. An acquired taste, perhaps. I first got myself to start eating it by sprinkling it with brown sugar, but I now love it in it’s pure form. One of my favorite things about it is it’s low number on the glycemic index, meaning it’s fruit that won’t raise your blood sugar and lead you to more sugar cravings. It’s loaded with Vitamin C & A, protecting you from sickness and harmful free radicals. And it’s in season! Nature’s beautiful way of protecting us from winter flu & colds.
  2. Chia Seeds. Oh you chia you. Surely you’ve heard the wonders of these small seeds. Seriously, eat em. They’re chock full of fiber without eating any grains, plus they give you your essential fatty acid Omega-3, which protects against inflammation such as arthritis and heart disease. Put them in your oatmeal and watch your portion size double, because they absorb and bulk up, allowing you to eat seemingly more without more calories. These suckers even expand in your stomach and fill you up for a good while.
  3. Cabbage. Weird? Maybe. I like cabbage. I make big ol’ salads out of it and also have been putting it into my vegetable soups. It’s filling, low calorie, no starch, slightly sweet and crunchy. The high water content serves to be filling, and it’s an alkaline food, meaning it’s brings your body’s acidity level down (which provides a plethora of benefits). This is yet another food filled with Vitamin C, and also Vitamin K which supports bone health. Dress it up with ginger, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and you’ll be doing your body a big favor!
  4. Apples. Oh how could you go a day without an apple? There’s an apple out there for every kind of taste preference; sweet, sour, bitter. I have a big sweet tooth, but just because green apples are lower in sugar and calories I opt for them, but of course dress them up with spices and flavors like in this dish: Cran-Apple Crisp Lookalike. They can actually help detoxify your liver, which is under constant stress from the toxins we consume and are exposed to (mostly unwillingly, I’ll assume). And lastly I’ll mention the fiber count it touts, because you know, it keeps ya flowin and it keeps ya colon happy.
  5. Turmeric. Okay, not a food, whatever. It comes from India and is part of the ginger family. I’ve recently discovered the wonderful health benefits of this tasty spice and I’ve been adding it to nearly everything! Tofu scrambles, vegetable curries and soups. Adding it alone has seriously upped my cooking skills. It benefits every system in the body, is a powerful anti-oxidant, super anti-inflammatory, even been known to block cancer! How could you not use it? You can even take it in capsule form which would maximize it’s benefits (even highly recommended for Arthritis sufferers).

It was really hard to pick 5 healthy foods when I eat so many healthy foods everyday! I’ll definitely have to continue this list later 🙂 Hope you enjoyed and please let me know your thoughts!

Frozen Yogurt Banana Truffles

24 Jan

Hey all.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a long time. It’s hard to run a food blog when I’m not much of a cook. -_- I want to be able to cook better, I think I’m just more interested in nutrition. But me posting about health isn’t as exciting as posting pretty food pictures 😉

But here is something I just thought of today! They’re currently nestled in my freezer so we’ll have to experiment together on how good they’ll be, but I did try one and though it was really good and couldn’t wait to share! These are a fun little treat for yourself, or could part of your breakfast.

banana yogurt truffles

mmmmm…. bananananananaaaa

Not much of a technique, just dip pieces of banana into a container of yogurt of your choice and spread on a piece of foil to pop in the freezer. I added cinnamon, nutmeg and Stevia to my yogurt, and topped them with shredded almonds, cacao nibs and coconut flakes. I love me some sweet.

Enjoy!

Model Health Regimen

22 Dec

Let me start out by saying that I don’t necessarily have the “model” model diet, if you catch my drift. Let me ask you a question, when you think of a model’s diet, what do you think of? 3 altoids and a diet coke?

For me and for many of my model peers, that is far from the case. Sure I’ve ran into models who have less than optimum eating habits. But for many of us, we eat. OBVIOUSLY you should have noticed that if you read my blog!

Even though you have witnessed many of my culinary experiences, there is some sort of restriction I maintain. If you’re interested I’ll spell it out for you.

I wish I could go without carbs but I love and need them. I try to stick to one, two max carb/starch sources a day. I usually start my day with 1/3 cup oatmeal JAM PACKED with pretty much every berry you can think of, plus kiwi and some random superfoods like maca and chia.

Coffee time, one cup a day with soy creamer.

I eat veggies like a pro, wish I got paid for it. My lunches are almost 100% raw. I posted before literally what I eat every day for lunch. See my Mean Green Super Salad here, I eat a giant bowl of it. I like to get as much nutrients as possible so I put a little bit of everything. Nowadays I add 1/2 cup of lentils or tofu in the mix, along with some artichoke hearts and sundried tomatos. I seriously never get sick of this salad.

Then for snacks I get creative…. I have a recipe I’m overdue in posting. I got sick of eating plain apples so now I cook them in a little almond milk, cinnamon, slivered almonds and some plain soy yogurt. That pretty much fills me up until dinner.

Then dinner comes more veggies, cooked this time though. I throw in everything into a steamer or I process them a bit and cook them with some soy sauce in a pan. And end my night with tea.

What you don’t see in this diet is soda, energy drinks, bagels, meat, alcohol, candy, cheese, creamy soups, cake and cookies. I’ll give you this though, my vice is fro-yo once or twice a month. I never keep sweets in my house because it’ll be gone in a day, I have a GIGANTIC sweet tooth. How I keep from eating sweets? I make things that taste decadent and delicious, but only using healthy and pure ingredients (like that apple yogurt crisp thing I was talking about earlier). When I’m out and on a job and they have a delicious spread of my favorites deserts, do I take a bite? Sometimes, but only one bite. One bite of sugar just makes you crave more sugar.

Of course I think about my figure. I have to, it’s in my job description. But I care far more about the quality of ingredients that I put into my body, and seeing how much I love sugar I have to pretty much constantly remind myself that sugar is really detrimental to my body. It leads to many diseases, disorders, infections and even cancer. I’d like not to take any part in that. I like foods that nourish my taste buds AS WELL as my body and spirit. (I did study holistic nutrition, after all).

As for exercise…. lately I’ve been getting better at this. It’s not my favorite part of my healthy lifestyle. I’ve been trying to do run/jog sprints for 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week. In between I’ll do various strength training (a little) and Pilates.  I feel good when I do it but I’m still learning how to conquer my own mind when I’m just too tired to put on my workout shoes. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to update you on my progress on that front. :)

Thanks for listening all. Hope this gave you some insight to the mind of how a model thinks. We have pressures about our body and most of us think about that almost all the time.. occupational hazard. I just wanted to show you that there are a lot of us with a healthy, nurturing and nutritious mindset when it comes to our bodies, and we encourage EVERYONE to be the same, no matter your body shape.

xoxo, Alanna

Apple Cranberry Crisp “Lookalike”

5 Nov

I won’t deny that I’m a lazy cook. I am. I want the quickest way in and out of the kitchen, my only criteria is using the best ingredients possible. And sometimes I just want to control my nasty sweet tooth with some sweet nutrition. So I present to you, the easiest and healthiest quick-fix snack. And hey it’s grain-free! Which makes it a lighter version of a fruit crisp.

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 – 1 T coconut oil
  • 2 T shredded coconut
  • splash of lemonaide or orange juice
  • pinch of cinnamon
  1. Heat the oil in a small pan while you cut the apple in small sections. Add the apple and cranberries to the pan and mix to coat evenly.
  2. Sprinkle with cinnamon and the shredded coconut and mix again. You can eat it dry like this, or add the lemonaide or orange juice to create the ooey gooey factor, by mixing it up in the pan until the liquid absorbs and fruit is tender.

On another note, sorry I’ve neglected this blog this last month. I’ve realized it’s pretty hard to keep up a food blog when I literally eat the same thing for breakfast lunch and dinner everyday. But I want to dediicate a new devoted energy to maintaining this blog, because encouraging people to be healthier and happier in the slightest bit is what I’m passionate about. Someday I want to help people in a big way that can really transform their lives, starting with the taste buds 😉

Peace & love

Importance of Food Combining

30 Sep

Each mammal species has a specific type of digestive system biologically adapted to a particular type of food. There are carnivorous, herbivorous, omnivorous, frugivorous and graminivorous animals living here on earth. There are many different opinions on what type of digestive system humans possess, but one thing is certain – humans definitely can’t have all of them, much like our Western diet has us assuming.

When we combine food groups improperly, the body cannot break food down or utilize the nutrients properly. It leaves us suffering from poor digestion and a list of symptoms such as boating, cramping and tiredness. No wonder Rolaids, Tums, Pepto-Bismol, Alka-Seltzer and Milk of Magnesia has turned into a billion dollar industry!

The Five Food-Combining Principles

  1. Eat fruit alone. If fruit is eaten with or after a meal, the sugar will ferment in the stomach because it’s held up by the other food, causing gas and bloating. Ideally, eat it alone for breakfast every morning. Fruit is a powerful detoxifier; the high water content makes it travel through the body quickly, and the fiber will brush out the intestinal walls keeping it clean and clear. Wait 1-2 hours before eating any other food. Our bodies don’t really need that much food in the morning, they are still utilizing the nutrients from food the night before.
  2. Do not combine protein with starch. Protein foods and starchy foods require different digestive juices in order to be properly broken down and used by the body. When eaten together, the enzyme for digesting starches is not produced in the mouth, so it will enter the stomach undigested and begins to ferment, producing gas. To make matters worse, protein needs to be digested in an acidic environment and starch in an alkaline environment, so when eaten together the digestive juices neutralize each other. All this decaying food is held up in the stomach, and the nutrients needed to replenish the cells are destroyed in the decaying and fermenting process. This dietary cycle can eventually lead to premature aging and illness.
  3. Eat protein alone or with vegetables. The enzymes in vegetables actually enhance the digestion of protein, and the fiber helps move the protein rapidly through the intestines.
  4. If you eat starches, eat them alone or with vegetables. Since vegetables do not require their own specific digestive juices, they can be digested in the alkaline environment required by starches.
  5. Do not drink with meals. Drinking with meals effectively dilute the digestive juices that are needed to break down the food, preventing it from being properly digested. Drink at least a half and hour before and after meals. Fruits and vegetables are high in water content so the food itself will provide plenty fluid to not feel thirsty after your meal. If you find that you are thirsty after eating, you may be using too much salt.

 

Following these five easy steps to food combining will be one of the best things you can do for your digestive system and health. If it sounds too complicated, let’s put it in simpler terms: Instead of eating tofu and rice together, eat tofu over a salad or steamed vegetables. Eat the rice mixed in a vegetable stir-fry or in a vegetable soup. Eat fruits only in the morning. If you like pasta, great! Eat whole grain pasta with vegetables or by itself with a veggie sauce. If sandwiches are your thing, have a grilled vegetable sandwich on whole grain bread, or wrapped in a whole grain tortilla. If you love breakfast foods, try having pumpkin oatmeal instead of banana (perfect season to implement that).

I’ve been experimenting with this the past few weeks, and I’ve experienced noticeable differences in my energy levels and bloating if I followed these rules for meals! I used to be a believer that carbs, fats and proteins should be present in the same meal to keep you full, but by leaving out the grains for lunch and just having marinated tofu over a big salad (delicious by the way), I didn’t experience that afternoon sleepiness like I do every other day! I am so grateful I learned this information, I hope it’ll help you too.

Nutty Banana Bread

22 Aug

Want to fill your house with the delicious smell of banana bread? Who could resist that?!

I made this because I was dissatisfied with the selection of gluten free breads at the store. I wanted something perfect for breakfast – EFA and protein packed from nuts and sweetened by fruit – to keep me full throughout the morning. So I present to you this deliciously moist gluten free banana bread! This was the first loaf of bread I’ve ever made! I always thought it would be much tougher than it was, if I can do it you can do it! And you probably have all these ingredients already.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of quick oats
  • 1/4 cup of almonds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 2 cups of mashed banana (measured after mashing)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (can omit if you want)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs (or chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grind your 2 cups of oats in a blender until it becomes a flour/powder, put in a large bowl. Grind almonds and flax seeds the same way and put in the bowl. Combine all dry ingredients in that bowl
  2. Mash your bananas in a separate bowl and add all the wet ingredients to it. Fold wet into dry ingredients and mix well. Add the cacao and walnuts last and mix in.
  3. Pour into a greased 9×5 loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes. If the insides are not done then but the top is, put a piece of foil over it and bake 5-10 minutes longer.
  4. After removing from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

must….not….eat it all…. in one day…….. so hard…