Austin Bites

Finally, here it is. Austin food edition. I couldn’t not post on all the amazing bites I took out of the many offerings in Austin.

The city of food trucks has my heart. I truly only want to eat out of food trucks from now on.

If you had a few bites of the below…. you would too 🙂

photo (262)

I could live on street tacos alone. And in Austin, you seem to never be far from a taco truck.

photo (263)

And blue balls.  Who doesn’t want to eat a pile of blueberry donuts? 🙂

photo (264)

photo (265)

Do you think we ordered enough?

photo (268)

photo (269)

photo (267)

Cocktails to wash all this down was necessary…

I wanted to take a quick moment and apologize for my lack in commenting/responding lately. I’ve been a bit absent from blogland and I apologize. Summer here is so fleeting and I’m attempting to enjoy every ounce. Please forgive me 🙂

Happy Tuesday everyone!

photo (266)

12 Years.. Treats.. and Confessions

Happy Tuesday! Another edition of Treat Yourself Tuesday and link up with Becky. If you are new to this series, it is all about doing at least one thing for yourself a week.

This week, my treat involves a confession.

A big one. But of course, a confession with justification 🙂

I’ve received tons of grief for this…

For the last twelve years….

I have had….

The same tennis shoes!

Yes I know I know…

A running sin! (but I’m not a runner!)

Is that strong enough justification??? 🙂

Finally Friend D took me by the hand and led me into The Running Room.

Pretty sure the salesman thought I was completely nuts. As a former pro track and field athlete, he could do nothing but shake his head.

I never knew there could be such an analysis of your feet! My feet are literally in a new world.

photo (243)

Welcome to 2014 Christina.

We did trash the 12 year old ones outside the store. But not before I said a little blessing/thank you to the shoes for our last 12 years together 🙂

On a side note: Mr. Track and Field Salesman offered to train and run a marathon with me, despite the fact that he had never had any desire to do so prior to meeting me.

Was this a pick up line??? 🙂

HOW DID YOU TREAT YOURSELF THIS WEEK?

Rocking Out

Happy Treat Yourself Tuesday!

Linking up with Becky again 🙂

Treat yourself Tuesday is all about doing something for yourself once a week, even in the smallest of ways.

This week its all about pasta, ladies night and music…..

Preshow dinner of pasta? Yes please.

photo (241)

My first show at the Varsity? Check!

photo (242)

photo (240)

Post dinner, treating yourself to some live music? The concert, the band, the lyrics that seek out the emotions no one else seems able to reach?

Dancing and singing our hearts out, a perfect Thursday Tuesday to me 🙂

If you ever get the chance to see Delta Rae, do it! AMAZING.

Happy Tuesday all!

What is the last concert you went to?

The Perfect Brunch

When friends at ProFlowers mentioned a series on spring brunch….. how could I not join in the fun? We all know I’m obsessed with the meal. Its a weekly blog topic for me basically. So why not join in!.

To start, check out the inspiration, ProFlowers’ post on the Spring Brunch Checklist here.

Now, what makes my perfect spring brunch?

Lets start with the table. Fresh spring flowers are a must. Last week I had fresh flowers in every room. Overkill? Never 🙂

photo (3)

Next, brunch requires a cocktail. And my favorite, the Bloody Mary of course.

The perfect spring brunch would have a Bloody Mary cook off! (Drink off?!) A little FoodNetwork Chopped action at brunch? Why not! A Bloody Mary competition, who can make the best, most spicy, most outlandish Bloody Mary.

Cocktails and activities, who’s in?!

My perfect brunch meal? It would look a little something like this:

photo (232)

The Side of bacon, a must.  Paired with grilled salmon and a veggie hash.

Finally the most important ingredient to my perfect spring brunch.. the perfect company. Friends who order you that second Bloody Mary, friends who cannot wait to remind you of your weekend escapades, friends who are there to support an important upcoming week at work…

Flowers, cocktails and activities, a side of bacon, and great conversation with friends. What more could you ask for?

WHAT MAKES YOUR PERFECT SPRING BRUNCH?

(this is not a sponsored post)

Kings

Back on the path of exploring the new! Well at least the new to me 🙂

This place has been on my radar for awhile.. and holding the top spot for first on my running list of places to try. Yes I have a list. It sits in my soon to be retiring iPhone 4s..

People will be talking and all of a sudden, I can’t help it, the running list is open and growing… however those around me are normally talking of food, so my rude iPhone interruptions can be forgiven.

I can finally say I’ve made it down to Kings in South Minneapolis. Arriving in the midst of weekend happy hour, we gladly ordered two glasses of Rose each.

The happy hour extended to a few small plates, meaning we had to order a few of those as well.

Tatortots with a bluecheese bacon sauce. (yeah I know, I’m eating cheese, but I just can’t not order cheese at a wine bar)

photo (223)

Hello  Hush puppies like tot perfection.

photo (224)

My cheese loving soul won out over my cheese inducing headaches…. and this appeared at our table. With the addition of Italian sausage of course. THAT sausage. The fennel. Ugh can I just eat like a platter of that sausage?! And the homemade crackers were delightful.

What could be better than a late Saturday afternoon, sipping wine and devouring sausage at Kings?

Have you been? You should go, pronto.

Where is your favorite wine bar?

 

Cheesy Problems

photo

Happy Monday! Lets talk food. Really what else do I talk about?

Lets talk about adding foods back into my diet post AdvoCare challenge. What I thought would be a normal transition…..

Turned into:

Can I just say Ouch!

Cheese I love and prior to the challenge would have considered it, its own food group. A Friday night dinner of baked brie and wine would be perfection.

But now post challenge, I’ve struggled. All of a sudden I get this headache in the back of my skull. Cheese, my love, what are you doing to me?

I have multiple blocks of cheese awaiting consumption…. purchased to celebrate post challenge… how can I deny the herbed brie, basil asiago and prosecco cheddar calling my name?

Has anyone else ever experienced this cheese headache? Or had a similar experience when reintroducing foods?

Results Yo

You know what a great distraction from having a water main burst and start to flood your rental is…?

AdvoCare results! The 14 day challenge is officially over 🙂 and can I say how shocked I am …. lost 4 pounds and 6.5 inches! Holy balls.

The first four days were rough.. I mean no coffee for the first time in 12 years?! My previous barista life shed a few tears. I was pretty tired, craving mac and cheese with  side of cheeseburger. But by day 5 I felt great. Like I could take on three yoga sculpt classes in a row.

It wasn’t easy. People would cancel happy hours with me, but I get it, no one wants to drink alone. Dinners out were rough, I’ll have the chicken please, hold the butter sauce, no potatoes and the Greek salad minus the feta and dressing. The feta was sorely missed… Was I 100% perfect for 14 days? No but I was pretty freaking close.

My afternoon Starbucks runs were replaced with iced tea..

I even found grocery shopping difficult. Everything had to be scratch made, which is not so different from how I normally cook; however! One night I had a craving for shrimp stir fry… can you believe the added ingredients in the marinated shrimp behind the seafood counter?! Why is there so much extra sugar? My label reading is at an all time high. I just kept repeating, why is this in here?

The awareness I discuss here… super charged. It really puts in perspective the things we eat, how food affects you, how difficult it could be if this was my continued lifestyle. I have a new understanding for those with a food allergy or food lifestyle different from mine. Having a family member with type one diabetes, I’ve always been around this lifestyle and food disciple. But it is never the same until you experience it for yourself. Not until you are in the most expensive health foods grocery store, pouring over labels and placing 90% of items back on the shelf does it hit you.

Does this mean I’ll continue to eat this way? No I will continue to go out to eat. In fact I’m headed for that cheeseburger tonight. But I like how I feel. The bloat from processed foods is gone. My skin is so clear. The awareness will stay. And a cleanse once a year is now in the books for me. I pledge to be more understanding and patient in terms of food and lifestyle choices.

photo (221)

 

LBD Please

Hello Friday, you are a welcome sight. Its been a long week, extra long without my trusty friend the bottle of wine… Three more days friends and I am plopping myself on a bar stool and ordering a cheeseburger, medium rare, add the bacon. And a bottle of pinot please 🙂 I pledge to eat every single French fry on the plate….

Yes, that has been my craving alllll day but I must see this cleanse through…. must eat veggies..

As a distraction more dating nonsense from the online world:

1) “Hi, from how flabby your arms look, you can be nothing but average. You seem to think too highly of yourself, but then again you are on this website. LoL.”

Dear sir, perhaps you should look in a mirror…

2) “Whatup Beautiful, message me if you want a picture…”

Hmmm a picture of what might I ask? I hear theres a new trend these days of body part pictures…

3) “Would you consider going out with an older man who has a lot in common with you?”

Not one who is 30 years older with multiple children. Sorry. The fellow foodie part isn’t going to cut it.

4) “How do you perfect that face angle?”

Huh?

5) “You would look amazing in a little black dress, nylons and sexy heels, accompanying me to dinner…”

Sorry buddy but I make my own wardrobe decisions.

I think it might be time to cancel this little online game?

What are your plans this weekend? Someone eat a cheeseburger for me?

photo (220)

Reasons For

O hey its getting closer to the weekend and I’m in the beginning stages of this AdvoCare mini-challenge\cleanse.

Avoiding processed foods, dairy, sugar, bad carbs, alcohol and coffee… whoa 🙂 Be still my pasta loving heart. (disclaimer, I’m told an occasional glass of vine is allowed…. though I haven’t caved yet!!)

You may be thinking what is a foodie blogger doing this cleanse for? I see your pictures, none of them look anything close to healthy. So why am I doing a 14 day challenge?

1) Awareness: Do I go out to eat every day? No, in fact during the week I stick to a pretty balanced diet. Key word, balance. However as winter drags on, I do tend to pick up not so healthy habits and dive straight into bowls of carbs. 14 days of being ultra aware of what is going into my body equals a new awareness about how I am feeling and how that is tied to food.

2) Discipline: Can I even do this? When treat day rolls around at the office, can I stick to it? Will these 14 days feel like forever? What about those happy hours I’ve planned? Will I miss cheese?

Seeing if I even have the discipline to do this motivates me.

3) No. Ive never been good with the word NO. And when some doubted my ability to do this… of course I had to. Thanks for the extra motivation 🙂

Results to come..

Happy weekend and enjoy some wine for me 🙂

photo (212)

Have you ever gone on a cleanse? Would you do it again?

Our Mini Challenge: AdvoCare

Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Today kicks off my 14 day AdvoCare challenge.  I will update you on my reasons for the challenge and progress, but without further ado, my inspiration for the challenge:

Hi! I’m Becky from Olives ‘n’ Wine – a blog where I share my passion for keeping a balanced life through eating well, tasting great wine, staying active, and traveling to new places – and I’m excited to be doing a guest post for Christina today!

Becky in Cali

Christina and I – along with a group of fabulous women and men – are embarking on a “mini” challenge this week! Typically, my AdvoCare clients start off with the full 24-Day Challenge but for many, a full 24 days can be a bit intimidating. This is why I created the mini, 14-day challenge! It contains the same supplements as the Max Phase of the full 24DC and offers similar results – feeling healthy, getting your diet back on track while losing inches and pounds.

Today, I am going to share my experience with the 24DC but if you have any questions regarding the “Mini” Challenge, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at becky@olivesnwine.com 🙂

After the holidays, I knew something needed to change – I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin, I was fueling my body with processed, chemical-laden food and my clothes didn’t fit as they should, even my leggings were tight!

Just before Christmas, a friend of mine approached me about the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge. I had heard of AdvoCare previously, but like many others, thought it was a scam. I don’t believe in quick-fix diets, I am a firm believer in putting “natural” food into my body and a 24-day program based on supplements brought out the skeptic in me.

But, because many of my friends have had success with not only the 24DC but also the vast line of AdvoCare supplements, I decided to do some research before making a decision. What I found surprised me.  AdvoCare is scientifically-supported by a board of doctors that believe in each supplement and provide guidance to the organization. And the supplements AdvoCare creates aren’t the “quick fix,” lose 30 pounds in 2 days kind of pills. They’re supplements that help support a lifestyle change that promotes sustainable weight loss in a healthy, realistic manner.

AdvoCare

So, what is the 24DC?

The 24DC is a two-part program that typically results in an 8-15lbs weight loss and a lot of energy – I was bouncing off of the walls during the second phase! The first 10 days consist of the Cleanse Phase and the next 14 days make up the Max Phase. The entire 24 days is loaded with healthy supplements for core nutrition, calorie burning, appetite control and energy.  You pair the supplements with a clean eating regimen and exercise and viola…you have awesome results!  The cool part is it’s not a diet, it’s a bad habit breaker and a jumpstart to a new, healthy lifestyle.

I think my friend Lauren says it best: “While the results in the 24 days can be quite shocking, the changes [the 24DC] makes beyond the 24 days are what really matters. I always say it is sustainable… that’s why it works at being the lifestyle change many people are looking for.”

What results did you see?

Advocare-Challenge

On January 24th, I completed my first AdvoCare 24DC! To be honest, I was already decently fit and didn’t expect to see groundbreaking results. This program – and my results – blew my expectations out of the water!

My 24DC Results:

  • Inches Lost: -11.5 inches
  • Pounds Lost: -9.8 pounds

In 24 days, I lost both inches and pounds and have never felt better. I have tremendous amounts of energy, my jeans fit again and I feel reenergized and excited about continuing this healthy lifestyle. As with any weight-loss program, AdvoCare is not easy. It takes dedication and hard work (no coffee or wine for 24 days tested my limits!) but I can tell you that the results are worth it.

To read a more in-depth review of my results, what I’m continuing after the 24DC and to see my progress photos, head on over to my 24DC Review.

Want to try the 24DC for yourself? Click here to get started!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email at becky@olivesnwine.com