Dairy-Free Journey Update | Meal Ideas

Hi, love-bugs! Happy Tuesday! I hope you survived another manic Monday (that was tough!) I’ve been in a blogging rut lately — those inspiration vibes must have gone on vacation. Can you blame them? Oh, except for my 28-page wedding guide that took me forever to complete! Please check it out, and share with your bride-to-be’s! In the mean time, I thought I’d give you a health-update! You may recall my New Year’s Resolution here — and, for the first time, well, ever, they’re actually sticking! My fiancé and I are still going strong (it helps to have a partner-in-crime — they help at your weakest moments!) & I am feeling better everyday! Fist bump!

26 days and counting: dairy-free! I am taking a break from my BFF’s: cheese, ice-cream, cookies, more ice-cream & chocolate. I also gave up pop (yes, a true Midwest gal, it’s not soda!) My other naughty habit. It was tough in the beginning, especially the caffeine headaches! Fast forward 25 days later, and I’m feeling better than ever! The cravings have subsided. I’m officially down 6 pounds & people are starting to notice. Sometimes, you just need that validation/reassurance that you’re kicking ass! Thanks, neighbor, for the compliment of my life yesterday! ‘Woa, you’ve been losing weight — keep up the great work’ — I leaped into the house, grabbed my gym clothes and ran my easiest couple of miles yet! (We all have to start somewhere, right?!) It’s easy to get discouraged; especially when you’re working so hard, and can’t seem to notice a difference. That’s where those compliments mean everythang (Am I right?!)

Anyway: The thing about ‘dieting’ is setting attainable goals. Initially, I wanted to swear off fried-foods — but, I knew it wouldn’t last! Instead, I started small: taking 5-6 ingredients out of my diet isn’t so hard. (Side-note: same thing with the gym: you can’t go from 0 days to 6 days a week — that’s not attainable. Personally, I’ve been going 4 days a week, and as I progress, I’ll add on). You can still enjoy a burger with fries (everything in moderation!) It’s just getting used to the no ice-cream thing, which is definitely difficult for a sweet-tooth lover like myself! But, it isn’t so difficult when you start noticing results. I’m feeling more energized, less bloated (which is huge!) & confident. As a fashion-blogger, it’s easy to pull yourself apart (we’re our own worst critics!) Recently, I’ve been noticing a positive change in my body — I’m starting to enjoy taking photos again. Which is very important! Oh, and my clothes are starting to fit again, that too!

I do plan to have dairy again — I mean, I live in Chicago. Not enjoying deep-dish pizza is a crime — a felony, rather. My trick? I’ll allow one cheat weekend a month! That way, I can reward myself & indulge in Chicago’s finest. Again: Everything in moderation. I have to have some fun! I wanted to share some recipes I’ve been enjoying all month! (I’m not sharing salad, that’s too boring!) Anything else you’d recommend? Share below!

Also: For more New Year’s resolutions tricks — Make sure to check-out my latest post on Glitter Guide! I’m helping you stick to those guns!

RECIPES | DELICIOUS DAIRY FREE DINNER IDEAS

  • Pesto Pizza: A recent discovery & my taste-buds are in happy-land! Swap the cheese/sauce for pesto! Add onion, bell peppers, red pepper, pepperoni (optional) & sun-dried tomato. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes on 450 degrees, and you’ve got yourself a healthier pie! Yum!
  • Chicken Tacos: Taco seasoning, shredded chicken & tortillas! I mixed in corn, peppers & salsa to give it some more flavor! For a yummy twist: Make your own hard-shell tacos using tortillas and olive oil. Let the pan/olive oil get hot, insert chicken mix in the middle of shell, and place in oil (make sure to keep your spatula on top, so the shell doesn’t open back up). Let each side soak for 30-45 seconds. They’ll come out bronzed, beautiful and flakey!
  • Chocolate covered banana bites: Trader Joe’s — you’ve cured my sweet tooth. My fiancé is equally excited (the hangry Arin is cured!) You can find these vegan-friendly bites in the frozen section. They seriously taste like Disney World, 4 Seasons Maui, and a vacation all in one. Yes, that good.
  • Stir Fry: Delicious asian noodles, peppers, onions, soy-sauce & chicken. Sauté in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and you’re done! Do the happy dance!
  • BLT: Yup, a childhood classic! Bacon, lettuce and tomato sammies! Mmmm, bacon. (Sorry, couldn’t have given that one up!)
  • Avocado Toast: You already know! Avocado, lemon, chia seeds and a splash of honey! One of my favorite treats (and shirts!)
  • Salmon: A crispy salmon is delicious over lush greens. I keep it simple over here, but feel free to get creative with toppings! Don’t forget the lemon juice!
  • Rice Cake & Peanut Butter: Snack time! This is my go-to all day! The combination of crispy and savory will have you dancin’ back to your desk. (I also indulge in an air-head every once in awhile — don’t tell anyone)