Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quick Greens + Protein Bowl

When you're aiming to eat healthy, salads become a mainstay.  Most of the time, that's fine by me - there are so many options when putting a salad together that it's easy to stave off boredom.  But every once in awhile, I just want a hot lunch.

In my pre-Paleo days, Quinoa was my quick, throw-together, healthy and hot go-to.  I'm happy to share that I've come up with a new, Paleo-friendly hot meal that you can have on the table in no time with food you probably already have in your freezer.

Greens + Protein Bowl (Choose Your Own Adventure)
(Makes 1-2 servings)
  • Generous 1 Tbsp. cooking fat of choice (I used clarified butter/ghee)
  • 1-2c protein of choice, cubed or shredded (I used some leftover roasted chicken breast)
  • 1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or the lazy, pre-diced garlic that comes in a jar)
  • ~4c greens of choice, rinsed, drained & torn (I used some gorgeous rainbow chard from last week's CSA basket, larger ribs removed)
  • Freshly ground salt
  • EVOO
  • Hot sauce of choice (optional, kind of*) (I used Frank's Red Hot)
  1. Heat cooking fat of choice in a non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Add protein, onion, & garlic.  Season to taste with salt, and saute for 3-5 minutes, until the onion just starts to become soft and translucent.  
  2. Add greens and continue cooking until they are wilted (my chard took longer than spinach would have - just keep an eye on it).
  3. Before serving drizzle with EVOO and hot sauce to taste.
  4. Enjoy!
(*I say the hot sauce is optional, but unless you truly can't tolerate it on your palate or are avoiding as part of an Autoimmune Protocol, I highly, highly recommend at least a few drops.  It does something special and magical with the greens and absolutely makes this meal pop!)

What's your go-to meal when you're craving a hot lunch?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March FOTM: Rimmel Stay Matte

If you're new to my Foundation of the Month (FOTM) series, here's the scoop: I'm on a quest in 2014 to find my perfect foundation.  What do I consider "perfect"?  My goals/parameters for an "ideal" foundation are that it be long-wearing (especially on my peskily-oily chin) but not break me out.  It must not be too fussy to apply.  And it must come in under $40.  

March's Foundation: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse

I originally planned to try out the much-adored Rimmel Match Perfection in March.  Then the Rimmel Stay Matte foundation hit the shelves to some initially good reviews (and a great sale at Walgreens), and since you already know that the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is my go-to, I decided to give it a try, and who wouldn't with a description like this?
A feather light, oil free formula with an airy mousse texture that won’t feel heavy or greasy. Delivers all day shine control and blends flawlessly for a natural looking matte finish. Minimizes the appearance of pores. The weight is over – finally, shine has met its matte.
Before you get too excited, this one was a fail.  So much so that I abandoned it by mid-month and reverted to using to February's FOTM.

While the initial look is indeed beautifully matte, it did not hold up without a primer.  On a cold day (high of 42) in early March, I already had some slippage around my nose and on my chin by 1:00 in the afternoon. Additionally, the parts of my face that did stay matte took on a cakey appearance throughout the day as it settled into my lines (which are thankfully not numerous, as of yet - I'm 34 - but definitely noticeable).  This effect was even worse in subsequent days when I used a primer underneath.

Some other, more general, cons:
This foundation is a mousse texture and as such, does not apply well with a sponge.  It didn't apply all that great with a regular foundation brush, either.  I finally had the best results applying with a stippling makeup brush.

Because the packaging is a non-translucent tube, there is no way to gauge what shade you should buy.  This did not concern me initially.  Since I'm pretty consistently the "fairest of them all", I bought Fair Porcelain, It was much too pink and much too pale to be a usable match.  I had to use bronzer just to make it wearable for the day (bronzer is typically discretionary for me).  I went back and purchased the next shade up - Light Ivory - better but still a bit too light (and at a time of year that many are beginning the transition to a darker shade).  I finally found a match with my third try: Ivory.  But ultimately, for a foundation I couldn't try-before-buy, it was very inconvenient.

I found this foundation to be fussy in the way that it plays (or doesn't) with other products.  I typically apply concealer immediately following foundation without any kind of a waiting period and without any problems.  However, when I went to blend in my usual Maybelline Age Rewind concealer, the foundation underneath smeared completely off the under-eye area (I did not have this problem using the same concealer with the Revlon and em cosmetics foundations I tested in January and February).  I had to pair it with the Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer in order to get a wearable look.  (Ultimately, I'm not too sad to have been forced to try this new-to-me concealer - I've been very happy with the coverage, brightness, and longevity, and it looks like it might be a great bargain dupe for the legendary YSL Touche Eclat - but am still taking points off of the Stay Matte foundation for being fussy: I shouldn't have had to use a new concealer to make this foundation work for me.)

Overall grade: F. This foundation was too high-maintenance all around without the payoff of a great look.  It may work well for someone younger, completely devoid of fine lines, and with more time to baby it during application, but if you're time-crunched and over the age of 30, skip this one.