clean

Diet Pizza

9:00:00 AM


"Excuse me, I'll have a diet pizza." 

A what? A diet pizza?

When you think of clean eating, or whatever diet resolution you have made this year, you may have thought, "Shoot I have to give up my favorite foods." While many of your favorite foods might have to be cut back, there are still some simple ways to keep enjoying them. Today it's all about the good things in life. Like pizza and quesadillas. 

Cheese Pizza

Now you're probably wondering what kind of pizza would be a diet pizza? 
Because clean eating means eating things that are not processed, therefore pizza is 100% in that list. But I found a loophole. It starts with a quesadilla shell. Whole wheat, low fat, 80 calorie quesadilla shell. This is what mine looked like. 
Pizza
Here's the best part. You can make whatever pizza you want out of it, just watch those portion sizes and you'll be all good to go. I chose to put mini roma tomatoes, feta cheese, avocado,bacon bits, spinach, and a tiny splash of shredded cheddar cheese. While my mom and I had similar pizzas, my step-dad amped his up with ham slices, more cheese, spinach and bacon. While this is a pretty simple recipe to enjoy possibly one of your favorites; Here's what you'll need:
 -whatever toppings you'd like (cheeses, green leaves, veggies, meats).
-a pan and parchment paper, and tortilla shells

Here's what you'll need to do:
-Preheat the oven to 330*F
-Place parchment paper on shells and spread about 1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil on tortilla shells.
-Put pizzas in oven about 3 minutes 
-Decorate your pizza
-Put pizzas in oven until cheeses melt
(I continually watched our pizzas.) 

You can always raise the oven temp if you'd like it to go a bit faster. While dieting can be a bit boring, I know you can have some fun with this simple recipe! How have your new years resolutions been going so far? What's your favorite pizza? What food do you miss the most, when is your cheat day? I'm planning mine on day 90 so then I know I went 3 whole months clean eating! 
Hope you're all having a great day! Make sure to comment below! 
xx Kenzie

Anniversary

2 years of Blogging.

11:00:00 AM


I really don't know what I can say. My little corner of the internet is 2 years old today. Usually my blog posts come Wednesday and Saturday, I'm going off track and putting this one up on a Sunday.
Thank you all for reading, some of you comment and some of you don't, but each and every one of you is great and whether or not you've stumbled upon this corner by accident or through another blog, thank you for being here! I'm so glad I get to share these stories and recipes and bits of life with all of you!

Hyperbole and a half
Source
If you're new to the blog, then I've come up with 5 reasons why I blog. 

 1. To Connect. I think the coolest part of the internet is being able to talk to people from all over the world. Even people who might live nearby. I love learning about different people and discovering new blogs through other blogs. I feel like each word I type gets sent out to someone I want to be friends with.

 2. To Write. While school is all about attending classes and taking exams, it's easy to get caught up in it and lose your creativeness. (I don't have time to read a book unless I'm on a break). Writing is something that's relaxing, and I can come off a 7 hour day and just sit down and write it out.
Meryl Streep

 3. To Share Memories. This is probably along the lines of connecting, but while this blog also acts as a place to keep memories and look back upon all of the fun times, it's also a place to share them.

 4. It's an Outlet. Sometimes when I blog, it's a really good way to get rid of stress. In a way, blogging distracts me from feeling anxious, and it was extremely helpful when I lost my dog. It was really helpful when I felt all worked up about my roommate situation. Blogging is really great, there's just something peaceful about it.

 5. To Learn. There is only so much you can learn at school. People have so many stories shared on their blogs about life lessons and things they've had to overcome, as well as going on trips and top places to visit, and posts about getting clear skin or eating right. There is so much to learn when you read a post someone writes. I love it.

While I love to blog, here are the all-time top 3 posts!
#1. We Danced All Night  #2. Deviled Eggs #3. Rainbows Can Run

Thank you all again for reading Kenzieblogslife in 2016, I hope this next year is a great one for us. I do have a couple goals and wishes for this blog and I can't wait to be working on them and seeing them come true! 
Do we have any of the same "Why I blog" reasons? What's your favorite thing about reading someone else's blog? Do you have a favorite blogger? 
xx Kenzie 

Baking

No pasta-Spaghetti and meatballs

9:00:00 AM


If you've been a reader for awhile, then you already know that I love to bake. I also enjoy eating healthy and I've started my clean eating challenge just a few weeks ago. While my entire family seems to be a bit "Christmas-cookied-out", I've luckily still gotten the chance to bake quite a few times while being home! 

With clean eating I've discovered quite a few new foods as well as new recipes, mostly dinners as of right now. I've been trying really hard to eat things that are beneficial for my body. Whether it be having water instead of soda,having fruit instead of chips for an afternoon snack. Like many of you, I enjoy eating spaghetti, and I was really excited to learn how to make a new kind of spaghetti and meatballs that would help my body be the best it can be this new year!

Eat Simple
Here's what you'll need!
  • 1-3 pound spaghetti squash
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, divided 
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1.25 teaspoons italian seasoning, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • dash of crushed red pepper
Here's what you'll have to do!
Turkey Meatballs
  • Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds (you can save the seeds if you want to roast some for a snack later). Place facedown in a microwave-safe dish, add 2 tablespoons water and microwave uncovered about 10-15 minutes (I did 14 minutes)
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
    Scrape squash flesh with fork into skillet and cook, stir occasionally until moisture is evaporated and squash has begun to brown. 
  • Stir in 1/4 cup parsley, remove from heat, cover and let stand
  • Combine 1/4 cup parsley, 1/4 cup parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning, onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper into medium bowl. Mix together. 
  • Create meatballs by using about 2 tablespoons meat and roll in mixture, setting in skillet. I put in 3 before turning down the heat until I had added the rest, then brought the heat back up again.
    Once meatballs are browned: push to side of pan add garlic and cook about 1 minute, add tomatos, crushed red pepper and 3/4 teaspoon italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat over the meatballs. 
  • Serve over squash, sprinkling with parmesan or whatever cheese or topping you'd like! 


I made this dish for my mom and I one night, and we both really enjoyed it! I had never made anything with spaghetti squash before, and it turned out delicious! You can always play around with what you put into your seasoning if you'd like! I hope you get a chance to try this dish, and if you do make sure to comment below! I would love to hear from you! 
xx Kenzie

Being Home

Being Home (as told in pictures.)

10:00:00 AM

 I've been back in my hometown for nearly a month now on my winter break from school. That's the nicest thing about life after highschool. The homework and tests may be harder, but they give your tired brain a good chunk of time to turn all of the words that have been packed inside, a rest. 
A really nice, five week rest. 

While I haven't been on the schedule for work very often (hardly at all). I'm still enjoying my time being at home. Like many of you, I love lists, and I also love animated gifs that go with them. So let's take a look shall we? 


1. "I'm finally home and away from my roommate!"
  This is how I felt leaving the dorm room:

Johnny Depp Gif
source
 This is how I felt when I walked into my house:

Sleep gif
source

2. A few things happen when I'm home alone..

music gif
source

Sleep gif
source

Disney Gif
source
(I didn't actually bake a pie but I baked other things that smelled delicious!) 
Dancing Gif
source

While I do love being home, I also love detoxing from the internet and having days where I just relax and do a little baking or take a bath....or maybe binge-watch 4 episodes of the Kardashians. I've also enjoyed going for walks before or after dinner, and being able to relax. 
Are you all home for break yet? Have you gone back to school? It's the last few months before summer guys! We got this! 
I hope the weather hasn't been too terrible for you! It's really cold here in Wisconsin, and I haven't wanted to leave my house, or my fireplace for the last few days! 
Thanks for reading! I love reading your comments, so make sure to leave one! :) 
xx Kenzie 





clean

Spinach Stuffed Pork Chops

9:30:00 AM


It took some research, and an open mind to search the web and find the perfect recipe for my second clean eating dinner, my first baking experience that wasn't a dessert.
I put this Spinach filled dish as one of the first in this new lifestyle, and it was quick, easy, and delicious!
Healthy Pork

What You'll Need:

2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/3 teaspoon pepper, divided
5 sun-dried tomatoes diced (packed without oil)
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup feta crumbled reduced-fat cheese
3 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese
dash of lemon juice
3 boneless center-cut pork chops, trimmed
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon oregano


What to Do:

Filling:
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray
Add 2 garlic cloves, saute 1 minute. 
Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach until moisture evaporates. Remove from heat and stir in feta and cream cheese and dash of lemon juice. (below)
Stuffed Pork Chops

Pork Chops:

Cut horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop to form a pocket
Stuff about 1/4 cup mixture into each pocket
Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper over pork
Arrange pork on rack of broiler pan/roasting pan( I just used the pan that was for the mixture.)
In small bowl:
Combine remaining 2 garlic cloves, juice, mustard and oregano, stir well. 
Brush half of mustard mixture over pork. Broil 6-7 minutes; turn pork and brush remaining mixture over pork then broil 2-3 minutes or until done (when it's not pink in the middle) 

Sweet Potato

I paired this dish with a loaded sweet potato and each bite was delicious. I had never made a dinner dish before, and this went really well and both my mom and myself agreed that this recipe would be a keeper for the clean-eating books! 
Have you ever tried this kind of recipe before? If you do try this one, make sure to link the post in my comments or tag me on instagram. I hope you enjoyed reading the first installment of the clean eating series! The sweet potato side dish will be up soon! 
Thank you so much for reading! Make sure to comment down below! I love hearing from you! 
xx Kenzie





Better

Eating Clean Series: Why

9:00:00 AM




Eat Clean


While there are many New Years resolutions that have been made by us all, eating healthier is one of the most popular ones. I will admit that I am not a health expert, or a nutritionist. I am solely doing this for myself, and to share recipes as I discover them with all of you guys! That's why I have started this series! You can find it in the health bits section of my "Bits of Life" tab!
As I swap those leftover Christmas treats for veggies and fruits, a lot of people might be asking Why?
A simple answer would be: I feel like I was constantly shoveling food into my face for the past 3 weeks, and now I want to cleanse my body. Maybe there are a few more answers that can be explored.

Why are you changing the way you eat? 
Personally, to feel better. I was eating bags of trail mix in less than 7 days. I'm talking big bags. As well as cookies and chocolates by the handful in short amounts of time and I felt awful. My face would break out with how much processed foods and sugars I was taking in. I want to stop feeling disgusting when I wake up and as superficial as it may sound...I reallly want to love myself when I wake up.

How are you changing the way you eat? 
I'm cutting out processed sugars and foods and switching over to natural sugars like fruits and veggies. No more reeses peanut butter cups and pizza for me.

What does clean eating mean? 
Clean eating means no processed foods, things that aren't from nature. The only processed food I'll be putting into my body is processed by the sun

While these three questions might even be ones you hear, here's one that I've heard already.

Why are you dieting? You don't need to go on a diet. 
It's not really a diet, more of a lifestyle change. I want to have more energy that lasts throughout the day as opposed to being tired at one in the afternoon. I don't have the metabolism of a skinny 8 year old anymore, I have to help my body be in shape nobody else is going to do it for me.

Another question you or someone you know, might have about changing to a new diet plan is how. 

How are you going to change your eating?
Firstly, by researching. Being on the internet seems natural to me and why not use it to help me sift out what foods I should and should not eat. Here are some tips I've read so far!

  1.  Clear your kitchen: This will help you not eat those processed foods. I know, I have to go to my dorm room and clear that out. Here's hoping my neighbors will be happy with free food. 
  2. Plan: So far this is the most fun, at least for me, having a meal plan throughout the week is a good idea to know what you need to get at the grocery store for the week coming up.


While eating clean or healthier may not be for everyone, I hope that you can still enjoy some of the recipes that I've got coming up for you! I've even discovered some sweeter clean-eating treats as well that I really want to try out! Have you done clean eating before or are you doing it now?

2015

Crave Dinner

8:00:00 AM


It's not often that I get treated to nice dinners out. While my family and myself were enjoying our time visiting our relatives over in Minnesota, we had made reservations to Crave which sat in the Galleria in nearby Edina. 

Crave Minnesota

We hurried in from the cold and into the welcoming atmosphere at the restaurant. When customers first walk in the very first thing that catches their eye is the sushi cooks, preparing the sushi and placing it on top of the counter for the waiters and waitresses to take away to hungry guests. We had arrived for our 7pm dinner reservations with hungry stomachs and seeing the sushi and various desserts on that counter made me really hungry. I thought about grabbing a plate. I didn't. Don't worry. 
With our party of six, we were sat at a large booth near the back of the place, the lighting was very calm and didn't pan out all too great for my grown up camera, but my iPhone managed to take some not-orange ones.  Above our table was a really cool chandelier, which was either made from blown glass (my opinion) or plastic which made for a ten minute conversation piece. Whether it was glass or plastic, it was very cool looking. 
Blown Glass Lights

We took some time to mull over the menu, which was fixed for New Years, and decided that the sushi we saw walking into Crave looked too good not to pass up and ordered some for an appetizer to start off. I usually stick to the California Roll for sushi and while my uncle had ordered that, I tried out my parents' choice of Bamboo Bite Sushi which has tempura shrimp, cream cheese, avocado and
jalapeno. 
Bamboo Bite Sushi

As we waited for our main courses, we sipped on our drinks. Wine for my mom, beer for my step-father, strawberry lemonade for my uncle and I. Our main dishes finally arrived, and as I glanced around the table, they all looked delicious. I had settled on the Pesto Chicken. 

Crave Chicken
The Crave's pesto chicken is decorated with greek yogurt pesto sauce, melted fresh mozerella, roasted new potatoes and rainbow cauliflower. I don't know if it was because I was so hungry or the fact that all of the flavors worked together really well, I thought this was delicious. Amazing. I would definitely go back and order this again, I wasn't even able to finish off the plate. I'm really glad I had chosen this as my last great meal of 2015. 
After filling our stomachs, not saving enough room for dessert, we trudged off to the car to surprise some family friends who were having their own New Years Eve party. 
If you're ever in Edina, or near Minneapolis or even a Crave restaurant in general, I would suggest going! They have a wide variety of foods and flavors for anyone. You can check out the menu right here. 

Did you have a special meal for New Years Eve? Or even Christmas? Have you ever been to this restaurant? What's your favorite dish?
PSA: I hope you like my new blog name and layout! There are more tabs to help you find certain posts and discover new ones.  Thanks so much for reading! x









adventure

A New Year

9:04:00 AM

While it seems like every blogger I follow has already written their New Year blog post, it seems that I've stayed true to myself and have come in a bit late. You can read my blog post about what 2015 meant to me here. My family had traveled once again to celebrate New Years, though unlike last year we only traveled one state over to stay with my cousins. While we ended the year with two trips to two separate malls, and my mom and I took a stroll through Ikea and after eating a nice dinner of sushi and pesto chicken at the restaurant called Crave crashed someone else's New Years eve party. The year 2015 went out pretty well I'd say, and it brought along a lot of good types of change, 2016 is bringing in a few resolutions and things to look forward to!





1. Eating Clean: While many people all around the world make their "i'm going to eat healthy this year" resolutions, my whole family and I have decided to really go for it. Clean out our pantries of processed foods (that means those Christmas cookies too) and eat fresh and clean. I've loved meal planning so far,and I can't wait to share some with you if you're interested!

 2. Travel: I'm lucky enough to have one nice trip planned this year that I cannot wait for. It involves driving in a car and lounging on a beach. I'll be bringing my new camera of course and can't wait to share everything with you!

3.Blog Posts: I want to explore other blogs, it's always fun to read about people's travels, recipes, and tips and tricks so if you have any recommendations or want me to read your blog make sure to leave your links in my comments and I'll be right there in minutes. I'd also like to get to over 100 followers on Bloglovin/Google Plus.

4. Adventures: I'm still pretty new to the town my University is in and I think one goal I'd like to set is to find something new at least once a month, or every other month. This is the second spring semester that I'll be there, so hopefully I'll be able to!

5.Do something for the first time. This one is already a pre-planned event that is happening at the end of the summer and I'm very excited to share it with you all, but the date isn't set yet and I really don't want to jinx it!

I hope you all have a great New Year! How did you end your 2015? Did you set any exciting plans or resolutions? Leave me links of your favorite blogs in the comments as well! Thanks for always reading! xx Kenzie


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