Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 7: Old Photo of Me

Get ready for this Waaaaaaaay Back Wednesday picture! I’m on the far right, standing next to my sister (top middle) and two of our cousins. I was in 2nd grade at the time, and this picture was taken right after our Christmas play (in case you couldn’t tell by the angel costumes…)



This was prior to the discovery of the growth on my pituitary gland, but you can definitely see it was causing some problems even then. Despite the fact that I was standing on a lower step, I was still noticeably shorter than my sister and cousins, all of which are younger than me. Before I started treatment for my pituitary growth, I was only 3’10” at the age of 8. Thank goodness for growth hormone replacement :-). I am now 5’7” and one of the taller cousins! 


Here's a more recent picture of all of the cousins, taken Christmas 2012.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 6: 10 Favorite Foods

I am an absolute food junkie. Probably not a good thing for my health, but my tastebuds love me! I love pretty much all foods, so this one was a definite toughie for me. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Pizza - I could eat pizza (even cold) every day for the rest of my life, I’m pretty sure. There’s just something magical about putting simple ingredients together to make something so delicious. Favorite toppings? Well, I’m a sucker for cheese, cheese, and more cheese, but my favorite pizza by far is the Chicken & Applewood Smoked Bacon @ Picazzo’s back home. Chicken, bacon, alfredo/ranch sauce, sliced tomato, garlic, and sautéed onions. I’m drooling.

2. Good Mexican Food - I had to clarify this one. Taco Bell is not good Mexican food; I’m pretty sure half of their ingredients aren’t real either. Also, I am sad to say, that my new hometown doesn’t know how to make Mexican food either. I’ve been to one restaurant that had good tacos, but not much else on their menu that looked appealing. I guess I’m just spoiled having lived in Arizona, particularly Flagstaff, which is home to the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. Let me introduce you to Salsa Brava on old Route 66 in Flagstaff, AZ.




There’s a reason the word “salsa” is in the name: they have a made-from-scratch-daily salsa bar that is to die for. No joke. I’ve been craving their chips and salsa ever since I moved back to Phoenix in Dec. 2012. Then, after you’ve had more chips and salsa than you thought was humanly possible, they bring you your food. My all-time favorite is the Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas. Served with a cilantro cream sauce and a big dollop of sour cream on top. Melt in your mouth deliciousness! Ok, I need to stop now or I’ll be on the next flight out of town…

3. PB&B Sandwich - That’s a Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich in case you couldn’t interpret my abbreviations. I ate this for breakfast every day while in college (definitely not joking). Even now, I love having one for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If I could figure out how to make this carb-loader into a snack, I probably would.

4. Mom’s Roast Beef w/ Carrots and Potatoes in the Crockpot - You can’t get much more specific than that. By far my favorite dish my mom makes (which she is very thankful for because it is so easy). I think the only reason I haven’t made it for myself is that it can feed an army, which means I’d be eating roast beef until next year.

5. Peach Cobbler w/ Blue Bell Ice Cream - There is no denying it, I am a true Southern girl at heart. And there is no ice cream better than Blue Bell. Now if they could just make it cheaper… $7.99/gallon is not a happy price for this poor grad student’s budget.

6. Chicken & Dumplings - No, I don’t know how to make them myself; I’m not that good of a cook. But, I can make the easy-peasy version that uses canned biscuits in the crock pot. Or, I can just drive over to the nearest Cracker Barrel and pay someone to make them for me. Unless someone else wants to volunteer to make me dinner every night of the week :-).

7. Cookies - My mom’s chocolate no-bake cookies are the bomb! *Hint, hint (someone really wants a care package from home)* But really, I love all cookies. No cookie discrimination from this girl! Except for the low fat, no sugar, no fun, diabetic ones. Those are just nasty crap. My kind of cookie is a pizzookie from Oregano's. It doesn't get much better than a deep-dish baked chocolate chip cookie with giant dollops of vanilla ice cream on top!




8. Pasta - In any size, shape, or quantity. It’s the perfect complement to so many delicious dishes, and makes for a superb dish all by itself, too. Just steer clear of the ones with mushrooms - ick!

9. Feta Cheese - This little nugget of cheesy goodness is perfect for salads, pizza, and dips, or as a topping for pretty much anything non-dessert. Excuse me while I go sprinkle it on every dish I can find…

10. BBQ - I lived in Texas for 10 years; I know good BBQ when I see it (or smell it)! Once you’ve had good BBQ, you’ll never forget it! Bring on the brisket, ribs, and sausage, and you’d better be eating with your hands off a piece of parchment paper. No forks or knives allowed. Spoons are ok so long as you’re only using them to devour your peach cobbler with Blue Bell.

*And yes, I did take both of those pictures which means I'm one of those weird people that takes pictures of their food. Particularly when they are trying to make other family members or friends jealous :-).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mid-Century Side Table Transformation

I am completely in love with all things mid-century modern. Especially when you pair them with my other favorite style: black and white with bright pops of color. Since every wall in my apartment is “Apartment (No-Fun) White”, I had to improvise by adding pops of color in other ways, like in this side table.




I found this mid-century side table at my favorite Goodwill in Phoenix (it’s at Alma School and Ray in case you live in that area). Price tag? $7.00. Of course, it didn’t look this cool when I bought it.





Kind of sad, really. But I could see the great potential so I snagged it up! It had great lines, only a few scratches (easily patched with wood filler), and was just screaming for a bright coat of paint.

I started by giving it a nice sanding to help the primer stick to the “faux-laminate-something” top. Then, I gave it a good wipe down before filling in some of the deeper scratches with wood filler.




As you can see, it doesn’t really matter what color wood filler you use since you’re going to be painting over it anyway. Then, I just sanded over those spots to help the wood filler blend in with the rest of the wood. Now it was time for primer!






Nice thin coats is the key to getting a drip-free paint job, so my first coat was barely there. After three coats of primer, it was all set for paint. Here comes the fun part!




Picking out the color was by far my favorite part! And, because the side table was so small, I got away with buying just a sample of paint from Lowe's. And I still have about half of it left (after three coats of paint!) for either another project or just in case I have to do any touch-ups in the future.




So, what did this project set me back? $7 for the table, $0 to borrow primer from my mom’s stash, $10 for a new brush and roller (which I can re-use over and over…), and $3 for a sample of paint. Total = $20. Not bad at all for a retro style table in a bright, fun color.

One last before:


And after:


It's amazing what a fun coat of paint can do to brighten up a boring piece of furniture!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 5: Celebrity Crush

I don’t even really need a blog post for this one. I’m just going to let the pictures do all the talking.






David Boreanaz is one of the lead actors in my favorite TV show, Bones. Tall, dark, and handsome, and an FBI agent to boot (or at least his character is…). Isn't he gorgeous?!?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Simple Summer Spaghetti

http://rikkisnyder.com/blog/13525077/simplesummerspaghetti

I could eat this dish every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. No joke, it is that good. And, you can make it a million different ways by changing the vegetables and/or adding different meats. And best of all, it’s clean! Find the original recipe here.

  • 12 oz whole wheat spaghetti (entire package)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 2 summer squash, diced
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup spinach (you can use more, that’s just all I had on hand)
  • Dried basil, to taste
  • Dried parsley, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded (I just heated up leftover chicken from another night)
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Stir in spaghetti. Cook according to package directions for al dente pasta (mine took about 7 minutes). Strain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and then return pasta to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, in an extra large skillet, combine olive oil and minced garlic, cooking over medium heat until garlic begins to soften. Do not brown the garlic. Stir in the zucchini, squash, and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. When vegetables are beginning to get soft, add in the spinach, and turn the burner to low until the spinach wilts.
3. Add vegetables and chicken to the pasta, stirring in the reserved cup of cooking liquid. Heat thoroughly. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, start adding in the parmesan cheese. I added in a small handful at a time, stirred, and repeated that about 3 times until all of the pasta had a thin coat of cheesy goodness (about 1 cup of cheese total). Makes 6 servings (based off of the pasta, since 2 oz = a serving).


And here’s the nutrition information per serving from MyFitnessPal:

Calories = 351
Fat = 16g
Total Carbohydrate = 23g
Fiber = 5g
Sugar = 4g
Protein = 29g
Cholesterol = 63g
Sodium = 317mg

A pasta dish for under 400 calories? And it tastes like heaven? YES!!!

This dish is great for me because it’s healthy, and it can be frozen and reheated so I’m not eating pasta for a week straight (though I totally would!). My favorite part is by far the parmesan cheese. A little bit goes a long way, and it, along with the added cooking liquid, gives the pasta a slight “alfredo” taste and texture. Love it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day 4: What Am I Afraid Of?

Not much, actually. Weird, I know. It’s probably a good thing though because I work with mice in my research lab…

But in all honesty, I am afraid of a few things:

1. Snakes - Mostly because I can never tell if one is poisonous. If I knew for sure that it wouldn’t bite me and that it wasn’t poisonous, I might be less afraid of them. Regardless, I’d rather not find one slithering around my house. *Shudder*

2. Any insect, rodent, amphibian, or reptile that is larger than it should be. - AKA: Never moving to Australia (though I would love to go for a short visit). They have snakes bigger than me and spiders that are bigger than my head. I’ll pass, thank you very much.

*I'd show pictures, but it'd creep ME out! If you really want to see a giant Australian spider, google "Huntsman Spider". Terrifying!*

3. Unstable Heights - I can handle planes, tall buildings, etc, but not tiny rope bridges or anything else similar. I’d say most of this fear is related to my extreme lack of balance and coordination.

4. Cockroaches - I’ve studied biology enough to know how disease-infested those things are. Seeing one (thankfully never in my own home) makes me want to disinfect everything in sight! Also, knowing that they could survive a nuclear explosion gives me the heebie-jeebies…

5. Catastrophes - Other than just the normal “fear for your lives” complex that everyone has, I have an added reason to worry. Because my adrenal glands only function when I take the medication that tells them to, they also don’t produce the extra adrenaline that a normal person’s would in a time of emergency. I wear a medical ID bracelet and I carry a quick injectible version on me at all times, but the fear of being in a situation in which I would need the extra adrenaline and not having it is still a reality.

Bonus to #5: Because my body doesn’t produce extra adrenaline, I don’t get excited (or scared) easily. If you do manage to surprise or scare me, congratulations, it doesn’t happen often! Actually, it’s probably why this list is so short! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day 3: Dream Job (Plus My Life Story)

My dream job is doing exactly what I’m doing right now… studying biology. Now, I know I won’t be a graduate assistant working on my masters forever… I’d get bored! But my lifelong passion is science, so if my future job (or degree) involves science, then I’m right on track. :-)

Let me give you a little background info on me and why I love science so much. At the age of 8, I was told I had a growth on my pituitary gland. For anyone that doesn’t know, that’s a master gland for all of your other glands (thyroid, adrenal, mammary, etc.). It produces the hormones that tell those glands what hormones to produce and in what quantities. This is called the endocrine system (the system of glands regulated by the pituitary gland).




The growth was on the stem of my pituitary gland, so it effectively cut off the blood supply to the gland, rendering it useless. Bummer, I know. So essentially, all of my glands work great, but they aren’t getting the signal to tell them to work. That’s where my medications come in: I take medications as well as a self-administered shot daily in order to give my endocrine glands the signals they need to work properly.

All that to say, I live a normal life aside from the daily medication regimen. The experiences I have had through this situation have made me want to study biology even more, particularly the endocrine system. After 15 years of experience, I probably know more about the pituitary gland than most endocrinologists :-).

For starters, I attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ and received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and a minor in Chemistry. I then applied to medical schools, but was rejected from all of them my first round. Bummer #2. BUT that experience taught me that I need to consider different routes to endocrinology other than the standard route of becoming a doctor. I would still love to be a doctor, but that may not be where God wants me to be right now.

So for now, I’m getting my masters in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Starting small, and seeing where that takes me. It could be that I go on to medical school from here, as admission rates are slotted to increase immensely in the next two years and having a masters would give my resume a big boost. Or, I could fall in love with the research aspect and continue on for a PhD. Or, I could teach biology either to high school or college students. Or, I could go work for the government in some research or fieldwork aspect. OR, I could just do all of the above (or some combination of the above)! Who knows?!? I surely don’t right now! But what I do know is that my God is in control and His Will is always perfect.

http://jesusplus.org/bible-quotes/bible-quotes-part-11/

“For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. - Jeremiah 29:11

And my life verse: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness”. - Isaiah 41:10


Monday, August 11, 2014

Office Design Inspiration

I am in the midst of designing my new office space! I am so stinkin’ excited for this space and I just want it finished NOW! But, alas, I know it’ll turn out 10X better if I plan it all out before jumping in head first. Ugh!




This is the current office space. Pretty much nonexistent without a desk… And kind of hard to design considering it’s only half of my living room, not in a separate room like I would prefer.

I’ve been using Pinterest like crazy to find inspiration for this space since it’s so hard to picture it otherwise. I may or may not have a couple dozen (31 to be exact) pictures pinned to my “Office Inspiration” board on Pinterest… Yup. My name is Julie, and I am a Pinterest Addict.

With all that in mind, here’s just a handful of my favorites so you can get an idea of how I want the space to look:

http://www.yasamstil.com/2013/04/update-home-office/


http://www.bhg.com/rooms/home-office/storage/home-office-storage/#page=16


http://www.pinklittlenotebook.com/part-3-home-office-reveal/

http://www.iheartfaces.com/2012/07/how-to-set-up-photography-office-in-your-home/


http://www.33shadesofgreen.com/2010/08/home-tourthe-craft-room.html

Picture #2 is my absolute favorite layout and I love all of the fun colors contrasting with the white desk and shelves. I also really like all of the added storage in Picture #1.

So far, here's a list of my essentials for this room:

1. Large workspace (preferably white desk/table).
2. Additional shelving/bookshelves.
3. Color!

What do you think? I'm open to any and all suggestions!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day 1: 20 Facts About Me

And we're off! Welcome to Day 1 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge!

Day 1: 20 Facts About Me

This was really fun to put together and surprisingly, pretty easy too. I even threw in 3 bonus ones so I could have 23… cause I’m 23, get it?!? I crack myself up.


1. I am NOT an early bird. Definite night owl; I may wake up early, but I won't be fully awake until after lunch...

2. I have selective OCD.




3. Chapstick is the only makeup I wear.

4. I'm a perfectionist with a procrastinator complex... One day, I will be awesome!

5. I love to read, but when I do read I want to curl up all day with a book, so it doesn't happen very often.

6. My decorating style is Mid-Century Modern. Pretty sure I was born into the wrong decade.

7. I'm not bossy: I just know what you should be doing. :-)

8. I LOVE To-Do Lists, Checklists,  and every other kind of list.




9. I love DIY, crafts, thrift shopping, etc. in case you couldn't tell by my blog title. :-)

10. My favorite way to recharge is shopping by myself. I like to just go window shopping and can spend an hour browsing a single store (or 3 hours if it's Ikea!).

11. My mom was in labor for 26 hours with me, and yes, I do hear about it constantly.

12. I have never travelled out of the continental United States, but I dream of going to Europe one day.

13. I add words (especially scientific ones) to the Microsoft dictionary just so those little red lines will go away!

14. I do not have any tattoos, and only one basic ear piercing.




15. My white Jeep Wrangler is named Hercules and I love him. :-)

16. I was the weird child that loved school, and still do. I could probably have a handful of masters and doctorates by the time I'm done.

17. I was also the weird child that loved vegetables, especially broccoli.

18. I do NOT run. If I am running, you'd better start running too because something is probably chasing me!

19. I am totally uncoordinated.




20. I was homeschooled through high school.

21. I wear a size 11 tennis shoe. My family calls them "boats”.

22. I once broke my ankle by stepping on a tennis ball. I did say I was uncoordinated, right?

23. I like my men like I like my tea: Strong, Sweet, and Southern! :-D


Well, that's me in a nutshell! Come on back for Day 2! Up Next: My Favorite Quote

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

30 Day Blogging Challenge



I love all of the 30 Day Blogging Challenges I’m seeing pop up on Pinterest and in the blogosphere. What I love even more are all of the great creative blog posts that are generated from these challenges! 

And now I’m going to try it for myself! Now, to be perfectly honest with you and myself, I know I probably won’t be able to post every day with my current schedule. But, I will make it through all 30 days even if it takes me a little longer than I’d like. I’m still going to share my own blog posts and DIY tutorials, so these “daily” blog challenges are just here to spice things up a bit!


Julie's 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day 15: Something I am OCD About
Day 16: 10 Favorite Songs
Day 17: If I Won the Lottery…
Day 18: A Cool Talent
Day 19: Where I Want to Be in 10 Years
Day 20: Something I Miss
Day 21: Best Physical Features
Day 22: Top 3 Things on My Bucket List
Day 23: Favorite Childhood Memory
Day 24: My Personality Type
Day 25: One of My Favorite TV Shows
Day 26: Screenshot of My Desktop
Day 27: What I Wore Today
Day 28: A Picture of Something That Makes Me Happy
Day 29: Most Recent Pin on Pinterest
Day 30: 5 Pictures That Make Me Feel Beautiful


Who’s with me?!? Let’s get those creative juices flowing, people!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Back to School with Evernote

Image credit: https://evernote.com/evernote/

If you’ve never heard of Evernote, you need to crawl out from under your rock right now. I would’ve never thought an app could be so life changing until I tried Evernote for the first time. And best of all, it’s FREE! Yes, you read that right. And they said nothing good in life was free…

As a grad student, Evernote is a life saver. Big time. I have everything I could ever need stored right here and it’s just a click away if I need it.

Here are a few quotes from the Evernote website to give you a better idea of what Evernote does:
  • With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use.
  • Save everything cool and exciting you see online and in the real world. Snap a photo, record some audio and save it.
  • Save entire webpages to your Evernote account with our nifty web clipper browser extensions. You get the whole page: text, images and links.
  • Collect information from anywhere into a single place. From text notes to web pages to files to snapshots, everything is always at your fingertips.
  • Share your notes and collaborate on projects with friends, colleagues and classmates.
  • Keep all of your itineraries, confirmations, scanned travel documents, maps, and plans in Evernote, so you’ll have them when you need them.

And here are a few ways I use Evernote on a daily basis both personally and as a student:

Daily and Weekly To-Do Lists - all in one place and accessible on every device I own. Everything from my iPhone to my work computer are all connected through Evernote. And, if I’m not on one of my own devices, I can just log into my account online and everything is there, too. Way better than trying to remember a grocery list off a piece of paper you left at home.

Yearly Goals - Every year I set goals for myself and I use Evernote to keep track of my progress throughout the year. By far my favorite tool in Evernote is the check box list. You start out by making a bulleted list with blank check boxes instead of bullet points, and as you finish certain tasks you can cross them off your list by clicking in the check box! My OCD, list-loving self is definitely in love with this feature! I may or may not get a little carried away adding things to my list just so I can check them off…

Important Documents and Logins - Because Evernote is everywhere, I love that I can keep important documents here for access anywhere. Forgot your login to pay your electric bill? No problem, Evernote has you covered! On the road and need an insurance account number? Got that too! It’s a great tool to help declutter your multiple paper stacks. Always keep the originals of really important documents (like birth certificates and social security cards), but most everything else can be stored on Evernote. If you’re worried about security, you can always log yourself in and out of the app every time, or passcode lock it with their upgraded system, Evernote Premium. You’ll have to pay for the upgrade, but it may be worth your peace of mind.

Class Notes and Deadlines - I used Evernote all through college, but didn’t really take full advantage of it until my last two years. And boy do I wish I had started sooner! Evernote has a system to help you organize your notes, which is extremely helpful, especially in a class setting. Here’s how it works, from biggest (like a document folder) to smallest (way more detailed than a Word document):
  • The largest feature is called a "Notebook Stack”. This is a generalized “folder" under which you can put other “documents”. For example, some of my college Notebook Stacks are: "NAU Fall 2012" and "USC Fall 2014" (two different colleges and semesters).
  • Next, you have the “Notebook”. This is more specific than the Notebook Stack. You can create a Notebook without putting it under a Notebook Stack, however. Under “USC Fall 2014” I have the following notebooks: “BIO 711 - Nucleic Acids”, “BIO 717 - Biological Chemistry”, and “Research”. These represent my individual classes or projects for that semester. I also have a few random notebooks like “Cool Ideas” that do not belong to a Notebook Stack.
  • The next level of organization is the “Note”. Each notebook can contain an infinite amount of notes. For my individual classes, I like to make a note for each day of lecture and/or lab so I can keep track of when/where the note was written. Also, if someone from my class misses a particular day, I can easily find the day of notes they need.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, is the “Tag”. It’s just like it sounds. You can tag a note with keywords to help you find it later amongst your sea of class notes. The search function in Evernote is amazing. It will search through tags, the actual note itself, and even wording in images you have uploaded (great for PDFs!).
  • Another feature of Evernote that makes it great for class is that it links with so many other apps. My favorite is Penultimate. This is a drawing app that allows you to create a similar hierarchal organization system and it even uploads your drawings straight into Evernote. This was a life saver in a few of my classes where the teacher would draw things out on the board. You can’t exactly type those. So I utilized the Penultimate app paired with an iPad to draw those diagrams and then upload them into the same note with the rest of my class notes from that day (it uploads as an image you can copy and paste). Pretty sweet, huh?!?

Blog Posts - Every blog post you see here was written in Evernote then copied and pasted into Blogger. This allows me to write posts in advance, proofread them, then upload them into Blogger when I’m ready to do last-minute edits and add in pictures and links. Each blog post is given its own note and titled with the date I plan to publish it along with the title of the blog post, making it even easier to keep track of my posts.

If you plan on uploading and creating a few hundred notes a month, you might want to consider Evernote Premium. Otherwise, stick with the free version. You get just as many cool features, it’s free, and you will probably never hit your monthly upload limit. I have yet to go over a quarter of my limit and I use Evernote daily. If you’re tired of me telling you how great it is and you just want to check it out for yourself, then click here.

*This is not a sponsored post. I really just love this product and want to tell other people about it! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Clean Eating and a New Recipe

Happy August 1st everybody! Today is the day I start my clean eating!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am going to try clean eating for a change. I have been eating horribly for the past month, and even before that my healthy eating habits needed some improvement. I have heard a lot of good things about clean eating and how it makes you feel so much better and healthier, and as an added bonus, it can help you lose weight. My weight has been a long-time struggle for me and even though I have lost weight on “diets” before, I always gained the weight back in excess. This time is going to be different.

I know “clean eating” can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, so let me tell you how I see it.

Clean Eating is:
  • Eat 3 smaller meals a day + 2-3 snacks throughout the day.
  • Eat lean meats and complex carbohydrates at every meal (no just-carb meals!).
  • Drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water each day (coffee and tea are also ok).
  • Avoid all over-processed, refined foods, particularly “white” foods: white flour, potatoes, white rice, white bread, and sugar.
  • Eat healthy fats (i.e. olive oil vs. canola oil); whole, natural full-fat foods are typically better for you than fat-free foods (read the labels - they cram so much junk into fat-free foods to make up for the fat they took out).
  • Pay attention to labels - If it has a bunch of artificial ingredients, colors, and flavors, added sugar, or other ingredients you can’t pronounce, then don’t buy it.
  • Avoid all sugary drinks - including juice, soda, and alcohol.
  • Stick to proper portion sizes (and track what you eat).

I also firmly believe in the 80/20 rule when it comes to clean eating: 80% clean eating, 20% real life. I still plan on going out to dinner with friends every once in a while. And I am definitely not going to have a whole wheat flour, applesauce, and zucchini birthday cake. I would also much rather have full fat, full sugar, homemade anything than the fake, over-processed, sugar-free, fat-free version of it.

With all of that in mind, I have another super duper easy, delicious, and clean recipe for you!


Egg, Turkey Bacon, and Spinach Quiche



As usual, I did make a few changes to the original recipe. If you want to see how the original blogger made this dish, then click here.

  • Deep casserole or baking dish (I used an 8x8 square glass dish, but you could put this in a round casserole dish or even make quiche muffins if you wanted)
  • Non-stick olive oil cooking spray (still not perfectly clean, but better for you than canola oil cooking spray)
  • 3 cups baby spinach (I may have used a little more… I really like spinach in my quiche!)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 eggs (Yes, you do use an entire carton of eggs for this recipe, but it makes a lot!)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 slices turkey bacon, diced (I found an all-natural, no added nitrate or artificial ingredient turkey bacon at my local Kroger. See, it is possible to find whole foods without spending your whole paycheck at Whole Foods!)
    • Note: You could also use ham in this recipe like in the original, however, I needed a few pieces of bacon for something else, so I used it instead of ham.
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato (My grandma gave me home-grown tomatoes before I left!)
    • There are endless combinations of vegetables for this quiche. Next time I might try green and red bell peppers, broccoli, or even asparagus.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Spray a large pan with non-stick spray, and cook spinach over medium-low heat until wilted and dark green. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and eggs, then add in the basil and pepper. Stir in the spinach, cheese, bacon, onion, and tomato.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish, and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until set (mine took the full 30 minutes). Let cool (to help it set some more) before serving. Serves 6.

This recipe probably took 15 minutes out of my night (not counting the baking time, because I could do something else while it baked), and it made enough quiche to last me a week in breakfasts. After it has cooled a night in the fridge, I’m going to cut it up into 6 portions and freeze half so I know they won’t go bad before I can eat it all. Then just pop a slice in the microwave and Presto! Breakfast is ready! Add in a slice of whole wheat toast or a piece of fruit and you’ll be good to go!

I’ll keep everyone posted on how clean eating is working for me, and maybe, just maybe, that’ll help motivate someone else to do the same. Anyone else going to join me on the clean eating bandwagon?