Monday Guest: Kristin Hodnett

Today’s guest, Kristin, is a fantastic blogger in Northern Virginia, who lives life to the fullest! Her journey has inspired many readers, and we couldn’t wait to have her share more of her story with you all today!

My name is Kristin, and I am a blogaholic. I’m also a new member of the Virginia is For Bloggers group, and I’m very excited to be sharing a little piece of my blog and my life with all of you today!

When I started 30-Something and Fabulous a year ago, it was primarily to share my weight loss journey; my focus was on diet plans, nutrition and fitness. Since then, I’ve learned a wealth of information not only about all of those things, but about enjoying experiences as much as food and living life to the fullest. While I am still on my journey, that journey has evolved into a much bigger one for me. I’ve worked with alternative medicine practitioners and life coaches, attended programs and seminars, and read more books, blogs and magazines than I can count. The most important thing I’ve learned is that weight loss isn’t the most important thing; living a fabulous life that nourishes you is, which leads me to today’s question – what is nourishment really?

I’m sure many of you, like me, instantly think of food. We’re not wrong, nutrition is a big part of the way we nourish our bodies. However, it’s much more than food that is low in calories. Nourishing food is food that gives us the nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins that we need to function well. Not all foods are the same for everyone; you have to know how a food interacts with your body to make the best choices. More than anything to be truly nourished, we must strike a balance between food that tastes delicious and we enjoy eating and food that supports our goals of health, weight loss or vitality.

There are other ways to nourish ourselves physically. As simple as it is, staying properly hydrated is key in keeping the body running smoothly (something I really struggle with!). Exercise counts too. Yoga and tai chi are mind-body experiences that provide a different form of nourishment. Though it doesn’t always feel like it when you’re used to being stuck behind a desk for 10 hours a day or glued to the couch every night, our bodies were meant to move. Giving them the movement they need is a a fabulous form of nourishment.

Still, nourishment is even more than that. We can nourish our minds with books and engaging conversations. Do you ever think about the media surrounding you 24/7? Do you make an effort to keep it positive? It can be challenging when so much of the world focuses on the negative, but it’s worth it! It’s nourishing to surround yourself with positivity. Try joining mastermind groups or attending seminars – they’re a great way to stay positive, motivated and to nourish your mind.

We’ve covered mind and body, but let’s not forget spirit. Do you make time for pampering? Do you “indulge” in activities that rejuvenate you? I’ve learned it’s not selfish or shallow to get a pedicure or have a spa day – it’s necessary a way to nourish yourself. Meditation is another way to nourish your soul. And just like we’re meant to move, we’re meant to have connections with others. Close friends, quality time with family, and healthy romantic relationships are like vegetables for the spirit.

What about you? What do you find nourishing? Do you make an effort to nourish your whole self or just your physical body? Be as conscientious about what you feed your mind and spirit as you are about what you put into your mouth, and you’ll be living the fabulous life in no time!

Kristin @ 30 Something and Fabulous

Thursday Feature: Tim Vidra Locally Sourced Mother’s Day French Toast

Today’s guest post comes from Richmond food writer, Tim Vidra. Find recipes, tips, and ideas for simple dishes that will impress on his food blog, E.A.T., where he advocates the use of simple, seasonal and local ingredients.

There are not many days bigger than this Sunday May 13th* and if you haven’t yet made plans with mum for Sunday you can redeem yourself by inviting her over and creating this french toast made with love from local ingredients.*Don’t tell Dad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs (eggs used are from Sullivan Pond Farm)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Dash or two of ground nutmeg or cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 (1/2-inch-thick) slices of bread (bread used is from Norwood Cottage Bakery)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (homemade butter from 17 Apart)
  • Warm maple syrup (Virginia’s Finest)
  • Fresh strawberries for decoration and enjoying with the French toast (Berries from Agriberry)

Preparation:
Place a cookie sheet in the oven and warm to 200 degrees. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, sugar, nutmeg or cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Pour into a large sheet pan, then add bread in 1 layer to give it a good soak, turning occasionally until bread has absorbed all liquid but isn’t falling apart (about 20 minutes).

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until it foams and then calms on down. Add bread slices to skillet and cook (I went with 4 at a time), turning once, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes total. Transfer slices to a baking pan and keep warm in oven. Cook remaining bread in batches, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon butter between each.


Once finished, remove from the oven and plate on one large dish or individual dishes — dusting with powder sugar, oh yes. Pass the warm syrup for your guests to enjoy.
Then to turn and thank your mom for all she has done for you and let her know how much you enjoy having her in your life.
Happy mother’s day to my mom and all the mom’s out there. We certainly could not have not have done it without you!

As always, E.A.T. Local & E.A.T. Well! 

Tim Vidra @ timvidraeats.com

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Monday Feature: Hippie Itch

Hi all! I’m Adrienne, the blogger over at Hippie Itch.

Ever had an itch that you’ve just GOT to scratch? I have it all the time in the form of a desire to help others and grow as a person. I write about healthy habits, volunteering, ‘green’ projects, my dogs (a lot) and some other stuff too.

I did some major traveling recently (to Australia!) so I thought I’d write about some healthy habits I attempted to incorporate into our trip.

My husband, Al and I usually use traveling as an excuse to buy treats but this time I wanted us to be ready and raring to go after a day and a half crossing the globe. We needed to eat healthy. If we had eaten poorly, we would have be even more tired and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to spend a day or two recovery from travel.

I prepared.

I packed some tangerines, trail mix and a couple different healthy yet sweet bars. I bought the bars to substitute for the candy we’d normally eat. I got Archer Farms Fruit Bars, TLC Layered Granola Bars, Luna Bars, and some protein bars for Al. Delicious yet healthy!

With those bars in my belly, I had enough sense to take my time at the airports to scope out the healthier food options. Previously if I hadn’t eaten enough on the plane, I run straight to something unhealthy just because I was starving! Eating healthy snacks was such an easy fix.

This time I found a sushi bar and got the vegetable roll. I also ate two tangerines. I was so proud of myself, you don’t even know! No soda, no candy, just good food.

I also bought a latte for some protein and much needed caffeine.

On the plane I read some healthy eating inspiration. I think it helped me stay on track!

And last but not least. I drank water and lots of it. Normally I wouldn’t drink much while traveling because I didn’t want to have to go to the bathroom often and interrupt the person next to me. This time I was up every two hours, disturbing the guy in the aisle seat. I’m sure he wasn’t too happy with me but my body was!

After all that traveling, besides being tired, I really didn’t feel that bad! We got in to Brisbane at 7:00am and went all day until we CRASHED at 9:30pm. By that time I was slapping myself to stay awake but I only blame it on the jet lag.

If you’re going to take anything away from my little post here, I’d say drink water!! I’ve got proof because on the flight back I didn’t drink as much and therefore didn’t move much either. My muscles were tighter and my legs were more swollen. It was pretty uncomfortable.

All in all, it was a great trip and more proof that eating healthy is the way to go!

Thanks for listening. Please come visit me over at Hippie Itch and say hi! It’d make my day. :)

 

 

 

Thursday Feature: RVA Fashion Week @ Can Can

Today’s guest post is from “A Girl Named Leney”, a Richmond based fashion and lifestyle blogger. She has a fantastic sense of style, and her blog will definitely make you smile!
RVA Fashion Week is a week in Richmond where local designers, models and stylists come together to create a week full of shows and events to showcase local talent. While it’s not quite to the full scale of New York’s Fashion Week, it is still a week you don’t want to miss out on.
This was my first year attending and it was a lot of fun and really neat to see the variety of talent that Richmond holds.
I mean, we don’t have the number one art school in the nation for nothing. Am I right?
Unfortunately I missed the first show of RVA Fashion Week at Short Pump but I was able to make it to  the second one at Can Can!
It was packed and they put on a great show.
The clothing that was featured came from various Richmond stores and was put together so beautifully.
(My personal favorite is the neon orange blazer and the pink and blue dress…)
Here are a few photos of the event!
 ………………..
 Check out more photos here!
P.s. Did you see my bag?

Leney @ A Girl Named Leney

Monday Feature: Lauren @ Vegology

Today’s guest post comes from Richmond blogger, Lauren, who writes at Vegology! If you haven’t checked out her blog, make sure you stop by for a visit, because she has tons of awesome recipes! We’re pretty sure her delicious strawberry snacks are going to be a summer staple!

Hello, I am Lauren from Vegology, and I am so happy to be a part of the Virginia is for Bloggers group. Vegology is a blog about trying new things, so my posts often serve as a travelog of my food adventures. Vegology started in my kitchen, where I researched and cooked with new-to-me ingredients, but it has traveled far beyond my tiny Richmond, VA kitchen in the almost two years since I wrote my first post. The search for new ingredients and cooking experiences can take you to some pretty fantastic places. Today, Vegology chronicles my adventures in cooking, dining, drinking, hiking, gardening and traveling.

While I have expanded the horizons of Vegology (and my own horizons as well), food has remained the focus of my blog. As a vegetarian of 4 years, I write about meatless food. One of my favorite things to do is take meat dishes and remake them as vegetarian friendly foods. I have posted several “Veggie Redux” recipes in the past, including Banh Mi, Bangers and Mash, Spicy Po’Boys, and Caldo Verde. So naturally I thought that my guest post for Virginia is for Bloggers should feature a brand new Southern Cooking Veggie Redux.

Virginia Bloggers, meet Vegetarian “Shrimp” and Grits.

Confession: I have never had real shrimp and grits. This veggie redux might taste nothing like the original. However, I can assure you that this spicy cauliflower “shrimp” and these creamy, cheesy yellow grits are a delightful combination. The cauliflower is tossed with Old Bay seasoning, olive oil, fresh garlic and lemon, and a touch of pepper, then it is roasted to spicy, crispy perfection. The yellow grits are simmered in light seasoning, then combined with a trio of dairy indulgences: cheese, butter and cream. A dash of hot sauce gives the grits enough edge to stand up to the feisty cauliflower. If you can’t already tell from this description, I’ll spell it out for you. This is a vegetarian remake, not a healthier or lighter remake. It’s a delicious treat with all of the comfort and none of the meat.

Fiancé tested and vegetarian approved, this dish is a winner. The recipe follows so you can recreate it at home, and if you do, drop me a line to let me know how it goes! You can check out my other adventures (and misadventures) at vegologyblog.com and @vegology on Twitter.

Vegetarian Cauliflower “Shrimp” and Grits

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow grits
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Bring vegetable broth (or water) to a boil. Add yellow grits and cook until absorbed, 20-25 minutes.
  3. While grits are cooking, toss cauliflower with Old Bay, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and black pepper. Spread cauliflower mixture out on a baking sheet and roast 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
  4. When grits have absorbed the cooking liquid, turn heat down to low and add butter, cheese, and half and half. Remove from heat and add hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. When cauliflower is browned and crispy on the edges, remove from oven and toss with sliced green onions.
  6. Serve cauliflower over grits in shallow dishes. Add hot sauce as desired.

Lauren @ Vegology