First off, I’d like to say congratulations.  We made it to Friday! Welcome to the weekend everyone.  I have something delicious up my sleeve with this post, and you will not believe how healthy and yummy this substitute recipe is.

My boyfriend and I love to cook together.  In honor of Friday we decided to try a steak and veggie stir fry.  Me being the carb lover that I am decided to swap out the rice and use cauliflower as an alternative.  I have finally perfected the cauliflower rice to the point where I cannot tell the difference.  I will explain in detail on the steps to achieve this below.

Here is our grocery list for the stir fry:

-Flat Iron Steak

-Veggies: zucchini (1), Squash (1), onion (1), mushrooms (1 pckg), and cauliflower (1 head)

-2 eggs

-Garlic powder, Himalayan salt, and pepper to taste

-Allegro marinade (for steak)

-Makato teriyaki sauce (for veggies)

raw veggies-stir fry


Marinate steaks overnight to get full flavor.  Cut into strips and cook in a skillet until medium well (or whatever you prefer, I like a little bit of pink).


hand pic.jpg


Cut up the cauliflower and broil it in a pot with hot water for about 10 minutes until it is partially soft. (We don’t want it to be too soft because then you’ll end up with mashed potatoes instead of rice.)  Once it is ready, strain the water out.  Now this is the key to making successful rice!  My little secret..

Place the cauliflower back into the pot after water has been drained.  Mash cauliflower with a potato masher (works best) or a fork, until it has reached a rice like consistency.  Then place cauliflower rice in the middle of a clean kitchen towel.


towel cauliflower-stir fry.jpg


Wrap up the cauliflower and squeeze the excess water out over the sink.  Once there is hardly any water dropping this is when you are ready to cook the rice in a skillet.


water towel-stir fry


At this point, cut the remaining vegetables and cook in skillet on medium to high heat.  I use a little bit of coconut oil before putting veggies in the skillet.  Drizzle the teriyaki sauce over the vegetables, I use about 4-6 tablespoons.  After about 5 minutes add your cauliflower rice to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes.


stir fry skillet .jpg


Add the two eggs and scramble them into the mix and add steak.  There you have it!  An amazing healthy alternative to stir fry!


finished product-stir fry


Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

What substitute recipes work for you?! Let me know in the comment section!


-The Mod Maven








Victorious Vaca

pool raft

Vacation (noun): an extended period of consuming copious amounts of food……oh and a (insert amazing landmark).  


That description was my own personal rendition, but often times going on vacation is associated with the freedom of eating “bad foods”.

The aftermath: you find yourself back home, your jeans are a little more snug and you are overwhelmed with a sense of guilt.   I myself haver certainly gone overboard, but maybe if we changed our mentality of “all or nothing” we might find more success.  The all or nothing mentality can be described two ways.   You choose to eat extremely healthy and avoid all “bad foods”, or you indulge in “bad foods” and avoid healthy food.  PLOT TWIST: there can be a happy medium!  Finding a middle ground can ease you back into a healthy routine when you get back home from your vaca.  Here are my tips for not going overboard!


1. BYOB….Bring your own breakfast.

strawberry B-fast


Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to prepare in my opinion.  Packing some steel cut oats, fruit, or even some turkey bacon makes for a nutritious breakfast without all the added calories that you find in a restaurant breakfast combo.  If you are not staying somewhere with a kitchen, my go to is RX bars.  They have all natural ingredients and a variety of flavors to choose from.  Providing your own breakfast will save money and allow you to spend it elsewhere!



2. Sharing is caring.

food restaurant

Realistically, you might go out to eat at least once.  If that is the case, try sharing different dishes instead of ordering an individual entree to yourself.  By splitting a dish in half you are less likely to overeat and can sense when you begin to feel full.  This is great for portion control!  Plus, you might find a new favorite dish while sharing the culinary experience with a friend or family member!



3. Small plate magic trick.

plates restaurant

When I try to avoid overeating I ask the waitress to put my entree on a smaller plate.  My plate looks fuller, which tricks my body into thinking it’s getting more food.  Even though it is the same amount, I end up eating half and taking the other half home since it feels like I am eating more.  This illusion is definitely worth giving a try if you’re trying to avoid overeating.



4. Sweet Substitute.


The sweet tooth is real when it comes to vacation.  Whenever I am craving something sweet I try to have a healthy alternative on hand.  If your searching the menu for a healthy option check to see if the restaurant has some sort of fruit.  There is still a lot of sugar in fruit, but it will be more beneficial than eating a carb loaded cupcake or piece of cheesecake.  Another substitution would be dark chocolate.  I normally buy the 80-90% dark cacao bar and eat a small portion (2 squares).  The dark chocolate can be a little bitter but melt it over half a banana with a sprinkle of cinnamon and you have yourself a sweet alternative.  Finding substitutions can be fun, find what works for you!


Again, if you want a cupcake have a cupcake.  If you decide that is what you want to treat yourself, enjoy the cupcake and be aware of the rest of your meals that day.  Maybe you choose a light lunch, half of a chicken entree and then go for the cupcake.  Or maybe you have a burger, but you don’t eat the bun. It’s all about balance.  These tips are just a few that have helped me focus on portion control and have eliminated the continued bad habits after coming home from vacation.  Don’t be afraid to treat yourself, but remember to  feed your body nutrients that do not leave you feeling sluggish when you come home.  Finding that happy medium is the key!



-The Mod Maven



Thanks for reading! Please comment, share, and follow for more posts on health and wellness.  This post was not sponsored.

Furry Fitness.

As some of you may know, I recently have taken on the role as dog mom to a sweet, but sometimes mischievous three month old cockapoo named Samoa.  The past two months have been filled with trials and tribulations as she settles into her new environment.  Before taking her home, I did research on what to expect when getting a puppy and tips for the months to follow.  One common theme I discovered was a recommendation to spend as much time as possible with your pup during their first year of life.  I consider myself fortunate to have a job that allows flexibility with my schedule and allows me to spend time with her.  I find myself taking walks, going hiking  and having play sessions to ensure she is getting her daily exercise. Through that responsibility of making sure my pet is healthy, I have a new found love for being active.


samoa post 2

I’ve always enjoyed working out and the endorphins that come along with it, but it is much more pleasant having a furry friend to share it with.  Samoa may be little, but she is fast!  I swear sometimes she is walking me and not the other way around.  Above and below are pictures from a recent hiking trip to Moraine View State Park, where not only did I enjoy the scenery, but Samoa was also loving the views and smells of nature.

samoa post 1

samoa post 4

The sense of companionship that comes along with having a pet is something I would not trade for the world.  It is just an added bonus that having a pet has promoted a healthier lifestyle for myself.  There are several studies on the relationship between having a pet and a healthy heart.  According to the American Heart Association, owning a pet can be related with lowering risk of heart disease, decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.  Although there are many variables that go into the findings of this study, it is common that pet owners will reach their physical activity by going on daily walks and playing with their animals.  That alone can have positive results on someone’s health.  Now if you do have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, I am not saying buying a puppy is the answer because it most certainly is not, but having a pet CAN promote exercise which in return can have a positive effect on a persons health and well-being.

samoa post 3

Putting physical health aside, having a pet has improved my social and mental health. Often times I find that my puppy sparks conversation with random strangers. “What breed is she?”  “How old is she?”  “What’s her name?” are just a few examples that come to mind.  When I get home from work, nothing is more delightful than seeing my little girls happy smile and wagging tail after a long stressful day.  She will take naps with me, run errands with me and cuddle with me while watching Grey’s Anatomy (No Shame).  She is a great furry fitness pal, and if you are thinking about getting a pet or already have a pet, I can say without hesitation that these benefits are just a few that you have to look forward to.  For me, Samoa is exactly what the doctor ordered.  Cheers to a long and healthy life, filled with squeaky toys & slobbery kisses.

Farm Feast with a side of yoga…

Okay guys, I’m really excited about this post!

One of the reasons  I started blogging was to write and support other bloggers.

About a month ago, I had the pleasure of attending a special ladies night organized by my dear friend Dee.  I met this wonderful women back in Junior high when we still passed notes and used gel pens.  (Yes, those were the good days.)  Since then she has been up to some pretty awesome stuff!

She currently works at Cook Farms, a local farm here in Bloomington, IL and on the side puts energy towards her own blog,  It is here where she displays her creative abilities, from custom hand drawings to homemade dreamcatchers.  Along with supporting the arts, she discusses the power of the four elements.  Since she started this blog I have been keeping up with her posts and have taken away a unique perspective of healing and power.  I highly recommend visiting her page and seeing what she is all about!

Prior to the ladies night event, I had the enjoyment of arriving early and interviewing Dee to get a glance of what a day on the farm looks like and hearing her journey as a blogger.  As we talked,  I tagged along while Dee fed over fifty chickens.  We walked through the “hen house” and collected eggs and there was something quite wondrous about witnessing the simplest form of manufacturing and production all from one animal.  The eggs collected would be sold at the local farmers market, along with other produce like lettuce and berries.

As people started arriving, I headed to the upstairs portion of the barn where we would be doing yoga followed by a farm to table dinner.  There was so much beauty surrounding this experience and great conversation.  Dee instructed a calming, much needed yoga sesh featuring “water breathing” and group balance poses.  (If you do not know what “water breathing” is go to her blog!)



Everyone gathered around the table where we consumed fresh salads, gourmet chocolate and wine!  (What’s a ladies night without some wine, am I right?!)  We went back and forth sharing stories of similar life events and bonded over the delicious meal that Dee prepared for us.


farm feast

All I can say is that I am truly thankful for this experience, and I look forward to many more events like this one.  Thanks Dee!



-The Mod Maven