Beauty Brunch: Nails and Lips and Detox Drinks

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Welcome to beauty brunch! Today’s post is all about nails and lips. Remember the teaser I posted last week featuring Sinful Colors Nail Polish? Today we are going to talk about those, as well as some of the other products that I have been using to keep the polish on my nails for more than a day.

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Left to right: Solar Flux, Matte About Blue, Red Tired, Rubber Ball, Rain Rubber, Pipaya

These nail polishes have a very interesting grainy texture and remind me of a color my friend Luchessa sent me from Germany, but that one was specifically advertised as Sand Finish, while these say absolutely nothing on the bottle.

Of course the colors are brilliant and vibrant. I love the look and feel on my nails. As you may have guessed I wore blue and red ones for July 4th, and the color is still lasting. I am glad it didn’t chip on the first day. I have been making sure to use a top coat every time though. My new favorite is Sally Hansen base and top coat, as well as the Big Matte Top coat.

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Another summer beauty must-have I want to talk about today is lipsticks, glosses and tinted balms. I have been using a lot of different products lately, and wanted to share my thoughts, looks and opinions on.

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These two babies by NYX (Strawberry Milk and Narcissus) have been my go-to this season. I love the pale lip look, it compliments the tan.

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A couple other lip favorites have been Maybelline Baby Lips in Oh Orange ($3.99 on Maybelline.com)

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And Sigma Lip Gless in Get Ready ($10 on SigmaBeauty.com)

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And finally I want to share a couple detox drink recipes with you. If you are like me, plain water doesn’t taste good, so  that will help you stay hydrated and feel good.

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Bring 72 oz of water and 4 tablespoons of stevia to a boil, add 4-5 stalks of rhubarb cut up into 1 inch slices, and let boil for 5 minutes. Let cool, add ice and enjoy!

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1 thick slice of lemon, 5-6 freshly picked mint leaves, 5-6 freshly picked lemon balm leaves. Pour boiling water over everything, steep. Drink cold.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

7 Easy Salad Recipes

Salads are easy, filling and can be extremely delicious. I have been working on putting together some salad recipes for you. Today I will share 7 of them, my goal is to come up with 30 different recipes, one for each day of the month. And then? Maybe I’ll come up with 30 more, maybe I’ll just leave it as is, but there will definitely be more recipes next week!

I take a big salad to work with me every day, because I want to eat better, and feel better. All of these recipes have no dressing, and rarely salt and pepper. 

This is not some crazy diet that I invented, I eat these plus workout almost every day, just to be fit. This winter has been so long, that I think it had an impact on all of us in some way. 

Do you want to take this challenge with me? Live a healthier life, eat more greens? I hope you enjoy these recipes!

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Easy-Healthy-Salad-Recipe

Quick-Easy-Salad-Recipes

Light-Healthy-Salad-Recipe

Do you bring your own lunch to work? What do you normally eat/cook for yourself? Have a great Monday and come back next week for more salad recipes!

Let’s connect:

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Ditch the Holiday Bloat & Get the Holiday Glow

Hi everyone,

and happy Tuesday! Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, let’s get ready for Christmas! I am going to bring holiday related posts, outfit ideas, makeup tutorials and DIYs this month! I might even throw a couple gift guides in between! But today’s post is brought to you by Prescribe Nutrition, an amazing resource for everything food, lifestyle and diet related. Katie and Megan, are both nutritionists, and today, they are here on BeingZhenya.com with a post, that will help you get that holiday glow!

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‘Tis the season for all things celebratory.  Are you ready?  A house full of hungry family & friends for parties galore, kids running wild, cookie exchanges, oh and shopping, shopping and more shopping?!  Yep, it’s that time.  Time to turn up the volume on life.  Life and stress starts to hits a high note this time of year – pants get a little snug and the idea of a New Year’s resolution comes creeping back in.  If you are like many, you really wish a “resolution” (yeah, were are talking about the ones that involve the scale) never had to be made. What if you could make it through the holidays with a completely new perspective?  Glowing instead of full of regret?

Envision this: You attend and host parties where you feel awesome about what you bring (and eat.) You are armed and dangerous with tips, tools and tricks to navigate stress and the impact it has on you, your energy and your ability to withstand the temptations of unreasonably large cookie platters.  You look back on January 1st and your “resolutions” are void of weight loss goals and instead are full of ways to be a better person, practice more self care and save money for that trip you’ve always wanted to take.  Now THOSE are some resolutions!

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At Prescribe Nutrition we asked what our participants wanted, where they could use support and how they’d like it delivered, and then wham, the Holiday Disaster Prevention Program was written. Practical (and fun) tips to navigate the holidays.  So here’s a sneak peak in how we plan to tackle these guys feeling and looking our absolute best.

Step 1 - Fuel up: Yep, you heard it right.  The tanks need to be full. Full of fuel, the good kind. If you fill up you are far less likely to hover around the cheese and cracker platter all night.  You’ve been there, WE’VE been there.  “Tonight’s Jen’s party and so I’m going to eat really light today…”  Well, you know how this story goes.  A day filled with coffee and only a snack or two, and then bam, you show up famished, grab a glass of champagne and the next thing you know, three hours have passed and you’ve saddled up real close to the cheese platter, the headache has set in, and you want nothing more then a pair of sweatpants and your couch.  We think the party should be more about the company than anything.  Time to connect, laugh and really celebrate.

Remember – going to a party hungry, we’ll that’s just silly.  Have a pre-party mini meal.  In your head you think “Why would I eat before I’m going to eat.”  But then history reminds you, “This will be far less food/calories/sugar then if I over indulge in Fritos and dip because I was starving.”  Smart call.

Step 2 - Get Glowing: Some of our favorite nutrition and at home tips to get glowing.

  • One of the best ways to get your glow on in the peak of winter is to cram in a ton of antioxidants.  Easiest way to do this?  Have a green smoothie packed with nutritious goodness. Smoothies are a delicious, quick and easy way to add more of those powerful greens to your day.  Commit to having one a day everyday for at least one week before your big events.
  • Cut back on sugar.  In fact, if you really want to glow, get red of it all together!  Sugar is one of, if not the bigggest causes of inflammation – contributing to everything from acne to ruddy skin to weght loss resistance.  Kiss it goodbye and notice the difference within just a few days.
  •  Baking soda.  Baking soda?  You bet – use a dab on your toothbrush to whiten your teeth, to exfoliate your skin, even as dry shampoo. Check out all it’s virtues here.
  • Oil pulling.  Never heard of it?  It’s.the.best.  We promise. From whiter teeth to clearer skin to lower PMS, we swear by it. More on that here.
  • Speaking of oil…oil is pretty much your best friend during winter, well, the good kinds at least!  We love utilizing an oil cleanser for our face, our favorites being a  blend of castor, grapeseed, avocado and sesame oil. Learn more in our blog post on oil cleansing.

You feel a little better prepped already? Just the idea that there are ways come out on the “other side” still intact. At Prescribe Nutrition that was our whole goal in building the Holiday Disaster Prevention Program.

As Being Zhenya readers you are invited for a special 20% discount.  Just use the code: BZ20 and grab your seat as the PN team holds your hand through the holidayr!  Get ready to have some fun.  Hey, we can’t wait.

Enjoy recipes like the one below during the Holiday Disaster Prevention program.  Hope to see you on the discussion boards!

Mediterrian mint pesto

MEDITERREAN LENTILS WITH MINT PESTO
4 side servings 2 main servings

INGREDIENTS
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded (quarter if you like less spice)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey or Grade B maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
12 brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered
1 small red onion
1 small shallot
2 cups cooked lentils (we love the pre-cooked ones at Trader Joes!)
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 dates, pitted finely chopped
1 small avocado, pitted and diced large
Zest of 1 small lemon

  1. Using a food processor or blender, pulse the mint, jalapeno, olive oil, lemon juice, honey/syrup, salt and cumin until just combined. You can add more spice, salt or sweet to your taste.
  2. In a large pan that has a lid, heat the coconut oil or ghee over medium heat and add in the brussels in a single layer (don’t let your pan get too hot or you’ll burn the brussels and they’ll be undercooked in center). Sprinkle with salt, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Uncover and give a good stir, add in the shallot and red onion, then cover again and cook for another 2 minutes. Uncover and crank the heat to high and cook until the brussels are a nice caramelized brown.
  4. Add the lentils, almonds and dates into the skillet, stirring until the lentils are heated through.  Remove from heat and distribute the lentil stir fry onto plates or bowl. Top each serving with avocado and lemon zest to taste.  Now pretend you’re on a Mediterranean vacation.

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I hope you find these tips helpful! What’s your advice on getting/maintaining the holiday glow?

Zhenya

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Proskin 28 Day Blogger Challenge: Week 1

A couple weeks ago I came across a #BloggerChallenge on Twitter, and not knowing what it was, decided to look into it! And it turned out that it was, well a blogger challenge, organized by Proskin! I have heard of that brand before, but didn’t know exactly what they were about. After looking into it, I found out that Proskin is a brand that makes leggings that are supposed to tighten your skin and help you loose inches off your thighs! 

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So I decided to give it a shot. I was always curious to see if such things worked (especially after reading all the claims on their website!). I applied for the program, filled out my social media info and got approved almost instantly!

The leggings shipped extremely fast and got here (US) from England in about a week, and of course I immediately put them on! They are not just nice looking, but nice feeling leggings too! They are incredibly easy to style and I know I’ll be wearing them a lot more in the fall with all my dresses and skirts:
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What hooked me though, were the ingredients (info taken off their official US website  http://www.proskinus.com

How Proskins Slim Works

COMPRESSION FABRIC– A controlled level of pressure promotes blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, flushing fluid and toxins which would cause cellulite out of the body. The appearance of cellulite is reduced, giving a more even skin tone through the strengthening of connective tissues in the legs, buttocks and hips.

PATENTED MICRO-ENCAPSULATED YARN- The fabric is impregnated with microcapsules containing the finest active natural ingredients. These are massaged into the skin during wear, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. The microcapsules in the fabric are guaranteed to remain in the garment for at least 100 washes.

How Proskin Slim Works

What the Microcapsules contain:

Caffeine - A renowned active slimming agent that activates micro-circulation and promotes fat destruction.

Retinol - A skin regenerator, which stimulates collagen, giving youthful appearance to the skin.

Vitamin E - An antioxidant that helps the skin feel smoother and softer.

Aloe Vera - To help the skin feel smoother and softer.

Ceramides - Restores the skin’s barrier system providing an immediate tensor effect.

Fatty Acids - Natural ingredients existing in our skin. They are the perfect vehicles to improve the penetration of the rest of the active principles into the skin.

Slim by Proskins contain silver, an anti-bacterial treatment for extended wear and improved garment life. They also include a moisture management software that regulates body temperature to 37° degrees C.

So why not try it, and see if they work! I will be posting measurements once a week for the next four weeks to help track my progress (or maybe a lack of it). But keep in mind, I work out, and try eat somewhat healthy on most occasions ;)!

A representative of Proskin also told me that to reach better results it’s important to wear your pair of leggings for at least 8 hours a week. Which I am going to admit will be hard, but possible! So here we go!

Measurements – Week 1

Hips 35″

Top of Thighs 21.5″

Widest Part of Thigh 21.5″

Above knee 15″

Below Knee 12.5″

Widest part of calf 13.5

I hope you enjoy this project with me! And let me know if you think there will be any changes!

Xx,

Z

По-русски: Мне всегда было интересно проверить работают ли там всякие чудо штаны, ремни, пояса и так далее! Поэтому когда я увидела в Твиттере один интересный хештэг, я решила попробовать легинсы Proskin на себе! Это британская фирма, которая не так известна в США. Ну и пиарятся они засчет блогеров, это понятно! 

Чудо-штаны мне прислали на прошлой неделе, и я конечно же сразу в них влезла! Они очень удобные, черные, надписей, кроме как названия бренда на поясе нигде больше нет. Смотрятся с платьем очень даже ничего. Так что носить можно. Конечно же в наше жаркое лето их особенно не поносишь, а носить, как сказал мне представитель компании нужно как минимум 8 часов в день. Что в моем случае проблематично, но возможно. Сложнее всего я думаю будет на выходных.

Хочется конечно отметить, что кроме этих чудо штанов, я также занимаюсь спортом и пытаюсь (да, именно пытаюсь) правильно питаться! 

Ну посмотрим! Заказала я все это конечно больше из любопытства и потому что на халяву. А то что штаны пропитаны чудо микрокапсулами в состав которых входит кофеин, ретинол А, витамин Е, алое вера, керамиды и жирные кислотоы, не может не радовать! 

В общем в путь! 

Женя

 

 


My Kombucha is Square

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As some of you, Instagrammers, have noticed, I started brewing my own kombucha! Wait what? We all thought I hated that stuff!

Back in the day, when I still lived in Russia, I had some American friends over, who had never seen kombucha before! So when they saw it their eyes grew bigger, and bigger, and I think it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t know the English for Kombucha (it was over 10 years ago! give me a break ;) ) and in Russia we call it Tea Mushroom (чайный гриб). I also have memories of it being nick named the Happiness Mushroom! I guess it’s supposed to bring happiness and good luck to your household! Hey, okay with me ;)

A few years ago when I still nannied for a family in New York City, we were doing kombucha as well, but I hated it. I guess the childhood memories made a deep deep impact! I do remember killing one scoby, but the second one lived :) And I even remember sharing it with someone on freecycle!

What is scoby? SCOBY is an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Other good examples are Ginger beer plant, kefir, mother of vinegar, sourdough – you can read more about it on Wikipedia!

I don’t know what made me try Kombucha a few weeks ago when I was out and about with a friend, I don’t know what made me like it, what made me ask for it on freecycle, what made me drive to Apple Valley after work to get a scoby, but I did all that, and now I have a square kombucha living in my kitchen, if you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that it’s something that should be in a science classroom!

Now everyone brews their kombucha differently, but here is what I do, and I learned that from Jade – the person who shared her scoby with me:

Bring three quarts of filtered water to a boil, and then add a cup of organic sugar and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Then take the pot off the burner and steep four bags of organic tea (2 black & 2 green) for 10 minutes. Then pour the mixture into a gallon size jar and let it cool to 98 degrees (body temp).  Once it reaches that temp add the starter (the liquid that the scoby is in), give a little stir, then add the scoby. Cover it with a white flour sacking cloth, and let it sit for 7-14 days. Metal should never touch the kombucha, so no metal utensils or anything!

I mix green and black tea when I brew my kombucha, it’s no specific brand, just something I pick up at the grocery store, or Marshall’s/TJMaxx – they have great tea variety (sometimes!), I also use regular white sugar, and then it all lives in a square glass jar I bought at Target for $5.99, that’s why it’s actually square! 

Of course we’ve all heard stories about some woman in Iowa, who supposingly died from it, but yet again some people say it helps cure cancer. I know one thing – everyone’s result is going to be different, so give it a shot, and see for yourselves!

Now let’s talk about what I like to put in my kombucha! Let me make it clear though, all the additives go in the glass, not the scoby jar!

Lemon juice has so far been my top choice!

I did try adding spinach/cucumber juice to it, and it tasted okay, but I wasn’t a fan! 

I do like to add cranberry to it though! That is super yummy!

Let me know if you like kombucha, tried it, hate it, whatever your opinion is – please DO tell! 

Happy Monday everyone! 

Xo,

Z

PS. If you are in the Twin Cities area and would like a scoby, let me know!

 


Ho-ho-ho Green Giant

Thanks to Product Hoochie, I have recently joined BzzAgent, and unlike other “freebies” websites, this one seems more legit than others. Maybe because I’ve been getting and will be getting a lot of products to try and review, maybe because it’s easier and hassle free?!

Today’s post is dedicated to the Green Giant Veggie Snack Chips, that I got in the mail last week!

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What was in my box?

  • A FREE full-size bag of Green Giant Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips with Zesty Cheddar
  • A FREE full-size bag of Green Giant Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt
  • 4 Sample pouches that were immediately utilized by my husband as an addition to his lunch (that I pack every day!)
  • Pass-along coupons

Here is what Green Giant says: 

  • Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips with Zesty Cheddarare crispy tortilla chips made with real vegetables like carrot, broccoli, and tomato, plus 17g of whole grain
  • Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt are made with real sweet potatoes and 14g of whole grain, with 40% less fat than regular potato chips*
  • *Green Giant Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips (6g per 28g serving) have 40 percent less fat than regular potato chips (10g per 28g serving).

Here is what I think:

Sweet potato chips taste just like any other sweet potato chips, and are nothing extra ordinary. They are a good snack, and that’s just about it! I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes to begin with, but I can tolerate it in this shape and form!

Zesty cheddar taste very similar to Doritos, but don’t leave you with orange fingers like the latter, so I guess that’s good! But they aren’t that healthy, as you might think they are in the beginning! I tried them with hummus, and that tasted good, but again, nothing that made my taste buds explode!

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Am I going to buy this product? Maybe, depends on whether or not it’s on sale, and whether or not I can use my coupons on it. Otherwise, it’s really nothing new and different!

Let me know what you think of these, whether you got them for free, or bought at the store!

Cheers,

Z

PS. This product was sent to me for free through BzzAgent

My Adventures in Juicing

Yes, dear readers, I fell a victim to one of the most popular trends that can take place in your kitchen – juicing! Having watched some documentary on Netflix, I think it was called Hungry for Change, I started researching and googling different juicers everywhere I went! I kid you not, I tweeted about juicers, stalked people on Instagram, asking them which one they use, etc etc

And finally I got one! A GE 800 watt Juice Extractor:

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This juicer usually runs for about $50, and is considered a good started juicer. I bought it for $25, at the Salvation Army Target Overstock in the Warehouse District in Minneapolis (let me know if you need directions ;) )

There were two juicers there at the time, this one, and another, I forget the brand, but it cost $60! Knowing me, and my husband, who didn’t want to spend the extra money, I got the cheaper one, besides it came with the box, which made me trust it more! I also took it all out, including the instructions, read everything 3 times over, including 20+ reviews on the internet (which went from great juicer to this product sucks) and headed for the check out!

Let me be honest with you, so far it’s great! I am not going to say that it’s the best $25 I’ve ever spent, no I don’t think so, but I got myself a pretty good deal, a great juicer, and a healthier diet thanks to it!

Of course when you buy a product like this your first urge is to juice everything in the house, even the foods that don’t go in there! Hold your urge! Talk to friends or read blogs about juicing, then start your process!

Here is what I learned after 1 week of everyday juicing:

- Never ever juice a grapefruit!

- Tomato juice is actually pink, not red!

- One cucumber contains about 12 oz of juice!

- Carrot juice is neon orange and I love it!

- One 8 oz glass of fresh juice will last you up to 5 hours with no food!

- There are way more people who juice on Instagram than I thought!

- Juicing is considered a part of raw foods movement

- Some people recommend to detox using fresh juice 3 days out of the month, every month!

- I have been doing dishes more regularly with the juicer!

- It’s better to juice into a tall glass than a short glass (just because it’s easier to prevent spilling)

- You can use left over pulp for muffins or combine it with cat/dog food!

There is so much to learn about this, and even though I sound sarcastic at times, I am absolutely happy with my new toy! Sam on the other hand isn’t, he says it’s gross! And asks me not to let him smell it :)

Now about the juices! I have been trying to document each and every one of them on Instagram last week, to make it easier for me when I was going to blog about it! I think it worked:

Carrot and apple juice (about 2 apples and 4 carrots for 8 oz)

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Orange, carrot and kiwi juice (I can’t remember how much I used of each fruit now, but I know for sure there was only 1 kiwi!)

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Cucumber, celery, tomato (loved this combo, and cucumber juice alone!)

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Pineapple, celery juice

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Have you ever tried juicing? If so, how did you like it?

Have a great day everyone,

Xo,

Z

Rice Turkey Soup

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Yes, everyone, I am only now dealing with my Thanksgiving leftovers. I don’t remember if I told you, but one of the moms at the school where I work, decided to give me a turkey the night before Thanksgiving. I am not going to lie – it was an awesome surprise! So I baked it on friday after Thanksgiving (it needed to thaw and all that jazz), and we’ve been trying to destroy it ever since, but it hasn’t been working out very well. Even though Sam takes turkey sandwiches for lunch to work, there is only so much turkey one can eat. So last Sunday I decided it was time to make turkey soup, plus clean out my fridge from all the vegetables.

Here is what I did, and here is how I mainly cook soups. I take the biggest pot I have, fill it about 2/3 way up with water, throw in a chicken bullion cube, and let it come to a boil. Meanwhile I chop up the veggies. This time I used:

1 Green pepper

1 Zucchini

3 carrots

1/2 onion

I was so lazy I didn’t even sauté carrots and onions, though I usually do that!

Then I threw in 1 cup of rice and as much cooked turkey as I wanted (we still have a whole other container!)

Once the water was boiling, I threw all of the above into the pot for about 20-25 minutes, just make sure rice is thoroughly cooked! And don’t forget to turn the burner on low! Don’t forget bay leaves, I love mine from Penzey’s spice, and of course, salt and pepper, and maybe a little garlic!

 

Russian Blini (Crepes) Recipe

 

Being Russian doesn’t mean that you are oh-so-good at cooking Russian food! I’ve mastered a lot of it. Making soups and stews is a piece of cake! I could make salads (or as one of my friend’s referred to them “cold casseroles”) every day. But Russkie Blini have always been a challenge for me. Every time I’d try to make them, they’d turn out as pancakes! And if you know the difference between a pancake and a crepe, well – that’s a big fail! The worst was when they’d turn out as something in between crecake? or maybe panpe? But last Sunday I feel like I’ve conquered it, and all I needed to do was to follow my aunt’s recipe, which is tried and true. It’s also no family secret, that’s why I am sharing it with you!

Here is what you’ll need:

2 cups of flour

3 eggs

2 1/2 cups of milk (you can cheat here and divide the given amount in half and substitute milk with water)

1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl (you can cheat and use a mixer, I won’t tell anybody!)
Then add 1-2 tbsp oil into batter.
And you are ready to FRY!!!
Sam likes his crepes with syrup, but I am more creative – I love them with Nutella and bananas, or strawberries, or blueberries…
Have an awesome Thanksgiving everyone and Black Friday, if you do that, of course!
I’ll be back on Friday with a new post for you!
Cheers,
Z


Tuna Soup

I am going through my soup stage. Plus it’s one of those dishes, that will last a while. I never freeze my soups though, I know some people do, but I prefer to just finish it during the week.

Today I was super excited to try making Tuna Soup, like my grandma used to, when I was little.

Here is the recipe:

1 Onion

3 carrots

4 potatoes

2 cans of tuna (I used one in water, I believe you can also get one in oil, but I would recommend tuna in water for this recipe)

salt, pepper, dill or parsley (if you are into that stuff ;) )

You are going to start up by dicing the potatoes and boiling them in about 2 liters of water. Please don’t hate me for going all metric on you. If you are like me, you’ll wing it :)

 

Now you want to fully cook the potatoes, so give them about 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, prepare the carrots and the onions:

 

I used butter to sauté the vegetables, but if you want to, you can use oil :)

 

You are going to add the veggies and the tuna to the potatoes, once those are thoroughly cooked,

then let it cook for 10 more minutes or so, add salt, pepper, some dill, parsley if you want to, and you are done!

 

 

Enjoy the yumminess! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Xo,

Zhenya