Finishing One Chapter, Starting Another

Hey all!  I’ve done a lot of soul searching the past few years and I’ve realized that it’s time to make some life changes.

One of those is saying Goodbye to Food Embrace.

This little blog started out as Off Her Cork and then saw a change over to Food Embrace as I started down a different path of food and recipe work.  Now it’s time to make a change again.

Wait, did you think I was giving up blogging entirely?  Pfffttttt.  Not happening.

No, I’m just switching gears a bit.  I want to focus more on creating a happy healthy life and all that goes with it.  I want to talk about relationships, picking out paint colors, and how to find the perfect pair of shoes for work. Seriously, I’m in need of great work shoes.

I want to talk about more than food all. the. time. Because there’s more that interests me and I want an outlet to chat. I really don’t feel like Food Embrace is the space for all that.  While I love Food Embrace, it’s time to move on to something different.  A fresh start.

My new space is over at Our Radiant Life.  I’ve changed all my social media as well.

Facebook: (I did get approval so the name did change)



If you’ve been following me on my social platforms then you should be set but double check just in case. Because technology.

So this isn’t really Goodbye.  It’s more like, “Hey guys, I’m moving down the street to a different neighborhood. Come check out my new digs.”

See you soon!


Inspiration And Motivation

Hey you guuuyyyssss!  Happy Tuesday!  I have been feeling a little stressed the past week or so which has sent my anxiety through the freaking roof.  Ugh. Thankfully I’ve still been sleeping OK (knock on wood) but today I’m finally feeling much calmer.

I’ve been juggling a lot of things and some things have been in limbo but I have reached a place of solutions.  I know all of this is cryptic and obnoxious but until I get the ball rolling on a few things, this is as good as it gets.  Ok, so let’s talk about eats!

After an awesome gym sesh where I threw some heavy stuff around, I came home to a yogurt bowl.

With chocolate chips because that’s how I rolled today.  Grain-free granola from TJ’s because I am out of homemade, fresh blueberries, and the aforementioned chocolate chips.

Frothy coffee was coconut oil + collagen.

After doing laundry, doing some business work, but before a business call, it was time for lunch.

Scott and I have been getting down with some chicken thighs and legs for lunch but we’re ready for a new protein thrown in rotation.  Any suggestions?

Lunch today was some thighs seasoned with Flavor God’s new Buffalo Seasoning, leftover green beans, and some cut up mini peppers.  Dipped in Buffalo Sauce + Mayo and a smoothie on the side.

Smoothie was a basic one for me:

  • 3C Water
  • 3 Huge handfuls of greens
  • 1.5 Frozen bananas
  • 1/2C Frozen Blueberries

Makes 2 big smoothies.

Finished up laundry, had my business call, planned an event, AND talked on the phone to my mom for a bit. WHEW. Y’all today was a big exciting day.

Dinner was awesome and a lil fancy for a Tuesday.

Pork blade steaks (think pork shoulder sliced) seasoned with Flavor God Garlic Lovers and a bit of poultry seasoning.  Smashed crispy duck fat and ghee potatoes, and some roasted asparagus (olive oil + salt + garlic powder).

Pork was from this month’s Butcher Box shipment. (<– $10 off your first box )


Now my pretties, I’m going to sit on the couch with my loves, a splash of bourbon, and some TV. Normally I don’t have bourbon on a Tuesday but oh man, I had such a great day I need to celebrate a wee bit.

PS: Yesterday I talked about my mission to start using safer skincare products. Today in my FB group, I shared some new products just released by Beautycounter. Feel free to join the group to learn more! I’ll also be hosting an event next week and all the details will be in the group, you don’t want to miss that!


Disclaimer: Some links in this post are affiliate links. This doesn’t change the cost for you ( and in some cases, saves you money!)  but goes towards supporting the site.


Safer Skincare Journey

Over the past few years I’ve been working towards swapping out some of the skin and hair products I use for safer more natural alternatives.  I mentioned a few things in the past like the honey face wash challenge I did and creating an oatmeal mask. Those were from years ago and my first foray into beauty alternatives.

Before, I was so focused on eating right and working out that I didn’t really pay attention to what bath and beauty products I was using.  Since 2012 I’ve been working towards switching that and finding alternatives.  It’s taken a while and there are some things that I’m still looking for but I’m getting closer each time.

I didn’t really document my journey to more natural skin and bath products here and looking back, I realize that I should have.  I’ve learned a lot along the way and I’m still learning. It’s one of those things where there is always new stuff to discover and new techniques to try.

So I’ve decided to start discussing things a little bit more here and I’ve also created a space on Facebook dedicated to just talking about safer skincare and how we can start making changes.

Bath products, makeup, and skincare products make up a ton of products in our home. Without even realizing it, that means we have a bunch of toxic products in our home that can affect us in so many ways.  This is the part that concerns me because the United States doesn’t have very many laws when it comes to monitoring and regulating skin care.

Guys, the US hasn’t updated regulating the ingredients used in cosmetic and personal care products since 1938.  That was 78 years ago!

The EU currently has banned or restricted more than 1,300 harmful and toxic chemicals from personal care products, the US bans or restricts just 11.

AND, it only takes 26 seconds for chemicals from our products to enter our bloodstream.  That is less than a minute. It is even less than half a minute!

Seriously, that’s some bullshit.

This is what made me really focus on switching out my products.  I mean if I’m going to work hard to eat healthy and exercise, then I owe it to myself to also make sure that I’m not putting toxic chemicals on my body as well.  Right?

As I started my search, Beautycounter popped up and then I saw several bloggers linking to the products.  Then I saw almost all the bloggers I follow start linking to the products.

I will admit this turned me off a bit.  I mean, so many people pushing it? It can’t be that good.

So I avoided it for months.

Eventually I caved.  Beautycounter offers a lot of monthly deals and incentives. There’s almost always a chance to be able to try a product for free with purchase and that’s what I did.  I took advantage of a sale they were having where it was BOGO on some of their more popular products. Dude. I got a $70 bottle of rejuvenating face lotion for free. It was a crazy good deal and I jumped in with both feet!

I also got their charcoal cleansing bar as well.  I had tried a charcoal bar before from Lush but I have been looking to move away from them because their products weren’t quiet as safe as I wanted.  Since I loved that charcoal bar, I thought going in and trying this new charcoal bar from Beautycounter would be an easy transition.  Plus taking advantage of that sale, it introduced me to a wide range of products.

Y’all. I fell in love and hard.  Seriously.  This bar is a game changer when it comes to washing my face.  And it lasts forever. Seriously I’m still on my first bar and it’s been six months.  It’s awesome! It cleans my skin, pulls out toxins, and helps keep breakouts in check.  I love it!

I also really loved the other products that I got and had such a great experience with the company that I made more purchases.

Eventually I became a member to take full advantage of their products and sales. I fell in love with the company even more.

Finding non-toxic products for self-care is now a top priority for me.  I already have eliminated cleaning chemicals from our lives and have done so for years. Now it’s time to focus on the most important thing, ourselves!

I’m passionate about finding products that don’t have nasty chemicals and toxins and I want to share that with you!

I’ll be talking about it here as well but will be most active on my Facebook group where we can discuss non-toxic skincare, bath, and beauty products that we find and love. For both men and women! If you’re looking for kids products and baby products I can help there as well. I’ll be doing videos along with posts but my goal is to have an intimate group setting where we can discuss products that we’ve discovered along with the tips and tricks.

To kick this off and get started, I’ll be hosting a fun little social and giveaway there! I’ll be raffling off samples and doing some full size product giveaways as well!  So join the group so you can stay updated and get all the details!

If you have any questions about products, shoot me an email ( Andrea AT ) or comment here!

This is so exciting guys! I’m stoked to be sharing this with you!


Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included in this article. This doesn’t add any additional cost to you but helps support the blog.



Moving and Grooving

Hey gang! We have so much to chat about!

First of all, I have made it to the gym three days in a row for the 7am workout. YES!  My goal is to get back to working out at 7am and then working on skills and strength during 8am open gym. It’s been hard to make that transition but so worth it.  Hooray for 7am!

After class today (which was rough), I wanted ALL THE FOOD. So I made a big breakfast and dived in head first.

Scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, and some turkey bacon.  The roasted potatoes were seasoned with a New-To-Me seasoning from Flavor God called Fiesta Sweet and Tangy. It’s so good! But it has honey in it so it can burn quickly which I didn’t realize when I put the potatoes in the oven. I set off the fire alarm and had to come running out of the shower to turn it off.  Scott and the punks were still sleeping. Not a nice way to wake up, sorry guys!

I went out to run errands today and sweet lord this zapped all my energy.  I forgot about some of the construction that’s going on around town and it took me ages to where I needed to go. There is so much construction. So. Much.

By the time I got back home, I was starving and since it was late decided to just make dinner. Then if I get hungry later and want a snack (let’s be honest, of course I’m going to have a snack), I can do that.

Linner today was pork chops, side salad, and some mashed cauliflower.

The pork chops were seasoned with Flavor God Jerk seasoning.  I set the fire alarm off again cooking up the pork chops.  I was going to make bacon today but nope to the nope. That is not happening because I cannot take that stupid alarm anymore.

Light balsamic dressing on the greens and a little bit of butter added to the mash.  Delicious!

Pork chops are from Butcher Box. (Referral link, which will give you a discount off your first purchase!)

Now I’m calling it a day. I’m in my jammies and I’m done-zo.



2017 January Barbella Box

Jan 2017 Barbella Box


January’s box was packed full of goodies! Excuse the boxer butt in this picture. He was having an afternoon nap in the sun.

Femme Royale Lift Heavy Hoodie

This hoodie was made just for Barbella Box, you can get a peek of it here. It is a thin hoodie, more tee-shirt material and a little snug. Thankfully they warned us about this and I was able to up the size.  I like shirts to be baggy and have some room to move. Even going up in size, this hoodie is still a little on form fitting side but it is super comfortable and so so soft.  Such a fun hoodie to wear to the gym and as a light layer.

Barbella Leg Warmers

Ahhhhh! I love leg warmers and these are so cute with the little barbell on them!  However, these leg warmers are so skinny and tiny. They don’t really fit over my calves and if I wear them, I have to wear them scrunched around my ankles.  That was probably one of the biggest complaints with this box from others as well. Some said they were using them as arm warmers instead.  I might do try that out!

Doc Spartan Bad Ass Chick Scrub

This is a sugar scrub with essential oils and coconut oil.  It is so decadent and amazing! It softens while also scrubbing and exfoliating.  It smells so good in the shower and leaves skin super soft and ready for lotion. It can leave the shower floor a little slippery though so do be careful when using it.

Buff Bake Protein Cookie

Y’all know I don’t eat stuff like this.  I brought it to the gym and one of the coaches wanted it so I passed it off to her.  She took a huge bite and was like, “Uh, this is gross.” Haha!  Of course it is, it’s frankenfood!  So there you go, it’s gross. Take a pass.

Best BCAA Shredded Packets

Amino Acid packets for recovery drinks.  Again, I don’t use these so I took them to the gym for whoever wanted them.


I loved this box despite the leg warmers being a miss.  The sweatshirt and the shower scrub are awesome! Not every box is going to be amazing but the goal is to expose you to products that you might not have heard of before.  I can totally get behind that and love getting these treats each month!

If you’d like to try Barbella Box, you can sign up here!


Disclaimer: None of this post is sponsored, and I paid for these goodies using my own money. Affiliate and referral links are included, which don’t affect purchase price, but allow me to earn a small kickback to support this little site.



Yesterday was an eat-all-the-things kind of day and today I’m completely satisfied with my meals. I love that everything balances out. It can be hard learning to trust your body and what it’s telling you but it definitely knows best!

I made it to the 7am class again today! After class I came home and heated up some egg patties.

No picture because it didn’t come out looking appetizing at all.  But, I promise these guys are tasty and easy to pop in the toaster oven to reheat. They also freeze like a charm making it easy to have a fast breakfast on hand.  I’m still fiddling with the recipe and I’ll share that as soon as I have it set.  These contain:

  • Eggs
  • Sausage
  • Spinach
  • Peppers
  • Onions

Frothy coffee to go with it.  I changed things up a bit this morning and used vanilla ghee + collagen in the coffee.  The ghee I got from Thrive Market.  It’s OK, I thought it would have a more pronounced vanilla flavor but it’s very subtle.

Salad and chicken thighs

Lunch was a salad with some chicken thighs that I dipped in Sir Kensington Special Sauce.  This salad is what I like to call a “base salad”, I make a huge batch of it and then it’s ready to go all week.  All I have to do is add some toppings and part of lunch is done and ready to go!

This base had:

  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots

And I dressed it in a balsamic dressing made from balsamic + olive oil + dijon + honey.  The longer this salad sits, the better it gets! Easy to put together, I just get some bags of kale and shredded cabbage from TJ’s.  The kale I pulse in the food processor for a bit so that the pieces are on the smaller side.

The toppings today were grape tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Dinner was leftovers from Sunday.

Crispy pork with potatoes and carrots.

Pork roast with carrots, potatoes, and gravy.  I shredded the pork and made crispy pork for dinner today!  I heated the shredded pork in a skillet with some ghee and olive oil to get some crispy edges.  The potatoes and carrots just got heated up in the toaster oven.  Dinner was quick to put on the table today!

Now it’s time to chill with my guy and watch to see if we get any snow or nasty weather. Forecast is different on every site, the most extreme is calling for 4-8 inches of snow from tonight till Friday morning.  Good bye spring like weather, winter is on its way back!


Eat Everything

Hey gang! It’s been a while!  I needed to take some time to enjoy life for a bit.  Last week was Scotty’s birthday and it was a BIG ONE so we had to celebrate. We took time off, enjoyed some libations, and some delicious goodies.  It was awesome!

Since we’ve last chatted I have reintroduced a new item into the diet and am doing a pass.  I tried rice and it was a’right.  YOU GUYS, it was just a’right.  It left me feeling not fully satisfied and made my heart race a bit.  Then later I crashed hard, like whoa.  So did Scott.  I was at work but Scott totally fell asleep and took a nap.

A few days later I tried it again and had some sushi.  The sushi left me feeling bloated and like a fake “full”.  I was full but still hungry.  It was so strange.  So rice is on the outs for me.  Scott said he could do without rice as well which is major because dude loves his rice.

So yeah, corn and rice are no goes.  So is gluten (except for beer on occasion).  Scott can handle gluten a little better than I can but it just causes me to bloat, feel tired, and crave sugar.  Not cool.

Dairy I can do in small amounts. Butter and yogurt being what I gravitate towards with cheese on occasion.

That’s where I’m at for reintroduction.  Beans I’ve been kind of avoiding but at some point I’ll test them out and see.

Back on track this week and I kicked off the day with an awesome big breakfast after working out (early, I got to the gym at 7am! BOOM!).

Eggs, potatoes, and sausage

Scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, and some chicken sausage from TJ’s.  I’m not a huge fan of this chicken sausage. :/ It was OK at first but then it turned weird. Like each bite started tasting like it was made from pellets.

Lunch could not come soon enough today. About an hour and a half after breakfast I was hungry and ready to eat!  Unfortunately, Scott said that since it was not even 11am that lunched had to wait.

GAH! What?!

So I had two clementines to hold me over.  Except they didn’t so I got busy making lunch.  I’ve been craving a big plate of greens lately so today I finally got to face plant into some.

Chicken thighs and kale

Sauteed kale with chicken thighs and half a leftover brat.  I dipped the thighs in Sir Kensington Special Sauce for some extra saucy goodness.  I also had a smoothie on the side, standard smoothie:

  • 2.5C Water
  • 3 Large Handfuls of greens
  • 1.5 Frozen Bananas
  • 1C Blueberries

Makes enough for two large smoothies.

Midafternoon snack I had some dried mango slices and a few pork rinds. I am a bottomless pit today!

Taco bowls

Dinner this evening was taco bowls.

Ground grassfed beef that I got from Butcher Box (See a recipe and review here) with peppers, onions, and placed on top of some cauliflower rice.  I added some lettuce and tomatoes on top.

Easy peasy and delicious!

Now I’m off to have some tea and get comfy watching some hockey. There may be some dark chocolate in my future.


Disclaimer: Some links may be affiliate or referral links. These don’t affect the cost of the items for you at all but it does help support the site.


January 2017 Whole30 Reflections

Burger and side salad

It’s been a little over a week since ending the Whole30 challenge.  There’s a part of me that can’t even believe that because it feels like it’s been a lot longer.  Reintroduction is going well (sort of? I’m learning a lot so that’s what I’m focusing on.) and I’ll do a whole post on my findings.  Most of them are total surprises to me.  Some that bum me out and some that I could care less about.

This journey was so much different than last year when I did the challenge.  I learned so much more about my body and foods.  Last year I got really frustrated over not being able to have things like sausages or bacon because of the wee amount of sugar in them. I also got stabby over missing bourbon.

This year I did not.  Sure there were times where I wanted bourbon but taking time to stop and examine the situation, I realized that I didn’t really want it, it was more of a situation thing that was triggering.  That was eye opening.  I had a lot of those.  I have food triggers and I didn’t even realize it until now.

I also was a lot more relaxed during this challenge.  I still had smoothies even though Whole30 says you should not.  Their reasoning is that they don’t want you drinking a meal and I can understand that.  I was not drinking a meal, my smoothies were part of my lunch so I felt OK with that.

I also felt OK with snacking as long as the snacks were compliant.  And by snacking, I mean fruit, nuts, RX bars, and things along those lines.  I also didn’t obsess over every single detail.  Was I eating enough? Was the protein, carb, fat ratio proper? Was my meal big enough? And so on.

Having this more relaxed attitude made the challenge run so much smoother.

At the start of the challenge I ate all. the. time.

Seriously I could not get enough to eat.  My body was going through major detox (I know people hate that word. I also do not care.) working out all the junk and alcohol it had for the past two months and taking in all the awesome food.

Probably for the first two weeks of the challenge, all I wanted to do was eat.  Because there’s no counting calories or macros, I was able to do this.  I was able to feed my body delicious food and not worry about calories or the scale.  I could just focus on meals and that was so freeing.

I also slept a ton.  I was averaging between 9-10 hours of sleep a night and that was the best thing.  I LOVE SLEEP.  And sleeping that long felt so good!  Plus my sleeps were deep and felt so restorative.

There was a noticeable change immediately during this challenge.  I felt better, my clothes fit better, and I was sleeping better.  I didn’t ever get Tiger Blood during the challenge but I wasn’t lacking for energy either.  Unless I didn’t eat enough one day and then I felt that during my workout the following morning.

Now that the challenge is done and I’m working through reintroduction, ugh, I do not feel as amazing.  That’s on me though and honestly I’m probably going to continue to eat this way because that’s when I felt the best.

Did I lose weight? Sure. Not as much as I would have liked but yes the scale went down.  Weight loss wasn’t my main goal though, finding inflammatory foods and foods that don’t agree with me was the main goal.  I’m on the right track.

I still have a few more things to reintroduce but a more Paleo way of eating is the direction that I’m leaning. I never thought I would say that and 7 years ago my previous self would have told you that you were crazy.  Never say never because we don’t know what the future holds for us.


Reintroduction: Corn

Today is the first day for my post Whole30 journey.  I’m going slowly through the reintroduction phase so I can fully assess what is causing inflammation and if I need to eliminate it entirely or just cut back to only having that item on occasion.

I hit the gym up at 7am this morning!  YESSS bring back the early morning workouts!  Once home I had some eggs and roasted potatoes for breakfast.  This was actually a Whole30 compliant breakfast.

Eggs and potatoes

I’m introducing corn today and almost, almost, had some tortilla chips to snack on while breakfast was heating up but I passed.  The thing with reintroduction is to have a lot of whatever the item is that you’re introducing.  By a lot, I mean, with each meal that day.  And I can understand that but I’m going to try to stick with eating the food item how I normally would.  Normally I don’t snack on tortilla chips first thing so I passed.

I also passed on ketchup today with my potatoes.  I wanted some and figured that the sugar wouldn’t be that significant but when I checked the stats, it came out to 4g of sugar for 1TBSP of ketchup.

That’s freaking ridiculous.  So I skipped it and that’s how breakfast stayed compliant.

Lunch was super easy to put together.

Smoked salmon and broccolini

I heated up some Honey Smoked Salmon and some broccolini.  There was also a smoothie and some pork rinds on the side.  Mmmm pork rinds.

The smoothie was a basic one:

  • 2C Water
  • 3 Large Handfuls of greens
  • 1.5 Frozen Bananas
  • 1/2C Frozen Blueberries

This makes enough for two smoothies.

Dinner was TACOS!  And you guys, I’m kind of over tacos.

Tacos and slaw

I KNOW.  I’m now questioning the meaning of life and wondering who I am.  I snacked on a few tortilla chips with salsa while I was cooking dinner.  I only had about 5ish total before I passed them over.  I was looking forward to that moment for days.  It was my plan to introduce corn first and tacos with chips and salsa was the meal. I had been dreaming about this moment and could not wait for dinner today.  I was so excited!

And it was eh.

I seriously could not even believe that was possible.  I thought I would love them and want to inhale them.  But I didn’t.  I stopped once I realized they weren’t really doing it for me and I snacked on a few Siete grain-free tortilla chips instead.

The tacos were bison tacos and I had those in regular corn tortilla shells.  Topped with a dairy-free “Not ‘Cho” sauce that I’m working on (it is so good!).  Again, the tacos were just OK.  I honestly would have rather had a pile of the taco meat with some of the sauce and chopped romaine instead of the shell.

Who am I?  This is so weird!  I totally did not expect this outcome and it’s kind of blowing my mind right now.  I need to tuck this experience away and ponder on it for a bit.

The other thing I introduced today was sugar sources in a few things.  The salmon had honey but it was a very minor amount.  The mayo for the slaw had honey as well, again, very minor amount.  I felt comfortable adding this in with the corn today because the amount was so small and it would be more similar to how I’d eat on a daily basis.  And since I didn’t end up eating all that much corn, I’m not really concerned about the wee amount of sugar.

Now I’m wondering how other reintros are going to go and what other discoveries are going to pop up.


January Whole30 Days 29 -30

Today is the last day of the Whole30 challenge!  WHOO!  I’m so proud of this challenge because I did it 100%! No slips and no cheats.  BOOM!

I also made it through the whole month without any alcohol, not even a sip at work to test new beers.  I feel awesome about that!  I will be doing a full wrapup and recap post soon.  This time around was much different and I’m pretty stoked to talk about it.  But let’s check in with the last few days of eats!


Chia seed pudding with TJ’s grainless granola and a sprinkle of dried coconut on top for breakfast after working out.  That I totally forgot to take a picture of! Sorry about that. Derp.

I was so hungry for lunch (Thanks, PMS) and could not wait to get some food in my bellah.

Burger, crab cakes, snap peas

I had a burger, crab cakes, and some snow peas.  The burger and crab cakes had homemade tartar sauce top.  Super easy, it was made with:

  • Mayo
  • Whole Grain Mustard
  • Pickles
  • Dried Dill

Dinner was leftovers heated up when I got home from work.

Chicken, broccolini, parsnip mash

Roast chicken, broccolini, and some parsnip mash.  There was also leftover gravy as well.  Then I went straight to bed.  My work days aren’t terribly exciting because I’m tired when I get home and am so ready for jammies and bed.


Banana before working out.  Once home, I was starving and needed a bigger breakfast.

Sausage, kale, butternut squash bowl

Sausage with kale, peppers, onions, and I also added in some roasted butternut squash.  The sausage and kale mix I made on Saturday and so that was ready to go and I also roasted the squash that day as well.  This came together in minutes because all I had to do was heat everything up.  Check out that steam action!

I wasn’t super hungry at lunch and decided to just throw together some random items.

Tuna salad, random snack plate

Tuna salad hiding out in the back.  Cucumbers, peppers, and tostones along with random leftover protein; crab cake, chicken breast, and a slice of pork tenderloin.  Those goodies along with some kombucha made up lunch.

Dinner was another easy meal featuring some beef stew that I pulled out of the freezer.  I made this in the Instant Pot last month and knowing that I was heading into the Whole30, I was sure to make it compliant.

Beef stew

Today is the first day during this challenge where I’m actually pretty tired and worn out.  I also just started my cycle (I have no fucks to give if you feel that’s TMI. Sorry.) and I think that’s more the culprit than the challenge.

The theme for today was to keep things simple. I could have ended the challenge with a big bang but my goal was to stay on track and go with the flow.  I did that pretty well today!

I’m going to have some tea and maybe some pistachios, then it’s an early bedtime for me.  I’m trying to hit the gym earlier in the mornings so we’ll see how that goes!