California vs. New Jersey

Since moving to California from New Jersey, I have noticed some differences with many things.  I will always be a Jersey Girl but I’m in love with Cali.  Check out the list I compiled for your enjoyment!

Driving/Cars

  • I have to pump my own gas.  I honestly don’t mind because it’s not like, “Oh, it’s too cold to get out of the car”, but it is nice having someone do it for you.  I was friendly with the guy who pumped my gas in NJ so that relationship is lost in CA.
  • Road rage isn’t bad in CA.  There will always be asshats on the road but the % is definitely less on the West Coast.
  • There are many more electric and hybrid vehicles in CA which is great!  Gas prices here are not for the faint of heart but be careful when crossing the road or parking lot because you can’t hear electric cars!
  • HOV lanes are great!
  • If you’ve seen The Californian’s on SNL, it is so accurate with directions!  Check it out here!
  • Ramp meter.  Never heard of it?  Me either before moving here!  During rush hour, the on ramp has lights to control merging vehicles.  It’s kind of a great thing!

Food

  • Unless you go to Little Italy in San Diego, all the Italian food is terrible in CA! It’s gotta be the water on the East Coast that makes it all taste so good!

 

  • CA definitely makes up for the lack of tasty Italian food with the Mexican food.  Everyone makes homemade tortillas, so many different type of salsas, elote is common (and one of my favorite things), the carnitas are very yummy and they have drive-thrus!  That’s right – drive-thru for homemade burritos, tacos – and I’m not talking about Taco Bell!  Also, I’m a huge tamale lover and they have them in some delis in the food store!
  • Donuts – there are tons of donut shops in CA.  Homemade donuts are the best BUT Dunkin’ Donuts is very scarce and sometimes you just want Dunkin’!
  • There is no Wegman’s in CA.  This makes me very sad. In fact, the closes Wegman’s to me is in Erie, PA!
  • It’s not easy to find a good Italian deli in my area.  Luckily, we found Pronto’s in our town but they don’t even have prosciutto, roasted red pepper and fresh mozz sandwiches on the menu.  Like, WHAT!?  I have to order it as a make your own sandwich.
  • I miss a good salty pizza.  After a night out, you can’t just go and get a slice.  I’m sure you could in San Diego or LA but it’s either fast food or Mexican.  I know when I visit NJ I’m going right to Pete & Elda’s and Molinari’s!
  • Tons of breweries!  So far my favorite is the Belching Beaver.
  • There is no Wawa 😦
  • Taylor Ham isn’t as good as in NJ

General

  • THE BEACH IS FREE!  That’s right – you don’t need a badge, there are no badge checkers or badge police.  It’s a beautiful thing.
  • The beach goers clean up after themselves.  There is no loud music.  No one sits on top of you.  Surfers everywhere.  The lifeguards are just like on Baywatch.
  • When you go to the store, you have two bag choices:  Pay 10 cents per bag or bring your own.  I prefer my own bags!
  • You get money back on recycling your bottles.
  • People are actually NICE in stores!
  • No hurricanes but there are earthquakes.  No hurricanes = no dunes therefore you can always see the ocean.  If you are a couple miles in-land, you can actually see the ocean because we’re at a high elevation than the ocean.  It’s gorgeous!
  • Dogs are everywhere!  CA is a very dog friendly place.  Most stores, restaurants and coffee shops allow our little 4-legged family members and it’s awesome!  Don’t be surprised to find a dog in Walmart either!  In fact, one of our favorite spots has a doggie menu!
  • The weather is incredible and it’s so good for my hair!
  • Last but not least, the sunsets in California are incredible!  It is truly an event with everyone flocking to the coast line right before the big ball of fire settles for the night.  I do miss my sunrises though!

If you’d like to check out pics of our adventures, check me out on Insta @liz11379!

Advertisements

Food On The Go

Healthy Fast Food

When I started going through this new regiment of working out and changing my eating habits I was gung ho about following the diet that I was given.  One thing I found was the amount of time it takes to prepare.  I go to two different stores for food to save money and then bring it home to cook for a few hours over the weekend so I can grab and go during the week.

I have to admit I have become lazy especially in the mornings.  Typically I will switch up my days of a cooked breakfast (eggs, turkey sausage, toast) with cereal.  More recently I don’t do either and just grab a banana and a Nature Valley Protein bar that I keep on hand as snacks.

I’ve noticed that more and more fast food places are offering healthy options which is great for me because I can still have a hot breakfast without falling off the wagon.

Wawa – They are now offering a Sizzli which is a ham, egg white, cheese and multi-grain English muffin at 240 calories.  Not too shabby!  Stay away from the 2 for $3 offer though because you only need one!  Wawa’s salads are also really good but stay away from the soft pretzels.  They are my weakness!

McDonald’s – Who would have thought that McDonald’s would offer something relatively healthy in this generation?  I grew up going to McDonald’s on the Belmar boardwalk and in fact had my 5th birthday there with a Grimmace birthday cake.  Who doesn’t love their amazing fries?  And the sauce on their Big Mac – wow!  But now that I’m an adult, smart choices are a must.  McDonald’s offers an under 400 calorie menu but be careful not to mix it with fries because it will set you over!  I’ve heard they are offering egg white McMuffins but they aren’t available around me yet.

Burger King – Who doesn’t love the golden crown at Burger King?  When I was a kid my dad would take me here all the time.  I remember he would always get the Whopper and I’d get a BK kids meal with a new toy and a crown!  Burger King is updating their menu by offering a veggie burger that is 410 calories.

Wendy’s – Wendy’s seems to be behind the ball here with healthier options and they don’t highlight their lower calorie options which they should!  I did find some options below 550 calories such as salads, chili and a baked potato.

Most importantly I DO NOT suggest eating at these places everyday.  These items are still high in sodium and sugars. If you are just too busy to make a warm meal atleast you know there are options out there without losing control of your goal.

Happy eating!