I Am Beautiful When I Am Me And I Will Embrace My Imperfections.
Writing posts like this isn’t easy for me. I’m doing it because it’ll make me a better person and hopefully someone else can relate. I’m not great at putting my feelings into words, but I’ll give it a shot. I’m about to admit some pretty embarrassing things, but hopefully someone can relate.
As you may know, I’ve moved my blog over to www.simplytaralynn.com It’s a lot easier to navigate and much more easier for me! Right now, I am transferring hosts plans and the site will be down for a little bit! Sorry for any inconvenience. The good thing about keeping my tumblr is for moments like this when my other blog is down! I always need to stay connected :)
I am flying to Vegas in the morning. (Hopefully my blog will be working by then) I’ll be there for seven days! It’ll be a nice little getaway. I’m so sick of the cold and need some excitement in my life! I’ve been working on the new blog non stop and keeping up with my half marathon training while keeping up with my other work!
I am so proud of my workouts this week. I plan on keeping them up while I’m on vacation. Yesterday, I ran four miles with a mile cool down walk and stretch!
Today, I fit in a 3 1/2 mile run followed by some arm exercises with weights!
I was really proud of myself because I haven’t been able to get a mile under nine minutes post injury and today I did! I was so happy! When my site is back up and running, I’ll post more about my run and some things I have learned!
I want you guys to old me accountable for working out while I’m in Vegas! My training needs to get better!
I’m all prepared for my trip tomorrow. I’ll be in Vegas for seven days next week, and my parents agreed to watch Mr. Grumples. They usually beg me to bring him home. My mom pays more attention to him than to me. I’m the type of person that can’t take my dog to a doggy hotel or kennel when I’m gone. Not that there is anything wrong with them, I just worry too much and feel bad. What if he thinks I left him or what if he gets sick? I just get separation anxiety. I feel so comfortable when he is at my parents. I know he loves it there, too.
My goal is to make it home without unnecessary stops! I don’t want to add time by browsing the gas station for food, going through a drive thru, or pulling over to eat. I only want to stop for gas, Grumples breaks, and bathroom breaks. If I leave by 7am and make it home by 5pm, I’ll be a happy camper.
I packed all of my snacks for the day in an insulated lunchbox. I know my mom will be cooking up something delicious for dinner (Mom, if you read my blog post…this is a hint) I chose easy to eat foods that won’t make a mess and that only require one hand. Before I forget, my cooler is Nicole Miller.
I packed blueberries, sliced strawberries, carrots, ginger snaps, banana, hummus, Quest Bars, rice cakes, yogurt, and yogurt. I also packed bottles of water in a separate cooler. Oh, and Altoids just incase you get pulled over. You gotta slim the chances of a ticket!
Traveling for a long time with your pup can either be good or bad depending on the type of dog and their personality.
Grumples actually loves car rides and gets excited to go on trips. To make it comfortable for him, I make a giant bed in the car with his dog bed and comfortable blankets. I dress warmer and keep the tempurature nice and cool for him. I make sure there is fresh water and food in the car. I also get him out to stretch and move around every time I stop. He usually sleeps the entire trip or chews on his bone. Before we go on long trips, I try to walk him a couple miles around the block to make him sleep better. When we get to our destination, I run him around and let him get more energy out.
Cereal, Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast + Yesterday's Run!
I was supposed to be on the road by now, but the snow storm put my trip on hold. Imagine that! I’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to leave. I want to leave in the morning because I don’t like driving at night. I think of the worse. What if something happened to my car and I had to sit on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere in the dark, or what if I took the wrong turn into a scary town? I watch too many crime shows that freak me out. When I’m by myself, I play it safe and stick to daytime travel.
I’m all ready for my trip, my bags are packed, and I have everything ready to load into the car. Hopefully the weather clears up by morning!
Before getting ready for my trip yesterday morning, I had a quick fix for breakfast.
I love simple breakfasts. A breakfast that involves zero clean up is a win for me! Sometimes I like to make big breakfast that involves some work, but yesterday wasn’t one of those days !
I filled a bowl with 1 cup of strawberry yogurt, 1 cup of blueberries, 1/2 cup sliced strawberries topped with 3/4 cup of cereal. The cereal is just Kroger’s brand strawberry and flakes.
This breakfast only keeps me full for a couple hours, so I typically have a protein shake or a couple hard boiled eggs with it or an hour later. After getting my laundry, cleaning, packing, and errands finished, I went to the gym to fit in a run. I’m kind of glad I’m not traveling today because now I can go to spin class tonight!
*Mile 1, 10:10 *Mile 2, 9:55 *Mile 3, 9: 44 *Mile 4, 9:33 *Mile 5, walked. 14 min on an incline.
I only dealt with a couple of knee aches, but I think the extra strength training and spin classes are helping. I know my time’s aren’t the best, but it’s all about finishing.
Eating healthy isn’t easy when you’re busy. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and prepare your meals in advance if you can. I am leaving town in the morning for a 12 hour road trip. I usually make Jeremy’s lunch everyday before work. He gets sick of fast food and would rather eat healthy. He asked if I’d make a couple salads for his work fridge before I left and recommended southwest salads. I don’t mind preparing food for Jeremy because I have a more flexible schedule, and he works 7am to 7pm or longer most days. I’m all about helping him eat healthier if that’s what he wants. Preparing meals also saves money. He used to spend about $12 a day on fast food lunches and overtime, that’s a lot!
This was the easiest food prep I’ve done! (Not that I food prep a lot)
I filled up our lettuce container with chopped romaine lettuce. I would have chose a spring mix or spinach, but Jeremy only likes romaine. I filled the other little containers with toppings. The chips are crushed Tostitos Artisan Fire Roasted tortillas. After slicing the avocados, I tossed them in fresh lime juice to keep them from browning. The corn and beans are drained from a can with taco seasoning mixed in. The Southwest grilled chicken is from Nino Salvaggios.
The preparation took about fifteen minutes!
Oh! I can’t forget the dressing.
I used 2 containers of nonfat Greek yogurt, 2 tbsps organic taco seasoning, 1 tsp of siracha, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder!
If you are not a fan of salads, you can use this same concept to make southwest chicken wraps!
Turkey Sausage Zucchini Egg Scramble & An Avocado Cream Cheese English Muffin
Why am I not surprised that it’s snowing again? Vacation can’t come soon enough. I’m hoping this is the last winter I see for a very long time. When I first moved to Michigan, I heard over and over again how mild the winter was last year. Well, I guess Michigan was due for a heavy one. They have reached record snow! I hope the weather clears up before I head to Iowa. Mr. Grumples is staying with my parents while I’m away. He loves hanging out at their house. They have a huge backyard for him to run around in and my mom spoils him rotten.
I have some preparing and work to do to get ready for my trip. In order to do that, I need a healthy breakfast!
I scrambled up 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup turkey sausage, 1/2 large diced zucchini, 2 tbsps GoVeggie cheese and 2 tbsps of almond milk in a greased frying pan.
I paired my scramble with a medium blood orange and half an English muffin with cream cheese and avocados.
Valentines Day is Not Overrated. Okay, Maybe a Little...
You either love it or hate it.
I don’t think I’ve ever hated Valentines day. Actually, it’s one of my favorite holidays. Even during my single years, I loved it. I didn’t drown myself in wine crying over how single I was. I usually went out with my friends or parents. Valentines day always excited me as a kid. I remember making my own cards for our elementary school parties. I always added extra glitter on the boy’s cards. I was a “boy crazy” little girl. Most little girls run around screaming “boys have cooties”, but not me! I just wanted to catch their cooties. Did I ever tell you that my first kiss was in kindergarten? Yup! With a boy named, Max. I’m just lucky that the “boy crazy” phase stopped by middle school. It’s not as cute when you’re that age.
One thing I didn’t grow out of? Making Valentines day cards!
I made one for Jeremy yesterday. I only spent five minutes on it, but the cheesy poem inside made it better.
After finishing up some work, I went out to pick up Jeremy something for Valentines day. I even had a personal driver.
When I got back from gift shopping, I made a protein smoothie!
-1 Medium Banana, 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder, 1 Packet Stevia, 1 Cup Frozen Rasberries, 1 Cup Frozen Kale, 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, 1 Cup Ice, and 1/2 Tsp Vanilla.
I had a little bowl of yogurt and cereal with my smoothie, too.
Before Jeremy got home, I set his gifts on the counter. I bought him the new Crown Royal XO. Jeremy collects whiskey and the XO has only been out for about a month and I was excited to get it for him. My grandpa was a whiskey drinker. He used to always say “I love you more than whisky” which must have been a lot
Before I get all of the “SMOKING IS SO BAD FOR YOU”, I’m aware. Everything is bad for your these days, but Jeremy enjoys a cigar every now and then. He smokes maybe a total of 10 a year and doesn’t inhale. I still understand it’s unhealthy, but who am I to tell him he can’t do something he enjoys? And I don’t have a problem with it. Now, if he was a cigarette smoker, I’d have a problem.
I bought Jeremy a customized humidor for Christmas a couple years ago and I like to buy him cigars for it every now and then. It’s an awesome guy gift and they love it. I picked him up some new ones for Valentines day yesterday.
I also bought him a bouquet of balloons.
After setting up his gifts, I got ready for our date. He told me we were going somewhere, but wouldn’t tell me where. I hate when that happens because I don’t know what to wear! I decided to go with the dark black skinny jeans and a pale pink laced shirt. I have more lace in my closet than anyone I know. If I were to turn all my laced clothes into a tablecloth, It could be used at the royal family’s Christmas party.
I had my floral pants on all day long to put myself in the Valentines day mood, but couldn’t wear them to dinner. Jeremy makes fun of them. Calls them my “grandma” pants. Why do guys think anything floral is considered “grandma.” Then again, he thinks everything I wear reminds him of his grandma. But, this is coming from the guy who wears white socks with dress pants.
When Jeremy got home, he walked into the living room with this 4ft Tall bouquet of flowers. I was in shock. I expected a gas station flower. When we were living in Chicago, he picked me up flowers and a stuffed animal at the ghetto gas station in Garfield park. The roses had money signs and bling. They were kind of cool. It’s the thought that counts, right?
I was confused as to how he fit them into his convertible. He said he road home with the top down. Jeremy is nuts; it was 20 degrees last night! This was a nice surprise and a great start to our Valentines day. I couldn’t even count the amount of roses! The teddy at the bottom of the vase made me laugh, but it was still cute.
Our night was going as planned. We headed out the door to make our 8 o’clock reservations. We finally pulled up to Buca Di Beppo. I was so excited! Jeremy and I have heard so many great things about the food and restaurant. I was super hungry and ready to order some delicious Italian food. I had been craving garlic bread all day!
When we entered, we could hardly get through the door. The vestibule was packed. We finally made our way up to the host and let her know we were here for our reservation at 8. The host told us we’d be seated shortly. Buca had overbooked terribly and failed to inform anyone. They just left everyone who had made reservations hanging. Jeremy is a very impatient person and hates waiting longer than 15 minutes to be seated. He was being so patient and I could tell he was frustrated because he had made a reservation and wanted the night to be perfect. An entire hour and a half had passed and we were STILL standing their waiting for a table we reserved. Jeremy walked up to the host to ask how much longer the wait would be and she said there were three people ahead of us. We waited fifteen more minutes, no one was seated, so we left. At that point, we didn’t want to give them our business. When I worked at the country club, only a certain amount of people could be reserved per hour, and we made sure that table was actually reserved. This was just horrible management. We were out of luck because it was Valentines day and we’d have to wait if we went anywhere else, so we just gave up and decided to eat at a fast food place.
We decided that next week when we are in Vegas, we’ll make up the Valentine’s dinner.
But, on the upside, Qdoba had a Valentines BOGO special going on. All you had to do was kiss your Valentine and you got your second meal free. So instead of spending over $100 on a fancy dinner, we only spent $14.00 for our Valentines day dinner. The employees working there were the bubbliest and super fun!
I ordered the chicken salad with black beans, brown rice, cheese, black bean corn salsa, pico de gallo, grilled vegetables, fajita vegetables and a side of picante ranch! Jeremy and I split chips and salsa, too.
After dinner, we picked up a Redbox, some chocolates, a bottle of wine, and enjoyed the rest of our evening.
Even though our fancy dinner didn’t work out, we had a really good Valentines day together. It just goes to show that you don’t need anything to prove your love to each other.
I love Saturday mornings. Even though it’s cold here, the sun is still shining. My coffee is brewed, the dog is walked, and I slept in past nine. I was going to do a spin class this morning, but I couldn’t get myself to wake up. That’s okay because I felt like running today anyways. I’ll fit that one in later today.
I know my blog has been pretty empty and boring lately, but I’ve been working on something that I hope will be ready to share in a week or so! It’ll be worth all the emptiness. I promise.
Last night, I had a great Valentines date with Jeremy. I’ll post about it later today. He is one special Valentine. I hope you all had a great Valentines day with the ones you love!
For breakfast this morning, I made an omelet, turkey sausage, a peanut butter english muffin, and avocado strips.
My omelet had 1/2 a large zucchini diced, 1/4 cup of GoVeggie Mozzarella cheese, garlic seasoning, 1 egg yolk and 4 egg whites.
Another delicious recipe from #undressedskeleton blueberry muffins are my FAVE! Oh and I even got a little festive… Although it’s hard to care about Valentine’s when your husband is around the world, oh well at least Valentine’s stuff is cute! #yummy
I love when it’s just me for dinner because I can throw whatever I want in a bowl and call it a salad. It’s an easy clean up, too. Although the salad in the picture is half eaten, I’ll tell you what is or was in it.
4-5 cups romaine lettuce, 2 tbsps light honey mustard dressing, 1/2 small avocado, 4 sliced baby potatoes (cooked, seasoned & cooled) croutons, tortilla strips, and 1 cup turkey sausage crumbles.
-1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 medium banana (better frozen), 1 serving vanilla protein powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 cup grapefruit slices, 1 packet Stevia.
Blend on high
Monday Afternoon Snacks: chicken breast chunks, baby carrots, celery, garlic roasted hummus, and an apple turnover Larabar.
Monday night post gym snack: Earth Balance creamy peanut butter with flaxseed over a rice cake.
Tuesday Morning Smoothie: Orange banana kale protein shake.
-1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 medium banana (better frozen), 1 serving vanilla protein powder, 1/2 orange, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 cup kale, 1 cup spinach, 1 packet Stevia.
Yesterday, I did one of Courtney Brown’s workouts from Runandbehappy.com. She has some awesome workouts for runners and strength training.
After doing her workout, I ran a couple miles at a light pace. 10-11 minute miles.
It was a nice surprise to see Jeremy cooking in the kitchen when I got home from the gym. He made salad, some kind of egg chicken scramble and some kind of pasta. I’m not sure how he made them, but they were really good. Guys are good at whipping random things up. My brother used to cook like that all the time at home. After dinner, I popped a large bowl of popcorn, added some dark chocolate chips, and relaxed while watching the Wire.
Good thing I went to bed early last night. I woke up at five to go to spin class. At first, spin class was hard. My butt was bruised and I could hardly walk. Now that I have done it several times, I don’t get the same pain. I’m getting better at it and the muscle in my legs are popping!
"When you choose an indoor cycling class over running on occasion, you reduce your risk of injury in two ways. First, you are substituting a high-impact with a no-impact workout, giving your joints a break from the wear and tear. Second, the muscles worked on the bike vary from those used while running. Strengthening different (weaker) muscles in your body will provide greater muscular balance, resulting in reduced chance of running-related injury." read more…
I still get knee pains and if I want to complete my half marathon, I need to take care of my knees and train properly. When I ran yesterday, I didn’t get any sharp pains while running, so hopefully this was the magic ingredient. I am also doing an IT Band exercise that Courtney gave me.
I’m the type of person that cannot workout on an empty stomach, so before class, I had a quest bar and half a large banana.
After spin class, I made a post workout breakfast.
I had one egg over easy, an english muffin with flaxseed peanut butter, a large honey crisp apple, and a cup of coffee mixed with unsweetened almond milk.
Weekend Recap, A Whole Lot of Nothing, Salad, & Smoothies!
I’m finally taking a break from my project! Well, I did take an hour break to leave the country and come back. Say what? It’s true. I live about fifteen minutes from Canada. I can actually see it from my balcony. I have been pretty zoned in on work, but still need to catch up with my blog.
You’re probably wondering why there is a huge case of donuts on my blog. I have to be honest. I love donuts. I stopped at Tim Hortons for a morning coffee and ended up having a donut ball. Okay…you caught me. I had two donut balls. Sometimes I can’t resist the delicious glazed sugary carby donut. Plus, one little donut won’t kill me.
The trick to eating something unhealthy is following it with something healthier. I couldn’t let two donut balls be my breakfast, so when I got home I made a green protein shake.
My protein shake had 1/2 Large banana, 1/2 apple, 1 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 cups ice, 1/2 packet True Lemon, and 1 scoop vanilla protein powder!
One of my favorite things to do while watching guilty television is walk the treadmill. I usually get my workout in during the day and walk the treadmills while Jeremy gets his workout in at night.
Jeremy has been eating really well lately. I’m proud of him! Every time he gets in his “health modes” he goes grocery shopping with me. I love it!
This week, I have been making lots of salads. They are super filling, easy, and have a variety of everything. This salad had avocado, craisins, croutons, tortilla strips, turkey, and spinach.
I don’t think the winter is going anywhere. It has snowed everyday for the past two weeks. It’s snowing as I speak. I can’t wait to go on vacation at the end of the month.
Grumps has been keeping me warm while I work!
Most people don’t like smoothies in the winter, but i love them. I think I’ve made about sixteen smoothies in the past week! Well…I know I have!
If you’ve read my blog before, you’re familiar with my popcorn toppings on salad. I love the extra crunch!
This meal was from Friday night. I’m not even sure what to call it. I’ll post the recipe here soon. But I threw together whatever we had left in the house for dinner. The sides are sweet potatoes and sweet sesame green beans.
This morning, I snacked on a cup of cereal, yogurt, and bananas! I still can’t move my foot very well so I took the day off from working out. I read that a jammed toe can take up to a couple days to heal with ice and elevation! Fingers crossed. The swelling and bruising has gone down, so that is a good sign.
Grumps was super lazy today, but that’s okay! It’s cold out and plus…it’s Sunday!
I have been glued to my computer for three days straight. Ive taken bathroom breaks, food breaks, and sleep breaks. Oh and I did Pinterest for like 20 minutes to get my fix. Once I start a project, I get hooked on it until it’s complete. This one is going to take about a week more to finish. I can’t WAIT to share it with you guys, it’s going to be a game changer. I’m finally calling it quits for tonight. My eyes are going to explode and my fingers are going to fall off if I don’t stop.
It’s actually a good time to sit around and work because I’m stuck with an injury. It’s a pretty embarrassing story. You know those over exaggerated falls on cartoons? The ones where they slip on something and fly into the air…well apparently those can happen in real life. I didn’t slip on a banana peel or anything like that. I slipped on a piece of paper! How does that happen? I leaped over a box in our spare bedroom and landed on the piece of paper with one foot . The paper slid with the carpet causing me to fly backwards onto my butt and my toe slammed against the door. I had a laugh/cry moment. I wished someone was there to see it because it was funny…although it was painful. The unfortunate part is that my toe is swollen, blue, and in pain. I’m sure it’ll be good in a couple of days.
I did manage to get up and make some dinner for myself tonight. I’ve been snacking on smoothies, energy bars, vegetables with hummus, yogurt, fruit, and cereal all day. And the reason Ive been eating so many salads lately is because they are fast and easy. I washed and chopped fresh lettuce and then added avocados, green beans, croutons, tortilla drips, craisins, and Teriyaki grilled chicken breast from Nino Salvaggio’s. For the dressing, I used Annie’s organic garlic roasted vinaigrette.
I make smoothies almost everyday and sometimes two. That is how I fit in as much protein and vegetables as I possibly can. I shove about 3-4 cups of spinach and kale into my smoothies. I’m not a huge fan of the taste, so I have a little trick to covering it up.
My first job was at a cafe back in high school. We had a smoothie menu, so I learned all the tricks to making an awesome smoothie! The smoothies were healthy until the fruit juice was added. The fruit juice was added to cover up the vegetable flavors and to add that extra wow factor. Most people don’t realize that the fruit juice is added. They just assume it’s the fruit that makes it sweet and sour.
Without juice, smoothies can be bland. Adding extra sugar and juice takes away the healthy factor, so I came up with a lighter alternative. Recently Crystal Light & True Lemon have been offering drink mixes made with all natural low calorie sweeteners like Stevia and Truvia. I have been adding a packet of the all natural drink mix to my morning smoothies. It’s incredible how satisfying they are after. You can’t taste a drop of the kale or spinach. If you are having a hard time with your smoothie flavors, give it a try!
Banana Kale Apple Protein Smoothie:
*1 1/2 Cups Ice, *2 Cups Kale, *2 Cups Water, *1 Packet All Natural Drink Mix, *1/2 Large Banana, *1/2 Small Apple, *1 Serving Vanilla Protein Powder!
Just So You Know, No One Is Perfect. Fix What You Can & Embrace What You Can't!
Wow, I didn’t realize how many posts I need to catch up on. I have Superbowl recipes, my birthday celebration, a couple road trips, workouts, and meals to do. I’ll start with the most recent, my lunch date at Olive Garden. When I posted this photo on my Instagram, I got a little uproar from some followers and that is okay! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and sometimes negative comments help me make better decisions in the long run. I feel like these comments are occurring more frequently, so I just wanted to make some things clear.
We need to remember that no one is perfect. Your diet, your hair, your body, or whatever you are trying to accomplish will never be perfect. You can argue me and say I’m wrong. That’s okay; I’m used to it. But if you think you are perfect or believe others are, you’re lying to yourself or being lied to. You need to be realistic. Fix what you can and embrace what you can’t. Olive Garden is one of my favorite restaurants. Yeah…it’s not great for you, but neither is depriving yourself from the things you love. I’m a normal human being and shouldn’t have to defend myself because over something I chose to eat.
You can go to restaurants like Olive Garden once in a while and still eat light. Whenever I go, I get the minestrone soup and unlimited salad. There is nothing wrong with that! I usually have a couple bowls of soup, tons of salad, and a breadstick or two! And if I’m feeling frisky, I’ll order an appetizer or a glass of wine. To me, that is definitely not a diet killer, and especially when I’m not trying to lose weight. Yeah, the sodium is high, but that’ll go away in a couple days, or in a sweat session. I like to eat realistically. I try my hardest to eat clean, but if I can’t, I don’t let it ruin my day. I’ve done the whole “oh my gosh, I will not touch that” or “how many calories are in that” and it didn’t work. That is just silly and no way to live. I do respect comments and opinions on my Instagram, but sometimes I will just ignore it. Sorry, but it’s the truth. If you are on a journey to be perfect…good luck! I hear it’s a never ending one!
If you ever want to eat something, do it because YOU choose to. Don’t let the influence of others get in your way. It’s your life, your body, and your choice. You can’t please everyone.
The easiest meal to whip up is eggs. They are also the easiest to mess up! Or maybe it’s just me who messes them up. I had a successful egg day for lunch and cooked up a giant egg white omelet!
I greased a pan with cooking spray and poured liquid egg whites ( about seven egg whites) into a frying pan on medium high heat. After the eggs were partly cooked, i topped them with spinach salad mix and cooked diced sweet potatoes. I covered the eggs with a lid and let the bottom side cook.
After the sides were bubbled and lightly brown, I flipped the omelet in half and let both sides lightly brown until the center was cooked fully.
I had an energy bar with my omelet and the other half of my morning grapefruit!
I made these cute little shrimp poppers for an appetizer at our little Superbowl get together. They were so tropical tasting and refreshing! When the weather finally gets warm, I want to make a grilled version with zucchini on a kabob.
You can eat these all day and still be healthy! I put mine on crackers with a little bit of cream cheese!
You will need *1 Cup Uncooked, De-vained, Tail & Shell off Shrimp, * 1 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar, *1 Tsp Garlic & Herb Seasoning, *1 Cup %100 Pineapple Juice, and *1 Tbsp Olive Oil.
Rinse shrimp off with cold water. Add all ingredients to a frying pan on high heat.
Cook until shrimp has soaked up the juices and fully cooked.
Place the shrimp in the refrigerator to cool.
Slice the cucumbers.
Top the cucumber with the chilled shrimp and a toothpick!
That was some Superbowl Sunday…not. The game might have been boring, but at least I got to spend time with friends, watch the commercials (which weren’t that great this year) and eat some great food! I made a little Superbowl preview before the game, but now it’s time to share the recipes!
The first recipe I am going to share with you is my gluten free dessert pizza! Out of all the food I made Sunday, this one was my favorite. I am not gluten free and do not live a gluten free diet. I know a lot of my readers, friends, and recently, my mom live a gluten free lifestyle. When I was buying graham crackers for my dessert pizza, I thought it’d be cool to offer a gluten free one as well! If you haven’t tried the S’moreables graham crackers yet…you have too! They are incredible and taste so much better than actual graham crackers. You don’t have to be gluten free to enjoy a good gluten free food. Apples are gluten free and I enjoy them! ;)
Ingredients: *1 Large Ripe Banana, *1 Box Gluten Free Graham Crackers (or regular), and *3 Tbsps. Agave (or honey)
Frosting Ingredients: *3/4 Container Truwhip (or light cool whip) *1/4 Cup Light Cream Cheese, and *1/2 Tsp Vanilla, *1/3 Cup Baking Stevia
*I made two pizzas, so I doubled the frosting recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
Crush the graham crackers until they turn into a floury texture. *I used my food processor.
Add the banana and agave to the graham cracker crumbs.
Use a hand or an electric mixture to combine the ingredients. If you do not have one, use a fork and mash the bananas up completely.
Roll the dough into a ball and place it on a greased baking sheet. Make sure the baking pan and all other dishes are clean. Cross contamination can make someone with a gluten intolerance sick.
Flatten your crust into any shape you’d like. I made mine rectangle to represent a football field.
As you can see, my rectangle was kinda sloppy.
To give my crust a little extra character, I indented the sides with a fork. (kind of like I do with pie)
Place the dessert pizza in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it. It’ll feel like a big soft cookie when it’s done.
While the pizza crust is in the oven, prepare the topping!
-Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl or mixer. Stir the frosting until creamy and whipped. I used my little hand mixer.
Place the frosting in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to firm.
While the frosting is firming up, let the pizza crust cool on the baking sheet.
Get your toppings ready to decorate!
You can decorate the pizza for any occasion. I chose the two Super Bowl team colors. You can turn the pizza into a heart for Valentines Day, a tree for Christmas, a pumpkin for Halloween, Blue for a baby shower…and so on!
I used blueberries, kiwi, orange peels, blueberries, six lets, pecans, and almonds for my decorations.
Once the pizza is cool, remove it from the baking sheet.
Take the topping out of the refrigerator and spread it across the pizza evenly.
Add the decorations to the dessert pizza.
First, I decorated the Seattle Seahawk’s side.
I separated the side with “football shaped” nuts.
Last, I decorated the Denver Bronco’s side!
We all devoured the Bronco’s side first. Hopefully that wasn’t some kind of football voodoo.
After preparing the dessert pizza, place it in the refrigerator until serving time!
You can use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut into the dessert pizza. Or if it’s just you, break it off with your fingers! Whatever you prefer!
The crust was so cake-ish. This was such a treat. I don’t understand how people say gluten free food is gross. I couldn’t even tell it was gluten free!
We kind of slaughtered the pizza by picking at it piece by piece all night until it was gone. If you were to cut the pizza properly; it would have made 24 pieces.
Serving Size 1 Piece **(Decorations not included)**
Nutrition Per Slice: 80 Calories, 12 g Carbs, 3 g Fat, 1 g Protein, 3 g Fiber, 4 g Sugar.
Finally Tried The Cookies and Cream Quest Protein Bar!
My cookies and cream Quest bars have finally arrived! I ordered them a week ago and have been patiently waiting. I was so excited when Quest announced “cookies and cream” as their new flavor!
There isn’t one flavor of Quest bar that I don’t like, so I decided to order an entire box. I love these for road trips, post workout snacks, desserts, or just because!
You can’t go wrong with Quest bars! Only 3 g of Net Carbs, 21 g of Protein, 1 g of Sugar, and 17 grams of fiber!
The cookies and cream Quest are just as good, if not better than the cookie dough flavor! It’s full of cookie chunks and cream!
They remind me a lot of the Cookies N’ Cream Hershey’s bar. But I actually prefer the Quest and not just because they are healthier. I love the texture and basically everything about them. I’m turing into a Cookies and Cream Quest nut! or you can call me “Fangirl.” I’m okay with that.
I like to eat them baked, microwaved, frozen, or just as they are! If you do not like Cookies n Cream, Quest has so many different flavors. I love the coconut, cookie dough, double chocolate chunk, white chocolate raspberry, and apple pie! You can check out their list here!
Have you tried the new Quest flavor? If so, what did you think of it?
I never talk much about WHY I am gluten free, or how I found out. As you may already know, I have been living a GF lifestyle since June 2012 and am SO thankful each and every day for cutting gluten out of my life.
Here is my Husband spinning me around as I dance in joy of how good I feel for being Gluten-Free! (Ok.. so maybe it was for our Engagement Photos last year, but close, right?) :)
I started this blog about 8 months after going GF, and at that point I was fully immersed in my new lifestyle; living life, feeling great, and it was just my “norm”. Because of that, I’ve never actually done a full out post about my journey into Gluten-Freedom.I know not everyone gets what ‘gluten free’ is, and there are so many questions that get thrown my way from friends, family members & followers. I wanted to address a few of the BIG ones in hopes everyone will have a clearer understanding of what I went through - as well as a brief knowledge base to support their friends & loved ones who also suffer from a gluten intolerance or celiacs disease.
"How did I find out I was gluten free?"
Late Winter 2011 and early Spring 2012, I started noticing more and more odd symptoms that I was experiencing; here is the list:
Excruciating stomach pain; like my insides were on fire
Severe acid reflux (which I had to go on medication for)
Mood swings (more than normal, I can admit)
Breakouts worse than usual
Migraines almost daily
Loss of menstrual cycle
Now, keep in mind, at this time was when I had already lost my weight and was in the maintenance stage. I wasn’t working out like crazy, I wasn’t limiting my calories - I was just living my day to day life and somehow experiencing these awful side effects for some reason.
I would experience these symptoms almost daily, never understanding why it was happening. I would try to take an ibuprofen or two to help with the headache (which never worked…), I would take my acid reflux medication (which would rarely help), I would try every different type of stretching, or yoga pose, to help pass the discomfort I was feeling. The only thing that gave ANY help was when I would curl up in a ball and do the ‘child’s pose’ position. I would still be in pain, but it would help subside a little bit of it. I remember crying on the ground, curled up in a ball, asking why this was happening to me. Joey would be in the room and all he could do was rub my back – I know he felt helpless at the fact that there was never anything he could to do help. I had to sit there in pain, excruciating pain, and he had to just watch. After a few months of this ongoing suffering – I knew I had to go talk with a Doctor. I knew it wasn’t just acid reflux… it had to be something more.
At the Doctor: He asked if I noticed the symptoms coming up at specific times through the day or the week. At that point, I would get them so often that it just turned into something that happened constantly; morning, afternoon and night. He asked if I noticed it happening around certain foods…. I stopped and thought…. why haven’t I tried tracking that before? Based on the symptoms I was having, he said it could definitely be food related and suggested that I start a 2 week food journal; documenting everything I eat, as well as the times when my symptoms would flare up.
Fast forward to 2 weeks later after the journal was complete; Breads, Oatmeal, Granola, Crackers, Pasta…… those all seem a bit similar, don’t they? And those were all the types of foods that triggered my onset severe symptoms I was experiencing. After finding that this was the case; that breads/wheat/gluten/oats/grains, etc. were the culprits at this point, my Doc them recommended I do another 2 week test of going completely Gluten Free.
Less than a week into that GF test, I felt a change. I felt different. I didn’t feel sick. I hadn’t had a headache for days. My acid reflux? Gone. Severe Bloating? Nonexistent. Within a month, my period had come back, my skin was clearing up. I was finally “ME”.
And the rest, my friends. Is history.
"What CAN I eat?"
A lot of things, actually!! I eat a lot. I eat a lot of good, good food - good, healthy, filling & delicious food. Take a look at my grocery list guide and it’ll give you an idea of how I don’t have to “settle” with boring or minimal food options. I’ve also included this image above to show off a handful of great GF brands and products! *I’d also like to confirm that a GF lifestyle doesn’t mean that I’m spending $1,000’s of dollars on food a month (try just around $300 for my husband and I).
I’ve gotten so much more creative in the kitchen these past 2 years, and more aware of my health (if you can believe it) :) The biggest learning curve for me was to check every label and their ingredients section. Companies are great with listing “CONTAINS: WHEAT or GLUTEN” (or any other common allergen) on their label – and I know if I see that… it’s a big RED FLAG for me to set it down and slowly step away. It a product says it doesn’t contain wheat, but was manufactured in a facility with wheat; I’m usually OK with those products, but try to minimize those as much as possible since I tend to get a small “urpy” stomach from that. Likewise, if a product says it doesn’t contain wheat, but was manufactured on the same equipment as wheat… that is another RED FLAG that I can’t do. I’d just be asking for my symptoms to come right back.
A HUGE help that has been implemented more and more these days is the “Certified GF" logo. SAVING GRACE!
Now, as far as going out to eat; It may not be the easiest thing to go to any restaurant and order anything off the menu – but there are always modifications and restaurants these days are GREAT with having full GF menus, or even just making sure their wait staff is well versed in GF options or substitutions. Check out my post about ‘Healthier Options While Dining Out” which also features some GF ordering tips.
"What CAN’T I eat?"
Well, I can’t eat a lot of things - but as I said above, I CAN eat a lot of other things. Here are some MAIN “big ticket” items, but I want to show you how there are easy GF substitutions :)
Pasta of all kinds; white or wheat flour (But I can have GF pasta; quinoa or brown rice pasta)
Barley, Rye & Couscous (But I can have Quinoa & Brown Rice)
Oats (But I can have certified GF oats)
Soy Sauce (But I can have GF Tamari)
Cakes, pies, brownies, desserts of all kinds (But guess what, they make GF boxed desserts and GF flour that I can MAKE GF desserts with)
Cereals (But I can have Chex, GF Rice Krispies, and more)
Pizza (But Udi’s makes an AMAZING pizza crust that my husband and I both love)
Certain Crackers & Chips (But I can eat popcorn.. and I do…everyday)
I do also want to note that there are MANY other things, like salad dressings, sauces, mixes, spices, seasonings, etc that can contain gluten. So looking at that ingredient label is SO IMPORTANT.
"What does GF-living really mean to me?"
Living my life Gluten Free means that I don’t have to feel sick anymore. It means freedom, it means feeling great, it means feeling like MYSELF… like I’m 100% ME. It means respecting and appreciating my body, and giving it the food it needs, and the food that makes it feel good.
"Oh, just have a little bit of flour, it’ll be fine."
No. I won’t be fine. Flour is wheat. Wheat is flour. Whether that be 1 tsp or 1 cup. I don’t like wheat and wheat doesn’t like me… even the smallest amounts. Taking that one bite of “normal” cake isn’t worth it.
I hope this little post helped give you a better insight as to how I started on this journey into my Gluten Free lifestyle. I’m happy to answer any other basic questions - but remember this information is solely based off what worked for me. I am be no means a Doctor or Licensed Nutritionist/Dietitian, etc. Please consult your personal care Doctor with specific questions concerning your health & well being.
I spent most of the day preparing some healthy appetizers for tonight’s Superbowl. We are having a few friends over to watch the game and snacks are necessary! I stuck to healthy and light options! It’s easy to overeat during football games, but overeating healthy foods isn’t as bad. I understand that overeating is still unhealthy, but I would feel better after eating a bucket of carrots rather than a bucket of fries. Not that I wouldn’t love downing a bucket of fries. There will be more food brought over, but here is an idea of what we are having tonight and what recipes you’ll see next week.
I made a couple of team themed trail mixes.
My mom used to make little smokies wrapped in bacon and drowned in butter and brown sugar, although those were amazing; they were horrible for you. Moderation, himself, couldn’t even hold back from going back for more. I made a lighter version of her smokies with honey, turkey bacon, turkey smokies and a little brown sugar sprinkle.
I had a blast making these dessert pizzas. I made a chocolate peanut butter football dessert pizza and a gluten free pizza!
I can’t get over how delicious the chocolate peanut butter dessert pizza tastes. It’s like a Reese’s peanut butter cup cake!
My favorite was the gluten free pizza! I was telling my friend, Anna, who is 100% gluten free about it and that it would be a perfect fit for her office parties. I guarantee I’ll be eating this all night. I made one side Broncos themed and the other side Seahawks themed!
Every party needs vegetables! I filled a far with carrots and celery. For the dip, I used roasted garlic hummus.
Along with the vegetables, you’ll need fruit! I made a huge bowl of fruit and drizzled lemon juice all over them. The lemon juice gives them and extra kick of flavor and keeps them fresh.
I made cute little pineapple shrimp cucumber party poppers!
Jeremy loves mushrooms. I do not! I made him cheesy taco stuffed mushrooms for tonight.
Instead of buying a bad of fried potato or tortilla chips, I made my own baked tortilla chips! I served them with corn and black bean salsa. I like them dipped in salsa!
For the ladies, I bought red wine and a couple mixers. Jeremy’s mom bought me a raspberry long island kit for Christmas, so I may be whipping some of those out tonight, too. I bought some light canned beer (in the refrigerator) and some wheat beer. I have frosted mugs in the freezer for those.
I don’t have a fancy set up or any cute labels (Maybe next year), but the food is just as great!
I may have went a little crazy Instagramingmy preparation, but I had so much fun! Sorry if I was annoying you.
I’d love to know what you are having at your Superbowl party tonight!
I found this photo on one of my old SD Cards. I actually found a ton of photos that never made it to the blog that will be posted soon. I used to be way too busy to keep up with my blog while I was living in Chicago. I was a nanny working 10 hour days Monday thru Friday while taking online classes.
I could never get the kids to eat actual food. They wanted to eat things like chips, crackers, gummies, or cereal for their lunches. We all know that isn’t healthy, and I’m sure their parents wouldn’t want their kids eating that way. The reason they were eating the crackers, gummies, and cereal was because they were in all kinds of fun shapes. So that gave me the idea to make their food fun. I used to cut their sandwiches into dinosaurs, add a couple sprinkles to their yogurt, and got them involved with the preparing process. Pinterest really helped me during breakfast, lunch and dinner hours!
Have you ever had a hard time getting kids to eat actual food? What is your trick?
One of my favorite nighttime movie snacks? Popcorn! I like to make my own in my air popper, but sometimes I’m way too lazy. As you all know, I’m a fan of Chia Pop, Skinny Pop, and Boom Chicka Pop! This was my first time trying the lightly sweet flavor of Boom Chicka Pop. It reminded me of a lighter version of the kettle corn you get at fairs! It was a perfect treat. I topped the popcorn with a crumbled cinnamon roll quest bar and chopped walnuts. Popcorn is high fiber, low calorie, and surprisingly contains antioxidants. Who would have thought?
One of my favorite afternoon snacks? Yogurt, fruit & cereal! If you do not like soggy cereal, I would highly recommend eating it with yogurt. It stays crunchy a lot longer. Although, I have to admit…I’m sort of a fan of soggy cereal, especially Shredded Wheat!
Favorite snack right before a workout? Anything rice cake! I usually wait 45 minutes after eating anything heavy before working out. Sometimes I don’t have time to wait, but refuse to work out on an empty stomach. Some people can do it; I however, cannot. Rice cakes are my go-to when I do not have time. I like to top my rice cakes with hummus, cream cheese, lettuce, and turkey! I have more rice cake ideas here.
Favorite snack before bed? Yogurt! It’s important to eat when you are hungry. If your body is trying to tell you something; listen to it! Last night, I woke up around 3 am and gobbled a spoonful of peanut butter because I was hungry. Ignoring the pain will just keep you up, and possibly make you extra tired in the morning. I used to think it was a huge no no to eat before going to bed. People used to tell me that my body won’t burn calories and it’ll turn to fat blah blah blah. Well, they were wrong. A calorie is a calorie no matter what time it is. Now, when I’m hungry before bed, despite what I ate during the day, or how late it is; I choose yogurt!
Favorite snack any time of the day? Fruit! It has so many vitamins and health benefits. It’s much better than diving into a bag of candy. (obviously) I stock my fridge with tons of fruits. I don’t care if it’s winter; I still eat as much as I want. Add fruit to salads, smoothies, yogurt, cereal, or bake it! I like to cut mine up and have it ready to go.
Favorite snack all day long? Vegetables! I can’t get enough. I remember when I HATED vegetables. It would take about three tbsps of ranch on one carrot to get me to eat it. Oh and celery? I’d drown it in peanut butter, lick the peanut butter off, and secretly feed the celery to my cat. He didn’t eat it either. Pickles and onions on my McDonalds hamburger were considered too many vegetables for me. It’s crazy how far I have come. It took me about a year to experiment with vegetables before liking them, but now I can eat them in almost any form. Just don’t give me mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or olives. I’ll pass.
I like eating my vegetables with hummus. I tried hummus for the first time a couple years ago and fell in love. I like roasted red pepper and roasted garlic the best.
This morning, I had a giant plate of fruit with my cinnamon vanilla Greek yogurt dip! All of the fruit and fresh foods lately are getting me excited about spring, summer, and farmers markets!
Pizza snack bread was one of my favorite snacks when I first started my weight loss journey. It still is one of my favorites. I didn’t want to dive into pizza for a snack, so I needed something to cure the temptations- but in a healthier way. My willpower wasn’t the best back then and I didn’t want to blow my progress. Plus, you can buy a loaf of bread, a can of pizza sauce, and a bag of cheese for less than $7.00 and get a lot of pizza bread snacks out of it. When I was younger, I was all about the cheap fixes. Anyone can make these; you don’t need any cooking skills whatsoever. This snack is a great source of protein and fiber. It’s low carb and low calorie.
Ingredients: *1/4 Cup Cheese (my choice), *2 Slices Whole Grain Bread, (100% Natural Healthy Life 35 Calorie Bread. ) *1/4 Cup Pizza Sauce, (my choice) * Dried Basil How to: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Place bread slices on non-stick baking sheet. 3. Top with pizza sauce, cheese, and basil. **You can add extra toppings like peppers, onion, mushroom, pepperoni, chicken….etc. Get creative with it! 4. Bake until cheese is fully cooked. **If you are in a dorm room, or do not have access to an oven, you can make these the same way as a grilled cheese sandwich. You’ll just have to place the pieces of bread together. I bet they taste great made with a panini maker, too!
Nutrition: (Per Slice) 85 Calories, 12 g Carbs, 2.5 g Fat, 7 g Protein, 4 g Fiber, 2.5 g Sugar.
Jeremy made me dinner last night. I can’t complain! He made me an omelet stuffed with sauteed peppers, onions and tomatoes, turkey bacon, and mozzarella. On top, he sprinkled it with siracha. He puts that shit on everything…He paired my omelet with a side of potatoes and a banana! How sweet was that?:)
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start . . .
When I first started my weight loss journey, I had no idea how to cook. I knew how to royally mess up recipes, how to make messes in the kitchen, and how to boil my mom’s blood every time I left something out on the counter. I grew up making things out of the box. I ate foods like boxed macaroni, boxed potatoes, boxed waffles, boxed donuts, boxed tuna helper, boxed rice, and boxed pizza. And when there was nothing boxed in the house to make, I ate things out of the bag like potato chips, fast food, cookies, cheese, candy, French fries, pizza rolls, and do I even need to continue? You get it the point. Super healthy stuff! Now, I don’t eat those too often. Maybe a couple times a month; it’s hard to say no to a pizza roll dangling in your face. I like to eat the center first, just like an Oreo. Anyways…back to the point of this post.
In order to lose the weight, I needed to learn how to cook real food. I didn’t start cooking difficult recipes at first. I started making little things like turkey wraps, omelets, and baked chicken. I burnt tons of eggs, dried out chicken breast after chicken breast, and steamed my vegetables until they looked like soggy noodles. Overtime, I got the hang of it. It’s important not to give up.
One of the first meals I ever learned to cook was baked chicken and roasted vegetables. It’s extremely hard to mess up, and you don’t need many ingredients. If you are knew to cooking, I’d recommend starting here.
All you need is skinless, boneless chicken breast, bell pepper, squash, and sweet potatoes. You can use any vegetables in this; however, I don’t recommend using cucumbers. You will also need two tbsp of olive oil and garlic and herb seasoning.
Toss the vegetables in the olive oil and sprinkle seasoning on top. Do the same to the chicken. Lay the chicken and vegetables on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. Check the chicken’s center at 15 minutes. If it’s done, take it out and continue to cook the vegetables. Overcooked chicken is dry and gross. I’ve eaten my fair share of it!
Baked chicken and baked salmon are my favorite proteins. You can dress them up the same way before baking. Some of my favorite ways to flavor the two are:
-Low sodium Teriyaki sauce, garlic & herb, and black pepper. -Fresh squeezed lime juice, low sodium soy sauce, brown sugar & sesame seeds -Fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, and olive oil. -Fresh squeezed orange juice, grated ginger, and low sodium soy sauce. -Olive oil, garlic & herb seasoning, and black pepper. -Brown sugar, Pineapple slices & juice, and low sodium soy sauce. -Organic honey, garlic & herb seasoning, and black pepper. -Low sodium taco seasoning, black beans, and olive oil. -Honey Dijon mustard, olive oil, and garlic & herb seasoning. -Low sodium buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and black pepper. -And my favorite….Barbecue sauce!
Powerful Protein Smoothie: Jump Start Your Workout!
If you are working out while practicing an unhealthy diet; you might not end up with the results you are hoping for. Want the best results? Eat right AND Exercise. Don’t diet, don’t restrict, and don’t take any dangerous pills.
Dieting only leads you to failure. Cutting out foods that you enjoy will leave you deprived, prone to binge, and moody. Counting every little thing that goes into your body is nonsense. If you are eating the right kinds of foods, exercising regularly, and treating yourself in moderation every now and then; you’ll be successful.
(Workout yesterday: 6 miles on treadmill, 30 min Jillian Michael’s ab workout, & 20 minute cool down stretches)
It’s also important to eat ENOUGH calories. Too many people think that cutting calories is the best way to lose weight or cut fat. It’s actually not. I mean if you’re eating well over 3500 calories a day without exercise; don’t expect to lose weight. I have never been to a doctor who told me to cut calories to lose weight. They have always given me a calorie range, and an exercise regimen. If I burned over 1000 calories in my workout; you bet I am going to eat those calories right back on top of my BMR. When I was losing weight, my doctor told me to eat back half or make a 500 deficient. If you need to lose weight, talk to your doctor about how many calories you should shoot for and what is safe for you. Don’t rely on those stupid online calorie calculators.
When people hit plateaus, they automatically think “oh I’m eating too much”; well it may be the opposite. You might not be eating enough. NEVER cut your calories. Instead, increase your workouts and your calories. If you cut calories and get to your goal weight, what will happen when you try to maintain? You’ll most likely gain the weight back. I’ve learned that the hard way. Again, if you are having a hard time reaching goals or losing weight, make an appointment and talk to your doctor. Don’t do anything to harm yourself. It’s not worth it. Your future relies on how you treat your body in the present.
Here are 15 of my favorite post workout snacks to keep my intake up:
1. Protein Shakes 2. Peanut Butter Banana Toast 3. Greek Yogurt w Berries & Nuts 4. Granola or Trail Mix Bar 5. Almond Butter & Oatmeal 6. Apples & Peanut Butter 7. Fiber One Cereal w/ Bananas & Almond Milk 8. Turkey BLT on Whole Grain Bread 9. Egg White Omelet w/ VEGGIES 10. Mozzarella Cheese Slices & Whole Grain Crackers 11. Air Popped Popcorn w/ Nuts 12. Healthy Muffins & Greek Yogurt 13. A Serving of Sushi 14. Shrimp, Tomatoes & Cottage Cheese 15. Baked Squash w/ Chicken & Quinoa
-These are all topics that my doctor and I have talked about. Talk to your doctor to find out what best suits you!
Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite post or pre workout smoothies! It’s full of antioxidants, complex carbs, vitamins, protein, and deliciousness.
Not everyone has a juicer, or the time to juice. I found Evolution fresh juice at the grocery store and picked a couple up to use for my smoothies. I love that it’s completely natural and 100% fresh juice from vegetables.
The downfall is that it tastes like complete CRAP without the added fruit. The other flavors with added fruit are much better. I still prefer juicing my own fruits and vegetables, but this is perfect for those who can’t.
Ingredients: 1/2 Large Banana, 1/2 Cup Blueberries, About 1 Cup Ice, 1 Packet Stevia, 1 Scoop Protein Powder, 8 Ounces Evolution or Your own Fresh Juice.
If you need more liquid, use water or almond milk.
Nutrition: Calories: 205, Carbs 26, 1 g Fat, 22 g Protein, 3 g Fiber, 18 g Sugar
75 Calorie Whole Wheat Very Very Blueberry Muffins With a Vanilla Protein Glaze!
Have you ever gone into a store to buy one thing, and then come out with everything but that one thing? Well that happened to me yesterday afternoon.
I made a huge plan for living off of $115 of groceries for two weeks, but never thought it would be this hard. When you live with someone who can down a whole loaf of bread and two lbs of turkey in two days, plans tend to change. I am still going to post the plan, because I think it’ll work for others, but I guess in this household, it didn’t. I have mad respect for the families that budget everything! It’s a lot harder than it looks.
With that failed trip to the grocery store, I bought some blueberries! They looked too good not to. My mom kept raving on the phone about her blueberry muffins she made. After that little chat, I was convinced to make some for myself.
I love making muffins and having them as snacks, breakfast, or dessert!
Ingredients:*1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour, *2 Tsp Baking Powder, 3/4 Cup Stevia In The Raw, *1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon, *3/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce, *5 Ounces Vanilla Greek Yogurt, *1 Large Egg, *2 Tsp Vanilla Extract, *1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts, *1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, *2 -3 Cups Fresh Washed Blueberries.
Glaze: 3 Tbsps. Vanilla Protein Powder + Unsweetened Almond Milk.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the flour, Stevia, cinnamon, and baking powder in a large bowl. In separate bowl, mix together the egg, vanilla, vanilla yogurt, and apple sauce.
Add the mixed wet ingredients to the bowl with the flour.
After mixing the wet ingredients in, you should have a “cookie dough” texture.
Not all ingredient brands are the same, so if it’s runnier, add less almond milk, and if it’s more dry, add extra almond milk.
I had such a great weekend and decided to end it with pizza! Is there anything better than that? I worked out hard all week and was extremely proud of my commitment! With all of that hard work; I decided to reward myself.
I have a couple other recipes to blog from the weekend, but wanted to share tonight’s dinner first. It was a very quick pizza “put together.”
For the toppings, I chose fresh pineapple, turkey bacon, sauteed onion, and bell pepper!
I sauteed the vegetables on high with one tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 tbsp of chili powder.
I wanted to do something different for the cheese, so instead of going with Mozzarella; I bought pepper jack cheese. For the sauce, I used Muir Glen! It’s by far my favorite pizza sauce!
Because Sunday is all about being lazy; I went with a pre-maid pizza crust. It’s 100% whole grain and all natural. I spread olive oil on top of the crust and then the pizza sauce on top of that.
On top of the sauce, I added the sauteed vegetables.
I added turkey bacon on my side and Canadian bacon on Jeremy’s.
The pineapple chunks were next!
I topped the pizza with cheese last.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees!
Bake 10-11 minutes or until cheese is completely melted!
Let the pizza cool for several minutes, and then slice!
Peanut butter and jelly have been the light of my taste buds lately. This morning, I made a quick breakfast while I got ready for the gym. And you better believe it consisted of peanut butter and jelly! I usually use dark chocolate chips with my peanut butter, but decided to change things up!
This is one of the easiest and quickest breakfasts you can make! (Other than milk and cereal) I prepared a one cup of whole grain oats with 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I added 1 packet of Stevia for a sweet kick. I made a couple hard boiled eggs on the side to add in more protein.
I transferred the oats to a mug and topped it with 2 tbsp of grape jelly and 2 tbsp of all natural creamy peanut butter.
The melted peanut butter and jelly mixed in with the oats tasted decadent. It’s crazy how the simplest food combinations can taste incredible. Oatmeal is my go-to breakfast before running long distance. (7.5 mi) The complex carbohydrates provide the perfect amount of energy to keep me going.
Nutrition: 435 Calories, 49 g Carbs, 15 g Fat, 17 g Protein, 8 g Fiber, 19 g Sugar