Monthly Archives: August 2013

Back to Hiking…Or Not

For all of my readers in the U.S. and Canada, YAY for Labor Day weekend! I’m looking forward to what seems like it’ll be a pretty low-key next couple of days.

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Today I decided to try getting back to my usual Friday routine of going for a hike with Harley girl. I haven’t hiked lately since getting a boot on for my foot injury, but now that the cast has been off for a week and it’s feeling pretty good, I figured I’d try to do a somewhat easy & short hike.

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Quite honestly, I’ve been dying to go hiking. The views are so gorgeous around here, and I just adore getting some fresh air and clearing my mind during a hike.

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After a nicely productive morning of work, I took Harley to our usual nearby park that we hike at for a lunchtime workout. It’s pretty toasty out today – about 90 and bright sunshine – and we were both sweating in no time (Okay, Harley was more panting than sweating).

What I didn’t count on was the fact that my dog has gotten a bit out of hiking workout shape! I was planning on hiking for 60-90 minutes, depending on if I was feeling foot pain or not, but after 25 minutes, Harley kept stopping at trying to turn around. It probably had to do with the heat too, but I couldn’t help but think that she hasn’t hiked any hills in a bunch of weeks and because of that, was probably easily fatigued.

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Harley pulling leading the way back 

We turned around and it worked out for the better, because my foot/Achilles/soleus of my calf were starting to tweak anyways. I thought that a short hike would be okay, but maybe I’m not quite ready yet to put that much pressure on my foot. I plan on icing it a lot over the weekend, doing yoga and some low-key exercise (which may be hard since it’ll probably be beautiful outside and I’ll have time for long workouts!), and I’ll see how it feels.

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Harley acted like a drama queen and laid in the shade of the car parked next to us when we got back to my car. Got to get her back into fighting shape! 😉

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Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!

Thursday Travel Throwback: Across the U.S.A.

Happy Thursday, and welcome to my third Thursday Travel Throwback series post! Today I’m sharing with you the highlights of my adventures driving from the East to West coast.

At the end of 2009, my Marine and I drove from our temporary residence in the Pensacola, Florida area where he was training, back to our home state of New Jersey for the holidays.

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Christmastime in New Jersey – and one of the few times I’ve ever held a gun in my life

Right after spending Christmas with our families, Adam and I packed up a Uhaul, sold his car, and trailered mine on the back, and we were off to move to San Diego!

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Weather-wise, it was a little risky driving cross-country in the middle of the winter. We did hit some snow, but we were lucky enough to not get stuck in a big storm or anything.

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One of my favorite parts of the trip was spending a few days in Missouri. We explored around St. Louis, including walking around downtown and on the waterfront, and went to the top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch:

St. Louis Arch

We also visited the Anheuser-Busch brewery. My favorite part of the tour was seeing the Clydesdales – they were huge!

Anheiser Busch

Even though I’ve never been a fan of beer, after the tour I decided to embrace the moment and try a beer…

cross country-13…and as always, did not like it in the least bit!

We also visited a winery in a little Missouri town called Hermann called Stone Hill Winery. It was in a rural area, and the Uhaul could barely trek up the hilly roads leading to the winery. We kept joking that we weren’t going to make it, but we somehow got there okay!

Stone Hill Winery Stone Hill opened in 1847, making it Missouri’s oldest winery. We toured the winery’s underground cellars – the largest series of vaulted cellars in America – and it was pretty damn cool. Definitely worth the trip off our route to the countryside!

Another fun stop during our trip was to Colorado to visit friends of ours. We spent New Year’s Eve hanging with them, were in awe of the beauty of Pikes Peak, and spent an afternoon in the quirky nearby town of Manitou Springs.

Pikes Peak

After driving through the deserts of New Mexico…

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…we stopped in Arizona to see:

Grand Canyon

I was psyched when we made it to the California border. It was my first time ever being in this beautiful state, and I immediately loved it!

Cali Collage

I have such great memories of our cross-country trip. We now have a bit more baggage – including a dog who doesn’t like the car, an additional car and motorcycle, and a hell of a lot more furniture – but I’d love to venture on a cross-country trip again and take another route. There’s so much beauty in the U.S., and I want to see it all!

A lot of people thought that driving 40+ hours cross-country sounded like a nightmare, but I was so excited to see parts of the country with Adam that neither of us had ever experienced before. Besides seeing new areas, I had fun consulting our maps and reading random facts about wherever we were, jamming out to whatever radio stations we got at the moment, and laughing with my new husband. It was a blast!

Have you ever driven cross-country in the U.S.? If so, what was your experience? If not, would you want to if given the chance?

WIAW: Taco Night in Less than 10 Minutes

Fact: I love stretching, and typically do so on a daily basis.

When I don’t stretch for a couple of days, my body starts to feel achy and stiff. This doesn’t happen often, but while my girlfriends were in town this past weekend, I didn’t do any real exercise besides walking around San Fran and taking Harley for long walks – and I did very little stretching. So this morning when I woke up, I was looking forward to getting a nice stretch in post-walk with my pup. My foam roller felt glorious!

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(source)

My workout at the gym this evening was my first sweat session of the week, and it was a good one. I got the okay to take off my foot cast a couple of days ago – WOOHOO! My foot has been feeling better, so I think the bone is healing and there’s less inflammation going on. I’ve definitely made some progress and I don’t want to digress, so I’m being careful to not put too much stress on it for the time being. So much easier said than done!

I also feel like I didn’t get enough sleep the past several days, and last night I was exhausted. Call me an old lady, but a lot of alcohol and not enough sleep doesn’t work well for me anymore (though it is so worth the tradeoff of having an amazing time with my girlfriends!). I woke up feeling more refreshed, and had a day full of nutritious eats. I didn’t eat all that bad the past several days with my friends in town, but I did eat whatever I felt like, so I woke up vowing to eat clean and lean the next couple of weeks until I go on vacation.


 

For my What I Ate Wednesday post today, I’m linking up to Peas & Crayons blog party for the first time! Apparently I’ve been living under a rock and just discovered this awesome blog linkup. So here we go:

You may remember that I recently proclaimed my love for PB 2 powdered peanut butter. Well, my new love is chocolate powdered PB from Just Great Stuff:

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For breakfast, I topped some blueberries and banana with a serving of the chocolate PB, along with some cashew pieces.

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For lunch, I whipped up a salad with lentils, arugula & figs, topped with a dressing of a touch of fresh lemon juice + balsamic + olive oil.

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A couple of hours later, I snacked on a pluot and protein bar:

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After the gym I came home starving, so I decided to do something quick and yummy – taco night! I used Lightlife’s veggie protein crumbles as my “meat”….

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Some of my toppings included:WIAW-6

I heated up the crumbles on the stove with some taco seasoning, toasted the taco shells, chopped tomato and avocado, and then laid everything out on the table. It took me between 5-10 minutes to prep dinner, so I was feeding my hungry belly in no time.

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Tacos are the messiest meal ever!

A little while later I was feeling a bit hungry, so I broke out my food processor to make a frozen fruit bowl.

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In the mix:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 1 packet of stevia sweetener
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder

And that’s all she wrote for my eats today. Off to relax for a bit with my little family!

One Awesome Girls Weekend

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On Saturday my old college roomies flew into San Francisco to visit me for a long weekend, and I’ve had so much fun with them the past couple of days!

Neither Meaghan or Marla had been to the Bay Area before, so when their flight arrived a few hours late in the afternoon, we made sure to fit fun touristy activities in. First on our list was visiting the Painted Ladies aka the house from the TV show Full House – which we all were obsessed with growing up!

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After checking that out, we drove down Lombard Street, then stopped to see the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Afterwards we walked around Fisherman’s Wharf, checked out some seals…

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…and enjoyed a celebratory girls weekend drink. After that, we met up with a few people in Meg’s family who live in/were visiting the area. We went out to dinner in a cute area I had never been to before called The Marina District. There were a lot of neat looking restaurants and bars and I definitely am planning on visiting there again.

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The highlight of Sunday was a relaxing afternoon of wine tasting. First, we stopped at Solis Winery to sip on some wine and enjoy the great weather and beautiful backdrop…

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Meg and I had gotten matching fedoras in San Francisco the day before, and both were sporting them on Saturday. We’re cool like that!

Afterwards, I wanted to take them to my favorite local winery Clos LaChance – which I’ve mentioned multiple times on the blog before because I love it there. We purchased a bottle of viognier to enjoy on the patio and snacked on some cheese, crackers and grapes.

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Yesterday afternoon the three of us headed to Monterey to explore the area a bit.

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We had lunch at a waterfront restaurant called The Fish Hopper, which was really hopping while we were there. We all toasted the day with white sangria, and then I ate a vegetable croissant sandwich – which was a bit plain, but tasted better after I added a bit of balsamic to it – while the girls had fish tacos – which they said were really tasty.

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After lunch we walked around and checked out some of the little shops there. We passed a Rocky Mountain Chocolate shop and all decided we needed to go in. Everything looked & smelled so yummy! After checking out the large array of deliciousness-covered apples and probably deliberating about our choice for too long, we decided to split a peanut butter cup apple. Wow, it was amazing. girls weekend-19

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After our dessert, we found a beachy spot to soak up the view, crawl in a few caves and take some pictures. It’s so pretty there! girls weekend-23

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Last night, we had our last adventure before the girls headed back to Jersey today. We headed to San Jose’s Santana Row and had a great dinner and ridiculously fun night dancing to live music at a pub. I’ve been missing time with girlfriends since moving to the Bay Area where I don’t know too many people, and it felt a bit like I was back in college to be having a blast with these girls again. I just love them, though I think it’s going to take me a day or two to recover from all the fun we had! 😉

When was the last time you had an awesome time with your girlfriends (or man friends for any dudes reading this) and what did you do? 

Oatmeal Pecan Baked Peaches with Cinnamon Honey Greek Yogurt

Happy weekend!

I’m psyched for the weekend because two of my girlfriends from Jersey, Meaghan and Marla, are flying in to visit me tomorrow. These ladies were roommates of mine in college, both of whom I’ve talked about on my blog before. I’m so excited to show them around my new area and have some fun girl time!

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Now onto the title of this post…

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Locally grown peaches have been everywhere lately, and I’m loving it! Ever since making wine-baked peaches, I’ve been thinking about other ways to bake peaches for breakfast or lunch instead of dessert (read: no fro yo involved). Yesterday, I came up with one pretty damn delicious peach recipe for lunch:

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First I sliced a ripe peach, placed it in a small baking dish, and poured an almond milk/vanilla extract mixture over top:

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Next I mixed old fashioned oats, cinnamon, chopped pecans, a sprinkle of salt, and light brown sugar together, and sprinkled it on top of the peaches, then drizzled 1 TSP of honey on top.peach-3

I baked the peaches for half an hour, then spooned them onto a plate.

I think of this creation as a healthy peach cobbler, and for the “ice cream” portion of the meal, I mixed honey and cinnamon into a plain Chobani Greek yogurt.

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I spooned some yogurt on top, and placed the rest on the side. I also threw in a spoonful of fig butter for good measure.

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If you have a major pie craving that you want to healthily satisfy, this is the recipe for you! I definitely want to try this with an apple sometime soon.

Oatmeal Pecan Baked Peaches with Cinnamon Honey Greek Yogurt
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large ripe peach
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats (dry)
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TSP light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP almond milk
  • ¼ TSP vanilla extract
  • ½ TSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP chopped pecans
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt (Chobani)
  • A sprinkle of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut the peaches into slices, and place in a small baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the almond milk and vanilla extract, and pour over the peach slices.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, ¼ TSP cinnamon, chopped pecans and sprinkle of salt. Spoon over the peaches evenly, and drizzle 1 TSP of honey on top.
  4. Cover the dish with baking foil, and bake in the oven until oats are lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool. In the meantime, mix the Greek yogurt with 2 TSP of honey and remaining ¼ TSP cinnamon.
  6. Spoon the peach crumble and yogurt mixture into a bowl or onto a plate, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 370, Fat: 7 g, Carbohydrates: 60 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 23 g

 

Hope that you enjoy your weekend – I’m certainly looking forward to mine!

Thursday Travel Throwback: Hawaii

Hello, hello!

Welcome to Part 2 of my Thursday Travel Throwback series. Last week I featured my time in Sicily, and this week I’m talking about… Hawaii!

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During my Marine’s first deployment, I met him for a week in Waikiki. It was 8 months after our civil ceremony and 6 months before our big wedding shindig, so we consider our Hawaii vacation to have been our honeymoon.

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Naturally, we spent a lot of time lounging on the beach relaxing…

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We also did some touring around the island to some cool spots, including Hanuama Bay…

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…and this gorgeous lookout point: hawaii-5

I love that photo so much, I had it blown up into a canvas picture that is now hanging in my kitchen!

In Hawaii, I was pretty much obsessed with getting flowers arrangements made to wear in my hair. They were so much fun!

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At the time I planned this trip, I wasn’t all that familiar with Hawaii and just picked Honolulu because I knew it was a popular spot. Knowing what I know now about Hawaii and having talked to a lot of people who are knowledgable about the area, if I went back to Hawaii, I would definitely go to one of the less touristy islands. For instance, Waikiki’s nearby food options were mostly chain restaurants – not very impressive – so I was happy to try out an eatery one night called Taormina, simply because it’s named after the town I studied abroad in in Italy.

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Being that we were in Hawaii, going to a luau was on the top of our list. One night we went to Germaine’s Luau. Being a vegetarian, I obviously wasn’t into the whole pig roast ceremony, but loved seeing the show right on the beach.
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hawaii-14hawaii-13hawaii-15We took this picture home from the luau:

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[I loved that dress – Too bad Harley ate half of it in .5 seconds as a puppy and it wasn’t salvageable!]

Another highlight of the trip was visiting Pearl Harbor:

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If you visit Waikiki, I definitely recommend making the trip to Pearl Harbor. Though it was sad, I thought it was really interesting. I even got to meet a Pearl Harbor vet, who was the sweetest elderly man ever. There aren’t many vets of Pearl Harbor left in this world, and it was definitely a cool memory to get to chat with one and learn about some of his story.

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One of my favorite parts of my trip to Hawaii was hanging out at our hotel’s rooftop bar (can’t even remember the name.. and there’s a reason for that) with my new hubby, listening to this great singer/guitar player, enjoying the weather and a drink or two, and just savoring our time together. It was the only week I spent with Adam for the first half of 2010, and it was so much fun to be able to see each other during the deployment.

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Have you ever been to Hawaii? If so, what was your experience? If not, is it high on your bucket list? 

Workin’ My Triceps

Happy Wednesday! excuses

I’m not a fan of making excuses – for anything in life really – so I try to do it as little as possible. This is especially true when it comes to staying active. I schedule my workouts & long walks with my dog into my day and make it a priority, and I didn’t want this to change when I injured my foot.

As I talked about last week, I’ve been working around my injury and doing low-key workouts – sometimes at the gym and sometimes in my living room. Wearing the boot hasn’t been fun, and me hobbling around the gym probably looks pretty comical, but I’ve been showing up and exercising – no excuses.

bootSince I’ve been trying to not put a lot of pressure on my feet, my gym workouts have involved a lot of arm moves lately. After yesterday’s workout, my triceps today are mighty sore! Here are the moves I did: 

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I used 15- and 12-pound dumbbells, and executed the exercises with as little rest in between moves as possible. If you’re looking for a few new moves to target the back of your arms, try this sequence out!

The moves explained:

My new favorite workout song is Katy Perry’s Roar:

In love with the chorus!!

Question: What workout has left you feeling achy lately? 

Bring Your Own Sunshine

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

One of the awesome things about being a blogger is the community you can build of people who share common loves. I’ve found the healthy living blogging community to be so much fun!  I feel like I know the people whose blogs I read, even if I have never met them.

Such is the case for Brittany over at My Own Balance. I started reading her blog a couple of months ago, and quickly became a regular visitor to her site. I have a feeling that if we knew each other in real life, she’d easily convince me to do Zumba with her (She posted a cute video of her dancing the other day and it totally made me want to dance along with her!). When I checked her blog out yesterday, seeing that she nominated me for the Sunshine Award made me smile. Thanks girl!

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The Sunshine Award is a way for bloggers to acknowledge other bloggers that brighten their day. It’s currently circulating around the blogosphere, and I think the concept is cute. In a world where there is so much judgment and insecurity, I find the friendly & supportive nature of the blogging community to be so nice and refreshing. I’m all about the love!

Here are the award rules:

  • Include the above award logo in your blog post.
  • Link to the person who nominated you.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • Nominate some bloggers and let them know by leaving a comment on their blogs.

And now for Brittany’s questions:

1.) Where is the best place you’ve ever traveled?

Hmm, that’s a toss-up between Sicily and Thailand (I blogged about my trip there last year here, here, here and here), but if I had to choose, I think I’d pick Sicily – which I just did a whole post on last week here!

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2.) If you could only eat one thing for an entire week, what would it be?

I’m not sure if it’s technically considered “one thing,” but I could eat fruit all day long. Strawberries, banana, apple, blueberries, watermelon, peaches, raspberries, pluots, cherries… you name it, I love it!

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3.) What’s your favorite book?

Though I do love to read, I’m not a big “favorites” person. The only books I couldn’t get enough in recent memory are the Hunger Games series. Love em!

Books I nabbed at the library last weekend

Books I nabbed at the library last weekend

4.) What’s your favorite form of exercise?

Oooh toughie, I suppose I’d say hiking. I love being able to get a sweat session in, be outside enjoying nature, and also getting my pup some exercise all at the same time. Kickboxing comes in a close second though!

My hubby and I at the top of "Potato Chip Rock" in San Diego

My hubby and I at the top of “Potato Chip Rock” in San Diego

5.) If you could live in any city in the world, where would you live?

I feel like I couldn’t give an informative answer to this question unless I had visited every city in the world! I would love to live in a city in Europe somewhere for a few years – perhaps Barcelona, Florence, or Dublin?

6.) What’s your favorite kind of flower?

Depends on my mood…right now I’m loving the sunflowers sitting in my kitchen:

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7.) Atlantic or Pacific?

I’m a born and raised East coast girl, so Atlantic!

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With my family on the Jersey shore last year

8.) What would you do if you won the lottery?

I would travel the world, donate lots of money and volunteer lots of time to organizations dedicated to helping animals & people in need, share my wealth with my loved ones, buy awesome houses (one on the East coast, one on the West coast), open a wine/olive oil/dip tasting business and enjoy my life as I do now! Whew, a girl can dream right? 🙂

9.) Why did you start blogging?

I really love food and living an active, healthy lifestyle, and had been reading healthy living blogs for awhile. I realized that it would bring me happiness to be able to share my passions and life by starting a blog of my own. Last year when my Marine was deploying, I decided it would be the perfect time to take up a new hobby of blogging, and it was a great decision! It has become an awesome part of my life.

10.) What would your perfect day look like?

My perfect day would be spent with my favorite people and my dog. It would involve hiking in some gorgeous area in perfect weather, followed by wine drinking, the eating of bread, cheese & fruit, and relaxing outside at the beach/on a boat/at a winery.

Hanging with Harley at the beach

Hanging with Harley at the beach

Now for my 10 questions:

1.) What’s your current favorite song to exercise to?

2.) What food reminds you most of your childhood?

3.) Who is your favorite celebrity?

4.) What’s one destination on your bucket list?

5.) What is your favorite kind of animal?

6.) What food/recipe do you most frequently make?

7.) What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

8.) Number #1 dessert pick?

9.) What’s your favorite life motto or quote?

10.) What’s one thing you’re looking forward to?

Here are the bloggers that I’m nominating for the Sunshine Award:

Gina at Health, Love and Chocolate

Hillary at Nutrition Nut on the Run

Sarah at Making Thyme for Health

Davida at The Healthy Maven

Meg & Bek at fitnessCrEATures

Heather at Better with Veggies

Readers, tell me a bit about yourself! Answer a few of the questions in this post in the comments below. 

Banana Apple Cinnamon Mini Muffins

Lazy Sunday mornings are the perfect time to play around in the kitchen. After sleeping in late today, I decided to procrastinate cleaning my house by first doing some baking.

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Ever since I nabbed a mini muffin cup tin a few weeks ago, I’ve had mini muffin ideas floating in the back on my mind. The recipe started with a ripe banana and Granny Smith apple…

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Hi, how cute are these mini muffin cups?!

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I couldn’t resist snapping a picture with a few of the sunflowers I picked up at the farmers’ market yesterday for $3 [FABULOUS].

I love the idea of mini muffins because they’re small enough as a baby snack or part of breakfast, but big enough in size to be a nice little dessert to satisfy a sweet tooth, and also easy to grab on-the-go. I love the combo of apple, banana, and cinnamon, and so this wound up being my creation today:

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First, I preheated my oven and lined the muffin tins with my adorable muffin cups.

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Next I combined whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed meal, old fashioned oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, salt and baking powder.

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Next I mashed a banana and peeled & chopped my apple…

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I then mixed the banana, almond milk, and melted butter into the bowl, then added the chopped apple and combined everything well. muffins-5

I spooned the batter into the cups…

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…mixed cinnamon & sugar together, then sprinkled some on top of each muffin. I baked the muffins until a toothpick came out clean, which took 15 minutes.

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Oh, how I adore all things mini-sized.

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Banana Apple Cinnamon Mini Muffins
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 mini muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed meal
  • ½ TSP cinnamon, plus ½ TSP cinnamon for topping
  • 6 TBSP light brown sugar, plus 1 TBSP for topping
  • 2 TSP baking powder
  • ½ TSP ground nutmeg
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup light butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 24-cup mini muffin tin (or a 12-cup regular sized tin) with muffin cups.
  2. Mash banana, and peel and chop apple into small pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, flaxseed, ½ TSP cinnamon, 6 TBSP brown sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Add melted butter, almond milk, and mashed banana, and mix together.
  5. Add chopped apple, and mix well.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together remaining 1 TBSP sugar and ½ TSP cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean, around 15 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin, Calories: 60 calories, Fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Sugar: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 1 g

 

I’m off to take Harley girl to get some exercise, then my hubby and I are going to try a sushi place in town (probably edamame & soup for this girl!). Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hazelnut Smoothie

Happy Friday all!

My day entailed work, a gym session, taking Harley for a lunchtime walk at the park on this hot but nice day…

Park…and pizza night! I just enjoyed a few slices of a homemade pie I made: whole wheat dough + mozzarella + roasted red pepper + tomato + fresh basil + arugula + sea salt. The endless possibilities of pizza combinations ensure that making it never gets old!

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To feed the curiosity that some of you have about what the hell a vegetarian eats from meal to meal (or really, what THIS vegetarian eats), today’s topic is one of my What I Ate Wednesday posts… only it’s 2 days late, because I was more excited to talk about quinoa green bean salad and throwback travel posts about studying abroad in Sicily this week!

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My day’s eats started off in a pretty usual way, with lots of vibrant whole foods:

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It tastes better than it looks, I swear.

Recently I talked about my obsession with Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. Well, this love has not faded in the least bit, and I’m starting to debate whether keeping a whole jar of it in my house is a good idea. Sometimes I buy the packets of them – more expensive, but at least it’s portion control! – and I may just have to do that once this runs out, which will probably be in about 5 minutes…

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I love how it’s made with all-natural ingredients, and it’s just so damn delicious! I think I have an issue with nut butters in general – as I’m also in love with Trader Joe’s almond butter with sea salt, cookie butter (which I don’t even think has nuts in it, but I’m counting it as a nut butter anyways! PS I don’t buy it anymore because I can’t stop eating it when I do.) and peanut butter in general, but I digress. Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter was part of the yummy smoothie I made for lunch (plus the spoonful I couldn’t help but eat right out of the jar!):

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In the mix:

  • 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 TBSP Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1/2 scoop whey chocolate protein powder
  • Ice

For a snack later on, I had a plain Chobani Greek yogurt mixed with honey and cinnamon, and topped with blueberries.

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I love honey. And cinnamon. And blueberries. And Greek yogurt. So I obviously loved this combo!

For dinner, I made a big salad that included these guys:

gardein-1

I’m a fan of the easy ingredient list of the Gardein brand products. No foreign ingredients = awesomeness.

gardein-2

The salad included a few of the tenders with mixed lettuce, avocado, cheddar cheese, and tomato, topped with a dressing I whipped up that was a combo of salsa + light sour cream + mashed avocado. It’s my go-to salad-dressing-when-I-don’t-really-feel-like-salad-dressing combo.

salad-1

Salad-2

Lastly, my nighttime snack was a cup of hot green tea and a few dark chocolate kisses to satisfy my sweet tooth. I love dark chocolate and find it so satisfying to just eat a bit of it.

kisses

tea

Ha, that mug makes me laugh. My aunt bought Adam the above ‘Mr. Right’ one, and me a matching one that says ‘Mrs. Always Right.’ I think they’re so cute.

And on that note, I’m off to have a relaxing movie night!

Question: Do you love nut butters too? If not, what food(s) are you loving lately that you have a hard time eating in small quantities?