Tag: breakfast

My Morning Routine + Why I Cherish it So Much

My Morning Routine + Why I Cherish it So Much

One topic I’ve been meaning to post about for a while has been my morning routine. I know this is something I’ve talked about it in the past, whether it be on the blog or on instagram, but I definitely want to reiterate WHY I cherish my morning routine as much as I do. Mornings for me are the most important part of my day. I find that starting my morning out on the most positive note possible truly sets the tone for how the rest of my day will look. My motivation, my productivity, my happiness, my dedication and so on, all depend on how the first hour or two of my day goes. This may not be true for everyone, but I’ve witnessed it first hand for myself.

 

A few things you want to AVOID in setting the tone for your perfect morning routine are…

 

1) Not getting enough sleep.

Sleep is SO important for me. I need at least 7 hours to be a functional human. I find that if I go one or two nights with a poor sleep, my lack of fitness motivation and self-control around food cravings are the first clear signs that I’ve been deprived of sleep. I instantly procrastinate my workout (which is clearly also a sign from my body telling me that sleep would be more beneficial than working out at the moment). I also find that I lose most of the self-control I have around shoving my face with highly sweet or salty foods. If that’s the case, I crave something sweet in the morning, which in turn spikes my blood sugar levels, which then leads me to crash before lunch-time, which then continues to put me in this spiral of craving sweet or super salty “junk” food for the rest of the day. THIS is why sleep is KEY. Sleep gives me you the energy to be the BEST version of yourself.

2) Starting the morning with negative thoughts.

I’ll be honest, waking up at 5:30am when it’s still pitch black out is not always fun, but waking up in the dark AND immediately having negative thoughts about the day is not going to make things any better. To be honest, what gets me out of bed in the morning is my delicious latte that I’ve been having on repeat. Especially on a chillier, fall or winter morning, waking up to warm, delicious (caffeinated) beverage can do just the trick! Give yourself something to be excited about when waking up! Shocker: for me it’s a yummy breakfast and morning beverage!

3) Rushing.

So long as you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep (ps this may mean you need to get into bed earlier! I usually turn off the lights around 9/9:15!), I’d recommend waking up early enough to allow yourself time and enjoy the moment. Again, rushed mornings, mean stressful mornings. And starting your day out stressed is certainly not going to help you take on the day. Is that netflix episode REALLY worth an extra hour of sleep?? (ps I definitely need to take my own advice on this one. Even if I’m still going to bed early, I know that watching TV before bed is a BIG no). Also, have you ever heard of the Circadian Rhythm?? It’s the 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings (i.e. HUMANS) that are affected by things like temperature, sunrise/sunset, etc.

So now for things you CAN incorporate into your morning routine to make it that much better…

 

*Also as a disclaimer, I’m certainly not saying you NEED to incorporate all of the below in your morning routine. That’s just not always realistic, even for those who do have plenty of time in the AM! My suggestion is to just try out a few different ones every now and then and eventually you may find 1 or 2 that stick.

 

1) Oil Pulling – LOVE this ayurvedic practice.

Just started it earlier this month and truly feel and see noticeable results. You want to do this FIRST thing in the morning (before even drinking most fluids). It’s suggested coconut oil is the best for this. Use about 1 TBSP and swish around for about 5-10 minutes (or more if you can!) This is a great practice to incorporate since you can easily multi-task, such as prepping your coffee or breakfast for the day!

2) Get yourself a good skincare (and oral) routine!

Super simple, but ditching the chemical/toxic skincare products can truly leave a long-lasting impact. Why? Because we should care JUST as much about the products we put ON our skin, as the products that we consume daily. Our skin absorbs whatever you’re applying on it and can be just as unhealthy, if not more so than eating something comparably toxic. Think about it…our skin is the LARGEST organ on our body. Treat it well and you will feel so much better! A few non-toxic skincare lines I’ve been loving recently include Cocokind Skincare and Frank & Whit. PS this also includes toothpaste! I recommend Toms or Dr. Bronners!

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3) Make yourself a delicious, warm morning beverage.

I love having a warm drink in the morning (usually something slightly caffeinated) that makes getting out of bed easier and a little more exciting, especially during the colder months! I usually choose to go with a latte & 2 espresso shots, bulletproof coffee, or a bulletproof matcha latte. Matcha or other various teas are awesome as well and a great option for those who have ditched coffee! Or if you’ve quit all caffeine – turmeric or superfood lattes and elixirs make for a great, yummy, and nourishing treat!

4) Gratitude Journaling.

This takes all of 3 minutes – I promise you and makes such an impact. Simply journal a few things a day you’re grateful for. Can be ANYTHING. Grateful for good health, grateful for your yoga practice, or even your new job! Next, write a few goals. I like to include very attainable and then DREAM goals. This is all about MANIFESTING and believing you have all the power to write your own destiny.

5) Practice 10 minutes of light yoga.

This is such a great way to get the spinal fluid moving with some nice, easy back bends and twists. Twists are great for detoxifying the body and help to loosen up the spine after sleeping horizontally all night. I also find it’s a great way to kickstart the metabolism and gain a little energy for the day.

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6) Eat a nourishing breakfast full of healthy fats, protein, leafy greens (if possible), fiber, and some hearty carbs!

7) Put on music that’s light and upbeat! I LOVE doing this in the morning. It totally helps to wake me up and puts me in a great mood!

Hopefully this has given you some new ideas to help take your morning routine from a 5 to a 10! It doesn’t have to be everything, just take baby steps to find what works best for YOU! Comment below and share what your morning routine looks like! I’d love to hear!

 

Baked Butternut Squash, Apple, & Date Skillet Oatmeal

Baked Butternut Squash, Apple, & Date Skillet Oatmeal

Happy November guys!!

November is one of my FAVORITE months for multiple reasons. First of all, early November in New England has got to be the prettiest for fall foliage. Secondly, it’s my birthday month (hehe). Lastly, it’s THANKSGIVING and who doesn’t love shoving your face until you quite literally, can’t fit anything else in your stomach? …EVEN if you TRIED. Yep, November is a pretty damn GREAT month to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than with a tasty, fall-inspired recipe just in time for the holidays?!

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Honestly, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve posted a recipe on the blog. I’m really excited about this one because butternut squash and dates are my absolute favorites. This recipe is REFINED-SUGAR free yet irresistibly and naturally so sweet! Your tastebuds will be dancing for joy after devouring this one. I promise! And if you’re thanksgiving dinners are anything like mine, this will be a nice, HEALTHY dessert amongst all the sugary pumpkin and pecan pies! Or if you have a sweet tooth like I do in the morning, this makes for a perfect breakfast snack when you’re on-the-go!

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I’m really excited about a new product that I included in this recipe. I’m constantly looking for healthier, low-glycemic, and refined sugar free sweeteners. I was introduced to D’Vash Organics,  a 100% organic, California-date nectar. It’s vegan, non-GMO, and believe it or not, has 25% less sugar than honey! Honey typically is about 16 grams of sugar per TBSP, while D’Vash is 12 grams of sugar per TBSP, making it a REALLY great low-glycemic alternative similar to maple syrup, coconut sugar, and honey. I also love the unique flavor it adds. I’ve always said dates are natures candy and this sweetener NAILED it.

Use code ‘EATRUN‘ for 20% off your D’Vash Organics orders!


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped butternut squash (I prefer to buy it already cut at Whole Foods to IMG_7732save me cooking time)
  • 2 cups Gluten-Free Quick Oats (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups Cashew milk (I used the brand Pacific)
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ghee (I prefer the madagascar vanilla bean ghee from fourth&heart)
  • 3 TBSP D’Vash Organic Date Nectar
  • Pink Himalayan Salt (just a few shakes)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup organic (no sugar added) apple sauce
  • Raw pecans

Directions:

First, you’ll want to pre-roast the butternut squash. Set your oven to 415 degrees. Coat the butternut squash in coconut oil, cinnamon, and a little bit of Himalayan salt. Place on a baking sheet (lightly coated in coconut oil as well) and bake for about 35 minutes or until squash is soft.

After you remove your squash from the oven, lower the heat down to 350 degrees. Mash 1 cup of the butternut squash together. In a cast iron or oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tbsp of ghee over the stove top on LOW heat. Once the ghee has melted, add in ALL ingredients including the butternut squash, the 2 cups each of oats and milk, cinnamon, date nectar, apple sauce, and egg.

Stir evenly with a whisk until it is all well blended. Feel free to add a few, light shakes of the Himalayan salt. After about 2-3 minutes, remove from heat. Option to sprinkle pecans on top. And then place in the oven and let cook for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown. Make sure to cut a small indent before removing from the oven to ensure it’s cooked fully through (shouldn’t be overly soft or mushy).

Once finished, remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Option to top with sautéed apples or blueberries, ice cream, yogurt, or even smothered in peanut butter or coconut butter!

Don’t forget to use code ‘EATRUN‘ for 20% off your D’Vash Organics orders!

XOXO,

CAL

 

Easy & Delicious Gluten-Free Banana-Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

Easy & Delicious Gluten-Free Banana-Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

Hello Friends!

For today’s blog post I wanted to share with you my latest recipe for my gluten-free banana-blueberry-oat pancakes. I don’t know about you, but I find myself struggling to re-create that perfect pancake consistency. You know what kind I’m talking about – that good old box of bisquick pancakes that we used to devour as children every Sunday. I kid you not, my dad would make these every Sunday and it was as if it was a food eating competition to see who could take down the most pancakes – me vs. golden retriever(s) vs. rest of the family. I’d say we usually peaked around 20 or so cakes, yet somehow still managed to not blow up like a balloon! I digress..

I find this recipe to be reminiscent of those pancake eating Sunday’s. I swear you wouldn’t know the difference between these and ones loaded with sugar and butter. What makes this recipe also ideal is that the prep is under 10 minutes!! I swear. So here’s the quick and dirty on the pancake recipe…

Serving Size ~ 6-8 medium size cakes

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TBSP of ground chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1/2 a large ripe banana (I used a little over a 1/2)
  • 1/4 unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 cage-free egg
  • Optional: Blueberries
  • 1 TBSP Fourth & Heart Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ghee (coconut oil or butter can be a substitute)
  • You’ll also need a food processor and non-stick pan!

Directions:


In a food processor blend the following ingredients: oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and the chia or flax seeds. Once those ingredients are well blended into powder form, transfer it to a larger bowl. Next add in your 1 egg, 1/2 ripe banana (it may help to smash this in the bowl before hand so that it’s easier to mix), and the almond milk. Mix these ingredients well so that it forms a thicker batter.

Meanwhile, begin to warm up your pan. I usually cook my pancakes on medium/low heat (~ 5-7). You can add your TBSP of ghee (I swear this is a life changer with pancakes – SO TASTY). Next using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop your batter out and form about 6-8 medium size pancakes. Then add blueberries to each pancake if you’d like. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Typically the batter will start to slowly bubble, at which point check the bottom of the cake to see that it’s a golden brown.

Optional toppings could be…

  • more fruit like blueberries, raspberries, and bananas
  • bee pollen
  • goji berries
  • cacao nibs or dairy-free chocolate chips (enjoy life is my fave brand)!
  • organic maple syrup
  • honey
  • Blueberry “sauce” (simply warm up 2 TBSP of frozen blueberries in a microwave save dish for about 30 – 45 seconds for a sauce/syrup like consistency to pour over pancakes
  • organic almond butter or peanut butter
  • unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
Ooey Gooey Breakfast Bars

Ooey Gooey Breakfast Bars

For this week’s breakfast on-the-go, I was inspired by a variety of breakfast bar recipes I’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram lately! I used a combination of various recipes found online to create these delicious bars!

Start by setting your oven to 350 degrees. Then take out a large baking sheet and coat it in coconut oil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1 TBSP of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 cups of oats
  • 2 drops of coconut stevia

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl together VERY well.
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– 1/2 – 1 Cup of mixed nuts (I prefer almonds, cashews, goji berries, raisins, walnuts, mulberries >> make a bulk batch of your own from whole foods or wegmans!)
– 1/2 cup blueberries
– 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
– Pumpkin Pie Spice
– 1-2 TBSP of chia seeds or flax seeds
– Cinnamon

Fold these mixed nuts and berries in gently as to not smooch or damage your delicious berries!
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Next, lay your mixture evenly across the baking sheet – this should be about 1/2 an inch in thickness (so be careful as to not make it too thin or too thick!). Finally, lightly coat your layer of oats in cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Toss this in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the edges are slightly beginning to crisp to a nice light brown! This can be served warm or cold and can be stored in a tightly closed container in the fridge for up to a week!
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I chose to pair these breakfast bars with egg-veggie muffins to keep it a well balanced meal of protein, carbs, and fats!

Enjoy this for an awesome breakfast, snack, or dessert!

Calli’s House of Pancakes

Calli’s House of Pancakes

I have something to admit…I’ve been on a SERIOUS pancake frenzy recently and I definitely DON’T hate it. Something about pancakes, this time of year, is just so comforting, you can’t possibly go wrong. (Let’s pretend for the sake of fall and pancakes, we’re not in the midst of an Indian summer right now). The crisp fall air, the changing leaves, the plaids and flannels are great and all. But my pancakes would not be complete without the delicious fall fruits (and other seasonal flavors) that are just right this time of season! My fall pancakes more than often contain one or more of the following food necessities: apples, pumpkin, maple (syrup), cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, honey, vanilla spiced chai protein powder, oats, sweet potato or butternut squash puree, and so on…I’m sure I’m forgetting something!

Anyway, with that, I’ll update you all on one of my more recent Protein Pancake Recipes! I introduce to you a flavorful fall explosion in your mouth!

Maple-Vanilla Spiced Chai Pumpkin-Apple Protein Pancakes:
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Ingredients:
-1/4 Cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
-1 scoop of RAW Vanilla Chai Spiced Protein Powder
-1.5 TBSP of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
-2 Egg whites
-1 tsp of whole wheat pastry flour (optional)
-1 tsp of pure maple extract
-1/2 tsp of baking powder
-1-2 TBSP of unsweetened Vanilla almond milk (depending on the thickness)
-Cinnamon

Directions:
Mix all of all the above together in a bowl, then using a nonstick pan, add 1 TBSP of coconut oil, using med/high heat and pour your batter on, I usually use about 2 heaping spoonful’s per pancake. (FYI – my batter turned out a little too liquidy for me, so I would pour a small amount, then wait a second, and pour a little more on top to try and thicken the pancake so it didn’t run!)

For the Topping…mix the below ingredients together, warm in micro for 15-20 seconds and top)
-2 TBSP of unsweetened apple sauce
-1 tsp of pure maple extract
-cinnamon

Banan-illa Super-Food Protein Pancakes:
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Ingredients:

-1 mashed soft banana
-2 egg whites
-1 scoop of vanilla whey protein
-2-3 drops of French vanilla stevia
-1 tsp of Flax Seeds
-1 tsp of Hemp Seeds
-1 tsp of chia seeds
-cinnamon

For the Topping:
-2 TBSP of Unsweetened Apple Sauce mixed w/ cinnamon
-Mixed berries
-Drizzle of Honey

Directions:
Mix all of all the above together in a bowl, then using a nonstick pan, add 1 TBSP of coconut oil, using med/high heat and pour your batter on, I usually use about 2 heaping spoonful’s per pancake. Make sure to let the pancakes cook for a good 5 mins first before flipping (or look to see when they begin bubbling and rising). If they’re still sticking to the pan when you try to flip, turn the heat down a notch and then wait a few more mins. Top with apple sauce and enjoy ☺
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Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Overnight Oats

When in doubt, make some Overnight Oats for breakfast! Why not try some delicious, fall inspired, ‘Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Overnight Oats”?? (That name is a haaaandful, say that three times fast!) Anyway, this jar of deliciousness was the perfect post-workout breakfast to kick off my day at work and hold over my appetite until lunch time! I feel like lately I’ve been tossing pumpkin in everything of mine, but it’s just so tasty and brings the sense of fall into my meals! For those who have not given overnight oats a try ever, this a great, easy go-to breakfast to refuel either before or after a workout and stay full longer than other breakfast meals. Not to mention, they’re a great spin off my regular old oatmeal, and even more yummy!

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Ingredients:
-1/4 cup organic pureed pumpkin
-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1/2 cup dry oats
-cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice (as much as you’d like, I tend to toss a lot in!)
-1/2 sliced banana
-2 chopped medjool dates
-2 sliced strawberries
-1 tsp of each: chia seeds, ground flax, ground hemp
-Dark Chocolate Stevia (1 tsp)
-1 TBSP of PB2 powder

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Directions: So So Simple…allll you need is some kind of mason jar or tightly enclosed container. Add all ingredients, whatever order you want! Shake well so everything gets well mixed in. Let it sit overnight and then when you’re ready in the AM, you can either it cold just like that, or put it into a bowl, heat it for 2 mins on the micro, top it with some nuts and enjoy!!

Vanilla Chai Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes with a Peanut Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Sauce

Vanilla Chai Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes with a Peanut Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Sauce

Okay, so as much as I hate to admit it, I love the fall. For one, it is the season of my birthdaaayy!! Number two, the in-season vegetables, fruits, and other foods of the fall flavors are my favorite! And third, something about the fall just feels right…the coziness of beginning to bundle up in warm, oversized sweaters, the brisk breeze and smell of leaves in the air, the beautiful New England colors and foliage, and of course the holidays (i.e. Thanksgiving and Halloween) are quite enjoyable as well ☺ Aside from all those lovely things about Fall, it also means that winter is coming, which I absolutely hate. However, I’ll try and not think about the snow and cold seeing as its a few months away and in the meantime, I’m whipping out my fall boots and stocking up on my pumpkin, squashes, and apples for some seasonal deliciousness in the kitchen!

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For those who don’t know, I’m a HUGE sucker for anything pumpkin. Absolutely love it and I often find myself making my way to Starbucks for its seasonal pumpkin spice latte (ugh, SUCH a guilty pleasure of mine that I just can’t seem to resist, especially on a chilly day!) Anyways, as soon as Labor Day weekend was over, I knew it was socially acceptable to officially welcome fall. Now, I’m probably a little ahead of the game seeing as Mother Nature doesn’t make it calendar official until September 22nd (so I’m not too far off!) Anyway, what better way to start off my fall cooking recipes on the official start of football Sunday than with Vanilla Chai Spiced Pumpkin Protein Pancakes topped with a Peanut-Butter Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Sauce and smothered with warmed wild blueberries??
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Yes, this was a first time trying it and it was indeed filled with absolute deliciousness! However, now that I have the “base” ingredients down, I’m ready to explore with more pumpkin inspired pancake recipes! Meanwhile, I’ve decided to post the recipe here so that you can all have a little something to warm you up on next football Sunday ☺

Ingredients:

For the Pancakes:
• ¼ cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
• 1 scoop Vanilla Chai Spiced Protein Powder
• ¼ cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
• 1 tsp Cinnamon
• 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
• 1 tsp Baking Powder
• 2 Egg Whites

Optional:
• Oats
• PB2 Powder
• Chia/Flax/Hemp seeds
• Stevia
• Maple Syrup
• Mashed Banana

For the Toppings:
• ¼ cup Plain Greek Yogurt
• 1 tbsp PB2 Powder
• 5-6 drops of Dark Chocolate Stevia
• Dash of Cinnamon
• Sprinkle Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
• Warmed Blueberries (add this separately)

Directions: On a non-stick frying pan, add a tbsp. of coconut oil and simmer on med/high heat. Add the pancake mixture accordingly to the size of the pan. I tend to make mine relatively small, using a large spoonful of the mixture per pancake. Once the pancake begins bubbling a little, check to see if the bottom is golden/crisp, if so, flip the pancake and cook for another few mins. Once a nice golden brown all over, remove from heat and spoon the “sauce” and warmed blueberries over the pancakes. Enjoy!
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Island Flavors

So, this post is slightly overdue from my Spring Break vacation on Virgin Gorda (formally part of the British Virgin Islands). Now, this quaint island (yes, I ran 10 miles from point A to just about point B) has exactly 2 grocery stores that are supposedly “fully stocked”. These stores shockingly are like the size of the bakery section in any Wegmans (although that’s probably pushing it), Giant, or Stop and Shop. You get the idea! Due to the size and minimum amounts of shipments that come in weekly compared to the frequent tourists and yachters than come to land, the shelves are usually wiped out.

Vanilla Greek Yogurt, Banana, Spinach, Ice & Water
Vanilla Greek Yogurt, Banana, Spinach, Ice & Water

The meat offered is…well, strange. The fruit and vegetables tend to be completely vanished by the end of the day. And you can even forget trying to locate any healthy snack food or varieties of fresh, wholewheat bread. Thankfully, we have been traveling to this island for as long as I can remember. And, just as my range of taste buds have grown so has our ability to prepare ahead of time for the grocery store shortages.

1 egg/1 egg white omelet with spinach and a side of sliced avocado
1 egg/1 egg white omelet with spinach and a side of sliced avocado

This time around, my mom packed some fresh chicken and lamb from whole foods to bring on to the plane (stored it in a cooler), as well as some necessary condiments. Another thing we’ve learned is if we do make a trip to the store and we spy some food we think we may need, we buy it…because it will be cleared out for the rest of the week if you dont snatch it up right then.

1 banana, freshly sliced mango, ice, water, freshly squeezed lime & lemon, and then some spinach
1 banana, freshly sliced mango, ice, water, freshly squeezed lime & lemon, and then some spinach

One thing I did find surprising was that this grocery store ACTUALLY stocked Chobani greek yogurt?! That was quite a surprise and you can probably guess I purchased at least 10 of those babies. Anyway, back to my point of this post…I’ve added a look at all the island/summery meals we nommed on during our trip!

Fruit Salad! (Honeydew melon, apples, pineapple, & banana)
Fruit Salad! (Honeydew melon, apples, pineapple, & banana)

All of the meals above were mostly breakfast options, some snack, and sometimes lunch meals! As you can see, I made a lot of smoothies over break! Pictured above is certainly not all of them, but I pretty much had 1 or 2 a day and they were all pretty similar but sometimes I tended to mix up the chobani flavors with them!

Shrimp Pad Thai with zucchini, hearts of palm, nuts, chili, and lime over some rice noodles
Shrimp Pad Thai with zucchini, hearts of palm, nuts, chili, and lime over some rice noodles

We ate out a few nights while we were there and had some pretttyyy interesting but DELICIOUS meals! One place we ate at was a pretty swanky, modern Asian style restaurant along the water called Coco Maya.

MahiMahi with a mango chutney, grilled and steam vegetables and a side of tuna sashimi and some feta infused pita bread
MahiMahi with a mango chutney, grilled and steam vegetables and a side of tuna sashimi and some feta infused pita bread

Pictured below was just PART ONE of my buffet style meal at our favorite upscale restaurant Little Dix Bay. Obviously, when I do buffets, I DO buffets. They are no joke…I definitely get my moneys worth, that’s for sure! The mahimahi was grilled right there in front of us and it was hard to refuse seconds, especially with that sweet & savory chutney! I also had a salad for an app covered in beans, shrimp, veggies, and feta cheese. I’m not even getting into dessert, because let’s just call that a ‘cheat night’ and the buffet table was DANK.

Steamed Yellow Tail in a Banana leaf with a side of rice
Steamed Yellow Tail in a Banana leaf with a side of rice

Yes, that is an entire fish right there. Now, when I ordered steamed yellow tail, I was not expecting this! However, to my surprise it wasn’t half bad once the restaurant owner came over and helped me slice the filet off in order to avoid the little bones and other odd parts of the fish!

Shrimp Salad with mango, avocado, red pepper, onion, and tomatoes over spinach with a fresh lime, lemon, olive oil, & balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Shrimp Salad with mango, avocado, red pepper, onion, and tomatoes over spinach with a fresh lime, lemon, olive oil, & balsamic vinaigrette dressing

The shrimp meal below was a DELICIOUS meal and so so refreshing! I even had left overs for lunch the next day which was totally awesome! Throughout this trip, we definitely got our fair share of fruits and veggies in. We had a TON of kabobs one night as well that were grilled to perfection!

Vegetable Kabobs with Yellow Squash, Zucchini, red pepper, onions, and mushrooms marinated in balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, & rosemary
Vegetable Kabobs with Yellow Squash, Zucchini, red pepper, onions, and mushrooms marinated in balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, & rosemary

Well, that obviously wasn’t EVERYTHING we ate while vacationing, but certainly a good look at the meals we had! Everything was just so yummy and refreshing, especially after spending long days on the beach soaking up the sun and heat!

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Yummy Recipes for Baked Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” and Overnight Oats

Hey Everyone!

So I’m pretty excited because I’m finally beginning to branch out and escape from my comfort zone. As the saying goes, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Okay, so this may be a little ‘deep’ for referring to something so simple as a recipe or two. But hey, everyone’s gotta start somewhere…right!?
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As I was saying, I feel like my everyday meals pretty much revolve around the same old foods I’ve become familiar with and come to trust. However, lately I’ve been getting pretty bored (STILL love them, just need a change!) with quinoa, plain oatmeal, salads, and so on. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of great things about spaghetti squash and it’s benefits and great taste! I had to try it to really believe it and boyyyy I can see what all the rave about this amazing fruit is! This FRUIT (yes, it is surprisingly NOT a vegetable!) is the perfect substitute for pasta. Now, don’t get me wrong, being a runner, I absolutely LOVE my pasta. I mean, come on, I grew up spending at least two dinners a week feasting over endless amounts of food at my field hockey and track team pasta parties. However, pasta is not necessarily a dish you want to eat every night as it is relatively high in carbs and calories. Believe it or not, as I was chowing down my baked
“pasta” spaghetti squash last night, I literally forgot for a sec that I wasn’t consuming 600 calories worth of pasta.

Recipe for my Baked Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” Dish:

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~1 Whole Spaghetti Squash (found this by the Potatoes in Whole Foods!)
~1 small can of 365 organic tomato sauce
~3 Tablespoons approx. of sliced yellow onion
~1 Garlic clove finally chopped
~3 Tablespoons of freshly shredded Skim Mozzarella Cheese
~1/2 Tablespoon of White Cooking Wine
~Spices (Basil, Italian Seasoning, Crushed Red Pepper, Pepper, & Salt) add for taste
~1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
~1 cup of Zucchini
~1 Cup of Spinach

So, I found it was easiest to cut my spaghetti squash in half and then place both halves in the microwave for about 4-6 minutes. Similar to potatoes, they’re quite tough to slice, so I basically cooked the majority of it in the microwave, then took it out, scooped out the seedy middle part. Once the seeds are scooped out, I used a fork and basically just began peeling out the “spaghetti” looking insides of the squash. I then placed all of this on a lightly sprayed Olive Oil tin try to place in the oven.

Separately, I used about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on a small sauté pan and added my garlic, then the onion…after about 2-3 minutes, I added this to the tomato sauce in a separate small pot. I added the rest of my spices and the wine to the sauce and let that sit on low heat for a bit.

In the same sauté pan, I added a little olive oil and then sautéed the rest of the veggies. Meanwhile, I used a little more than half my sauce and layered the spaghetti squash in it. I then added the mozzarella cheese and put it in the oven on about 350 degrees. I let this bake while the cheese melted. Make sure to keep an eye on this and then take it out after about 5-10 mins. Throw the veggies on the side and enjoy your “baked pasta”! 🙂

Recipe for my Overnight Oats:
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~1/2 cup of rolled oats
~2 Tablespoons of Chia seeds
~1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1 whole banana sliced
~A dash of Vanilla Extract
~1/2 scoop of 365 vanilla whey protein
~1/2 cup of water
~Dash of Cinnamon
~1 large spoonful of plain chobani greek yogurt

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Mix this all together and then close tightly in some type of jar or container (I used my magic bullet cup). Let this sit overnight and then in the morning, heat up for about 2-3 minutes (make sure to mix it around after 1 min) and then top it off with whatever you’d like! I added some Cinnamon Raison Ezekiel Granola and Unsweetened Coconut Flakes! Enjoy 🙂 It’s quite filling!!

So people, my tip for you is if you find a recipe that sounds intriguing, give it a try…because you can’t shoot it until you try it! Step out of your comfort zone and you may just find a new found love for some new exotic fruit or fish out there! Who knows!?

A Look at some Clean Eats by YOURS TRULY!

I’ve been kind of out of the loop these past few days, catching up on sleep and what not, so apologies for the non existent posts lately! As I’m sure many of you already know, sleep is THE most important! If your sleep is off, I can guarantee your fitness AND your diet will suffer in exchange. For me, catching up on sleep was my number one priority these past few days and I finally feel like I’m back on track! Anyway…I’m SUPER excited because spring break is just a few days away and I’m counting down the days until i’ll be sipping out of a coconut and laying on a private beach (okay, maybe not THAT picturesque but a girl can dreaaaam). Between classes, practice, and work recently, Virgin Gorda is certainly getting me through the week 🙂

Anyhow I’ve posted some of my ‘clean’ dishes from the past week and hopefully I can get by the next few days on what’s left in my fridge!!

Dinner:

Almond Coconut Crusted Chicken w/ Quinoa & Veggies
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This here was an experimental dish I tried and ended up LOVING IT.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees, coat chicken in Coconut Oil. Crush 5-6 almonds and use about 1-2 tablespoons of Unsweetened Coconut Flakes — Spread this on both sides of the chicken.
~Prep 1/4 cup of dry Tri-Colored Quinoa, Steam a side of Spinach, & Slice 1/2 Avocado
~Watch your chicken to assure the coating doesn’t burn, after 10-12 mins, slice through the chicken and check that there’s no pink!
~Throw any extra toppings from the chicken on top of the spinach & squeeze fresh lime over the dish. ENJOY!

Dinner on-the-go: Easy & Quick Quinoa, Chicken, and Veggies
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So this is really quite simple, quick, and easy to prepare! I had a late shift at work, so I prepped myself this dish the night before. Still tasted great cold!
~Prep 1/4 cup of dry Quinoa
~Bake Chicken in E.V.O.O. — cook in oven on 10-12 mins for 350 degrees
~Sautee 1/2 fresh red pepper, brussel sprouts, spinach, & onion
~Top this off with spices (crushed red pepper, salt & pepper)
~Had a Apple Pie flavored Larabad for dessert! YUM!

Lunch Options:

Salad GALORE! I loveeee salads 🙂
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~Spinach
~Red Kidney Beans
~Cucumber
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
~Avocado
~Chickpeas
~Walnuts & Craisins
~Used fresh lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, & a dash of olive oil
~Had an Orange and an Apple on the side

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Similar to the above salad, but used turkey breast (instead of beans & chickpeas) for protein! Had an orange on the side as well.

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~Spinach, Arugala mixed greens
~Sliced Macintosh Apple
~Avocado
~Almonds
~Blueberries
~Gorgonzola Cheese
~Used fresh lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, & a dash of Olive Oil for the dressing
~Had Apple Cinnamon Chobani on the side for a snack!

Breakfast:

Bowl of Delicious Oatmeal
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Used 1/2 cup of dry oats with 1 cup of water. Added in 1 1/2 tablespoons of PB2 powder, 1 Whole banana, and some cinnamon. Put that in the microwave for 2 minutes, then topped with strawberries, blueberries, & a dash of cinnamon!

A ‘Little Bit of Everything’ Smoothie
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~Used Overnight Soaked Chia Seeds (the night before, used 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, mixed with 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and let it sit over night)
~1 whole banana
~Blueberries
~Handful of frozen spinach
~1/5 an Avocado
~1/2 scoop of Vanilla Whey protein
~A dash of Cinnamon
~Blend together and enjoy the deliciousness!

Tropical Smoothie
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~Sliced 1/2 a Navel Orange
~Sliced in small pieces 1/2 a Macintosh Apple
~1 Whole banana
~A handful of frozen strawberries
~Freshly squeezed lemon & lime
~1/2 filled with Orange VitaCoco Water, 1/2 w/ water

It was so yummy and definitely the kick I needed to wake up this morning! Also, *mentally preparing* myself for spring break and tropical weather with this fruity smoothie of mine 😉

Eat, Run, and Everything in Between Pinterest Board

Yoga Challenge…lets goooo

Yoga Challenge…lets goooo

So recently, my body has been failing on me. I wake up with back aches, head aches, tight legs, and so on…you get the picture. I mean it’s not like I don’t stretch after practice, (I probably could do a little more), BUT for some reason I still wake up and go through the day feeling pretty crappy. So as part of a new commitment to myself (and since I didn’t give anything up for lent…), I’m going to attempt to do at least 10-20 minutes of yoga everyday. Doesn’t sound too hard right? Yet, for SOME reason it is nearly impossible to find 10-20 minutes throughout the day where I feel a) relaxed (somewhat important for yoga…), b) energetic/motivated, or c) just literally don’t have the time! But then the more I thought about it, these are all just excuses. It literally takes waking up a few minutes earlier than usual, or squeezing in some night time relaxation before bed. And, the best part of it…it ONLY benefits me. So, I decided to finally stop complaining, follow my own words of advice and just fit it in my schedule.

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Today was my first attempt at this new challenge I’ve posed on my self. And you know what? It felt GREAT! Luckily Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays are a little easier to find time in my schedule since I have no classes. I finally got a decent sleep in last night, woke up around 9:30, made myself some coffee and oatmeal and then around 11 I did a short 20 minute yoga session. Easy as that! I looked around on youtube and found a session that sounded appealing and fitting for my needs at the time. You can find the morning routine I did by following this link: 20 Minute Yoga Class: Energy Boost

Basically this session was a great way to “open the heart” which in turn helps to boost your energy and just WAKE UP! This was perfect and was exactly what I needed this morning. This is also great because I didn’t sweat at all, it didn’t wear me out for practice later this afternoon, and it was a relaxing way to get a good stretch in for the day. Additionally, for years, I’ve been reading and hearing about how great yoga is for runners. As a team, we’ve done the occasional group yoga sessions during pre season and I absolutely LOVE those but I didn’t make an effort to keep that up as a frequent routine.

These benefits for runners (and for anyone in general of course!) include:

Increases flexibility and strength –> Many runners do yoga as a form for cross training or on an “off day”; ultimately yoga helps to realign and stretch the muscles and bones that runners strain everyday…this in turns helps to prevent injuries!
Post-Workout Recovery –> Hard tempo or interval workout on the track? Try some post yoga stretching after (of course with a protein bar before hand 😉 )…this well help with a good recovery!
The practice of Mindfulness and “being in the moment” –> Here’s something I ALWAYS need to work on whether it’s during a race, workout, run, or even outside of running. The combination of breathing techniques, patience, and relaxation can be great for this.
A sense of Balance –> Yoga will help both to create balance in life as well as keep you physically balanced while running.
Overall Improved Performance –> A more flexible body will lead to less injuries and increased strength which will ultimately lead to better performance! And don’t we all want that?!

*Check out ‘The Benefits of Yoga for Runners’ and ‘Yoga for Runners’ for more about these great benefits!

Based on the above reasonings, I’ve concluded that yoga rocks. Honestly, taking 10-20 minutes out of your day for yoga totally outweighs any other excuse you may have. Also as a side note…the above yoga mat pictured was a gift I got like freshman year of high school from PB teen. I obviously had unrealistic expectations than seeing as I’ve barely broken it out since 2006! I definitely only wanted it because it was pink. HAHA I’m the worst…so typical of myself. Anyway, like I’ve also said in the past…committing your time to yoga is YET another excuse to purchase some cute lulu lemon essentials 😉 Just saying.

So, what I would suggest is to find a few youtube sessions that have 10-30 minute yoga sessions for you to follow on your own in your room (OR outside when it starts getting warm out…that way you can work on your tan TOO!). If your school fitness center offers yoga classes…definitely suggest taking those, especially if you’re a beginner! And lastly, there are plenty of yoga classes popping up everywhere, so I suggest exploring outside of your school if you’re up for it! However, those can sometimes get quite pricey so keep that in mind 🙂

Hope this has inspired you try out some yoga. NAMASTE.
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*ALSO, be sure to check out my instagram account @eatrunandallinbetween for my day-to-day meals and some workout pics!!
* {not my image pictured above}

2 Weeks of Spring (break) Cleaning

As much as you hate to admit it, we all love spring cleaning. It’s not necessarily the “cleaning” part we all enjoy per say…but it’s the overall fact that spring is undoubtedly in the air! What’s not to love about that?? Knowing that winter is coming to an end, the snow is slowly (but surely) melting alway, and you can finally break out those new spring shorts purchases. I’m pretty sure ALMOST everyone is with me on the same page here that we’re getting just a little sick of this bizarre winter weather that mother nature keeps throwing our way. So, as part of our pre-mature spring cleaning, I figured I would get a head start by focusing on my personal needs first.
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One of the most important and helpful things I’ve learned during my high school and college years of track & field is to set reasonable and obtainable goals for yourself. So, I decided as far as nutrition goes, I’d start out easy. For the next 2 weeks, leading up to a warm get away for spring break, I’m keeping it simple and attempting to maintain a 90% CLEAN diet (hence the title, “spring (break) cleaning”) LOL throwing a pun in there! But in all seriousness, I know this may sound easy to some people, but this is coming from a girl whose got a major sweet tooth. This is why I’m keeping it at 90% clean. The reason I’m doing this goes back to my original point, setting REASONABLE and OBTAINABLE goals. The worst thing to do is set a goal that you don’t achieve. It will only hurt your confidence in the long run and most likely set you back even further from where you began. Start out with a simple and achievable plan, complete it successfully, and then from there, set your goal standards just a bit higher. Baby steps people, BABY STEPS!! Your patience will pay off in the end and your body will thank you in the long run. : )

So just off the top of my head…while picturing my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry cabinet from my desk area, I’ve created a list of “clean” food and then some exceptions for the extra 10% ; ) Keep in mind, this is a rough idea and just the food I enjoy most (there’s obviously many other options out there for people who are looking to eat clean!)…I probably forgot something, but just trying to give you all an idea of what I consider acceptable! Basically, just try to avoid anything processed (aka high, fake sugars, things in cans and wrappers with a never-ending shelf life!)!

Protein!
high-protein-food
~Salmon
~Tilapia
~Tuna
~Chicken
~Ground Turkey meat
~NUTS (almonds & cashews are my fave!)
~Beans (garbanzo, black, white, lima, & kidney beans)
~Turkey deli meat
~Eggs of course!
~Shrimp

‘Other’ Protein Sources:
PB2-C2
~Protein powder (vanilla whey protein)
~PB2
(powdered peanut butter — only 3 ingredients & no artificial flavoring!)
~Luna Protein Bars
(especially since I receive 2 LARGE boxes for valentines day!)
~Cliff bars

Carbs!
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~Quinoa
~Whole Wheat Pasta
~Brown rice
~Whole wheat/flax seed wraps
~Whole Wheat/grain sandwich bread
~Instant Oats (quaker oatmeal)
~Sweet Potatoes

Fruits & Veggies!
avocado-x
~Oranges
~Apples
~Bananas
~Frozen berries, mango, etc.
~Avocados
~Spinach
~Zucchini
~Cucumber
~Carrots
~Lemons & Limes
~Brussel Sprouts
~Tomatoes
~Blueberries/Strawberries

Dairy!
chobani yogurt

~Greek Yogurt (chobani)
~Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~or Skim milk!
~Feta Cheese
~or others include mozzarella & gorgonzola

Others include…
~Extra Virgin Olive Oil
~Coconut Oil
~Soy Sauce (lite, low sodium)
~Apple Cider Vinegar
~Balsamic Vinegar

~Spices (Cinnamon*)
~Chia Seeds
~Flax Seeds
~Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
~Honey/agave nectar (small portions)

~Vita Coco Water
~Hummus
~Lara Bars (only from 3-5 natural ingredients as it is a nut & fruit based bar)
~Coffee

So…that pretty much covers all elements of my kitchen and the other things I may purchase over time…gonna leave the other 10% to some dark chocolate cravings (and the luna protein bars that may have some artificial sugars in there…) OR for any upcoming dinner outings. Anyways, I won’t try and take advantage of the extra 10% BUT won’t beat myself up if I do eat something not on the list.
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Hope this helps wit your spring (break) cleaning!

Post Valentines Day Meals

Okay so if you don’t already know me, I tend to get pretty into holidays…Valentine’s day being one of them. Since we’re being honest here, I also have a sick obsession with the color pink. Judge me all you want…but it’s the TRUTH. Anyways, for this Valentines Day I decided to prepare a surprise, 3-course, Valentine’s Day meal. On a side not…unfortunately, Valentines Day decided to fall on the day before our Championship meet for indoor track and field…so there could be no red wine involved to accompany my fine dining styled meal! However, I still indulged a bit in dark chocolate and certainly splurged on some delicious meals.

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To begin, I prepped an appetizer of Warmed Gorgonzola & Walnuts over a Mixed Salad(serves 2)…
~mixed greens
~toasted, crumbled gorgonzola cheese (place in over on about 250 degrees for about 3-6 mins — once you see a few pieces start melting, pull it out and throw it on top of your salad!)
~glazed walnuts
~craisins
~1/2 avocado
~1/4 cup of chopped sweet onion
~Apple Cider Vinegar/Olive Oil/Balsamic (just add about 1/2 tablespoon of each)
–> Ok, this salad was hands down, one of the BEST I’ve made…the toasted gorgonzola def did the job!
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Next, in the above image, I made a Ground Turkey based Bolognese on top of Whole Wheat Rigatoni…
In a sauce pan I added some extra virgin olive oil and sautéed :
~minced garlic
~almost 1 full, finely chopped Sweet Onion
~1 container of chopped cherry tomatoes

–> after about 10 minutes of that, I moved onto another sauce pan of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, where I sautéed…
~ 1 LB of 99% Lean Ground Turkey meat (for about 10 mins, or until the last pink part turns a light brown…you want to make sure you don’t over cook it!)

–> Once the meat was cooked, I added it back to the other saucepan, along with…
~2 cans of diced tomatoes (I would suggest adding tomato paste to thicken it more, I just didn’t have any in my pantry!)
~1 to-go pack of Chobani Plain Greek yogurt (again to thicken it)
~fresh basil & oregano
~Extra spices (crushed red pepper, black pepper, salt)

–> Make sure you start the pasta once you’ve added all the mixtures. Let the sauce sit, covered, on low heat for about 30 mins! Enjoy!
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Finally, the prettiest and tastiest part of the 3-course meal…DESSERT!

So what would Valentine’s day be without CHOCOLATE of course??
The lovely parfait included layers of:
~Greek Vanilla Yogurt (Chobani)
~Sliced Strawberries
~Blueberries
~Almonds
~Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate Chunks
~Cinnamon
~Drizzled in Honey

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day! Also, I’ll be competing tonight in NYC and won’t be home any time this weekend…so look out for a new post on Monday! And be sure to check out my instagram account @Eatrunandallinbetween for daily postings!
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“the only thing I like better than talking about food, is eating.”

And yet another post on some of the deliciousness from this past week! I’ve included all recipes and pictures as well! Enjoy and let me know what you think! ALSO, if you haven’t already and you are on instagram, start following my account at @Eatrunandallinbetween !! And…if you have an iPhone, but have not installed the instagram app…DO IT, you won’t regret it! That way you’ll get a constant day-to-day update of all my yummy foods! : ) One last thing…keep a look out for my next post on the Valentines Day dish I’ll be cooking for my boyfriend tomorrow night. I would have posted the recipe here…but it’s a surprise!

Here are some nutritious Breakfast options…
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In a bowl, MIX together:
~1/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~2 Egg Whites
~1 scoop of 365 Vanilla Whey Protein
~About 1 teaspoon of baking soda
~1 mashed Banana
~Dash of Cinnamon
~Sprinkle Unsweetened Shredded Coconut and Blueberries on top!
~Cooked like a normal pancake (I used Coconut Oil to cook it!)
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For the image below…I used the same recipe as above…BUT added in 1 tablespoon of PB2 Powder and 1/2 tablespoon of some Cocoa! So delish this time and threw in some valentine day spirit ; )

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Made my usual bowl of oatmeal below here…However this time I pulled out some frozen banana I had in the freezer and melted it in the microwave. It ended up being a great thickener in the oatmeal and tasted awesome! I also added some PB2 powder to this bowl as well.
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Just a simple plate of 3 eggs whites with some spinach in the middle! And of course a good old cup of coffee! Hits the spot. IMG_1183
So in the image above, I made a summery tropical flavored smoothie. Made me feel like I was on the islands! I added some frozen mango, strawberries, and peaches. Then I filled half the magic bullet with some Vita Coco (Peach and Mango flavored) Coconut Water, and the rest I filled with water. Finally, topped it off with some chia seeds!

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<–This here is my FAVORITE Lean Green Smoothie Machine. Haha Ok lame. BUT, it's soooo good, I can't stop! I added my usual: Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Frozen Spinach, 1 whole banana, 1 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein, 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds, 1 tablespoon of PB2 Powder and Blend it!

And for Lunch….I usually switch it up between the wrap or salad everyday with a snack or two on the side!
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In the above image, I was out of Turkey Meat, So instead I made an Egg White omelette and threw it in the Whole Wheat, Flax Seed wrap from Trader Joe’s. I topped it off with some 3-layer hummus, avocado, feta cheese, and spinach!
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Here I had an early, 8am class, so I prepped my salad the night before! My salad included…
~Spinach
~Almonds
~1/2 Avocado
~Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Meat
~Blueberries
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
~Chia Seeds
~Apple Cider Vinegar and Fresh Lemon for the dressing

Dinnnnnner TIME…!
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In the above image, I baked tilapia in Sesame Seeds to give it a nice crisp/crunchy flavor! On the side, I sautéed spinach, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, tomatoes in some E.V.O.O & Apple Cider Vinegar. Topped this all off with avocado, feta cheese, and some spices of course!
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Alright, so here I got home pretty late and was STARVING. So I needed something fast and appetizing to full-fill my needs! I quickly sautéed some brussel sprouts (if you couldn’t tell…these are my new FAVE veggies), spinach, onions, garlic, corn, and some egg whites (for PROTEIN)! Mixed a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and some lite soy sauce in it for flavaaa. For the side dish, I made some yummy sweet potato fries!
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Okay. Fine you caught me. I did not make my OWN sushi…sadly ;( BUT, I was having a huge sushi craving all week long, so I had to plan for a sushi date night! The good news is that I still got my carbs, protein, AND, veggies in! They even had BROWN rice sushi! Can’t get much better than that. I ended up having a simple tuna roll and a Cucumber, Avocado, Asparagus roll, and then split some tuna sashimi!
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AH, the best dinner dish for last…my lovely valentine creation and first time cooking shrimp (SECOND time ever eating it in my life…)! So here, I cooked…
~1/4 cup red quinoa
And Sautéed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil…
~garlic and onion
~cherry tomatoes
~spinach
~1/4 pound of small, already cooked shrimp
Topped this off with…
~Fresh Basil and Oregano
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese

Lastly…we can’t forget Snacks and Desserts…THE BEST PART OF COURSE…

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<– This here was BOMB. I was craving ice cream so I made my own, healthy version! In my magic bullet I blended together…
~1 1/2 frozen bananas
~2 tablespoons of PB2 Powder
~1/4 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Topped it off with dark chocolate bites and cinnamon!
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Above, I finally made some Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding! Here I blended in a small mug…
~1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
~dash of cinnamon
~3 tablespoons of chia seeds
~1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
Put this in the fridge over night, and indulged the next afternoon in it for snack! Check out my blog on chia seeds to learn about the great benefits!
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Here’s a peek into my cart from my recent food shopping trip. Lots of Color! Pretty much got my usual (refer to my food shopping list for an idea of what I shop for)! However, I did get a few new snacks that I am about to RAVE about.
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Alright so above I have regular pretzel crisps (last time I had the cinnamon flavor!), with a side of some spinach & artichoke hummus, as well as my favorite and NEW Chobani Bite! As you already know, I love my hummus and I LOVE this flavor by Sabra. As for the Chobani Bite, I got the coffee flavor with dark chocolate bits. For a little 100 calorie pack these things sure do hit the spot if you have constant sweet cravings like myself! They have other flavors to…try it out and let me know what you think!
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And, FINALLY…my new favorite bar…LARABAR! This one was the cashew cookie flavor but my god these things are GREAT and taste like a dessert! I also bought Chocolate chip cookie and Apple Pie flavor. These bars are super nutritious as they only use unsweetened fruits, nuts, spices, dairy, and soy free chocolate! They also provide a great source of fiber and protein. Lastly, if you look at their ‘cherry pie’ flavor, they only use THREE ingredients: almonds, dates, and unsweetened cherries…you certainly can’t beat that in a bar! Try em out!

Have a fantastic Valentines Day Everyone! <3 <3 <3

Forever Young: powerful super-foods your diet shouldn’t be missing out on…

So while my teammate Jackie and I were running the other day…we started to have a slight epiphany. As lame as this sounds, we realized our skin may not maintain it’s youthful look forever if we continue to treat it as we do on a daily basis. I don’t know about you, but my daily routine usually consists of me washing my face with my Clean&Clear Morning Burst face wash containing bits of lemon, papaya, and caffeine in the morning and once at night. I then moisturize with a simple face lotion by Neutrogena. This is all well and good, but it certainly is not enough if I want to avoid aging and wrinkles as much as possible, all the while fighting off blemishes that come as part of the harsh winter conditions. Not only does the winter typically make my face behave in odd ways, breaking out on random occasions or drying out to the point where I feel like I have botox…but our daily runs expose our faces to the strong whipping of the wind (during the winter), or dirty sweat dripping down our face in the warmer seasons. This only further dries out our skin and creates a clearly visible wind burn causing unwanted redness from our cheeks to nose to chin and so on.

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My first thought was to go one obvious route. This would include spending 2 months worth of paychecks (from the occasionally rare hours I get from work) on “natural” and “organic” products from Sephora that claim to be the “number one skin remedy” out there. OR, I could choose to follow another route which would a) not empty out my wallet, b) would 100% be all natural and organic, and c) I would not only be benefitting my skin, but also my diet! So, recently, I did a bit of internet research and found some awesome, super-foods which contain nutrients and vitamins that are key to maintaining a youthful look for as long as possible…and let’s be honest, who would not want that…?

Below is a list of all the foods I’d recommend based on my research, with a simple reasoning and result of each individual food…

If you want to prevent the risk of skin cancer and harsh sun damage, eat this…

1.) Watermelon: Contains large amounts of lycopene → reduces skin damage and redness which is caused by over exposure of the sun; prevents wrinkles and lowers skin cancer risks.
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2.) Canned Tuna: Contains selenium → helps with skin elasticity, therefor keeping the skin smooth and firm…can also can help protect against the sun.
3.) Sunflower seeds, sunflower oil: Contains Vitamin E → protects top skin layers from the sun, is high in essential fatty acids for dried out skin areas.
4.) Spinach: Protects against skin cancer → spinach helps maintain and repair DNA reducing cancer cell growth.
5.) Tomatoes: Contains lycopene → prevents sun damage (most beneficial when heated up and eaten cooked).
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6.) Dark Chocolate. Cocoa: Strong in antioxidants → reduces roughness of skin and protects sun damage, hydrates and firms skins – improves luminosity

If you want to reduce and calm skin’s redness, inflammation, even out complexion, and blemishes, eat this…

1.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds: High in Omega-3 fatty acids → fights wrinkles, erases dark spots, hydrates the skin, reduces redness, produces collagen to improve skin elasticity, the nuts especially contain Vitamin E (strong sun blocker)
Nuts
2.) Kidney Beans → gets ride of zits! High in zinc content (correlation between low zinc levels and the combination of blemishes), zinc is great for healing
3.) Soy beans, Soy milk, Edamame beans → Contains minerals and proteins that have been shown to help even out skin complexion
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4.) Green tea: Contains antioxidants which help to reduce unwanted redness on the skin/face area, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
5.) Water with Lemon

If you want to reduce wrinkles or reduce pre-mature aging, eat this…

1.) Broccoli: Is loaded with 65% of your daily vitamin C → improves wrinkles and sagging in the skin by absorbing the free radicals and removing the DNA damage they create, also a sun-protectant.
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2.) Watermelon
3.) Canned Tuna
4.) Carrots, Oranges: These lovely, orange superfoods are great for the skin, containing Vitamin A and vitamin C → prevents overproduction of cells in outer skin layers → good for the eyes and clearing breakouts; vitamin c decreases the rate of skin aging by firming the skin.
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5.) Oatmeal: Contains lots of vitamins and keeps blood sugar levels stable (because it takes long to break down this complex carb), stable blood sugar levels help to keep hormones constant, therefore lessening the likely hood of wrinkles, keeping your skin youthful (hence why people often try natural home remedies including oatmeal face masks).
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6.) Greek Yogurt: Prevents wrinkles → the large amount of protein helps skin to firm and calm irritation or dryness
7.) Sweet potatoes: Contains Vitamin C → reduces wrinkles through production of collagen.
8.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds

If you want to get rid of dryness or improve the skins luminosity and glow, eat this…

1.) Mangoes, papaya, & apricots: Filled with pigments called carotenoids → illuminates skin, puts color back into your face.
2.) Dark Chocolate. Cocoa
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3.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds
4.) Greek Yogurt
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5.) Sunflower seeds, sunflower oil
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6.) Safflower Oil: High in Omega-6 fatty acids; keeps cell walls hydrated → for extremely dry, flaky skin (especially those with eczema).
7.) Water with lemon: Water helps clear toxins that cause blemishes, hydrates skin and spreads nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells (dehydrated skin can lead to premature aging), the lemon contains large amounts of Vitamin-C → great skin cleanser to reduce dark spots, diminishing acne scars, keeps skin youthful looking, so many great benefits!
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Hopefully you all take advantage of these great benefits that the list of super-foods have to offer for wonderful, youthful looking skin by adding them to your next grocery list! Again, there are so many delicious recipes out there that incorporate these nutrient-rich foods, so try out some new ideas! Enjoy your YOUTHFULNESS!! ; )

Below are a list of some of the sources I used beyond my own prior knowledge:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/best-foods-for-good-skin/?page=10
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/05/16/9-best-foods-for-your-skin
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/perfect-skin-diet?page=9


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