Tag: food porn

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

I realize the title is quite obviously a run-on sentence but after creating this mouthwatering treat, I struggled trying to find any words to describe all of these BOMB flavors in one bite. So here you have it! I find it’s nutty chewy inside similar to a raw/vegan dessert bar, but it’s outside chocolatey moist layer to reflect the same taste you have when biting into a peanut butter chocolate cup. This dessert was one of those random experimental, “let’s throw everything in a food processor and see what happens” moments, and lo and behold – it turned out to be #1 boyfriend approved (which let’s be honest, anything that’s identified as a “vegan dessert” tends to be shut down immediately as he grabs for his box of girl scout thin mints). See below for details!

What you’ll need:

  • Tart tin (I used frieling tart pans) / but a bread tin or cupcake tin will work just fine as well!
  • Parchment Paper

For the bottom layer “raw cookie”:

  • 1/2 cup soaked & then drained cashews (soaked for ~ 1 hour)
  • 3 dates
  • 2 TBSP almond butter (I used justins vanilla almond butter)
  • 2 TBSP almond flour (via Bobs Red Mill)
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon & himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla
  • 1 tsp organic maple syrup

For the the chocolate layer / recipe inspired via: The Coconut Mama

  • 1/3 cup and 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP coconut butter
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla

Directions:

Throw all “bottom layer/raw cookie” ingredients together in a food processor until well-blended. Crust should look a bit crumbly and will feel sticky enough to mold together in tin. Line each tin with a square of parchment paper. Each tin can be filled with about 2 heaping TBSP of the raw cookie layer. See below picture for visual details. Put in freezer and let sit for about an hour.

Once your crust has hardened in the freezer for about an hour, you can begin to prepare the chocolate layer. In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil & coconut butter on low heat. Once melted, add in the remaining ingredients & mix well for about 30 seconds to a min. Remove from heat and spread evenly over each of the bottom cookie layers. Once your chocolate is evenly spread throughout, sprinkle some extra shredded coconut on top and place in freezer. These treats can be eaten after sitting in the freezer for about another hour or until there is a hard shell formed. Once that process is complete, you should easily be able to remove the entire dessert from the parchment paper and place into an air tight container. Store in freezer otherwise chocolate may melt. Oh and feel free to drizzle with EXTRA Peanut Butter because WHY NOT?!

Roasted Fall Veggie-Bowl w/ Pesto Tempeh Feauturing: OhSheGlows Green Goddess Dressing

Roasted Fall Veggie-Bowl w/ Pesto Tempeh Feauturing: OhSheGlows Green Goddess Dressing

Hi everyone! For today’s post, I thought it was only appropriate to share my tasty, veggie-filled, buddah-bowl inspired lunch from this week. I’m not one to brag about my lunches, because let’s be honest, they’re usually not THAT exciting. But this one HIT the spot and was actually a lunch I looked forward to chowing down on, even after eating it all 5 days (and that says something)! So if you’re looking for a meal prep option that you can prepare in under an hour and that will last you all week, you’ve found the right recipe! Plus it’s entirely vegan, loaded with yummy seasonal veggies and a whole lot of nutrients to keep you fueled each day!

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See below for the ingredients you’ll need…

Ingredients for the bowl (yields enough servings for 5 days):
• 1 (small) sack of purple potatoes
• 2 sweet potatoes
• About a pound of Brussel sprouts
• 3 cloves of minced garlic
• 2 heads of kale (I bought curly kale & dinosaur kale)
• Coconut oil
• 2 TBSP of lemon juice
• ½ yellow onion
• 2 packages of Lightlife Tempeh
• Hope Hummus (Kale Pesto)

And for an absolute favorite recipe of mine from the the amazing Oh She Glows…(seriously check her site out for some delicious vegan recipes & inspiration)! Check out the ingredients needed and simple directions for the vegan green goddess dressing on her site: Oh She Glow’s Green Goddess Dressing . If you don’t have the ingredients to prep this dressing, a great & tasty alternative can be a lemon tahini dressing – another favorite of mine 🙂

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For the bowl –

• Start by setting the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, dice the sweet potatoes & purple potatoes into bite size pieces. Cover a baking sheet lightly in coconut oil. Layer your potatoes evenly on the baking sheet. Add another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, a pinch of salt, black pepper, cayenne, and cinnamon. Using your hands, spread the oil & seasoning throughout the potatoes.

• Set aside and begin slicing your Brussel sprouts in half. Similar to the potatoes, you’ll want to get another baking sheet and layer it in coconut oil. Add your Brussel sprouts and layer another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, mixing in a pinch of salt, black pepper, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. Once those are lathered evenly throughout, place both baking sheets in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, mixing them around every 5-10 minutes. I personally like mine charred and slightly burnt, so I tend to keep them in for 20 minutes (just make sure to keep an eye on them as they’ll cook fast in the high heat)!

• While the Brussel sprouts & potatoes are cooking, take out a large, stick-free, sauté pan, add your garlic and onion with about 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil. Let that cook on low heat for about 3 minutes. While that’s heating up, strip out the hard stem of each kale leaf. Chop them slightly smaller, so they’re easier to eat. Once the pan is warm, begin adding your kale in small increments. The kale will wilt quickly, but if you add it all in at once, you may have trouble cooking it & coating it evenly in the oil. Add your seasonings of choice – I chose to add a pinch of salt, black pepper, dried dill weed, and a small amount of cayenne. Add lemon juice slowly as you’re cooking the kale to help it wilt more quickly so that you can add the remainder of your kale. Once the majority of your kale is shrunk in size, you should only cook for a few extra minutes in order to retain most of the nutrients and avoid overcooking!

• Once your sautéed garlic kale is complete, put that to the side. Use that same pan, add ½ TBSP of coconut oil, add your chopped tempeh and sautee until it reaches a nice golden crisp on the edges. At that point, lower your heat, add about 2 TBSP of the pesto hummus and mix in well before setting aside.

• The last step is to prep your Oh She Glows Green Goddess dressing. Make your way to the following link: Oh She Glow’s Green Goddess Dressing.

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As mentioned, you should have enough prepped for 5 large bowls for the week. Heat up in a microwave-safe dish for about 2:30-3 minutes. Feel free to top your bowl with additional toppings such as my favorite – Biena Foods Crispy, lightly salted, crunch chickpeas! Or sprinkle your bowl with hemp seeds & some nutritional yeast – get creative and enjoy!

Vegan Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Vegan Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Happy Sunday Everyone! (Wish I could say I was actually happy for Sunday…but let’s be honest, who ACTUALLY enjoys Sunday…knowing that Monday is soon to follow…) Anyhow, I was REALLY craving pancakes this morning. Actually, I’ve been craving pancakes since I decided to go Vegan. I omitted from testing out eggless pancakes for a while now because I was certain they wouldn’t be the same and I just didn’t want to be disappointed knowing that I would never be able to have the same old fluffy pancakes I used to know and love. Heartbreaking, right? Well fast forward to this morning where I finally decided I was fed up with myself and my fear of giving eggless, dairy free pancakes a try. I was clearly being dramatic and there was NO need to be selfish and leave my food craving feelings aside. I’m a big girl, I can handle this.

Well, let me tell you all, these Vegan pancakes were a success in my book! All of this time, I was certainly missing out and depriving myself of my all time favorite breakfast food, just because I was afraid of a little eggless pancake action. Psh, what a silly reasoning looking back on it now…

ALright, let’s cut to the chase, whether you’re Vegan or not, these pancakes will leave you feeling all giddy and warm inside on a chilly Sunday morning, while wrapped up in an oversized sweater, with your LL Bean slippers, and a cup of joe in hand. I’m holding true to my girl scouts honor with this one, I promise.
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Here’s what you’ll need:
– 1/4 Cup of Buckwheat flour (I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand of Buckwheat flour, but anything will do!)
– 3 TBSP of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used tbsp because I slowly added more for consistency, so start with 2-3 tbsp’s and slowly add more to fit the texture of your batter)
– 1.5 soft medium-sized bananas (I put these in a bowl, into the micro and heated them up for 45 seconds to soften them even more so)
– 1/2 tsp of baking powder
– 2 drops of vanilla stevia (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
– 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
– 1 tsp of chia seeds
– 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
– Coconut Oil Spray

Optional Toppings:
– Goji Berries
– 2 TBSP Frozen Blueberries (Warmed up in micro for 40 seconds to create a “syrup” like texture)
– You could also use greek yogurt, nuts, granola, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, pure maple syrup, sliced banana’s or apples, apple sauce, additional cinnamon, etc! >> Get creative!

Directions:

>> In a medium size bowl, heat up the bananas in the microwave (as mentioned above). Then add your buckwheat flour, baking powder, and stir that up well. Once the banana’s are well mashed and thoroughly mixed in with the flour, add the cinnamon, stevia, chia seeds and slowly add the almond milk until you reach the right consistency (this should be relatively thick, so not watery at all)!

>> On a non-stick pan, heat up on med/low and spray some coconut oil spray (or PAM, whatever you have will work). Then using a measuring cup, add about 2 tbsp worth of batter to each pancake. Flatter the batter out as it comes out a little thick. Then add your blueberries and let cook for a few minutes. You should easily be able to flip the pancakes without sticking once they’ve lightly browned on both sides. Your batter should serve about 6 pancakes, enough for 1 person!

>> Finally, serve pancakes with additional toppings and enjoy!

Pumpkin-Chia Ezekiel French Toast with Nilla-Apple Protein Fluff

Pumpkin-Chia Ezekiel French Toast with Nilla-Apple Protein Fluff

So it’s been a while since I’ve had some deliciously sweet and cooked to perfection French Toast. Actually, come to think of it, it’s been a while since I’ve had any French Toast for that matter. It’s one of those meals I would avoid due to guilt and ‘fear’ of it being high in calories, when in actuality, it can be extremely low in cals and create a perfect Fat, Carb, and Protein Ratio. So, when I actually had my FIRST weekend home in forever, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to experiment with some cooking in the kitchen. Not only was I looking to relax and cook at home, but there’s nothing I love more than homemade breakfasts which is something I don’t get to enjoy during the work week. Anyway, I’ll stop talking and get to the recipe!
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So the name of this creation is quite a handful, yet it still doesn’t do this justice…!

~Pumpkin-Chia Ezekiel French Toast Stuffed with Nilla-Apple Protein Fluff and topped with warm Blueberry “Syrup”, a drizzle of Honey, and a sprinkle of Cinnamon~

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Ingredients:
-2 Low-Sodium Ezekiel Slices
-Coconut Oil

For the Mix:
-2 Egg Whites
-1 TBSP of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-1 Drop of Vanilla Stevia
-1/2 tsp of maple extract
-1 tsp of chia seeds
-Cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice
-2 TBSP of Organic Pumpkin Puree

For the ‘Protein Fluff’:
-1/4 Cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
-1/2 Scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein
-1 TBSP of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
-Cinnamon
^Mix all of this together.

Additional Toppings:
-Frozen Blueberries (Warmed in Micro)
-Honey
-Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
-Strawberries

Directions: On a non-stick pan, switch to med/high heat and add 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil. Then dip your 2 pieces of bread into the mixture and add to the pan. Cook until golden on each side. Make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn! Layer 1 slice onto the plate, add 1/2 the protein fluff, then layer the other slice, add the rest of the protein fluff and top with berries, honey, and seasonings of your choice! Feel free to put it into the micro for an additional 15-25 seconds to make it a little softer/warmer if needed.
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Enjoy and hope it’s just as good as eating banana pancakes…on a Sunday Mornin’ (Cue Jack Johnson) 🙂

“Life is Uncertain. Eat Dessert First.”

Why yes I am 100% serious about the above quote, “life is uncertain, eat dessert first”. However, there’s a smalllll catch that I don’t think ANYONE would notice upon gobbling down these deliciously sweet meals. The catch, they’re ALL CLEAN and GOOD FOR YOU. Yes, it IS possible to eat dessert in a clean manner, using natural sugars and abolishing any unnatural added preservatives and ingredients! Pretty sure 4 out of the 5 recipes I’ve posted below, I’ve eaten for breakfast. This further proves my point that dessert can be eaten at ANY TIME OF THE DAY! Thaaaank god because I have a serious sweet tooth that I need to knock away at least every hour of the day. The second reason I usually dive into a sweet breakfast is that it typically kills my craving for sweets like chocolate, cookies, etc. for the rest of the day! This prevents any type of crazy bingeing through all of my cabinets and fridge for that one dessert that I’d hope would hit the spot. Soooo without further adieu, here are the recipes posted below!

Healthy Apple Crumble Breakfast:
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Ingredients:
~1 Apple (any kind will work, I used Green Delicious!)
~1/2 cup (dry) old fashioned oats
~1/2 scoop of chocolate whey protein
~1-2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
~2 tsp. of pure brown sugar
~1/2 – 1 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~1 tsp. of chia seeds
~1 spoonful of Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt

— Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then Take your apple whole and heat it up in the microwave for about 50 seconds. This will soften it as to make carving and scooping out the insides easier for you. Once warmed, carve out the core with knife. Then scoop out as much as possible without breaking the skin around it. Chop up the remains of the apple and put them in a separate, microwaveable bowl. Next add the dry oats, the cinnamon, brown sugar, almond milk, chia seeds, and protein powder to the bowl. Stir around and then place in the micro for 2 mins. When that’s done, scoop out as much of the oatmeal as you can and place into the empty apple on a oven-safe tray and place in the oven. Top the apple with just a sprinkle of brown sugar to get a nice glaze, then Let bake for about 10 mins or until you see the top really bubbling/or the apple “wrinkling”. Add your leftover oatmeal and top with the yogurt in replace of vanilla ice cream (the topping that is typically added to apple crumble) and some more cinnamon. Enjoy!!

Ban-illa Mug Cake:
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Ingredients:
~1 egg white
~1 mashed banana
~1/2 tsp. of baking powder
~1 tsp. of whole wheat pastry flour
~1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
~1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
~1 large spoonful of vanilla chobani greek yogurt
~1 tsp. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1 tsp. of old fashioned rolled oats

— Mix together ALL above ingredients in a mug of any size and place in microwave for 2 mins. Make sure to keep an eye on this as it does rise fairly high. You may need to pause it for a few secs and then continue to heat it up. When finished, flip your mug upside down and the cake should fall right out onto your place. Top with some additional vanilla chobani yogurt and some almond butter spread to act as the “frosting and ice cream”. You can also add some strawberries, cashews, and cinnamon as well. 🙂

Frozen Berry Bowl:
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Ingredients:
~1 cup of mixed frozen berries (black rasberries, blueberries, strawberries, and rasberries)
~1/2 banana
~1/4 cup of plain chobani greek yogurt
~1-2 tbsp. of coconut water (add more if your blender can’t mix the solids well enough)
~3 ice cubes
~1 tsp. of chia seeds

Additional Toppings:
~KIND organic cinnamon cluster granola
~Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Cereal (5-7 pieces crushed up)
~Raw Cashews and Almonds
~Strawberries

–Blend all ingredients together until smooth, thick, and creamy. If a little watered down, place in freezer for 10 mins. Then serve chilled and add the above additional toppings. Enjoy!!

Chobani Powerbowl:
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Ingredients:
~1 – 1 1/2 cups of plain chobani greek yogurt
~1/2 sliced banana
~2-3 sliced strawberries
~Raw Cashews, Almonds, Dried Cranberries
~Cinnamon
~KIND organic Cinnamon Cluster Granola (any brand really works!)

–Any additional toppings would work as well! I would also recommend adding honey or agave nectar, blueberries, flax or chia seeds, etc.

Om nom nom Oatmeal:
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Ingredients:
~1/2 cup old fashioned dry oats
~1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1/2 scoop of chocolate whey protein
~1 tsp. of chia seeds
~1 sliced banana
~2 tbsp. of mini wild blueberries
~Top it with Raw almonds and Dried Cranberries
~Top if off with some almond butter of course!

–Mix all ingredients together (Except the almond butter, almonds, and cranberries) in a microwave safe bowl, place in micro for 2 – 2:30 mins. Just watch for it to not bubble over! Top with the leftover banana remains, blueberries, almonds, cranberries, and cinnamon!

Hope you all give these healthy takes on dessert a go! Enjoy and per usual, if you want a sneak preview of all of these recipes, be sure to follow my on my instagram account @eatrunandallinbetween 🙂 Enjoy the beautiful day!

Time to Experiment with Endless Recipe Options using the VitaMix!

Normal people for graduation presents tend to ask for money, a new car, expensive accessories, a name brand purse, etc. Yes, I do love those things (I did receive a beautiful pair of earrings from my dad and stepmom!), however my mom and her boyfriend got me the Vitamix. Two completely different graduation gifts, both equally awesome! Anyway, upon peeling the vitamix out of the large box, I was blown away by the size of this incredible machine. Don’t think I’ll have any cabinet small enough in my apartment to store it! But then again, who would want to store something of this caliber when I’ll most likely be utilizing this machine in some way every day!? Anyhow, though I’ve only had it for a few days, I’ve already begun to experiment with the endless recipe options this powerful blender has the potential to whip up! Not only did this large box come with the vitamix (duh), but it also came with a huge, thick recipe book! A two for one deal, how perfect! This recipe book contains endless options panning from smoothies, to sauces, to dips, to juices, to soups, and so on!

As I’ve begun experimenting with this professional blender of mine, I’ve tried out a few of the basic recipe options. But, I’m certainly looking forward to playing around with more creations in the kitchen once I catch up on my sleep (senior week got me GOOOOD) and gain that extra bit of motivation! Hopefully if the sun EVER comes out, I’ll find some inspiration 😉

First day back experiment with….

Carrot, Apple, Ginger Smoothie:
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Ingredients:

~1 Red Apple
~1/2 tsp of Ginger
~8-10 baby peeled carrots
~2-3 ice cubes
~1/4 cup of water
~A dash of Cinnamon

(If using the vitamix) start on level 1 and slowly progress until 10. Otherwise, blend until smooth and frothy! Also, as a warning, I originally put FAR too much ginger in my smoothie, so start with a small amount first and add more along the way if you can handle it!

Super Green Detox Smoothie:
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Ingredients:

~1/2 a green pear
~1/4 peeled cucumber
~Small Handful of Frozen Spinach
~2 Ice Cubes
~1 whole Banana
~Freshly squeezed lime
~1/4 cup of Coconut Water
~1/4 Avocado

Same as above smoothie, blend until smooth and frothy! Assure everything is finely chopped, ENJOY!

Homemade Spicy Lemon Edamame Hummus:
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Ingredients:
~1 can of drained garbanzo chickpeas
~1 can of garbanzo chickpeas with liquid
~1/4 bag of frozen edamame beans (follow directions on bag to cook before adding to hummus)
~2 tbsp of lemon juice
~2 garlic cloves minced
~1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
~Dash of Salt and Pepper
~3 tbsp of crumbled feta cheese
~1/2 tsp of ground cumin
~1 tsp of chili powder (add more for extra spiciness) — add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper for EVEN more flavor

Place all ingredients (in order) into blender and blend until finely chopped. Mine was not entirely smooth as I had trouble blending it to reach in store perfection, but still tasted DELICIOUS! Used it for a party and we ate the entire thing using carrots, pita bread, and cucumbers 🙂

Homemade Guacamole:
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Ingredients:
~Ripe Avocados
~1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
~1 tbsp. lemon juice
~2 garlic gloves finely minced

— Blend all above ingredients together until thick and smooth. It’s okay if it’s a little chunky! Next add the below ingredients and mix well.

~1/2 large tomato chopped in small bits
~1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
~1 tsp of ground cumin
~1 tsp of salt and pepper
~1 tsp of chili powder
~1-3 leaves of chopped fresh basil

Finally, place the pit of one avocado into the guac (this well help to preserve it longer) and refrigerate. Serve with organic tortilla chips, pita chips, or pita bread! Enjoy 🙂

Of course, all of these recipes can be mimicked with a standard blender as well, you just may have more trouble blending the thicker ingredients! Anyhow, PLEASE share any vitamix recipes you have all come up with as I love experimenting with new ideas! Enjoy and keep an eye out for more recipes to come 🙂

As always, follow me on instagram at @Eatrunandallinbetween

Foodie Friday…back at it!

Hey Everyone! Giving you a guys a little preview of a few more of my recent meals! I can’t promise I’ll have one up next week as the next few days are going to be pretty hectic! I have my LAST Spring Track Meet EVER this weekend as it’s our championships! So Crazy, I can’t believe I’ve run four years here at College! Anyway, after that I have some free time and then am off for senior beach week on Thursday with friends! I can’t imagine I’ll be cooking up anything food porn worthy while I’m there given the circumstances…but I’ll be sure to keep you all as updated as possible through my instragram account @eatrunandallinbetween 🙂 Anyway, here’s what I got for you today…

Sweet Potato White Bean Vegetarian Burgers:
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Ingredients:
~1 sweet potato (cooked so that it is soft)
~1/2 can of white kidney beans
~1 tbsp of whole wheat flour
~seasonings (black pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper)
~whole wheat bread crumbs

Extras:
~Hummus
~Avocados
~Onions
~Fresh Tomato Salsa
~spinach

— Mash the sweet potato and white beans together. Form into patties, role the patties into a plate of whole wheat bread crumbs and then heat pan with coconut oil. Cook until crisp. Layer with additional toppings and enjoy!

Lean Green Dinner Machine:
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Ingredients:
~1 (broiled in the oven) Dr. Praeger’s classic California veggie burger (vegan, vegetarian, and all natural)
~hummus
~feta cheese
~spinach
~avocado
~Zucchini Crisps (1 whole zucchini sliced, sprayed with olive oil and bake on 250, add skim moz. cheese once it’s beginning to crisp and broil for about 3 mins)
~Brussel Sprouts (steamed and topped with spices: black pepper, salt, chili powder)

Avocado Mango Tuna Salad:
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Ingredients:
~Spinach
~1/2 can of tuna (tuna in water)
~1 whole mango sliced
~1/2 avocado sliced
~fresh tomato salsa
~feta cheese
~almonds

–Layer spinach with all ingredients and enjoy the sweet and salty flavors all in one bowl! Enjoy!

Baked Banana Chips, Dates, and Almond Chobani Dessert:
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Ingredients:
~1 whole banana sliced (dip in lemon juice, layer with cinnamon and place on a coconut oil covered baking sheet, bake in oven on 215 degrees for about 2.5 hrs, flip half way through)
~4 chopped dates (pitted)
~2 tbsp cup of sliced almonds
~1 large spoonful of plain chobani yogurt
~1 tsp. of honey
~1 tbsp of ezekiel almond granola

Baked Cinnamon Apples and Chocolate Chobani Dip:
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Now I know I’ve shared this dessert before…however, I came up with yet another way to enjoy this!
Ingredients:
~1 Whole Apple sliced (bake in oven on 350 for 8 minutes covered in cinnamon)
~1/4 cup of vanilla chobani
~1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder
~1 tbsp of almond butter

–Mix the three ingredients above together until well blended. Add sliced almonds and Go Lean Crunch on the side for extra dipping!

And Lastly….
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: )

Happy Hump Day! A Few Recipes to Get you Through the Week!

Hey Everyone!! Since I missed last Foodie Friday, I figured I’d share with you some recipes to help you make it through the rest of the week as it is ONLY wednesday ;( Anyways, look out for more recipes coming to ya on Friday and be sure to keep updated on my instagram account @Eatrunandallinbetween 🙂 I’m ALMOST at 400 followers and it would be AWESOME if I could get there by then end of April! Thank you for all your support, you all keep me so motivated!

I’ll start with some BREAKFAST recipes…

EVEN more IMPROVED Choco-Nana-Oats Protein Pancakes:

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Ingredients:
~2 egg whites
~1/2 cup of Plain Chobani
~1 Mashed Banana (Mine weren’t very soft, so I warmed it up in the micro and then mashed it!)
~1/2 scoop of chocolate whey protein
~dash of cinnamon
~1 tsp. of vanilla extract
~2 tbsp. of rolled oats
~1 tbsp. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1 tbsp of chia seeds

For the Toppings:
~2-3 tbsp. of frozen blueberries (warmed up in the microwave)
~cinnamon
~sliced almonds
~2 tbsp of vanilla chobani

~Using coconut oil, pour onto pan and cook like normal pancakes! Enjoy!!

Coco-nana Green Smoothie:

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Ingredients:
~3 ice cubes
~1 banana
~handful of spinach
~1 tbsp of chia seeds
~5 crushed almonds
~Coconut Water (I didn’t measure, BUT I basically filled my magic bullet up ALMOST to the top)
~Filled the rest of the bullet (just about 1/4) with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~1 large spoonful of plain chobani
~I forgot to add protein!! BUT, definitely add it if you have some!

And LUNCH for the week…

Homemade Tzatziki With Chicken:

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Ingredients:
~1/2 – 1 Cup of Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt (depending on how much chicken you are using)
~1/2 sliced Cucumber
~8 Cherry Tomatoes sliced
~About 1/4 of a small yellow onion sliced
~1 minced garlic
~1 whole lemon freshly squeezed
~1/2 tsp ground cumin
~Dash of Pepper, Salt, Chili Powder, and crushed red pepper
~1 tbsp. of honey
~1/2 tbsp. of olive oil
~Whole package of 365 thinly sliced chicken breasts (baked)

Additional Ingredients:
~Whole Wheat Wrap (I use a low-carb wraps from Trader Joes, only 45 cals per wrap!)
~Spinach
~Feta Cheese

~Mix everything in a bowl and refrigerate! Serve with a whole wheat wrap, spinach, and feta cheese for Lunch!

For DINNER….

Healthy “Fried” Rice:

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Ingredients:
~1/4 cup of dry brown rice (cooked)
~1/5 can of white beans
~1/4 cup of corn
~2 large chopped carrots
~5-6 brussel sprouts
~1 egg (scrambled)
~1 egg white (scrambled)
~1 tbsp. of olive oil
~Spices (cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, black pepper, chili powder, salt & pepper)

Sauce:
~1 tbsp. of reduced sodium soy sauce
~About a little more than a tsp. of dijon mustard
~freshly squeezed lemon
~a dash of stir fry sauce

~In a large pan, start cooking all the veggies using the olive oil, once the veggies are softened, add the eggs and the rice. Let cook for another 2-4 mins on low heat. Then pour into a large bowl, add your sauce and enjoy!

Stuffed Red Pepper:

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Ingredients:
~1 red pepper
~1/4 cup (dry) of Quinoa
~1 chicken breast (baked in oven using olive oil)
~1 cup of spinach (dry)
~1/4 cup of corn
~5-6 brussel sprouts
~1/2 can of organic diced tomatoes
~Spices (cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, black pepper, chili powder, salt & pepper)
~2 tbsp. of olive oil

~In a large sauté pan, cook the veggies in the olive oil. While you’re waiting for the veggies to cook, place the hallowed out red pepper in the oven on about 300 degrees to begin softening it. Once all veggies are soft and well-cooked, add them to the pot of quinoa (once that is cooked) and thoroughly mix. Then add your 1/2 can of diced tomatoes and mix. Finally, add the chicken to the mix and scoop out as much as you can to fill the hallowed out red pepper. Place back in the oven on 375 degrees and let cook for another 5-10 mins until top of red pepper is slightly browned. Feel free to add feta cheese or skim moz. cheese on top for extra flavor!

Healthy Caribbean Inspired Fish Tacos:

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Ingredients for Mango Slaw/Dressing:
~2 tbsp. of plain chobani greek yogurt
~1/2 cup of shredded red cabbage
~1 minced garlic
~1 whole freshly squeeze lime
~1/4 diced of a small yellow onion
~1 mango chopped
~1 tbsp. of fresh cilantro
~1/2 tbsp. of honey
~a tsp. of olive oil
~1/2 tsp. of ground cumin
~1/4 cup of corn
~additional Spices (pepper, salt, chili powder, and a dash of red crushed pepper)

~Be sure to refrigerate sauce when finished!

Additional Ingredients:
~1 tilapia fillet (baked in oven with olive oil & pepper) then cooled and added to taco
~1/4 cup (dry) of Quinoa cooked and then cooled before adding to taco
~1/2 sliced avocado to top taco
~2 tbsp. of unsweetened coconut flakes to top taco
~2 whole wheat trader joe’s low-carb wraps
~fresh tomato salsa from Trader Joe’s to top taco

Thick and Creamy Ground Turkey Meat Sauce over Zucchini:

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Ingredients:
~Using the SAME ingredients from my meat sauce in my Foodie Friday post, BUT…
~For extra thickness I added:
~1 Large Spoonful of Plain Chobani
~1 SMALL can of natural, organic tomato paste
~1 tbsp. of white cooking wine
~I also used 1 whole Zucchini STEAMED
~Topped it off with fresh cilantro and Skim Mozz. Cheese

And lastly, DESSERT…!

Ban-nilla Mug Cake:
You CAN have your cake AND eat it to!
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Ingredients:
~1 Mashed Banana (Mine weren’t very soft, so I warmed it up in the micro and then mashed it!)
~1 egg white
~1/2 tsp. of baking powder
~1 tsp. of whole wheat pastry flour
~Cinnamon
~2 tsp of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Additional Toppings:
~Almond Butter
~Almonds
~Honey
~Vanilla Chobani

~Mix the ingredients together well into a mug and place in the microwave for 2 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it as the mug cake will rise and may spill over if in too long! Once finished, use your additional toppings as you please for a tasty, but CLEAN frosting!

Vanilla Greek Yogurt Parfait:

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Ingredients:
~3/4 cup or 6 oz. of Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt
~1 tbsp. of almond butter
~Small Handful of Bare Naked Protein Granola
~1 tbsp. of sliced almonds
~1/2 sliced banana
~cinnamon

~Mix together the yogurt and almond butter, THEN top with everything else! Hope this helps with that sweet tooth craving late at night!

And LASTLY, as per special request from one of my BIGGEST fans on facebook…HAPPY BIRTHDAY REILLY!!! Keep up those meannnn bowling skills and you’ll be ready for some super LEAN body building competitions in NO TIME!

One Last Recipe Before Paradise

So the other night I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner and while viciously searching through my fridge and cabinet, I stumbled upon a can of artichoke hearts that I bought back in the fall. I ended up throwing together the artichokes with a few other ingredients and made a deliciously tasting Spinach Artichoke Dip/Sauce for my boyfriend and I!

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The Ingredients included:
~1 can of artichoke hearts
~1/2 cup of chickpeas
~2 cups of Sautéed Spinach (in a pan sauté spinach with extra virgin olive oil and garlic)
~2 1/2 {large} spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt
~Pepper, Salt, Chili Powder, Red Crushed Pepper {to your liking}
~I added SOME water but didn’t measure it out, just enough so that the bullet was able to blend
~2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
~AND lastly about 2 tablespoons of avocado (I add a little leftover, so I decided to throw it in the dip)

*Blend this all together until thick and creamy. I chopped up some fresh yellow and red peppers to dip in it cold. We also used some regular pretzel crisps which tasted delicious as well!

*I also used about half of the dip and heated it over the stove top. I then covered chicken and pasta in the warm sauce and that tasted delightfully awesome as well!

All in all, the dip/sauce was great and can literally be used in so many ways. Unfortunately, I was hungrier than I thought and finished the entire dip, however if you’re a normal person that doesn’t have a ravenous appetite like myself, this recipe left quite a lot leftover! On a side note…I’m off to Virgin Gorda {located in the British Virgin Islands} tomorrow so I wont be especially connected to the internet for about a week! But keep an eye out for next week’s post on all the awesome food I’m about to indulge in while I’m there!

Also…exciting news! I finally have mastered the pinterest side of blogging. Okay, maybe not that exciting for you…but I was especially happy when I finally figured out how to add a ‘pin it’ button. Lame I know BUT now you all can pin recipes to your own board OR follow the link on the left side of the page which will direct you to my OWN pinterest board. I’ve had it going for a while. It includes healthy eats from my own blog and MANY recipes I’ve stumbled upon over time. My board also includes style, summer, home, and other miscellaneous boards! Feel free to check it out and follow me!

One last note…

If you haven’t already, follow me on instagram at @Eatrunandallinbetween –> Whenever I have WiFi on the island, I’ll be able to upload some yummy pictures while I’m there! Enjoy everyone and have a fabulous weekend! 🙂

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

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!
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~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!
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~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

The Countdown to your Best Spring Break Bod yet (this goes for you guys too..)!

Hello Everyone! This post that I’m currently writing is aimed towards the majority of college students, high schoolers, or adults living in that dull, post-grad world, looking to take a break from the day-to-day routines of a stiff work life. This post is for those who are counting down the days until SPRING BREAK. Personally, I can tell you that I now have 22 days exactly until I get to escape from this frigid and depressing winter weather. My body is lacking a severe amount of vitamin-D (ok…fine, I just miss the sun), I’m tired of layering up in multiple sweaters a day, I can’t stand coming back from a run looking like I was burnt on the face (where in reality it’s just brutal wind burn). In case you couldn’t get the picture, I HATE the winter and I’m ready for the beach, sun, and some serious relaxation.
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On this note, anyone notice the increase in number of students at the gym on a daily basis or the lack of ellipticals and/or treadmills that are available when you arrive at your usual hour? Welcome to spring break preparation! Everyone is quickly working to get in shape and eat right in just a short month, in order to avoid the self-conscious feelings that we all feel as we tan, drink, and dance around in our bikinis (or trunks!) in front of half the student body. Basically, my point is that you’re not alone, I can guarantee ALMOST everyone is feeling the same pressures that the media promotes in achieving a perfect spring break bod. Honestly, I would love to be the kind of person to say who cares what other people think, but I’d be lying if I said that. However, I do feel that your goal should be to feel comfortable in your own skin NO matter what shape or size you are. A great way to begin accepting your body is to start eating right and “clean” leading up to your final departure for your spring break destination. The second step is to create a workout plan that works for you. Once you’ve established these two steps, KEEP IT UP and MAINTAIN it while you’re on spring break and THEN once you are back, stick to that plan! Summer’s right around the corner…!

I know this all sounds well and great right now, but it’s not the easiest thing to just suddenly alter your diet significantly. Creating a balanced meal plan does not mean cutting your calorie in take in half for just the month leading up to spring break. I can promise you that if you limit yourself to calories, post spring break will bite you in the ass, as you will likely devour every sweet or salty, high calorie item that you limited yourself to, leading up to spring break. My suggestion for you is to stick to a clean diet, but eat as often and as much as you normally would. This way, your giving your body the calories it needs and the important nutrients it deserves, yet you’re not starving yourself or shocking your body in a drastic way. This meal plan is important if you want to maintain this healthy lifestyle in the long run. So you may be wondering what “clean” foods are. Basically, it’s just anything that isn’t highly processed! This means consuming foods that are naturally grown or fed (land and sea animals for those who are not vegetarians) and foods made with fresh, nutrient-filled products, NO added chemicals or preservatives! I’ve reblogged a fantastic list I found of “approved” clean foods to munch on. Check it out and be creative with it. Also, check out my recipes under the ‘Food and Nutrition’ category on my blog for ideas.

List of ALL CLEAN FOODS! Check this out!

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Once you have accomplished and began to understand the key to this truly simple and life changing meal plan, your next step is to find an exercise plan that works for YOU. For me, it means running 5-10 miles a day with my team, while incorporating 2 days of lifting and HIIT training in the AM. However, this high cardio to strength training may not be for you. And that’s why it’s important to discover an exercise routine that you can A) enjoy, B) maintain (even while enjoying the sun and sand on your spring break trip), and lastly C) achieve results from. The below image is a perfect example on how your diet is THE most essential part of your day, while your exercise routine makes up (approximately) the other 30% as shown in the image.
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Like everyone else, I too understand the struggles of keeping up a daily exercise routine while balancing everything from school work to a social life to community service to work. But, there are solutions to this that allow you to even get in a 30-minute workout with the same benefit! So if you’re time’s limited, I would suggest looking into HITT (high interval intensity training) to burn calories, in the shortest amount of time. However, with this it’s important to note that this workout HURTS and I can guarantee you will not enjoy it the first time. It takes hard work and dedication, but I can assure you it will get easier over time. Running is another great option for those who have limited time in their day, as you can set your running time according to your time constraints. For those of you have more time in the day, check out your gyms fitness class schedule! It’s a great option for those who have an hour in their day, but are unsure of an exercise routine that works for them. Another option that really focuses on cutting and toning your body is an hour long strength training routine. There’s plenty of training plans throughout the internet, but if you are new with this, make sure to find a partner who is familiar with the weight room and guide you for the first few times. Lastly, if you can’t find time during the day, wake up an hour early and get moving…it will pay off!

BRING ON SPRING BREAK!
BRING ON SPRING BREAK!

Hopefully this helps you all and motivates you in time for your best spring break and beach body yet!


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