Tag: vegetarian

3 Simple Swaps to a Healthier Pantry

3 Simple Swaps to a Healthier Pantry

Wow, can’t believe we’re already into October! I swear this summer flew by faster than most. Though it technically is the Fall, it still feels like Summer here in Boston…and I definitely don’t hate it! That being said, I can certainly feel my body craving the warmer, seasonal foods. It’s so important to listen to your body and give it what it needs with the change of season. Our bodies are smart and are VERY much aligned to nature and the universe. Sadly, that means I won’t be drinking my smoothies everyday (though I certainly will treat myself every now and then). Rather, I’ll be substituting it with warmer foods like oatmeal, warm chia pudding, eggs, toast, squashes, etc.! This philosophy comes from the Ayurveda practice which I’ve talked about in the past.

“Ayurvedic philosophy holds that eating warming foods in the fall and winter is vital in order to keep the body healthy and balanced. It suggests that the metabolism works harder to keep us warm in the winter, and therefore the “digestive fire” must be adequately fueled with heavier foods. Ayurveda says that cold, damp foods like salads and smoothies, which might seem delicious and perfect in the summertime, can sap the body of energy and even leave it vulnerable to illness during the fall and winter.”

This article shares with you some warm fall & winter foods to incorporate into your diet! Anyway, shifting gears slightly towards the topic of today’s blog post! This was actually inspired by my mom who has made some major shifts in her diet and adapting some of my health tips. This is not to say she was eating poorly by any means. She’s super lean, healthy, and eats a very balanced diet! However, she’s made simple swaps like using coconut oil to cook instead of olive oil because of it’s higher cook point. Below are some simple swaps you can make in your pantry and fridge. Though these swaps may seem minor, they go such a long way in your diet!


1.) Oil and Butter.

First, let’s talk about why VEGETABLE Oils are a big, fat NO…

This includes all processed oils like soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil and a few others out there. These oils “contain very large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful in excess.” The way in which these oils are processed “involve pressing, heating, various industrial chemicals and highly toxic solvents.” This article from Healthline goes into even more depth on this topic.

So, what oils/butters SHOULD you cook with? See below:

  • Grass-fed Butter or Ghee (butter with all traces of dairy proteins and sugars cooked out)
  • Coconut Oil (virgin or expeller pressed)
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive oil (Extra virgin olive oil should stay unheated, but normal olive oil that isn’t extra virgin is a good cooking oil as long as you aren’t cooking at high heat. Extra virgin olive oil is still great for you; just add it after you plate your food.) – BulletProof Article (more details on smoke points and oils)

2.) Sweeteners.

Let’s chat about the difference between Refined Sugars and UnRefined Sugars. “Refined sugar is sugar that has gone through a refining process, or chemical process to remove the molasses that’s naturally found in it.” – Ambitious Kitchen

Here are some staples I always have on hand:

  • Dates
  • Organic Maple Syrup
  • Organic Honey
  • Organic Coconut Sugar
  • Organic Coconut Nectar
  • Organic Vanilla Bean

3.) White Flour.

Let’s start REAL basic here. Ditch anything with white flour. White flour has been stripped of literally all the important vitamins and nutrients (i.e. the parts of the wheat kernel that slow its digestion), making it extremely easy for the body to turn white flour into blood sugar.

So, that being said here are some of my favorite options I usually have on hand:

  • ANY lentil or bean based pasta. My favorites include Eat Banza Chickpea Pasta (literally can’t tasted a difference between this and the real thing). Tolerant Foods is another one of my favorites.
  • Lentils
  • Wheat Berries
  • Quinoa
  • Black Rice
  • Farro
  • Amaranth
  • Oats
  • Bulgur

Some of my favorite Flours Include:

  • almond flour
  • oat flower
  • cassava flour
  • coconut flour
  • buckwheat flour
  • Chickpea Flour
  • Rice Flour

One thing I will say is that I certainly treat myself to a really nice Italian meal every now and then where I can trust I’m getting REAL, HOMEMADE pasta, with no preservatives or chemicals. It’s about balance. Just when you’re at home and cooking, try to have the above alternatives on hand!

Start with those three tips above and keep an eye out NEXT week for 3 more healthy swaps! 🙂

A Foodie’s Guide to Denver, Colorado

A Foodie’s Guide to Denver, Colorado

Hi Friends!

Some of you may know I just recently traveled to Denver, Colorado. In preparation for the trip, I reached out and asked for an endless amount of recommendations and you guys did not disappoint (THANK YOU)!! I figured I’d summarize the list below, share with you some of our adventures, which lets be honest, mostly revolved around food and drink since Justin was on crutches the entire time!

Let’s start with my favorite…

EATTTTS:

Just BE Kitchen: LOVED this place so much, we came back for seconds. 100% PALEO friendly, CLEAN ingredients, EVERYTHING is Gluten, Grain-Free, and Refined-Sugar Free, FRIENDLY staff, CUTE sit-down atmosphere, AMAZING COFFEE.

The “Wonder” Bowl
Highlights: There are plenty of meat options for those who like their meat! That being said, vegetarians would do just fine here as well with plenty of veggie & egg options!

  • I however, went with the “Wonder” Seasonal Veggie Bowl (SEASONAL VEGGIE, ALMOND GREMOLATA, POACHED EGG). Extremely filling bowl (I had leftovers both days).
  • Justin got the “Fulfilled” Burrito on the first day and literally said it was the BEST burrito he’s ever had (which is saying something since he loves his Chipotle burrito’s). Ingredients include: SCRAMBLED EGGS, SAUSAGE,‘CHEDDAR WIZ’ (vegan cheese), PALEO TORTILLA, CRISPY SWEET POTATO HASH, PORK OR VEGGIE GREEN CHILI, CILANTRO, SCALLION, JALAPENO
  • Justin also tried the “Simplicity” Egg Sandwich (2 EGGS, CRISPY SWEET POTATO HASH, BACON OR SAUSAGE PATTY, TORTILLA OR GRIDDLED HOUSE BUN) Also LOVED this
  • “Lifted” Chia Seed Yogurt + their homemade grain-free granola & fresh blueberries – smaller portion, so Justin and I split it to balance out our savory dishes. Their granola is ON POINT.

COFFEE Highlights (yes, we tried 4 different flavors and yes, they were all amazing):

Lavender Honey Latte
  • Maple Cinnamon Butter Bullet-Proof Coffee (grass-fed butter, maple syrup, MCT oil, cinnamon): absolutely amazing. Literally tastes like a really “naughty” cinnamon bun yet all ingredients are 100% clean. HIGHLY Recommend.
  • Mocha Bullet-Proof Coffee (grass-fed butter, MCT oil, cocoa, coconut milk, honey): if you’re a chocolate lover, this one is for YOU. We both liked the maple cinnamon butter slightly more, but this still ranked an 8/10!
  • Vanilla Sea Salt Latte (coconut milk, vanilla, salt, 2 espresso shots): LOVED this one (so much, that I’ve been replicating it at home). Right up my alley. Simple, clean ingredients. So airy and light, plus the perfect balance of sweet & salty.
  • Lavender Clover Honey Latte (lavender, clover honey, almond milk, 2 espresso shots): Shocker…another WINNER. Again, no complaints here. Simply delish! Perfect amount of lavender (not overwhelming at all). So comforting on a chilly morning.

Address:
Located in LoHi
2364 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Open 7 days/week 7am-3pm // easy street parking (outskirts of city center)
Website
Instagram Handle


Vital Roots: great recommendation for healthy eats in the Denver area. We enjoyed their breakfast menu very much! Again, super friendly & helpful service, super clean menu options, cool atmosphere/decor inside, and great fast-casual healthy option! Menu items are “98% grain-free, 99% vegan, and 100% gluten-free”.

Avocado Toast + Overnight Oatmeal
Highlights: We only ate here for breakfast, though the menu for lunch and dinner looks fab as well! Only complain would be that we wish the portion sizes were slightly bigger 🙂

  • “Everything Bagel” Avocado Toast (Sunflower Seed Bread, Crispy Chickpeas, Smoked Almonds & Date Molasses add Sunny Side Up Egg) // SO tasty and the flavor combos were on POINT. Your taste buds will dance for joy between all the unique flavors that explode in one bite.
  • The Overnight Oats (Coconut Almond Milk, Cashews, Vanilla, Maple, Five-Seed Mix & Fruit) // always a great go-to option and these oats certainly did not disappoint. SO creamy and the seed mix added the perfect sweet & salty crunch.
  • PLENTY of coffee options available, including BULLET-PROOF!

Address:
3915 TENNYSON ST. DENVER, CO 80212
OPEN TUES-THURS 10AM & FRI-SUN 9AM CLOSED MONDAY
Website
Instagram Handle


Happy Leaf Kombucha: another recommendation I received and am SO so happy we made it here at the very end of our trip! It is a little off the beaten path, but if you have a rental car, it is absolutely worth the drive. Such a unique experience going to (my VERY first) Kombucha TAP ROOM. This was a nice change of scenery after all of the breweries haha. Super spacious, open, airy tap room. Long wooden tables inside, large walls that open to the outdoor area which is perfect on a mild, fall day. Also includes outdoor grass area with lawn games. Lastly, I noticed a sign for yoga happy hour & kombucha. Would be cool to plan around this NEXT time!

Veggie “Sandwich” Over Greens + Orange Basil Kombucha
Now for the highlights:

  • KOMBUCHA was DELISH. I got the Orange Basil (really unique flavor, the fresh basil balanced out the citrus orange). Justin got the Cranberry Lavender (again, super delicious, a sweeter option (they do add cane sugar after the fermentation), the lavender is not overwhelming, perfect balance to the cran). Overall, the BOOCH was a 9/10. Highly recommend.
  • For food, I got the Veggie “Sandwich” (house made apple-carrot kraut, sunflower sprouts, kale pesto, dijonaise / NO bread, served on a bed of greens instead + side of sautéed greens w/ lemon & chili. This was the perfect salad to go along with the booch. And TBH, I REALLY needed a hearty, gut-friendly salad by the end of this trip. LOL.
  • Justin got the “Albondigas de Bison Torta” (mexican spiced local bison meatballs, fiery chili sauce, spicy pickled carrots, melted provolone, fresh cilantro) // he devoured this. AKA NO COMPLAINTS for him. PS it’s always a WIN in my book when I choose a healthy restaurant and he loves it. Anyone else struggle with convincing others to come try a new healthy restaurant with you?!

Address:
5700 W 25th Avenue, Edgewater, CO 80214
Monday–Friday • 11:30 am–8:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday • 11:30 am–8:00 pm
Website
Instagram Handle


True Food Kitchen: Ahhh another favorite of mine and so happy to have made it here in Denver before our flight took off on Sunday night. I first tried True Food while I was living in Palo Alto, CA. This place is the ULTIMATE healthy SIT-DOWN restaurant with a cozy, fresh atmosphere, open kitchen (love when restaurants do this = TRANSPARENCY), clean cocktails, and plenty of options for literally ANYONE.

Highlights: Justin and I split the apps and our dinners. LOVE doing this so that we can try more of the menu itemss!

  • Charred cauliflower (harissa tahini, medjool date, dill, mint, pistachio)
  • Kale Guacamole (pink grapefruit, cilantro, roasted poblano, sunflower seeds & pita chips) // both of which were AMAZING! We especially loved the flavors in the guac. I’d recommend splitting a few apps since the entrees aren’t overly filling.
  • Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl (broccoli, heirloom carrot, bok choy, mushroom, brown rice, avocado, toasted sesame) + Tofu // this was super yummy but wasn’t my favorite dish of the night. 7/10
  • Poke Bowl (wild caught albacore, avocado, quinoa rice, mushroom, snow pea, cucumber, cashew, turmeric ponzu) // we both LOVED this. Again, very light, cool, and refreshing.

Address:
2800 E. 2nd Ave, Suite 101, Denver, Colorado 80206
Mon – Fri: 11am – 10pm // Sat: 10am – 10pm // Sun: 10am – 9pm
Website
Instagram Handle

Lake between Idaho Springs + Breckenridge

Other EATS/Foodie Recommendations:

  • Amethyst Coffee // LOVED their matcha latte (homemade cashew milk). They also had turmeric lattes, seasonal lattes, chia pudding,
    etc. Decor inside was very chic. Plants, white, and crystals. // Address: 1111 Broadway #101, Denver, CO 80203
  • Stowaway Coffee & Kitchen // // REALLY cute spot, GREAT lattes (homemade cashew milk), friendly spot, menu looked DELISH though I didn’t eat there. // Address: 2528 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205
  • Olive & Finch
  • Linger
  • Beet Box Donuts (vegan baked goods)
  • Native Foods
  • Protein Bar
  • El Five // wasn’t able to get a reservation here, but looked cool! // mediterranean style tapas, 360 views of city, cool atmosphere
  • Element Kitchen & Cocktail // cool brunch spot to watch the football games on Sunday. Not a ton of vegetarian options but I was able to get a plate with eggs, sweet potato hash, gluten-free bread, and avocado. Also was able to watch the Patriots game 🙂
  • Hedge Row – menu looks AMAZING but you NEED to make a reservation. We weren’t able to get in.
  • Senor Bear // another one we weren’t able to get to, but again, menu looks dope. Modern Latin spin on food and drinks.
  • Denver Central Market // didn’t get to check out, but diverse group of vendors. Located in RiNo neighborhood.
  • South Pearl Street Farmers Market // located on s. pearl street on Sunday’s (starts at 9am). Healthy Breakfast Food truck highlights included Ba-NOM-a-NOM (soft-served banana “nice cream”), Prosper Oats (acai bowls, overnight oatmeal, coffee), and a number of other hand-crafted & speciality food vendors. Would def recommend stopping by!
  • American Cultures Kombucha TapRoom – BOOCH and Vegan Ice cream…what’s better?!
  • Tea Bar Denver – Kombucha, lots of Tea and Coffee Options
  • Beau Jos Pizza (located in Idaho Springs. Not many food options here and splurged a bit with Pizza) I got the gluten-free crust + sauce + veggies // very delish!

Breweries: (NOTE: we didn’t make it to all of these, not even half haha but I wanted to share since they were recommendations)

Ratio Beerworks (RiNo)
  • Ratio Beerworks: 2920 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 (LOVED this spot. Cool outdoor patio w/ lawn games)
  • First Draft – right down the street from us, RiverNorth (recommended – cool brewery where you pour your own beer + really good food)
  • New Terrain Brewing Co. – 16401 Table Mountain Pkwy, Golden, CO 80403
  • Briar Common – 2298 N Clay St, Denver, CO 80211
  • New Image Brewing – 5622 Yukon St, Arvada, CO 80002
  • 10 Barrel Brewing Company – 2620 Walnut Street Denver, Colorado 80205, Denver, CO
  • Bierstadt Lagerhaus – 2875 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205
  • Bruz Beers – 1675 W 67th Ave #100, Denver, CO 80221
  • Larimer beer hall – 2012 larimer st Denver co 80205
  • Great divide brewery – 2201 arapahoe st Denver co 80205

OTHER Highlights:

Botanical Gardens

-Spent a lot of time in the RiNo area (cool, hipster(y) neighboorhood, ~ 15/20 min walk from Coors Field area). Lots of breweries and funky bars here.
– 16 Street Mall (lots of chain stores, but good people watching)
– Visit the Botanical Gardens. We got lucky with the weather as the sun was shining and the time of year was ideal for all of the plants. So Beautiful!!
– Check out the ORIGINAL CorePower Yoga on East 13th Ave. This was the perfect place to get a quick workout in while the boys continued to drink beers all day at the Beer Fest HAHA.
– Try and catch a show at Red Rocks. We saw Big Gigantic and it far exceeded my expectations. The HYPE at Red Rocks is 110% REAL. Hands down most amazing venue I’ve ever been to. PS we stayed at an airbnb in Littleton, CO (10 mins from the venue). Highly recommend so you don’t need to worry about driving home. Also, gives you the morning to explore.
– While in Littleton, CO, I got up early and went for a beautiful trail run at South Valley Park.
South Valley Park

Overall, the trip was A LOT of fun. The weather was perfect. Would have loved to explore more, but given the circumstances (i.e. torn ACL for Justin), we weren’t able to hike. Hopefully our next trip out there we can explore more of Colorado!

PS if you have any questions on airbnbs, car rentals, locations, food/drink spots, etc. — comment below or email me directly!

XO, Cal

Building a Buddha Bowl in 6 Easy Steps

Building a Buddha Bowl in 6 Easy Steps

Hi all! For this week I wanted to chat about buddha bowls. Let’s be honest, it would be wrong of me to deny any kind of obsession with these since I make them on the REG. They’re SO delicious, yet they keep things exciting, while nourishing my body with REAL foods and nutrients.

Too often, I hear people say “I hate salads”, “salads never fill me”, “I get bored of salads”, and so on – you get the point AND maybe you’ve found yourself saying this every now and then! I know I used to. Once again, I’ll pick on my boyfriend as a perfect example of this. I’ll start by saying, HUGE credit to him for even taking a stab at making his own salad for lunch. The toughest part is making that commitment to yourself to take the next healthy step. However, his salad turned out to be a (small) handful of mixed greens, a few diced up cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup of bland chicken, 1/4 cup of chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic – sounds exciting, right (cue the sarcasm)!?! Maybe this works for you, and if so, that’s great! However, I know with my active lifestyle and my need for good tasting food, I would not be able to get by with a salad like this everyday for lunch. Again, this could totally be personal preference, BUT, if you’re feeling like your in a rut with this, then maybe it’s your time to try building your own buddha bowl!

I broke my steps to building a buddha bowl down into a few easy play-by-plays.

1.) Building your base & and mix with a sauce/dressing.

– This can be mixed greens, grains, or a mix of both! See suggestions below.
– Mixed dinosaur kale (rinsed, leaves peeled off of stems, chopped up) + 1-2 TBSP of a lemon tahini dressing (recommend Whole Foods 365 Lemon Tahini OR Annies Homegrown Lite Goddess dressing OR make your own!) + a sprinkle of garlic powder + black pepper + dash of himalayan sea salt + sprinkle of hemp seed shells (for an extra nutty flavor).
– Recommended grains: quinoa, barley, basmati rice, wheatberry, etc.

2.) Pick 3-4 (warmed) veggies / roasted / steamed / sautéed.

– Recommended veggies to roast: butternut squash, sweet potato (fries), cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, purple or fingerling potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash.

* Coat & season veggies in coconut oil, or avocado oil, or olive oil + top with optional seasonings like garlic powder, himalayan sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, basil, paprika, etc. (these are typically my go-to options)
* For root veggies or potatoes: roast at about 420 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
* For other veggies: roast at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

3.) Pick 3-4 cold or raw veggies.

– Recommended veggies to eat raw (I prefer the balance of cold & cooked): Radishes (purple & watermelon radishes not only look pretty, but they add a really nice crunch), cooked beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, microgreens, etc.

4.) Pick 1-2 protein sources and healthy FATS.

– Recommended PROTEIN options: 1/4 cup cooked edamame, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4 cup roasted/crunchy chickpeas (I LOVE biena foods sea salt chickpeas or Saffron Road Foods chickpeas), 1/4 cup of any type of beans (black, white, kidney, etc.), 1-2 hard boiled or fried eggs, veggie burgers (I recommend Hilary’s Eat Well or Engine 2 Diet for real ingredients/good tasting veggie burgers)

– Recommended FAT options: 1/2 avocado, handful of either roasted/sprouted almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc., 1 TBSP olive oil, avocado oil, or flax oil, 1 TBSP Kite Hills cream cheese (made with almonds), salmon, tuna, flax seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

5.) Pick a fermented food option (optional) but GREAT for good GUT-HEALTH.

– Recommended options: Sauerkraut (LOVE Wildbrine or Farmhouse Cultures), Kimchi, Tempeh, pickled veggies

6.) Optional (extra) toppings – because why not?!

– Recommended Options: Hummus (homemade or from one of my faves like Hope Foods Hummus – so many fun variations), homemade pesto (check out my vegan pepita recipe here), drizzle of tahini, dollop of salsa, drizzle of Sriracha, etc.!

Enjoy!!

Vegan Pepita Pesto

Vegan Pepita Pesto

I’m quite frankly OBSESSED with pesto. I will literally eat it on everything. Ok, maybe not everything but I will say it is most certainly an accessory on my buddha bowls, my breakfast toasts, or my pesto pasta dinner dishes. I love pesto because it instantly brings your meal from 0 to 10 in my opinion. It has the powerful flavors of garlic and basil. It’s a bit salty, slightly cheesy, and definitely zesty! I always say you can EASILY take a dull salad and add a flavorful sauce or dressing to take it up a notch and actually create a dish you’re looking forward to eating!

Try this quick & easy VEGAN pesto sauce / Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil (tightly packed) / 1 cup fresh spinach (tightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pepita (pumpkin) seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP nutritional yeast (vegan replacement for a cheesy flavor – PS this acts as a antibacterial immune-booster!)
  • 3-4 minced garlic cloves (I like my pesto EXTRA garlicky)
  • a few parsley leaves (optional – I had fresh ones on hand!)
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Add a huge dollop of pesto on your buddha bowl or salad!
Here’s why pesto is SO simple. All you need is a somewhat decent food processor! (If you don’t own a food processor – It’s 100% a worthwhile purchase – so many possibilities with one)! Add all above ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to blend for 30 seconds – 1 min and then take a spoon and push ingredients down along the side to ensure it’s all captured & well blended! You can store the pesto in the fridge – It’ll typically keep up for up to 5 days or you can store it in the freezer and pull out for future use.

PS – this pesto is a bit thick. If you’re looking to use it as a dressing, you can add more water or lemon juice into the mix and whisk until it’s reached the desired consistency.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who else craves freshly baked cookies (requiring minimum effort) on a rainy football Sunday?! If so, I have the perfect recipe for you – completely vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free! These cookies are entirely guilt free and will be sure to cure that sweet-tooth of yours!

These cookies were inspired by the Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter after I purchased not just one, but the pack of THREE from Amazon Prime (Amazon Prime was clearly designed for impulsive shoppers like myself). I should have known how dangerous of a purchase this would be, but hey, I was in the moment and like every other basic chic during fall, I was in need of pumpkin spice everything.
screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-7-07-25-pm
So fast forward to me finding every possible way of not spooning the entire jar of peanut butter into my mouth, I decided baking with it was the next best thing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2/3 cup of gluten-free oats (Bob’s Red Mill is my go-to)
  • 1/3 cup of Wild Friends pumpkin spice peanut butter (feel free to substitute with ANY nut butter of choice)
  • 1/4 cup organic pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 to 4 (heaping) TBSP of Enjoy Life Foods Dairy Free Chocolate Chips
  • Coconut Oil (to coat your baking sheet)

The apple sauce & pumpkin can be used interchangeably – for example – if you have no applesauce, just double your pumpkin to a 1/2 cup & vice versa!

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-7-07-11-pm

Directions:

Set your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in a large food processor, add all of your ingredients EXCEPT for the chocolate chips & coconut oil. Blend well to a thick consistency (it’s okay if it’s a little chunky)! Add in your chocolate chips & blend for just a few seconds in order to spread the chocolate chips evenly throughout the batter. Next, line a baking sheet with foil & coat lightly in coconut oil (I use a spray bottle). Finally, spoon the batter on the baking sheet in approx ~ 2 1/4 inches across per each cookie. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden on the top. Before indulging, let your cookies sit & cool for a few minutes once you’ve pulled them out of the oven. Enjoy!!

Best kept refrigerated!

Easy meal prep in 1-2-3!

Easy meal prep in 1-2-3!

Hi everyone,

So today I’m going to talk to you all about meal prep! Though most Sunday mornings I wake up feeling on edge because of “all the errands I have for that day”, I’ve some how come up with a plan that has drastically cut down my meal prep time. If you’re like me and get a serious case of the Sunday scaries – let’s work on changing that first and foremost! My boyfriend and I have agreed to begin looking at Sunday differently. Rather than a day we’ve come to dread, lets turn it into just another full day of the weekend and try to enjoy it!

That starts with not dreading meal prep anymore and while we’re at it, let’s cut down on our meal prep time! For those of you who aren’t yet sold on meal prep – here’s a non-exhaustive list of all of the benefits of meal preppin!

  • End up saving time and money $$$
  • Cuts down on the anxiety you feel driving home from work (especially if you struggle with an hour long commute like myself!)
  • Obviously helps to avoid making any unhealthy choices
  • And if you’re super indecisive like myself, you avoid any question of what to eat for breakfast/lunch/and dinner that week!
  • Makes keeping track of your macro’s easier!

So now that we’ve established the obvious importance of meal prep, let me share with you what mine looks like! Keep in mind, everyone’s is different. You’ll eventually find what works for you and stick to that.

Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal jars – check out some of my overnight oatmeal recipes for ideas (Baby food & Oats, Blueberry Maple Walnut Oats, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Pumpkin)!

  • Basic Ingredients Include: A batch of bananas, oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • Why? These are so quick to make, they’re easy, healthy, and last all week! Combining 1/2 cup of oats, with 1 cup of almond milk, & a sliced/mashed banana = instant satisfaction! Then feel free to get creative from there and combine it with optional ingredients such as blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, stevia, etc.!

OR Green Smoothies because they ROCK. I’ve been getting mine to-go from the cafe at my gym 🙂
IMG_4883
Lunch:

  • VERY large Salads or “Buddah Bowls” – you certainly have some options here and I tend to switch it up a lot!

  • Basic (optional) Ingredients: Frozen Veggie Burgers (Amy’s California, Dr. Praegers, and Engine 2 Diet are all my fave choices) or canned tuna, Kale or Spinach, Frozen Edamame, Frozen Corn, Avocado, a bag of Shredded carrots, Sweet Potato or Brown Rice, Lemon Tahini Dressing
    IMG_4757

  • Why? If your salad is big enough (this is key people! no whimpy salads allowed here!) than you’re golden! I start with my base of spinach or kale, then I defrost frozen edamame and corn to add to my salad, then throw in some carrots, tomatoes, and 1/4 – 1/2 an avocado, and lastly I’ll either prepare a bag of sweet potatoes in the micro for the week (I buy a bag of about 5 from wegmans which I can just throw in the micro for 8 minutes to cook – so fast and easy) OR I’ll make a batch of brown rice for the week. Lastly for the protein, I either throw a veggie burger in the toaster oven to broil for about 10 minutes or I’ll mix a can of tuna with dijon mustard, lemon, salt, shallots, and olive oil to add for my protein.
    IMG_4808
    Dinner:

  • Veggie/Carb/Protein Loaded Dinner – I really love prepping a bunch of vegetable options, along with shrimp for protein, and rice for carbs!

  • Basic Ingredients: Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Brown Rice or Banza Pasta, Frozen (cut and peeled) Shrimp, and Low Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
    IMG_4794

  • Why? Stir Fry is SUCH an easy go-to and tastes amazing. I’ll typically sauté my shrimp in olive oil & lots of cayenne pepper to give them a little kick. Then I’ll make a batch of brown rice for the week which I can easily reheat for dinner. Lastly, I’ll always make a large batch of roasted vegetables for the week. Lately, my go-to has been cauliflower roasted in curry, tumeric, and coconut oil ; brussel sprouts and asparagus in olive oil, rosemary, salt & black pepper. Throw these in the oven at 420 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden.
    IMG_4742
    **A quick tip for reheating: When you put all ingredients into one bowl, cover with saran wrap and heat for about 1:30-2 minutes.
What I love about RXBARs

What I love about RXBARs

If you follow my daily postings through my instagram account, you’ve probably noticed my latest obsession with rxbars. What I love about these bars (and you’ll easily find it on the packaging) – these bars have absolutely “no BS”. They’re as natural as it gets. I also love that these bars are both high in healthy fats AND high in protein. Typically if I’m lacking in my macros for protein, I’ll go for a quest bar. And on the other hand, if I’m lacking in fat, I may go for a larabar.
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RXBARs make it easy to get both in one serving! The bars contain roughly 12 grams of protein which come from both the 3 egg whites that are included in the ingredients and the nuts. The bars are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, and of course GREAT flavor to keep you full and satisfied!
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Recently, I ordered their sample pack online so that I could finally get my hands on ALL of their new, delicious flavors! Unfortunately, the only grocery store by me that carries them is Wegmans, but they only carry 3 flavors. So, being as obsessed with them as I am, I couldn’t help but purchase the sample pack.
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Their flavors now include the following: Coconut Chocolate, Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt, Pumpkin Spice, Peanut Butter, Coffee Chocolate, Apple Cinnamon and Mint Chocolate Chip.
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My favorites so far? In order, my top 3 would have to be …Chocolate Sea Salt taking 3rd place, Pumpkin Spice taking 2nd (legitimately tastes like pumpkin pie), and last but not least…Mint Chocolate Chip taking 1st place!
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If you can’t decide which flavor to try, my suggestion? Go for the sample pack. You are welcome!

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

When it comes to balancing food shopping and your budget – I totally get it. It’s a constant battle.

Whole Foods > Whole Pay Check?
Organic > Not Organic?
Quest bars > Kind Bars?
Almond Butter > Peanut Butter?

For me …I find that some weeks I give in to the Whole Food brain wash and buy every healthy, organic snack I see on the shelf. And some weeks, I go in with a tight budget and an even leaner grocery list. I find this balance works. Especially when you can stock up on the right essentials to save you at least a few grocery trips!

So when is it worth spending those extra few bucks on groceries when it could have gone to that new lulu sports bra you’ve been eyeing? Let me share with you my faves!

  • Chia Seeds: Lucky for you – Wegmans and Whole Foods carry these in their bulk food section! Otherwise, this product is quite popular and can be found at most health food stores or even online through Amazon Prime!
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  • Goji Berries: Again, these berries can be quite pricey – but I swear by them! They are the perfect sweet topper or can be great for snacking! Again – these can be bought in bulk or can be found in a packaged bag. Keep an eye out for sales on both these and chia seeds!
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
  • Amazing Grass Product: I’ve been using the chocolate infusion for quite some time now. You can refer to my recipe here — you’ll see I rave about all of the nutrients you’re getting in just one scoop! This brand is a bit expensive, but when it comes to spending a few extra dollars – the health return you get from 1 scoop is completely worth it!
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  • Almond Butter: I absolutely love almond butter – but let’s be honest, some of the brands like Justin’s can be a bit expensive! It’s great to splurge every now and then, but if you kill a jar of almond butter in a week like I do, it may be time to re-evaluate how much money is going into one jar! Stick to the bulk food section and make your own container of almond butter. Both Whole Foods and Wegmans have this option.
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  • Coconut Oil: I LOVE coconut oil and I now buy it in 2 forms. I have a the big jar and I have the spray kind. I’ve been able to find the spray bottle for a much cheaper price through the brand PAM.
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    Maca Powder: Again another superfood, that is on the pricier side. But here’s the good news, you only need about 2 tsps to get the nutrients you need from this green powder! So make sure you splurge on the price, but are generous with your serving size!
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  • Almond Milk: Thank god for the 2.8L of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk that I buy. This large carton lasts forever and is most definitely one of my essentials, whether it be for smoothies, oatmeal, or just some coffee!
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  • Frozen Veggie Burgers: These are an easy, quick go-to when your in need for protein! Throw them in a salad, whip one up for dinner – whatever works! I tend to switch up the brands. So far, I’ve tried Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, Amy’s California Veggie Burgers, Vegan Boca Burgers, and the Engine 2 Diet Veggie Burgers – all of which are great choices in my opinion! But the Engine 2 really spiced up my taste buds.
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  • Frozen Shrimp: Similar to the veggie burgers, these are another go to of mine. You can usually find these in bulk and they’re so quick and easy. They go perfectly in a stir-fry, with a pasta dish – you name it! Definitely worth an investment on my grocery list.
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  • Frozen Acai Packages: I buy mine from the brand Sambazon and you can now find these in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. They are great for a filling smoothie or acai bowl and can work for any meal of the day!
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Enjoy!

Summer is for Farmers Markets

Summer is for Farmers Markets

For those of you who didn’t catch it from my previous posts…I clearly love the sun, the beach, the water, the warmth…anything directly associated with summer. Hands down my favorite season for the above reasons. But, after a long, hot day of lying on the beach, what do you crave? A hot chocolate, some soup, macaroni? Obviously not. You’re 100% craving refreshing fruits and freshly squeezed lemonade straight from a pitcher…your mouth is practically watering just thinking about it. Because of that, there’s clearly no better way to enjoy this deliciousness other than hitting up your local farmers market. These markets THRIVE in the summer time. You can almost bet that there’s a farmers market opened at least one time a week within just 20 minutes of your house and you may not even realize it! Trust me, it’s worth the drive as opposed to making a quick trip to the grocery store. Sooo, why do I recommend going to farmers markets over your regular grocery store?

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Well, not going to lie. I especially go for the whole atmosphere of it. I know this is going to sound EXTREMELY lame, but when does that stop me? I love when you walk in (of course at this point, I’m covered in sand from head to toe, my face is especially sun kissed, my hair looks like a lions mane, and my cover up has awkward water stains from my bathing suit, but WHATEVA), and pick up a medium size straw basket, while strolling through searching for the perfectly ripe produce. Also, people need to stop judging me up and down when I pick up 5 different cantaloupes, give them a good sniff, and then squeeze them in different spots to see and smell which ones ready to go. This is a trick my mom taught me and I SWEAR it works. It’s like the same idea of how a wine connoisseur knows how to pick out the best tasting wine. I’m like the cantaloupe connoisseur and that takes PURE skill. Anyhow, enough ranting. So, as I was saying, I go for the experience of being at the farmers markets. AND, if you go to some of the really good ones, you may even come across some floral covered hippy playing a guitar or fiddle in the middle of the field!

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Other than the experience, here’s some other AWESOME benefits of going to the farmers market…

1. You may find something new that would spark your taste buds! Farmers Markets tend to carry the produce that are currently in season and these may include something you’ve never tried before!

2. It’s good for the environment! Think about it, the produce being sold at grocery stores probably have traveled a long distance to get there. Farmers markets carry LOCAL foods, hence reducing the carbon footprint!

3. Farmers Market tend to have reduced prices compared to the grocery stores AND you’re getting better quality! It’s a win win situation here!

4. Farmers Markets normally carry MORE than just produce…you may find some homemade pies, granola, freshly baked breads, and more. These items are great because you know they weren’t highly processed liked the food you would find at a grocery store.

5. Add some color to your plate! Pretty much anything you’ll find there is just plain good for ya! If you’re committing yourself to purchasing from the local farmers market, you’ll be set for the week with greens and fruits to give your meals some flavor! So go buy something you’ve never tried before and get creative with it. You may even find that the farmers and vendors there will share with you some of their own tips and secret recipes…everyone tends to be very friendly and lively!

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If you haven’t quite been convinced here, than go find out for yourself. You’ll thank me later ☺ Here’s a link that’s really helpful in finding farmer’s markets in your area if you don’t know of any! Just type your town and state in the search menu and see what pops up!

As always, make sure to follow me on instagram at @Eatrunandallinbetween for daily updates!

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

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!
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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


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