We made it halfway through the first week of March! Congrats. For this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, I decided to do a special theme. I guess if you want to get all technical, today would be “What I won’t eat Wednesday.”
Every so often I’ll come across someone who claims they’re “just not an ice cream person.” Um, what? Seriously? I can’t relate to those people. Which is probably why I don’t associate with them very often. Then again, there are a lot of foods I don’t like that everyone else raves about. Such as…
I was super excited about these because everyone says such good things, but when I finally tried them, I was disappointed. They are SO chewy and make my jaw hurt, and they don’t taste too great. I can taste the funky artificial flavors, which is why I prefer to just make my own snack bars!
I’ll eat a greasy cheese pizza all day long but if it has been within the vicinity of pepperoni…fahgeddabadit. People say “Oh, sorry, I only ordered pepperoni…you can just peel it off.” Um, no. The taste still lingers on that precious cheese and I will not touch it.
What about you? Any foods you dislike that others rave about?
I get so bored on stationary cardio machines. That’s why I love circuit workouts that are cardio-based, so I still burn fat while I’m building muscle. I designed this one so that each circuit alternates between heart-pumping cardio moves and slower moves like bicep curls to bring the heart rate back down…only to have it racing again on the next interval. All you need is a kettle bell, some hand weights, and an interval timer (I use a free app on my phone). See below for some links to the exercises.
Linking up with my girl Amanda for today’s Thinking Out Loud post! The perfect opportunity to word vomit all over my blog. That saying is a lot funnier when it is actually said out loud…reading it just sounds kind of gross. ANYWAY…
Getting the hang of this…and loving the look and feel 100 times better than facebook. Anyone else prefer G+ or are you partial to another social media platform? Is the book soon to be a thing of the past?
My first experience with Kombucha was about a year ago. I had no idea what it was, but the chia seeds drew me in since I had recently discovered their powers. I tried a raspberry flavor with chia, and loved it. Then I forgot about it…until now. Yesterday, I grabbed this green one and cracked it open without reading the label. It tasted really good, and I started reading the ingredients. Um. It’s algae. I was drinking algae. After overcoming the shock, I considered other weird ingredients us health nuts are willing to try (bee pollen…wheat grass…yeah) Well, I guess it’s good for me…so…bottoms up!
I’ve recently become obsessed with buying jewelry off Etsy. I seem to be allergic to fake metal, even when it claims to be nickel free or whatever, most earrings still make my ears itch. So I tried some handmade sterling silver studs and got a little click happy. So far, I’ve purchased two rings, and three sets of studs. I love supporting small businesses, especially handmade items! These are the links to what I’ve bought, in case you’re interested:
Made this stuffed acorn squash Monday night for dinner and couldn’t get over how good it came out. You know how sometimes you try recipes and they’re just…eh? Well, this one was WOW! Donnie even said it was the best rice I ever made. I totally switched it from my must try recipes Pinterest board to the favorite eats board.
Pretty Little Liars
I really don’t want to admit this but I have to get it off my chest. I’ve been watching this show on Netflix and I’m addicted. I think I just like seeing the clothes they wear and the overall styling of the set because they do such a great job. The actual storyline is sooo ridiculous but I usually watch it while cruising Pinterest on my ipad or knitting, so it’s more like a background show. Whatever I need to tell myself to justify it, right?
A special day
Tomorrow is a very important day for DK. He is graduating the fire academy after a long three months of lotsa stress, studying, and sore muscles. I’m so incredibly proud of him! Congrats hun!
Kicking off hump day with another What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks, Jenn for hosting! (Technically this is what I ate yesterday/Tuesday) I also want to take this opportunity to explain that I don’t always eat 100% healthy. If I did a WIAW post last week, you would have seen the countless brownies I stuffed my face with while on a photo shoot for work. It was catered, so there was a lot of tempting food around, and I couldn’t resist. I had a bagel (gasp), some munchkins (oh, the horror!), a mystery wrap (tuna, I think), chips (at least they were multigrain?), and lots of cookies and brownies. I felt awful physically and mentally because I totally went overboard. I don’t eat those types of foods too often because of their sugar content, so my body was acting like a drug addict that was relapsing and kept going back for more. These days happen, but they remind me why it’s so important to eat healthy. I’m back on track this week, and I feel like a different person. No mood swings and no bloating, and most importantly I am back from my brief blogging hiatus. This proves that the key to creativity is to maintain a healthy lifestyle! Now, on to the eats:
5:30am // PB on ezekiel bread to fuel my morning workout
7:30am // another version of my cinnamon protein pancakes, this time with blueberries inside, topped with almond butter, sliced banana, and maple syrup
9:00am // green tea!
11:00am // a sad looking jar of greek yogurt and thawed out mangoes and raspberries…with a slight coffee flavor because the lid of the jar had been used for a jar of ground coffee and wasn’t washed, oops!
Noon // handful of almonds
1:00pm // leftover stuffed squash from the night before…this photo was from that night since the squash stuffed into my tupperware wasn’t too appetizing looking, but tasted great! One half was a perfect portion, it’s a lot more filling that it looks. This also got rave reviews from the boyfriend, claiming it as the “best rice I’ve ever made.”
2:30pm // carrot sticks and hummus! Guess my lunch really wasn’t so filling after all?
5:10pm // went for Mexican with some coworkers after work. In an effort to refrain from dumping the chip basket in my mouth, I put some on a napkin. But then three hours later we were still there and I went back to the basket anyways. I tried, right?
5:30pm // ordered a veggie burrito sans the wrap, it was delicious! I could only eat about half of what you see in the photo. So much food.
There are so many “healthy” versions of comfort foods floating around that just don’t cut it. (like cauliflower pizza crust) But sometimes, the healthy versions are good. Really good. So good that you make them every day and still can’t get enough, like protein pancakes. The first protein pancake recipe I tried was disgusting and it turned me off from the whole concept, until I decided to have another go and tried this recipe from Muffin Topless. I’ve been making a variation of it ever since!
The best part about these is that it’s extremely quick and easy. I pre-blend my oats into a flour and keep them in a jar for easy access. I also kept the recipe on a post-it inside my cabinet, but I have it memorized now which makes things go pretty fast! Friends will see my pancake pics on Instagram or Facebook and ask how I have time to do all this, but it honestly takes less than ten minutes. Breakfast is really important to me, so I sacrifice those ten minutes of sleep for a hot plate of pancakes topped with fresh fruit!
Cinnamon Protein Pancakes with Maple Raspberry Puree
1/4 cup oat flour (to make: blend 1/2 cup oats into a powder)
1 egg white
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 tablespoons almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
sliced almonds (optional)
Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix. Mix in egg white, greek yogurt, vanilla, and almond milk. The mixture will be much thicker than your average "just add water" pancake mix, but this is okay. Just make sure it isn't too thick to spread onto the pan and add more milk if needed.
Spray pan with cooking spray, and spread the batter onto the pan with the back of a spoon. You can make two small pancakes or one large one, depending on how confident you are in your flipping skills.
Meanwhile, puree the raspberries and syrup in a blender. After 4 minutes, flip the pancakes and cook for another 4 minutes, until both sides are brown. Serve immediately with the puree and sliced almonds.
By The Pomegranate Bandit
The Pomegranate Bandit http://pomegranatebandit.com/
You can skip the raspberry puree and simply add any fruit of your choice and/or some syrup. Just make sure you’re using PURE maple syrup! Anything else is very, very bad for you. I love these pancakes topped with almond butter and bananas or blueberries too, but any combination will be delicious.
I’ve hit the wall. You may have noticed I haven’t been posting as much as usual. Yes, I have been busy, but also insanely uninspired. I have plenty of stale post ideas floating around, but I just haven’t felt like it. Lately, all I want to do is just curl up and knit while watching bad TV on Netflix. This relentless winter hasn’t helped at all. I’m pretty sure that’s the cause of this weird slump I’m in. There’s been a lot of spontaneous crying, and I suspect it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder, because I am definitely not prego (yup, SAD is a real thing, with an ironically appropriate acronym).
When K10 mentioned she was going to try Bikram Yoga, I jumped at the chance to accompany her. Well, I pretty much assumed the position as her guru and launched into a speech about the class and what she should bring, etc. Remember when my New Year’s Resolution was to get back into Bikram Yoga? My body has been craving it. Confession time: I’ve really been abusing my body the past few weeks by binge eating junk food, resulting in crappy workouts and mood swings (sticking to my story and blaming Seasonal Affective Disorder). Yes, the holier than thou healthy living blogger still struggles. By Friday, I was so disgusted with myself and ready for a change, so it seemed kismet that K10 mentioned Bikram.
Bikram Yoga Background:
Bikram yoga is a type of hot yoga. The studio is heated to 105°F, and there are 26 postures total with two breathing exercises. The class is 90 minutes long; the first 50 minutes a series of standing and balance poses, the remaining portion are on the floor. Each class is exactly the same, same postures with the same dialogue by the instructor, verbatim. The health benefits range from curing physical ailments to psychological issues and everything in between. If you have some time, check out some videos and testimonials, it’s pretty cool!
On Saturday, I woke up with a positive attitude and stepped into the familiar smelly yoga studio ready to give my body the respect it deserves. I hadn’t been in over a year, so I was unsure of how this would pan out. When I first tried Bikram four years ago, my only form of exercise was moderate jogging a couple times a week. I wasn’t doing any weight training at all, so each pose was a struggle for me, not to mention the oppressing heat. I went to the classes in spurts after that, not really sticking to it for more than a few months at a time. These days, I’m a lot stronger than I was back then, so the poses that used to be difficult were actually a breeze for me! I was so proud of myself for executing a painless triangle pose with ease, and for keeping my arms up throughout the whole chair series. I had K10 snap a few photos after class (she did amazing by the way, especially for a first timer!)
Camel pose and triangle pose, my new favorite. Probably because I have some badass quads to support it! (need to work on sucking in the stomach and getting lower though)
It’s amazing what 90 minutes of extreme stretching in a hot room will do for you. The rest of the day I craved healthy foods and felt amazing, and it even carried over into Sunday morning at the gym, when I beat my PR for fastest mile (8:06!). I thought I was going to die or fall off the treadmill during the last minute, but I pushed through. Then I walked for ten minutes, and jogged for another fifteen. While jogging, Danza Kuduro came on and I immediately felt like dancing. I automatically made my stride longer to match the beat of the music…like dance/running. It’s such a good song to run to!
After I was all showered and fed, DK and I went to our favorite coffee house for lattes before grocery shopping. I got an almond flavored latte with almond milk, and he got the Toffee Lover’s latte. It was hard to not chug the damn thing, it was so delicious! A perfect treat to reward my hard work in the yoga studio and gym this weekend.
What kinds of physical activity pull you out of a funk?
I had a nasty head cold a few weeks ago and left work early to bury myself in tissues and get lost in a Netflix marathon. I just wanted to feel better, and though it was probably too late, I decided to whip up a smoothie packed with antioxidants in attempts to fight off my cold. This is probably more of a preventative measure instead of a cure, but either way, it’s delicious!
I snagged a bag of Navitas pomegranate powder and goji powder in my last Vitacost order, so I’ve been adding them to all sorts of things like oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies especially. These are pricey, but worth it because they add great flavor as well as benefits like potassium and antioxidants without any funky extra ingredients.
The Pomegranate Bandit http://pomegranatebandit.com/
You can always omit the powder if you don’t feel like shelling out the dough, and the smoothie will still be good for you! I usually look for recipes with simple ingredients, but sometimes I like to branch out and try new things. It took me a while to get into chia seeds, and now I add them to everything.
I’ve never been very mushy/loveydovey/whatever when it comes to…ya know, FEELINGS. Never was, probably never will be. (Oh god, I’m going to be a horrible mother someday) But today is that one day a year that revolves around being mushy and expressing your feelings for everyone around you. Yuck.
DK and I have been together for a long time. It’s been years, and I’m not sure how many, but we’ve been through a lot. I feel like every couple says that, and maybe what we’ve been through is a big deal or it’s not depending on whoever is listening. But here we are, living on our own, being adults and getting ready for the next phase of our lives.
Valentine’s Day has become so taboo because you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So many people agree that it’s a stupid hallmark holiday and they want nothing to do with it. Plenty of people expect diamonds and roses and all that jazz…and then there’s people like me that just uses it as an excuse to eat chocolate.
We don’t need Valentine’s Day to express our love for each other. (ugh, so mushy. I’m struggling to write this without puking) It’s really about all the little things we do on a daily basis, like when it snows and he cleans my car off for me. And how he’s actually been starting my car for me every morning when he leaves so it’s nice and toasty when I head out for the gym. Or how he made me breakfast in bed last weekend. Or how he still opens doors for me, wherever we go. The man has a degree in chivalry.
I’m not trying to brag and say my boyfriend’s better than yours, but he is pretty awesome and I love him. (ugh, feelings)
I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I’ve linked up with Running with Spoons for TOL! I’m definitely overdue.
I’ve been talking about getting an iMac for years. My macbook pro is SEVEN years old, and it was getting to the point where I could barely even open a photo in Photoshop…and that’s bad. So I finally did it. And now I have a real desk/home office area in our living room, and it’s SO much easier to get ish DONE. Which brings me to my next topic….
switching to self-hosted
Another thing I’ve been putting off…but I finally did it! For those of you who don’t know what self-hosted is, don’t worry about it. For those of you who do know…well…you know how it goes. I’m most excited about the recipe cards! Now you can print the recipe instead of the whole webpage. I’ve started switching my recipes over and will hopefully get through them all as soon as I can!
Speaking of recipes, I made a pretty stellar one last weekend. It’s a version of my homemade protein bars, but using apricots instead of dates, and in ball form. They basically taste like those Pepperidge Farm apricot cookies. You gotta try ‘em.
I found this article on Buzzfeed and had a pretty good laugh. So relatable. (I hate when people say that. I’m a hypocrite.) But seriously…it’s all true!
This book. So far so good, and I intend on posting a full review when I’m finished…but I will tell you this: I’ll never eat in a chain restaurant again.
I’m a huge fan of homemade protein bars. They’re so much healthier than store bought “protein bars” or granola bars because I have full control of what goes into them, which means no weird funky ingredients no one can pronounce. I stick to a basic formula and make a batch every week with variations on the ingredients.
Lately I’ve been using a lot of Medjool dates because they’re such a great natural sweetener that binds the rest of the ingredients…but now I’m getting sick of them. Last week, I randomly thought of using dried apricots instead and whipped up a batch over the weekend. Behold:
Seriously though, I didn’t expect these to come out as good as they did. After I mixed the ingredients, I had myself a little taste test and immediately started shoveling it into my mouth because it was so good. It tastes like those Pepperidge Farm apricot cookies…you know the ones. SO. GOOD. And good FOR you!! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you because A: it’s delicious, and B: I upgraded to a self-hosted blog and now I can do fun recipe cards like this one! Woohoo!
Apricot Cookie Protein Bites
These no-bake protein balls taste like a Pepperidge Farm cookie, but are made with clean, whole ingredients. GF/DF
Process oats and coconut until the mixture resembles a grainy texture. Remove from processor. Next, process the apricots until finely chopped, then add the rest of the dry ingredients including the oats and coconut. Process until well combined and add the almond butter and honey. Process until the mixture is sticky enough to hold it's form. If it's still too crumbly, add a little more honey. Form into bite-sized balls by pressing a tablespoon amount of the mixture back and forth between your hands. Don't roll them, it will just cause them to fall apart. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
By The Pomegranate Bandit
The Pomegranate Bandit http://pomegranatebandit.com/
in the comments:
Have you ever surprised yourself with a delicious recipe creation?
What flavors of protein bites would you like to see?