Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy (almost) New Year! Where did the year go? This year has been filled with highs and lows and I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store! I want to say a huge THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to each and every reader. You have been so supportive of me through everything this year and I really cannot fully express my gratitude! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and catch a glimpse into my life. I have big things in store for the blog next year and I cannot wait to share them with you! Please have a safe and Happy New Year! Thank you for being the best readers! 

P.S. I am working on a proper year wrap, but it will just be fashionably late :)

No Bake Healthy Peanut Butter Pie- Gluten and Egg Free

Happy (almost) New Year! I know it's late, but I hope you had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, faith and good food. It was nice to take some time from the blog to enjoy the holidays, family, friends and spend some time by myself figuring things out. When spending time with my family there is never a dull moment...

I am not a dessert person. My body has a really hard time with artificial sugars and I get really sick from them, so I tend to stray away from eating them. In the past dessert (of any kind) has been a "fear food" for me- I was scared to eat it because of the amount of calories it contained, I was terrified of getting fat. It's something I have been working on and this year I wanted to make a healthy dessert. Not to toot my own horn, but this pie was the BOMB! 

This pie is refined sugar free and gluten free. Best of all it is BURSTING with peanut buttery goodness! It really is a peanut butter lovers dream pie...aka no one better touch the leftover piece currently in the fridge or things will get physical. Another awesome thing about this pie is it is ridiculously easy to make! You could make this pie today and it would be ready for tonights festivities and you wouldn't have to feel guilty about indulging in a piece (or four).

*A quick note about the crust. I chose to make my own crust using gluten free graham crackers. There are several ways to make a homemade crust and there are gluten free crusts available in most grocery stores. Because every crust will differ I did not include the crust in the nutrition information.

No Bake Healthy Peanut Butter Pie
  • 2 cups Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup organic creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 small ripe banana

In a blender or food processor combine yogurt, peanut butter and banana. 

Blend until smooth and no chunks of banana remain (you don't want a chunky pie!)

In a pie crust of your choice scoop contents of blender or food processor out of container and into pie crust. Use a spoon to spread it evenly. 

Refrigerate overnight or until firm (a few hours, or you can place it in the freezer for short periods of time to help it firm faster) to allow pie to firm up. The filling will be a darker shade of brown when it is firm.   

Pie "Filling" Nutrition Information
Calories: 128 
Carbs: 10 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Sodium: 53 mg
Sugar: 6 grams

*Some may think the nutrition info is not healthy at all, but think about it. It is good fats, natural sugars and full of protein that your body needs. 

Pie Crust Options
There are several different ways to make a pie crust, bake and no bake options, but both are very simple. 

The first method for a "sweeter crust" is to use:

  • 1 box (about 12 crackers if they're small 10 if they're large) gluten free graham crackers- if you're using regular (gluten full graham crackers) use 11 sheets
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Combine ingredients in a hardy blender or food processor and process until a dough forms.

Scoop dough out and use a spoon to spread out into a pie pan. The dough will be very sticky so I do not recommend using your hands. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Check at 15 minutes. The dough should have risen slightly and be a light golden brown. If there is a dark spot anywhere on the crust allow it to bake for an additional 3-5 minutes and check again.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes before scooping pie filling into crust and refrigerating. 

Another pie crust option is a more basic pie crust, which can be done as a bake or no bake:
  • 1 box (about 12 crackers if they're small 10 if they're large) gluten free graham crackers- if you're using regular (gluten full graham crackers) use 11 sheets
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon oil or butter spread (I use Earth Balance)

Combine ingredients in a hardy blender or food processor and process until a dough forms.

Scoop dough out and use a spoon to spread out into a pie pan. This dough will be less sticky so you can use your hands if you want to.

You can use this crust as a no bake crust! It will be slightly more crumbly than a baked crust.

If you want to bake it bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. The dough should be a light golden brown. If there is a dark spot anywhere on the crust allow it to bake for an additional 3-5 minutes and check again.

Again allow the crust to cool for 30 minutes before scooping pie filling into crust and refrigerating.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Backpost: Muesli Oats

I used to hate oatmeal. There was an incident when I was really young that my dad made me oatmeal before school. Long story short the oatmeal was like soup and I refused to eat oatmeal until last year. I still don't eat it very often, some aversions are hard to overcome, but I do like it when I have an upset stomach. Sadly I get nausea a lot with lupus and oatmeal is a nice thing to have.

Love Grown foods makes really good gluten free oats. My favorite are their super oats with chia. 

I still can't eat plain oatmeal, I blame my dad, so I always top it with fruit and I love putting Justin's Almond Butter on top too. The vanilla almond butter is one of my favorites. 

I used 1/2 cup oats- prepared according to package but I only used 1/3 cup water, 1 packets Justin's vanilla almond butter, 1/4 cup dannon light and fit vanilla greek yogurt, 2 strawberries sliced, 1/8 cup blueberries, 1/2 nectarine cut into chunks and 1 tablespoon Bob's Red Mill gluten free muesli. 

It looks much prettier before mixing it all up, but it still tastes delicious.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Catch Up

Merry Christmas Eve!! I have a hard time believing it's already Christmas Eve, this entire month has flown by. I am happy to report all of my Christmas shopping is done, everything is boxed, wrapped and ready for Christmas morning. Shopping on Christmas Eve would definitely rank on my list of nightmares- I hate crowded malls, it stresses me out. The only thing I have left to do is make my signature healthy no bake peanut butter pie for tomorrow (I will post the recipe!).

This year has been so busy for my family and between all of mine and my dad's doctor appointments we didn't get our Christmas tree up until a few days ago. I am proud to say this is the first year we haven't had to be ashamed to put our Detroit Lions ornament on the tree! It wasn't even hung in the back this year, it is proudly displayed near the top of the tree :) 

Despite all the craziness of the Christmas season I have been working out really hard these past few weeks. I always used to do weights, but recently I have really gotten into weight lifting and hard core strength training. I have been LOVING it! Seriously nothing feels better than dripping in sweat after a killer workout. I had a really hard core leg day the on Monday and later that day my legs were already so sore. It hurt to go up and down the stairs in my house. In a strange way I find being sore extremely satisfying, it means I'm building muscle! If you do lift weights it is important to have a spotter and remember to stay hydrated! 

Weird food combo confession. I didn't feel like making an elaborate lunch so I got out all the leftovers I had in the house and this beauty was born. It's gluten free bread smeared with smashed avocado, organic romaine lettuce, oven roasted turkey breast, sliced tomato, cut up hard boiled egg, a pinch of pepper and lemon seasoning and just a hint of jif whips brown maple sugar peanut butter. Strange? Yes, but also extremely delicious!

My parents wanted to go out to over the weekend, but I just wasn't feeling it. I stayed home and Cora kept me company while I cooked. I made gluten and dairy free oven baked turkey meatballs, roasted asparagus, a small side salad and a few blackberries. I will do a separate post with all of those recipes later. Even my dad who hates my  "strange" food as he calls it tried a meatball and liked it. Little did he know they were healthy :)

My brother was supposed to fly in from California Sunday night and stay for Christmas. Only problem was his airplane got overloaded with cargo so his flight ended up being delayed by over and hour and a half. He missed his connecting flight, got stuck at the Minneapolis airport for the night and didn't get home until early afternoon on Monday. When he finally got home Cora could not have been happier. My mom and I had saved a giant toy for my brother to give her. The toy was almost as big as she was and needless to say it was soon destroyed, but she had fun doing it.

I have been having problems with dairy recently, so I've had to cut it out from my diet. I stumbled upon Silk dairy free yogurt at Kroger and it's delicious! I honestly cannot tell the difference between Silk dairy free "yogurt" and the greek yogurt I used to love. It's not as thick, but taste wise it's amazing! I have loved mixing in fresh blueberries and blackberries in with it. 

I may have managed to polish off another jar of Peanut Butter and Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter (it's so addicting!), which means OVERNIGHT OATS! There was less than a tablespoon left so it was perfect for overnight oats. I mixed in 1/3 cup gluten free oats, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 small banana sliced and 5 blackberries. I threw everything into the jar, shook it up and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I added another pinch of cinnamon and 1 additional tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk to the jar before I ate it. Overnight oats are the best, if you haven't tried them you are seriously missing out! 

I am off to make my pie before finishing last minute Christmas stuff for my parents and heading off to Christmas Eve service at Church. I hope you have a wonderfully blessed Christmas Eve and a very Merry Christmas surrounded by loved ones. May you remember the real reason for the season! Merry Christmas!

 "Don't be afraid Mary," the angel told her, "for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High." Luke 1: 30-32 NIV

"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the city of David a Savior has been born; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find the babe wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those with whom his favor rests." Luke 2: 10-14 NIV

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Love Live Balance: Chicken Pesto Bake

Happy Tuesday! Only TWO days until Christmas and I could not be more excited! I have everything done and I can sit back and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Since coming home for break I have been on the go nonstop. I made a giant pot of soup early last week and have been reheating it every day. 

I finally have a chance to breathe and cannot wait to get back to cooking every night. Because I am home I have not been crockpoting regularly. This week I wanted to switch it up and feature a really easy meal. The Christmas season is always hectic, but it's not impossible to make a quick and healthy meal. Sam from Love Live Balance has chicken pesto bake that would be a perfect meal to make in a time crunch or prepare ahead. Here is Sam:

This is one of my favorite chicken dishes because it has pesto. Surprise, surprise that I would like this dish! Except it's not a surprise at all because anyone who knows me knows that I love pesto and will put it on everything possible. 

I know that pesto isn't for everyone and that it can be high in calories but I love to make my own. That way I know exactly what goes into it and can control the ingredients. 

I found this recipe on Pinterest from The Recipe Critic and I've made it a bunch of times already!

So for this recipe here's what you'll need: 
2 medium chicken breasts
4 tsp basil pesto
4 heirloom tomatoes
4 tbsp mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper

1. preheat the oven to 400

2. slice the chicken breasts in half to make them thinner. place on a baking sheet with foil. 

3. season the chicken with salt and pepper. slice the tomatoes and place on top of the chicken. 

4. bake for 15 minutes

5. take the chicken out and top with mozzarella cheese. you can use shredded or slices of fresh mozzarella, both taste great! 

6. bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey 

I also had some help with writing this post. I can't get enough of my baby girl! She makes me so happy :)

*Check out Sam's blog Love Live Balance here.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Backpost: Michigan Harvest Salad

While I am home for break I am trying to catch up on back posts. I have so many pictures to post, but I don't want to overload you. This is an oldie, but a goodie so I wanted to share anyway.

Fall in Michigan is normally really pretty, but this year the weather decided to be crazy and we got a TON of snow really early. There were still leaves on most of the trees when we got snow- that is not ok in my book. Fall in Michigan is all about apples and nothing beats a Michigan honeycrisp apple. They are so sweet that they make a great salad topper!

Michigan Harvest Salad
  • 2 cups organic spring mix lettuce
  • 1/8 cup red and orange bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons avocado chunks
  • 1/2 Honeycrisp apple, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 Bartlett pear, cut into chunks
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pepitas
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried cherries 
  • 1 GF veggie burger, cut into chunks

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Backpost: Finals Week

Finals are stressful. Thankfully I had my hardest final, statistics, the first day of finals week so I was able to get it out of the way. I had holed myself away in my apartment and spent the entire weekend studying for it, but I was still nervous for it. The morning of my final I could not study statistics anymore, I was waking up in the middle of the night because I was doing statistics in my sleep- now that is a nightmare! 

To take my mind off of the final I got ready and made myself lunch before I had to leave. I am a big believer that how you dress dictates how you feel. I wanted to feel confident so I pulled together a simple, yet cute outfit. 

I wore simple knee high brown boots- a Black Friday deal I scored from the comfort of my own home!, dark wash jeggings, a plain red scoop neck t-shirt, cardigan and a necklace. For some reason I always feel really good when I wear those boots. I never take pictures of my outfits and I hate mirror selfies so excuse the strange angle (and shout out to my purple slippers for sneaking into the shot!). 

For lunch I made a salad. It consisted of organic spring mix lettuce, avocado, leftover oven roasted vegetables and Italian herb veggies (found in the freezer isle of the grocery store).

I also had a slice of healthy pumpkin bread warmed up, smeared with a tablespoon of peanut butter and topped with banana slices. 

As a "dessert" I had a Dannon light and fit greek yogurt topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sprinkles- because sprinkles make everything better. 

Do you have an outfit or article of clothing that makes you feel really good when you wear it?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Backpost: Finals Week

One of my friends send me this elf name that she snapshotted from Instagram and I thought it was too funny not to share. Pipsqueak McSparkles reporting for duty! What's your elf name? Somehow Pipsqueak McSparkles seems fitting for me, I do love sparkles!

The laugh was much needed especially during finals week. After my second day of finals I made one of my favorite dinners, salmon! 

I baked the salmon at 400 degrees (F) for 20 minutes. I paired it with a small sweet potato, leftover roasted vegetables and steamed broccoli and cauliflower. 

I also tried a Quest Cravings Cup for the first time. I only ate one of the cups because I was pretty full, but I was pleasantly surprised. They are pretty big and do taste really good! The inside of the Quest Craving is a PB2 like powdered peanut butter, it's not a creamy peanut butter, but it's still really good. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays can be extremely stressful. It's an easy time to fall off the healthy bandwagon between all the food and the busyness make it hard to find time for the gym. But have no fear, the holiday's don't have to be an unhealthy time. Make this Christmas a healthy Christmas! I compiled a list of some of my favorite health and fitness products (with links!) that are sure to make a great gift for any health and fitness junkie!

1. PB2- I buy this stuff by the pound, no joke! PB2 is a powdered peanut butter that you simply mix with water to form peanut butter. It is so much healthier for you and it's not filled with chemicals like most peanut butters found in the store. Two tablespoons of PB2 have only 45 calories compared to 190 for most other varieties. Some might be skeptical, but I promise it is just as good as regular peanut butter! I usually buy my PB2 from amazon by the pound, but you can also buy it in jars

2. Jawbone UP3 Fitness Tracker- This is one I am very excited about. It has not officially come out yet, but it will be available before Christmas and arrive in time for Christmas. I have a Jawbone Up and I seriously love it. The app is so user friendly and provides really awesome information about your sleeping and activity patterns. This latest version is bluetooth compatible, so no more taking it off to sync it with your phone and it is water resistant! You can even sync the app with myfitnesspal to track what you eat. The UP3 is really the best all around tracker you will find. Check out their website for a complete list of features the new band has.

3. Chase Infinite Clothing- Who doesn't love getting new workout gear? With Chase Infinite you can get really cute workout tanks with a really awesome message on them. Best of all part of every purchase they donate to various charities to help empower women. You can feel empowered working out in their cute gear and help someone else feel empowered too! As an added bonus you can use my code "303030" at checkout and receive 30% off your order, everyone loves a little Christmas savings!

4. Burt's Bees Essential Kit- My lips are always chapped after a long workout and my skin is usually really dry. Burt's Bee's really helps restore my dry skin and lips- that says a lot because I get eczema really bad on my hands in the winter. They combined all of the best products in an awesome set that would make a great gift for an at home spa day. 

5. Ab Wheel- This one is, well mean. Perfecting the form of a good ab roll is not easy, but it gives you an awesome workout. The ab wheel is super portable- I collapse it and take it with me when I travel for hotel room workouts. This is definitely a challenging gift, but it's well worth it! 

6. Protein Powder- Any fitness junkie is well versed in the use of protein powder. There are so many kinds out there that it can be hard to choose. Cellucor has a wide variety of flavors and come in 2 or 4 pound containers. Their protein powder makes really thick smoothies- many of their powders do contain gluten so be sure to read labels! Muscle Milk is one of my favorites and it's gluten free. The chocolate flavor is really rich and it also makes really thick smoothies. It comes in a variety of flavors as well and is packed with 32 grams of protein.

7.San Clemente Cookie Dough Co.- I'm not sure there are words to express my love for this one! San Clemente Cookie Dough Co. makes cookie and brownie dough that is gluten free, dairy free and egg free, and that's not even the best part! The best part is you can eat it straight out of the jar, but be warned you may not be able to put down your spoon! You can also bake it into delicious cookies and brownies that are FAR better than any gluten free cookie I've ever tasted. But really I could sit around all day and eat out of the jar with a spoon.

8. Protein Bars- Like protein powders everyone has their favorite protein bars. I must say if you have not tried Quest Bars you are seriously missing out! Quest Bars are gluten free, low in carbs and sugar. If you haven't tried a cookies and cream or s'mores flavored Quest Bars you have not lived! Pure Protein Bars are tied with Quest Bars as my favorite protein bar. They are also gluten free and low in sugar. I always feel like I'm eating a candy bar when I have one of their bars because they are so good! There s'mores, coconut and chocolate salted caramel flavors are to die for!

*All of these opinions are my own. I am not being paid to endorse any of these products. I simply believe in and use each of these products. I would never promote a product or company I do not believe in or personally use their products.

Backpost: Finals Week

During finals week I eat strange combinations of food. I never want food to go to waste and I want to clear out my fridge before I go home for break. Thankfully I didn't have too many questionable combinations, but I did have a leftover peanut butter banana waffle frozen in- jackpot! 

Breakfast food is acceptable any time of day in my book, which is why I felt no shame having it for lunch. I heated up my waffle, smeared it with PB2 and a bit of sugar free syrup and had a delicious feast.

With the waffle I had a bit of greek yogurt topped with raspberries, blueberries and a blob of s'mores Jif Whip for good measure. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Love Live Balance: Lazy Day Crockpot Chili

Since I am home for Christmas break I did not make anything in the crockpot for dinner this week. I made a batch of crockpot vegetable soup for lunches, but I couldn't leave you with a repeat recipe. I have been meaning to do this feature for a long time because I have been drooling over this chili every time I see it! Sam from Love Live Balance made this delicious crockpot turkey chili and I thought it would be perfect to share for Crockpot Monday! Sam has lot of other delicious recipes and she's genuinely the nicest person ever, so go and check out her awesome blog!

Without further mention here is Sam:

Is there anything better than a simple crock pot recipe? Well what about a simple recipe that gives you chili?! I was really craving some chili last week so we decided to make it on the crock pot on Saturday morning.

The crock pot is perfect for lazy days when you don't feel like cooking but still want a delicious meal. So when I really wanted chili but neither Amanda or I wanted to make it, we figured we'd throw it all in the crock pot.

This makes a huge batch which is great to have as leftovers during the week! I'm going to take a page out of Rachael's book from The Simple Life and start doing crock pot Mondays, such a great idea!

For this recipe you'll need:
2 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 can organic dark red kidney beans (15 oz)
1 can organic chili beans with sauce (15 oz)
1 can organic pinto beans (15 oz)
1 can organic black beans (15 oz)
1 can organic tomato paste (2.5 oz) + 1 can full of water (2.5 oz)
12 small tomatoes
1 large onion
1 tablespoon of cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder
1 habanero pepper

How to make it:

1. Dump everything in the crock pot

2. Cook for 6 hours on high

That's it! Although you can brown the turkey and onion if you want before putting it in the crock pot. We skipped that step since our turkey was frozen and honestly I couldn't tell the difference. Usually we brown the meat without cooking it all the way through but we were feeling kinda lazy so we completely skipped that part.

Also, all the beans were drained and rinsed except the chili beans with the sauce. You can keep the sauce for them as it gives the chili extra flavor.

Another substitution you can make is for the tomato paste and fresh tomatoes. You can replace the 2.5 oz of water and fresh tomatoes with a can of diced tomatoes. It was a funny story because Amanda and I were talking about how we realized we didn't have any canned tomatoes or enough fresh ones but when Amanda went to her meeting for our Bible study on Saturday morning, one of the leaders brought in fresh tomatoes! She had grown them in her garden but ended up having too many for her family to eat so she brought some in to give away. It worked out perfectly since we were in need of tomatoes which saved me a trip to the grocery store!

So if you do a can of diced tomatoes, don't add the extra 2.5 oz of water but instead use the juices from the canned tomatoes. You don't need the fresh tomatoes either. We used the water and fresh tomatoes as a substitute for the canned ones.

The spices can be tailored to your preference. Amanda isn't that big on spice so even though a tablespoon may sound like a lot it really wasn't that spicy for the amount we made. The habanero is also optional but we added it in because our grandpa gave us one from his garden and we've hardly known what all to put them in because they're so spicy! Amanda actually put on latex gloves to cut it because she was afraid of how spicy the pepper is-- I'm not kidding, I have a picture as proof.

Told you I wasn't kidding...

Gloves are not a necessity but just make sure you wash your hands very well after handling the pepper because if you were to touch your eye or something, ouch! Seriously, they're that spicy.

Once everything is added to the crock pot, just put the lid on and let it do it's thing. You'll have delicious chili in a few hours without hardly having to do anything!

This recipe made roughly 12 servings with each serving being a cup. Since I had to calculate the macros for myself, I figured I'd share that information with you guys!

Nutritional information per serving (1 cup): 271 calories, 7g fat, 25g carbs, 26g protein, and 8g fiber


*Now go and check out Sam's awesome blog!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Chaos

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also the busiest. My last final was on Wednesday morning- it wasn't even a final it was just a presentation, so I drove home afterward. I would have liked to stay at school and just enjoy my apartment for a few days, but I am one of the leads in a play at home so I had to go home. 

Cora happily greeted me, but I think it's just because she knows I give her peanut butter (her favorite). I had a fairly large box that I put all my peanut butters and almond butters in to take home over break and somehow no matter where I put it she always finds it and starts licking it. She likes peanut butter almost as much as I do ;)

Thursday morning I was up bright and early to be at the gym when they opened so I could squeeze in a workout before I had to go and run lines. It ended up being one of my best workouts in a while despite me being exhausted. My post workout snack while running lines was a Quest S'mores bar. HOLY GUACAMOLE IT'S THE BEST FLAVOR EVER! I may have gone a tad overboard when Quest had their cyber Monday sale- I got five boxes (In all fairness not all of them were mine, just most) :) 

Seriously though the s'mores tops the cookies and cream as my favorite, you need to try it! I mean how can you say no to all those delicious s'mores chunks?!

Thursday night I made a double batch of my flourless peanut butter banana muffins for my brother. My brother is coming home from California for Christmas and he requested a batch of flourless peanut butter banana muffins because they are his favorite. I made them, let them cool and stuck them in the freezer for when he arrives. 

Yesterday afternoon before I had to get ready and leave for the play I made myself a nice afternoon snack. I generally don't eat anything between lunch and dinner because I want to be hungry for dinner- especially if it's something good! Spontaneously I decided to make myself a mug cake. I'm not a mug cake kinda gal, but this one was really good. It's gluten free and high in fiber! 

High Fiber Chocolate Mug Cake
  • 2 tablespoons high fiber coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey (or maple syrup)
  • a few enjoy life chocolate chips sprinkled on top

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in the mug until dough forms. 

Microwave on high for 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Check to see if it is done. Insert a toothpick or prong of a fork, if it comes out clean it's done. If it's not microwave it for an additional 15 seconds and check again.

Top with whipped cream or any of your favorite toppings, enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Crockpot Vegetable Soup (Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Vegan)

I'm not sure if I should say happy Monday or not because it is Monday of finals week. In a few short hours I have to take my statistics exam that I have seriously studied my brains out for. No joke I've woken up doing statistics in my sleep, scary I know. I cannot wait for finals to be over and go home! 

This weekend I basically went off the grid, which in a strange way was rather nice. I hardly turned my phone on and tried to keep Internet usage on my laptop to a minimum- minus yesterday's study break which I finally posted my Thanksgiving recap and may have wound up watching buzzfeed videos (seriously no clue how I ended up there). I've been studying like a mad woman for my stats exam and really needed an easy meal for finals week. I've been craving vegetables (is that strange?) and soup sounded nice in the cold weather, thus I present Crockpot Monday Vegetable Soup! 

Crockpot Vegetable Soup
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 lb. frozen vegetable mix, I used Meijer brand which had carrots, peas, green beans and corn
  • 28 oz organic diced tomatoes
  • 32 oz organic low sodium chicken broth, can substitute vegetable stock 
  • splash of olive oil, approx. 1-2 teaspoons, you can omit this
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh or dried basil, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic

In the crockpot add the splash of olive oil, then layer in the onion, sweet potato and about half of the mushrooms. 

Next, dump in the entire bag of frozen vegetables. 

On top of the frozen vegetables dump the remaining mushrooms.

Dump the entire can of diced tomatoes on top of all the vegetables, then pour in the chicken broth. 

Finally top with ground black pepper and basil to taste. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Stir the soup to mix around all the vegetables before serving. I served the soup with gluten free corn bread.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for later use.

Nutrition per serving, serves 10 (macros will vary depending on what products you use):
Calories: 59
Carbs: 10 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 148 mg
Sugar: 5 grams

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thanksgiving Recap (Better Late than Never)

I am definitely way behind on getting posts up, and for that I blame finals. Since Friday I have been basically off the grid holed away in my apartment studying for my statistics final, which is tomorrow (YIKES)! I am so ready for finals week to be over.

I know Thanksgiving was over a week ago, but I wanted to do a quick recap of my short Thanksgiving break. 

For some stupid reason my university does not give us an entire week off for Thanksgiving. I drove home Tuesday night after classes. Wednesday morning I was scheduled for an ultrasound because of problems I have been having due to lupus. I was not allowed to eat or drink for 12 hours before the test. My test was scheduled for 8:15, but I normally eat breakfast between 4 and 4:30 AM. I was extremely hangry and parched by the time my appointment rolled around, not to mention they were late getting me. As soon as the test was over I bolted across the street to Panera Bread and got the breakfast power bowl with turkey. I was crazy good, but I'm not sure I even tasted it. I scarfed the whole thing down in no time. 

I did not even get to enjoy much of my Thanksgiving break because I had a ton of homework and a take home statistics exam that were due after break. I spent a lot of my break studying, but Cora kept me company while I worked on my statistics. I think the only reason she likes having me home is because I allow her on the furniture. 

Thanksgiving morning I did a killer workout partially because I knew I was going to stuff my face later. Post workout I enjoyed this deliciously chunky cookies and cream Quest Bar.

I didn't take any pictures of Thanksgiving dinner this year, but trust me my mom did an exceptional job! Friday I was not one of the crazies out shopping early in the morning. I stayed home and indulged in this parfait bowl. I had 1/2 cup light and fit greek yogurt, 1 kiwi, 1 tablespoon vanilla espresso almond butter from Wild Friends (I finally got my hands on it!) and about 1/4 cup cranberry almond quinoa granola (I made a chocolate version). 

With my parfait bowl I had my favorite avo-egg GF toast. If you haven't tried it yet you are seriously missing out! I love avo-egg toast with scrambled and hard boiled egg either way you can't go wrong. 

Sunday morning I drove back to school early in the morning so I could get settled in and ready for a hectic week. My mom didn't let me leave empty handed though. I was sent back with a doggy bag of yummy Thanksgiving leftovers- leftover turkey and roasted vegetables. (P.S. I got a new set of dishes over the weekend and I am in LOVE with them- I love black Friday markdowns all weekend!)

I apologize for the mile long post and being MIA the past week. I need to get back to studying for exams :P Have a great rest of your weekend!