Happy Wednesday!! It's officially halfway through the week and it's going to be a long weekend with the 4th of July holiday so I'm pretty pumped. I haven't done a 'What I Ate Wednesday' post in a long time so I thought heck why not? I love reading other bloggers WIAW posts because it gives me ideas for recipes and I'm just curious about that sort of thing, weird I know.
Since I wake up ridiculously early and workout ridiculously early I don't eat breakfast beforehand. For some people that's a big no-no, but I cannot get a good workout in with food sloshing around in my stomach. I won't feel good and I certainly won't get a good workout. Instead of breakfast I have 1 scoop of Vega protein and greens protein powder and I mix it with water. I mix it up the night before and put in the fridge because in the morning it will be super thick like a smoothie- it's so good! You can get the protein on Amazon or I get mine at Costco and it's a little bit cheaper. Some mornings I will also grab an energy ball to go with the protein powder, lately I've been having the vanilla chia energy balls. You can get that recipe here (it's only 4 ingredients and it's ready in under 5 minutes!).
When I come back from the gym I am almost always starving. Lifting weights and cardio does that to a person. I have to take some medicine before breakfast that requires me to wait to eat so I shower and get ready and then make breakfast. This is one of my favorite breakfasts: 1/2 cup gluten free oatmeal (I use Quaker) mixed with 2 Tablespoons chocolate protein powder (for some extra protein to keep me full) topped with sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, 1 teaspoon Wild Friends cinnamon raisin peanut butter, gluten free chocolate hazelnut granola (found at Fresh Thyme market) and finished off with a drizzle of Walden Farms chocolate sauce.
When I find something I like I tend to stick with it, especially since I've already fit it into my macros and know it works. This has been the case with this lunch. I've eaten the same lunch for the past week and a half and still am not sick of it. It's an O'Dough's gluten free bagel thin (I HIGHLY recommend it!) topped with smashed avocado, spinach, tomato, organic turkey breast and 1 Tablespoon peach mango salsa. I had a peach with it and yes that's one peach- it was giant!
I had dinner with my parents and ended up eating basic bro food. My mom was grilling chicken so I had that (I added some ketchup later) and I threw a sweet potato onto the grill (at the suggestion of one of my IG friends) and made some green beans. I must say grilled sweet potato is SO GOOD! I sprayed mine with coconut oil before grilling it so it wouldn't stick and I seasoned it, but I cannot wait to grill another sweet potato tonight!
What's your favorite food to grill? Do you have a go to meal that you love? Comment below and share your WIAW links so I can take a peak!
Monday, June 27, 2016
It's hard to believe it's almost the 4th of July! Summer is flying by and it needs to slow down because I need to squeeze in every possible moment of sunshine and beach time because winter is way too long.
The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate because I'm incredibly thankful to live in a country where I have so many freedoms and I also love celebrating with my family. Almost every year we have a BBQ and invite some friends and family to come watch fireworks on the lake. It's nothing fancy, but it's always fun. In honor of the 4th I rounded up 30 recipes that are healthy, festive and perfect for a 4th of July BBQ!
Strawberry Blueberry Overnight Oats via A Fit Philosophy
Red, White & Blueberry Crisp via Pumpkin & Peanut Butter
Avocado Dijon Turkey Burgers via My Healthyish Life
Hawaiian Tuna Burgers via Healthy Helper
Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches via Daily Ciabatta
Fit Chick Chicken Salad via Hello Spoonful
Grilled Mediterranean Zucchini Boats via Healthy Helper
Roasted Beet and Black Bean Sandwich via Danielle's Kitchen
Modern Macaroni Salad via Strength and Sunshine
Smokey BBQ Beet Hummus via The Clean Eating Couple
Strawberry Salsa via Running in a Skirt
Creamy Pineapple Ginger Slaw via Eat The Gains
Mango Cucumber Salsa via Eat The Gains
Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Skewers via Nutritioulicious
Healthy Greek Yogurt Mac & Cheese via Joy.Food.Sunshine
Lemon Tahini Lentil Dip via Bucket List Tummy
Thai Kale Salad with Ginger-Lemongrass Vinaigrette via The Real Food Dietitians
Berry Quinoa Salad via So Damn Good
Pineapple Three Bean Salad via Emilie Eats
Watermelon Feta Blueberry Salad via Running in a Skirt
Strawberry Rhubarb Cupcakes via RachLMansfield
Blueberry Jam Bars via Emily Ruth Weir
Golden Milk Popsicles via Food, Pleasure & Health
Vegan Smore's Cookie Bites via RachLMansfield
Banana Bread Fruit Pizza via Athletic Avocado
Strawberries and Stripes! Patriotic Strawberries via She Well
Siggi's Yogurt & Berry Bark via Masala Girl Travels
Cucumber Mint Chia Fresca via Food, Pleasure & Health
Watermelon Blueberry Coconut Margarita via Fresh Fit N Healthy
2 Ingredient Coconut Watermelon Cocktail via Fresh Fit N Healthy
How do you celebrate the 4th of July?
What are some of your favorite food and drinks to have at a BBQ?
Monday, June 20, 2016
Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and got a chance to celebrate Father's Day with their Dad/Grandpa/father figure. We always keep celebrations low key, but it's always nice to spend some time with my dad, plus we couldn't have asked for a better weekend! The weather was absolutely perfect- upper 80's to low 90's (F), with a nice breeze, and lots of sunshine!
I spent most of the weekend outside doing yard work and let me tell you it certainly works up an appetite! Normally I'm not very hungry when it's so hot outside, but after shoveling sand for hours I was sore and hungry (it was also arm day before then so that didn't help haha). Luckily, I had whipped up a new batch of energy balls on Friday and I was definitely happy to have them around!
I used Bob's Red Mill new protein powder in the recipe and I must say I am LOVING the vanilla chia flavor. It's so versatile that I've been using it in everything from smoothie bowls to energy balls and it works every time! I've been buying Bob's Red Mill products for as long as I can remember because they're high quality and have so many allergy friendly products. If you've never tried Bob's Red Mill NOW is the time to try them, plus by clicking this link you can get $1.00 off coupon that's good on any Bob's product. Their website also has a store locater where you can select what product you're looking for and it will tell you what stores in your area carry it (so helpful). You're definitely going to want to find their new protein powder so you can make these energy balls! There are only 4 ingredients and are ready in under 5 minutes, so what are you waiting for?!
Vanilla Chia Energy Balls
- 6 dates (pitted)
- 2 Tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Vanilla Chia protein powder
- 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (I prefer Peanut Butter & Co crunch time)
- 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
In a food processor place all ingredients in processor.
Process on low-medium until all ingredients are ground and combined. It should still be loose and crumbly.
Using your hands form balls by scooping 1/2-1 Tablespoon of dough and rolling. I was able to get about 10 energy balls.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
A wonderful friend of mine (@dani_nemeh on instagram if you want to follow her) shared a quote from pastor Rick Warren that I really loved, "Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate." I'm going to end my thoughts on all the violence with that quote because I truly think it speaks volumes.
On a much lighter note I do want to talk about Athletic Greens. The team at Athletic Greens sent me some of their superfood cocktail packets to test out. If you follow me on instagram you know I love my smoothie bowls, so I was super pumped about adding even more nutrients to it.
Right off the bat I LOVED the individual packets. Life is busy and I found the individual packets were really convenient for grabbing while out on the go to throw in a shaker bottle, or even when I was home making a smoothie not having to measure it out was great. Athletic Greens is completely allergen friendly so everyone can enjoy it- a big bonus for people like me who can't have gluten or dairy! The one thing I did not like about the packets though is that it says "superfood cocktail." I think the word cocktail is really misleading and even one of my friends questioned if it had alcohol in it, which it doesn't. I think if it said "superfood blend" or even "superfood mix" it would be much better.
Another thing I really love Athletic Greens is that it's packed with superfoods! We could all use more superfoods in our diet and having them all packed in the same place made it easier to get the nutrients. Since Athletic Greens is packed with so many nutrient rich foods it provides a natural boost to your immune system- an awesome bonus for people who suffer from auto-immune diseases like me. Even if you don't need the added boost for your immune system you're still getting a full days serving of fruits and vegetables. For any fruit or veggie haters this could definitely be helpful! One packet of Athletic Greens contains only 40 calories (4.8g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 4g protein) so you're getting a powerful nutritional boost for very few calories.
To be totally honest, when I first tried Athletic Greens I was not a big fan. I included it in a fruit smoothie and the taste was really overpowering to me. I'm not sure if it just didn't mix well with all the fruit and protein powder or what. I'm not one to give up, so I tried it again in a very simple green smoothie and liked it MUCH better- I think it would taste really good in this green apple smoothie. I also found it to be good blended by itself in just water, but if you don't like protein powder blended with just water than you might not be a fan. Like anything else if you don't like it the first time don't give up! Try having it in a different way because you may end up liking it!
If you want to see how other people are using Athletic Greens or just get some awesome foodie inspiration checkout their Facebook page or instagram!
P.S. If you're interested in trying Athletic Greens be on the lookout on my instagram and Facebook page today and tomorrow!
*I was not paid for this review. Athletic Greens sent me products to try, but I did not have to give a review. I wanted to share an honest review with you because I know some readers are interested in such products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Remember when you were six years-old and being "grown up" sounded like the best thing in the world? If only I could tell my younger self what I know now...
Let's be real, being an adult is HARD. Personally I think it's harder to be an adult these days because everyone is forced to grow up so fast. Heck by 18 most people I knew had around $20,000 in debt just for their first year of college. Being that young and facing that much debt scares me. Heck at 21 debt (of any amount) still scares me!
Being an adult doesn't have to be so scary if you're smart about it. There's not a perfect formula to being an adult, but here are some tips to making "adulting" a little easier.
1.Set Financial Goals
Getting your finances in order should be your number one priority at any age. At a very young age my parents taught me the importance of saving money and whenever I got a gift of money or a paycheck they made sure I set some aside in my savings account. I'm thankful my parents instilled in me good financial practices and set a good example for me because it will benefit me for the rest of my life.
Some of my friends consider me to a cheapo, but in reality I have priorities. I have a monthly budget which includes groceries, healthcare, bills, savings, and if there's money left over then maybe a little spending money. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to spend money to have fun, especially if you have specific financial goals in mind.
It's also important to start building credit at a young age. Down the road you're probably going to want to buy a car, house, etc. To get approved for loans (with a decent interest rate) you need to have a good credit history. If you have no idea where to start or what to look for in a credit card Credit Card Insider breaks credit cards down by type (if you're a student, business, travel, etc.), issuer (American Express, Capital One, Discover, etc.), and by credit score. It's a great tool for anyone because it makes it easy to find the right credit card for you.
2. Make Your Health A Priority
Health should be a priority at any age, but getting on top of it while you're young will instill lifelong habits and benefit you in the future. I love working out and cooking my own healthy meals, but not all people like those things. Working out doesn't mean punishing yourself for an hour on the treadmill everyday. Find something you like to do- lifting weights, running, hiking, cycling, yoga, zumba, piyo, barre, etc. There are ENDLESS possibilities and these days you don't have to have a gym membership. I include a gym membership in my monthly healthcare costs, but there are TONS of workouts you can do in your home. If you're looking for some fun home workout ideas that don't need equipment checkout Blogilates on YouTube.
3. Learn To Cook
Cooking at home will save you a TON of money. I make all my meals at home and always meal prep for the week ahead. To meal prep I browse local grocery store ads to see what's on sale and then plan a week of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. When I grocery shop I ONLY buy what's on my list and I never grocery shop when I'm hungry (you're more likely to buy more when you're hungry).
Usually I prep on Sunday and by "prep" I mean I cook up whatever I'm having that week. So if for lunch I'm having salads I'll make all the salads and if for dinner I'm having roasted potatoes, salmon and green beans then I'll cook all of that. Typically, I'll have everything packed in individual containers so I can just grab one and go. If you're looking for meal prep ideas I have a ton of ideas in my recipe index.
There's a lot of unknowns in life, but you can make plans. I'm a planner by nature so I have a plan for just about everything. For example, if I'm going on a trip I'll make a list of everything I need to pack (I even categorize it because I'm OCD like that) so that way I don't forget anything- it also helps to avoid the overpacking issue. Life doesn't always happen according to plan, but if you're organized and prepared the unexpected moments are usually easier to handle, or so I've found.
5. Build Your Network
I'm sure you've heard someone say it, but connections are EVERYTHING. You're more likely to get a job if you know someone. It can be hard to reach out to people, but just do it. I can't tell you how many letters I wrote to complete strangers in college asking for interviews for my college TV station. People are generally willing to help, plus it allowed me to build relationships and a network of connections. Don't be scared to email or call professionals to ask for advice or help, despite what people think the world is not full of completely awful people. Besides, when you reach out it makes you look good and you never know the relationship can blossom into a friendship.
These are just a few ideas that can make adulting a little easier. What are some ways you 'adult?'
*Credit Card Insider asked me to share some 'adulting' tips, but I was in no way compensated for this post. All tips, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
It feels semi strange to be back blogging again after a two week break for vacation. If you follow me on instagram you saw that I went to visit my brother in California. California is absolutely gorgeous and if my brother had not taken me to the airport I may not have come back...
Anyway I wanted to talk about something I did NOT do on vacation- I did not track macros. Now to some people, especially those who struggle (or have) with an eating disorder, that seems really scary, but it was fantastic. Now did I go on an all out binge? Nope. Did I live life and enjoy myself? You bet.
The thing about tracking macros is it's great for helping people visually and numerically understand what they are eating. It's a great tool to help with weight loss, fitness goals, or to a get a better idea of how to fuel your body; however, personally, I don't think macros should be something you track religiously every day of your life. If it becomes an obsession then there's a problem that needs professional medical help.
With that being said, yes I have tracked macros for awhile, but I haven't given too much thought to them as of late. I've been trying to listen to my body more to give it the fuel it needs. While I was in California I did not track at all. Not even one little thing. I wanted to live my life without being tied to numbers that ultimately mean very little. I did pack some food items because of my food allergies and limited diet. I never want to be a burden to anyone I'm with so I always try to have food on hand so if they want to go somewhere that I can't eat I can still go, but just bring my own food. It was also cheaper for me to pack things like gluten free oats, granola and snack bars than to purchase them there.
After getting to CA grocery shopping was my first order of business. I got lucky because there was a Whole Foods right across the street. Now was it the cheapest option? No, but it was convenient and I knew I could get everything I needed there. I tried to stick to items that were on sale because Whole Foods is very expensive on fruits and vegetables. I picked up raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, lunchmeat, gluten free bagel thins, lettuce, tomatoes, dairy free yogurt, and a few superfood snacks (like mulberry and goji berry raw granola) from the bulk section. Most days I ate lunch in and dinners were usually out (side note- eating dinner out is a very rare occurrence for me. I don't like to spend money eating dinner out when I have a fridge full of groceries and my dietary needs make finding places to eat difficult).
Eating out was SO easy in California! Every place we went offered numerous options for every dietary need and all the menus were labeled with gluten free, vegan, dairy free, etc. It was fantastic! I am a veggie muncher at heart so a lot of nights I got salads, but don't mistake a salad for a fear of eating "real food." I wanted a dang salad, so I ordered a dang salad. The salads I got were not just lettuce, there was lots of stuff in them- avocado, goat cheese (which I found out is AMAZING!), pecans, cranberries, fresh berries, chicken, salmon, etc. Sometimes I had to remove items due to dietary needs and I usually didn't get salad dressing because I just don't like salad dressing. The bottom line is I made sure my meals were balanced with a protein, carbs, and fats. But if I was craving salmon I got salmon. If I felt like chicken I got chicken. I didn't give it a second thought.
Throughout the day I was super busy walking everywhere so when I got hungry I had a snack- I also maintained my usual workout routine of running and weights, so the extra movement had my metabolism in overdrive. Having a snack didn't scare me because I knew I was nourishing my body. One of my favorite places to get a snack was Banzai Bowls. It's not secret I LOVE açai bowls and Banzai Bowls makes some epic açai bowls (and pitaya bowls)! It was a delicious and nourishing snack because it's all fruit, plus it's the perfect tropical snack. I'm not going to lie though, there were a few nights where I had some Ben & Jerry's dairy free ice cream with my brother and his girlfriend. Was it the healthiest? Nope. Was it delicious? Heck yes. Do I regret it? Not for a second.
For me the key to not tracking and just letting go was listening to my body. I didn't binge. If I was hungry I ate. If I wasn't hungry I didn't eat. I worked out because I wanted to. I was active during the day. I lived my life. I wasn't bound to some numbers that are really insignificant. I enjoyed the time I had with my brother. I soaked up every moment in California. Want to know the best part? I didn't ever think or worry about my macros. In all honesty I laughed when I got home and found out I had actually lost weight on vacation.
There's no secret to going on vacation and not tracking macros and not gaining weight. If there's one thing to keep in mind it's balance. Eat your fruits. Eat your veggies. Eat your protein. Want a treat? Eat one. Don't eat the entire tub of vegan ice cream- have a scoop. Get out and exercise. But above all LIVE YOUR LIFE. Enjoy your vacation! I don't know when I'll see my brother again, but I'm dang glad that I didn't get wrapped up in tracking everything I ate instead of focusing on time with my family.
I'm going to leave you with the wise words of my friend Sam: memories > macros.
Friday, June 3, 2016
A lot of times (ok most of the time) I come home after a hard workout and am STARVING. I almost always eat the same thing after working out, but sometimes that just gets boring! I like to switch things up, but I want to make sure I'm refueling properly- getting enough protein and carbs to replenish my body.
To get out of my "eating the same thing" rut I rounded up 16 awesome post workout goodies from some of my favorite bloggers that are each healthy and packed with protein. Each of the foods featured a great (and delicious!) way to refuel after a hard workout. Plus, the foods are allergen friendly, or can be modified to be allergen friendly, and can be made ahead of time so when you're starving you can grab and go.
Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars via Joy.Food.Sunshine
Vegan Vega Protein Bars (2 ways) via Masala Girl Travels
Chocolate Quinoa Energy Bars via Emma's Little Kitchen
Double Chocolate Protein Squares via A Fit Philosophy
Mint Chocolate Sunflower Bites via Strength and Sunshine
Chocolate Covered Chickpea Protein Balls via Emilie Eats
Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars via Let's Get Living
Almond Mocha Protein Rice Bars via 24 Carrots Life
Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl via Fairyburger
Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie via Joy.Food.Sunshine
Healthy Reese's Pretzel Protein Smoothie via 24 Carrots Life
Blueberry Lemon Coconut Smoothie via A Cup of Kellen
Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl via Diehard Foodie
Spinach Almond Butter Smoothie via Emma's Little Kitchen
Three Minute Egg White Oatmeal via Peanut Butter Fingers
Huge Chocolate Protein Cookie For One via Emilie Eats