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holiday brussels sprouts

Despite daylight savings and it being lighter earlier in the mornings, I seem to be having more trouble waking up!  Maybe it’s my body telling me I need more sleep?  Maybe it’s because I’m not sleeping well at night?  Who knows!

What I did know yesterday morning, was that I wanted a smoothie for breakfast.  Are you surprised?! 🙂

Mango Smoothie

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp pepitas
  • 3/4 cup milk

Mix it all up and enjoy!

Mid-morning, I was hungry for a snack, so I opened up a new bar I found at Trader Joe’s:

A Pure Bar

It was a bit chunkier than a Larabar, but had a similar texture.  And, a great ingredient list!

For lunch, I heated up an Amy’s Burrito.  There were slim pickings in our fridge yesterday, luckily Brant headed to the grocery store last night!

I ran out to do a few errands, and PinkBerry just happened to be there!

A small tart with mango, raspberries and brownie bites…mmmm….

For dinner, I was half creative and half boring!

A veggie burger on an english muffin with a side of Brussels Sprouts.

For the delicious brussels sprouts, I tried something a little bit new.  They would be perfect for a holiday dinner!

Brussels Sprouts with Cherries & Cheese

  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • drizzle of agave or honey
  • pinch of salt
  • grind of pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheese (i used stilton)

First, wash, rise and chop your brussels sprouts.  Then add them to a heated skillet with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil.

Turn your heat up to medium-high and make sure that they are all face down so that they brown and caramelize a bit.

After 7-10 minutes of cooking, check your sprouts to see if they have browned a bit.  They should look like this…be patient!!

Once browned, turn the heat down to medium and add your mustard, agave (or honey), salt and pepper and mix.

Then, add your cranberries and crumbled cheese.

Mix until combined.

These came out great!  They were cooked perfectly and the spiciness of the mustard really balances out the sweetness of the cranberries and cheese.  YUM!

Homemade veggies to balance out my boxed veggie burger. 🙂

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quite the appetite

I have quite the appetite these days!  Especially on the days when I workout.

Yesterday morning I woke up to enjoy a very chilly 45 minute run outside.  It was cold out!  The first frost I have seen on cars since last winter!  I take it very easy while running these days and enjoy the scenery around me.  It is wonderful to just go for a run to enjoy it.  The last few years, I have been so caught up in training that I forgot what running for fun means!  I never stopped loving running while I was training, but my mindset was just very different.

I am loving getting a workout in on most days to move my legs and body.  I think it helps me feel better too!

After my run, I had a few leftover pancakes with pear syrup for breakfast.

And, whipped up a smoothie to take with me to work.  I have been getting much hungrier mid-morning this week, so I wanted a healthy snack just in case.  At 10:30am on the dot, I was craving that smoothie. 🙂

For lunch, I kept it simple with an Amy’s Burrito with beans, rice and cheese.

And, sliced peppers and plums.

Mid-afternoon, I snacked on a few dates and dried pineapple for a little fuel before meeting Victoria for dinner!

We headed to Rustic Kitchen for a delicious meal.  I had an awesome salad with mixed greens, sliced apples, candied walnuts, butternut squash, shrimp, cheddar cheese in a citrus viniagrette. 🙂  Yum Yum!

back to reality

Whether or not we like it, or plan it, vacation often takes a toll on us!  We walked a lot while in Seattle, but we also ate a lot!

We did a lot of good eating.  Everything is just so fresh and local out west.  It’s hard not to try it all!

I absolutely loved all of the food we ate while on vacation, but it is definitely nice to be back to home cooked meals, oatmeal and smoothies! 🙂

For breakfast this morning, I finally tried out the porridge setting on my rice cooker.  I have been wanting to try this out for awhile, but finally decided to give it a go after reading more about how delicious your oats turn out from Emily at The Front Burner.  She gives an excellent tutorial on How to Cook Oats in a Rice Cooker, so check it out here!

I followed Emily’s instructions and set up my oats in the rice cooker last night.

Into the rice cooker went the following:

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats (my favorite!)
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • splash vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I set my timer to have the oats ready when I woke up.

It worked!!!

It looked exactly like Emily said it would, a little soupy on top.

But, once mixed, they were perfect!

Perfectly cooked.  I topped my oats with a trio of fun:  chocolate hazelnut butter, coconut butter and raspberry jam.

These oats were delicious!  And, I didn’t need to spend 40 minutes cooking them and watching the stove this morning.  Instead, I woke up to a wonderfully filling breakfast.

These oats held me over until about 11am, when I snacked on a golden delicious apple.

Then, it was time for lunch!

I grabbed something easy today, an Amy’s Black Bean Burrito filled with black beans and veggies.  I like these for days when I don’t have time to pack a lunch.  They are filling and the ingredient list does not include anything scary.

With a few blue corn chips and salsa on the side, and some unpictured grapes.

Mid afternoon, I wanted something chocolaty, so I whipped up a smoothie.

Double Chocolate Smoothie

Serves 2

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 heaping tbsp cacao powder
  • dash vanilla
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1 big spoonful chocolate ice cream 🙂
  • 1.5 cups hemp milk (or milk of choice)

Mix it up in your blender and enjoy!

It was chocolaty and delicious and hit the spot!

For dinner, I met a good friend at the Cheesecake Factory!  I haven’t been there in awhile and was excited to see that they offer 1/2 portions of salad now.

Still pretty big, but delicious.  I ordered a salad special with romaine, orange slices, pears, pecans, dried cranberries, feta and balsamic.

Have a great night!

pb & j smoothie

It sure was a hot day in Beantown today!  But, the mid-afternoon thunderstorms really cooled things down.

Anyways, I started my day with another Magic Bullet Masterpiece – a Vivacious Princess Smoothie from Kristen!

It was cool and refreshing, just what I needed on a hot day.

Lunch was not as refreshing, but still just as good – a Bean Burger Wrap!

Spread a whole wheat wrap with roasted red pepper hummus, CSA lettuce, a crumbled black bean burger and goat cheese.

Then wrap…

And eat with a big bowl of refreshing cherries!

(Source)

After work, I hit up the gym for a little workout.  This was not much better than working out outside in the heat, however, because the gym’s AC is not working properly!  Oh well…it felt good to sweat!

I started off with 25 minutes of stabilization and weights circuit style:

  • squat with overhead press
  • 21’s on 1 leg, then alternate
  • lunge and lift
  • deadlift with upright row
  • tricep extension in static squat
  • back extension
  • then repeat 3 times…

After, I jumped on the elliptical for 30 minutes and did intervals!

It was a great workout – glad I went.

After my workout, I was more than ready for dinner.  Luckily, Brant had roasted some extra broccoli for me last night.  I popped an Amy’s Non-Dairy Burrito into the microwave and put some broccoli on my plate.  It was not a gourmet meal by any means, but boy did it hit the spot!

Topped with tomato paste and homemade pesto (recipe to come).

I was still craving something cold and sweet, though, so I whipped up something delicious – a Chocolate PB & J Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cherry jam
  • 5 ice cubes

It actually really tasted like PB&J!!

Whoa!  Deliciousness!!!

heading out of town

Guess what today is?!  It’s Friday for me!

We are heading out of town this weekend for a mini vacation and I am so looking forward to 4 days of relaxing!  (For those of you who know me, you know that I have trouble with that.) 🙂

I started the day with a smoothie to go.

In the mix:

  • 1 frozen banana (organic)
  • 1 cup frozen mango (organic)
  • 3 frozen strawberries (organic)
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 1 tsp maca
  • 1 tsp spirulina (which gives it the pretty color!)
  • 1.5 tbsp raw cashew butter
  • 1.25 cups coconut water

It was really good today!  I have been super thirsty for the past few days even though I have been chugging water, so this definitely helped.

For lunch, I had something a bit different for me today – Almond Butter & Jelly Sandwich on whole wheat multigrain, 2 carrots and a grapefuit.

I ended up not eating the grapefruit because I didn’t have time to peel it…but, the sandwich was really good!

I skipped an afternoon snack because I needed to eat an early dinner!  I packed my dinner to-go tonight because I am taking a CPR class.

Amy’s Burrito, yogurt and granola.

This was my first time having an Amy’s Burrito.  I try to stay away from stuff like this, but I needed something quick and fairly healthy.  Amy’s uses minimal ingredients in their pre-packaged meals.

Amy’s Non-Dairy Burrito: Organic flour tortilla wrapped around organic pinto beans, rice and vegetables in a mild Mexican sauce.

INGREDIENTS : (VEGAN) ORGANIC PINTO BEANS, ORGANIC WHOLE WHEAT AND WHEAT FLOUR, FILTERED WATER, ORGANIC BROWN RICE, ORGANIC TOMATO PUREE, EXPELLER PRESSED HIGH OLEIC SAFFLOWER AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL, ORGANIC ONIONS, ORGANIC BELL PEPPERS, ORGANIC SWEET RICE FLOUR, SEA SALT, SPICES, ORGANIC WHEAT GLUTEN, ORGANIC GARLIC.

Not so bad for a frozen burrito.  I’m not going to lie – I loved this!!  The tortilla was not soggy at all (I was fearing it would be) and the flavors were delicious.  I love beans!  I would totally buy these again for quick lunches and/or dinners when I am in a rush.

Along with my burrito, I also had a greek yogurt and granola.

Above are 2 new flavors of Galaxy Granola that I was sent to sample!  I was psyched to receive these.  I liked the other flavors of Galaxy Granola, but these 2 sounded so much better to me – Maple Pecan Quinoa and Hint of Honey?!  YUM!

Tonight, I tried the Maple Pecan Quinoa Granola.  I love quinoa, I love pecans and I love maple syrup!  I couldn’t go wrong.  The granola was great.  Similar texture to their other flavors, and the maple really came through.  I liked the additional crunch from the quinoa.  These 2 flavors hit stores this month, so be sure to check them out!

I also brought an apple, some dried fruit and a few pieces of dark chocolate to snack on during the class if I feel the need.

Off to CPR…