what i ate wednesday #19

It is officially the last day in February… and a bonus day since it’s a Leap Year! I can’t wrap my head around tomorrow being MARCH already – yikes! It’s also the last week of Love your Veggies month with Peas and Crayons… but there’s a green-filled month ahead to look forward to!

Pre-Run: Coffee + milk. Banana. Rice cake + pb + jelly.

Running: I ran six miles today and decided to start experimenting early with other running fuels. I started later in my Disney 1/2 marathon training and never got totally used to them… so hopefully an early start helps! I took two squares of Clif Bloks along and my water bottle that had 1/4t salt and a little juice mixed in. I took one of the Clif Bloks at 2 miles and the second at 4. Besides being frozen they were really good!

Breakfast: I usually don’t do smoothies for breakfast because they fill me up initially, but don’t keep me full for longer than two hours or so. Since it was already after 10 when I got back and was ready to eat, I figured it would be okay since lunch wasn’t far off! In the smoothie was the last of our spinach (hence not being too green), a banana, ice, protein powder, cottage cheese, cocoa powder and PB2. There was a lot of protein in that baby, but unfortunately not a whole lot of taste. Definitely need to work on this for the future! Topped with a sprinkling of flax + granola.

Lunch: The smoothie kept me fuller longer than normal… maybe because of all the protein? So I made it at least 3 hours until lunch – what an accomplishment ;). Lunch was delicious. An orange, grilled cheese, lettuce and vegetable soup. There really wasn’t anything “special” with this lunch, but everything just went together perfectly!

After lunch I was wanting some sugar, so I decided to have a piece of carrot cake. Since there’s vegetables in it, it’s not too bad, right?! Plus is was the most delicious carrot cake (+gluten free!) with cream cheese frosting from Outpost. Yum!

Afternoon Snack: Lunch + dessert kept me really content for the entire afternoon so I wasn’t hungry until after 4:30. I didn’t want to eat dinner too early, so I ate a couple of carrot sticks along with some veggie straws. It also powered me through a couple loads of laundry and cleaning the bathroom and my room!

Dinner: For dinner I got all experimenty. I’ve wanted to make Edible Perspective’s Quinoa Egg Veggie Bake since I first saw it on her blog and this was the first time I actually did! I started out by making her perfect quinoa and then added green pepper, peas, sausage and topped it with cheese! Also covered with ketchup and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. A salad with cottage cheese on the side. This dinner was SUPER delicious and really filling – loved it!

Bedtime Snack: I had one of these little guys (recipe coming tomorrow!).

And a small bowl of chocolate chex in the pretty much empty Barney Butter container. This is by far my favorite almond butter – I can’t believe it’s all gone! Actually our entire nutbutter stock is severely diminished right now…

And that sums up the last WIAW of Love Your Veggies Month! Look for green meals next week ;). Happy Wednesday!

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national pancake day!

Happy National Pancake Day, everybody! I do love pancakes and always find an excuse to make them every week. I had grand plans this past weekend to make this new recipe we’ve been loving, but we ended up making it Friday night for our pre-run carbo-loading and needless to say the natural lighting was not present.

Anyways, if you wish to celebrate this day of pancakes, here are a listing of the pancake recipes I’ve made on the blog – as well as some of my favorite toppings!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes

Gingerbread Pancakes (yes, I know gingerbread is a seasonal flavor, but these should be eaten all year round they’re so good!)

Banana Bread Pancakes

If you’re looking for something simpler, Gluten Free Bisquick is definitely my favorite. We first discovered in Hawaii! Although they’re not quite as good back on the mainland without Lilikoi syrup ;).

Sick of just topping your pancakes with syrup? I don’t know how anyone could get tired of syrup, but here are some other awesome combinations to either put on top of the pancakes, or in the batter.

  • Coconut butter + blueberries
  • Mixing in toasted millet + buckwheat groats + chia to the batter (love the crunch!)
  • Yogurt + granola
  • Banana + honey (you could even get fancy and caramelize the banana)
  • Chocolate chips + peanut butter
  • Bacon!
  • Spinach (blend in to the eggs and you’ve got GREEN pancakes!)
  • Blueberry jam + cottage cheese (new favorite!)
  • Yogurt + banana + coconut
  • Chocolate chips + strawberries
  • Pumpkin + toasted pecans
  • Lemon poppyseed flavored (put in a little lemon juice/extract and poppyseeds)

(Thanks, Sister for quite a few of these ideas 😉 )

Pancakes have always been one of my favorite meals – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some things definitely do not change!

HAPPY NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY!

nashville 2012: week 3

The end of this week marks the end of the first quarter of my training plan! After my not-so-fun 6 miler last week, my calves were a bit sore. Obviously when I’m mentally struggling through a run, my form must change and thus impact my next run or two… Or maybe it was just the super challenging but awesome Yoga Body Bootcamp™ this week?! Here were my workouts last week.

Sunday: Yoga Body Bootcamp™
Monday: 3.5m run + ~.5m walk and Cardio/Strength Workout
Tuesday: Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance
Wednesday: 3.5m run and a Medicine Ball Circuit Workout
Thursday: Power Vinyasa Podcast Party!
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6m run

The routine at Yoga Body Bootcamp™ this week kicked my butt! I am so addicted to this class now I look forward to it every week and am never disappointed. I always leave the class so incredibly detoxed and relaxes – it’s a fabulous way to start a Sunday!

I chickened out on my weekly runs this week. My training plan had said 3.5m run + 1m walk, but it was too cold that I didn’t end up walking the full mile at the end – plus I hadn’t mentally realized that running a 1/2 mile extra would take more time in the morning and my bed has been too cosy so getting myself up to leave was a challenge in and of itself ;).

Insanity was good – I’m still enjoying the change of pace it provides and am super stoked for Insanity Asylum! I’m glad sister is more obsessed with Insanity than I am so when I told her about this she instantly bought it… even if it won’t be used seriously for a few more months haha.

One thing I changed up this week was adding more strength training exercises in the mix. I am really bad at sticking with any sort of strength training routine and it often ends up falling to the wayside… but that all changes now as I have signed up for Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp! I’ve obviously got a thing for bootcamps lately :).

The bootcamp starts on March 5th (last day to sign up is March 4th) and it sounds like it’ll be amazing. The cost is only $25… half the price of a gym membership for a month and it’s 8 full weeks of workouts! The cardio is only suggested, so I will be mostly doing it for the strength workouts and keep up with the running. I’m very excited to get the workouts this week, not to mention all of the giveaways she’s offering over the course of the bootcamp! (I’m secretly hoping I win Physique 57, Love Grown Foods granola or the Sparkly Soul Headbands… but I’m not picky 😉 ).

I usually don’t write about my Thursday night yoga classes, but we did something different this week that was great! The regular teacher wasn’t there, and the sub (and teacher of Yoga Body Bootcamp) was sick so she asked if we would be interested in doing a little podcast party instead of her teaching the class. None of us minded one bit, so we did an 80 minute Live Love Teach Podcast and it was a really nice change of pace. It was taught by three different master teachers who run the Live Love Teach yoga teaching program. I’m not a fan of yoga DVDs because I find them too staged and slow moving… definitely not the same with podcasts! It was recorded at a real yoga class and you can definitely tell the difference! My favorite part was the 5+ minute frog… it hurt so much I wanted to cry by the end of it, but my hips haven’t felt so good in ages!

Now finally on to the long run! Yikes, I’m long winded with my other workouts today ;). My second six miler was SO MUCH BETTER than last week! I think my conscious effort of being positive about this run made me enjoy it rather than wishing for it to be over. My new kicks might have had something to do with it too?! I got to wear these on Wednesday + Saturday and am in love. Zero muscle aches from changing shoes and zero blisters – always a good sign!

what i ate wednesday #18

There’s only one week left in February! I know this is usually a short month (and we even have an extra day), but time just keeps flying by as usual. As it’s Wednesday, it’s time to have another WIAW with the Peas and Crayons link party!

I tried to do better with my veggies this week, and they were definitely a main component in each of my three meals! I just have to get better at finding good veggie snacks that are filling :).

Breakfast: I tried to make the Bacon Waffle recipe as pancakes and without the bacon… something definitely went wrong and they ended up being a gooey mess. I had to microwave them all to try and cook them some more, and then topped it with melted coconut butter + cinnamon. Definitely not the tastiest breakfasts, but you can’t win them all! On the side was green eggs! Blended up egg whites + fresh spinach  and cooked normally. You can barely taste the spinach in them and it’s a much funner way to eat eggs in the morning! I should have skipped the pancakes and just had green eggs + ham instead ;).

I went to another butt-kicking Yoga Body Bootcamp class at my yoga studio and I was wiped when I got home! As a post-workout snack I grabbed a few almonds and had a packet of Emergen-C. Electrolytes + protein = perfect pick-me-up!

Lunch: Lunch was not far after my post-workout snack. I managed to take a shower and clean up my room and bathroom a bit first, but then I couldn’t wait any longer to eat! Lunch was devine. Leftover fajita steak and green peppers, stuffed in a brown rice tortilla with shredded cheese, and then topped with guac, salsa and plain yogurt with a big side of lettuce! I could eat these fajita quesadillas every day.

After lunch wouldn’t be complete with a cookie (on weekend’s at least!). This weekend was butterscotch, oatmeal and chocolate chip. Very tasty and I consumed my fair share of these over the weekend :).

Afternoon snack: Homemade Chocolate Brownie Clif Bar! With a schmear of peanut butter on top. I’m so sad this was my last one…

Dinner: This dinner was delicious! Chicken cordon bleu (just chicken breast, ham, swiss cheese + Trader Joe’s aioli mustard) with spaghetti squash and green beans on the side. I just LOVE spaghetti squash, I ate both those halves and easily could have eaten more :).

I think the Love Your Veggies month has definitely urged me to get back in the habit of trying to have veggies with every meal. Hopefully even after this theme is over I can keep up with that and continue eating my greens throughout the day! I definitely go through phases where I love certain veggies, and then I can’t stand them at all, but I think I just need to get over that and find a way to cook them that I’ll still enjoy ;). Happy Wednesday!

things that make me smile part 2

I did a “things that make me smile” post a few months back, and I figured it was about time for a new one! I always like to look back and see how my tastes/preferences change unintentionally!

1. Coffee is still HIGH on the list ;). These days it’s hot coffee, in my Mickey mug from Disney and with Aerolatte-frothed milk. Mmmm.

2. Pinterest. Except when people refer to it as “pin-interest”. Where’s the extra “in” coming from?! I did the workout in the below right hand corner of the screen last night and it was a great little cross training session!

3. My new shoes! Zappos would also be on the list since they surprisingly gave me free 2 day shipping and they were waiting for me on the front porch when I got home! I’m ready to tackle my run tomorrow morning with them ;).

4. Spending $60 to get private port-o-johns and close-up parking (for two people). Oh the things runners do on race day :). I saw the Platinum Package for the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon and figured it would save a bunch of anxiety to get it. Come race day, I’m know we’ll be happy!

This package includes:

  • Guaranteed Parking at LP Field
  • Private Shuttle to the Start Line
  • Access to the Platinum Tent in the Start Line Village
  • Catered pre-race refreshments
  • Private Gear Check
  • Private Port-o-Johns

5. Yoga Body Bootcamp. Still LOVING going to this class every week! It’s always challenging and I always leave it as a sweaty mess.

6. Desserts from Outpost. Outpost is a local coop in Milwaukee… and they have freshly baked gluten free desserts in their bakery! My favorites are the zucchini cupcake with the most delicious cream cheese frosting (pictured below) and their individual pound cakes. So good, and a fantastic treat that we can actually eat and doesn’t have to be baked at home! Their carrot cake birthday cakes are absolutely delicious as well!

7. The Hunger Games Movie! I first read these books last summer after getting a recommendation from a friend and was hooked! I read all three books back to back and recently read through them all again. I’m glad there’s only a little more than a month until the movie comes out! I’ll hopefully be seeing this within the first week it’s in theaters :). I’m also slightly obsessed with the song Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift. Totally didn’t know it was from the Hunger Games soundtrack when I first heard it.

8. Grain-free Bran Muffins from Elena’s Pantry (photo and recipe are from her blog!). Sister just put a batch of these in the oven and they look delicious. I can’t wait to try one because they smell absolutely heavenly!

Well, I think eight random ramblings are plenty for one night ;).

What things are you all enjoying lately?

nashville 2012: week 2

A little late on my recap from last week – I was way too busy being lazy and unproductive this weekend to write anything, or spend any time in the kitchen haha. My week at work was very busy, so it was definitely nice to have some down time to finally relax! Anyways, here are my workouts from last week:

Sunday: Yoga Body Bootcamp™
Monday: 5k run + 1m walk
Tuesday: Insanity Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
Wednesday: 5k run + 1m walk
Thursday: Power Vinyasa
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6m run

Pretty similar to last week and still right on track with the training plan! The only thing that wasn’t similar to last week was how difficult my 6 mile run was – it was not a fun time. I set out for a surprisingly warm February run, quickly shedding my gloves and earmuffs and wishing I had a t-shirt on underneath so I could shed a layer! The run was both mentally and physically exhausting for me and I’m not exactly sure why. Yes, it is the longest distance I’ve run since the Disney 1/2 Marathon, but I’ve also run this distance many many times in the past – even several 10k races that are technically .2 miles longer.

I knew it wasn’t going to be the best run right away, my legs felt heavy, my stomach felt off and I was already getting sweaty. And at that point there was still 5.9 miles to go! I thought about doing two loops just in case my stomach ended up feeling really bad, so I went toward my normal week day route even though I’m not a huge fan of that for longer/daylight runs. I ended up feeling fine stomach-wise, but my legs still felt tight and I obviously kept getting warmer and warmer. I ran around the first block and decided to just go out 3 miles and come back to eliminate the multiple loops I was originally planning. I think it was definitely a good choice to just go out and back, because it would have been way too easy to just head back home after the first loop!

I ended up taking numerous walking breaks and finished the run averaging exactly 11 minute miles. The course I ended up taking left me with a mile walk back at the end which was a very welcomed cool-down. I definitely wish this run would have gone better, but I do have many more weeks to go before running 13.1, and hopefully gain the confidence I need that apparently left me so quickly! I have another 6 mile run next Saturday – so here’s to hoping that one is less mentally and physically exhausting!

One productive thing I did this weekend was finally buy new running shoes! I’ve been debating what kind I wanted to buy. I haven’t liked my current ones so I knew I wanted something different. I ended up deciding on the Rykä Aspire. They appear to be a good medium between supportive and barefoot, so I’m hoping there’s enough cushion to avoid tendonitis again, but not too much to overcorrect my natural stride. Plus, I love the colors :). I got them from Zappos which is extremely nice because if I end up not liking them, it’s free return shipping! The standard shipping is 5 business days – I ordered them last night and already got a shipping confirmation – and it says they actually shipped with two day shipping?! So excited to try them out!

banana millet chocolate chunk muffins

It appears I already have 8 muffin recipes on the blog. I went through a major muffin kick last summer – I think I was baking up a new batch each week for breakfasts and snacks, but then somehow ended up repeating the Banana Millet Muffins over and over again because they were so good! Millet seeds are my absolute favorite muffin ingredient – I just love the crunch that they provide and the nutritional boost they add.

When I saw a recipe on Foodbuzz for Banana Bread Muffins with Millet and Chocolate, I knew I was going to have to make some ASAP. I ended up taking quite a few liberties with the recipe to make a healthier final product, and even though they didn’t quite look like a bakery muffin, they were quite tasty. And provided a nice little twist from the Banana Millet Muffins :).

Banana Millet Chocolate Chunk Muffins

  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1T honey or agave (optional – I left out, but if your bananas aren’t as ripe you may want to consider adding some sweetener)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2c oat flour (ground from gluten free oats)
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/4c sorghum flour
  • 1/4c ground flax
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup millet, toasted
  • 1/2 bar chunked dark chocolate
  1. In a large bowl, mash up the bananas and add in the melted coconut oil, honey or agave, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine the oat, millet, sorghum flours with the flax, baking soda, salt and toasted millet seeds.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix.
  4. Fold in the chunked chocolate.
  5. Scoop into a prepared muffin pan and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 22-24 minutes.

Looks like muffin recipe #9 is complete!

homemade chocolate brownie clif bars

Thanks to Sister for the below post, and for making these delicious Clif-inspired bars! They were absolutely delicious!

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The first time I ever had a Clif bar was about 1 year ago. I instantly feel in love with these snack items! My absolute favorite flavors were Chocolate Brownie, Banana Bread and Carrot Cake. I used to eat about 3-4 Clif bars a week because they were just THAT good! But then, I started to have problems eating gluten… and oddly it was actually Clif bars that first started giving me problems… So I had to shed a few tears and say my good byes to these most delicious treats.

Last year when I was in the heat of my Clif bar eating, I tried making a homemade version to save some money ($1-$1.25/bar). The recipes I could find online used peanut butter so I gave that a shot. While this recipe did create a tasty granola bar, well, it wasn’t really a Clif bar per se… And I think this was because no flavor of Clif bars have peanut butter in them?

Well, I have been missing these bars so much lately that I finally decided it was time to try making them again. I looked and looked online to see if I could find other types of recipes for these bars but they all ended up coming back to that original recipe that I knew didn’t create a totally authentic version of the Clif bar. After some searching and calculating, I ended up coming up with a bar that uses many of the ingredients used in the Clif bar with a few modifications to make them nutritionally compatible to a store bought bar.

A regular Chocolate Brownie Clif bar has 230 calories, 4.5g fat, 5g fiber and 9g protein. My version came out with 248 calories, 7.2g fat, 2.5g fiber and 8.8g protein. Not totally there but pretty darn close!

While these still don’t quite emulate the gooeyness of regular Clif bars, the FLAVOR was almost spot on, if not even just a little bit tastier! But the one thing these have over store bought Clif bars is the fact that they are GLUTEN FREE! Yeah! Now, if only Clif would start making their versions gluten free…

Chocolate Brownie Clif Bars

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 Âź cup brown rice cereal
  • 2 T flax
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T chocolate chips
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • Âź c brown rice syrup
  • Âź c date paste (pour 2/3 cup hot water over a cup of pitted medjool dates. Let them soak for about an hour, and then blend them well using a Vitamix or food processor)
  • 2 T coconut butter
  1. Line 8” baking pan with wax paper and lightly sprayed with cooking spray or wiped with coconut butter.
  2. Once pan is prepped, mix first 6 ingredients in medium sized bowl. Bring brown rice syrup, date paste and coconut butter to a boil.
  3. Once hot, pour hot liquids over dry ingredient and stir well.
  4. Spread mixture in prepared pan and allow to cool completely. Cut into 6 squares.

Note: I used Whey protein powder for the protein powder which is not sweetened but was vanilla
flavored. If you use different protein powder, you might need to work with the flavor a bit to make
them sweet enough/not too sweet.

what i ate wednesday #17


Welcome to the second What I Ate Wednesday Love Your Veggies Month! I’m loving the theme, and tried to incorporate more veggies into my eats but could still use some more work! To be honest, it was the end of the day before I remembered the theme haha – but I still did okay!

Pre-Run: Rice cake with peanut butter + trader joe’s preserves. Also coffee, naturally.

It was my first “long run” of my second half marathon training plan today, so I’m getting back into the swing of my weekend workout routine! Today was a snowy 5 miles and it felt so good!

Breakfast: After getting back from my run I whipped up a batch of muffins (recipe to come!) and put them in the oven to bake while I stretched and did some ab work. I had two of the Banana Millet Chocolate Chunk Muffins along with a yogurt parfait. Blueberries, Orange Vanilla Chobani Champions greek yogurt (LOVE this new flavor!), and LOVE granola. Quite a delicious breakfast!

It was really cold out today so Crosby was chillin in his hoodie all day :).

Lunch: We had some leftover steak, broccoli and sweet potatoes from a dinner during the week, so I decided to slice up the steak and stir-fry it with broccoli, peas and some gluten free teriyaki sauce and had it with the sweet potatoes and a pile of lettuce that needed to be eaten on the side! Peas, broccoli, sweet potato and lettuce definitely make this a VEGGIE filled lunch!

I was still hungry after lunch so I had some almonds, raisins and a little chunk of chocolate.

Snack: For an afternoon snack I decided on a chocolate Luna Protein bar with a side of chunky peanut butter. I love having pb with granola bars – not a good habit to get in, but it is a good protein boost, right?!

Dinner: We ended up having a very late (for us) dinner tonight. We were thinking of going out for mexican, but decided to make it at home instead! Not quite the same, but this combo was delicious! Will definitely have to make it again :). Bed of greens with taco meat + cheese, Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa (both so good!) and quite a few tortilla chips.

I also needed to end the day with a little more sweetness. A little chocolate ice cream with milk stirred in (like a shake) with a crumbled Almond Flour Coconut Chocolate Cookie. Delicious :).

chocolate banana softserve

I hadn’t made banana softserve in a really long time. I fell in love with the stuff last year when I was avoiding dairy, and it definitely helped with any ice cream cravings! Cold weather seems to take away my wanting of cold desserts. I’d much rather have a cup of steaming hot cocoa than a bowl of something frozen when I’m already chilled to the bone ;). Well, last week when I made this it was unseasonably warm – and it was actually after my first Yoga Body Bootcamp so I was quite steamy for a few hours! Ice cream + smoothies were on my mind, and I figured that there was no time like the present to make something to cool me off.

Chocolate Banana Softserve

  • ~3 frozen bananas (take the peeling off before freezing)
  • 1 TBS cocoa powder
  • ~1/4c milk (almond, soy, regular, chocolate)
  1. Place the banans and cocoa powder in a food processer and start blending.
  2. Once everything has blended for a few minutes and is starting to get softer, add in a little milk at a time to reach your desired consistency.

This recipe is really quite simple – as long as you own a food processor or a blender ;). And no good glass of ice cream is complete without some sprinkles!

Need any last minute dessert ideas for V-Day? Look no further!

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls with Valentine’s M+M’s <— Need I say more?

Decadent Date & Pecan Brownies <— No bake + absolutely devine

Sugar Cookie Cutouts <— Make sure you use a heart shape cutter 😉

Chocolate Cutouts <— Again, with a heart shape cookie cutter!

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie <— Would definitely be cute made into a bar cookie in the shape of a heart, with a ton of frosting on top 😉