Mmm...Food...

Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Happy Monday, and happy “I took all my photos on my phone” day…sorry about the lack of prettiness!

Super easy and super clean, these little muffins will probably become your go to when you want a little baked good. It’s as easy as blending a few ingredients, throwing in any extras you want to have, and baking them up!

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Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 cup natural peanut butter
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional mix-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, raisins, dried fruit
optional topping: equal parts oats, unsweetened coconut, and brown sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Blend all ingredients together, and then stir in any extras you’d like. Divvy the batter up among your muffin tins. It should fill about 36 of them. If you want to add a topping, just sprinkle a little on each one and gently press down.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Enjoy!

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Health, Mmm...Food...

Caprese Salad

Any big plans this weekend? End of summer cookouts, perhaps? Or good ol’ fashioned potlucks?

Let me give you the easiest, peasiest dish ever for you to bring to your next gathering: Caprese Salad. It is EXACTLY as it sounds, and everyone will truly love it.

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You need just a few simple ingredients:

  • Mozzarella
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Now don’t hate me…but I’m not giving your “real amounts” here. Sorry if that is a problem…but basically, you need equal parts of cheese and tomatoes. Dice your cheese and half your tomatoes – you should have a pretty even ration of the two. Next, roll several basil leaves together and chiffonade your basil to get these nice pretty little strips. Mix this all together with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a generous drizzle of balsamic. Mix it all up with a little salt and pepper and let it sit in the fridge a little while. Give it a taste, and if you don’t get enough tang from the balsamic, mix in a little more.

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So this is my quasi-recipe of the day…I made it in a bit of a hurry so didn’t measure anything out – sorry!! But truly, enjoy these last weekends of summer, and make some yummy, fresh foods!

Health, Mmm...Food...

Spicy Swiss Chard and Zucchini

This recipe is courtesy of my lovely father. He is quite the cook, and has a wonderful love for swiss chard. Admittedly, I have been a little leery of cooking it because I didn’t know what to do! So he gave me some over the phone instructions for this amazing vegetable dish.

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Spicy Swiss Chard and Zucchini

From my dad 🙂

Ingredients
1 bunch swiss chard
3 small zucchinis, chopped
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons EVOO
1 can HOT petite diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained (**clearly this is what makes this dish hot, so please just get regular petite diced if you don’t like a little kick!)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water, add salt, and add your swiss chard (break it into chunks first) stems and all. Bring to a boil, and let boil until it’s very soft (I did about 20 minutes, but more is fine). Pour into collander in the sink, and leave the pot off the heat. Once drained, pour the swiss chard back into the pot.

2. While the siwss chard is boiling, in a large fry pan, saute your zucchini in EVOO on med-high heat until it’s nice a browned. Season with a little salt along the way. Add to the cooked swiss chard pot.

3. Add your onions and garlic to the same pan you just cooked your zucchini in, and saute until the onions are nice and translucent. Add your can of drained tomatoes and heat through. Add this mixture to your veggies, and combine well. I left the pot on low heat while I cooked the rest of my meal. Taste it and add salt and pepper as you see fit!

AMAZEBALLS.

ENJOY!

Health, Mmm...Food..., Work It Out

Motivation Station

They say it takes a village…and I think that applies to pretty much everything in life. When it comes to our health, there are so many steps along the way that add up to a “healthy lifestyle.” And discovering what said “healthy lifestyle” means to you is a series of trial and error. Success and failure. It’s an ongoing journey. And on this journey so far, I have tested many waters to figure out what makes me tick. I need constant motivation, which comes in many forms. I thought I’d share with you today some of my favorite technological motivation tools I use on a regular basis! I say all this with a cupcake pictured at the top of my blog, but hey, it’s about finding a balance, right?

My fitness tools…

Bodybuilding.com / Bodyspace App – I really love lifting weights, way more than cardio. But I never plan to be like, a pro or anything, of course. Remember ladies, lifting weights won’t make you big!! It will make you strong. If you’re just getting started, I recommend reading up on Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer Program. I’ve followed the plan before, and I’m following it now. I enjoy having a clear plan to follow! You’re more likely to succeed when you aren’t just winging it at the gym. So explore a little and find what type of program works for you. Along the same lines, the app for bodybuidling.com is called BodySpace and it is THE best thing EVER for tracking your workouts. You click on the calendar, it shows you your workout, and you can go through each exercise and log your weight and reps. You can even see what you did last time, add in additional workouts to your daily template, create your own in advance, etc.

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Spotify – This is my preferred method of music. Easy to make playlists, shuffle them, etc. And there a few playlists already made for you that you can just follow! Some of my favorites include: Spotify Ultimate Workout Playlist, PopSugar Cardio Playlist, PopSugar Rocking Relaxation, and of course my own massive WORKOUT Playlist that I constantly update. Obviously, it includes Britney.

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My Fitness Pal – I would like to live my life without counting calories, but sometimes, you just need to get back on track. If you have a lot of weight to lose, or have very specific fitness goals, My Fitness Pal is my favorite app / website. I like that it breaks down the nutrition for you. For example, I put in that my daily calorie goal is 1600 calories, and that I want 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat. It does the math for me and sets my goals. I really haven’t used this consistently in a while, since lately I’ve just been trying to be more focused on eating clean (on ongoing journey, of course), but like I said, if you need to count for a while to get on track, this is the way to do it.

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Map My Run – Another app I don’t use too often, but for the occasional (attempt) at a run, it’s helpful. Plus, I get friendly little notifications whenever Katy runs like, a million miles at 5 a.m., and that’s motivating too.

Instagram – Yes, it CAN be used as fitness inspiration. I’ve started following people who eat paleo, who lift weights, who eat clean, and just seeing the photos of regular people who have accomplished what you are trying to accomplish is SO helpful. I especially like to browse photos when I’m finding myself tempted by silly foods at work or other gatherings. I would say this is where I feel the most community – people commenting on and liking your photos, encouraging each other, etc. Some people I follow that particularly inspire me are runningpaleomomma, planksloveandguacamole, honeywerehome, and corinanielsen. Most of them have blogs too!

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Diet Bet – I’ve only done it once, but hey, money is ALWAYS motivating, yes? Visit www.dietbetter.com, and join a game. Or better yet, start one with your friends! It’s usually a $25 or $30 buy in, and you have to lose 4% of your body weight in a month, OR 10% in six months. I was able to do 4% during my Whole30 month, but honestly, I’m not looking to lose that much weight right now. At the end of your bet, you weigh in and if you’ve lost the weight, you split the pot with all the other winners.

So that’s it! That’s part of my fitspiration. What are some tools you use? And seriously, what did we do before smartphones??

Health, Mmm...Food..., Whole30

Clean Eating + The Easiest Pancakes EVER

So, upon completeing my Whole30 (which left me feeling THE BEST EVER), I was totally all like “I’m totally going to eat CLEAN like this ALL the time, and just cheat once in a while when out with friends or wanting a bit of sweets. Hooray me!”

And if I had to sum up my clean eating success since my Whole30 in just two words, they would be:

WOMP and WOMP.

Okay so, not total failure, but OMG when Easter came, so did sweets, and that really put me over the edge. It didn’t help that I made these. And THEN I made THESE. Ugh, what was I thinking. So last week was a total sweets fest, and let me just say I can feel it. Now I’m trying to find the balance. Almost no one can live 100% of the time on Whole30, or really even paleo, but I tend to be a little…binge-y, if that’s a word. I’m learning that I’m better at abstaining than I am at moderation. So I need to work on the moderation thing.

The last few days though, I’ve eaten pretty clean, without overthinking it. My goal is just to feel good consistently, and find the balance where I’m not only feeling good, but feeling confident and happy with myself! We should all feel happy with ourselves! And most the time, I honestly do. But if I can feel even BETTER, then why not?

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So have y’all seen the “egg and banana” pancakes on pinterest? They are everywhere. I was pretty skeptical, but I happened to have one very ripe banana on hand over the weekend, so I went for it. Not only was this easy, but it was actually QUITE tasty. Mash (and I mean, pulverize) a banana and an egg together. Add a hefty dose of cinnamon as well. Fry these suckers up just like pancakes, and VOILA! I drizzled a bit of Sun Butter on mine (it’s my absolute favorite non-peanut butter). Here’s a close up with a beautifully fried egg…

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And for dinner the other night, I made some pork chops on my grill top pan, along with mashed cauliflower and kale chips. It might look bland, but this is definitely one of my favorite clean meals – simple, warm, cozy, and filling. It’s clean comfort food!

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Are you on a clean eating journey? How’s it going?

Health, Mmm...Food..., Whole30

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

So, this recipe seriously satisfied my wants for spaghetti, sloppy joes, and a hamburger all in one meal. It’s a very simple recipe, and could easily be made a little fancier by adding cheese or rice, but in the paleo world, that’s a no-go. So just stick to this easy meal, and you’ll be good to go!

Turkey stuffed peppers

Turkey Stuffed Peppers (serves 4-5)

Ingredients

4-5 bell peppers (any colors you want), cut in half and seeded

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 onion, diced

1 lb lean turkey meat (could also do pork, beef, etc)

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato paste (my hubby loves this stuff so he added the whole can…just go with your gut on that one)

Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, & pepper to taste

a few leaves of basil, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place bell pepper halves in a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, until they start to get soft.

2. On medium-high heat, saute the garlic and onion in a little bit of olive oil until they begin to appear translucent. Add the turkey and cook until browned. Add the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. Once heated through and simmering, add the basil.

3. Remove the peppers from the oven, and fill each with the meat mixture. Place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Health, Mmm...Food..., Whole30

Raw Cilantro Salad Dressing {paleo}

I can’t say I LOVE this salad dressing (see yesterday’s salad photo), but it’s the first paleo dressing I’ve made, and honestly, it works for me! It’s a great base, as well, if you want to play around with the herbs, veggies, and seasonings you might throw into it. I think next round, I’ll work on a cucumber dressing of some kind, and hold the parsley. So without further adieu..

Raw Cilantro Salad Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup walnts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 medium orange, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Blend it all together in a food processor, and put it on anything you want!