No Bake and Go Red

I love the bulk aisle at Whole Foods.  Well, I love EVERYTHING about Whole Foods, but the bulk aisle is always fun!  I have been craving some kitchen/baking time, so I stocked up on some no bake ingredients last weekend. 

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And then, never made anything : (  This BLOG used to be FULL of recipes and I haven’t made anything new in a few weeks.  To fix that, I bought ingredients for some no bake energy bites to snack on during study sessions and after workouts.  When I woke up this morning, I decided to whip them up before doing some work. I pulled out all the ingredients, found the recipe I wanted, and got to work.  What I realized is that I bought ingredients for two different energy balls and got them a bit messed up, which is why my recipe differs slightly from Erin’s.

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And because everything didn’t blend together as smoothly (I have a smaller food processor than is suggested and did eat a few of the figs during the week), I added in a bit of honey to help it all stick together.

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I packed up a few energy balls to take with me on this afternoons adventure at Macy’s and stored the rest in the fridge.

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It was a gorgeous 40 degree day, and I was almost sad to be heading indoors to the mall.

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I volunteered to demo yoga poses at the Go Red campaign at the local Macy’s to support women’s heart health.

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It was a fun afternoon educating women on how they can stay active and strengthen their hearts.  When I got home, the BOY started on dinner.  We did ‘make your own pizza’ night and it was fantastic!

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What is your favorite heart healthy habit or recipe?

 

Fig and Peanut Energy Bites

From Well Plated Erin

Ingredients

15 dried Mission figs (6 ounces)
7 pitted Mejool dates (4 ounces)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cup oats, either old fashioned or quick cooking (gluten free if necessary)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional: 1 tbsp of honey

Directions

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of your food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to loosely combine, then with a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Blend and pulse for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture begins to clump and sticks to the sides of the bowl, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.  If it doesn’t stick, then add in the honey.

Portion the mixture into your hands, then roll the mixture into any sized balls you like.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Did I set January Goals?

I really have NO idea!

Which means that I have to go back looking through my blog in search of January goals.  I mean it’s mid February already, I probably should have figured this out.  I know that I did set my 2014 intentions with an exciting new bucket list.  But can’t remember any January, or February for that matter goals.

 

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Search complete…Hope you enjoyed the view.

It seems that I never set January and February goals, which is why I can’t remember what they are : )  I’m thinking that I do want to keep going with the monthly goals this year, which means that I need to get thinking. 

 

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Meanwhile, I will just share a recipe with you.  You all know how much I LOVED eating Flax and Chia Bowls last winter!

 

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Which got me thinking…what if I subbed in sweet potato instead of banana?

 

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The result was today’s breakfast, and it was really flavorful, filling, and satisfying!  Sadly, I have no finished pictures to share (the ones above are from the night before), because they don’t really do this breakfast any justice.  Like last winter, I’ve been running intervals around the indoor track for cardio during the cold and dark mornings.  Tuesday it was descending ladders and this morning, I threw some intervals into the end of my run.

This breakfast always hits the spot after a tough morning workout!

 

 

Sweet Potato, Chia, and Flax Bowl

 

Ingredients

1/2 cooked sweet potato, mashed

12 g chia seeds

1 heaping spoonful of ground flax

1 tsp or more pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup almond milk

Optional: honey, agave, or sweetener of your choice

 

Directions

-Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

-Place in fridge over night.

-Serve the next morning topped with berries or granola.

 

 

And…Let’s just call these my Mid February and March Goals

1. Decrease Sugar Intake

2. Build Strength

3. Play Tennis

4. Sign up for Races

 

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Yup, that’s the gym parking lot this morning.  Yuck!

Under the Grey Clouds

We’ve hit the ultimate low with lack of food in our house.  I’m not exactly sure how this happened because I did go to the grocery store (two I think) this past weekend but we are basically out of veggies and protein.  We do have plenty of fresh fruit though.  As I took a quick break from the Hawk’s game last night to prepare today’s food, trying to keep my eyes open from exhaustion, this was blatantly clear!

 

I typically use the the week night’s to prep for the day ahead.  This means picking out my clothes and making breakfast (if needed) in order to be as quick as possible getting out the door in the morning.  Last night as I thought about what to eat for my pre run breakfast, running through my typical list, I realized that I didn’t have many options.  No oatmeal, oats, bread, cooked quinoa etc.  I do have eggs, but Thursday mornings are early up and out the door so no time for eggs.  What I did have was a cooked sweet potato and a love of this Chia and Flax Bowl.  Well…I figured I’d give it a try.  And then packed up a LaraBar as a back up!

 

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First step, I mashed up my sweet potato and added in some banana.

 

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Then measured out the rest of my ingredients.  For Overnight Oats and Chia Bowls, I tend to use the scale for easy clean up.

 

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Breakfast went into the fridge and I went back to the couch to watch the Hawk’s overtime.  Thank you Hawks for scoring (again) because I was definitely ready for bed!  Bright and early (ok, maybe just early because it’s not really bright at 5:45am), I was downstairs curious about my breakfast.

 

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I was meeting a friend for an indoor interval run at the track.  We both ran the Soldier Field 10 Miler this weekend but were eager to get back to our weekly workouts.

 

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I ate half of my surprisingly tasty breakfast in the car on the way to the track.  No LaraBar needed!!!  I’m a huge fan of the texture common in chia seed bowls and anything with sweet potatoes makes me happy.  I got to the gym late and found my friend running along the track.  We started a 90 second push/90 second recovery interval workout which lasted about 15 minutes before my coworker needed to head off to work.  I had an extra 15 minutes before I needed to shower, so I ran at an easy pace.  Although 30 minutes was a little shorter of a workout than I had planned, after my busy weekend and Tuesday swim, it was enough.

 

I worked my second 11-12 hour work day in a row.  At one point today, we had a quick and crazy rain shower, but the skies cleared by the time I left work at  7:45pm.

 

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The clouds were incredible (they looked like fireworks) when I walked out of my office.  As I was sitting in intense construction traffic, there was another dense cloud off to the side.  I was feeling silly for taking pictures at the stop light until I realized that the person behind me was also taking pictures and the people to my left were pointing at the cloud.

 

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I don’t think the picture does the depth and size justice!  There were blue skies ahead and unique clouds at every stop light.

 

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I drove home with the windows down listening to the Lumineers CD trying to unwind after a LONG day.  About 3 miles before my exit on the highway, the skies ahead were jet black and you could see the line where the clouds changed from light to dark.

 

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We had a huge grey cloud hanging over our city!

 

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I walked in the door just as the first drops began to fall.

 

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The sky this evening was astonishing!  And I just added this last picture because I thought it turned out pretty cool.  The symbolism of the grey cloud was not lost on me.  Despite seeing the darkness under tonight’s cloud, I knew that the clouds would soon move on over another city and when I wake up tomorrow there will be blue skies ahead…followed by an amazing weekend.  Hooray for my girls only slumber party!  And maybe a trip to the grocery store for more food : )  Luckily, I have another half of sweet potato to remake this breakfast again for tomorrow!

 

 

Sweet Potato Chia Bowl

 

Ingredients

1/2 sweet potato, baked and mashed

1/2-1 banana, mashed

2 tbsp ground flax

2 tbsp chia seeds

1-2 tsp cinnamon

dash of vanilla

1/2 cup almond milk

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients and stir well.  Place in refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, stir, top with your favorite flavors, fruits, and nuts, and enjoy!

 

 

Do you run out of food by the end of the week?

Do you ever contemplate the clouds?

Banana + Chocolate + Chia

Even though morning comes quickly, my days are full, work is busy, and my commute sucks, I try real hard to make time during the work week for things I enjoy.  This isn’t always easy and takes planning.  Sometimes it’s big things, like dinner with the girls and sometimes, it’s the little things like watching a TV show with the BOY.  Exercise is also a big priority!  Although recently I’ve only been getting in 4x week.  My Thursdays used to be an easy day to get in an AM workout, but since I made some schedule changes, this has become harder.  I was venting about this to some friends at work when one of them said that it’s tough but sometimes you just have to get up before 6am.

 

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What?  Yea Right!  Okay, actually she was right!  And when she mentioned Wednesday night that she would be hitting the indoor track EARLY on Thursday, I said I’d be there.  I began pulling out my workout clothes and packing my gym bag shortly after walking in the door.  And then moved on to the next day’s EATS.

 

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My recent favorite has been this Chia and Flax Breakfast Bowl.  It is seriously the best and leaves tons of room for creativity!  Megan made this amazing Chocolate Chia Protein Bowl, and I loved the idea of adding some chocolate, so I did!  I stirred in some cacao powder (who doesn’t love chocolate and banana?) Wednesday night and added a light sprinkle of granola Thursday morning before hitting the road.

 

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The track is near our office, so I snacked on a few bites of breakfast before my run, saving the rest for afterwards.  It was a gorgeous morning that would have been perfect for an outdoor winter run!  But I was happy to find my friend and motivator already running laps around the indoor track.

 

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We kept a nice pace and it was fun to have company for my early morning run!  It was exactly what my sore legs needed after Tuesday’s speed intervals.  I was only sad that we had to cut it short to get ready for work.  I would have much preferred an hour at Starbucks first!  But then again, who wouldn’t?!

 

 

Banana Chocolate Chia Breakfast Bowl with Flax

 

Ingredients

1 banana

1-2 tbsp flax

2 tbsp chia

2 tbsp cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1 cup almond milk

Toppings

 

Directions

Mash your banana well.  Stir in the flax, chia, cacao, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk until well combined.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top with berries, granola, nut butters, etc.

Breakfast Again?!

Are you tired of breakfast yet???  I hope not because it really is the most important meal of the day!

 

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I’ve been working on perfecting this muffin bake with Take One and Take Two documented previously.  There is nothing more fun than making and tasting all of these different breakfasts!

 

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Now, it’s time for Take Three, and I ran out of blueberries.

 

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Not to worry because strawberries make an equally enjoyable substitution!

 

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This time I used less flax and more oat bran which gave me a much cake-ier consistency, but still a warm gooey center.

 

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Of note…this breakfast is wonderfully robust and filling.  However, I’m not going to pretend like this is as sweet as a muffin.

 

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I can tell you that I don’t miss the sweetness at all!  Especially when topped with almond butter and a sprinkle of coconut.

 

 

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Another fantastic, healthy, and satisfying breakfast.  The perfect way to start a sunny winter Sunday!

 

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Don’t have time to bake your breakfast?  I just learned from FitCupcaker that you can make her recipe in the microwave!

 

 

A few of my other healthy breakfast faves…

Chia and Flax Breakfast Bowl

Pumpkin Banana Baked Oatmeal Bars

Breakfast Stirfry

Pumpkin Cream Pie Oatbran

Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Cranberry Dough Boy Smoothie

 

 

 

Strawberry Muffins Bake

Adapted from Blueberry Muffin Bake

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp almond flour

2 tbsp ground flax

2 tbsp oat bran

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tbsp agave

Chopped and quartered strawberries

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together flax seed, oat bran, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add in almond milk, vanilla, and agave.

Fold in strawberries.

Bake for 22-24 minutes.

Let cool and then top with your favorite additions!

Blueberry Muffin Bake {Take Two}

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Happy EASY Saturday morning!

I’m sure I could replace the word easy with lazy but easy just sounds better : )  In all honesty, it’s a pretty lazy morning.  I didn’t sleep well this week, and was bummed to find myself awake before 8am this morning.  I wasn’t ready to actually start my day, so instead I moved downstairs to the couch where I had some DVRed TV to catch up on.

 

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I know that there will be many summer and fall Saturdays that I will be up at the crack of dawn marathon training where I will miss EASY mornings like this one.

 

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And by summer, I hope to have mastered the Blueberry Muffin Bake.  I made my first attempt earlier in the week and although this baked oatmeal was warm and filling, it wasn’t quite right.

 

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So I gave it another try this morning with a few changes.

 

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And boy did this one turn out better!

 

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The blueberries were warm and gooey and although the center wasn’t quite set (perhaps I need more flour and less flax for Take Three), this breakfast hit the spot!

 

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I covered the blueberry bake with tons of fresh berries.

 

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And this breakfast disappeared quickly!

 

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I hope you are having an EASY morning!

Looking for a reason to stay on your couch, go check out this hilarious video of ‘Mom Dancing’ posted on my friend Michelle’s blog!

 

What are your plans for the weekend?

 

 

 

Blueberry Flax Muffin Bake

Adapted from FitCupcaker and Running with Spoons

 

Ingredients

1/4 cup flax seed

2 tbsp almond flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tbsp agave

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together flax seed, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add in almond milk, vanilla, and agave.

Fold in blueberries.

Bake for 22-24 minutes.

Let cool for for a few minutes.  Then cover with berries, nuts, coconut, and all of your other favorite toppings.

Enjoy warm!

Chia and Flax Breakfast Bowl

Thursday morning used to be an easy morning to get up and out the door for a run or a gym circuit before arriving at work.  Recently, my work schedule has changed and it is totally rocking my workout schedule, which I hate!

 

I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time Thursday morning for a workout and didn’t want to waste time with transit.  As I was contemplating what to do (outside running was out with a windchill below zero), I remembered doing an awesome and quick home workout at the end of last year.  I looked it up the night before so when I woke up, I could get right to work, no time for excuses.  The workout was much harder than I remembered and by the 3rd round (7 reps each), I was sweaty and out of breath.  I wish I had my HRM because I was curious to see how fast my heart was beating.

 

After the workout, I concluded with a 2:00 minute plank before hopping in the shower and devouring my breakfast.  Best home workout EVER!  I’m still sore today!

 

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For breakfast this week, I have been living on this Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl.  I totally could have made the double batch because I ate it again this morning.  I changed up the recipe a bit and topped it with blueberries and almond butter.

 

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And let me tell you…

 

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This is one incredible tasting breakfast.  The best part is that after eating this at 7am, I was able to make it all the way to lunch at noon without a snack.  That never happens!

 

 

Has anyone tried the chia bowl?  What do you think?

What is your most filling breakfast?

 

 

Banana Chia Breakfast Bowl with Flax

Adapted from Oh She Glows!

 

Ingredients

1 banana

1-2 tbsp flax

2 tbsp chia

1 tsp vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1/2-3/4 cup almond milk

Toppings

 

Directions

Mash your banana well.  Stir in the flax, chia, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk until well combined.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top with berries, granola, nut butters, etc.