Slowing Down {Not By Choice}

Life has been busy, hence my lack of recent blog posts.  I have been committing to my yoga practice, trying to enjoy some outside bike rides and fires, working hard on a few different projects, and enjoying time with my new roommates.

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I have been drinking wine, teaching kids yoga, attending donut club, playing on the 606, reading like crazy, drinking a ton of espresso, and this past weekend we did a family trip up to Green Lake, Wisconsin.

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What I haven’t been doing much off…cooking, baking, and blogging.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some help in the kitchen and of course my BBQ master.  Plus, with new roommates, there are more of us to help out with all of the meal planning.  Last weekend was so super busy, I never even made it to the grocery store!  So that being said, it was very clear when about 2 weeks ago I was playing tennis with my dad, went to shag down a run away ball, and fell in a hole, rolling my left ankle to the sounds of cracking and popping that perhaps the universe was encouraging me to slow down.

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I iced and taped my ankle and focused on rest throughout the weekend.  I took a night off from yoga teacher training and an easy bike ride throughout town (see picture above).  At a time when my yoga practice was escalating and getting more intense, I too a step back.  It wasn’t easy but I listened to my body.  Luckily, the 5k I was supposed to run the next weekend got cancelled and by this weekend, I was feeling 85% better with only mild amounts of pain with lateral movements and Warrior II.  Last Friday, I even went out for a pain free run and Saturday morning did a fun yoga session on the dock with my mom in Wisconsin.

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However, Saturday took a sad turn when my right big toe got sliced by a sliding doggie gate.  It didn’t look good for my nail but didn’t look bad enough for a trip to the rural Wisconsin ER.  We bandaged up my toe and the weekend proceeded on with boat rides, food, crazy doggies, sunsets, and wine!

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It was a wonderful weekend get away and we all appreciated the sunshine and stories.

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Yesterday, I decided to have my toe checked out by the podiatrist.  All the funny walking had my left ankle acting up again and I wasn’t sure what to do with the wound.  The good news…no signs of infection.  The bad news…my big toe nail was coming off.  Somehow I made it through 2 marathons with all 10 toe nails and here after a casual weekend in Wisconsin, I was losing my first one.

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I was instructed to rest and so rest I did.  I spent last night off my feet, but didn’t sleep so well last night.  I took today off of work, figuring my right toe and now sore left ankle weren’t ready for the ball pit at work.  After a mid morning nap and a bandage change, my toe was feeling much better.  So much so that I got a bit antsy.  Since yoga, running, and biking were on the ‘No’ list, I took advantage of a yoga glo meditation.  And then whipped up 2 new raw recipes for snacks for the week.

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Which means after a quiet few months, I actually have some recipes to share.  The first one, I modified a bit using a little almond milk instead of extra honey to help the dough come together.  Both recipes below are as written without my modifications.

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These protein bites are super delicious and won’t last long in your house!  I was so successful that I decided to try one more with dates and peanut butter since we had both in the house.

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For this recipe, I added a little extra chia and because I didn’t have peanuts, I used a mix of nuts from a trail mix.

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I had to try a tiny bite before putting the bars into the fridge…

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And they are also super delish!  After all of the activity, I was ready to retreat back to my chair with a little more rest and some ice.

Because clearly, someone, somewhere is telling me to rest and slow down.  My plan for the week is to let pain be my guide and build up my activity level slowly as able each day.  I know that I will be back in my gym shoes and on my mat soon enough.  And within the next year, I’ll even have a brand new toe nail!

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Until then, I’ll be hanging with my new nurse!

How do you know when you need to slow down?

Have you ever lost a toe nail?

 

No Bake Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bites

From Cotter Crunch

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (around 65-75grams) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey ·
  • ½ cup almond meal or peanut flour (you can also just finely grind raw almonds) ·
  • ¼ cup nut butter (creamy no stir works best)
  • ¾ cup of gluten free quick oats or gluten free cereal of choice
  • Vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Grind up your oats or cereal in a food processor and transfer into a mixing bowl. This is optional. You can keep them whole as well and adjust the addition of honey.
  2. Add your almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, and nut butter. Stir ingredients all together.  Add in your honey and vanilla then mix again well with hands.
  3. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls and place on cookie tray or plastic ware with parchment paper underneath.
  4. Dust with additional cinnamon and vanilla protein if desired.
  5. Keep in fridge or freezer for up to 6 weeks (if they last that long).

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Bars

From My Sequined Life

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted, whole dates
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (or 2x as much)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to food processor and process until the ingredients break down and become a mostly cohesive mixture. You will still have little pieces of peanuts remaining, and the consistency of the mixture should hold together when you press it together.
  2. Line a rimmed dish with parchment paper and press mixture into it, leaving your desired thickness.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing. Store bars in the refrigerator.
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Bu Bye BBQ

My office has been rocking the Taco Tuesdays lately!

***Thought I had a picture to attach here with our awesome potluck spread, but apparently I do not : )

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Work is way more fun when you like your coworkers, so I am sad to say that this was our last week together.  My bosses offered to throw a potluck in my honor for my last week, and they let me pick the theme, so I went with a summer BBQ.  Yesterday, everyone brought something delicious to share, and I signed up for a Corn Spoonbread.

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It was super easy to make and went perfectly with the BBQ chicken sandwiches!

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I was a little nervous about serving a new recipe, but how can you go wrong with Jiffy mix and creamed corn?!

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Luckily, it turned out great (and everyone agreed)!  We had more than enough fantastic food to eat, including these incredible desserts made by one of my coworkers!

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My second to last day went well, and I had mixed emotions about my last day today.  All day, my patients (and even some of my coworkers patients) have been so sweet and wonderful!  My coworkers are awesome and I know come Tuesday, I will miss them even more!

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After a long last day of work with tough goodbyes, I swung by Target for some wine, and the BOY and I decided B Wubs would be an easy dinner.  I sipped a beer while I waited for our take out order to be ready.

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One of my coworkers’ patient’s brought in the most sweet and beautiful cake today, so I attempted to bring home the leftovers for dessert.  Sadly, its current state is a reflection on my driving : )

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Cooper found the frosting before I even noticed and was happily tasting away.  After wings, the BOY and I dug right in too!

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We then cuddled up for the night with some wine and a movie.  Not gonna like…we are watching one of my old school favorites Adventures in Babysitting!  It’s a fun way to kick off the holiday weekend, which for me is not only the start of summer, but also a whole new adventure ahead!!!

 

How are you celebrating Memorial Day weekend?

I highly recommend that you include this cornbread!!!

 

Sweet Corn Spoonbread

From Southern Bite

Ingredients

  • 1 (8.5-ounce) package JIFFY Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1 (14.75-ounce) can cream style corn
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the spoonbread is set.

Energy Snack Bites {x 2}

It’s going to be a crazy week, I think!

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We are recovering from sinus infections AND post wedding fun!  Sunday was nice and calm…perhaps the calm before the storm.  This is my last week at my job, so I anticipate some emotion.  Plus, I am prepping for my new job and had to go into the city for an all day class on Monday (my usual day off).  Ugh!  So I dragged myself to the grocery store on Sunday, which was a mess because I wore my Px sunglasses and forgot my regular glasses and then spent my time alternating between being the girl indoors with sunglasses and not being able to see so good.  And then I got charged for 122 lemons : )  All ended well and I came home with some options for food this week although I am way more unorganized than usual.

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Oh I’m sorry Cooper…am I boring you?!  I guess he’s tired too…LOL!

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In between napping and folding laundry, I whipped up a few batches of energy balls on Sunday.  I went totally lazy and busted out the food processor even though that’s not how the recipes were written.

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Interestingly, this recipe used almond milk to pull everything together.  I’ve never used that before in a raw no bake recipe, but I liked it so much that I did it again with recipe number 2!

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The texture of these bites was spot on (if I do say so myself) and even the BOY was raving about their flavor.

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This recipe didn’t make as many as I thought we would both need to survive the week, so I found another recipe, similar but different, cleaned out my food processor and stated adding in the healthy stuff.

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It worked out well that I had the perfect Dutch chocolate powder to use from The Spice House!

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Like the recipe before, I blended with my food processor (instead of my hands) and because everything looked a bit dry, I even added in some almond milk.

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Another tasty treat complete and we were all set for the week.  Even if we don’t have meals planned out, we won’t starve!

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Mmm! Love having homemade snacks to eat!  I’m sure I will be living on these all summer long!

 

What is your favorite snack bite recipe?

 

Protein Peanut Butter Energy Bites

From The Healthy Maven (but modified a bit)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder (about 2 scoops)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 3 T natural honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 T liquid (almond milk)

Directions

  1. Add oats, protein powder, cinnamon and chia seeds to food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Add in peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Combine again in processor.  Mixture should be slightly sticky but still crumbly.
  3. Slowly add in liquid 1 tablespoon at a time (I did this while processing).  Combine until it comes together in a sticky ball that holds together. If mixture is too dry, add in more liquid but not so much that it won’t hold shape.
  4. Roll into balls using hands.
  5. Place in a container to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Store in fridge until ready to eat.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

From Chef Savvy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate protein powder (I only had vanilla so that’s what I used)
  • 2 tablespoons water (or almond milk)

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in food processor. Mix to combine. If mixture looks too try add a bit more water (or almond milk).
  2. Place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes so they are easier to roll.
  3. Roll into 8 bites and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Carnitas!!!

Who doesn’t love taco night?!  Especially Taco Tuesday!

In an attempt to keep dinners simple, but new this week, we made 2 Ingredient Pork Carnitas.  Very similar to 2 Ingredient Chicken, just with pork.

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The grill has taken over most of our meals this week…woo hoo…but Sunday, I still pulled out the crockpot.  Great for hearty fall meals but also awesome for warm days that you don’t want to turn on your oven.

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Tuesday night, Cooper was super into our dinner…

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Which turned out absolutely delicious!!!

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We made tacos on Tuesday, and I had leftovers for lunch today.  Both were fantastic, which makes this a good make ahead option!

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And for dessert…the BOY and I made S’mores Ice Cream!

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Which may not look that awesome in this picture but is highly addictive!

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Which we noted as we ate it out of the container with a shared spoon and covered in whipped cream tonight : )

 

2 Ingredient Pork Carnitas

Ingredients

~2 lbs Pork (the BOY picked out ‘center’)

1 jar of smoky salsa (or whatever kind you like)

Directions

Spray crockpot with cooking spray.

Place trimmed pork and salsa in crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  When soft and falls apart easily, shred pork with 2 forks.  Return to crockpot and continue to cook for about 1 hour.

Use for tacos or salads or anything else!

Sloppy Joe…Slop Sloppy Joes

Happy Hump Day!

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We’ve finally got some consistent sunshine in these parts.  Woo Hoo!  After my work day, I had to get out and enjoy it.  I walked for a bit while chatting with my SIL. 

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Truth, my workouts have been lacking this week due to my work schedule, so I figured any exercise will help my body and mind.  Our food this week, on the other hand, has been pretty on point!

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This week was a bit different because we started the week with a delicious meal at Wildfire.  My Monday was pretty fantastic, and I was able to whip up some Buffalo Chicken Chili and a new Sloppy Joe recipe.  Thank you Adam Sandler for inspiring my post title!

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Funny Story…the store was out of green peppers, but I remembered that I had a small can of diced green chili peppers in my pantry.  I figured that’d be perfect and dumped them into my turkey.  They looked a bit off and when I looked at the can on it’s way into the recycling, I realized that I just poured a ton of jalapeno peppers into my pan!

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Not surprising as I make mistakes a bunch in the kitchen!  To try to fix it, I pulled out about 75% of them and hoped that they’d add flavor and not be too spicy.

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Instead, when I did my initial taste test, I felt there was an overwhelming mustard flavor.  I am new to eating mustard so may have used the wrong kind.  I poured in more ketchup and BBQ sauce, and the end result was superb!

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So I should admit that growing up I was never that into sloppy joe’s while the BOY claims that he was a huge Manwich fan.  I had to ask him for his opinion of this recipe.  Was it good?  Yes!  Did it taste like sloppy joe’s?  Kind of!  So take that for what it’s worth…a tasty dinner (he made a sandwich while I did a quinoa bowl with avocado), but it may not replicate your childhood favorite meal : )

Would love to chat more about the intricate details of sloppy joe’s, but I’ve got a Blackhawks game to watch!

 

Do you like Sloppy Joe’s?

 

Meal Planning 4/11/16

Monday: Out to Eat

Tuesday: Sloppy Joe’s

Wednesday: Sausages and Veggies

Thursday: Buffalo Chicken Chili

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

From SkinnyMs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454 grams) ground turkey breast (raw)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup natural ketchup
  • 1 8 oz can no-salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce

Note: I would recommend combing your sauce well before putting it into the crockpot.  I ended up adjusting my quantities.

Directions

Mist a skillet with oil and brown raw turkey, onions and green pepper over medium heat. (You could skip this step, but you will get a better flavor.)  Place turkey meat, onions & green pepper in the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. (See Note Above!)  Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. If you don’t brown the meat first, then cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Using the Weather as an Excuse…

Sunday was a lazy day!

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It’s such a double edged sword…last weekend, we ran around and had a blast in the city, but I was missing some down time.  This Sunday, was all about the down time and of course I felt guilty about using the cold wet weather as a reason not to leave my house.  My day included… Me, the BOY, Cooper, and Netflicks…oh and few rounds of baking and laundry.  All while in the comfort of my jammies.  It was THAT kind of day!  And it was wonderful!

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Monday, I woke up recharged and ready to burn off some energy.  With the sun out, I knew I wanted to get out and run!

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Now this is my kind of running weather! I ran 6 miles along the path, along with my thoughts, and soaking up some sunshine.

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The rest of my day was typical Monday…grocery store, meal prep, and paperwork.

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I figured instead of starting of the week with what’s in my crockpot, I’d rather share these amazing cookies with you that I made yesterday.  I had all the ingredients on hand, and so in between episodes of Scandal, I ran back and forth to the kitchen to whip up the BOY’s favorite cookies!

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They are super sweet and will start  your Monday off right!

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Meal Planning and more recipes coming to you soon!  Today, I’m using the sunny weather as an excuse to not want to blog any more : )

 

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

From Recipe Diaries

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups oatmeal (quick cooking oats, but I used half and half)

Directions

  1. First, you put the raisins in a small pan of water uncovered and cook till puffy. Put in strainer to drain and cool.
  2. Cream and beat together (using electric mixer) the butter, brown sugar, and eggs.
  3. Mix together the flour (unsifted), soda, baking powder, cinnamon, oatmeal and add to the creamed mixture, using beater to mix.
  4. Last, add the raisins.
  5. With a spoon, mix them in ever so lightly.
  6. Drop by teaspoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheets or Silpats.
  7. Bake them at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Take them out before they get brown!
  8. Cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to waxed paper to cool completely.
  9. Enjoy!

No French Fry Bars

The bad news is when you play all weekend, there is a lot of work to do on Monday.  And I don’t mean work, work because it is still the weekend (for me), but house work!  I would have loved to have spent Monday on my couch, cuddled with Cooper, and catching up on Scandal.  Instead, I woke up and immediately started creating laundry piles. 

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Saturday morning, the BOY and I woke up to snow.  Not a lot of it, but more than anyone wants to see in April!

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The BOY and I went to the gym for our training sessions and then quickly packed up before driving downtown.  My sister in law has been wanting to try Soul Cycle and I was more than  happy to accompany here to the Old Rihanna vs. New Rihanna class.

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We had a lot of fun working up a sweat.  Then the guys met us for lunch and beer at Corridor.  The weather was odd, alternating between hail and sunshine, but we managed to walk around and shop before making our way back to their house.  We had a little bit of down time before getting ready for our family friend’s wedding.  My mom, SIL, and I drank bubbles while we got our hair done at the dry bar, and then everyone got all dressed up for the wedding.

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We danced the night away and had a great time together!  Sunday was another fun family day, but this time the weather was gorgeous!

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We walked all over the city, racking up close to 7 miles.  Along the way, we discovered an amazing little bakery and fueled up with cupcakes (and a not pictured cookie sandwich that was consumed during the walk)!

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The BOY and I didn’t get home until late Sunday night, and we stopped and picked up Thai for dinner on our way home.  I was feeling exhilarated with the excitement of the weekend and crashed for a good 10 hours Sunday night.  Which brings me back to this morning.  After getting a few loads of laundry going, I grabbed leftovers for breakfast and debated if I wanted to go to the 9:30am yoga class.  A run would have been ideal, but after yesterday’s 60 degree weather, this morning was chilly.

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So off to yoga I went!  And then came back home to get myself organized for the day while sipping on a Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Smoothie.  I made my grocery list and our meal plan. 

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With the cold weather, chili was top on my list…Mmm!

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So I had the opportunity to bump into an old coworker of the BOY’s last week.  She mentioned that she saw him eating one of the protein balls I had made.  When she asked him what was with the healthy fare, he said that I made them so that he doesn’t eat French Fries (LOL!).  I actually make them so that we have healthy snack options throughout the day, but the French Fry comment had me cracking up.

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On that note, I made another batch of bars this week and we can just call them ‘No French Fry’ bars!

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These are actually a Luna bar knock off and absolutely delicious!

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You’ll have to make a batch and let me know if they keep you away from the drive through : )

 

What is your favorite mid afternoon snack?

 

Meal Planning 4/04/16

Monday: Chili

Tuesday: Sesame Honey Chicken

Wednesday: Burgers and Veggies

Thursday: TBD

 

(Homemade) Peanut Butter

Chocolate Chip Luna Bars

From Lauren’s Latest

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 24 oz. pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • pinch sea salt

Directions

  1. Place peanuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop into fine pieces without turning into a paste. Add in dates, chocolate chips and salt. Continue pulsing until one large mass comes together in the bowl. Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper or plastic wrap and press date mixture evenly into the dish. Dip your fingers into water to prevent sticking. Place into freezer or fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove completely from pan using excess plastic wrap as help and cut into 10 even pieces. Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.