Kale & Beet Salad

Sometimes (most of the time), I’m a bad grocery shopper. I love grocery shopping so much, I’ll actually “window shop” at the grocery store! Anyway, the other day I was on my way home from visiting my grandma and found myself at Whole Foods (aka my favourite store). It was actually time to stock up for the week, but I found myself unprepared, as in, I had no idea what I wanted to be eating for lunches this week, never mind breakfast and dinner! As I stared, bright-eyed, at the produce, I thought: “BEETS! Oooh, and KALE!” Ok, I had a path… “Oh, and goat feta!” Done!

Image

Kale & Beet Salad
1 Bunch Kale
3 Medium Beets (roasted)
Quinoa
Goat Feta
Lemon Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)

*I learned how to strip kale from its icky (and wonderful, life-giving) stalk this weekend: hold the stem in one hand and the base of the green leaves with the other hand, pull the hand holding the green leaves away from the hand holding the stalk and voila! let there be stalk-less kale leaves!

Once my kale was stripped, I chopped it up and put it into a bowl. Instead of massaging each piece (like I’ve done for kale chips), I grabbed handfuls and squished it (like balling dough).

I roasted my beets (with their skins and stems) in a 450 degree oven, covered, for about 1 hour, rotating every 15 minutes or so or until I could poke them with a chopstick. After letting the beets cool, I peeled the skins off and chopped them up.

I made quinoa (with avocado, cucumber and Spike, wrapped in nori sheets) for dinner so it was an afterthought addition to the salad.

I mixed the kale and beets with a little lemon juice then added some quinoa, apple cider vinegar, and the goat feta in the morning; shake-shake-shake and yum!

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Blender Green “Juice”

Recently, juicing has become uber popular! As much as I’d like a juicer, I know that realistically I don’t have the time to use it enough to justify the cost and space 😦 I’m extremely lucky that I live in a city that has cold pressed, fresh, organic juices readily available; however, they are expensive! So, I’ve put my $50 blender to use and created my own “juice”.

MindBodyGreen recently posted a beauty infographic about juices vs smoothies. Both have their benefits and are yummy!

The first green smoothie came about because I had eaten too much meat over the previous days and was talking to my mum about feeling “blah” and uninterested in food. Our conversation turned to what I had in my fridge and the below Vegetable Drawer Juice came about.

Apple Banana Green Juice

These are all water-based.

Vegetable Drawer
Broccoli Slaw
Leaf Lettuce
Celery
Frozen Blueberries
1/2 Frozen Banana
Lemon Juice

Strawberry Banana
Kale
Celery
Ginger
Frozen Strawberries
1/2 Frozen Banana
Lemon Juice

Apple Banana
Kale
Celery
Ginger
1/2 Jazz Apple
1/2 Frozen Banana
Lemon Juice

Not So Green
Celery
1/2 Jazz Apple
1/2 Frozen Banana
Ginger
Lemon Juice

Raspberry and Romaine Green
Celery
Romaine Lettuce
Raspberries
1/2 Frozen Banana
Lemon Juice
Mint Leaf
Date *added as a sweetener*

Minty Green Goodness – this one surprised me
Romaine Lettuce
Frozen Kale
1/4 Jazz Apple
1/2 Frozen Banana
Frozen Strawberries
Lemon Juice
2 Mint Leaves
Date
Hemp Hearts

Apple & Lettuce – Pre Wanderlust Power
Romaine Lettuce
1/2 Jazz Apple
1/2 Frozen Banana
2 Mint Leaves
1/2 Scoop Vega One French Vanilla
Hemp Hearts

Honeydew
Romaine Lettuce
Honeydew Melon pieces
1/4 Jazz Apple
1/2 Frozen Banana
Celery
1/2 Manjool Date
2 Mint Leaves
Ginger
Lemon Juice

For the Love of Food!

I’m lucky, I know, I’ve been blessed with good genetics and brought up by a mum who taught me to eat because I needed to. This meant small, clean, simple meals using olive oil and spices for the flavours instead of butter and cream. This upbringing has instilled a love of healthy foods with some treats thrown in the mix (I have a nasty sweet tooth and minimal willpower) and the ability to make healthy food that (I think) tastes good!

It saddens me when people aren’t excited to eat a “healthy” meal – a bed of lettuce with fresh veggies, lean protein and some lemon juice dressing – because they feel they’re limited to the boring and mundane. I know we all get into food ruts, but these ruts shouldn’t be caused by limiting your food options due to a diet! That, my friends, leads to a very viscous cycle of deprivation followed by indulgence, followed by…

It’s hard to reverse cravings you’ve spent a lifetime developing, but there are ways to minimize them, and I’m not going to tell you to drink water and wait 15 minutes, because, although wonderful in theory, does not work when my brain latches onto a Blizzard craving! My three craving-busting tips are:

  1. Work out! When a craving hits, work it off before you eat it, this does two things 1) gives you a workout, which leads to 2) raises your endorphin levels and lowers your desire for crap food
  2. Think about your craving and ask yourself if it’s really worth it, if the answer is “yes, if I don’t give into this craving I’m going to eat far more”, then
  3. Give in! Make the conscious decision to enjoy whatever it is you’re craving, and maybe order the smallest, pre-portioned size (not the family-sized bag of M&M’s because they’re on sale)

A point about number 2 up there; a lot of times, we try to replace the real thing with a “more healthy” substitution, these substitutions are usually chemical sh*t storms developed in a lab as an attempt to fool your body, they don’t work. If you’re craving sugar, don’t try to replace it with an artificial sweetener! However, if you’ve thought about your craving and have decided you can do better, a little honey won’t hurt.

Be conscious of your cravings and, as I’ve said before, add so many wonderful, healthy, clean, natural FOODS that you don’t have space for the junk anymore.

So onto the healthy tips:

  1. Use onions, garlic, spices, chili flakes… Chili flakes have become my go-to when a dish is lacking a little je ne sais quoi.
  2. Use millet (just bought some and excited to experiment!), quiona, zucchini, squash, rice noodles, rice, tofu noodles… there are so many options these days, play with them!
  3. Know your comfort foods. I LOVE spaghetti, maybe because we ate a lot of it when I was growing up, but, good golly, do I ever love it! But here’s the thing, my spaghetti sauce is loaded with spinach (or Kale), onions, garlic and organic tofu (or extra lean meat).
  4. Play with methods of preparing your food. Bored with baked chicken breast? Try stir-frying it for a salad topper.
  5. Did I mention spices!? Play! Get creative!
  6. Jump onto Pintrest to see what others are doing. When I was getting back into shrimp, I searched Pintrest for shrimp recipes and was amazed with all the options.
  7. Try to know what you’re eating. If you can’t/don’t know how/don’t have time to make it yourself, do your best to find a product as close to how you would make it if you could.
  8. In the words of Michael Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”

There is no magic pill, no magic workout, no replacement for eating good (tasty) food and sweating once a day.

Yoga Musings

Instead of sleeping (or being out on a Friday night) I thought I’d share a few random thoughts I’ve had recently.

Yoga Goggles
There are many reasons why men should practice yoga: build strength, stretch and lengthen muscles, improve movement and functionality of the body, stress reduction, challenge…fit women in luon (whatever gets you there boys!), but here’s another reason for (single) men to roll out a mat: Yoga Goggles. Yoga Goggles act similar to Beer Goggles, but healthier; when an average looking guy chooses to attend a yoga class of his own free will, he instantly becomes hotter! I highly recommend you come to class and say hi to the cute girl sweating next to you.

Being “Good” at Yoga
I recently met someone who has never practiced yoga, so I shared that now, I can’t imagine my life without a regular practice; however, it took me many years to get to this point. His reply was “you must be pretty good at it”; which got me thinking, that’s really the amazing thing about yoga, there’s always a new layer to peel back and discover!

He then asked for an example and this was my response:
It’s a pretty cool form of exercise because as you practice, your body gets stronger AND more flexible and your mind becomes quieter. So as those changes occur, new poses become available for you, and new feelings within old poses arise. When I started, I had the physical strength to do handstand, but my fear (head/thoughts) was my limiting factor, now my head is catching up to my body.

As these thoughts dance inside my head during my practice, I also marvel at how those changes and shifts can happen daily; some days my arms feel strong and some days my hips feel tight and pinchy; all those combinations alter the practice each and every moment!

I was talking to someone else recently about yoga and equated it to growing out your hair (guys, this might not make sense): for months, it feels like your hair hasn’t grown at all, then one morning, you wake up and notice “all of a sudden” your hair is longer. I touched on this in a previous post, but I feel it fits in well here and is worth repeating: yoga (and life) is not always about achieving the next pose (goal), sometimes it’s about building the foundations, getting stronger in other ways, then “all of a sudden”, poof, the pose is there for you (you’ve achieved that BHAG, your hair has grown)!

Gluten-free Applesauce Muffins

So last weekend I tried out this recipe for gluten free banana muffins and they ROCKED! So this weekend, I thought I’d try the same concept, but with applesauce and a few tweeks….totally worked 🙂

GF  Applesauce Muffins

Gluten-free Applesauce Muffins

1/2 C Cashew Butter
2 Unsweetened Applesauce cups (probably about 1 C of applesauce)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
1/4 C Honey
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 C Ground Oats/Almonds/Flax — I just put them all in the food processor attachment of my hand mixer and ground them up together
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

Optional Add-ins: 1/2 Apple — sliced, raisins, chocolate chips, berries, chopped nuts…I added apple slices AND chocolate chips 🙂

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes
Flip uncooled muffins onto cooling rack — this works for me because I use silicone muffin cups

A weekend making dishes…I mean, delicious delights

So first up, an update, the day after I posted about the fitness photo shoot, it was canceled. I had to decide if I wanted to set one up myself or keep the deadline just ’cause or scrap it. I was toying with at least keeping the deadline, then my twitter feed was inundated with Kate Upton on the cover of Sports Illustrated and I decided I quite like my fit, yet curvy body! The silver lining is I remembered I love lifting weights and will try to do so at least twice a week 🙂 If the opportunity presents itself again, I might say yes, but for now, I’m happy with where I am.

Where I am allowed me to have some fun in the kitchen this weekend!

Homemade Clif bars
I used this recipe and they are AMAZING!

I used honey and Nature’s Path Crispy Rice cereal (it’s gluten free) and I forgot to use my trusty protein powder. With that being said, they came out a little dry and crumbly. I threw them in the oven for a moment to soften up the peanut butter and honey…still a little crumbly. Will add a small amount of water next time, or less rice cereal and oats.

Flourless Banana Muffins
Adapted from this recipe. The original called for 2 bananas and 3 eggs and no “flour” of any kind, but I wanted a different texture so this is what I came up with:

1/2 C Peanut butter
3 Mashed Bananas
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Salt (a few sprinkles)
1/4 C Honey (could probably cut this back due to the bananas)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 C Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 C Ground Oats/Almonds/Flax — I just put them all in the food processor attachment of my hand mixer and ground them up together
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

Optional add-ins: chocolate chips, berries, raisins, craisins, chopped nuts…I added chocolate chips to mine and I could eat the whole batch in one sitting!

Banana Muffins

Preheat oven to 350
Combine all ingredients (it will be quite runny)
Scoop batter into muffin liners (I use silicone ones and love them)
Bake for 15-20 minutes — until a toothpick comes out clean and muffins are golden
Flip onto cooling rack

Travel Blogging

Who knows how this is going to turn out!

I am currently chilling at LAX waiting for my next flight to Miami, then it’s on to ARUBA to complete a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with the amazing Tiffany Cruikshank.

I never did write about my experience with this training so maybe now’s the time…or maybe not.

I’m going to start here: Today has been such an amazing day so far! I didn’t go to the lululemon warehouse sale or a yoga class this morning; however, I ended up walking into my neighbourhood lulu and was helped by the Educator who is currently organizing the in-store yoga! Gave her my info and will hopefully get to teach there in the near future.

Then my dentist appointment was moved up by 30 minutes which was perfect because it got me to the airport right on time for my flight! On the plane I took a picture of Mount St Helen’s (?? Maybe ??) and the woman in the seat in front of me asked if I would email it to her; turns out her daughter is currently living in Kelowna and hanging out in the same circles I was when I lived there so I’ll be following up with them about Kelowna life.

It’s moments like that that you realize how small the world is and how inter-connected we are; which is nice when you’re traveling (both physically and through this life). Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that there are other humans out there 😉

I almost forgot, so far, the boarder agents, security people and shuttle drivers have been extremely friendly and helpful; even going out of their ways to assist (even at LAX)!

Another note on that thought process…my attitude today was different then normal, “vacation mode”. Have you ever noticed how when you smile and make small talk with strangers, amazing things happen? It happens on a rare sunny day in Vancouver too; random people say hi to strangers on the street. What would happen if we all tried to carry this positivity with us every day!?

One pan wonder!

Not gonna lie, I’m horrible at making dinners at home; well, here’s the way I see it: I work, then teach Monday-Friday so I’m not usually home until after 6pm anyway, then I try to make it to yoga most nights of the week, plus I’m single…so I eat at the Whole Foods salad bar A LOT! And I’m ok with that; however, I actually like to cook! And my recent discovery of Pinterest has only increased this love. Unfortunately, eating out has become a habit, so even when I have the time to make food, I don’t. So tonight I took it upon myself to make a quick, simple, one pan meal…SO GOOD (and easy)!

Shrimp, Veggies and Rice Noodles

That’s right, all that came out of one pan!

Another quick story, when I was young, my mum would buy me a bag of shrimp meat, and I would eat at least half of it…before we got home! This happened for a few months. Needless to say, I overdosed and I hadn’t eaten shrimp since. Over Christmas this year, I was at my sister’s house and she made shrimp for dinner, and I was hungry, so I went for it…and liked it! Which is good, because the nutritional content of shrimp is amazing! And they’re pretty inexpensive, in the scheme of meats.

Chilli Garlic Shrimp and Veggies

Butter
Chilli flakes
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 C Broccoli – maybe it was more
1/2 C Cauliflower – maybe it was more
10 pre-cooked Shrimp
Bundle Rice Noodles
Water

In a frying pan on medium heat, I melted some (a lot of) butter, threw in two cloves of chopped garlic, a sprinkle of chilli flakes, broccoli and cauliflower (my other new favourite ingredient). I added some water and covered until the broccoli and cauliflower started to become tender. Then I added some cooked shrimp (I was able to get them pre-cooked from Whole Foods) and rice noodles, a little more water, and covered again.

Once the noodles were looking done, I took the lid off to crisp everything up. And done!

New Years Goal Setting

New Year’s Eve, so much pressure to find The party, get dressed up, have someone to kiss at midnight…it’s kind of this single-girl’s nightmare; so this year, I’m putting on my best wunder unders, favourite tank and rolling out my yoga mat. It will be an evening of asana, intension, music, coconut water and raw chocolate; call me lame, but I’m pretty excited about kicking off 2013 on this positive foot!

As cliche as it is, New Years is a great time to clean the slate and layout some goals for the coming year. I prefer the word “goal” over “resolution” because I feel goals are more specific; therefore, “easier” to achieve. The thing about “New Years Resolutions” is that people jump on the January 1 bandwagon and try to change everything, all at once, and, inevitably, fail, then give up. Usually all this happens within the month of January.

So, how does one increase the chance of success? I like setting goals and I like the SMART model for basic goal setting; make the goal:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable (I like lulu’s Audacious)
  • Realistic
  • Timely

However, I don’t like “basic” goals so I like these tips from lululemon on achieving BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals):

  • Break it down — create smaller goals towards your BHAG
  • Create it in present tense — you’re not going to do something, it’s already been done!
  • Make it measurable — did you achieve it, yes or no?
  • Use affirmative language — “just do it”, don’t avoid it
  • Be specific — how often/much/many…
  • BY WHEN? — when will this goal become a reality?

As I’ve blogged in previous posts, 2012 has been an incredible year of goal crushing for me and a few of the things I’ve found to help me are:

  • a list on my fridge “2012 is the year that I…”
  • a list on the screen-saver of my phone “by 2016 I…”
  • a white board on my wall with affirmations
  • vision boards

In addition to revisiting and updating my 2012 goals for 2013; I will be adding a new trick in 2013: an empty glass jar! As good/great/awesome things happen throughout the year, write them down and put them into the jar. For me, this will serve two purposes:

  1. a reminder to stay positive
  2. a reminder of all the amazing things that happen in the year, even if there are a few goals that aren’t achieved

It’s also a nice way to remember the year on December 31, 2013!

What are your BHAGs? How are you planning on achieving them? What tips to you have?

Simple Sidedish

T’is the season to avoid brussel sprouts! Those nasty green balls always manage to make their way onto every plate on the table…

I am not (was not) a brussel sprout eater. Then I went to yoga teacher training and were food was provided to me and there wasn’t really much choice, but to eat them…or to miss a very large part of that night’s dinner. So I tried them. And, shockingly, I actually enjoyed them, and not just because I was starving!

I know my taste for them wasn’t just because I was hungry because I have since made them at home. The other night I made this beauty of a concoction:

20121220-172555.jpg

Super simple and, I think, enjoyable for all!

“Cheesy” Roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower

Halved brussel sprouts
Chopped cauliflower
Toss in coconut oil
Sprinkle with garlic powder and nutritional yeast

Bake until browned at 400.

Life Lessons from the Mat

There are many moments in life when we feel like we’ve slid down a slip & slide to the bottom of the Grand Canyon…ok, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but sometimes it does feel that way. But tonight, when I popped into eka pada koundinyasana (not me), I realized that no matter how many times we stumble, slip, fall into an abyss, we’ve still made some movement in a forward direction.

When I first started practicing yoga, koundinyasana seemed crazier than handstand to me (and I still fear handstand without someone to support me), so I kept practicing yoga and working on other poses (bakasana also not me). Then, one day, one of my teachers walked me into koundinyasana without me noticing.

Then I stumbled. It wasn’t a consistant pose for me yet. So I kept practicing yoga and working on other poses. But now, I knew what it felt like to be in that pose!

It’s been about a year since Crista walked me into koundinyasana for the first time and I’m still not sure I have it 100% of the time, but I definitely have it more times than I don’t. And every day that I don’t have it, I keep practicing yoga and other poses and moving in that forward direction towards it being a 100% of the time pose.

Take this lesson off the mat, in your career, even if you’ve never had the feeling of pure passion for your career, you’re learning and growing and developing towards that position; or, if you have felt that passion and slipped, you know what it feels like and are moving in that forward direction yet again.

In love, even if you’ve never fallen in love, you’re laying the foundation to build a strong, meaningful relationship by spending time working on yourself, or dating duds, or experiencing bad relationships that you don’t want, or good relationships with someone who just isn’t quite The One. But, inevitably, one day, it’ll just be there for you (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).

Even if you don’t think you’re heading in the right direction, or if you’ve forgotten about the goal for a moment, it’s still there and you’re still doing things that are leading you towards it so when you remember it, or when an opportunity to try it again presents itself, you’ll be that much more ready for it.

Oh Yoga, the Great Teacher!

Christmas Baking in the Gluten-Free Kitchen

Since removing gluten from my kitchen many, many years ago, my Christmas Baking has suffered 😦 Until this year!

I found a recipe for sweet and spicy nuts and gave them a go; they’re good, but I think I’m going to switch back to my Mumma’s for the next batch:

1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1 Tbsp Sugar

3 Tbsp Oil
2 C Nuts (my mum uses Almonds, but I think Pecans lend themselves well to everything so a mix could be good too)
1/2 C Sugar

1. Combine first four ingredients and set aside
2. In a pot, caramelize the last three ingredients and keep them moving; remove from heat
3. Add the spice mixture into the warm
4. While still hot, empty onto two cookie sheets (parchment-lined) while spreading and separating
5. Allow to cool

20121220-183110.jpg

I also found…are you ready for this? Gluten-free (and healthy) Ginger Cookies! Cue the gasps! They’re not quite the same, but they’ll do (as the half-eaten batch sitting in my kitchen will tell you).

You may have caught on that, even when I’m baking, I don’t like to follow recipes word for word, but I did with this one. The edges turned out fantastic; I just need to figure out how to make that happen all the way through the cookie…

1 C Oat Flour (just grind oats to flour in blender – I used the food processor attachment of my hand blender)
1/2 Cup Almond Meal (just grind raw almonds in blender)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 C Stevia baking formula (or 6 packets of stevia – I used the packets)
1/4 C Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp Molasses
3 Tbsp Butter, softened (if you have to be dairy free, use margarine, but butter will produce a better result)
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Applesauce
2 Egg Whites (I used 4 Tbsp)

1. Mix dry (to Brown Sugar)
2. Mix wet
3. Mix together
4. Spoon (very liquidy dollops) onto Parchment-lined baking sheet
5. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (I rotated at the half-way mark)
6. Let cool

Ginger Cookies

I found the middles of these cookies to be slightly dry, but as far as a gluten-free healthy cookie is concerned, these are good!

 

Monkey Mind…time to get honest

Recently I’ve felt my mind is scattered — too much to do and absolutely no focus on anything! So this post will be an attempt at focusing in preparation for the beginning of 2013. 2012 has been a year of goal crushing, but with the year coming to a close (much faster than I had expected), I’m finding myself spinning trying to wrap up loose ends, and getting nowhere fast.

With the holiday season upon us, my teaching schedule is winding down, leaving me with more time in the week to work on my goal “homework”. Ok, I put that in quotes, but really, it’s real homework.

There are two key things left on my 2012 goal list:

  • Start dating someone with the potential to become my husband (it’s been an intention, but I haven’t made any steps to actually meet anyone)
  • Complete my Personal Training certification (this is where Monkey Mind is coming into play)

Also, I will be in Aruba January 19 to complete my Yoga Teacher Training and have A LOT of homework to do BEFORE I leave!

So…the plan…as always, dating is being pushed to the back-burner (much to my family’s dismay).

Here is my commitment: I spend a minimum of 1 hour per night AND 2 hours per weekend day on work related to attaining my Yoga and/or Personal Training certification until December 31, 2012.

This can include:

  • Observing a yoga class
  • Teaching a yoga class
  • Watching an online lecture
  • Taking notes on human anatomy and systems
  • Reading a book related to either of these goals (I have to do a book report as part of my YTT)
  • Creating personal training programs
  • Doing a Home Practice

Outcome: by committing to the above, I will be confident in my abilities to write and pass both my Personal Training and Yoga tests in January 2013.

This is my pre New Years Resolution.

What do you want to get accomplished before 2013 begins? Maybe we can encourage each other to finish 2012 even stronger than we started it!

Remembering to feel inside and out

I started this post a couple weeks ago and wasn’t sure how to wrap it up and put a pretty bow on it, so I’m coming back to it with a different view…maybe…trying to…

A couple weeks ago I kept catching this cute guys’ eye at yoga, and we’d smile at each other, but that was it. Then, a few Saturdays ago, we were at the same class and during the class, this thought popped into my head:

Yoga is a wonderful tool to help us Western-World-Busy-Bodies remember to slow down and turn inside; to feel what our body is trying to tell us and to, maybe, listen; however, I’ve become so good at looking inside that I’ve actually forgotten about what the people around me are feeling! I’m not talking about what their yoga practice looks like, but, more, what the emotional state of the class is.

Or, in this case, if he’s just a smiley guy, or if he was specifically directing those smiles at me. It doesn’t seem to matter how old we get, it always comes back to a boy…whatever it takes right?

I try to focus on what I’m projecting into the world, but, in that attempt, sometimes I can forget to tune into what those around me are projecting.

I wish I could say it was me he was specifically directing those smiles at, but, to be honest, I haven’t really seen him much since that class so who knows! No matter what, it was a good reminder to be aware of not just the aura I’m emitting, but also what those around me are projecting.

Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies…Alannah’s Way

So apparently I bake when I’m bored! Having a quiet Saturday evening and was craving something sweat. After having a moment of weakness at Whole Foods the other night, I have some gluten-free “Oreos” in my cupboard, but I’d really rather eat something I’ve made. So last night I cracked open Oat and Raisin recipe again and tonight I went for Peanut Butter…

I had made a version of three ingredient peanut butter cookies in the past, but apparently didn’t post the recipe, so I found the following, basic recipe:

1 C Peanut Butter
1 C Sugar
1 Egg

And I changed it:

1 C Nut Butter – Peanut & Mystery (because that’s what I happened to have in the fridge)
1/2 C Organic Cane Sugar
1 Scoop Vanilla (Whey Gourmet Naturelle) Protein Powder
1 Egg
Chocolate Chips

Roll into balls and flatten with a fork, bake at 350 for approximately 10 mins.

I definitely feel better eating these over the craptastic, overly refined “Oreos”, but I know I still shouldn’t eat the whole batch 😦

 

Quinoa Bites

I had the TV on the Food Network before running off to my next engagement today and Recipe to Riches happened to be on and I heard the words “quinoa bites” so I Googled it and found tons of recipes! So tonight I made these little gems:

 

I used this recipe as my guide, but, as you might have noticed, I’m not very good at following recipes; so below is a basic guide for what I did.

1 C White and Red Quinoa (cooked)
1 Grated Carrot
1/2 Grated Small White Onion
1/3 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 C Chopped/Crumbled Frozen Kale
Garlic & Chili Powder to taste (frankly, I was too lazy to peel and crush a garlic…)
Salt & Pepper
1 Egg (beaten)

Combine everything except the Quinoa and Egg in a large mixing bowel
Add the Quinoa and mix
Poor beaten Egg over the mixture
Scoop into muffin cups (I use silicone ones)
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes (until lightly browned)
Pull out of the oven and cool on a cooling rack
Enjoy!

Amazing things happen when you don’t turn on the TV

On weekdays I set two alarms, the radio goes off at 6:05 and my cell kicks me out of bed (or tries to) at 6:15. Apparently I forgot to turn off my radio alarm last night so instead of rolling over and uselessly dozing for two hours, or crawling onto my couch and watching TV, I made myself a cup of tea, started studying the muscles of the shoulder and made a playlist for my yoga class tomorrow.

Then I felt like I had been productive enough so I turned on the TV, flicked through the guide and decided I could better spend my time writing a quick blog…stranger things have happened, but it’s always nice when you are aware of the choices you make! Many weekend mornings have seen my aware choice be watching TV, but I love being aware of making the conscious choice to not!

All that being said, I’ve been awake for three hours and I desperately want coffee before yoga!

I will tell you all about my Yoga Teacher Training shortly 🙂

Image isn’t everything

…being human is everything!

I’ve been a bad little blogger…so much has happened, but this small thought is what made me find the time to sit down and start typing.

I am so thankful that I am learning (it’s still a work in progress) to live without worrying about what every single person out there thinks about me! That would be seriously stressful! And I know a lot of people who do worry that others are judging their every move/word/comment/choice…you name it; you probably know them too, one of them might even be you…and that’s ok! Just try to be aware of the extra stress you may be taking on.

I’ve been learning this for about six years now…I was thrown into this lesson when I started teaching fitness; I had to learn that not every student who came to my class was going to like me. Since then, I have been reminded of this many times over, but there are students that do like me 🙂 Hopefully more than those who don’t!

A yoga teacher of mine told a story once about the first time he did a challenging posture, and no one in the room cared…ah Yoga, the Great Teacher! Every time I feel really strong (or really weak) in a pose, I remind myself that no one in the room is looking at me, so I smile to myself and carry on 🙂

No matter who you are, what your title is, how much money you make, how many people recognize you, what you’ve accomplished…we’re all just human and we’re all here to help each other out!

Rediscovering my love of baking with gluten-free blueberry muffins!!

Last night I had a shocking craving for my godmother’s blueberry muffins my mum used to whip up for me, but since going gluten-free I haven’t been very pleased with the muffin selection out there…and then this recipe happened…and now everything has changed!

These muffins are moist and fluffy, and oh so yummy!!

I made a few tweaks to the original muffins:

Gluten-Free, Yogurt, Flax, Blueberry Muffins

2 Eggs (yes, I use organic free-range)
1/2 C Extra Light Olive Oil (I had Coconut Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil on hand so I used 1/3 C combination of those instead – I don’t think the full 1/2 C is really needed)
1 1/4 C Packed Light Brown Sugar (I had regular Brown Sugar and Organic Cane Sugar so I used 1 C combination of those, not packed – these definitely don’t need the extra)
2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt (I used Fat-Free Greek)
2 C Pamela’s Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix (I don’t usually like gluten-free flours, but Pamela’s is AMAZING!)
1 C Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
(I added approx 1/3 C Ground Flax)

Preheat oven to 375 and line a muffin tin
Mix Eggs to Yogurt until smooth, add Baking Mix and beat until batter forms, fold in Blueberries
Scoop into tins and bake for 20-25 mins, until golden and a toothpick comes out clean
Cool on a wire cooling rack

I’m nervous about how they’ll be tomorrow, but I can’t eat anymore right now because it’s already past my bedtime…well, maybe just one more… 🙂 Enjoy!!

Gluten-Free Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!!

I don’t think this batch of cookies will last as long as it takes me to post the recipe!

These are the most “real” gluten-free I’ve had to date 🙂

I try to avoid using gluten-free flour mixtures because they can spike your blood-sugar more than regular flours so I found this recipe from Shockingly Delicious, and tweaked it a bit.

1/3 C Earth Balance
1/3 C Sugar (I used mostly brown with a bit of Organic white)
2 Tbsp Liquid Egg White
1 tsp Vanilla
1 C Gluten Free Oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 C Ground Flax
1/3 C Almond Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (I love Whey Gourmet Naturelle for my baking)

Melt Earth Balance and Sugar
Mix in Egg White, Vanilla, Oats, Ground Flax, Almond Flour, Cinnamon and Protein Powder
Chill in fridge or freezer (this is IMPORTANT)
Once chilled, place balls onto parchment-covered cookie sheet (I didn’t press them down at first, but noticed they were browning before they should be so pressed them down a bit about 5 minutes in)
Bake for 15-25 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating about half-way through
Remove and allow to cool, as hard as this will be to do!