Fudgy Avocado Brownies.

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I’ve been on a strong produce kick lately. I’ve been gathering a ton of avocados, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini lately and going crazy in the kitchen with concocting a load of new favorite dishes. The other night before I was about to head out of town for a few days, I had one lone avocado left to eat up before I left. I was over avocado toast and didn’t feel like adding it to my dinner dish that evening and decided to give avocado brownies a try.

I honestly don’t think I can say that I’ve had an avocado brownie before! Is that strange? I feel like this dish is quite popular? Or did I just miss this trend? So this was going to be an experiment. But the experiment turned out to be pretty darn tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Avocado or 2 med./small avocados
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 Baking Soda
  • 1/2 semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a glass square pan.
  • Mix all ingredients in a medium-size bowl.
  • Pour mix into the pan and cook for 25 minutes.
  • Let cool & enjoy!

What I Eat In A Day: Weekend.

On weekends, I typically stick to around 2 larger meals and a few snacks in between.

I’ll wake up around mid-morning and usually hit up a work out class. Depending on how I feel, I’ll either have coffee or pre-workout as well as a small snack like a banana or apple a few hours before class.

After class I’ll make sure I get in protein right away with a protein smoothie or a small bar.

Once I get home, I love whipping up a large breakfast. I’ve been really into egg & veggie scrambles or if I need to get in some carbs I’ll make a batch of protein pancakes (I’m obsessed with Kodak Cakes) with a banana and berries blended in. I’m super basic and love a good blended latte but not super into spending $5 on coffee so I’ll blend up my own concoction of ice, vanilla protein powder, almond milk, & espresso.

If I get hungry later in the day, I’ll snack on hummus and pretzel chips or chips and salsa.

Once dinner rolls around, I’m pulling out fish from the freezer because Spring always gets me in a Seafood mood. I’m been pairing my Dijon Mustard Salmon with sautéed veggies and homemade ranch.

Later in the evening, I’ll indulge in either a homemade protein bar or some fruit with sugar free whip cream (also maybe a glass of good red wine ;)).

Ciao.

April Favorites.

Things I’m not looking forward to:

  • The N’SYNC references over the next couple days.
  • Mentions of Game of Thrones.
  • Mentions of the new Avengers movie.

Am I completely out of the loop here to be not a fan of either of the Game of Throne or Avengers? I’ve been seeing a ton of complaining that neither is “living up to the hype” but I’m also questioning if I need to have a binge session. Literally, I considered getting an HBO Go subscription. I digress.

On to my new favorites this last month! It has been crazy hectic and I can not believe it is already May. It has been snowing here the last two days and seriously making me consider why I moved away from California in the middle of the Winter. Why do I do this to myself? But the forecast is calling for 70 degrees this weekend so that will be glorious. I’ll also be attending my next fitness training this weekend so hopefully loads of new content will be coming your way.

April Favs:

  • Atteca – This is seriously my new favorite red Grenache wine lately. I received it in one of my monthly wine memberships and I immediately fell in love. It has a bold smooth flavor that pairs well with pasta and pizza (and you know my heart belongs to both of those).
  • Coconut Aminos – I’ve recently been binging on my girl, Whitney Simmons’ YouTube videos again and she is constantly been mentioning the swamp between Soy Sauce and Coconut Aminos. I made the change this last month and you honestly can’t tell the difference.
  • Running – Found my love again for one of my favorite workouts. I’ve been toying with the idea of signing up for a half marathon but I don’t want to dive in to quickly. If you’ve been following along on my Insta stories, you’ll see I’ve been playing around with interval runs mostly and normally stick to 1-3 miles.
  • Yellow + Peach Nail Polish – I’ve been seeing the bright yellow nail polish everywhere and I’m. A. Fan. It’s the perfect little touch to brighten up my mood in this random snowy weather.
  • American Eagle’s Destroyed White Wash Jeans – I know I am super late to the game on this trend but I finally jumped on board and I’m obsessed with how comfortable this fit is from AE. Also, these are on Sale for 20% off right now! (This does not mean I have gotten over the fear that I am going to sit in something every time I wear these.)
  • No Exit by Taylor Adams – I read this book in 3 days last month. THREE. DAYS. If you like suspense then you definitely need to check out this book.

Alright, see ya next year April!

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Cheeseburger Salad.

My new favorite obsessions: The delicious Cheeseburger Salad.

I whipped this bad boy up last night after hot yoga and it was nothing short of heaven. I’m a big fan of ground beef so am always looking for new recipes to incorporate it in to.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Ground Beef
  • 1/4 c. diced peppers
  • 1/4 c. diced onion
  • 1 c. butter lettuce
  • 1/4 c. Mozerella cheese
  • Homemade Ranch to desire (secret tip: I almost always have a jar of this whipped up in my fridge for almost every meal)

Directions:

  • Brown the ground beef in a pan on medium heat. At the same time, in the same pan, sautee peppers and onions. Cook until desired browning of meat.
  • Top cooked ingredients in a bowl with lettuce, cheese, and ranch.
  • That’s it!

No wonder I am so obsessed with this recipe right now.

Namaste.

Typical Workday Meal Plan.

Hey loves!

I just got done filming this week’s episode of Wine Down Wednesday that will be posted later today. We’re covering some barre moves that really target the lower body and the booooootay.

I’ve also been dealing with a mild case of tendonitis on the top of my right foot that I believe might have set in from driving. Reminder: I didn’t have a car while living in San Francisco and depended on public transportation or walking. Now that I am in Colorado, I have my car back (hallelujah!) but I’m thinking the tendons that keep your right foot flexed while driving might be a bit strained. If anyone has dealt with tendonitis of the tendons that attach to the 4 smaller toes, I’d love to hear your insights into how to recover quickly (seriously, seriously).

Anyways, onto the real point of this post: I wanted to share a typical day of meals and snacks with you all. I’ve been giving a brief glimpse into this on my Instagram stories lately but thought I would go a little more in-depth with a series of posts.

I’m starting this first one out with a typical workday. I have an 8-5 desk at a Digital Advertising agency where I work as a Digital Strategist. I do my best to always pack my lunches and mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. I find if I don’t eat healthy snacks throughout the day, in between meals, I have a higher risk of binge eating at the end of the day.

Also, it’s important to note that everyone is totally different. You should eat when you are hungry! I do not recommend you following my meal plan exactly unless that works for your body. Make yourself and your tummy happy!

Ight, let’s go:

Morning

I’ll normally get up in the morning and chug water. Seriously. I work out quite a bit so I find I am the most dehydrated after a night’s rest.

I’ll probably get about 8 oz of water in within the first 10 minutes I am up. If I am feeling bloated, I will heat water in my electric kettle and mix in a few tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.

Then I’ll make some coffee. I always put a scoop of collagen into my coffee because within out, my nails and hair are pretty weak so it works miracles for me. (If you’re interested in collagen, I can recommend a few of my favorite brands.)  Lately, I’ve been testing out how I do with more protein in the morning to see if that keeps me fueler throughout the day and cuts down on sweet cravings. I’ve been lovvvving the KITU Super Protein Creamer. It is about 17 calories per tbsp with less than 1g of sugar. If I’m making sure I stay fuel for a while, I’ll use a Premier Protein (I prefer the caramel flavor) with ice in my coffee.

Mid-morning hits and I’ll either have a banana, a couple clementines, or a Luna Bar.

Lunch

I like super quick and easy meals for lunch that aren’t going to weigh me down for the afternoon. I have to eat light for lunch! Anything too heavy and I am worthless for the afternoon.

Lately, I’ve been heating mozzarella cheese on a tortilla and top it with a packet of tuna (in water). Super feeling, super delicious, and way lighter than a normal tuna melt.

Mid-afternoon comes around and I’ll enjoy one of my homemade protein bars (recipe to come soon) or an RX bar.

Dinner

My favorite meal of the day!!

This is very I really like to indulge because it is normally after my daily workout. I will try to get this meal in between 6:30-8PM in order to not eat too late.

If I am starving I will increase my carbs by having pasta but if I am pretty full from the day I will whip up a salad or a heavy veggie stirfry.

Dessert

Sometimes it just has to happen!

If I need a little something sweet, I will reach for a mini dark chocolate dove. If I am still really hungry, I’ll whip up my new obsession: Chocolate Protein Frosty Knock-off. So yummmmmmy!

This fake frosty contains one avocado or banana, a handful of ice, a scoop of cocoa powder, vanilla protein to your desire, and almond milk. I have tried with both an avocado and a banana and both ways are uber delicious.

What are you guy’s favorite workday meals? Let me know if you enjoyed this post and if I should continue to share more in this format 🙂

Namaste.

Homemade Ranch Dressing.

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I shared a bit about this earlier on my Instagram story today but yesterday I whipped up some homemade ranch dressing. If you’re looking to cut some of the calories or sugar from salad dressing then you need to try this homemade ranch. I’m obsessed! I like to top salads and meats with it as well as dip veggies in it, so it is obviously an exact substitute for the regular hidden valley. And trust me, you’re not even going to miss the original.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dill, dried
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Parsley, dried
  • 1 can Coconut milk, full-fat
  • Black Pepper (to liking)
  • 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar/Red Wine Vinegar

Directions:

  • Blend all ingredients in a bullet or blender
  • Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Cookies.

These cookies have been my favorite treat for years! I have a strong obsession with the combination of orange and cranberry that I discovered in College and I honestly can’t get enough. Since moving into my new apartment, I don’t have all the baking ingredients and am not the biggest baker but wanted a sweet treat yesterday and decided it was worth a trip to the store.

These cookies are definitely an indulgent but if you do have the option to substitute the flour for almond flour and sugar for stevia.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Orange peel (grated)

Directions:

  1.  Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. Combine sugar, butter, and egg in a bowl and mix until creamy.
  3. Mix in flour, baking powder, and baking soda. If content is too dry, add a small amount of melted butter. The mixture might be crumbly, but should be able to roll into small balls.
  4. Stir in cranberries and orange peel.
  5. Shape cookies into one inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 7-10 minutes until edges start to turn slightly dark brown. Don’t over bake.
  7. Cool for 1 minute.
  8. Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Salad.

Salads do not need to be boring!

I use to HATE salads. I would say naive things like “I feel like I’m chopping on a tree!”. But through the years, I’ve experimented plenty to find out which ingredients I actually really enjoy and have learned that I actually love and sometimes crave a good, hearty salad.

After a busy weekend of eating out way too much, it’s been nice to be in my new place and cook up my own meals. I’ve been in an Asian phase lately which is where I pulled my inspiration. I whipped up this simple salad this beautiful sunny afternoon with 6 ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Spinach
  • Trader Joe’s Miso Salad Dressing
  • Trader Joe’s Fat Free Feta Cheese
  • Mixed Stir Fry Veggies

Directions:

  1. Shred the rotisserie chicken. If you’re making the salad just for you then baggy up the chicken into 3-4 bags and freeze the remaining chicken to use for later. If you making a salad for a group then feel free to use the entire chicken.
  2. Place shredded chicken into a frying pan or wok. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce and heat on medium heat for 2-5 minutes.
  3. If you’re using microwavable veggies, cook accordingly. If you’re using fresh veggies, sauté in a frying pan over high heat.
  4. Top spinach with Miso salad dressing, cooked chicken, cooked veggies, & feta.
  5. Serve & enjoy!

Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry.

Anytime I get asked from friends about how they can start learning how to cook, I normally suggest for them to try out either simple pasta dishes or stir fry. They are the easiest meals you can throw together and, even better, you can really customize them to be with ingredients you truly like to eat. Also, neither of these dishes are normally that photogenic which means they have to taste delicious, right?

This dish is fairly healthy minus which teriyaki sauce you decide to use. Since I just moved to Colorado and I’m really feeling out my different grocery stores I just grab a new one that I thought looked like the best option. I do have personal favorite brands and flavors that I tend to go for though (like this one). I would love to learn how to make a good homemade version so if you have a good recipe, do share with your girl!

Ingredients

  • Chicken – I normally either get 2-3 chicken breast from the deli
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 cup Brown Rice
  • Veggies (listed the one I prefer below but add or exchange for personal preference)
    • Mushrooms
    • Snap Peas
    • Bell peppers or sweet peppers
    • Onions
    • Broccoli
  • Soy Sauce (optional)
  • Butter (optional)

Directions

  1. Start by boiling chicken in a large pot on the stove.
  2. Begin to steam rice in about 2 1/2 cups of water in a smaller pot on med/high heat.
  3. Boil broccoli in a small pan until softens.
  4. Sauté veggies in a large frying pan on medium heat and in a little bit of olive oil. Depending on your veggies will determine when you add them into the frying pan. For those I listed above, I’ll start with peppers and snap peas to cook down first and then add in the onions and soften broccoli.
  5. For mushrooms, I normally boil them in a small pan on high heat. Once those are brought to a boil, I drain the water and then sauté them on medium heat in a little bit of soy sauce and a scoop of butter until that cooks away.
  6. Once your chicken is cooked white all the way through, shred it into pieces.
  7. Clear the frying pan of all the veggies once cooked. Add in shredded chicken and cook on low heat with teriyaki sauce.
  8. Once chicken and rice is complete, mix all ingredients together.
  9. Enjoy!

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Warm Oats + Coffee.

Loves, it’s been a rough couple days.

I’ve been battling the typical January cold that seems to affect everyone and I just can’t seem to kick it. I bring the majority of this on myself since I rarely slow down and try to always accomplish too much at once. So the lack of rest hasn’t done my body any good. I’ve been trying to make a more conscious approach to slow down in simple, small ways that hopefully will build into a more significant impact over time. Two simple exercises are sitting down for meals and shutting off electronics while eating. This can be extremely beneficial when eating with loved ones but also just as beneficial when eating alone. Why not give yourself a mental break? We’re so consumed with our phones, tablets, and computers that for the majority of us, during our awake hours, we’re spending more time staring at a screen than not.

One of my favorite meals to invest time in cooking and sitting down to enjoy is breakfast. If we’re buddies on Instagram then you already know my obsession with oats and recently larger obsession with warm oats. I love pretty much anything I can whip up in under 5 minutes really! I actually find it humorous too that after moving to California I’ve become more into warm breakfast dishes. You’d think the eight years I spent through South Dakota winters would have sparked this love…. but I digress.

If you’re currently dealing with the Polar Vortex, actually even if you’re not, I highly encourage you to try out this super simple dish on the next morning you have 5 minutes to spare.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2/3 cup Almond Milk (of your choice of milk)
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Optional toppings:
    • Chia/Flax seeds
    • Coconut Flakes
    • Strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Really anything your heart desires

Directions

  1. Smash half a ripe banana in the bottom of a bowl.
  2. Add oats, almond milk, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of brown sugar into the bowl.
  3. Cut in the microwave for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in remaining slices of the banana, blueberries, and any other toppings.
  5. Enjoy!