His + Her Chia Seed Pudding

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to pop-in and share two super easy, delicious summertime recipes.  Both recipes can be enjoyed as breakfast, a satisfying snack or just add some dark chocolate chips or coconut flakes for a healthy dessert!

chia seed pudding

‘His’ Blueberry Banana Chia Seed Pudding 

Ingredients

1/2 cup (or 1 small container) vanilla or blueberry greek yogurt 

1/2 cup 1% milk

2 tablespoons chia seeds

about 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Toppings: 1 sliced banana + organic blueberries

and… 

chia seed pudding

‘Her’ Strawberry Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

1/2 cup (or 1 small container) vanilla or strawberry greek yogurt 

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 tablespoons chia seeds

about 1 tablespoon honey

tiny bit of vanilla extract

Toppings: low-fat granola + organic strawberries

Directions for both puddings

1. – Combine ingredients in a small container or mason jar, stir well, cover + refrigerate for 4+ hours (I leave it in the fridge overnight).

2. – Add toppings to the mix + enjoy!

**By the way, you can play around with these recipes and substitute any type of yogurt, milk, sweetener + toppings…        I can’t wait to make it with fresh peaches + home-made granola!

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Enjoy your evening + the weekend!  Hopefully I’ll be spending mine in the hospital meeting my ‘lil girl! :)

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Piña Colada Smoothie!

Happy Friday, everyone!  

And Happy {belated} National Piña Colada Day!  Apparently I made my Piña Colada Smoothie a day early (on Wednesday) and missed out on National Piña Colada day yesterday!?  Someday I’ll get on top of these fun, national holidays. 

pina colada smoothie

Here’s a delicious smoothie recipe that’s packed with nutrients, full of protein and is super refreshing!

Piña Colada Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt (or plain)
1 frozen banana
1 cup fresh pineapple 
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Shredded coconut (for ganish)

Directions

Add ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.  Garnish with shredded coconut and enjoy!  You can also add a pineapple wedge and little umbrella to make it even more festive. :)

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes (WIAW #26)

 Goooood morning!  

You guys ready for another WIAW post?  And ready for an awesome, 4-ingredient paleo pancake recipe?

WIAWbutton

Here’s a look into ‘What I Ate Wednesday Last Sunday’:

Breakfast (6:45 am)

blueberry paleo pancakes

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes! 

I’ve been making these pancakes for years since they take only minutes to prepare and they’re perfect for a guilt-free Sunday breakfast.  Plus, they contain only 4 ingredients – and that’s including the blueberries! 

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana
1 egg (cage-free)
1 scoop almond butter
1/2 cup organic blueberries

Directions:

1) Mash a banana in a medium bowl, add an egg and almond butter and stir until well combined.*  Pour the blueberries into the mix. 

2) Spray a frying pan with non-stick spray. Spoon the batter onto the pan and cook over medium heat.  Flip when bubbles appear in the middle of the pancakes.  

3) Serve with honey, maple syrup or almond butter and enjoy!  (I topped my pancakes with organic honey & fresh strawberries).

*I’m sure you’ll want to add flour or something to thicken the batter but trust me, you don’t need it. ;)

Morning Snack (10ish am)

larabar

Mike and I attended a birthing class in the morning so I packed a water bottle and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar to hold me over.

Lunch (12:30 pm)

lunch

We had about 45 minutes between the birthing class and the hospital tour so we stopped at a little cafe for lunch.  I went with an all-natural chicken breast, lettuce, tomato & cheddar cheese on whole-wheat bread panini.  I also had a little bag of chips and pickle with the meal.

Afternoon Snack (5ish pm)

banana

A banana before my work-out (btw I’ve definitely ‘popped’… )

Dinner (7 pm)

yogurt bowl

 I was still hot from working-out and craving something cold for dinner so I went with my beloved yogurt bowl.  In the mix: vanilla greek yogurt, chia seeds, strawberries, GoLean cereal & a big scoop of peanut butter (<– for the extra protein = stay full longer = happy, pregnant Julie :))

Thanks Jenn for hosting the WIAW  link-up!

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Do you love yogurt bowls/parfaits?  What do you add to yours?

What’s on the menu for today?

 

Five Things Friday

Haaaaaappppy Friday!  

I figured I’d do a post with the five things that have been happening in my life lately.  They’re in no particular order and some are probably more exciting than others (#5 is a good one!).  Alright, here we go…

1) I finally made the switch from a plastic water bottle to a glass water bottle.

glass water bottle

I ended up getting the Life Factory water bottle and so far I LOVE it.  Not only is a glass water bottle way better for you and the environment but everything just tastes so much better in a glass water bottle.  Want more reasons to switch to glass?  You should check out this blogger’s great post. :)

2) Coconut water is back in my life!  A smoothie tastes so tropical and summer-y when it’s made with coconut water compared to milk as the base.  My smoothie yesterday included spinach, frozen mango, strawberries, protein powder and coconut water.

3) Whole Food’s Coffee is back in my life as well.  I usually stick with home-made coffee (to save $$$) but some days when I need a little treat (and break from cubicle life), I head over to the awesome coffee shop at WF’s.  Yesterday I went with a decaf, almond milk latte.

whole foods coffee

4) Fitbit or Jawbone??  I’m excited to finally purchase a real pedometer but can’t decide which one to get.  The Fitbit offers one with a display screen showing your steps but it also looks so BIG on your wrist.  As for the Jawbone, it doesn’t have a display screen but it’s smaller and cuter.  They both track your steps and your sleep so I guess I can’t go wrong with either of ’em? 

fitbit vs. jawboneFitbit (left) vs. Jawbone (right)

If you want more information comparing the two, you should check out this article from the Huffington Post.

5) And last but definitely not least, I have a PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA recipe for you guys  I made a very similar Peanut Butter Granola a while ago but I wanted to switch it up and make a sugar-less granola.  So I got to work in the kitchen and in no time at all I had a super healthy, delicious and highly addictive granola (<– don’t say I didn’t warn ya ;))

Healthy Peanut Butter Granola

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • a couple pinches of sea salt
  • 1 packet or scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Microwave the peanut butter for 20-25 seconds to soften it.  Then combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl until mixed.

3. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes, stirring it halfway through.

4. Allow it to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.

peanut butter granola

Ohhhh, I can’t wait to eat this deliciousness with my greek yogurt this morning!

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Do you have a pedometer?  If so, which type?

Any fun weekend plans? :)

Wknd Recap & Paleo Pancakes!

Yesterday

1. – Fuel for my 7am run.  I ate half of the bar before the run and the other half after and the GU was enjoyed at mile 2 (I really needed the energy), 2. – Overcast & drizzling during my 7 miler in Southie :D 3. – Relaxing at home w/ a beer, 4 & 5. – Lots of yummy app’s at Mike’s niece’s 2nd birthday party, 6. – And cocktails at the party.  Gotta love kid’s parties!

Today

This morning I woke up craving pancakes which is so not normal for me.  I usually want a cold yogurt parfait or smoothie in the summer but not today.  Since I ate a ton of crap at the party last night, I wanted the pancakes to be on the healthier side.  I whipped up a batch of paleo pancakes and they turned out tasting pretty darn delicious!

Ingredients:

(For 1 large serving)

  • 2 ripe banana’s
  • 1 egg
  • 2 big spoonfuls almond butter
  • a couple dashes of cinnamon
  • coconut oil (for the skillet)

Directions:

1) Combine the bananas, egg, almond butter and cinnamon in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2) Heat the coconut oil on a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Pour the batter onto the skillet and cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until they start to bubble (They cook fast so make sure to flip them before they burn (this took me a couple of times to figure out))

3) Top with honey and fresh fruit.  Enjoy!

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After breakfast I quickly packed up my stuff and headed out to Nahant beach to meet up with a friend.

Btw, the hourly forecast showed a crappy, super cloudy day but the weather turned out to be perfect!  Why is it so hard to find an accurate forecast??  I’ll have to find a better weather website ASAP. 

After the beach I went for a 3 mile power-walk around the lake in Wakefield with Mike and now I’m plopped on the couch watching the Red Sox game.  It’s been a pretty nice Sunday.

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What’d YOU do this weekend? :)

Anyone else have a long run?  How was it? 

What’s the BEST website for ACCURATE weather forecasts???

Banana Pancakes!

(I wish I could figure out how to play Jack Johnson’s song “Banana Pancakes” while you read this post but since I have no idea how to figure out this blog that’s not gonna happen.  Let’s just pretend, ok? ;))

Due to all the flight cancellations from the snow storm, Mike didn’t get home from Georgia until 1am.  So I decided to be a good fiance and prepare a delicious, healthy, hearty breakfast for him this morning.  Plus, I was up early and already going stir crazy in my apartment so preparing breakfast was a nice perk to my day.  Seriously, this snow needs to melt so I can get out and complete my 11 mile run.

Anywho, I went to the Chobani website and followed their perfect pancakes recipe which is the same recipe I used to make these yummy blueberry pancakes.  These pancakes are quick and easy and they always turn out tasting amazing!!   

Banana Pancakes

10 minutes prep time – Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Chobani banana flavored greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk <— I used 1% milk
  • maple syrup, banana slices, strawberries (optional)

Directions

1) In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and greek yogurt.

2) Add yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir together.

3) Heat a nonstick skilled over medium heat. Lightly coat with cooking spray and pour about ¼ c of batter onto pan for each pancake. Cook until edges set and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 minutes. Flip to brown other side.

4) Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining batter. Serve with maple syrup, banana slices, and strawberries.  Enjoy!

I have a new record

OK, before I wow you guys with my new record I first wanna show you my lil’ breakfast:

A tasty fruit parfait.  I used strawberry greek yogurt and added layers of fresh strawberries, ground flax seeds, and sunflower seeds to the mix.  Yum!  It’s so much healthier than adding store-bought granola and there’s so many different ways to make it (raisins, chia seeds, almond slivers, walnuts, blueberries, etc.)

Time to talk about my new record………

This afternoon I ran the furthest I’ve ever run on a treadmill: 4 miles!!! 

I know, crazy, right?!   

I’m sure you’re all mystified and wondering how I could have possibly done such an outrageous thing.  Well let me break it down for you.  First, I brought a hand towel with me so I could easily wipe the sweat off my face (I’m a hot mess on the ‘mill).  Second, I went at 4pm so there was fewer people and it didn’t feel like 654 degrees.  Third, I brought a new US Weekly and watched Ellen to keep me entertained and not wanting to poke my eyes out from boredom.  And that’s how you can run 4 miles on a treadmill.  Let me know if you have any other questions on how I did this. ;)

Dinner

After the gym and a couple quick errands, I was starrvingggg by the time I got home (which was at 5:30pm).  So I prepared the delicious meal that I had intended on making last night: pan seared scollops, green beans, and a half of a baked sweet potatoe.

The scallops were actually from the frozen aisle at Target and only cost $6!  Or maybe $7, I forget.   But either way they were waaaay cheaper than at the grocery store which is usually $18-$20 and they were wild-caught.

The scallops were so easy to prepare.  I just sprinkled some sugar and salt on top and then pan seared them in a skillet with a couple of tablespoons of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. 

The rest of my night will be spent chillin’ with Mike and watching the Lance Armstrong special on Oprah.  Can’t wait to see what he has to say! 

 

How have I gone so long without eating oranges??

Yesterday started with 7 miles before 7.  I wanted to squeeze in my long run before working a track meet so I woke up at 5:35, quickly changed and headed out for a run in the drizzling rain. :D  The first couple miles dragged but I eventually found my rhythm around mile 4 and averaged an 8:20 pace.

I also carried this mini water bottle since I’m always so thirsty on my long runs (aka super dehydrated from drinking wine the night before).  I thought it would be a pain carrying the water bottle but it actually wasn’t at all.  I pretended I was carrying a weight and was working my arm muscles while running.  And I was able to stash my keys and energy chews in the convenient little pouch.

After my run, I prepared a bowl of oatmeal with a scoop of almond butter and banana slices.  This meal hit the spot and kept me full for hours…..  woohoooo!

The rest of the day was spent working then enjoying some drinks at a bar with friends.

Today

Oh, breakfast today was a good one!  I wanted to make something healthy and light since I ate bar food for dinner last night, so I prepared a plate with orange slices, a sliced banana, and a hard-boiled egg.  And a glass of lemon water on the side.  I feel healthy just typing all these yummy foods….

I can’t even remember the last time I ate an orange?  Maybe years?  But I’ll definitely be eating them more often.  It was sooooo juicy and deliciousssss! 

(And yes mom, I did let my foods kinda touch each other – I tried separating them but it wasn’t happening…. )

Before I log off, I figured I should leave you guys with something useful: a cheat sheet for the treadmill!  I found this handy guide in the February Runner’s World . :D

Alright, time to get ready for work….  Enjoy your Sunday!  Go PATS!!

 

6 Ingredient Trail Mix Energy Bars

Well well well…..   guess who wrote an entire post dedicated to working out in the morning and then skipped her morning workout?  Yup, that would be me.  I’m blaming Rocky.  The cat is a freak and kept me all night while he tried climbing the wall in my bedroom (super smart cat) so needless to say I turned my 4:45am alarm off and “slept in” till 5:45.  But I did squeeze in a great workout after work so it’s all good.

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Did I tell you guys about my new favorite drink (besides coffee, beer, wine, and water)?  It’s iced green tea.  How have I not discovered this drink sooner?  I don’t know.  But it’s so refreshing and it’s high in healthy antioxidants, and has no calories, carbs, or fat which is awesomeeee. 

Another great perk about this drink is that it’s free (@ work… :D)

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You guys ready for a really easy delicious granola recipe?  Like so easy that ANYONE can make it?  I made a batch of these last night and they turned out pretty amazing.  My goal was to make granola with ingredients I had in the kitchen and also make it fairly healthy.  So here it is…..  

6 Ingredient! Trail Mix Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup melted almond butter (or any nut butter)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • a couple of dashes of ground cinnamon
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups of trail mix – I used the trail mix pictured below.  And yes, this counts as 1 ingredient.  (1 bag = 1 ingredient :D)

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8×8 glass or metal pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Melt the almond butter in a microwave-safe bowl.  Add the almond butter, honey and mashed banana to a large bowl and stir well.

3) Next add the oats, cinnamon, and trail mix.  Stir until everything is well blended.

4) Evenly pour the mix into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes.  Let cool at room temperature and cut into bars.  Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator so they harden. 

**These granola bars can be eaten alone as a healthy snack.  Or you can do what I did and crumble a bar into a bowl with greek yogurt – so much better than store bought granola!

Enjoy!

Nutritious & Delicious Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins

What’s better than starting off 2013 with a hearty, healthy brunch?  Doing it without a hang-over!  This “no hangover” thing is amazing.  I should do it more often.  (Btw, if you are hungover today, you should check out this article from Shape magazine.  It includes 4 hangover cures that work and 2 that don’t…. :D )

This morning I woke up around 8 and got to work at preparing a nice breakfast for Mike and myself.  I knew I wanted to make a muffin and keep it on the lighter side since I’ve been eating a lot of crap lately.  I also wanted a breakfast that will keep me satisfied.  This recipe is loaded with oats, banana, apples, and it’s flour-free.

Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashion oats
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond milk (or skim milk)
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 granny smith apples – peeled, cored and chopped

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.

2) In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and mashed banana (I used a hand beater to blend).  Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl and stir well.  Stir in the chopped apples.

3) Spoon into prepared muffins cups, filling about 2/3 of each cup.

4) Bake for about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Enjoy!

I enjoyed mine with a little bit of peanut butter spread in the middle and fresh fruit on the side…. 

Cage-free eggs….

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Alright let’s talk about New Year’s Resolutions.  I think my resolutions are the same as last years but I liked them so I’ll use them again. :D  Here are my resolutions for 2013: 

**Eat a more clean diet, similar to the paleo diet.  I’ll do this by cutting back on processed foods, reading labels more carefully, eating more fruits and veggies, and being more aware of what I’m consuming. 

**Cook and bake more often; experiment in the kitchen. 

**Run more speed workouts so I can PR in a half marathon and 5K this year.  The training I put together for my half marathon incorporates 1 day a week for speed work so I’ll have to continue this even after the race.

**Save more $$$.  Mike and I want to buy a house this year so I really need to cut back on going to the bars, out to dinner, clothes shopping, concerts, Dunkins, Target shopping sprees, etc.  This resolution kinda stinks but I need to think long-term and how I really, really want to buy a house ASAP.

***Edited to add:

**Be more POSITIVE: I’d like to be a more positive person.  I’m not a Debbie Downer at all but if there’s a negative in my life, I’m going to make an effort to turn it around into a positive situation. :D

**Floss more often: Yeah, I’m lazy and don’t do this as often as I probably should….

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How was your New Years Eve?

What are your resolutions?