Key Lime Coconut Energy Balls & Upping my Photography Game

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Monday, ready or not here it is! Let me try to distract you from your to-do list a bit…

I took a photography class in high school. I lasted about one day before we had to start measuring things and doing math and I said, “whoa whoa whoa…nope”. I swapped the class out for ceramics (math, measuring, science and I were not friends at the time).

I deeply regret that swap.

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WIAW Accomplished

It’s pitiful the amount of times I have attempted a WIAW (what I ate Wednesday) post and failed. I cannot even give you an exact amount of attempts because counting would involve more effort than I put into the charade. However, today I got it done. I successfully photographed  ALMOST everything I ate. I say almost everything because my co-worker surprised me with a small container (1/3 cup) of homemade asparagus soup with a drop of goat cheese (insert mmmhhhmmm) that I didn’t picture…. it’s a shame because it was probably the best thing I ate today…go figure.

I love WIAW posts because they can spark ideas on future meal plans for others. Plus, who doesn’t love looking at food pictures? However, the love I have for reading these themed posts never provided enough encouragement to record each meal and reflect on it.

energy flow

My documenting success today came from a deeper desire to jump on the healthy eating train. Somewhere between a knee injury, the holidays, work-stress, and partying I fell off and I’m trying to get back on. The thing about documenting is it keeps you in touch the reality of your food choices. Taking pictures and being aware can be healthy and keep things in perspective.

honesty

For me, it’s not about sticking to a calorie number but reflecting on food decisions in the larger scope of a day and sharing meal ideas. Counting calories can quickly become an unhealthy obsession or habit that can take the joy away from eating.

My morning started with some pre-run fuel:

Morning things

 

A small apple and some hazelnut coffee from a motivational mug :)

After four easy miles and a warm shower I had breakfast:

Breakfast ingredients breakfast smoothie

A tropical fruit protein smoothie…this was my first time trying the tropical fruit mix and I wasn’t too impressed. I think the blend of all the different fruit prevented any strong distinct flavor…just give me strawberries and I’m a happy girl.

Morning Snack:

eggs

I had 2 hard-boiled eggs around 10am, appetizing pictures I know. I am a fan of hardboiled eggs and high protein snacks because they keep me full until lunch.

Lunch

lunch

 

This is one of my more ambitious types of lunches.  Grilled chicken, green beans, carrots, and humus.

Dinner

Dinner 2

Dinner was a new soup, light chicken enchilada, with an added chicken sausage and humus toast :)

Add the asparagus soup and about 3 bottles of water and a couple more black coffees with Splenda and that was my day. I feel good and know this was a healthy amount of food for me.

Back to Blogging

It’s been a while since my last post and I mean a while. The last time I wrote was the Richmond marathon over a month ago. Which is far from my goal of three posts a week. I’ve been busy sure, but that’s not my excuse. Nope, I’ve been busy in the past and it hasn’t prevented me from sharing my life with you. The truth is my creativity was burnt out just like my legs for a little while and it’s a spiral effect. When I’m not writing I’m not reading as many blogs, I have fewer ideas and less inspiration. But I won’t dwell on that because somehow my fingers found the keys and they are moving along in peaceful-rhythm.

believe in your own magic

What started this melody? Inspiration seemed to be sneaking in from so many different areas of my life nudging me to write so I finally accepted it. I have so many beautiful people and things in my world that I just need to get it all out!

It started when my thoughtful co-workers Sally and Lynn surprised me with holiday gifts,  an Up Early With Amy Mug from Sally and a wellness journal form Lynn (not pictured).

IMG_3607  It was so thoughtful and sweet. It reminded me to never underestimate the power of simple thoughtful gifts. Sometimes I plan to get family and friends something here or there and put it off or decide it’s not worth the trouble. But it is. Receiving g these gifts made my week and if you can do that for someone else you should. Even if it’s a just a small card to let someone know you are thinking of them.

“Never get tired of doing little things for others sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts ~Ida Azhuri”

This alone was enough to make me start writing again…

Heathers note

But then there was a Christmas note from my cousin Heather whose more like a sister. In it, she reminds me of all the great things that have happened for me over the past year including my blog. If you don’t have someone in your life like that you should start being that person for someone you care about…it makes all the difference.

I can’t forget my cousins Becky and Dan who edited work for me with thought and consideration the day I send it to them.

family

I’m not done.

Next is my yoga studio owner Diana and the community she created. The studio is moving locations and I spent last night helping Diana pack up old photos, newspaper clippings, and documents since the studio opened in 2003. I’ve only been there for a year and half, but she’s been touching lives for over a decade and I’m so grateful for her and studio’s presence in my life.

…Naturally we had to celebrate our hard work over Thai food and wine :)

IMG_3614

(Diana on the left and  yogi Tifa on the right)

IMG_3616

(Tom Yum soup and red wine :) )

Finally, there’s  my entire family. They are there for me without fail. They love me even when I don’t feel like I deserve it. They spoiled me this Christmas and all chipped in to get  me a Vitamix for Christmas. If there was any hesitation in my fingers finding the keys the Vitamix sealed the deal. I mean when your family gives you a Vitamix you make recipes and blog (if you’re into that sort of thing of course). End of story.

IMG_3610

 

smoothie bowl

(My first Vitamix smoothie bowl)

More creations to come :)

I’m sure I’m forgetting people and things I am grateful for, but I’m sure it’ll come out in a later post along with the soups and nut butters I plan to make :)

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Happy Tuesday friends, one day down and four more to go!

tuesday

I don’t know about you but, I’m anxious for the clocks to change this weekend because I’m tired of this dark nonsense in the morning. It is so much harder to get out of bed when the suns not on my schedule #diva. It’s a good thing I had Apple Cinnamon Granola to lure me out of bed this morning because I don’t think I would have gotten out otherwise. But this sweet, crunchy, fruity granola was calling my name so I answered.

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Ingredients: 

  • 3 medium apples, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed pecans
  • 1/2 cup cran-raisins

Directions: 

1. Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees

2. wash, peel, and slice apples into thin slices and lay them out on a baking sheet with wax paper. Bake them for 2 hours to dehydrate them into apple chips.

apple chips 2

Apple chips

3. Mix the rest of the ingredients, except the cran-raisins, together in a bowl until combined.

  • apple ingreidents

4. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake in the oven with the apples at 275 for around 2 hours. Be sure to stir the granola every half hour or so to keep it from burning.

5. When the apples are done take them out and crunch them up!

 

apple chips 2

6. When the granola is done, combine it with the apples and the cran-raisins and voolaaa!!!

Apple cinnamon granola 2 Apple Cinnamon granola 3

Let the granola cool for around 20 minutes if you can resist. I’ve been known to burn my tongue #impatient. When you’re done you decide who to share it with :) I shared with my momma because she paid for the ingredients and she made me!

 

Impulse Buys: Breaking the Habit

Confession; I’m an impulse buyer. In my job I teach tactics to navigate the grocery store to save time and money. In real life I’ve been wasting time taking 2-3 trips to the grocery store per week sometimes buying foods I don’t need on impulse. This week my goal is to set this unhealthy habit straight, create a grocery list and ban myself from the store the rest of the week. Think I can do it?

intention

Yea, I’m not so sure about the banning part but I’m going to try. To help me out I’ve already started my list…

grocery list

I recently got motivation to tackle this issue in my life after reading a report from The Center for Science in the Public Interest entitled “Sugar Overload: The Retail Checkout Promotes Obesity”. The report suggests checkout lines encourage unhealthy decisions that contribute to our nation’s obesity problem. It is based on a study done in one city that examined the checkout aisles across a range of store types. While purchases are a personal choice this report shows the industry and our enviroment at large are not helping us out.  Two thirds of our population is overweight or obese, food availability plays a large role in our food choices, and the presence of unhealthy foods near the register increases our likelihood we will buy and consume unnecessary calories.

How many times you grabbed something in the checkout aisle? What if you learned 90% of those items are unhealthy? …Just something to think about! You can overcome an unhealthy manipulative enviroment by making lists, heading to the self checkout, and some serious mental pep talking!

In efforts to abstain from an unnecessary trip to the grocery store I created a new recipe that is genius. I call it: French Onion Kale.

French Onion Kale

french onion kale 1

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups kale, chopped and washed
  • 1 15 oz can of Campbell’s French Onion Soup

French onion kale

Directions:

1. Heat stove stop to medium

2. Pour soup into a medium fry pan and stir

3.. Add Kale and saute for 5 minutes!

Enjoy :)

(you could add mozzarella or fresh onions too :))