01.25.2017

Wellness Wednesday: My Top 4 Tips For Staying Healthy When Busy + A Delicious Sweet Potato Crust Egg Muffin

Over the past year, the term busy has taken on a whole different meaning. Gone are the days when a “hectic” day at work was immediately followed by a relaxing evening at home (although, Harper does go down around 7:30pm, I still always feel like there is something left to do)… or a weekend day is filled with “nothing.” It seems that there are endless to-do lists, friends to catch up with, a toddler running everywhere all the time, and sometimes it just seems like it would be so easy to just say “forget it” to healthy habits (I mean, going through the drive-through is much easier than actually preparing a meal….). Yet, over the years I’ve found ways to ensure that making healthy choices is a natural part of my lifestyle….. and, as I figure my life is about to get a whole lot busier with little miss running around, I figured now is as good a time as ever to refresh my mind, and share them with you!

1. Have Pre-Made Snacks/Meals Available: I have always found this to be the most effective option when ensuring I eat nutritious foods/meals.Having something that I can make, in bulk, ahead of time is such a helpful option. Which is why I recently made these egg muffins you see here today. They take about 30 minutes to make 12…. they’re kiddo and husband approved…. and so easy to store and re-heat when you want. I also love making my favorite oatmeal bake (can also be distributed into small containers to store for an even easier grab-n-go option)… or this dairy free chia seed pudding option. I know that these are all breakfast options, but sometimes I feel as if the mornings are the most rushed time of the day…. but also the most important meal… so I’m always sure that it’s a nutritious one.

2. Have Healthy Grab-N-Go Snacks Available: I love to snack in between meals. I get hungry, bottomline. So, I am certain to have healthy options readily available. Some of my favorites include a hard boiled egg (on the days I don’t have one of the egg muffins… no need for an egg overload…), pistachios (I like the roasted, and salted option from Trader Joe’s), Rx Bars (blueberry + chocolate sea salt are my favorite), and Lara Bars (peanut butter and lemon are my fav)… both of the bars have simple ingredients, which I love… and beet chips (Sprouts and Trader Joe’s have excellent pre-packaged options).

3. Keep Healthy Items In The Refrigerator + Cabinets: I only buy items I find to be nutritious…. if I buy the other ones, it’s probably just going to create temptation that isn’t needed (it’s what I talked to my clients about in my therapist days….. stimulus control… if it’s not around, it makes it pretty hard to get into….). When I have healthy items, and it comes time to making meals, it kind of ensures that a nutritious meal will follow. I follow this grocery list (I need to update it) pretty closely.

4. Move Whenever + Wherever You Can: When I don’t move, in some way, shape, or form, I simply feel off the entire day. I schedule it in… I figure that I have no problem scheduling in other activities… so why not this one, that’s an investment in my health? I typically wake up pretty early to get a workout in…. but if TJ is out of town, it makes it more difficult to leave the house. So, I do one of my at-home workouts, or go for a long walk, or quick run, with Harper in our BOB stroller.
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{Outfit Details || Fleece Pullover | Jeans (identical)}

Mexican Sweet Potato Crust Muffins

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs
1 large white sweet potato (not a yam)
2 cups spinach (cut off stems)
1 large red bell pepper (chopped into tiny pieces)
3 strips of bacon (I buy this kind…. it’s amazing)
1/2 cup red onion (chopped)
1/4 cup vital proteins collagen (they don’t add taste… only good for you collagen, read more here)
1/4 cup almond flour (I use this kind)
Avocado
Salt, Pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 450°, and spray cupcake tins very well (or they will stick). Wash + peel the sweet potato, then cut it in half. Use a cheese grater and literally grate the sweet potato on the side with the larger holes. You’ll want to grate the entire potato. Then divide the grated pieces evenly across the muffin tins (I used a standard tin with 12 muffins). Once done, place in the oven for about 10 minutes.

While the sweet potato is cooking, sauté your spinach, red onion, and bell pepper. Cook your bacon…. I just microwave mine for the sake of time, and when it is done break it into small pieces. In a large bowl crack all the eggs and whisk them together, and then add in the almond flour and vital proteins, stir to combine. Next, evenly distribute the bacon, red onion, spinach, and bell pepper mixture amongst the muffin tins. Then, place 1/4 cup of the egg mixture in each of the tins. Then, place in oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes. They will rise (and possibly spill over slightly) and will brown a little on top when they are finished… to be sure just stick a toothpick in the middle. Remove immediately. I like to serve mine with a little smashed avocado on top…. with a side of salsa…. TJ recommended a sirracha drizzle too.

You can store these in a baggie, or tuber ware, in the refrigerator and heat up whenever you want.

01.10.2017

A Delicious + Healthy Weeknight (Or Day) Meal: Ground Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

I’ve always tried to be aware of what I put into my body…. you know, minimizing processed foods and sugars (although, I do have quite a sweet tooth), heavy on the fruits + vegetables, with whole grains and lean meats tossed in the mix…. Yet, when I became pregnant with Harper, I became increasingly aware of where my food was coming from, and how my food was grown and raised. I felt that I was being entrusted with the responsibility to carry our growing baby, and I wanted to ensure that what I put into my body was good for her as well… That meant I became pretty strict…. especially with the meats I was consuming. They needed to be organic and raised on organic land…. no antibiotics, hormones, or steroids (since that’s the crap that gets stored in the animal’s fat + flesh…. and are then passed onto me… from what I have read in my research.).

Annnnd, now that little miss is eating all the foods that we do, it’s something that continues to be of importance to me in food preparation and grocery shopping. So, when I was introduced to Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey, I was eager to try it out… it met all of the above criteria, and was at an excellent price point (because, let’s be honest, organic isn’t cheap….). I loved it so much that I’ve teamed up with them to bring you a Turkey Tuesday dish that has become a regular staple in our household…. stuffed acorn squash. It’s hearty, nutritious, and little miss + hubby approved (oh, and my sister tested it out too and gave it two thumbs up….). If you’re short on time during the week, you can always prepare the turkey  and acorn squash ahead, and simply reheat them when it’s time for dinner…..

Ingredients

1 Package Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey (I found mine at Costco, in a two pack, for a little over $15!)
1 package of riced cauliflower (found at Trader Joe’s… or you can rice it on your own….)
Spinach
Green Onions
Avocado
1 Medium to Large Acorn Squash
1 Cup Diced Onions
1 Jar Of Salsa Verde (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s)
2 tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Olive Oil

Directions For Acorn Squash
Pre-heat the oven to 450° (if your oven has a convection setting, I recommend using it as it will bake faster.). With a sharp knife (trust me, you want it to be sharp…) cut the squash in half length wise. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, place the acorn squash halves on the sheet, place 1 tsp of ghee in each acorn squash, then sprinkle with salt + pepper. Place in the oven for 45 minutes- 1 hour (30-45 minutes with convection). You’ll know the squash is cooked when you can easily pierce it with a fork.

Directions For The Ground Turkey (cook while acorn squash is roasting)
I found the ground turkey to be incredibly flavorful, so I was happy that I didn’t use too many seasonings. I sprayed a frying pan with non-stick oil and tossed in the ground turkey. I sprinkled the turkey with some salt + pepper, and cooked it until it was done. About 15 minutes.

Directions For Cauliflower Rice (prepare while turkey is cooking)
Place some olive oil in a sauté pan, along with some garlic + diced onion (amount is up to you). After about 3 minutes, toss in the cauliflower rice and sauté. After about 5-7 minutes, pour in about 3/4 of the salsa verde (or all of it if you like, you just don’t want to have too much liquid) and mix it all together. After about 5 minutes, take 2-3 handfuls of spinach and place in the pan with the cauliflower rice. Mix together. Continue to cook the cauliflower until it is tender. This can take about 20-25 minutes. Once the rice is done, combine it with the cooked ground turkey and mix together.

Assembly
Once the acorn squash is tender, remove it from the oven. Place it on a plate. Scoop in the desired amount of the turkey mixture into the acorn squash. Top with mashed avocado, diced green onions, and additional salsa to taste… and, a few chips adds a nice little crunch….

That’s it! The whole process sounds labor intensive, but all in is a pretty simple dish to make… not much chopping, just a lot of tossing into a pan. I’ve always felt that delicious + nutritious meals should be easy and simple… that way they can become a seamless part of my lifestyle. This one makes the cut. Hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

*Thank you to Foster Farms for sponsoring this post and allowing itsy bitsy indulgences to content create. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

12.14.2016

Real Ingredient Christmas Cookies + Cozy Christmas Pajamas

Part of our annual Christmas tradition is to spend a weekend baking… it runs the gamut from fudge, rice krispee treats, our family sugar cookies recipe, and snickerdoodles. We also make peanut butter blossoms (which I affectionately call “the boob” cookie)…. they’re the tastiest treats with a Hershey Kiss placed in the middle. With all the richness of the other cookies (and for that matter, indulgences of the season…) I decided to try my hand at lightening up the recipe a bit….. but not removing any of the flavors. I decided to try a few simple swaps… apple sauce for butter, organic coconut sugar for refined sugar (lower glycemic index), almond flour for regular flour… and probably the most delicious swap of them all, Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups for the Hershey Kiss (this, in my mind, was a #GameChanger). The end result? An “oh-my-gosh-this-is-so-good” cookie…. that’s filled with pretty real ingredients (scroll down to see the recipe!)…..

And, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite pajamas for your Christmas Eve + Christmas Day festivities…. because what would cookie making be without the accompanying pajamas to cook them in? I bought Harper this adorable onesie (it’s so soft and warm) but I also think this festive striped option is adorable, as is this plaid footie onesie. I have my eye on this ribbed jogger and hoodie combo, as well as these striped pajama pants paired with this cozy pullover.  I also think this faux fur eye mask is perfect for people like me who love complete darkness when they sleep.
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{Post Details | Pajama Pants (several color options) | Pullover (so cozy!) | Slippers | Harper’s Pajamas | Plate (c/o anthropologie) | Milk Jars (c/o) | Blanket (similar)}

Real Ingredient Peanut Butter Blossoms:

1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup organic coconut sugar (purchased mine at Sprout’s)
1/2 cup organic coconut brown sugar 
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 tbsp unsweetened almond mild
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups almond flour
24 Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cup 

Directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl beat the applesauce and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat in flour until it becomes a sticky consistency.

2. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls (I used a small ice cream scooper). Place balls about 2 inches apart on an uncreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake in a 350° oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm. While they are baking, unwrap the peanut butter cups. Once cookies are done, immediately press them into the center of the cookies. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, I stored mine in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

11.30.2016

The Campfire Cocktail: A Festive Holiday Libation

festive holiday cocktail, itsy bitsy indulgences

As I mentioned yesterday, for the past several years, TJ and I used to sneak off to Vegas for a night before Christmas. The decorations were always over the top, the weather was brisk, and it just seemed like a fun way to celebrate the year and grab a little alone time before the rush of the holiday season. We’d typically wake up early Saturday morning and arrive with enough time to enjoy a full day and night. One of the activities that was always on the top of my list was ice skating on top of The Cosmopolitan….. they had it set up with fire pits, festive cocktails, and you couldn’t beat the view of the strip. After a few spins around the rink, we’d settle around one of the fire pits for a libation. My favorite was the “Campfire,” which was topped with roasted s’mores and graham cracker crumbs. Pretty much one of the most delicious, and decadent drinks I’ve ever sipped on…..

Last year, since I was pregnant with little miss, I missed out on the festive merriment of enjoying a seasonal drink…. so, I guess I’m making up for lost time with this delicious creation. It’s a much lighter version than my Vegas favorite, but not lacking in the taste department. By using Pressed Juicery’s Spiced Almond Milk (last seen here) you get a punch of flavor without those processed sugars (um, yes please!!). Enjoy this cocktail while decorating your tree, watching your favorite Christmas movie, or while you’re sitting around an outside fire pit with friends. Either way you enjoy it, you’re sure to want seconds (and since it’s made with a non processed almond milk, go ahead, have another!)!

Spiced Almond Milk Fireside Cocktail

1.5 oz Kahlua Liquor
3-3.5 oz of Spiced Almond Milk
1 Graham Crackers (love this gluten free option)
Mini Marshmallows
Cinnamon Sticks
Cinnamon

Directions: Combine the kahula + spiced almond milk in a cocktail shaker to mix (you can also shake it… that’s how TJ preferred it, I prefer mine stirred). In a bag, crush graham crackers until you have finely crushed crumbs, then put onto a plate. Next, line the rim of a cocktail glass with lemon juice (works so much better than water and you can’t taste the lemon). Then turn the glass upside down into the graham cracker mixture to fully coat the rim. Fill the same glass with ice, then pour the mixture in. Place several small marshmallows on a roasting stick and place over the stovetop until roasted to your liking. Garnish the drink with marshmallows, a cinnamon stick, and a few dashes of cinnamon. Sip + enjoy!
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{Post Details || Juice | Glass | Cocktail Shaker | Sweater | Scarf}

festive holiday cocktail, itsy bitsy indulgences

festive holiday cocktail, itsy bitsy indulgences

festive holiday cocktail with kalua, itsy bitsy indulgences

holiday cocktail with pressed juicery spiced almond, itsy bitsy indulgences

pressed juicery spiced almond holiday cocktail, itsy bitsy indulgences

pressed juicery spiced almond holiday cocktail, itsy bitsy indulgences

festive holiday cocktail with roasted marshmallows, itsy bitsy indulgences

Thank you to Pressed Juicery for sponsoring this post and helping me bring you fun, delicious, + healthy recipes! 

11.23.2016

Wellness Wednesday: The Perfect Post Thanksgiving Detox Breakfast

dairy free chia seed pudding, itsy bitsy indulgences

I typically throw caution to the wind on holidays. I mean, I don’t gorge myself, but I also don’t worry too much about indulging here and there…. 3 small slivers of pie (yes, our family makes a pumpkin, apple, + chocolate), + a little hot chocolate please. Yet, when it comes to that Friday after, my body is typically screaming for a restart. Given that, I typically like to give myself a jolt of nutritious goodness in the morning. One of my favorite dishes to do this with is my favorite dairy free chia seed pudding. Chia seeds are jam packed with antioxidants, fiber, and omega 3’s…. all which help my body to reset. Yet, with it being the holidays and all, my old recipe just wasn’t cutting it. So, I decided to make a small little tweak… and boy, did it make all the difference.

I decided to replace the traditional almond milk ingredient with Pressed Juicery’s seasonal Spiced Almond… which has the consistency of almond milk. The taste was phenomenal. Pretty much a chi tea latté in a breakfast bowl… and I’m not kidding here. My sister snuck a serving from my leftovers and texted me, “Well, I pretty much devoured that in under 5 minutes. More please.” I chose to top mine with some banana nut granola, a few blueberries, + bananas…. but TJ topped his with honey peanut butter, blueberries, + raspberries…. you pretty much can’t go wrong. It’ll taste divine either way you top it.

Spiced Almond Chia Seed Pudding

2 cups Pressed Juicery Spiced Almond 
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
6 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions: 

In a bowl, quickly stir together all ingredients, except the chia seeds. In a blender, pour in the combined ingredients, and begin to blend on low. Slowly add in the chia seeds, a tablespoon at a time, being sure the chia seeds don’t end up on the sides of the blender. Once all chia seeds are combined, blend on low for 2-3 minutes. Then, pour the mixture into a large bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator. After about an hour, stir the ingredients again, and then placed the lid on, and leave in the refrigerator over night.
*Note: It’s best to prepare the pudding 8 hours prior to eating to ensure it sets. ____________________

{Post Details || Juice | Granola | Sweater}

dairy free chia seed pudding, itsy bitsy indulgences

dairy free chia seed pudding with almond spice milk, itsy bitsy indulgences

pressed juicery almond spice dairy free chia seed pudding, itsy bitsy indulgences

almond spice dairy free chia pudding, itsy bitsy indulgences

pressed juicery almond spice, itsy bitsy indulgences

dairy free chia pudding, itsy bitsy indulgences

dairy free chia seed pudding, itsy bitsy indulgences
Thank you to Pressed Juicery for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own. 

10.26.2016

Wellness Wednesday: 6 Superfoods To Add To Your Smoothie. Like, Now

5 superfoods to add to your smoothie, itsy bitsy indulgences

Before we headed to Hawaii, I was in “clean out the refrigerator” mode. I really didn’t want to toss anything out (I hate wasting food), and so I decided to make a smoothie. I had some of the obvious ingredients…. spinach, bananas, blueberries… but I also decided to toss in a few not-so-traditional items as well. I follow a few healthy food bloggers and had seen some of them incorporating cauliflower into their daily smoothies. I was intrigued. I mean, I’ve been loving it as a rice substitute, but wasn’t so sure about adding it to my smoothie….. I decided to give it a go, and the outcome was delicious (actually… you can’t really taste the cauliflower….). The end result of my “refrigerator emptying” ended up being a pretty powerhouse packed smoothie…. a superfood conglomerate if you will.

I always give TJ the last say before I post anything food-wise… just to make sure I’m not the only one who likes it…. he gave it the go ahead…. and so did our newest member of the team. Little miss pretty much begged for more after her first bite (drink??) and I was all for it. Why? Well…. for starters….

Spinach is pretty much full of anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories (inflammation causes disease), and vitamins that help support bone and vision health…. annnnd, there’s a ton of calcium in it as well…

Blueberries are full of fiber (great for digestive health… thing regularity….), cancer fighting properties, and can assist with memory (this #MomBrain needs it!!)….

Chia Seeds expand in liquid so they help smoothies feel more substantial…. they are full of essential fatty acids (which are great for your brain), fiber, and are loaded with antioxidants (which prevent against aging and disease).

Bananas are another excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, and aid in heart health + digestion. I love to add them to my smoothies when they are frozen because they make the consistency thicker and frothier. They also add a little sweetness.

Avocados make my smoothies thick and smooth…. they are also an extremely healthy fat, can help you absorb the nutrients from other plant foods, and assist in cancer prevention. I also think they are a great superfood to add for an extra beauty boost (think glowing skin….)

And the most intriguing superfood???

Cauliflower which is an amazing cancer fighter…. and that to me is enough to incorporate it!

So, there you have it. I pretty much make this smoothie a few times a week… and if I’m feeling generous I share (insert wink face emoji here). Looking to add it to your weekly menu? I have the recipe below:

Superfood Goodness:

1/4 small avocado
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 cup riced cauliflower (you can add it frozen and it will make the smoothie thicker
1/2 – 1 frozen banana (depends on how hearty you want to make the smoothie)
handful of spinach
1 tsp chocolate collagen whey 
1/2 cup yogurt (I opt for Kite Hill dairy free… but if I make it for TJ I use Siggi’s)
1/2 cup-1 cup nut milk (less for a thicker consistency)

Toss all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Then devour.

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{Post Details || Tunic | Leggings | Sneakers}

5 superfoods to add to your smoothie, itsy bitsy indulgences

5 superfoods to add to your smoothie, itsy bitsy indulgences

5 superfoods to add to your smoothie, itsy bitsy indulgences

5 superfoods to add to your smoothie, itsy bitsy indulgences

5 superfoods to add to your smoothie, itsy bitsy indulgences

5 superfoods to add to your smoothie, itsy bitsy indulgences

10.19.2016

Post Vacation Detox Meal Plan

post vacation detox meal plan, itsy bitsy indulgences

I know I’ve mentioned it several times before, but our past few vacations (or weeks…) have been utterly indulgent. A few examples: ahi nachos (I don’t even eat dairy….), Reese’s  Pieces cheesecake (again…. I don’t eat dairy), sweet potato tempura (I tried to justify that one with the fact that it was a sweet potato….), potato pizza (there’s that dairy again…)… and let’s not even touch on the libations that were consumed. It’s not something I do often, so I decided to just enjoy myself and get back on track when we returned home. Towards the end of the trip though, it started to not taste so good, and I was definitely craving some vegetables and fruit.

So, when we returned home, that’s just what I did. I made a big ol’ trip to Whole Foods + Trader Joes’ and followed my normal grocery list pretty closely. It felt so good to get back on track… but it also felt equally as good to throw caution to the wind for a little while. I guess that’s what this blog is all about… finding ways to create balance and to fully live, and enjoy, all of life.

Monday:

Breakfast: 2 organic eggs (I like mine runny), on top of a bed of arugula + spinach, with half of an avocado. I topped it with a little himalayan sea salt, pepper, + red pepper flakes.
Snack: Kombucha (trilogy flavor has been my favorite lately, over ice), 1 small apple
Lunch: Chicken breast with roasted carrots + brocollini
Snack: Smoothie
Dinner: Grilled Salmon (used sea salt, pepper, + dill with a little lemon to season), asparagus, cauliflower rice with herbs.
Dessert: 3 cups of popcorn

Workout: Pure Barre Mommy-Baby Class

Tuesday: 

Breakfast: My favorite steel cut oats (from Trader Joe’s). I bring 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil, with collagen peptides in the water, and then add 3/4 cup oats. Once cooked I top with cinnamon, 1/2 banana, 1/4 perfect bar
Snack: Kombucha, some granola
Lunch: 2 organic chicken sausages on top of spaghetti squash (I mixed the squash with some himalayan sea salt, pepper, + a little olive oil) with 1 cup spinach and sliced mini heirloom tomatoes (pictured above).
Snack: 1 cup of carrots + a bunch of red grapes
Dinner: Mexican Night (my favorite night!!): sautéed shrimp with bell peppers + onions. I make a Mexican cauliflower rice (you can mix a can of diced tomatoes + diced chili verde peppers to season the rice) + top with guacamole + salsa verde.
Dessert: We got Pressed Freeze (I just can’t resist)

Workout: Spin Bike + Weights

Wednesday:

Breakfast: I made overnight oats for TJ + I. I put 1/2 cup steel cut oats in a mason jar. I then added 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla cashew milk, cinnamon, and roasted butternut squash. I then shook it all together and placed it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning I topped it with 1/2 a banana and added some of my favorite perfect bar pieces.
Snack: Kombucha, remainder of my perfect bar
Lunch: 3 organic eggs (I was haaangry…), 1 small sweet potato, cut into cubes + roasted with shaved brussel sprouts. Once finished roasting, I placed eggs on top of roasted veggies. So. Good.
Snack: apple with peanut butter
Dinner: Crockpot shredded chicken: 1 can salsa verde with chopped bell peppers + onions. Place 4lbs chicken in the crockpot, and then place all veggies + salsa on top. I also added pink himalayan sea salt, pepper, garlic, and chili powder. I placed on low for 4 hours. Served with the Mexican cauliflower rice + guacamole.
Dessert: Popcorn

Workout: 45 minute walk

Thursday:

Breakfast: Chia Seed Pudding (my recipe)
Snack: Kombucha, some granola
Lunch: Roasted brussel sprouts + sweet potato with organic turkey slices.
Snack: Smoothie: 1 frozen banana, 1/4 avocado, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 scoop vital proteins chocolate, 3/4 cup almond milk, cinnamon. Blend. So. Good.
Dinner: Chinese Food Night: I used a spaghetti squash and cooked it, scraped out the squash, and then sautéed it in a frying pan with a little sesame oil + garlic. Then I tossed in a cole slaw mix (for the cabbage + carrot mixture) and some water chestnuts. I then threw in tamari sauce (GF soy sauce) to my liking. In a separate pan I sautéed the shrimp. When both were finished I tossed together. It was a first time trying this and it was a hit.
Dessert: 1 Justin’s Peanut Butter Mini Cup

Workout: Slept through my alarm, so had to cut it short. 30 minute run. After Harper had been fed, I picked up some of the weights I had at home and did some lunges and squats.

Friday:

Breakfast: Same as Tuesday… my steel cut oats
Snack: Kombucha, and the rest of my perfect bar.
Lunch: Ate out with my mom… went to my favorite vegan spot Freesoul Cafe (clearly, I am not vegan…) and had butternut squash soup with a side salad packed with veggies.
Snack: Smoothie from Thursday
Dinner: Poke Bowls. I opted for 1 small scoop of rice and the rest salad…. edamame, green onions, double seaweed salad, + avocado.
Dessert: Big ol’ bowl of popcorn + wine

Workout: Favorite Yoga Video 

Sometimes I find that the easiest way to motivated myself to get up and out after a little break is with some new gear. I am currently loving this zip up jacket and this pullover, as they both have the perfect neckline to keep you warm. This oversized jersey tee is a great option to toss on after your workout if you plan on running errands, or heading out to breakfast/lunch (a healthy one, right??!). The cutout details on this top make it great as a multi-functional piece. I also think this long sleeve pull over is great for any workout, and I wear these high waisted mesh insert leggings all the time.

09.28.2016

Wellness Wednesday: Pumpkin Energy Bites For Me + Pumpkin Pureé For Little Miss

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I’ve always been a lover of a good old energy bar…. I looked forward to them as my afternoon snack. Yet, as I began to become more aware of ingredients in products, I started to back off of those tasty morsels and opt for whole ingredient snacks (some carrots and hummus….grapes…. banana + peanut butter…) instead. Lately though, a part of me has started to miss them. So, when I started making this pumpkin bar recipe this season, I got to thinking. I figured that with a few swaps, I could modify the recipe to make it more snack friendly (while still keeping it gluten free/dairy free). Something I could nibble on to get me through the afternoon until dinner (I get hungry during this hour…. anyone else??).

On Monday, I got to experimenting… and tasting (one of my favorite parts of baking…). Harper was getting a little fussy, so I picked her up and gave her a little spoonful of the creamy mixture I had concocted. She loved it…the smile on her face and the open mouth begging for more said it all. I had read about the benefits of collagen for little tikes too (i.e. sealing the gut, bone healthy, better sleep) so I figured this mixture was probably pretty darn good for her… and I had been wanting to introduce nut butters to her as well…

Before I had Harper, I promised myself that I would make all of her food. It was one of those things that, as a non-mom, I couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t. Yet, as life got busy and she moved to more complex pureés, I started to realize that I wasn’t going to be able to do that all the time. Which is exactly why I love this recipe. While I’m whipping up a batch for TJ and me, I can simply leave out a few ingredients, set a bowlful aside, and I have a few meals for little miss as well. Although…. little miss certainly had sticky hands for the solid version…. which she was able to gum and swallow easily (I made sure to give her a piece with out the whole nuts). Overall, it’s a win-win… kill-two-birds-with-one-stone… situation… the kind I can easily be down with. Oh, and she loves this blend so much, I’m for sure bringing it on the airplane with us next week…. any little treat to keep the screams at bay.

Pumpkin Energy Bites:

1 cup steel cut oats (I prefer Trader Joe’s)
3/4 cup creamy almond butter
2 tbsp agave nectar (although I tried it without and it was just as good so I will likely leave out of the next batch)
1/2 cup pumpkin pureé (not pumpkin pie mixture)
1 smashed overly ripe banana
1 scoop chocolate collagen protein (benefits here)
1 tbsp cinnamon
dash of salt
pumpkin seeds to your liking

Pre-heat oven to 325. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and use a small ice cream scooper to form small balls with the mixture. I got about 12 bites when I was finished. Toss in oven and bake between 15-20 minutes.

Baby Pumpkin Pureé: 

1/2 smashed ripe banana
1 spoonful pumpkin purée (see above)
1 spoonful almond butter (see above)
dash of cinnamon
1/2 spoonful collagen protein (see above)

Mix all the ingredients together and it’s ready to go

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{Post Details || Tank | Harper’s Bib | Bowl | Spoon}

energy bites, itsy bitsy indulgences

energy bites + superfood baby eats, itsy bitsy indulgences

energy bites, itsy bitsy indulgences

energy bites, itsy bitsy indulgences

energy bites, itsy bitsy indulgences

energy bites, itsy bitsy indulgences

08.31.2016

Wellness Wednesday: The Benefits Of Collagen + How To Incorporate It Daily (i.e. yummy recipes!)

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I’ve been pretty open about my hair loss over the past several months (post delivery of Harper). It was something I really struggled with. My hair was always something I put a lot of effort into… if I had the choice between applying some make-up or doing my hair, I would hands down choose my hair. Always. So, when it started to fall out in clumps (and I am not exaggerating here) I started to panic. It was one of the harder post-pregnancy oddities that I had to deal with. I felt as if I had minimal control over the shedding, and thought I was going to go bald… or at least have a receding hairline. I was pretty much desperate, so I had booked an appointment with my doctor…

Then, I was introduced to Vital Proteins Marine Collagen (and their entire line of collagen). I hadn’t done much research on collagen, but as I was introduced to the product, I started to see articles pop up all over the internet on the topic. In a nutshell, I discovered that collagen can aid in skin + hair health (right up my ally), bone + joint health, assist in balancing hormones (yes for this post pregnancy body!), and aid in digestion. I decided to start incorporating the marine collagen (which is tasteless) into my morning oatmeal. After about 2 weeks, I started to notice that my hair wasn’t falling out nearly as much, and that little baby hairs were starting to sprout around my hairline (AMEN!!). When I went in for a blow-out, after 7 days of not washing my hair, the stylist told me that there wasn’t much that had fallen out. I was seriously so happy…. and now, I swear by it. I make sure to get a daily dose of it, and have gotten a little creative with how I have been incorporating it lately. Of course, all of these recipes are delicious without the collagen (I mean, it is tasteless), but if you’re looking to start incorporating collagen into your routine, these options are pretty tasty!

benefits of collagen, itsy bitsy indulgences

Cashew Milk Chia Seed Pudding:

2 cups unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (or any nut milk)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
6 tablespoons chia seeds
1 scoop collagen peptide

For the pudding, prepare 8 hours prior to eating.

In a bowl, quickly stir together all ingredients, except the chia seeds. In a blender, pour in the combined ingredients, and begin to blend on low. Slowly add in the chia seeds, a tablespoon at a time, being sure the chia seeds don’t end up on the sides of the blender. Once all chia seeds are combined, blend on low for 2-3 minutes. I simply poured the ingredients into a large bowl, covered, and placed in the refrigerator. After about an hour, I stirred the ingredients again, and then placed the lid on, and left in the refrigerator over night. I top mine with Purely Elizabeth granola, sliced strawberries, + 1/4 square bar.

cashew milk chia seed pudding, itsy bitsy indulgences

Vanilla Overnight Oats (with all the fixings): 

1/2 cup steel cut oats (I love the Trader Joe’s version)
1 cup nut based milk (I used unsweetened vanilla cashew)
Cinnamon (to your liking)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop collagen peptide

Place oats in a bowl, pour in milk and then mix in collagen, vanilla, + cinnamon. Place in a jar that you can cover with a lid. Place in refrigerator over night (or at least 2 hours). When you’re ready to eat, you can enjoy them cold or heat up in the microwave. I top with 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/2 sliced banana, 2 tbsp Purely Elizabeth granola, + 1 tsp Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter.

vanilla overnight oats, itsy bitsy indulgences

Pumpkin Bars:

I posted the recipe for these a few days ago, and you can find it here (this is not my own recipe). To incorporate the collagen, simply add 1 scoop to the mixture. I made a bath of these on Monday and they’re almost gone!!

collagen pumpkin bars, itsy bitsy indulgences

You also know how much I love some great athleisure, and I thought I’d share a few favorites, and pieces that I have been eyeing lately. I have been wearing this wrap hoodie non-stop… it’s super cozy and comes in multiple color options (I have the grey, but thinking about the black too). I also love the knot front options that are out there, especially this tank and this long sleeve  version. These color block leggings are so cute, and I’ve recently pulled out my black slip-ons and am loving them all over again.

08.24.2016

Wellness Wednesday: What I Ate For 5 Days Based On Last Week’s Grocery List

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As a new mom, planning  meals isn’t always easy. The list of obligations is long, and for me, sometimes the thought of preparing meals is yet another thing to add to the list. Yet, like I shared last week, I’ve found that if I purchase the items I know I love, I can typically come up with a few good lunches + dinners that are sure to leave me (and TJ) satisfied.  In last week’s post,  I shared how I meal plan and the groceries I buy on a weekly basis… so, today, I decided to show how that list comes together to provide us with a nutritious and delicious meal. I typically try to incorporate some fruits and vegetables at every meal, and pick a protein based on what my body is craving. I’m a sweet potato lover, so you’ll see a lot of them… probably almost daily… as I think they are an excellent, natural, and tasty supplier of carbohydrates… and the cooking options with them are limitless. I always have some kind of treat at the end of the day… and I typically find myself having tastes here and there, throughout the day, of my favorite protein bar, granola, or fruits. I’m always trying to add items to my grocery list and change up the meals, so I may be sharing another one of these in a few weeks.

And… since I’ve pretty much been living in activewear on Saturdays, I decided to share with you some new favorites. After a long run on Saturday mornings, we typically head out for a tasty breakfast and an afternoon of exploring. So, I typically freshen up a little (using these) + toss on my favorite leisure outfit, and head out the door. These leggings are a new favorite… I love the side pocket and the detailing makes them unique…. and this tank…. well, it’s perfectly stretchy and comfy… all which makes the combo a perfect Saturday getup (all outfit details after meal plan)

meal plan, itsy bitsy indulgences {Lunch on Day 1}

Monday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal + 1/2 banana, 1/4 chopped perfect bar, a dash of cinnamon (in the boiling water, I add 1 scoop of vital proteins collagen)
Snack: Kombucha (Strawberry Serenity flavor)
Lunch: 1/2 spaghetti squash (seasoned with a little olive oil, pepper, sea salt, dill), sautéed spinach + tomatoes, 3 slices of organic turkey with carrots (pictured above)
Snack: 1 small sweet potato, 1/4 cup raspberries, 1 tsp peanut butter (I mash the peanut butter with the sweet potato and it’s absolutely delicious)
Dinner: Zucchini noodles sautéed with tomatoes + baked salmon filet (seasoned with lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, + dill)
Dessert: Pressed Juicery

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Same as Monday (it’s really my favorite!)
Snack: Kombucha + some granola
Lunch: 1 can of tuna, diced tomatoes, shredded carrots, chopped cucumber, massaged kale (olive oil + lemon) all tossed in a bowl with a side of carrots
Snack: Smoothie
Dinner: Cauliflower fried rice (sautéed with edamame, shredded carrots, bell peppers, cashews, soy sauce <I used low sodium, GF option>) with 2 runny eggs on top
Dessert: Popcorn

Wednesday:

Breakfast: 2 runny eggs + Asparagus + side of fruit (strawberries, raspberries, watermelon)
Snack: Kombucha
Lunch: 1 medium sweet potato (topped with hummus), massaged kale (in olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, + pepper), sautéed squash
Snack: Banana, spinach, fig smoothie (with vital proteins collagen)
Dinner: Cauliflower rice (mexican style with this mixture), shrimp, beans, sautéed bell peppers + onion w/ some guacamole (homemade)
Dessert: Pressed Juicery Freeze

meal plan, itsy bitsy indulgences {Wednesday’s Dinner}

Thursday:

Breakfast: Back to oatmeal (I can’t stay away too long)
Snack: Kombucha
Lunch: Shredded chicken (boiled, then shredded) tossed with spinach + bell peppers (used salsa verde as a dressing)
Snack: bowl of berries with some granola
Dinner: Ground Turkey, sweet potato noodles (sautéed in chicken broth, sea salt, pepper, + garlic), black beans, avocado
Dessert: Popcorn

Friday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal… again (It’s typically what I crave when I wake up)
Snack: Kombucha
Lunch: Sautéed zuchinni noodles, spinach, + heirloom tomatoes with organic turkey slices with a side of fruit.
Snack: Sweet potato snack (seen on Monday)
Dinner: Take-out (we always do take-out on Friday): Ahi Poké bowl with extra seaweed salad (it’s my fav!)
Dessert: Pressed Juicery + 2 glasses of rosé

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{Outfit Details || Leggings (come in 3 colors, I’m wearing an XS) | Tank (4 color options, so comfortable) | Jacket | Sandals | Bag | Sunglasses}

athlete activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

athlete activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

athlete activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

athlete activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

athleta activewear, itsy bitty indulgences

athlete activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences

athleta activewear, itsy bitsy indulgences