Category Archives: Awesome Bloggers

Influenced Once Again- Oats in a Jar

Ahh, it is such a gorgeous day out! 54 degrees and sunny in Amherst, which feels balmy after this brutal winter we have all experienced 🙂 Spring is surely in the air. But HOLD UP… there will be a Winter Storm Warming in effect starting tomorrow night…. There are 2-4 inches of snow expected, not too much but winter just does not want to let go!

A little less of this...

How about a little less of this…^

AND MORE OF THIS!

This morning I went to the gym here at school and did 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical. I set the incline at 15 and did a simple HIIT routine of going 35 seconds fast, and 25 seconds recovery for 5 minutes at level 12. Then I would recover for 2 minutes at level 10 and then repeat the sequence until the 20 minutes was up. This was pretty random but I wanted to get in some cardio before Kickboxing!

I have talked about this class before but want to mention it again because it’s one of my favorite group fitness classes. I am seriously the most uncoordinated person alive, so I was a bit apprehensive about trying this class at the beginning of the year in fear of looking like a GOON. Although I do punch right or kick left (when I am supposed to be doing the opposite! haha) I still get a great workout in and am always sore the next day! Especially in my back and arms, I’m not used to working them that way. Besides, everyone else is worried about if they’re doing the routine correctly and not lookin at you!

*Below the surface- I am constantly feeling self-conscious and that people are looking/staring at me, of course in a negative way. I feel like I am being judged all of the time, on my clothes, how my hair looks, makeup, acne, my height, and of course, my body. Although i am finally understanding this is not the case, I still can’t help feeling, “somebody’s watchin me!” (anyone know the song?!) I am working through this and I also have realized how much I look at other people. And I admit, I do my share of judging as well. Not necessarily something mean, but I make conclusions about people I see or talk to. I really need to get the heck over this, it’s rude and just not necessary. Of course I feel that people are looking at me, I’m lookin right back! Can anyone relate/have advice? I am not a mean person, actually quite nice 🙂 so I think I do this because I sometimes feel bad about myself.

Phew, sorry about that tangent! On to the title of this post….after my butt was kicked at Cardio KICK, I returned to my room where a fabulous breakfast awaited me! Overnight Oats in a Jar the blog world strikes again!!

Looks so nasty, tastes so good! Into almost empty jar of one of my favorite nut butters, Barney Butter’s Crunch Almond Butter, went:

  • 1/3 cup dry (not instant!) oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 sliced medium banana
  • 1.5 tbs Chia seeds
  • Several dashes of cinnamon= i am addicted to cinnamon

Stir that baby up, put it in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours) so the liquid can be absorbed by the oats. Unscrew the cap the next day and try not to inhale it’s ugly wonderfulnous <– that’s a word, I swear.

Demolished! So good. There was probably about two tablespoons of almond butter left in the jar when I put the mixture, it was my best oatmeal concoction yet!

I have an appointment this afternoon, then a dinner date with the lovely Danielle!

Have a good day everyone, enjoy the weather if it’s nice where you are 😀

*Has anyone tried overnight oats in a jar? I’ll admit when I first heard of this in the blog world, I thought it sounded gross. How wrong I was.

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Below The Surface, Breakfast, Exercise, Favorite Products, Nut Butter, Product Review, Recipe

Under the Influence…of the Blogging World!

I apologize for the corny title but it works with this post!

Alas, it is my last night home for Spring Break and I am returning to school tomorrow :(. I know once I’m there and settled in, I will be glad to be back, it’s just hard to leave the comforts of home. But I suppose I can’t stay in LaLa Land forever!

I am packing tonight, to avoid rushing around in the morning, and I as I was packing food to bring back, I look at my recent buys.

 

Prior to reading healthy-living blogs, it is safe to say I had not head of ONE of these items (well the cereal I suppose, but I did not yet know the amazing-ness of Trader Joe’s!)

Chia seeds? Like a Chia pet right?! Uhh sorta. Wait a second, almonds can be made into liquid AND a peanut butter-like consistance?! Whoa there.

I have bought these items over time and have enjoyed them all! I have even turned my picky mom (love you MA!) onto some of the items. One of her favorite combos is a sweet potato with Sunflower Butter…YUM! Prior to reading blogs, oatmeal=yucky mush, and seeds were for planting, not eating.

I have to admit that Overnight Oats in a Jar are one of my favorites, I pay 10 dollars for nut butters, I made gluten-free eats, I eat like the Greeks (greek yogurt :p), so many ideas I adapted from others and enjoy in my daily life. Kath’s blog was one of the first one I ever read, I give her tons of credit for making me like oatmeal!

What has the blog world introduced to you? Any great products or recipes? Please share!

*I remember I asked my mom one time if she would pick me up some bread from Whole Foods. She answered with, “that exploding grain stuff right?” (Referring to sprouted bread) Made me laugh. 😀

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Family, Favorite Foods, Nut Butter, Trader Joes

Finally, I Have One!

Good evening!

I have something exciting to report, well at least for me, I finally purchased a FOOD PROCESSOR!

I’m sure several of you already have one and are saying, what’s the big thing? I have wanted one for quite sometime but had this silly idea that they were too expensive. They are certainly not! I saved up a bit and bought one at target today for 60 bucks and well worth it if you ask me. 🙂 I decided to purchase one after countless times of looking up recipes and seeing the words “food processor” among the required machines, which I would follow with, d’oh!

And let me tell you, attempting to get oatmeal to a course texture, along with dried fruit for a dessert recipe, with a blender that umm, sucks= no bueno. I knew there was a problem when the blender started to smell like burning plastic and I basically broke the darn thing! So yes, time for a machine that is actually supposed to be used for processing/crumbling ingredients!

Let’s just say I have been breaking in my new kitchen utility ever since I got home! I whipped up a few blog world favorites, such as peanut butter, almond butter, oat bran, and even made dough for a whole wheat bread recipe! Exciting stuff I know :p

I used honey-roasted peanuts I bought from Trader Joes and ground those suckas up for a good 6 minutes before it reached my desired consistency= drippy, but not too liquidy with some crunch, yumm! My mom agrees! I put in two cups of nuts which yielded one and half cups of peanut butter.

My almond butter was a success as well! I coated raw almonds with a few sprinkles of cinnamon, and maple syrup, let them roast for a 5 minutes in a 350 degree, let them cool and then ground em up! They are nice and sweet, with a subtle maple flavor that I love. Making your own nut butters is such a great money saver too. This tasted almost as good as my favorite, Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, but cost about six dollars less, yes please! As a poor college student, I try to save money where and whenever I can.

My whole wheat bread was also made with the food processor, by adding warm water to the flour/yeast mixture as it is being turned in the machine. Eventually it makes a nice, sticky dough and then I let it rest for 10 minutes, and popped it in the oven, where it is currently baking. If it turns out good, I shall post the recipe!

One last thing, made some kale chips for an extra nutritious bonus, tasty! See Kath’s Recipes for how to make kale chips 🙂

How have others used their food processor? I would love some new ideas!

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Favorite Foods, Food Processor, Nut Butter, Trader Joes

Confession and a Healthy Granola Recipe!

Good afternoon! I almost just wrote morning, but the day seems to be zooming by, its already 12:30!

Confession Time: This morning I went on a pleasant 7 mile run at a relaxed pace. I came in around 55 minutes, but was quite tired the whole time! I really need to start fueling before my runs, or at least during. I know, it is so BAD not to, but I usually run first thing in the morning and I really NEVER wake up hungry and forcing myself to eat leads to stomach issues on my run…gross I know! But not going to lie, the irrational, wanting to lose weight side of my brain thinks this will lead to a faster weight loss, similar to what I did after workouts, not eat! NOT SMART!

For runs that are longer than 8 miles, I am going to try incorporating Shot Bloks or an equivalent every few miles. I am sure that will make a difference in my energy levels, and I will report back with my experiment! If that goes well, I am going to try eating a small something before a run, perhaps half a banana or something. What are people’s favorite mid-fuel treats that are easy on the stomach?

I should note, however, that I ALWAYS fuel before Cross Country races, and other road races no matter what the distance is. I try to perform by very best during each race, and know how important fuel is… so DUHHH I need to do this before every workout/run to get the most out of my training!

After I showered, I whipped up a pretty quick and very easy granola recipe to have for breakfast! I based it off of this recipe, Banana Granola, but changed a few things

  1. Cutting the recipe in half
  2. Using only walnuts instead of walnuts and seeds
  3. Agave Nectar, not honey,
  4. and a few sprinkles of TJ Peanut Flour which has been discontinued! Alas 😦

It turned out really good! I love granola but some recipes and ones you can buy are fat and calorie dense. With this recipe, you still get a good measure of healthy fats with the walnuts and bit of Peanut Flour, but it is much lower, and still tasty! The banana adds a touch of sweetness and the baking time allows it to crunch up nicely. I suggest you make this asap! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a side note, I read the Fitnessista Blog (which is fabulous for so many reasons, I’m sure you already read it 🙂 ) She did a short video on a pretty twist you can do to your hair and I decided to try it today, check it out!

 

 

Have a nice day everyone! Later today I will be posting more about disordered eating habits, such as my daily eats before and after getting better

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Confession, ED, Exercise, Favorite Foods, Fitness, Fuel, Running

Workout and Brownies

A strange combination, no? Hehe well I did a workout first thing this morning and then went onto the baking portion of my day, remember, it’s important to refuel and chocolate is certainly nutritious :p.

My mom works out at a personal training studio and she has a few guest passes for a free session. I used one today, and had an appointment with a trainer at 8:30 with a two other women. At this place, a trainer works with the group for 30 minutes, guiding people in exercises such as planks, tricep/bicep/shoulder work, lunges, squats, moves on the bosu, abdominal work, and several other moves. There is a timer within in the studio that tells the exerciser to work for 45 seconds, with a 15 second rest for 4 reps on the given exercise.

Let me tell you, some of the exercises certainly whipped my butt! I do a lot of core work, to improve my running speed, but by the fourth set of planks, balancing on one leg and one arm, my muscles were seriously shakin. At the end of the 30 minutes, I hopped on one of the treadmills to do some interval work. When I first began running, I was so slow and barely could run more than a mile at a time without feeling like I would literally pass out. I diligently kept up with this new sport, and have slowly built up my miles and speed (read more about my running journey in the pages section!).

I found that adding intervals and focusing on speed work has really improved my times in races and during regular runs. I used to run mile repeats around 7:50 and now can do 4x 1 mile repeat with an average pace of 6:15….a huge improvement! Intervals are very challenging, but help to boost your metabolism, build up speed, endurance and so many other benefits. This style of training is also great because it can be performed on any machine, or with any exercise– elliptical, bike, speed walking, strength training with cardio blasts such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees and butt kicks (plyometrics).

For my treadmill workout I ran for 30 minutes, with one- minute pickups at 9.1 mph and a two and a half minute recovery at 7.9 speed. I also set the treadmill at an incline of 2% to simulate outside running. I was so tired at the end of this and it is safe to say that I was a sweaty beast! But it felt great and know it will help my speed in the future.

Once I stretched, I walked home and refueled with a bowl of oatmeal with a banana and Justin’s Maple Almond Butter– my absolute favorite kind!

Next, BAKING! My mom is a labor and delivery nurse at local hospital and works with a fantastic group of other nurses. Ever since she began working there, I have been baking different recipes for them to try and they report back with their reviews. My recipes are usually based off of another recipe I find, such as the one I made today. I located this one at Jessica’s Blog- How Sweet It Is, which has amazing recipes, difficult workouts, and her writing is hilarious and the pictures are gorgeous, check it out!

I chose the Better Than Crack Brownies, but substituted pecans for salted peanuts, white chocolate peanut butter for the regular peanut butter and used a Duncan Hines brownie recipe. Sometimes I make desserts from scratch, but today I wasn’t feeling it!

In my humble opinion they turned out delicious and my mom and her friends at work agreed! Make these if you are looking for a very decadent, addicting, chocolate dessert/snack!

This afternoon I am babysitting for three kids, and prepping dinner for them as well. Have a nice rest of the day!

About running, has anyone incorporated interval training into their workouts, and if so, have you noticed a difference in how you feel such as your speed and endurance?

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Family, Fitness, Running