Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chocolate Proyo Bowl

I finally made my first proyo bowl after seeing endless posts on so many Instagram pages about these wonderful little magical bowls. 

Well, they're right! 

I made one last Friday after an extremely intense leg day workout. My friend at work thinks I'm crazy but I love nothing more than a nice and long 2-hour leg day sesh! In fact, I get to leave work early tomorrow too so hollaaaa. I think it's my mission in life to make walking as difficult as possible. Pssst walking smalking. 

So I decided to give proyo a try since I was in desperate need for some protein after working legs. I've talked about this before in terms of post-workout but if I lift I just want legit straight up protein afterwards. Running or HIIT I like a little mix but with lifting I crave pure protein. Do what works for you! 

I decided to try out chocolate which is unusual for me since I typically prefer vanilla but I kinda wanted a healthy frosty-type taste. 

Here's how I made it!
1 scoop chocolate protein powder of choice 
1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
couple handful of ice cubes (or almond milk ice cubes)
*optional* couple spoonfuls of Arctic zero

Blend, blend, blend til it's an ice cream consistency! You can also add a sweetener of choice to sweeten it up a bit but I find that my protein powder is usually sweet enough for me. If I was making it this dessert-y then I'd probably add some stevia! 

I added the Arctic zero for some extra creaminess but it's totally not necessary! I topped my bowl off with some whipped cream, 1 crumbled up baked thin Funfetti cookie, and sprinkles! Because I just happen to love sprinkles. 

I will definitely be making proyo bowls more often! I'm gonna try out vanilla tomorrow and I'll keep you guys posted with the results :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Updates: More Reverse Dieting!

So, as you all know I've been all over the place with macros. I've cut, I've reverse dieted (twice), I've loosely-tracked, and I've intuitively eaten. All in only a little over a year haha! But, my body is happy and I'm happy because I get to kick butt with my lifts and runs.

Recently, though, I've felt as though I need to increase. I've been super hungry the heavier I lift so I'm going to go back to tracking for awhile. This is going to be tricky because a) I want to do it the right way, but b) I have no idea what kind of macros I've been eating lately. 

Here is my game plan and who knows if it's even going to work! I was talking to my friend who is at the end of her reverse and she's going to kinda experiment, too. Honestly we have nothing to lose at this point and everything to gain! (i.e. all the musclessss) 

What I did was for the past couple weeks, I started tracking things to give me an idea of where I was at calorie-wise and to get a basic sense of my macros. Turns out being a creature of habit helps a lot! I was actually pretty consistent in terms of ballpark macros that will make this next part a lot simpler. 

I took those ball-park macros, tweaked them to give me an average, and now I will increase from there! I was actually eating slightly less than my initial maintenance macros which isn't the end of the world since I took a break from heavier lifting but also probably why I now need to reverse up a bit more. The heavy leg days have been killer! 

Now that I have a better idea of what macros I should be eating currently I'll just mosey my way on up until I get to a place where I feel comfortable. I'm interested to see how my body responds and what happens because I want to play around with numbers to see how it goes. Like my friend and I were talking it's all just an experiment because we're just curious about what might happen! 

The worst that will happen is that I build more muscle, get to eat more, boost my metabolism and have more energy. Wait, actually, no I can't think of one bad thing that could happen. That's why I feel as though I don't have anything to lose! My last reverse diet went incredibly well, and I definitely feel confident enough now to play around with my numbers on my own. My metabolism has never been better so I'm also confident that my body can handle the changes. 

The best thing now is that I feel so refreshed and ready to track again since I took a nice long break the past few months. I think that can be important since tracking can be a mental challenge as well. It's totally normal to just get tired of it and want to have intuitive days.

So if you hear me start to talk more about tracking and reverse dieting then that's why!

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Grilled Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

I have found my new favorite way to eat sweet potatoes: grill them! I wasn't kidding when I said that now we have a grill Amanda and I pretty much put everything we can on it. Also, I would like to say before we get much farther in this post, I was doing fine on my own with the grill. Nothing was on fire, nothing was looking like charcoal, and the potatoes were all in one piece. 

Then, Amanda comes outside. 

We've already discussed that grilling is not one of her strong points, and something that should not be listed on her resume as a skill. She tries to tell me that the heat isn't up enough and then suddenly cranks it up. 

And when I open the grill up...

Half of the potatoes are nearly all black. So yeah, I kicked her back inside. 

Anyway, let's get to the recipe part! 

I had probably 4-5 medium sweet potatoes that I cut lengthwise into about 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. I drizzled them with a bit of olive oil to help them crisp and brown. For the spices I did salt, pepper, and rosemary. Again, I never measure them I just eyeballed it! 

I put the slices on the grill, and cooked them at medium-low heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Orrrr if you want to go Amanda's route and double the heat to effectively decrease the cooking time by half. 

If you do in fact enjoy eating ashy potatoes. 

Every time I would go out to check the potatoes, "Sarge" would have to keep an eye on me. Amanda and I joke around and call her that since she is constantly keeping tabs on everyone like a little sergeant. I have zero worries about this dog ever running away because she is the very definition of a stage five clinger haha! 

She's a terrible guard dog (like dead asleep and doesn't hear people come through the door) but she is a good watch dog!

With the potatoes I sauteed some mushrooms and zucchini, and chicken! It was the perfect summer dinner. 

After dinner, we watched the Disneynature documentary Bears since we found it for free on OnDemand, and it was so good! I'm a huge sucker for any kind of nature documentaries. I always get so stressed out and worried about the animals and if they're going to make it but I can't help but watch them. John C. Reilly was the narrator, and he was so funny! We loved it, and Layla got really in to it too. She would stand in front of the TV with her ears perked up and would watch the bears, it was so cute. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favorites #21

1. Summer Grilling

I mean do I even have to explain this one?! I think the picture says it all!

2. New dresses from Old Navy!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a girly girl in the slightest. One of my favorite perks about my job is that there really isn't a dress code, it's very relaxed. Jeans, sandals, shorts, tank tops, comfy clothes, etc. That's one of the great things about working in research! My boss even specifically tells us to dress down because we talk about a lot of personal information with our participants. We want them to feel comfortable and not intimidated so we don't want to be all dressed up in fancy suits but to dress on a similar level with them. Meaning I have been known to wear my yoga leggings to work rather frequently but the rest of my coworkers do too so no one cares. However, we're not always in yoga leggings haha so I do like to have cute spring-y dresses and skirts. For that, Old Navy and Target are lifesavers! I recently ordered this dress online with a bunch of other ones during a sale and I'm in love! It's so comfy that I actually might prefer it to my leggings (huge shocker, not even being sarcastic!), and I love the material it's made out of. It's surprisingly heavier than it looks but it's still airy enough for the hotter weather. I've yet to be disappointed with any of the dresses I've ordered online from Old Navy, it's my go-to place to shop! I got 5 dresses for $50 with free shipping which you can't beat that.

3. Quest Bars at Trader Joe's!

My level of excitement at discovering this was probably borderline unnecessary/crazy but I love Quest bars! They also happen to have my FAVORITE three flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough, s'mores, and cookies & cream. Those are the only three they're carrying right now but in my opinion those are the only ones they need! It's funny how I found out because Margot was going on her first Trader Joe's trip and she wanted to know all my usual things, best aisles to look at, etc. Then later we were talking and she told me "I got one of those cookie bars you like" and I had no idea what she was talking about. I kept asking her if she meant the Think Thin bars since I know those are there and I even pulled one out to show her, but then she told me it was a Quest one. I didn't believe her at first because I told her they don't stock them there and it just sounded too good to be true haha! Well, it wasn't and they actually do have them! I went the next day and bought a box of the chocolate chip and s'mores one. There were a few people in the aisle just looking over protein bars and when they saw me grab the quest boxes they immediately started asking me about my opinion on protein bars. Apparently they said I looked like I knew what I was doing? Or maybe it was because I was in my gym clothes haha! Anyway, I explained to them all about the carb/protein ratio I like to look for in protein bars and that Quest has a good one plus the yummy taste. I think most of it went over their heads because in the end all they wanted to know if there was a chalky taste or what not and then here's me giving a mini lecture about macros!

4. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at the break of day."

I am officially in love with this scripture verse. In fact, it's become that "one verse" that I feel as though I will always come back to. I don't think I've ever had a true favorite Bible verse or one that speaks to me on a much deeper level than any of the others. I mean, all of the verses are important (obviously) and have God's truth in them, but some definitely stand out to me more than others depending on my situation, thoughts or feelings at the time. This one I honestly needed when I found it, and I think it's so cool how God's timing can work that way. Sometimes I'll hear a song on the radio or do a Bible study lesson or read a scripture passage or hear a sermon that is EXACTLY what I needed at that moment. Often times it feels as though God is legit smacking me upside the head as if to say "pay attention, buddy!" Anyone else know what I'm talking about?! This was one of those times because someone shared this verse on Instagram (can't remember who, sorry!), and my reaction was YES YES YESSS! Thank you Jesus! I've just been working through a lot of personal stuff lately plus planning out the future with so many new changes right around the corner that I needed this verse. I've been clinging to it as one of God's promises, and I find such peace and comfort in it. The knowledge that God is there within me, and He will never let me fall. So let's do this!

What are some of your favorites this week?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Typical Dinner Post: Grilled Veggies & Steak!

So I've gotten questions before about what I usually eat on a regular basis for dinner. Besides protein pancakes for dinner (hehehe), my favorite is something that is very simple: lean protein and veggies. For me, I do not like a heavy dinner at all. In fact I feel like I'm the opposite of the normal American idea. As the day goes on, my meals get smaller not larger. 

Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal and the funny thing is I HATED it when I was younger. I legitimately could not stomach food right after waking up, and now one of my first thoughts when waking up is "yay I get to eat soon!!"

My point is that my typical dinners might sound horribly boring to some people but I don't think so! Like I said, I usually crave something light and fresh. My idea of a heavy dinner is having a side of mashed sweet potatoes in addition to chicken and vegetables. I couldn't tell you the last time I had something like pasta or even rice for dinner.

We recently got a grill, and let me tell you it's been a wonderful investment! This past weekend, Amanda and I decided to treat our mom for her birthday to something special-- steak! Now, I'm not a vegetarian or anything but usually I don't eat that much red meat. Chicken, fish, and turkey are my usual go-tos for protein because you get higher protein, and plus the prices are better. I picked out sirloin steak at Sam's Club this past weekend, and it was really good!

So on Saturday for dinner, we grilled the steak along with mushrooms & peppers, and zucchini and yellow squash. For the vegetables all I did was season them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper! I don't like my vegetables to be that heavily seasoned or all fancily disguised to not taste like vegetables, I actually like the taste of vegetables haha! So, I do some basic seasoning so as to not overpower the real taste. The mushrooms and peppers went in one little foil boat, and the zucchini and squash in another. Make sure to seal it all up tight so that none of the vegetables or steam leaks out. Then, we threw them on the grill, and that was it! 

We found out that grilling may not exactly be Amanda's forte. She went to check on the steaks, and I hear from the kitchen "Oh wow, my steaks are literally on fire!" hahaha whoops! A couple of the steaks were a little uhhh charcoal by the end? Luckily, there was one that was nice and medium-rare for me! I might sound like a snob but I hate eating steak cooked more than medium-rare. If it's not pink or red in the middle I have no interest because otherwise it tastes like cardboard to me. People legit have jokingly asked me before if my steak is still mooing because I'll eat it even if it's that red in the middle! In my opinion, the rarer the better. 

Then on Sunday, we had the leftover steak along with the mashed cauliflower I made, and some roasted asparagus! The asparagus was super easy. All I did was again season it with lots of salt, pepper, and oil then threw it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Salted Caramel PB&J Overnight Oats

It's no secret that I have a slight obsession with Jif Whips. In fact at the moment I'm out of both my home peanut butter AND my work peanut butter (yes, I keep a spare tub in my office). Luckily, I have plenty of other peanut butters at home to fill the cracks in my heart but it's not the same as Jif Whips! 

I used up the last of it in the best way possible, though, overnight oats! I've been getting the salted caramel one lately, and even though I wouldn't say it's really that caramel-y (is that even a word?) it's still delicious! 

I picked up some strawberries at Sam's Club on Saturday, they seriously have the best strawberries ever! It's only 3 bucks for 2 pounds too which in my opinion is a steal! At my local grocery store a 1-lb container is over $3, and that's not even the organic ones. That's just highway robbery! Which is also why I hardly ever go there because I can't stomach the prices. 

Anyway, I knew I wanted to incorporate the strawberries because they were perfectly ripe and so delicious that I was using any excuse to put them in everything. That lead me to peanut butter and jelly! 

To make the overnight oats you'll need: 
1 nearly-empty PB jar (about 1-2 tbsp)
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup cashew milk (or any milk)
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt 
1 packet of stevia 

Mix it all together and let the oats sit overnight, the longer the better! Make sure the oats have plenty of time to soak up all that goodness :)

In the morning, I topped mine off with 1/2 cup of strawberries and a spoonful of strawberry preserves! I love overnight oats especially in the summer since it's a lot cooler but still as filling as hot oatmeal. This held me over nicely Sunday morning before heading off to church. 

What's your favorite summer breakfast?!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Healthy Mashed Cauliflower

It's taken me forever to make it but trying out mashed cauliflower to substitute mashed potatoes has been on my list for oh I don't know about 2 years now? Haha! The queue line of recipes-to-make in my head can get a little ridiculously long. Actually if I'm being honesty I just forget. Or I accidentally eat all the cauliflower with hummus before I can get to making this recipe. The stuff Amanda has to put up with living with me haha!

This recipe was super easy and only requires a few ingredients:
1 large head of cauliflower
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
salt & pepper to taste

First, I just boiled the cauliflower until it was cooked and fork tender, about 10 minutes or so. 

Then, I added the cauliflower to the ninja blender. You could mash them by hand but I figured why not let the blender do all the work! Once the cauliflower was nearly smooth, I added the butter, almond milk, and salt. I ran it again to make sure all the big chunks were out. 

Ta-da! It looked just like mashed potatoes! 

The texture was a lot thinner than regular mashed potatoes but I mean that's to be expected. I'm not even sure if the almond milk was necessary, and next time I might leave it out at first to see what texture that will give me. But I was still happy with how this turned out! 

This recipe made 6 servings and it's only 50 calories per serving! I'd say it was about 1 full cup for a serving but I just eyeballed it. 

It was the perfect side dish for dinner since it was hot, hot, hot out that I didn't really want anything super heavy for dinner. We had leftover steak, I roasted some asparagus, and then the mashed cauliflower. 

I took Layla for about a 30 minute walk before dinner with Ben and Lola, and she was so tuckered out from the heat that she pretty much just laid around like a slug for the rest of the day! I was joking around that since she hardly moved and pretty much matched the color of the carpet that we couldn't always find her...

Hope you're all having a good start to the week! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Quadzzz Workout: Back at the Gym!

So yesterday morning I hit the gym since I haven't been in a couple months. I've been doing most of my workouts at home with lighter weights/higher reps because I wanted to give both my foot and back time to heal. Injuries are never fun! Well, I was itching to get back especially for leg days because that is the day especially where I can go super, super heavy. I still have some PR's to hit this year as part of my fitness goals so I need to get caught up! 

I'm happy to say that my back feels 100% normal today even after yesterday's brutal leg day so I'm going to take that as a good sign! Before even if I would try to squat or do the leg press, my lower back would instantly be in pain. I've taken a good 3 months off heavy lifting, and that time spent was definitely worth it. 

Here's the workout that I did yesterday! 

I tried out this quad workout from Erin Dimond who I follow on Instagram. She posts so many videos and workout ideas that I'm constantly trying out new ones thanks to her! These leg extensions were KILLER but I also saved them for last on purpose, and my legs were already fried from doing drop sets on squats. I guess I was thinking that walking was optional for the next few days? Haha! 

So I had gotten some questions asking to explain drop sets and basically what happens is you reach failure with a certain set of weight, and then decrease down a certain amount of weight and continue. It might sound easier but it's not! One of the main goals of this method is to increase muscle mass because by dropping the weight and continuing on, you're recruiting more of those muscle fibers. You have reached failure with the heaviest weight and can't do another rep, but when you drop to a level below that weight (moderately heavy) you're able to keep going. Overall, the big picture is to allow you to keep going past failure from a higher weight by decreasing it to a lower weight level. That way you're able to reach a deeper muscle level, and effectively grow that muscle more. 

This is how I did my drop set for squats: 
x6 heaviest weight
x8 moderately heavy weight
x10 medium weight 
x15 lowest weight
x10 bar only, pulse at the bottom

In terms of finding your weight levels, that is all relative to each person! It took me awhile in the beginning to play around with finding the right level for me. Just make sure you're reaching failure (i.e. you can't do another rep even if your life depended on it) for each weight level. For my drop sets, I usually do a decrease of about 15-20% but again just find out what works for you! 

Hope that explains it! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

New Instagram!

Hey all!

So due to problems with my last Instagram account, I'm making a new one! I'll post the update under the contact me page, and I'll update the link on the home page. It's now under srosefit! 

Hope you're all having a great Saturday so far :)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Favorites #20

Good morning everyone! I hope you've all had a great week, and are ready to talk about some Friday Favorites!

1. Kindle books from the library

I've always known that it was possible to download library books on to my Kindle but I never really did it on a regular basis. I first got my Kindle three summers ago for traveling purposes. I'm definitely the type of person that likes to hold an actual book while reading but it was always too much of a hassle to lug along multiple books on trips. So, I asked for a Kindle for my birthday. It's nothing fancy, just the bare basics one because I literally only need it for reading. I like to keep all my electronics separately based on their purpose. Why would I need apps on my Kindle when I have my iPhone for that? Am I the only one that thinks that way? Anyway, it's so easy to use and my favorite part is how the books automatically disappear after the allotted borrowing time. No more worrying about late fees! Well, actually my first favorite part is that I can check them out from my computer. My second favorite part is that I don't have to worry about forgetting to return them! Most of the books that are on my to-read list are available in Kindle format so I just check it out and then download it through Amazon. It goes straight to my Kindle, so easy!

2. Applegate Naturals Smoked Turkey Breast

I have never been a fan of lunch meat. The slimy texture has always grossed me out! I'm very picky about it and usually only like Boar's Head lunch meat since it tastes like actual meat and not slimy at all. The only downside to Boar's Head is that it's ridiculously expensive, and I'm way too cheap to justify spending money on it ha! Well, my friend at work also is a big Trader Joe's fan and we like to exchange ideas of things we find there. She suggested trying out this turkey! She knows about my thing with lunch meat haha but insisted that it tasted great and wasn't like the usual gross lunch meat. I admit I was skeptical but she hasn't lead me wrong before so I took her up on her suggestion. Turns out, I'm a fan! I also like how it's all-natural without any of the funky antibiotics and who knows what else kind of chemicals that they put in lunch meat. I've been making turkey sandwiches for lunch this past week with a new spicy mustard that I found at Trader Joe's too, and it's a nice change up! For some reason I can easily get bored with my lunches unlike breakfast or dinner. I could probably eat the same thing for breakfast and dinner (most likely pancakes haha!) every day, and not get bored. Lunch is a different story! I know, it doesn't make sense to me either. 

3. Healthy Banana Bread Bites

My coworker brought in these little banana bread bites as a treat a couple weeks ago! They were delicious and I of course asked her for the recipe. I love that her and I share a passion for health and fitness, which helps a lot having a friend like that around in the office. Not everyone else in our office gets the health thing or what we love about it so much, so it's great having a support buddy! We're usually swapping recipes or workout ideas, and in fact after hearing my own testimony she signed up with my coach Katie a few months ago.

4. "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift

Usually I'm not a fan of T-Swift's new music, I much prefer her old-school country stuff from years ago. BUT my coworker showed me her Bad Blood music video, and I have to say I really dig it. This has definitely become a guilty pleasure song because it's typically not the type of music I listen to at all. It's funny because neither my friend or I like Taylor Swift or rap but for some reason the combination of her and Kendrick Lamar in the song just works. I added it to my running and lifting playlist because the beat definitely gets you going!

5. My cousin Ben

I wanted to give this guy a special shout-out this week since he's been such an amazing help! Amanda is currently staying at our Bible study leader's house since both her and her husband are out of town. Awhile back Amanda offered to stay with the kids to keep an eye on them. Well, Ben has been great since I work full-time so he's been stopping by the house to check on my mom and let Layla out. Technically both of them are able to stay alone all day without any problems but it's just a relief to know that someone is checking on my mom in the afternoon. Layla's able to hold it all day but I feel bad that I'm gone from 7:30-5 since that's a long time for her. She's usually not used to that because Amanda is often home during the day so she normally goes out every 4-5 hours. Ben has even been sweet enough to take her for walks even without anyone asking! I felt bad because I didn't want Layla to be a hassle but Ben is just very thoughtful in that way, and I appreciate his help so much this past week. I've said it a million times before but I feel so blessed to have my family right in town, and to be able to be close to all of them!

6. Quote of the Week

"And if I asked you to name all the things you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?"

I was simply scrolling through Instagram minding my own business when I stumbled across this quote, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I've definitely made huge progress in terms of accepting my body and learning to love my body, but I asked myself if it would it have made the list? Just for an experiment I started listing things to myself and this is pretty much what started out: Jesus, my family & friends, Layla, running, lifting, living a healthy lifestyle, the outdoors, blogging, my #Katiesfitscript team, cheesy puns, music, sleeping, basically all the food, etc. I don't know how far down the list I would have been, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who wouldn't have named themselves. I'm comfortable with who I am as a person, but body image still and always has been a struggle for me. Things that I can do with my body (i.e. running and lifting) made the list but not myself alone. Learning to love my body at every stage is still something I work on because I do still have health and fitness goals. There are muscles that I want to continue to grow and develop which again is NOT a bad thing! It's just that I need to make sure I don't get ahead of myself and enjoy the process and journey. I think it's something that we, as a society, need to work on because I believe it's important to love yourself in a healthy and balanced way.

What are some of your favorites from this week?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Greek Yogurt Bluebbery Pancakes

I could eat pancakes every single day for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy. I wouldn't want anything more than that! Blueberry pancakes also happen to be my favorite kind of pancake so I was in love with these!

I've always seen recipes for greek yogurt pancakes but never actually got around to trying any out for myself. I was missing out! I wasn't sure what the yogurt would do to the pancakes but these still turned out fluffy and light. I was very pleased with how they turned out!

I did some adaptations from this recipe here because basically I just wanted an idea of ratios for the yogurt and flour. I often do that for a lot of recipes I see. I do some research to look at the different ingredients, find out what healthy substitutions can be made, and ratios to get an idea before making my own! 

So for these pancakes here's what you'll need: 
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 0% Chobani)
1/3 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen 
2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp egg whites
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 packet of stevia

Combine all the ingredients and cook the pancakes over medium heat. I didn't have fresh blueberries for this recipe since they're still kind of expensive. The frozen ones worked just as well! I just thawed them in the microwave for about a minute then rinsed them out so that they wouldn't turn the batter purple! Usually I wouldn't mind but I wanted to take at least a decent picture for you guys! 

Here are the macros! I knew they'd be pretty high in carbs but I didn't mind at all since they turned out to be the best post-run dinner! 

I was pretty excited with how well my run went considering I've been taking it easy on my foot. I went for a run this past Thursday for the first time in a couple weeks and it was hard to hold myself back. I wasn't really paying attention the first mile or so but when I saw that I was breaking in to the 7's I slowed myself down! I ended up talking myself down to only 4 miles because honestly I wanted to do so much longer than that. I did 5 yesterday morning and paced myself a lot better since Layla and Amanda joined me for the first 2 miles. 

After I got back from my run on Thursday and made these pancakes for dinner, I hung out with my number one snuggle buddy! 

She was being extra needy and kept asking for more kisses (which the normal amount is usually a ton haha!) but you'll never hear me complain about that :) 

She would only fall asleep if I kept my arm around her and she kept her one paw resting in the palm of my hand. Layla is definitely the cuddle queen! We had a relaxing night together as she kept me company while I read before bed. I've been on a reading kick lately since I've started downloading library books on my kindle. It's so easy to use and I love how the books just automatically go back after the loan expires so I don't have to worry about late fees! It's always the little things that get me haha! 

Hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Favorites #19

Happy Friday everyone! Is it just me or has this week seem to drag and go on forever? My friend at work reminded me that the two previous weeks I only had four day weeks since I took a long Memorial Day weekend soo maybe that has something to do with it! Man, switching back to a five day week has been killer then haha.

So let's end this long week on a high note shall we with some good old fashioned Friday Favorites!

1. Tumaro's Wraps

I wish that I could find these at one of my usual grocery stores so when I get these wraps it's a bit of a treat! And then I promptly make everything I can think of with them and go through them in less than a week. If I was smarter I'd try to stretch them out and make them last longer but we all know that's not gonna happen. My favorite way to use them are in Strawberry & Almond Butter Wraps and Banana Wraps

2. "My Body Is" Buzzfeed Video

One of my coach's clients in our Facebook group shared this the other day and I think it's pretty powerful. So often in our group we can get discouraged, lose motivation, and just have days where we're plain frustrated with our bodies. But this video reminds me that why I do what I do is not to look a certain way. Sure, I love seeing muscles pop up that I've never had before but it's what about my body can do. The feeling of being able to pick up a heavier weight or decrease my mile time is so much more satisfying than say seeing a lower number on the scale. I love in this video how these athletes talk about their insecurities or what they've gone through but at the end of the day their bodies can do some pretty amazing things! That's what's important! It's not about what our bodies look like, it matters what our bodies can do. Athletics over aesthetics!

3. Kodiak Pancakes

I found Kodiak pancake mix at Target, and I was surprised since I didn't even realize it was sold there! I would always hear about this mix but it was kinda like a mythical creature to me to be honest haha. I would always hear about people talking about it, but never really saw it for myself. Then I stumbled on it by accident! I picked the protein power mix because #gainz obviously, and it did not disappoint! I can see why everyone raves about this stuff. It was super easy to make, and the pancakes come out perfectly every time. I top mine off with homemade almond butter and Walden Farms syrup. I might or might not have had pancakes for dinner most of the nights this week! 

4. Maui Coffee

Hands down THE BEST coffee I have ever had in my entire life. I'm not even exaggerating, and me and Amanda actually had to make a rule that we can only make this on Saturday mornings or else it wouldn't last! Rachael was sweet enough to include it in the package she sent us, and I will forever be grateful because this coffee is amazing. It's so smooth and never comes out bitter. I could actually drink this without any creamer which is something I used to do before I got sick off of Starbucks coffee. After that, the taste of black coffee instantly nauseates me since it reminds me of that time. Not with this coffee, though! I can't wait to have some tomorrow morning with my meringues! That's become quite a Saturday morning tradition now. Amanda and I were joking around that we might have to find out if we can bulk order this stuff, and when I say joking we were like really 95% serious. It's that good! 

5. Little Boy & Homeless Man at Waffle House

I'm sure most of you have heard about this story already has it's gone completely viral. I wanted to include it because usually I post a quote but I think this video and what this little boy, Josiah, did demonstrates what we're called to do every day: love on one another. The fact that this 5 year-old boy was able to show such depths of compassion is truly amazing. I love how he not only touched the life of the man, but also the other patrons in the restaurant that day. He was the perfect example of showing God's love, and brought everyone to tears as he sang the blessing. Jesus said that those with child-like faith will be the first to enter heaven (Matthew 18:2-4), and this young boy showed just that. When he saw the man outside the restaurant, it seemed simple to Josiah. The man looked hungry so he asked his mother to buy the man a meal. That's all it took. As adults I think so often we get used to over-analyzing/questioning things or finding new perspectives which isn't a bad thing, but sometimes the best thing to do is look through the eyes of a child.

What are some of your favorites from this week?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Rolls, Rays, & Sugar Cookie Dough!

Sunday was a lazy day where I spent most of the time at my aunt's house. Me and my cousin Ben had some baking plans since we were trying to recreate these really good dinner rolls that were at our church's dinner a couple weeks ago. I gave him the mission of finding a recipe while I was away in Connecticut, and he did not disappoint! 

In the morning after church, I walked back to my house to pick up Layla since she loves going to my aunt's house too! Two major reasons: to see her older half-sister Lola, and my younger twin cousins. Layla LOVES them. The three of them will just run around and play all day long! 

Before lunch, we all sat out on the back deck since it was sunny and warm. We were trying to catch some sun rays and get a tan going on. Amanda was teasing me and saying that I'm so pale the light was reflecting off my legs and blinding them all. I wish I could say that was an exaggeration but...sadly it really isn't haha!

This was so cute that I had to take pictures! My cousin Elise got out some dog treats and wanted to practice tricks with Layla and Lola. She would take turns with having them do stuff, and even when it wasn't their turn both of them would be doing the trick in the background too! Layla was very good at behaving and would patiently wait for it to be her turn, I'm always so proud of how well she does with little kids. I'm very thankful that she's been exposed to my younger cousins since she was a puppy because that helped her to socialize with people of all ages. True to their golden retriever nature, both Lola and Layla are great family dogs! 

Elise definitely got the crazy dog lady gene too haha! 

We had some ice water out for Lola and Layla so they wouldn't overheat. There was plenty of shade under the umbrella but they both still needed a lot of water since it was hot, hot, hot! Layla, being the little weirdo that she is, decided to go bobbing for ice cubes.

She was not happy until she took out every single ice cube from the bowl and then just laid on them haha! It's a smart way to cool down, but also very entertaining to watch her get them all out. Lola just kinda watched her do it with a look that clearly said "this is one of those times where I'm not gonna admit we're related". Lola is now six so she's not in to the puppy shenanigans anymore.

In the afternoon, Ben and I had the house to ourselves which meant two things: secretly making sugar cookie dough and a dance party! We made the rolls, too which I'll share that recipe since they turned out fantastic! We panicked at first because we couldn't find the cookie recipe, but then I remembered it was at my house and had Amanda send me a picture. For some reason, we can't find it online so I included the picture on here (and I was slightly too lazy to type it up separately haaa). Ben and I halved this since we were only interested in the dough! 

The full story is a couple years ago we found this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine and we decided to make it. Well, we didn't read the whole recipe and when we got to the part where you have to freeze the dough for 3-6 hours we said to ourselves "ain't nobody got time for that" and just ate the cookie dough! Yeah I know there's all those warnings about not eating raw cookie dough but I'm pretty sure those people are just trying to stop me from living my life haha! 

The funny thing is we were watching the twins at the time, and they were really interested in what we were doing in the kitchen but we didn't want to share the dough with anyone so we kept making up excuses and putting the tv on to keep them busy! We only ever told the rest of the family that we made them until after we ate all the cookie dough. So for old time's sake we decided to make the sugar cookie dough and it was just as good as we remember! We froze the rest of the dough and hid it to keep it safe for another time...

The rolls were super easy to make and absolutely delicious! Even better than the ones that were at the church dinner. We ended up picking this recipe from Life Made Simple since there was hardly any rising time, only 25 minutes, and took about 20 minutes to bake. To pass the time, we had a dance party! We played Just Dance on the Wii which is always a fun game. We get a little competitive haha but I kicked his butt! We both worked up a sweat and it was a fun way to get moving. It always surprises me just how much you can workout while playing a dancing game like that because you don't realize it since you're too busy having so much fun!

Overall, it was a fun and successful day of baking, and I'll definitely be making these rolls again! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ice Cream Sandwich Sundae

 I'm a volume eater which means most of the time I try to trick my brain in to eating more than I actually am. Sounds crazy but it works! I was at Target this past weekend, and really wanted ice cream sandwiches. If you've been following for awhile then you know these tasty buggers were a huge hurdle for me at one point

Anywho, I'm past that now so I buy them whenever I want! With zero guilt or anxiety because I can trust myself to eat them in moderation. I wanted to volumize it as a dessert, though, so I picked up some cool whip and vanilla frozen yogurt. My plan was to cut up the ice cream sandwich and make a bit of a sundae with mostly cool whip and a little bit of the frozen yogurt if I wanted! 

The first time I made this on Saturday, I didn't even use the frozen yogurt! By using the cool whip, I was able to get a whole "sundae" feel with adding hardly any calories. 

Now that's what I'm talking about! 

Here's what was in this sundae: 
1 standard vanilla ice cream sandwich (160 calories)
4 tbsp cool whip (50 calories)
couple vanilla Goldfish grahams crumbled on top (like <10 calories)
Walden's chocolate sauce (0 calories)
and sprinkles of course! 

So there you have it! It was the perfect dessert that felt like I was eating a whole lot more than one ice cream sandwich since I broke it up in to smaller pieces and added the cool whip for more volume. 

I also picked up some Kodiak pancake mix at Target since I had no idea they even had it there! Everyone in my coach's Facebook group is constantly talking about this mix, and I'm happy to say it did not disappoint. I loved it, and the pancakes came out perfectly!