Tropical Paradise Chia Pudding

Clearly I am obsessed with my new found combination of coconut, banana and mango. I tell you, if you haven’t tried this protein shake you simply must. I’ve converted it into (healthy) pudding form now by mixing it with chia seed. Next I’m going to throw it in my ice cream maker and make a healthy ice cream out of it. Too exciting.

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My fiance got me the new fitbit flex! That man loves fitness as much as I do, but his love of technology faaaaaaaar surpasses mine. Or anyone else I’ve ever met. He really loves technology. It’s so cute. So when the fitbit flex came out he got one for each of us! This thing is so cool. I’ll tell you about it! It’s a little wristband that you wear 24/7 and it tracks how many calories you burn, how many steps you take, how well you sleep etc. Then if you want, you can enter in how much water you drink, what you are eating and even keep a journal of how you are feeling. You can set all sorts of goals for yourself in terms of how far you want to walk in a day or if you want to lose or gain weight.

I’m a straight up fitness nerd.

I tracked my food intake for the first few days just to see what I was taking in on a daily basis. I don’t really like tracking how many calories I eat because I tend to be just a tad compulsive and I can get carried away. But it was interesting for sure. The fitbit told me I need to eat more fat! I love you fitbit πŸ™‚ On a side note, I think tracking calories is extremely helpful for weight loss. It’s a straightforward way to see where & what you overeat. It’s also easy to see how the seemingly small things we do on a daily basis keeps us from reaching our goals.

So I decided to make this pudding with light coconut milk to get some more fat in my diet. Because I was being compulsive about entering food, I entered all the ingredients into one of those recipe calculator things so I could figure out what this pudding had going for it.

I figured 1 batch would make about 5 servings, but those would be pretty large servings. It would probably make more like 6-7 servings. But if you ate 1/5 of the bowl you would get:

  • 143 calories
  • 9 grams carbs
  • 10 grams fat
  • 5 grams protein
  • 5 grams sugar

Not bad, right?

So here you go! Have some healthy pudding, will ya!?

Tropical Paradise Chia Pudding

1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen banana chunks (Or other fruit. Get wild with some pineapple or strawberries.)
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons vanilla vega sport protein (optional)
1/4 cup chia seeds

Place all ingredients except chia in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in chia seeds. Cover and let sit for several hours or overnight for best results. Eat for breakfast, dessert or as an after workout recovery snack. Yum!

Here is Lilly in her usual place. Bed.

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And of you are wondering when my wedding is…IT’S ON MONDAY! I’m beyond excited in case you haven’t heard πŸ™‚

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Tropical Paradise Protein Shake

I was such a slacker when it came to blogging last week! I don’t really have a good excuse other than my yoga teacher training started up again which takes up my nights. Also, my soon to be hubby just got back from a 3 week long trip so I was so excited preparing for his homecoming I could hardly think about much else.
Also, our wedding is in 1 week so add that to the equation and I’m basically a useless puddle right now!

I do have an extremely good recipe today though. Like, extremely good. It’s so good it can be eaten at any time of day, including dessert. It tastes like ice cream! I swear! I’m excited just thinking about it! Just please promise me you will try it. Please.

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Let me just tell you. I ran out of my chocolate Vega Sport protein powder a few weeks ago so I went to Whole Foods to get more (on a Tuesday because supplements are 15% off on Tuesday) and they were OUT of chocolate protein so I was forced to get vanilla. Now if you know me, then you know I detest change. I’m working on that, but change is really hard for me. So I got this Vanilla Vega Sport and I’ve been experimenting with it and I absolutely LOVE it! Change is GOOD! It’s so versatile. Well, you’ll see.
On a side note, you can get Vanilla Vega Sport on Amazon.com for cheap! It has only 130 calories, 25 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar. It tastes good blended just with water. Vega does not pay me but they certainly SHOULD! You hear me Vega people!!!??

This protein shake reminds me of a certain coconut infused rum…which gives me other ideas…but I’ll save those for later πŸ™‚

Tropical Paradise Protein Shake
1 scoop vanilla Vega Sport
1/2 a banana, peeled, sliced then frozen (Frozen bananas are a necessity for protein shake making. Just make sure you peel and slice it before freezing or else they are useless.)
5-6 frozen mango chunks (approximately a 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup kale (optional)
1 tablespoon flax oil (optional but good for hair, skin, nails, joints and the heart)
8-16 ounces unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite unsweetened nondairy milk)
1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring (I got mine at whole foods)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add almond milk until desired consistency is reached.

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And here is that precious sleeping pug.

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And then she realized I was taking her picture. Surprised face!

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Have a great week!

Quick & Easy Peanut Curry

I have a confession.

I got eyelash extensions.

Please, let me explain.

A few months ago I started reading all these beauty blogs to learn how to put on makeup for my wedding. I know it’s sad that at the age of 33 I’m just now learning how to put on makeup via youtube videos. I get that.

Anyway, so all these beauty bloggers led me to believe that eyelash extensions are a straight up necessity if you are getting married. Like, don’t even try to get married unless you have eyelashes.

So here is mistake #1: I purchased eyelash extensions off a groupon from a business that didn’t have any reviews. I know better, I really do.

Mistake #2: The salon was in Provo. I’M KIDDING! Provo is awesome. Oh my heck.

Mistake #3: I told the girl I wanted “natural looking lashes, nothing wild” but didn’t check to see what she was going to apply.

Mistake #4: I didn’t run out the door when the girl applying them said she had never had extensions herself, in fact, she has never even worn mascara…and she’d only been doing this for 6 months.

The process wasn’t enjoyable at all. It took nearly 2.5 HOURS. She taped the bottom eyelashes down so as to not glue my eyes shut, but when she took the tape off it took my skin off too. Scabby under-eyes are a good look, don’t you think?

Then I was done and I got up and looked in the mirror and about FELL OVER!! She had applied thick, dark, LONG, bristles to every.single.eyelash. I looked like I had shrubs growing out of my eyes. There was nothing even remotely natural looking about these things. Nothing.

I walked outside and my new lashes blew in the wind.

So I went home and trimmed them down a good 1/4 inch. That helped some. Then I googled how to removed eyelash extensions but decided against that route since I really don’t want NO eyelashes. Crazy lashes are better than no lashes at this point. And 2 weeks from now when I get married many will have fallen out and I shouldn’t be looking so silly.

And on the bright side, these lashes are all people see when they look at me so I could have the biggest zit in the world on my face and nobody would notice which is nice because that’s exactly what I have right now! Luckily I’ve been watching beauty tutorials so I’m super good at covering blemishes now πŸ™‚

And my biggest take away from this situation is that I instantly realized that I really prefer my face and lashes all natural. Getting these extensions didn’t make me like my appearance more and I’m happy about that.

I know after that story you probably want to see them. I have to say, in pictures they don’t look that bad. And also it’s been a few days so quite a few have come out so they aren’t as bushy as they were 4 days ago.

Oh and on a side note: they are such a pain when I wash my face! They get all twisted and hang down over my eyes! There’s no way I could play in the ocean with these silly things! So I’m glad I got them 2 weeks before the wedding. I would have been spazzing out if I had gotten them only a few days before.

Alright, I was outside planting some plants so that’s why I’m wearing a hat.

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Lilly just loooves working in the yard. She manages to find a soft place to lay even when she’s outside.

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And here’s a recipe for yet another curry!

Quick & Easy Peanut Curry

2 pounds extra firm tofu (refrigerated kind) prepared
2 pounds vegetables. I used 1 pound french green beans & 1 pound broccolini but you can use whatever you want. Carrots, onions, peppers etc.
1 can coconut milk (regular or light)
3 tablespoons PB2
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/3- 1/2 cup water

Cook the tofu and set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the coconut milk, PB2, curry paste, curry powder, red pepper flakes and peanut butter. Stir to combine. Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes (it will depend of the type of veggie used but I only cooked mine about 3 minutes). Thin down with water as desired and salt to taste. Add the tofu to the mixture and serve with brown rice.

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Magical Miraculous Diets

Clean eating and working out regularly is hard so it’s no wonder so many people turn to “quick fix” diets and expensive programs that claim they can help people lose 10 pounds in a week.
Hey, my wedding is in 2.5 weeks…I GET IT!!

On a side note, I often think that if I had to eat every meal while wearing a bikini I would probably eat less…can that be my miracle diet idea? I think I’m on to something here…

Anyway, I’ve been seeing so many of these miracle diets, miracle cleanses and fat-sucking-body-wrap advertisements lately I wanted to give some straightforward, no nonsense, FREE and EASY advice that anyone can do and it won’t cost a thing (other than a few groceries). No pills or expensive juicers needed!

When it comes to making dietary changes I encourage people to ADD healthy foods to their diet, rather than thinking about REMOVING foods. Over time the healthy foods will crowd out the unhealthy.
blog foods
Breakfast: Try adding a grapefruit to your morning meal. If you remember grapefruit being bitter and inedible, try again! The less sugar you consume the sweeter grapefruit will taste. Also, grapefruit might aid in fat burning!

Mid-morning munchies: Try this fancy water and you will feel refreshed and like you are at a spa. It will also help you drink more water.
Fill a pitcher up with 8 cups of water (filtered is best) and then add:
1/2 a cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemon, peeled and thinly sliced (not squeeqed)
10-15 mint leaves
Refrigerate overnight. I can get 2 “fills” out of those ingrediets but by the third refill it isn’t very good.

Another option is:
8 cups filtered water
1 lime, peeled and thinly sliced
10-15 mint leaves
8-10 strawberries, tops removed and thinly sliced

There is nothing magical about the amounts used for that water or the ingredients. So feel free to adjust anything as you wish!

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Lunch: Lunch should be a hearty meal to give you energy through the afternoon so you don’t go forraging for an afternoon junk food binge. Try adding some vegetables to your lunch, any vegetable will do!

Afternoon munchies: Many times when we feel hungry we are really just thirsty and/or bored or looking for a distraction. Try drinking a cup of decaffeinated tea in the afternoon. You might find you aren’t hungry after all. Or you might really be hungry and need a snack, which is fine.

Dinner: This should be the lightest meal of the day since we sleep all night. I know that’s the opposite of what most people are used to since big dinners are the American way. Try eating a salad before the main course, even if it’s a very small salad. I used to eat exactly ZERO vegetables in a day. Then I started having a tiny salad before dinner and after while I enjoyed the light feeling of a salad so much it is now all I eat for dinner (I load it up with good stuff of course, I don’t just eat a bowl of lettuce. That’s crazy.)

Dessert: Sometimes you just really crave something sweet after dinner. I do anyway. Now that it’s summer, put out a plate of fresh strawberries or rasberries. They are far more delicous than any dessert and they won’t make you feel weighed down.

And last, here is a picture of Lilly having lunch at Chipotle! I know normal people don’t let their dog sit in a chair at the lunch table. But I did. I know that’s naughty, I know. But she was so good, she just sat in her seat the whole time and didn’t beg. A stranger took her picture because she is so beautiful (or ridiculous).

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Good luck and happy eating!!

The Vegaccino

I am so excited to present to you the Vegaccino!

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Also known as a vanilla protein shake made with coffee! To say I’m excited would be an understatement!
Now granted I haven’t had an actual frappucino in years, pretty much since I found out they have 500-1000 calories and a boat load of sugar in them. But from what I remember, this tastes pretty darn close to a frappucino, but this version has 25 grams of protein, 3 grams if sugar, and only 150 calories. I can picture you now, cruising down the road with the windows down drinking your Vegaccino and feeling so smug πŸ˜‰

Vegaccino Ingredients
1 cup crushed ice
3/4 cup cold brewed coffee
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or to taste
1 scoop vanilla Vega sport protein
1 tablespoon flax oil (optional but I put flax oil in all my shakes to get good fat. Flax oil helps with joints, hair, skin and nails.)

Blend together and enjoy!

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Its so gorgeous out right now that I couldn’t resist taking a picture of a flower. Its not Lilly but its still beautiful πŸ™‚

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Have a glorious weekend!

Snack Attack

I know a thing or two about snacking. Once I bought a box of those 100 calorie snack cake things thinking that would be a good treat for me to have in the house for times when I really wanted a treat. I ate the entire box in the car on the way home. That turned out to be an 800 calorie snack cake, haha!! And they weren’t even good!
Another time I bought a big bag of trail mix thinking I would keep it in my desk drawer at work and just have a little every day. I ate the whole bag in 1 day.
I have a similar story with pretty much every chocolate ever made, chips, wheat thins, graham crackers…

The point is, there are about a zillion things to snack on, but most of them un-do all our hard work.

They key is finding a snack that you look forward to enough that at 3pm you will choose your healthy snack over a doughnut, but not so tempting (hello trailmix!) you will abuse it. That’s my struggle anyway.

Here are 3 easy snacks that fit into that category for me.

#1: Edamame
It’s fun to eat at restaurants so why not at home?! Or maybe you are all doing this already and I’m behind the times.

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What could be healthier than snacking on this fun to eat veggie? This is a great “nervous” eater food because you have to nibble them out of their shell so it takes a long time to eat a small amount of food. Not that I know anything about nervous eating, ahem.
So easy to make. Pick up a bag in the frozen food section. Boil some water in a pot, throw in however much edamame you want to make, boil 5 minutes, strain, sprinkle with salt (optional), and snack!

#2: Hummus Veggie Wrap
I love snacking on cucumbers and hummus but sometimes I need just a little more than that.

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Enter the wrap! Take an Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortilla (I find these are more filling than brown rice tortillas and they have 0 grams of sugar), smear some hummus on it and then top with whatever vegetables you have on hand. I pretty much always have tortillas, hummus, cucumbers and sprouts on hand so this is one of my favorites.

#3 Rosemary & Garlic Sweet Potatoes
Oh I just adore sweet potatoes. I made these in small cube form because I thought that seemed more sophisticated than the french fry shape. But any shape is great!

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View my sweet potato fry recipe here.
For these I used 2 jewel yams, cut into 1/2 inch dice.
Heated oven to 425˚F.
Put yam cubes in a large bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder & 1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed between the fingers. Those amounts are all approximate because I didn’t measure anything.
Bake 15 minutes at 425˚ then stir/flip and bake another 15 minutes.

Since the weather has been nice I have been taking Lilly on a daily walk or hike. At first she was very slow and really didn’t even want to walk to the end of the driveway. Now she is basically an exercise addict, haha! Well that might be a slight exaggeration, but for an almost 10 year old pug she really gets after it! Afterward she is very tired. We got home from a hike on Sunday and I took her bed and blanket out of the dryer and set them in the hallway. Next time I walked by the bed in the hallway this little stinker was passed out in it.

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Happy snacking!

Photo Tour of the New House

Happy Friday!
I finally got my act together and snapped a few pictures of our home!

Its one of those cute little 3 story townhomes just exactly like my former townhome. It’s so funny that we had matching homes when we met. They are both 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 3 stories with a 2 car garage and about 1600 square feet. We both love the townhouse lifestyle. Did I mention this one is right by a huge network of trails for mountain biking and trail running? It’s also right by a flight park where my future hubby paraglides. It’s an awesome park where he goes to fly and Lilly and I mingle with other dogs/humans and watch him fly. It’s the best!

The layout of the home is 3 stories. The bottom story is a 2 car garage with an area large enough for my fiancΓ©’s gym and tons of storage space. Walk up 1/2 a flight of stairs and there’s the front door. Walk up the other 1/2 flight of stairs and that brings us to the main floor.

Here is the living room:

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There’s that great entertainment unit my dad built.

On the other side of that room is the kitchen/dining area. But we don’t have a dining table. We thought about this a lot and wondered many times what people would think of us for not having a dining table. It seems like nobody ever uses dining tables, including us. We decided we didn’t care what anybody thought and so instead we have a second living room:

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This is also a fabulous sunbathing location. This is our coffee drinking couch. I love that couch. It’s the weekend, hang out and enjoy life couch.

Across from the “coffee couch” is the kitchen:

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See, there’s an island there where we eat all our meals. No need for a table! This kitchen is surprisingly spacious. I was really worried all my kitchen appliances/pans/food etc wouldn’t fit but it somehow seems to have more space than my old kitchen. I think it’s that huge corner pantry. It seriously has so much space and it’s not even close to being full.

And then right outside we have a cute little patio! The nice thing about this townhouse is that we don’t have any neighbors behind us, we have this hill and deer actually roam around back there all the time!

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I got us some patio furniture and I’m starting to grow some lettuce in my big pots. We are allowed to fence off our little “yard” and we are working on getting that approved right now. When that happens it will be great because Lilly will be able to go outside unsupervised (not that she goes anywhere when unsupervised) and we will be able to have a small garden.

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Obviously this is another good sunbathing spot. And if you look at the right side of that picture you can see part of my fiancΓ©’s leg and hand! Oh he is so cute, I wish I could show you his face!

Funny side story. Over the weekend I clipped Lilly’s nails, which she HATES. After I was done cutting them she refused to come back in the house or come near me so she hid behind this tree. Can you see her? I think this was her version of running away from home! Such a drama queen!

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Let’s move upstairs. Upstairs has the 2 bedrooms, each with it’s own bathroom (convenient, yes?) and the laundry closet. I took over the guest room and guest bathroom and filled the closet with clothes and the bathroom with pink things that smell good. I love that stuff!

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This is part of the girl room. I just have a reading chair and a desk and bookcase in there. It’s a lovely space with lots of sunlight. I love having my own little room to hang out in and paint my nails and do whatever it is girls do. πŸ™‚

Here is the master bedroom. I absolutely love it!

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The bed and nightstands came from IKEA and I love how simple and functional they are. The “I love you” is vinyl lettering I ordered off Amazon. I’m not good at decorating and I don’t like spending money on decorating either so vinyl lettering is right up my alley!

That’s it! Thank you for taking the time to read through all this and look at our home!

Have a great weekend!