New Energy Bite Recipe

I have a new energy bite recipe to share! I have been having these as a morning snack lately and they are delish! I also made them for an event last week and they were a huge hit so I’d say these bites are a winner!

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These are perfect for taking on hikes or bike rides or after a workout.

Last weekend my husband and I went to Sun Valley, Idaho and it was beeeeeautiful!

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This is the view from one of the snowshoeing trails. The air was amazing! And the sun, oh the sun was glorious! I am starting to have pretty major spring fever.
Sun Valley is one of the few ski resorts in the country that allows people to ride the lift up and speed fly off the top. My hubby of course is the speed flyer in the family. If you don’t know what speed flying is, it’s worth a google! And then after you watch a video, yes, my husband is a crazy man. And I love him for it 🙂 And no, he doesn’t have a flying squirrel suit and I’m happy for that.
So he went speed flying and flying and flying and I stayed on the ground, went to an amazing yoga class and tried to walk a dog that has no interest in walking in the snow.

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I couldn’t get her to walk. She kept turning back to go to the warm car.

Oh, and I know I’m kind of a cheese ball with this stuff but I wanted to share this. I love motivational quotes and what not. I have this hanging in my office now. It’s always good to have reminders 🙂

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Oats and Honey Energy Bites
Makes Approx 18 bites

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter of almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped and pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup dried cherries (or other dried berry)
1-2 tablespoons almond milk

Combine the oats, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a large bowl.
Combine the peanut/almond butter, honey and vanilla in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds then stir to combine.
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine. If the mixture is too dry add 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk. Fold in the dates and dried berries.
Using your hands, roll the mixture into approximately 18 balls. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Have a great week!
Laura

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Brussels Chips

I’m loving Happy Hour meal! The healthy, vegetable-rich meal I eat right before dinner. I just love having something healthy I can dive into when I get home from work! These brussels chips aren’t fast enough to prepare that I can do this on the weekdays, but on the weekends when I can plan ahead a little better, these are a such a treat! Yes, I called brussels sprouts a treat! They actually only take about 30 minutes to make which I know isn’t that much time, but when I get home I need food, like, NOW.

These are probably just like making kale chips, but my kale chips turned out awful! I now know I probably made my kale chips too saucy so they never cooked, they just turned into soggy kale. Blech.

I made these over the holidays for my family and we all sat around the table and devoured an entire stalk of Brussels sprouts! I really get a kick out of taking a mountain of vegetables and turning them into something as tasty and crispy as chips! We seriously couldn’t get enough!

Lilly took a selfie over the weekend. She’s wearing a pink shirt…such a diva.

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Oh and my ankle is doing so well! I went to physical therapy yesterday and my therapist had me doing all sorts of hopping and jumping and balancing on one leg. It was really scary!! Then he told me to work up to walking 3 miles at a 4mph pace (uh, that’s practically my running pace 🙂 ) this next week and to insert a 1 minute jog every so often! I didn’t think I would be able to jog until June! I’m shocked and thrilled! At this point I don’t really even care if I can jog. Just being able to walk without pain is an incredible feeling!

This is one of my favorite sights I get to see every day. My pug dog eating. She sticks her whole face in the bowl and the only thing I can see are her little black ears. She frequently even has water on her forehead from putting her face in her water bowl. Honestly, it’s too cute!!!!

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Lilly wears a shirt not because she’s cold or because I’m mean. She has really bad allergies and will scratch herself raw if she doesn’t have a shirt on. Yes, my pug has allergies. I have to give her allergy shots and everything.

Ok, brussels chips time!

Brussels Chips
Ingredients
Brussels Sprouts (as many as you want to make)
Olive Oil (depends on how many sprouts used)
Balsamic Vinegar (ditto)
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 275˚. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the base off of each sprout and discard the base. Next, peel the leaves off each sprout until you can’t peel any more leaves off. What you do with that part is up to you. You can save them and roast them later if you like. Place all the leaves into a large mixing bowl as you go. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar over the sprouts. You don’t want too much oil or else they won’t crisp. If they are too dry though, add another teaspoon of olive oil. Top with salt and pepper to taste. Next, spread the leaves evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes then stir them up and cook for 15 more minutes or until browned and crispy.

Brussels Sprouts arranged on the pan before baking:

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Crispy, crunchy, nicely browned chips! Really yummy!!

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Have a great weekend and eat some sprouts!

Happy Hour Soup

Let’s talk about evening eating habits for a minute.
This is typically the time of day things can go out the window as far as food choices are concerned.

I normally get home from work between 7-8pm so I’m usually really hungry and kind of in a rush, so if I’m not methodical about this time of day I could easily park it in front of a bag of chips and not come up for air.

Sad but true.

Recently, I started implementing a “happy hour” meal. A Happy Hour meal is a deliberate, small, easy meal eaten right before dinner. Something light and healthy that takes the edge off my hunger so I can prepare my dinner with a clear mind and not feel like a hungry beast!
I really enjoy the Happy Hour meal concept and it has really helped me make better choices. So now instead of opening the pantry and grabbing the first thing I see, I take one minute to heat up a bowl of this happy hour soup.

Another favorite happy hour meal is this spinach dip with baby carrots. That way I still get the “munching” sensation of chips. I’m still very much in love with that dip.

I initially had this soup at a Thai restaurant and fell in love with how comforting and simple it is. Plus it reminds me of one of my all time favorite foods…RAMEN NOODLES! But this soup is made with bok choy instead of fried noodles.

On a side note, I had no idea how much I loved bok choy until I had this soup! I had only tried it once before, grilled, and eating it was like fear factor for me. I gave it another try with this soup and loved it. So don’t be scared of it. I’m typically scared of all new foods and I really liked it.

As far as the broth goes, I used Better than Bullion Vegetable Base and I think the flavor is perfect. I made this soup for my parents over Christmas and used the kind of vegetable stock that comes in a carton and unfortunately it tasted like water. I served my parents a bowl of hot water, bok choy and tofu. Sorry about that…

And if you don’t like tofu you can use something else or skip it all together! Use chicken, beef or even whisk a few eggs in. Whatever floats your boat!

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Ingredient amounts are all up to you. Make it as chunky or brothy as you like!

Happy Hour Soup
4 cups water
1 tablespoon Better than Bullion Vegetable Base (or your favorite broth base)
4 baby bok choys or 5 leaves off a full size bok choy cut into 1″ size pieces (toss the dirty, white part of the bok choy stem)
1-2 cups diced extra firm tofu, cooked or not (or use other protein of your choice)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, green part only (I hold the bunch of green onions over the pot and use cooking scissors to slice them thin.)
freshly ground black pepper (so good)

Bring the water to a boil in a medium size sauce pan. Add the bullion base and stir until its dissolved. Add the diced tofu, bok choy pieces and sliced green onions. Boil for 3 minutes or until bok choy reaches desired tenderness. It doesn’t take long.
Serve wish freshly ground black pepper.

And here is a picture of Lilly soaking in the tub last weekend. She really loves taking baths! Right up until I pour a bowl of water over her head anyway. She definitely doesn’t care for that.

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If you are an out of control muncher like I am give this happy hour concept a try and let me know if it works for you!
Have a great weekend!

Happy New Year from Lilly and Laura

Happy New Year!! Oh how wonderful it feels to have a fresh new year ahead! I always love that feeling of a clean slate. Especially since I’m starting the year off without a boot on my foot! I got my boot off on Friday after having it on for 11 weeks! I thought the doctor would tell me I could be without it for an hour or two a day but instead he told me I didn’t have to wear it unless my leg started hurting again and then I would just have to wear it for a couple days. I can pretty much do any activity I want “as tolerated”, too bad I can’t tolerate much yet, ha! Just kidding, I’m so excited just to be able to walk a little, do some yoga and get back into some of my activities.

Of course I have stories and healthy recipes to kick this year off but that can wait until next week. Here is a special post for Lilly.

We spent New Years Eve in downtown Salt Lake at the fancy Hotel Monaco, which was a gift from my sweet mother in law. She got us a room, meals and valet parking so we felt very spoiled. The best part was, the hotel is very pet friendly. Pet encouraged I would say.

When we arrived at check in there was a “happy hour” going on in the lobby. Lilly is all about happy hour! The attention started rolling in and children came up to her and admired her and told her she was cute. Here she is wanting to go check out happy hour while we check in.

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After we checked in my husband and I got cleaned up and went to dinner. Before we headed out for the evening we took Lilly for a walk. By this time of night people had been drinking quite a bit and people were “happy drunk”. Let me tell you, Lilly was a HIT in that hotel. Turns out, drunk people love Lilly. Nobody noticed she was tilted and falling over because they were tiled and falling over too! At one point a man exclaimed, ‘Clear the hallway, PUG coming through!’. Needless to say Lilly was in heaven. Gobs of attention all on her? Best night of her life. And of course, being a pug mother, it made my night to see my little Lilly (who has had a rough couple of months) look so vibrant.
We got back to the room and she determined my suitcase was the perfect place to sleep.

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Too cute to tell her no.
The next day we really made her happy by taking her to the pet store to go food shopping. She rides in the cart much like a parade princess on the back of a convertible.

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Now here are some Lilly highlights from 2013!

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This picture needs no explanation. It’s just cute.

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Snoozing on any soft spot available.

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Sleeping…

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Sleeping…

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Sleeping…

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Sleeping.

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Peeking…

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Peeking…

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Peeking…

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Peeking.

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Hanging out…

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Hanging out…

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Hanging out.

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Crawling laps around me while I tried on my new pink snorkel gear before our honeymoon to Maui. I’d say it’s a good look.

That’s all for now. Happy New Year!!!