Saturday, August 31, 2013

Currently....


Thinking…about how nice it is to be on a four-day weekend and being able to do nothing but relax the last two days.

Feeling…accomplished.  I survived my first JV football game as a cheer coach....one game down, nine to go!

Watching…Big Bang Theory. I love the humor of this show.  Sheldon is amazing and makes this show completely hilarious.

ReadingThe Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.  I checked this book out among others from recommendations I received from a librarian from the Cuyahoga County Public Library based on books I've recently read - they do this about once a month on Facebook and I always love their recommendations.  It's a pretty new book and I am actually beginning it later tonight and I have heard awesome reviews...I couldn't even renew it - I like free books from the library :) - because so many people have requested it.

Excited…about my new Nikes - and my $10 Kohl's cash!  Thank you, daddy!!  

Missing…less humid weather and late sunsets.

Wondering…why I am not living in another country yet.

Working…on cheer t-shirt designs.

Stressed…about nothing, really.  I don't let things bother me.

Proud…that my cheerleaders had a successful game and our concession stand fundraiser was a hit!

Wanting…to be on a sunny beach with a nice, warm breeze.

Wishing…I was on a permanent vacation.

Eating…nothing.  I did eat one Choco Hail Merry Macaroon a little bit ago :)

Drinking…Water.  I just finished a fruity protein smoothie - strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cubed peach, a clementine, Garden of Life RAW Protein, cinnamon and honey.


 My pretty purple smoothie full of fruity deliciousness and health benefits
 Love my Steelers glass!
My sister enjoying her fruity protein smoothie

Loving…local food from the West Side Market and local eats from Heck's Cafe.
 Kale Salad - fresh berries, cinnamon hazelnuts, shaved parmesan, apricot vinaigrette - the most amazing salad ever!!

Falafel Burger - house made, tahini-lemon sauce, tomato relish, wheat bun.  So delicious and filling - which is why I could only have a protein smoothie for a later dinner.

I am very content with my "currently-s.  I am also looking forward to my near-future events this weekend!  It is going to be filled with family, friends and great food :)  I just love days off and spending most of the time outdoors getting some last minute sunshine!  

I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day Weekend :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy WIMBW and WIAW!

Happy WIMBW and WIAW!  I hope everyone is excited as I am to finally be over the hump of this week.  I am just so close to this extra long weekend - I can almost taste it!  And I love celebrating the middle of the week with 'What's In My Bowl Wednesday' - I am just loving these new baked oatmeal creations and how delicious they end up being.  And I conveniently had some leftover canned pumpkin in the fridge for this weeks recipe :)  I am so happy to have some pumpkin in my life and fall is almost here!!

To celebrate WIMBW and the fact that I had some canned pumpkin in the fridge, I decided to chose  Creamy Chocolate Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal from Jenny Grothe's 75 Ways To Love Your Oatmeal.  This oatmeal sounded perfect - I absolutely love chocolate and pumpkin is my all-time favorite flavor in the entire world!  Picking this oatmeal recipe was the easiest choice I made all week ;)  I almost followed the entire recipe to a T, but I did have to make a few substitutions to fit my eating habits.  And if you try this recipe, please feel free to make your own substitutions.

Jessica's Chocolate Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients

1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp flaxseeds 
1/2 tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup pumpkin
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp protein powder
drizzle organic local honey

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350

Step 2: Add 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 tbsp flaxseeds, 1/2 tbsp hemp seeds, and 12 tbsp unsweetened coconut to an oven-proof bowl

Step 3: Add 1/2 cup of oats to bowl

Step 4: Add 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk - today I chose So Delicious Dairy Free Almond Plus Unsweetened

Step 5: A 1/4 cup pumpkin

Step 6: Add 3 tbsp Greek yogurt - I prefer Whole Foods brand 365 Plain Greek Yogurt

Step 7: Add 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Step 8: Add 1/2 tbsp cacao powder and 1 tbsp protein powder - I prefer Garden of Life RAW Protein in chocolate

Step 9: Add drizzle of honey - today I chose local honey from Jorgensen's Apiary in Goldenrod - the goldenrod flower gives the honey a butterscotch flavor!

Step 10: Mix and bake in oven for 30 minutes

The aroma coming from the oven was so hard to ignore!  My mouth was watering like crazy before the timer even went off.  Luckily, I spent the half hour getting ready for work to keep my distracted from the heavenly pumpkin creation in my oven.  Anyway, I love my Chocolate Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal!  The pumpkin taste was perfect and reminded me of Starbucks pumpkin bread - but, way healthier!  And, I actually enjoyed the taste of this baked oatmeal more than the pumpkin bread!  Halfway through I added a 1/2 tbsp of my all-natural homemade peanut butter - I do love my peanut butter!  The peanut butter just added another delicious flavor and successfully fulfilled my peanut butter craving :) This Chocolate Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal was extremely filling and I cannot wait to try Jenny Grothe's other pumpkin oatmeal recipes!

Mid-Morning Snack

I brought some organic grapes to work to help tide me over until lunch

Lunch

Lunch was spent at Burntwood Tavern with my mom.  I love the decor and rustic feel of Burntwood.



 We both enjoyed a bowl of the black bean soup - I was surprised to see tortilla strips and I picked most of them off.  The soup was very flavorful and contained a little spice - I loved it!

We also shared two appetizers - Hummus with cucumber, pita and plantains and Blackened Shrimp Tacos with napa slaw, queso fresco, sriracha aioli and avocado salsa.  
I really like the hummus with the plantains - the combination is perfect!  And the blackened shrimp tacos are bursting with flavor and I topped my taco off with a squeeze of lime and some of the guacamole - so delicious!

Mid-Afternoon Snack

Whole Foods 365 Greek Yogurt topped with organic strawberries, organic raspberries, organic blueberries and Jessica's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Granola

Dinner

 Since my afternoon snack was so filling, I decided to have a smaller dinner after my barre workout.  I toasted an Ezekiel 7 Sprouted Grains English Muffin while frying an organic cage-free egg in organic virgin coconut oil.
 Then, I spread some creamed honey I purchased from Jorgensen's Apiary on one half of the toasted English muffin before adding the fried egg.
I made this purchase after sampling some of the creamed honey at the apiary.  I decided on the Berry Blast flavor of the Creamed Honey - freeze dried blueberry, strawberry and raspberry.  This stuff is like sweet, creamy heaven on a biscuit - so delicious and unlike anything I've ever had before.  I will have to go back before I run out ;)

I had such a successful WIMBW and WIAW.  I loved everything I ate today and good food helps contribute to a good day - even though the day was pretty long and slow.  I also purchased a new pair of crazy yoga capris, that I will be sharing later this week - I am in love with them!! 

Well, I hope everyone has had a fantastic week so far and it continues to be that way :) I've had a super busy week and it seems it will just get busier - but, at least there's a long weekend in the near future!











Monday, August 26, 2013

Wonderful 3-Day Weekend...mostly in pictures!

Hi all!  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!  I had a wonderful 3-day weekend and I enjoyed every second of it - I was super busy and barely had any down time.  I was able to take Friday off to spend the last day of my sisters summer break with her.  We had a fabulous Friday and a busy weekend.  I spent time outside, working out, baking, cooking, and cleaning.  This weekend also had perfect weather, which made the weekend even better!

Friday

Pilates on the reformer
I bought a Groupon for a duet class on the reformer and decided to take my sister.  The classes are either private or with a partner.  I really enjoyed this form of Pilates - it was definitely an extra challenge, but very beneficial.  I cannot wait to try this again and to try the Tower.

Beach Trip
 We went to a nearby beach to catch some of the last rays of summer - the weather was perfect: clear blue skies, a nice breeze and a big, bright sun!  The waves were pretty big and when I closed my eyes it felt and sounded like we were on a beach in South Florida.

 Afternoon Tea at Clementines
We ordered a pot of tea, scone, and fresh fruit for only $7.99 - a pretty good deal :) 
Ashley ordered a pot of Peach and Apple tea and I ordered the Blue Eyes tea - just made sense ;)  And we both ordered the Chocolate Raspberry scone - delicious!!  And our tea pots received unlimited refills!

Dinner at El Carnicero 
 Guacamole with goat cheese + tomato + chile poblano and sikil pak with toasted pepita + chile manzano - the guacamole is my absolute favorite ever, the goat cheese makes it extra creamy!  And the sikil pak is a toned down salsa but the different combinations of flavor makes up for the lack of heat!
My mom and I split the Pimienta Tamales - steamed masa with salsas divorciadas, queso cotija, chile poblano and requeson topped with a fried egg.  This is such a scrumptious dish - bursting with so much spice and flavor and the textures make a great combination.  I am glad we shared this dish because I definitely would've ate this whole thing myself and I wasn't super hungry!
We also ordered their dessert of the night - an empanada filled with Mexican chocolate and topped with vanilla bean whipped cream, blueberries and drizzled with caramel.  This was the most amazing dessert and I had two huge bites!  Ashley finished it off - she made sure of it :)

Saturday

I had an early morning Barre workout and when I came home there was no down time.  I helped my mom and sister clean out the entire garage and then I washed and vacuumed my car. My mom rewarded our hard work with lunch :)  We ordered many items to share - which is my favorite way to eat anywhere.

Lunch at Oak Barrel
I just love the decor!

 Salad of the Day: Mixed greens topped with sliced apples, walnuts, blue cheese and drizzled with a balsamic dressing

 Vegan Wood Stone Oven Pizza - killbuck valley mushrooms, roasted shallots and arugula - such a delicious pizza and the crust was baked perfectly 

Amish Chicken Tacos - all-natural Ohio chicken, white cheddar, roasted chiles and cilantro

Creamy Polenta - I know, kind of weird to share, but it was so creamy and flavorful...I could've just ate this for lunch!

I found this in Cleveland's Scene Magazine and I loved it!  This may be my life quote ;)

Sunday

We attended Taste of Legacy - all of the restaurants of Legacy Village set up booths with 3-4 food samples from their menu that can be purchased with food tickets.
Ashley bought Crab Wontons and Spicy Salad from Gia Lai

Ashley also bought a Whiskey Cake from Bar Louie

I chose a Grilled Salmon Slider from Bar Louie

 I had the Asian Chicken Salad and Ashley had the Bock and Cheese from Granite City Food and Brewery - comes Fall 2013 and will have a gluten-free menu!!

Everything was delicious, but my favorite was the Asian Chicken Salad from GCFB and the Grilled Salmon Slider from Bar Louie - I did not know they served salmon anything

And this was my "Learn Chinese" from my fortune cookie - this cookie knows me so well :)

Dinner from Pizza BOGO
Bombay on Miracle Crust - curry tandoori sauce, mozzarella & provolone cheeses (light on the cheese), spinach, banana peppers, fresh tomatoes and tandoori chicken breast (minus the chicken) topped with scallions.  The Miracle Crust consists of organic rye flakes, organic wheat bran, organic soy flour, organic flax seeds - all rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.  

This was the most tasty pizza and the most non-greasy pizza I have ever had.  I ate two pieces and did not feel guilty one bit.  I remember when I used to order pizza from Pizza Hut or Papa Johns - so many years ago - and all I can picture is slices of grease.  I cannot believe I ever ate that pizza, but I am so happy that I am finding healthy and so much more flavorful substitutions!  I will definitely be going back to Pizza BOGO soon and I highly recommend giving it a try.  The Bombay pizza may not be your style but their are many other countries represented or you can build-your-own with free unlimited toppings!  Oh, and Pizza BOGO stands for Buy One, Give One and every time you "buy one", they "give one" to someone in need (for free)!! How awesome is that?!  Healthier pizza options and a great cause - definitely have my business!

Well, I have typed more than I planned and I know you have things to get done - hopefully some sort of workout or diving into some delicious and healthy food :)  I need to get my stuff together for our first "school year" cheer practice and hopefully get some cardio in!