Family Christmas Party

     Today I got up around 7:30 t0 start wrapping presents. I am such a terrible wrapper. It takes me like 5 minutes to wrap one present.

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The Christmas tree looks so much better with presents underneath! Once I wrapped that up, ;) I headed downstairs to get some breakfast. I decided to use up the last bit of frozen fruit and make a smoothie. My mom’s side of the family is coming in to town today for our Christmas party with them. We are hosting it so my mom and I were busy in the kitchen all day. We made the typical Christmas dinner, ham (which I will not be having), stuffing (homemade of  course), green been casserole, butternut squash and mixed veggies. We also made carmel corn to give as gifts.

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I ate several handfuls. :) After we finished I took Maria for a quick 2 mile walk.

     For your Christmas present, I am giving you the easiest healthy hot chocolate recipe there is. Not to mention its delicious and chocolaty!

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Did I convince you yet?

 

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How about now?

All you need to make this is four simple ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 packet of stevia or other sweetener
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir all the ingredients except the almond milk in a mug very well. In a separate bowl microwave the almond milk until hot. Pour the almond milk over top and stir quickly until combined. Top with marshmallows and you have yourself hot cocoa!!!

Its Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas!

     Only 5 days until Christmas and there is still no snow but its starting to look christmasy with the lights and presents under the tree. I am a little behind this year in shopping, probably because I don’t get out of school until tomorrow. I am also completely lacking in holiday recipes. Hot Cocoa is one of my favorites and I discovered a much healthier version so easy and yummy you might not believe it. I will post the recipe tomorrow and now I am going to bed.

Weekend Fun!

I haven’t posted anything in awhile mostly because of my fun and busy weekend. Like I said before Friday was a half day of school so I got out at 11. My brothers were still in school so it was just my mom and I. It was such a sunny December day so we decided to go for a hike.

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It was about a 3 mile hike with a mix of woods and dunes. And according to my Sports Tracker app I burned  356 calories. I so fun though it didn’t even seem like exercise!

DSCN0326View of Lake Michigan

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     It was such a pretty day! We finished our hike and we super hungry after we finished so we hopped in the car and drove to the Hearthstone. They have amazing soups and salads and a salad was just what I was after. It was jam packed when we got there and it was a 25 minute wait. We decided we didn’t want to wait because we had to be home to get my brothers from school and went to the Health Hutt instead. I was actually pretty exited because I have never actually  eaten there, just shopped. I forgot to bring my glasses so I could not see the menu (It was on a chalkboard) so it was hard to see all they had. I decided on a everything salad minus the meat with vegan ranch. DSCN0336 You can’t really see all the toppings because they are buried under the spinach and lettuce. It was delish! I also split a Chocolove bar with my mom. If you haven’t heard of Chocolove bars, they are a natural chocolate bar with so many unique flavors. My personal favorite is Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate.   Its much better for you than the typical store bought bars loaded with artificial flavors. And trust me, you won’t even miss Hershey’s after you try these.

Breakfast

Yeah I am going backwards but I had to save the best for last. I h

 

ave an awesome new recipe to share with you…. Strawberry Banana Microwave Oats! This is such an amazing combination and is a great way to start the day.

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Ingredients

 

  • 1\2 cup old fashioned oats
  • handful of frozen strawberries
  • half a sliced frozen banana (slice before freezing
  • half a sliced banana
  • 1 tablespoon all natural strawberry syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1\2 cup water or milk

Directions

Mix the oats and frozen fruit and add water or milk. Microwave for about 2 minutes (time may vary depending on your microwave) and then stir in chia seeds and syrup. Top with sliced bananas and Enjoy!

 

 

Exams

      Since its the end of the trimester, we have our final exams. This means lots of studying for me. I have 6 exams total and tomorrow I will finish up the last two and get out of school early. Yippee! My mom and I are going to go shopping without my brothers because they are still in elementary and do not have the joys of exams. To fuel myself for exams I had a bowl of Blueberry Pancake Oatmeal.

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Obviously I am an oatmeal freak but I love pancakes just the same. This is a quick alternative to blueberry pancakes and it might even be better.

Blueberry Pancake Oatmeal

serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1\2 cup water
  • 1\4 cup greek yogurt
  • handful of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • drizzle of maple syrup

Directions

Combine rolled oats, water and blueberries in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until there is no water left. Top with greek yogurt and syrup.

Lunch

I threw together a quick salad with slim pickings for anything other than lettuce. I got creative and made 2 egg whites to put on top along with hummus and a little bit of broccoli

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It was actually really good! The hummus and egg gave it a unique flavor and I loved it! I ended my day making a batch of the peanut butter chia seed oatmeal for tommorow

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Can’t wait to eat it!

How to Build a Better Salad

     Today I slept a little later than usual because I had an orthodontist appointment at 8:15 so I stayed home from school until then. I hopefully will be getting my braces off in the next two months! Finally! I have had them on for almost four years now and I am so ready to say goodbye!

Breakfast

Like yesterday I made a smoothie but this time it was strawberry banana. I also had a mini bagel with peanut butter an top before heading to the orthodontist.

Lunch

I made my lunch last night so all I had to do this morning was put it in my lunch box.  I made a HUGE salad which I ended up not being able to finish. I love salads and they are great for you too. They have to be just right though, some don’t have enough on them (who likes to eat just lettuce?) and some are loaded with stuff that completely takes away the health of it. To make a better salad you need lots of the good stuff.

  1. You need a base. Yes, lettuce is an obvious answer but there are so many kinds to choose from. You could also have a pasta, quinoa, bean or potato salad.
  2. Pick at least four vegetables. They are full of flavor and they all go good together. You can never get enough veggies!
  3. Cheese! Always add cheese to your salad. It might not be the healthiest choice being high in calories and fat but a little won’t hurt . If your a vegan they have a variety of dairy free cheese options.
  4. Add protien, it keeps you full longer and adds extra flavor. I like veggie burgers or black beans but if your a meat eater grilled chicken, turkey are great options too.
  5. Extras. Put in your favorite toppings whether its nuts, croutons or fruit
  6. Top it. To much dressing can ruin a salad. Go lightly on the dressing. Instead of dressing you can use salsa, or my personal favorite is Bolthouse farms yogurt dressing.
  7. Don’t forget a fork. If you taking the salad with you, don’t forget your fork. I have a problem remembering to pack one and our school cafeteria only offers plastic sporks. Spoons with little slits on the end. I still don’t see why they can’t invest in proper eating utensils! Its definitely hard to eat a salad with a spork .

3 miles done!

     Saturday I completed 3 miles without stopping, the longest run I have done yet. I’m exited because there is still about three weeks until the Sergeant Preston Run and I have already completed the distance of my first goal, a 5k. Now I am trying to decide if I should still run the 5k or try for a higher goal. Saturday my average pace was 9:24 mi\min. I want to be able to run a 10k soon but I would have to double my distance in the next 3 weeks. I think its possible because I love to run which helps and I don’t have trouble running. So I am going to try it. If I can’t run a 10k by race day then I will stick to the 5k but I am going to attempt it. I need to find better running shoes because I haven’t been much of a runner and I am using regular tennis shoes right now. The race is new years day so I might just get some for Christmas :). This will be my very first race and I am super exited!

BREAKFAST

     This morning was rushed since I had to leave for school but I still managed to assemble a healthy breakfast. I threw some frozen blueberries and almond milk and half a banana in the blender to make a blueberry smoothie and sipped on this while I prepared a bowl of microwavable peanut butter oatmeal. Its super simple and perfect for busy mornings because it only takes about 3 minutes. Just put a half cup of oatmeal and a half cup of water in a bowl and microwave for about two minutes. Stir in truvia or other sweetener and add as much peanut butter as you would like. I also added chocolate chips to mine! Who says you can’t a nutritious breakfast in 5 minutes?

LUNCH

Today’s lunch was protein packed! I had a turkey wrap on a flat out my new favorite!

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These things are GOOD! Not to mention one wrap has 9 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber and only 90 calories. I put vegetarian turkey, spinach, lettuce and mustard on mine. I didn’t get a picture of the actual thing, but trust me they are awesome! On the side I had carrots and hummus and Julie’s flourless peanut butter cookies. I added chocolate chips to mine and they turned out great!

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Somehow only one chocolate chip made it into this cookie…

 

     I got home from school and grabbed a greek yogurt granola bar from the cupboard and did Jillian Micheals Ripped in 30 level three. I like the 20 minute workout especially on week days. Once I was finished I enjoyed a small golden delicious apple.

PB&J Smoothie

     This will be my last PB&J post for a while, I promise but this is a good one! For my snack I had a PB&J smoothie, my two favorite things!

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     I threw into the blender:

  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 2 tablespoons PB2
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1\4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 packet truvia

This made a huge serving and filled 2 of those glasses. You could eat the whole smoothie like I did, or share. I recommend eating it all yourself! :)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cake

The disadvantage about school is that you have to wait until late in the day to get your workout in. I usually start mine between 3:30 and 4:00 but I would much rather get it done mid morning. That is usually when I have the most motivation otherwise I just want to lay on the couch and relax. Another disadvantage is figuring out my algebra assignment, but that’s a different story.

:)

BREAKFAST

Today’s breakfast was unbelievably good, a peanut buttery version of Mini Baked Oatmeal Cakes. These have more flavor and they are great slathered in peanut butter. I also topped mine with sliced banana. It was filling and kept me full until lunch.

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I am a big fan of baked oatmeal because I don’t like the texture of regular oatmeal. It also doesn’t look appealing. So if you don’t like oatmeal, then this might just change your mind. I recommend topping it with something unless you don’t you like it not as sweet. I like mine sweet with lots of flavor!

Peanut Buttery Oatmeal Cake

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1\4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 or 2 tbsp PB2
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1\2 cup water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 packet of truvia

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour into a greased cake pan or muffin tin. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes and then allow to cool. Serve hot or cold.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Today I didn’t get any pictures of my food but for breakfast I enjoyed a bowl of  peanut butter and jelly oatmeal. If you haven’t noticed I love that combination! It goes great with anything. While eating breakfast I started brainstorming other things I could infect with PB&J flavors. Smoothies. Pancakes. Cakes. Granola. Popcorn. Then came the idea of peanut butter and jelly ice cream! I mean why don’t they already have that? So I decided to give it a try myself.

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After eating this I am wondering why you can’t find this at every store you go to. It is AMAZING! That’s proof peanut butter and jelly can go with anything! I think it would also be good using strawberry ice cream instead of vanilla.

 

WORKOUT

Today instead of running, which I was not in the mood for at all, I did Jillian Micheals 40 minute workout.

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I loved this workout and it was definitely a challenge. I love the feeling after you finish a hard workout! It went by fast and never got boring. I would have gone running too, but it was gloomy and I decided to take a break. Tomorrow I am going to go 2 miles and yoga.

 

 

 

Vegetarian Hash

 

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This morning I made myself a plate of vegetarian hash. One thing I miss the most being a vegetarian is corned beef hash, the stuff from a can mixed in with chunks of potatoes. Its kind of gross actually but it tastes so good! I used to eat mine with an egg over easy on top. It was one of my favorites and whenever my family eats it now, I always want to have a plate full of it. :) So one time while my dad was frying some up, I grabbed some leftover sautéed peppers put them in a pan and threw in some onions and cooked them until they were warm. I topped mine with a fried egg white. So now whenever my family has corn beef hash, I won’t be missing out! Even if your not a vegetarian you’ll like it (unless you don’t like peppers and eggs.) I also had a English muffin with peanut butter, and jelly. After breakfast I grabbed my running shoes and went to miles. It was a great day for running, the temperature was 50 degrees, and the sun was shining. It made it nice because I could run in lighter clothes. Although I still want it to snow, because December 2nd with no snow is pretty weird. It feels more like late September than December.