Friday, November 6, 2015

Hello, It's Me...

Hello, friends! It was four years ago today that I dared to write my first blog post, and so I'm daring to write again.  A lot has changed since that first post, and a lot has changed since my last post, too. While I haven't been writing, I've still been living the "dare you to" lifestyle, and I dare you to keep it up, too!

I'm dropping in quickly, today, just to say HELLO and assure those remaining subscribers that I'm still here! If you haven't already, I dare you to connect with me on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook to keep up with my latest dares, cooking adventures, fitness endeavors, and other fun activites. I still continue to share updates and content via those channels, and look forward to keeping our wellness discussions going!

See you there. Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Celebrate National Running Day with Charity Miles

Happy National Running Day!  Did you know that today was the day?  Fortunately, here in NYC the rain has stopped but cooled everything down.  Perfect for a run!  Dare you to hit the road with me.


Last year, I celebrated #NationalRunningDay by signing up for my first 10k!  That summer, I rocked my running goals and the 10k race.  However, it's been an uphill battle since then...  After another recent month sans run, I finally hit the road again last week.

First, on Memorial Day, I laced up in the morning before it was too hot. I hadn't been running in over a month--and even that was a lot of stop-and-go--I wanted to really kick back into gear!  I set my Nike+ app for a full 3.11 miles and told myself that I would run the whole thing. And I did!  I kept slow and steady and finished my 5k in about 33 minutes, and since then vowed that I'll get back to covering a 3-mile jog at least once per week for the summer. That's the plan!



Then, this past Saturday, I hit the road again in the summer heat.  I ran two miles at about a 10-min pace before the heat got to me and I had to slow to a walk. The last mile, I alternated walking and running to finish out in 36 minutes.  Alright, I'll take it.

Today, I took advantage of this cool June morning to cover three miles with a new partner:



I've finally started using Charity Miles--an app that logs your distance and donates to a charity of your choice for every mile you run, walk, or bike! How cool is that? You don't have to pay a thing; the app's sponsors take care of the donations (the sponsor for my run today was Johnson & Johnson, so their image appeared in the background for the duration of my run.

You can choose from a huge array of charities, and then stick with the same one OR switch up your beneficiary for each workout.

Scroll through the many, many options!


It tracks your distance throughout the run (whether you're outside OR inside on a treadmill) and, if you swipe down, lets you see how much you've raised so far.  Maybe that'll give you extra motivation to keep on moving!


During this morning's run, I raised 75 cents for Feeding America.  I chose that charity because, on Running Day last year, I ran for the FEED Foundation.  Thought I'd keep the theme going.  Of course, a few cents isn't all that much, but can you imagine how much it adds up with every workout you do?  and with the thousands of people using the app?? It adds up, so why not play your part? 



Dare you to make your miles count!! Whether you walk, run, or bike, dare you to use the Charity Miles app to contribute your workout to a meaningful charity. 

And with that, I wish you a happy National Running Day!  Go get moving on your own, or, if you want to find a group run near you, check out RunningDay.org on Facebook and find a group for you.

How are you celebrating National Running Day?
Have you been logging Charity Miles?  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Make Your Gym Habit Stick (Three Tips)

I used to be a gym rat.  I didn't go every day, but I went several times a week and I stuck to my routine.  After a summer spent outside, dedicated to my running goal, and a fall spent getting and getting over a respiratory infection.... I fell out my gym habit, hard.

My schedule no longer had regular gym days built in, and I lost interest in some of the classes I used to attend religiously.  In December, I was finally able to re-instate my healthy habits, and--so far--I'm meeting my January goal of three workouts weekly.  For this reason, I thought it's the perfect time to discuss ways that I manage to stick to my gym habit, and how you can, too.

Maybe YOU set a new year's resolution to go to the gym more often, try a new type of exercise class, or become a runner.  Whatever your commitment is, here are some tried and true ways to ensure you meet your fitness goals:


Make Your Gym Habit Stick 
with These 3 Tricks:

1. Schedule Your Workouts in your Calendar.  

Treat your workouts--whether it's a solo run, a group fitness class, or a buddy gym session--like any other appointment: Write it in your calendar.  This changes your gym trip from an optional leisure-time activity to a no-excuses commitment.  If someone wants to make plans at that time, don't feel bad about asking for a different date or time.  If your exhaustion or sniffles wouldn't have been enough to keep you home from a work meeting or a date, then they shouldn't keep you home from the gym, either.


2. Prepare Your Bag Ahead of Time 

For many, the hardest part of getting to the gym is simply getting ready.  Although it's not difficult to put clothes and sneakers on, it's often the biggest thing that prevents me from simply getting up and getting out the door.

If you work out in the morning straight from home, prepare the night before: lay out one complete gym outfit, visible and ready to wear.  That way, in the morning, you'll get up and before you're even aware of it, you'll be dressed and ready to go.

If you're like me and need to pack a bag to hit the gym after work, prepare that bag the night before, too.  Pack your complete gym outfit, your sneakers, a lock, headband, water bottle, and any other supplies you need for the gym.  Have the bag all set and ready to go and leave it right by your front door.  When you head out in the morning and bring it with you, that's your commitment gears in motion.

After carrying around the bag all day, you're bound to follow through and go, right?


3. Create Accountability

This one's huge. Don't just commit to yourself to go; make your commitment known to others!  By letting others know about--or having others rely on--your intention to hit the gym, you'll feel compelled to follow through!  Even if it's late after a long day of work, there are several ways to create accountability that will get you into the gym:

  • Find a Gym Buddy: Make plans with a friend to go to the gym together.  You'll be counting on each other, so you'll think twice before backing out on your fitness plan. 
  • Make Your Intention Known: Let others know that you're planning to go to the gym today. Tell your spouse, roommate, coworker... whoever will listen! Make it known that you intend to go, so that when the time comes to either head to the gym or head home, you head to the gym. 
  • Sign Up for Something: By signing up for either group fitness classes or personal training sessions, you'll be creating the same sense of commitment -- and often an actual commitment -- that will ensure you make it to the gym. 
Like these tips? Share them!

Those are three tricks that have worked for me -- have they worked for you?  What advice might you add for gym newbies?  

If you're starting up or reviving YOUR gym habit, dare you to give these tricks a try and let me know how it goes!! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Find a Wine Tour

Going to Napa Valley would be a dream.  I've never been!! (Insert distressed emoji here.)

I figured that, here in NYC, my opportunities for a Napa-like experience would be limited.  Sure, there are wine stores that offer tastings (done that!), but the concrete jungle is otherwise nothing like Napa.

Then, my friend Alyssa signed us up for a "Wine and Music Tour" out in Long Island!



It's made just for Manhattanites: a Hampton Luxury Liner charter bus departs from Midtown and drives wine-lovers to three different wineries on the North Fork of Long Island.  Alyssa and I always have a great time together, plus we both love wine.  The day was topped off by the perfect weather--low 70s and clear skies. Couldn't have asked for anything better!

We met up on the corner, chatted our way through the two-hour ride, and stepped out into the sunshine of North Fork.  We'd spend an hour each at the first two wineries, and two hours at the last.


First stop: Osprey's Dominion


We both loved the open feel--large windows looking out over nothingness--just the vineyard!  It was such a nice change of pace from the busy, crowded city, where the sky is hidden by buildings.

Osprey's provided a set list of taste offerings for us.  Some white, some red.  The list is below, if you're interested.

The first wine we tasted was our absolute favorite.  The others at Osprey's were good, too, but the first sip was uncontested. Even after the other vineyards, the first wine remained our favorite. Good thing we each bought a bottle to take home!

Our favorite: Osprey's Dominion 2013 Sauvignon Blanc


The second vineyard we stopped at--Duckwalk Vineyards--was just a minute's drive away.

As we got off the bus, they gave each of us tickets to use per tasting.  This way, we got to choose for ourselves from their large selection of tastings.

Picking for ourselves was nice, but the wines were so-so. We didn't love any of them.  We did like the little dark chocolates that came with the blueberry wine, their specialty.




Jason's Vineyards was our final vineyard stop, where we'd rest for two hours enjoying our wine, some live music, and a late lunch.  We each brought our own lunch, but purchased some cheese on site to pair with our wine.



Jason's was by far our favorite place of the day.  They also gave out tickets and had the perfect amount of options (not as overwhelming as the previous place, but enough that we had some flexibility).

The servers were exceptionally more friendly and engaging than the first two places, who seemed overwhelmed by the number of people and impersonally poured our glasses. At Jason's we got personalized attention and recommendations based on how well we liked each previous taste.

(Jason's was also the only part of the tour that also included the live music aspect, which was nice but definitely not the main draw.)

-----

Returning home, we were tiiired.  The bus was far more quiet as everyone began to doze off after the long day.

Interested in a similar tour??  Spring and summer -- perfect time to hit the road.  Scout out your options on the Hampton Luxury Liner website, or keep an eye out for special coupon/discount deals. Alyssa bought our tickets on a deal through pulsd New York City. Maybe you can find something similar!

Not from NYC?  See what your area has to offer!  Google is your friend.  "Wine tour near _____." Go. Dare you to.

Then you can be this happy, too...



If you enjoy wine and the great outdoors, I highly suggest this little city escape! 

Thank you, Alyssa, for making this happen! To next year, in Napa ;) 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Features

It's been a wonky week. Amazing weekend last weekend (I'll recap soon) followed by an exhausting exhausting/sickly couple days. I'm zonked!  TGIF -- time to catch up on some ZZZs.

It's also FRIDAY Features! Here's some old and some new news and interesting reads!  I saved the best for last, too, so don't miss out:

Personal and Social

Want to understand introverts better--for a friend or for yourself?
This infographic totally made me go "this is me!"
For the why and how of interacting with introvertsclick here to learn more.

Want to sound smarter in your writing?
Skim these 15 Words to Eliminate From Your Vocabulary.

A case study in social media's failure to tell the whole truth,
and the possible implications...
Madison Hollerand's Split Story


Nutrition

This HuffPo piece isn't new news anymore, but worth repeating until people get it:
Eggs Don't Cause Heart Attacks -- Sugar Does by Dr. Mark Hyman

NPR explains why sooo much research on health and diet is based on flawed evidence:
We Lie About What We Eat, and It's Messing Up Science

Study provides evidence that non-Celiac gluten sensitivity is real.
They compared giving less than 5 grams of gluten to giving a placebo,
and the symptoms resurfaced. Click here for the details.


News You Can Use

"Whole Paycheck" no more!  Whole Foods to launch a
lower-priced chain. Woohoo!

This week, FitFluential is sharing 21 Smoothie Recipes,
with a Blendtec blender giveaway, too!
Time is running out --> Check it out here.

***CHIPOTLE REVEALED THEIR GUAC RECIPE.
Need I say more?


Happy Friday, and Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

April BirchBox: Unboxing and Review

Good evening!! IT'S FINALLY SO SPRING AND I'M LOVING IT.

It's already May, I know, but I really wanted to share with you how excited I am about finally signing up for BirchBox last month!!

Hooray!


What is BirchBox?  It's an NYC-based company that curates monthly boxes just for you!  For just $10, you get a few small or sample-size beauty/self-care related items to try out, and if you find something you love, you can order directly through BirchBox. They've got a whole store online with occasional sales and holiday/themed collections. Plus, by shopping through them, you get points (read: credit!) back that you can use toward your future monthly boxes. Win-win.

I've wanted to subscribe for a while now.  I've seen others' boxes and admire all the information and video tutorials that BirchBox puts out online and in social media; I've learned a lot from them!  I have a pretty simple daily routine (some blush and maybe mascara usually suffice), so learning how to use more fancy tools and techniques for special occasions is something I am thankful to BirchBox for.  Also, I rarely buy my own makeup (I'm a sucker for freebies so have long simply taken what was given to me and made it work), so I've been interested to learn more about what's out there and what might work even better for me.

Recently, after seeing Juliette's Mad Men premiere prep video, I really wanted the Mad Men box (in honor of the final season's premier).  So, it was time!  I went online, answered a few questions about my style, my personal care preferences and concerns, and my current routine, and then they sent me a box, just like that!




Read more to see how the first opening went:

Friday, May 1, 2015

Re-evaluate the Research

Earlier this year, NPR published an article entitled:


Dare you to give it a read, and more importantly, take note of its message.

The title really says it all: Research studies are often based on people reporting what they remember eating and doing, but people aren't really all that accurate or honest when answering such questions. The author summarizes a paper from the International Journal of Obesity that asserts that self-reported data are so poor "that they no longer have a justifiable place in the scientific research."

Flawed data leads to flawed conclusions!  Our "conventional wisdom" about what prevents heart disease, cancer, or diabetes may be wrong.  How can we trust articles claiming "Research finds that..." when the finding is based on faulty self-reported data?

The problem is serious, because it's not just misinforming people who read health news; it's misinforming our policy advisers and our doctors. This flawed data is what directs governmental health policies, as well as doctors' and nutritionists' recommendations.

What's needed are better-designed research studies with more accurate measures of dietary intake and energy balance.  There's a lot to learn from well-done research, but in the meantime, be skeptical of what you read and pay attention to how the data was collected.

"Research finds..." may be flawed, so keep reading and keep an open mind! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sweeten with Honey

In my efforts to eat more real foods and rely less on sugar, I've been using honey in my baking!  Honey is known primarily for its sweetness and can replace white sugar in almost anything.  In fact, honey is so sweet (25 - 50% sweeter than white sugar), that you need less of it to enjoy the same flavor!

Image courtesy of artur84 at freedigitalphotos.net

More than sugar: However, unlike white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other such man-made, refined sweeteners, honey is a more naturally-occurring substance containing over a hundred different compounds, including plenty of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. When you consume honey, you're getting so much more than just a hit of sugar, and, for that, honey is a much healthier sweetener than refined sugars!

The best kind of honey you can use is raw honey, which can be found in most farmer's markets (bonus points for local!) and health food stores today.  Or, if you're so inclined, visit a local bee farm or raise your own!  That's another dare for another day...

[Sidenote: I've also used a lot of maple syrup in my baking, but that's actually less sweet than regular sugar and so comes with different benefits.]


Next time you are baking or sweetening your tea, dare you to swap out the sugar for a bit of raw honey! 

According to AllRecipes.com, you can adjust a recipe as follows: 
"Use ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey in place of 1 cup sugar, and reduce the other liquid ingredients by 2 tablespoons."
Other sources say you can do a 1:1 swap, but I'd simply experiment with your favorite recipe until you find the sweet spot. :)



Some of my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors kindly shared their favorite honey-sweetened recipes!! Check them out below:

Gluten-Free Recipes
- Honey Sesame Almonds and Spiced Roasted Almonds by Rachel at Little Chef Big Appetite
- Matcha Chia Pudding with Sweet Dukkah by Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
- Cranberry Swirly Snack (yogurt and fruit snack) by Be Mindful, You're Creative
- Honey Dijon Daikon Radish Fries by Healthy Helper
- Slow Cooker Honey Turkey Breast with Butternut Squash also by Healthy Helper
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Nut Granola by Almost Getting It Together
- Pumpkin Cacao Brownies by Running Girl Maiah Miller
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls (Vegan and Gluten-Free!) also by Running Girl Maiah Miller

For the Non-GF folks:
- Whole-Wheat Apple Honey Muffins by Rachel at Little Chef Big Appetite
- WW Pumpkin Muffins and Blueberry Muffins by A Mindful Mom

Some of my favorite paleo cookbook authors also have some great honey-sweetened recipes for you!
Chocoholic's Chocolate Mousse by Primal Palate
- Apple Pie Tartlets by PaleOMG
- Chicken Thighs with Honey-Mustard Sauce by Diane Sanfilippo
- Gingersnap Cookies by Danielle Walker

Last but not least, my own Apple Crisp recipe! (Gluten-free and paleo-friendly)


Paleo Apple Crisp

So go! Enjoy! Dare you to indulge your sweet tooth with nature's sweetener.

What's your favorite way to use honey?  


Sources: LiveStrongMark's Daily Apple, AllRecipes

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Prevent Paper Waste (5 Tips for Earth Day)

Tomorrow is EARTH DAY!   On April 22, 2015, we'll celebrate our planet Earth and all it does for us. Let's give back and make sure we take care of it, too.

Image courtesy of digitalart at freedigitalphotos.net

In honor of Earth Day, I dare you to prevent paper waste and offer you several ways to do so below! 

Proper papering is one of the simplest things we can do for our planet, but it's also so ingrained in our culture that we waste a lot of paper every day, without meaning to.  We can all pay a bit more attention to the paper that is printed and wasted on our behalf.

As a teacher, I do my best to use paper efficiently (like tip #3), but I could probably still do less printing in general (#2 is something I'll work on).  Check out the tips below to see what you can do to limit the amount of paper that YOU use!

Five Simple Ways to Prevent Paper Waste:

Image courtesy of iosphere at freedigitalphotos.net

1. Opt for Online.  Still getting bills in the mail?  Opt-in to email notifications and online bill pay whenever possible. This is a simple way to reduce the amount of paper and postage that gets used on your behalf.  If you like to keep copies, you can always download the PDF and save all bills and receipts in the cloud. (Bonus: This will also help reduce your household clutter!)

2. Avoid Printing. Think before you print; is it really necessary to have a hard copy?  Will this quickly become outdated and rendered useless? Will you have to print a new version soon?  If you can, avoid printing until it's absolutely necessary.  Most of the time, you'll find you can easily send or work on the document online, no paper needed.

3. Print Double-Sided. If you must print, configure our printer or copy machine use both sides of the sheet. On copiers, this option is often identified as "1 --> 2 sided" or "2 --> 2 sided" (depending on the original copy) on the machine and is easy as pressing that one little button. This will halve the amount of paper every copy makes!

4. Use the Web. So many things that we do via snail mail or office memos can easily be done more efficiently online.  Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Forms) are a godsend for these types of things. Instead of printing and editing and printing again, we can just virtually share files with coworkers, friends, or relatives to get things done. Instead of distributing voting cards or paper surveys, send a Google Form. (It will even automatically put your results in a nice spreadsheet!)  Instead of sending printed invitations to an event (work or social), send a nice e-vite online. Keeping track of the guest list will be so much simpler!!  Whatever it is you think you need to print and share, think again and consider how modern online tools can help.

5. Re-use.  When you've finished with a sheet of paper, can you re-use it?  If one side is blank (someone didn't follow tip #3!), save the sheet and use it later on as scrap paper. I do this all the time, because I love to handwrite my to-do lists and agendas (and then cross items off!).  Keep a bin specifically for tossing re-usable paper, and then when you later need a scrap of paper to jot something down or make a quick list, you know where to find it.

Bonus #6. Recycle!! Finally, when you've followed all the tips above and the paper is no longer re-usable, recycle it.  This is a no-brainer and comes with no excuses!

-----

There you have it!  Five (really SIX) easy ways to reduce the paper we use and trees we waste.  I'm really good about numbers 1, 3, 4, and 5, but definitely have room for improvement on tips #2 and 6.

What about you?  Where can you improve?  Let me know in the comments what you already do or what you'll aspire to do from here on out! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Don't Check

Tracking your mileage is great... except when it's not.

Today, when my evening activity got cancelled and the sun was still strong, I decided to lace up and go for a run. My plan was 20-30 minutes, another nice jog, although this time I wanted to take fewer walking breaks than last week's runs.  I set my Nike running app on my phone to start, and when I heard the music, took off.

Gorgeous day for a run!

After a long day at work, I was tired, not expecting much from my legs.  Instead, I started out strong!  I felt great. My shins were bothering me a bit, but breathing was steady. The gorgeous weather was the perfect pick-me up and my old 10k playlist had me going with the beat.  I actually think I was going quickly, probably closer to a 9-minute mile than last week's 11-minute joggers.  I kept looking forward to the moment the app would tell me my first mile was complete and what the time was.... except it didn't come.

I passed the spot that I know to be about a mile in my regular run, but no announcement by Miss Nike; the music just kept playing.  After one more song, I finally took out my phone to see for myself what was going on; I wanted to know my pace!

NOOOOOooooooo. It didn't track. Even though my music was playing, the run was paused for some reason, never really started.  I felt so bummed, as though the whole mile was a waste!  WAHHHHH

Except duh, I still ran it. It happened. My heart and legs got whatever benefit they would have regardless of whether my phone recorded my mile or not.

Still, that little mishap put a damper on the rest of my run.  Further, my shin pain got worse, and I gave in to it and started walking.  Then, I reached the section of my run with excess construction dust and car pollution -- NOT pleasant.  So the rest was a bust!  I did another mile and a half, but it was slow and involved a lot of walking. I'd lost the drive that powered my first mile.

Had I not checked my phone, would my shin have still hurt and the dust clogged my throat? Probably. Would it have bothered me as much?  Probably not.  Maybe I wouldn't have noticed the dust, and maybe I'd have powered through my pain. Maybe the rest of my run would have been as powerful as the first mile.

MAYBE! Who knows. I let my app failure spoil my fun. 

Don't get me wrong; I love the app. I'm all for tracking and celebrating and improving. But maybe, once you're in the zone, don't take the risk of spoiling it by checking in. Instead, eyes on the road! 



And if all else fails, shake it off with some calming chamomile :)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Make a Comeback

Excuse me while I dust off this page...

HELLO!!!!  The sun is coming back, and so am I.  As April finally appears to be letting spring in, I'm finally returning to some of the things I love: running, drawing, reading, and BLOGGING!  Time for new posts, new dares, new updates, and more.  In the fall and winter, I was feeling beat and fatigued, and blogging was simply not my priority. This time away has made me miss writing, dares, and you, so I'm back!

And with new toys!

I'll be bringing a combination of dares for you and updates from life over the past few months as I catch up.  While I don't think I've taken on any new huge challenges since the fall, I've been working on maintaining the dares I began way back when, and maintenance matters.

One thing thing that I did not maintain was running.  After my first 10k race in September and then backing off when I was sick, I simply stopped running.  It got cold, and after months off it, the treadmill just didn't feel like a good option.  I did ease back in to exercising (I've been doing BODYPUMP once-twice/week), but not running.



This week, the sun was shining and the temperature passed 50, so I laced up and hit the road.  It certainly was a "first run back" and I struggled at times, but it also felt great to be out in the open air again, flying on my feet with the sun on my face.  I don't always love running, but I do love running outside.



That was Monday, and I hit the road again this morning.  Both times were a steady jog (about 11-min/mile pace), and I had to stop and walk a few times, but I have faith that I'll regain my endurance and (moderate) speed with time.  Spring, I'm ready for you!



And I promise I'll keep updates here :)

Happy Spring! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

WIAW: Quick Meals in Disguise

WIAW... it's been a long time since my last "What I Ate Weduesday" post!  See my previous WIAW posts here, and check out other folks' WIAW over at Peas & Crayons.

Yesterday's meals were all simple, although they'd look like they took quite a bit of time.

I was so tired that I slept through/snoozed my first alarm--very rare!  Got myself up eventually, showered, got dressed, and made eggs. The eggs caused a rude awakening, because the smoke from the frying pan--after I was done cooking, set off the alarm.  That shook me to consciousness.

Thus, breakfast was simple: eggs over lox. Lox, courtesy of my grandmother, who brought them for me when we celebrated Mother's Day on Sunday. She knows I love them but don't buy them often.  Thank you, Grandma!





Lunch was Turnip Noodles with Toasted Walnut Pesto.  Sounds fancy, right?  It's actually a "7-minute meal" by Hungry Root.  They have a variety of vegetable-noodle dishes that are pre-portioned and come with clear instructions to cook in no time at all.  I just began trying it out, and will write a full review post when I've tried all four varieties that I ordered.



This one was good enough. I liked it better than the first. The Turnip flavor didn't entirely do it for me, but the pesto sauce was able to help cover that up.  It also tasted much better fresh off the stove, I think, than it did when I had to heat it up the next day for lunch at work.


I did toss in that bit of avocado, for good measure :)

I stayed at work late yesterday, not leaving until close to six (late for a teacher whose school officially ends at 2:41).  Got back home and tossed some laundry in the machine.  Then, I walked on the treadmill during the first wash, listening to the StartUp podcast, which I highly recommend! (Read about other podcasts here.)

Exciting night, right?  Moved the laundry, took a shower, and settled down to eat dinner, also leftovers.

So yesterday's meals... really, none of them I can take full credit for, but I enjoyed them all! 

What did you eat Weduesday?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Make these Superbowl Snacks

TGIF!  This Friday, I'm sending my link love to some tasty treats for your weekend.

Here are some yummy grain-free recipes to bring to your Super Bowl gathering!

That's my guac, front and center! #proudmama

Start your Sunday with paleo banana pancakes for breakfast.

Make your own guacamole - with Greek yogurt!

Try Jenn's Parmesan Pesto Whipped Feta as an alternative dip.

I love these Paleo Buffalo Wings, or you can try out these Paleo Glazed Chicken Wings.

Another interesting twist: Spaghetti Squash Pizza?!

How about grain-free apple crisp for dessert!

Just a few ideas for you :)  Hope you have a great weekend -- Go Sports! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Make this Quick & Easy Banana Egg Breakfast

Bananas and EGGS? What?

Yes, bananas and eggs.  Whenever I'm making this for myself, whoever is home will give me a quizzical look. Once it's ready and they've tried a bite, they always raise their eyebrows in surprise--pretty good!



It started for me back in the day experimenting with "paleo pancakes" -- that is, pancakes that are free of grains.  Some of those banana pancake recipes are longer and more exhaustive than others.  They can make some dismally flat pancakes, or some incredibly fluffy pancakes.  (I'm a fan of the fluffy, myself.)

Over time, I stopped following the recipes and began doing the simplest, quickest thing possible: simply scrambling eggs with banana.  Dropping out the almond flour, the baking agents, etc., made the process so much easier, yet just as delicious.  I get starchy sweetness from the banana and protein from the eggs. Win!

Quick and easy banana-egg-omelet-pancake-mish-mash!  
Here it is:

Ingredients


3 eggs
1 banana
Oil or butter for pan (I use Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Cooking Spray or a pat of Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter )
Salt to taste
Cinnamon to taste
Vanilla (optional)
A spoonful of coconut flour or almond flour (optional!)

Toppings: maple syrup, butter, berries, more sliced banana... the possibilities are endless!



Instructions

In a bowl, use a fork to mash up a banana.


When it's fully smushed, add cinnamon, salt, (optional vanilla,) and egg(s).  Mix until combined!



Put pan on the stove, heat, and add oil (I use a coconut oil spray--this one--or a pat of butter).

Then, pour in your banana-egg mixture!


If you want it to look like pancakes, pour a bit out at a time, let set, and flip.


Or, you can do what I often do, which is just to pour the whole thing in the pan and simply scramble it like eggs.  Comes out nice and fluffy! 



When it looks ready to your taste, turn off the burner and pour onto a plate or into a bowl to serve.

Last but not least: add butter or maple syrup to taste! 




Doesn't always look impressive, but tastes undeniably delicious!