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!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Features: News You Can Use

Checking in for some news you can use!


Remember last week when I dared  you to break out a board game?
Well, the SilverOak Blog has heard my cry and created an epic
chart to help you find a perfect board game for YOU!
Dare you to check it out by clicking here and find which game it recommends.

Bone Broth is getting super popular these days,
so I thought I'd remind you that you can make it from home!
It's so much simpler than it sounds: here's how.

This post by Carla Birnberg just made me giggle, so I have to share.
Give it a read and take a moment to reflect:
What's in YOUR bra?

Whatever your health-related resolution,
the FitFluential blog has you covered:
First, a beginner's strength workout,
and then
tips to build a green smoothie + 10 green smoothie recipes

The New York Times Well Blog answers:
Can Compression Clothing Enhance Your Workout?

Finally, watch this five-minute video to clear up
some VERY common myths and misconceptions about exercise,
and avoid making these fitness errors!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Break Out a Board Game

Work started up again for me today, after a relaxing and productive two-week holiday.  As much as I love my job, I get so much out of the time off to recharge my batteries.

Some of my favorite memories from this break are the times spent playing games!  Games are a great way to de-stress, have fun, and connect with others. A good game will get you totally immersed in the moment, and that's where the magic happens.


One snowy/rainy night, we broke out a classic Monopoly board at my parents' house and got to competing.


It's been so long since we've played Monopoly--well over a decade, for sure!  I barely remembered the rules, but I may have been alone in that.  When Eric asked how much play-money we were each to start with, my father amazingly recited from memory exactly how many of each bill we should receive.  When we finally found the instructions, it was confirmed that my dad's memory was impeccable!


The night was spent in laughter, a fun time had by all!

PS: If you want to play, Monopoly is only $10 on Amazon right now!


My friends played their favorite of the last few years:  
The Settlers of Catan.



Whenever my friends are playing and invite me to join, I always think I don't want to... but I'm wrong. When I do play, I end up having a great time.


Bonus: I have an even GREATER time when I actually win!


Other favorites of mine include classic word-games like Scrabble and Boggle.  Apples to Apples is always fun, and Cards Against Humanity even more (R-rated) fun.  Simple playing cards are a great fall-back, too, with endless possibilities.  

So this week's dare?  PLAY!  Don't let the holiday cheer wear off; play games!!  Open up an old favorite (dare you to dust off Balderdash or Trivial Pursuit!) or go ahead and treat yourself to a new game.  

You'll be glad you did!  :D 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolve to be Held Accountable!

Happy New Year!


New Year, New Goals, New You, right?  Although it's just an arbitrary date, this is the time of year many people, myself included, often like to view as a clean slate, a time to start anew, a time for plans and resolutions and goals.  If you've got a resolution in mind, click the following for tips on setting smart goals, tricks to achieving them, and setting non-traditional resolutions.

And, a bonus tip: make sure to look back to see how you did along the way and at the end! Don't make a resolution and forget about it.  Put it somewhere you'll be constantly reminded to make it happen, and then, when the year's up, you can know you gave it your all.

Looking back on 2014:  Last year, I made three "focus" resolutions for 2014, and I'm fairly pleased with the outcomes!  Time-management is a constant struggle for me, but I've certainly made greater strides in mono-tasking in order to successfully get things done.  My posture did improve a bit, although I've recently started slacking again; more on this in another post.  And, lastly, although I've stopped writing down three good things, I have learned to practice gratitude daily.  I also successfully complete my first year of the one-sentence journal, and am excited to flip back to page one to begin year two! 
Although I'm happy with my outcome from the year, I admit that I could have done better, but I was missing a key factor to ensure my success: accountability.

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Whatever you commit to in 2015, one thing is sure to help you follow through: an accountability partner.  Being held accountable to another person--having someone to check in with--may vastly improve your results!

Accountability partner: A person whelp helps, encourages, or coaches another person to fulfill a commitment. 

This can apply to whatever field your goals or resolutions fall in to, whether business, religion, weight loss, or any other commitment!  Going it alone is one method, but then you may have a tendency to let yourself off the hook too often.  Whether you're making or breaking a habit, trying to increase attendance at church or at the gym, or even learning a new language, you can increase your odds of a successful follow-through by finding someone to check in with you.  His or her nudges can provide just the push you need to fulfill your commitments.

Two ways to buddy up:

  1. First, your partner could be right there in the trenches with you, reaching toward the same goals or outcomes.  This could have the drawback of comparison and unfriendly competition, but ideally, you''ll work together and push one another toward your goals.
  2. Another option is to find someone with whom you simply share your aspirations and then hold each other accountable.  Maybe you've mapped out your path to doing five pull-ups by the end of the year, and your friend is committing to reading two books each month.  The goals are unrelated, but you two can still provide valuable support and encouragement for one another! The key is having someone to hold you accountable for your actions. 

This year, my friend and I are making plans and holding one another accountable to our 2015 aspirations.  Instead of setting one big resolution for the year, we've identified four habits and activities we'd like to keep up or improve on: fitness, reading, hobby time, and "other".  For each of these categories, we will refresh our goals each month according to what's going on in our lives at that time.  Then, together, we'll be held accountable to the fitness, reading, and other goal commitments we set monthly!  It's ambitious, but together, we can do it! 

It starts this January for me with:
     (1) MOVE: hitting the gym 3x/week (still getting back in!),
     (2) READ: reading The Invention of Wings (and moving on to The Red Tent next!), and
     (3) PLAY: publishing a quality post HERE to the blog at least once weekly (uh oh, just wrote it down, now it's gotta happen!), as well as picking up my sketchbook to start drawing again.

We're going to meet at the end of each month to check in on our progress and also discuss the books we read.  If we both achieved our goals for the month, then we'll reward ourselves with a fun local outing!  That provides an added motivation to move, read, and play throughout the month.

I'll be sure to keep you posted on how this goes!

Of course, I've also got just one month left to complete my birthday bucket list from last year.  Most tasks are checked off, but a few do remain.  In those activities and beyond, by saying yes and saying no, I've had a fantastic year so far and plan to continue in a similar manner next year.

So, for 2015: I am saying yes, saying no, and setting new goals each month.

What are your aspirations for the year, and how will you be held accountable?