Grocery Goodies

Whole Foods highlights:
Justin’s chocolate hazlenut butter (INCREDIBLE! Flavor of Nutella without the chemicals… dreams do come true!)
organic brown rice crispies
goji berries
toffee sea salt chocolate
that oddly named jar of mustard over to the left 🙂
organic kale – on sale 2 for $6!

Lately I’ve been loving breakfast food, but during the week I despise waking up early to make something. On weekends I go all out with omelettes, fruit salad, Choffy cappuccinos,  baked creations, the whole nine! During the week I’m kind of a slacker.

Luckily Google came to my rescue and told me about Overnight Oats. It’s the same base, always. Here’s what you need:

oats (I just used the quick oats by Quaker since that’s what was in my pantry) + milk of choice (I used half unsweetened almond milk and half cow’s milk).

Don’t cook it, just take 1/2 c oats and 1/3 c milk. I honestly didn’t measure anything… you can eye-ball it and get the results you want. If you like your oats “runny,” use more liquid. If you like ’em sticky, use less. Easy peasy. 🙂 Mix both things together in a bowl, cover, and put in the fridge before you go to bed. In the morning, add your mix-ins…

Mine were:
blueberries
raspberries
1 T Justin’s chocolate hazlenut butter
1/4 c brown rice crispies

I’m gonna make ’em again this weekend and post a prettier picture. This was a tupperware container meant for an on-the-go meal, not for a photo-op. 😉

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Sweet, hot eats

I ate millions of delicious things today, one of which you need to make immediately.

It was born out of a recipe I tried and failed to make, so switched gears in the middle of cooking to something else. So now we have an ahh-may-zing red peper curry that’ll rock your world.
What to buy:
1 red bell pepper
about 1/4 c olive oil
1 T tomato paste
1 T water
2 T garlic gold
hefty pinch of crushed red pepper
1 bunch of cilantro
1lb chicken breasts (sliced into strips)
sour cream for garnish
naan flatbreads
packet of tikka masala curry seasoning (I used the one below)
Roughly chop the bell pepper and combine that with the garlic gold, olive oil, water, a palm full of cilantro, tomato paste, tikka masala spices, and crushed red pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. This is your sauce.

Meanwhile, sautee the chicken over medium heat with a little salt and pepper until fully cooked. Then turn the heat down to a simmer and mix the sauce in. Heat until warm.

Serve over toasted naan bread and garnish with a little sour cream and cilantro.

This next part is essential!
Superfruit sangria!! Picked this up on my trip to Whole Foods this afternoon, and it’s very tasty without being too sweet. Full of good stuff, too. It’s made with organically harvested grapes and infused with acai, blood orange, and pomegranate juices to give it extra benefits. Some people may argue that wine is unnecessary calories, but I think they’re extremely necessary. 😉

Somewhere along the line, this also happened… worth it!

And that was pretty much my day. 🙂

It’s my birthday!

My absence from the internet is sadly conspicuous, but I promise I have a good reason! For my birthday this year Adrien and I both wanted to go on a trip, and we looked at skiing in Colorado, yoga retreating in Costa Rica, and and sight/snow seeing in Montreal. All of these would have been great, but definitely would have cost a pretty penny and DEFINITELY would have put a damper on our summer vacation plans of going to Mexico to swim with the whale sharks (!). So in the spirit of prioritizing, we decided on something local, but new to both of us — Animal Kingdom! I fully anticipated over-the-top corniness and explosions of Mickey ears, glitter, singing and snotty screaming children running wild. I was pleasantly surprised to find I assumed wrong.

We explored the gardens, animals, caves and sights, rode roller coasters, went on a 3-D dinosaur adventure, and bonus! We had a full day of active rest! 5 straight hours of walking, for real.

But I’ll be honest, the REAL highlight of our trip was the Wild Africa Trek, which is a private safari that takes you behind the scenes of everything.
The group was 6 people with 2 guides. Adrien and I were wary that it would be gimmicky, cheap, and rushed. Man were we wrong! 0 for 2 that day – in a good way. 🙂 It was amazing. We had a great foundation with weather you can’t beat: 78* and not a cloud in the sky with a slight breeze and no humidity.

I’m a big skeptic when it comes to staged adventure type stuff, but this felt so unlike that! It started with a long hike over the river and through the woods (some of these are freeze frame pics from a video camera, so the quality isn’t great)…
We stopped for a drink of guava/passion fruit/papaya juice…
We got super, SUPER close to sweet animals like giraffes, hippos, Nile crocodiles (this was a step up from 16 ft crocs and no barriers/fences!)…
Most of the time we were about 7 ft from all these animals and got to take our time and ask as many questions we could think of. See my hair in the bottom left corner of the pic above?! That’s how close we were!

Then there was the meal…

  • marinated tandoori shrimp
  • air dried beef and prosciutto
  • fruit salad in mint ginger glaze
  • smoked salmon on a bed of jicama
  • sundried tomato hummus with pita
  • chicken curry salad
  • an edible orchid! 

Which overlooked the little savannah. 🙂 The pic just doesn’t do it justice!

We hiked back to the same place we started and along the way heard all about animal conservation and the effects of poaching and all that. Little side note to all my conservationists out there: one of the most common reasons elephants are killed is when they destroy farmers’ crops and thereby take their livelihood. Farmers get upset and kill the elephant to sell the tusks as retribution and to make up for lost income. As it turns out, elephants are terrified of honey bees! So groups are teaching farmers how to cultivate bee hives on the outskirts of their properties to keep elephants at bay, and also have an additional crop to sell. How amazing is that?! To be honest, it sounded a lot like we were about to be hit up for a donation. But we weren’t. A sizeable portion of your ticket is donated to different organizations, AND we got to pick which cause it benefitted. You could choose between wild cats, elephants, or hippos, and the group was split evenly between elephants and wild cats. A & I put ours towards the hippos. No love for them?! Can’t have that! 🙂

One more thing that made this totally worth it… along the way there was a photographer taking pics of everything from beginning to end, and a CD of every single one is going to be sent to us in a couple of weeks after they’re cropped and touched up. That’s included in the ticket price, too. 🙂

******

Part II of our adventure was dinner at Cafe Tu Tu Tango!
It was an amazingly fun, loud, tipsy, tapas dinner. I don’t wanna stereotype, but if you enjoy any combination of the following, you’d really love this place: Tim Burton, Ani difranco, Salvador Dali, Mexican inspired cooking, indie music, salsa music, the arts, tattooed & very cool personable servers, sangria, micro brews, and/or bright colors. It was definitely a bar feel but still clean, friendly, and I didn’t see a single drunken college student stumble out the door. A good sign in my book! 😉
The day after we spent some good QT at the outlets and Mall at Millenia and had a hilarious, memorable road trip home.

Best. Birthday. Ever!

CHOFFY WINNER! + today’s eats

How did I forget to announce this?!

Winner is…

Coco from Opera Girl Cooks!

*****

Today’s snackage: kale + Emergen-C
I like kale anyway, but to add a little bit more interest to it I’ll cook one bunch of with a little white pepper, garlic gold, and Bragg’s liquid aminos (about 4 TBSP for each bunch of kale). I love these liquid aminos because it gives you all the flavor of soy sauce without the ridiculous amounts of sodium. It’s very good for you and only about $5 for a big bottle.
 I cook everything in about 1 inch of water, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes or until it’s wilted down a little.

Also, a fun fact about Emergen-C: it’s full of all the essential electrolytes you need to stay hydrated. So instead of sipping a protein shake during a workout, I drink this and then have some when I get home to replenish what I lost.

Give it a try and let me know how you likey. :-]

Stay-at-home abs (or take ’em to the gym!) – Part II

Hi guys :-]

Here’s some more ab work for ya. These can be used at the gym or at home, and if you need an exercise ball you can pick one up at TJ Maxx for about $10.

Bosu Crunches
1. Set up by laying down with the lower back resting at the edge of the ball
2. Lie back and extend the opposite arm and opposite leg. So in this case, the left leg is out, and the right arm is bent behind the head with the elbow just barely touching the floor.
3. And crunch elbow to knee. Repeat 12x on each side. Each time you lay out, go all the way back so both the arm and elbow graze the floor. 
Stability ball knee tucks
1. Set up by putting both of the ankles on the ball and brace yourself on a chair or bench.
2. Like this!3. Pull the knees into the chest and let the ball roll down to the toes. Extend again, repeat 10x.

Plank for 1 minute
Line the elbows under the shoulders, keep the hips tucked low so the spine is straight, put the feet at hip width, and hold.
Repeat that circuit 2-3 times.
Little post workout snack:
Poached egg with Ezekiel toast. Try to eat protein from real food after you exercise. It’s a lot more beneficial than a powder or something.

Have a wonderful day! I’ll see you tomorrow with some snacks + recipes. :-]

GIVEAWAY!

Oh hey :-]

You’ve been waiting for it…

I present to you…

CHOFFY!

Which is pretty much my favorite thing right now. It’s brewing chocolate… I think I’ve said enough.

I discovered this online a few weeks ago and ordered some but then this weird thing happened… it disappeared. So I bought some more and then ordered a French press to make it with (not necessary) and before I knew it we had a new friend! Tina hooked us up with a little somethin’ somethin’ for a giveaway, and now one of you will go home (stay home?) with a bag of your own! (I totally just said that in my best Price is Right voice… appreciate!)

It has a really intense chocolate flavor, so it’s more rich than hot chocolate. It’s super SUPER healthy because it’s only roasted cacao beans which are really high in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. It’s basically chocolate health food. Win!

It brews just like coffee (in a machine or with a French press). I’ve been making it in the machine mixed with regular espresso grounds and OMAHGOSH, delicious. It also has a kick like caffeine, but healthier. There’s a natural stimulant in cacao beans called Theobromine, which improves blood circulation and can prevent heart disease.

*** Little disclaimer: I am NOT paid to do these giveaways. These are just products I love and want to give you the hook-up too. I wouldn’t endorse anything I don’t stand by myself. :-] ***

Giveaway ends Saturday @ midnight. And go!

Why I hate diets and doing things the “right” way.

I hate the idea of following a diet, so I don’t. I teach yoga but I am not a vegan. I follow a rather lenient “diet” for which I freely allow (and encourage!) myself to eat filet mignon, red wine, real butter, dark chocolate, creamy risotto, and full fat raw cheeses whenever I want, but all in moderation. I do, however, have a deep love for green juice, almond butter, big beastly salads, pomegranates, and raw bell peppers – with raw hummus. I believe being healthy doesn’t always have to come with enormous sacrifice or total overhaul of one’s eating habits. Food should be enjoyed and savored, so that when it’s consumed it honors the body instead of attacking it. We honor the body by not mindlessly stuffing it with trans fats, and by fully enjoying that slice of brie with your malbec (without caring if these are supposed to be paired), and instead of turning down the chocolate mousse, cheers to today and eat it with pleasure.

As a yoga teacher, my aim for my students has always been to encourage them to fully enjoy every aspect of their practice, their food, and their lives. I never ask my students to come in and be ready for a balls-to-the-wall workout, even though I teach a pretty intense class. I don’t preach the vegan or raw food lifestyle, the evils of dairy, or a laundry list of things you must do in “correctly” in yoga. I always ask just one thing: do not sacrifice the body for a pose or a diet. These things are here to serve us.

Like anything else, be it food, or yoga or anything in between, we are the masters of our domains, and we have the immensely powerful capacity to dictate how and in what manner we experience this world. So I choose choice, and I encourage my students to do the same. Are you sore? Take the easier option in class. Are you craving something sweet? I’ve got some pretty serious recommendations!

In my adventures, I like to explore the variety and deepest pleasures life will offer me. I’ll take it in food, travel, yoga, and almost anything else, so long as I have my health, my family, and my little notebook.

That is all! Now go eat a sandwich!