Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

There's no doubt that I have a sweet tooth. I love chocolate whether it's milk or dark I can't resist. With that said I always keep an eye out for healthier sweet treats. I'm a fan of Chia seeds and already include a tablespoon here and there in smoothies. So naturally when I saw Chia Seed Pudding I figured why not. It's now a current staple in my fridge!


Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
makes 2 servings

Ingredients

1 cup coconut or almond milk
4 tbsp chia seeds
pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (sub 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract for non-chocolate)

Optional Toppings

Maple syrup or honey to taste
fresh fruit: banana or berries (raspberries, blackberries or strawberries)
nuts (walnuts or almond slices)

Directions

In a small bowl combine milk, chia seeds, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well cover and refrigerate. After 30 minutes stir mixture and allow to set for an additional 30 minutes. When you ready to serve stir in maple syrup or honey and top with your favorite fruit and nuts. I love bananas and walnuts.

While both are tasty I prefer vanilla made with almond milk and chocolate with coconut milk.

Check out other Chia Seed Pudding recipes here, here or here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday: Backyard Inspiration

April showers bring may flowers. We've seen some much needed moisture in the last week and it has me thinking about gardening. Have I mentioned we haven't touched the backyard in four years making it blank canvas?! I'm looking forward to working on it this summer. Here are five elements I would love to see happen in the yard. I'm also open to Yard Crashers helping a girl out. 


one.
Garden Lights. Let me count the ways I love them.
{via - My Ideal Home}

two.
An amazing pergola.
{via}

three.
A successful veggie garden. I always plant my veggies too late.
{via}

four.
A colorful shed. We already have a shed. I just need to pick some fun colors now!


five.
A cozy space to entertain. I can just picture us with a few friends drinking beer/wine and laughing the night away.
{via domino}
Want more inspiration check out my Garden Party pinterest board!


Linking up with Liz and company!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Insta--Lately

Happy April! 

I can hardly believe summer is just a month or so away! Insert happy dance. Life in Tahoe has been crazy. Work is picking up. The hubby and I are trying to eat as clean as possible -- it's hard! The weather has been amazing and then it went and snowed last week. Hello powder day! We've been enjoying time with friends. All in all life is great! I can't what to see what summer brings!

Top row: Powder day at Kirkwood, Olympic Celebration at Seirra-at-Tahoe, at the Tahoe Blue Hockey game
Middle row: Roxy dog hanging out in the front yard, sunny day hike to Fallen Leaf Lake, beach and snow
Bottom row: Tostadas from Plated, Pulled BBQ Chicken on a Homemade Hamburger Bun,  Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding


Friday, March 28, 2014

Five of Friday: Fitness Motivation

Longest week ever! I seriously didn't think Friday would ever come. To celebrate I treated myself with a killer workout this morning and now I'm enjoying a soy latte and raspberry scone. Since I shared my fitness success over the last year Tuesday and this week was the first full week of spring today's 5-er is health inspired. Bikini season is two months away people! It's time to kick it in high gear.

Here are five ways I stay dedicated to working out and living healthy.

one.
No Excuses. I set two alarms for morning workouts, workout before work, go to bed early and set clothes out the night before.

{via Running with Ollie}

two.
Apps. We live on our smart phones so why not let them keep you motivated and on track. I use My Fitness Pal to track food/overall workouts and Run Keeper to track runs. Both keep me personally accountable.

{Run Keeper + 10 best fitness apps via Redbook }
three.
Workout clothes. I'm  usually a sweaty hot mess when I'm working out so why not own awesome workout clothes. You don't have to spend a fortune TJ Maxx, Target and Marshalls all carry great options. I'm personally a big fan of The North Face and own multiple pairs of the GTD Capri Tight.


four.
Make a Schedule. I schedule all my workouts. This goes back to accountability. Consider it a meeting for yourself -- you time. I love my time in the morning. I'm able to clear my head, break a sweat and start the day off on the right foot.

{via Simply Sadie Jane}

five.
Have fun. Yes workouts should be hard, but fun. Mix up your routine. Take a new class. Workout with friends.

{via oh joy!}
What are you waiting for?

Linking up with Liz and company!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

90 Day Challenge -- One Year Later

Being healthy and fit takes determination and dedication. It also doesn't happen overnight. Last year looking to tone up and get ready for bikini season I joined the 90 day challenge at my gym. Little did I know how out of shape I was or how the competition would light a fire within. Over the 90 days I tracked my progress -- catch up on my starting weightthree, sixnine, twelve  and final updates. Nearly a year later I'm amazed at my progress. So you're probably wondering where I'm at today. It's safe to say I'm a fitness junkie and I'm ok with that.

Stats
Height: 5'3"
 Weight: 140 lbs (March 2013); 132 lbs (March 2014)
BMI: 30.6% (March 2013); 20% (March 2014)  

Yes, that's right I lost 10.6% body fat in one year! Hard work pays off!
 March 2013                                March 2014 

Diet:
After the 90 day challenge I didn't follow any particular diet, but stuck to well balanced meals. To jump start healthy eating after the holidays the hubby and I completed Whole30. Since then we have been living a Paleo lifestyle 90 percent of the time. Over the last few months I've noticed a significant change in my body composition as a result of eating Paleo. Hello, abs!

I do treat myself with chocolate, wine or a latte once a week. If I didn't allow for a treat I would probably binge. I'm not trying to "diet" I'm making a lifestyle change. Treats make me successful. I'm also smarter about treats, it has to be worth it. For me ice cream is so worth it, but donuts are not. 

Typical meals look like this.

Breakfast: Smoothie (during the week) or Paleo Pancakes/ Eggs and Sweet Potatoes (weekends)
Lunch: Salad with Grilled Chicken or leftovers
Dinner: Salad or some amazing Paleo dish like Pulled BBQ Chicken, Pad Thai or Salmon over Kale


Against All Grain BBQ Pulled Chicken on homemade Hamburger Buns; One egg two whites over easy with Sweet Potato Hash and Avocado; Sesame Orange Chicken over Brown Rice; Paleo Pancakes with Fresh Raspberries and Banana 

Workouts:
After the challenge ended in June my workouts consisted of spin, mountain biking, running and cross training. Wanting more in September I started working out with a trainer two days a week on top of five morning workouts on my own. Fast forward, my trainer moved and I now have a new trainer who I train with  one day a week to complement my other workouts. It's safe to say I'm a fitness addict, but the results are worth it. 

As of today I workout 1-2 hours a day six days a week at the gym. I don't count snowboarding, mountain biking or walking the dog as workouts, but active recovery. Oh, I forgot to mention I wake up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym. Here's what my schedule looks like.

Monday: Cardio and Body Pump (weighs)
Tuesday: Cardio, 15 min. abs  and spin
Wednesday: Cardio and Circuit Training
Thursday: Circuit Training and Spin
Friday: Cardio and a session with my trainer
Saturday: Circuit Training
Sunday: No gym time



Fallen Leaf Lake a few weeks ago. The weather in Tahoe has been gorgeous.  

Overall: 
When I stopped obsessing over the number on the scale and starting focusing on food and BMI is when I saw the biggest results. I still don't own a scale and actually haven't weighed myself in three weeks. As of today I couldn't be happier, but I'm already setting new goals for the next year. I would like to reach 17% BMI and be toner. Maybe four pack abs.

It's time to stop making excuses and get healthy.

Strong is the new skinny.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Channel your inner Chef with Plated

Love cooking, but have days you don't know what to cook or even want to go shopping? Well let me introduce you to PlatedChef-designed recipes & fresh ingredients deliver to your door. Best box ever!

So it probably sounds like they are paying me to say that, but it's not the case. A few weeks ago on saw one of their promoted Ads on Facbook (yes they work sometimes) and clicked through to see what it was all about. I'm so glad I did.

So how does Plated work?
  1. Browse and pick a dish or a few. Each week there are 7 new chef-designed recipes on the menu. The menu ranges from meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.
  2. Pick a delivery date. Dates vary and are based by where you live. Lucky us, one of our delivery dates is Friday perfect after a long work week!
  3. Enjoy!
Plates are $12-15 each based on whether or not you have a monthly membership. There's no monthly minimum. The membership is totally worth it for only $10 a month you can order as many plates for $12 each and not pay shipping.

So what did I order?


Pan Roasted Vegetables with Creamy Coconut Curry and Na'an


Ingredients
1  yellow onion
1  clove garlic
1/2  inch ginger
1/2 head cauliflower
1  carrot
3  oz. cremini mushrooms
1/2  tsp vegetable base
1  tbsp tomato paste
1  tbsp garam masala
1  cup coconut milk
1  piece na'an
2  cups baby spinach

Directions
Prepare Ingredients: Peel onion and dice. Mince garlic. Pell ginger with a spoon and mince. Rise cauliflower and break into 1 1/2-inch florets. Peel carrot and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and quarter. In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable base with 1 cup water.

Saute Vegetables: Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium heat. when oil is shimmering, and onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cauliflower, carrot, and mushrooms, stir, and cook until beginning to soften, about 7 minutes.

Season Vegetables: Add tomato paste and garam masala. Cook, stirring, until vegetable are coated completely, about 2 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed.

Simmer Curry: Add vegetable base mixture and 1 cup coconut milk and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until curry thickens, about 8 minutes.

Toast Na'an: Meanwhile, heat a medium pan over medium heat. When pan is just smoking, add na'an and toast until charred and warmed through, about 2 minutes per side.

Plate  Curry: Remove curry from heat, add spinach, and stir until wilted, about 30 seconds. Taste and add salt as needed.Divide evenly between 2 bowls and serve with na'an alongside


Thoughts:
One of my favorite Thai dishes is Emerald Curry so when I saw there was a curry option I knew I had to try it. The dish was extremely easy to make and the hubby and I have made it since. There was a decent amount of veggies, but wish it was a little saucer and a bit thicker. It was perfect paired with na'an, but would also be tasty over brown rice.  Rating: C+

Berbere Salmon with New Potatoes and Kale


Ingredients
1     red onion
3/4  pound red potatoes
1     bunch kale
1     lemon
3     tbsp red wine vinegar
2     tsp whole grain mustard
2     fillets wild ALaskan salmon
1     tbsp berbere
1/4  tsp maldon salt
3     tbsp olive oil

Directions
Prepare Ingredients: Peel onion and thinly slice. Rinse potatoes and quarter. Rinse kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding stem. Cut lemon into 8 wedges.

Cook Potatoes: place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch of kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Marinate Onion: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss onion with red wine vinegar. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.

Prepare Greens: In a large bowl, add warm potatoes, marinated onion and vinegar, kale, whole grain mustard, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using your hands, toss, rubing dressing into kale until coated and beginning to wilt. Taste and add kosher salt and pepper as needed. Set aside

Cook Salmon: Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towel. season with berbere, kosher salt, and peeper, pressing to adhere. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan pover medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add salmon, flesh-side down, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until skin is crisp, 3-4 minutes more.

Plate Salmon: Divide potatoes and kale evenly between 2 plates. Top with salmon and garnish with lemon wedges. Sprinkle Maldon salt over salmon and serve.



Thoughts:
Before this dish I never thought about pan frying salmon, but you better believe it was amazing. The spices were perfect and had just the right about of heat. Regarding the kale salad we'll make it again. The portion size was enough for four people. I loved the idea of red onions with warm potatoes. Rating: B+

Overall:
I love the concept behind Plated. They take the stress out of cooking amazing dishes. What make this box different from all the others? You can actually choose what you would want to receive, when you want to receive it and how often. Moving forward I could see us ordering 2-4 meals over the course of a month.

What are you waiting for, unleash your inner chef today. Order here.

*None of the links in this post are affiliate links

Linking up with Join the Gossip

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

one.
Last weekend we welcomed home our Olympians at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort.

Maddie Bowman, Hannah Teter and Jamie Anderson
two.
We're in full kitchen planning mode. Which layout do you prefer? Next up permits! FYI: You're looking at the kitchen from the living room. Currently there's a wall dividing the two.

Option 1

Option 2



three.
Apple TV. We cancelled cable back in January and I'm now asking myself why we didn't do it earlier. Full post coming soon. All I can say is we're saving SO much money!

four.
Vitamix. We bought a Vitamix 300 back in September and I'm still in love! If you're on the fence I suggest you buy one today. I make a smoothie or juice every morning for breakfast....you should see my abs. I'm almost bikini ready!

five.
Fresh Veggies. Right now I'm apart of a crop share, but I can't wait until June for weekly trips to the farmers market.


Linking up with Liz and company!
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