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i went to arkansas…

…and became a certified PiYo instructor!

5 am yesterday morning

As you guys know, I’ve been attending PiYo classes at my gym for awhile now, and I really love it.  I mentioned in this post that I had some other possible ideas of what to do after resigning from my job, and this was one of the ideas that I was generating.

Here is PiYo in 50 words or less:)

PiYo (pronounced pie-yo) is a format created by Chalene Johnson that fuses together Pilates and Yoga.

“It’s the perfect fusion equaling strength building, rhythmic movement and power with a foundation in Pilates and yoga that burns calories while transforming the body”

I loved PiYo the very first time I tried it because it gives you the feel and benefits of yoga, but also the movement and more fast-paced vibe of Pilates. Add in some fun hip-hop or R & B music, and you’ve got yourself an amazing workout that’ll make you look good and feel even better!

I can’t wait to start teaching!  I’ll be telling you guys more about it as I learn and practice more, but feel free to let me know if you have any questions:)

And next…………Guess what I got in my inbox this morning?

A congratulations from Foodbuzz for making the top 9 with my Classic Vegan Banana Split!

I am so happy to have been able to participate in the Top 9 challenge to help raise money and awareness for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund!

And I am thrilled to have been chosen as part of the top 9! Thank you Foodbuzz!

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$6 well spent + spicy chia black bean burger

This morning Jon and I slept in a bit, then got up and headed to the Farmer’s Market!  We are really trying to stay on a strict budget these days, so I planned to only use the cash that was leftover from our trip last week….which was $6.

I repeat.  $6.

We didn’t really need anything, surprisingly, so six bucks isn’t quite as ridiculous as it sounds.  Last week I had picked up some fresh blackberries and they were so good!  I was dying to get some more this week.  The vendor I bought from last week was out, so I had to get them from another.  Guess how much they were.

$6.

Ha.  So, I spent my entire budget on blackberries!

Breakfast – decaf iced soy latte (by way of gift card!) with a bowl of berries

They have already been worth ever cent so far.  Delicious:)

Now that we are crackin’ down on our budget, I’m really trying to utilize all of our leftovers.  Hence, this salad for lunch.

chopped fresh spinach, broccoli slaw, corn, leftover black bean burger (recipe below!), vegetarian refried beans, salsa, a sprinkle of cumin and chias

This was just okay.  I had let the second batch of black bean burgers cook a little too long the other night, so this was a bit dry and crumbly. It did the job, though;)

For our anniversary celebration (our anniversary was actually Thursday) last night, we went Cafe 501, a really nice little place in the city.  Jon had been there once a really long time ago, but I had never been!

And enjoy we did.  It was really wonderful.

free bread and garlic oil while we waited – we each had about a piece and a half

Appetizer – hummus with roasted red pepper and garlic.  Served with warm pita bread.

I really could have just ordered this and been perfectly fine…and full.  But of course I didn’t realize that until I had already ordered my meal and eaten about half of the hummus!  eek.

I did thoroughly enjoy this salad, I’m not gonna lie.  And all it’s sweet, crunchy, feta cheesy goodness. It was made up of a bed of fresh greens, feta cheese, spiced pumpkin seeds, granny smith apples and a lemon vinaigrette dressing.  Dressing on the side as to avoid floating lettuce:)  I ate about half.

After dinner we had planned to go to a movie…but alas, we were both tired, and it sounded much better to just head home and cuddle up in bed  to watch something (Isn’t that always better anyway?).  And that we did:)

Okay, now for the two recipes I promised yesterday!!

First up - Spicy Chia Black Bean Burgers


Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed (minced will work)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp avocado (mashed sweet potato will also work)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Divide and shape mixture into four patties
  • Heat George Foreman grill (or skillet) and coat with olive oil
  • Cook patties until crispy

recipe adapted from The Eat Clean Diet Recharged

I made these once before, but this time I tweaked the recipe and cooked them on our George Foreman rather than the stovetop, and they worked quite nicely. They do tend to be a bit more fragile than your average beef/turkey burger, but these held together just fine!

We enjoyed them on Ezekiel buns; I only had the bottom part of the bun and ate it with a fork.  Also added broccoli slaw, spinach, pickles, onions and hummus.

Hi husband and Olive.  hehe.

We also had some baked fries on the side.  I cut up one whole russet potato, spread the pieces on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with a little of this (seasoned salt, garlic powder) and a little of that (ground red pepper) and baked at 400 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes, flipping them every once in awhile.  Don’t forget to spray the pan really well before you lay on the fries! Not that I’ve had a problem with this or anything:)

Tasty!!

Okay, next up is a recipe that isn’t really a full recipe.  More of a how-to of sorts.

As you all know, I participated in the Foodbuzz Ultimate Banana Split Challenge by making this baby

I wasn’t able to eat the entire thing (as no self respecting person would:)…but the three bites I did inhale eat were out-of-this-world!  It tasted every single bit as indulgent as it looks.

To start, I used my food processor to make 3 different kinds of banana soft-serve.  I added a small handful of strawberries to the first batch, about a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the second batch and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter to the third batch.  Each batch contained one whole banana.  All you do is process a frozen banana until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.  Then add your extra ingredient (the possibilities are mind boggling) and process until mixed well.

I froze each flavor for several hours so it would be the right consistency for scooping.

Next I made the coconut whipped cream.

First things first – leave your mixing bowl and beater in the freezer for several hours so it is very cold.  Next, poke a hole (or several) in the bottom of  a can of Thai Coconut Milk (only the full fat version works).  Let the milk drain out the bottom.  Use a can opener to open the top, at which point you’ll see the thick coconut fat.

Scoop the fat out into your mixing bowl.  Mix until smooth, but don’t over mix.

Next add about .5 to 1 cup of powdered sugar and continue mixing until it becomes a whipped consistency. Ta-da!  Vegan whipped cream:)

recipe found here

I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but I have some big news coming up in my next post!  Remember in this post when I said I have “a few other things up my sleeve?”  Well one of those things is going down tomorrow! I am so excited…and I can’t wait to tell you guys.

Talk to you later!

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time to celebrate

Do you ever have one of those days where it just seems like you blink twice and the day is gone?

Today has been that kind of day!  Jon and I went for a little walk with the pups this morning after which I came back and gave some baths before heading back to the gym for some running and yoga.

He (my nephew) wasn’t too keen on holding still, so it’s a bit blurry:)

I also squeezed in 1/2 of a green monster before the gym

Jonathan brought me these purty flowers for our anniversary

For this monsta I used

3 handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1.25 cups almond milk
1 scoop Amazing Grass
leftover chocolate and peanut butter softserve from yesterday (about 1/3 cup)

As you know, yesterday was our 4 year wedding anniversary, and it was such a sweet sweet day:)  We planned on not making a big “to do” about it yesterday because we wanted to celebrate tonight!  We did, however, go out to lunch at our favorite little cafe, Cafe Bella.

I went with the Hummus wrap which was filled with hummus (obvs.:) tomato, greens, onions, cucumbers and feta

Honestly, it was just meh.  I like the sandwich I usually get from there much better.  I’m still glad I tried it though!

Last night we celebrated by making homemade black bean burgers and baked french fries.

Come back tomorrow to get the recipe!  I can assure you, it’s a keeper!

After dinner we spent the evening working on my banana split for the Foodbuzz Ultimate Banana Split Challenge

It may seem silly that we spent the evening of our anniversary making this beauty, but let me tell you – it was so fun!  From making the ice cream, making the coconut whipped cream to staging it all….we really enjoyed it.  We really love working on projects together, so I guess it makes sense!  I’ll be posting these how to’s tomorrow as well!

I must run now – because we’re doing our real celebration tonight!  Tell you all about it tomorrow!

Tomorrow is going to be a pretty full day it seems;)

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Electrolux #splits: Classic Vegan Banana Split

Are you ready for this?

I have something exciting to share with you today!

As someone who has had one grandma pass away due to cancer and another grandma fight (and win!) a battle with cancer, I am passionate about contributing in the pursuit of a cure to this devastating disease.

I’m sure many, if not all of you have or know someone who has battled with cancer, and you probably possess just as much of a desire to fight back as I do.

For this reason, the moment I heard about this exciting opportunity to help raise money and tell everyone about the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), I knew I couldn’t pass it up!!

“…the mission of OCRF is very straightforward: to fund research to find a method of early detection and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer.”

Not only does the OCRF fund research through four different grant programs, they also strive to educate women about ovarian cancer in an effort to make a difference in the lives of those who are at risk.

It is through the diligent dedication and commitment of people just like you and me that the OCRF is able to continue in this crucial pursuit.

In an effort to raise money and help spread the word about the OCRF, Foodbuzz is teaming together with Electrolux and Kelly Ripa by sponsoring a sweet summertime challenge and a Top 9 Takeover for Featured Publishers!

During these long summer months, when the air is so thick you could slice it with a knife, Foodbuzz knows that one easy and healthy way to stay cool is by indulging in your favorite summertime treats!  That is why they’ve created the ultimate banana split challenge!

The best part is that for every banana split submitted by a Featured Publisher, Foodbuzz will donate $50 to the OCRF! Also, Foodbuzz will select the top 9 banana splits posts to be featured in the Top 9 Splits takeover!

To participate in the challenge, I have created the Classic Vegan Banana Split!

This split is loaded with homemade goodness.  Three generous scoops of homemade vegan banana softserve in three classic flavors: peanut butter, strawberry and chocolate!  Topped off with made-from-scratch vegan coconut whipped cream, sprinkled with carob chips, dusted with chia seeds (of course!) and crowned by two happy cherries!

I am so honored and excited to be a part of this challenge and to be involved with a company who reaches out to support cancer research.

Now go make your own banana split and stay cool!

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happy 4

I love this guy more than food bloggers love natural light.  times a million.

I am the luckiest gal in the world to have held onto him for four years of married life.  Every year has gotten progressively better, I kid you not.

Fun fact about Jon and I: I knew I was going to marry him for a good year before he even considered going out with me.  Ask this girl if you don’t believe me.  Or this girl.  Or a handful of other people for that matter…who am I kidding? Everyone knew. lol.

He is my sunshine and my moon, and he makes my world go ’round.  Every day of life is better and every night is sweeter because he exists.

Love him with all I am.

Happy Anniversary to us.

The end.

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