WIAW- Creamy Quinoa with Bruschetta

Hi there!

I know it’s a cliché way to start off these posts, but I really can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! I love it when Friday comes around quickly🙂

Yesterday was full of goodness, starting with another 5 minute Buckwheat Banana Pancake. Topped with Greek yogurt and nut butter, because there’s nothing more sad than a naked pancake! Haha

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I used homemade almondmilk that I made following this recipe from Oh She Glows- it only took me about 5 minutes and I was happy with how it turned out!

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A snack of the rest of this Goji Fire Trail Mix, which, with most of the spicy-ness ending up in the bottom of the bag,  made me take a million trips to the water fountain during school😉

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I love that they sell this mix in the WF Bulk bins. Has anyone heard of Whole Foods Parking Lot music video? It definitely made for a few laughs😉

I used avocado to pack a quick lunch of…

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..you guessed it! A wrap.

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3 hours later? A Greek yogurt mess- I love these. Cocoa powder+organic yogurt+honey is a great combo, especially when you put banana and granola in the mix.

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And a really, really good dinner of creamy quinoa, an egg, and some bruschetta sauce. Especially good because the hardest part was cooking the quinoa, and everything else took only a minute!

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Speaking of bruschetta, Trader Joe’s Bruschetta is the product of the week! I love how just a little goes a long way.

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Thanks to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting the WIAW linkup every Wednesday!

Sunnie

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Sunday Night Prep

I’m guilty of spending probably way too much time in the kitchen on Sunday. I don’t usually ride on Sundays, so I somehow always end up messing around with different recipe ideas for a while. Almost all of my recipes come from these Sunday experiments🙂 I also take about 20 minutes on Sunday night to get some prep done for the week. Here are a few quick steps that make healthy choices a whole lot easier.

1.) Make lunches the night before. I always try to make lunch right after dinner the night before, when everything is already out. Usually my lunches end up being chicken hummus veggie wraps, which are super easy to make and have plenty of staying power. Often, I make 2 wraps at a time, so I don’t have to worry about packing one the next night. Making lunch takes less than 10 minutes and is much appreciated in the morning rush!

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2.) Pack up healthy snacks. Whether it’s baking up a few Power Muffins or packing trail mix into Ziplocs, having ready to go snacks around is always a good thing.

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I made these power muffins with Living Intentions Super Flour, which I’m going to do a mini review of🙂 This flour is raw, sprouted, gluten-free, and made from super clean ingredients like buckwheat, white chia, almonds, and a few other powerfoods.

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Like the website says, you can literally eat it by the spoonful, since it has a really good texture and is naturally sweet. I stirred it into Greek yogurt, which I’m definitely doing again! It’s full of healthy fats and is low in sugar, great for whipping up healthy breads. The website even has a super easy pie crust recipe here. Love this stuff!

3.) Make your protein source. Whether it’s chicken, tofu, or beans, marinating and cooking your protein makes life a whole lot easier throughout the week. I usually bake a few chicken breasts and use them in everything from wraps to soups to salads.

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4.) Freeze bananas!  Maybe the most important one for me, the smoothie-holic.  Frozen bananas make them so creamy!

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5.) And last but not least, fill up a few bottles with water, tea, lemon water, or whatever you like to drink throughout the day. I’m way more likely to drink if there’s a water bottle in front of me. Besides, the kids at my school love to always rotate the water spigot on the water fountains so that it’s facing the poor next person about to take a drink. It’s usually just easier to pack one and avoid the possibility of getting soaked haha.

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It only takes about 20 minutes, and it saves us from this all-too-familiar apology😉

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Sunnie

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Saturday Morning Smoothie

Lazy Saturday mornings call for smoothies. Decadent, creamy, ice-cold smoothies. Smoothies that taste like I put a pie in the blender. Powered up with a handful of spinach and a few other superfoods, this glass definitely started the weekend on a good note🙂

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Saturday Morning Smoothie

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Ingredients:

1 frozen ripe banana

1 cup almondmilk

1/4 avocado

1/2 cup yogurt

1 T. flaxseed

handful spinach

3-4 ice cubes

squeeze of lemon juice

Extras: 1 T. Agave, bee pollen, green powder (optional)

Directions:

Blend it up, then top with granola, nuts, oats, or anything you want🙂

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This smoothie took less than 10 minutes total to make, and that includes putting away everything I pulled out of the fridge, as well completing the dreaded washing-of-the-blender.😉 Green smoothies are a magical thing.

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Done, done, and done.

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Looking for something warmer?

Heather’s Spicy Quiche sounds amazing…

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and I’m definitely making Kylie’s Healthy Apple Pie Breakfast asap!

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Here’s to a great weekend!

Sunnie

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Cafe Press Giveaway!

 You all know I love nutrition. And horses, and writing, and photography- the list goes on and on. One thing I love that I haven’t talked about much is Digital Arts! I love designing, making, and customizing. So when Cafe Press kindly offered samples for me and a gift card for one of you, I couldn’t wait! What is Cafe Press? It’s a site that allows you to easily customize practically anything you can think of, and all for a good price.  I got so excited, in fact, that I thought I’d start with the giveaway, then show you guys the surprise samples in their own separate posts🙂

I’m fascinated that you can completely design your own i-Phone case! I made a few practice ones to show you. You start out with a template like this:

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…and then you can add photos, text, shape, colors- you name it! You could do a business logo and name…

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Or go for something pretty and personalized like this!

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And you had to see this one coming… a fully customized Zazu case! Although considering he got into the trash again and is no longer currently on my good list, that probably won’t be happening😉

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Of course, there are plenty of other items besides phone cases! Flip flops, golf balls, bedding, clothing, hats, stationary, and tons of others fun things. This tote would be pretty impressive walking into the grocery store😉

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I also had a blast scrolling through their pre-made items! This cute thermos made me smile:

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This shirt and snack pack also made me laugh🙂

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And motivating workout bottles? Definitely a yes!

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These gifts would make great presents for family and friends, too🙂

Want your own? Because Cafe Press is offering a $25 gift card to one of you lucky ducks!

To enter, just leave a comment letting me know what you would like to customize!

For additional entries:

This giveaway is open to US residents only
The winner will be randomly chosen next Friday- March 15th, 2013.
Huge thanks to Cafe Press!
Ready, set, go!
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This Week’s Favorites!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I have plenty of favorites. Hummus, almond butter, green smoothies-you name it. Here are my current faves!

1.) Living Intentions Mango Goji Fire. This is the best trail mix I have ever had, and trust me, I’ve had my every single kind my fair share of trail mixes! It’s spicy and sweet, it’s sprouted, and it has rockin’ stats.

Hehe look at that puppy…

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This mix is bursting with superfoods, and gets a touch of heat from Habanero. There’s also mangos, currants, raisins, pepitas, almonds, and lots more in the mix.

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I packed mine up into to-go baggies for easy snacking. Really, you have to find this- they sell it in the raw bulk bins at Whole Foods, as well as by the bag!

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2.) Chicken. Sometimes I don’t want to touch it, other times I can’t get enough. The classic flexitarian. I actually baked these organic chicken breasts up with ketchup on top, which gave them a nice crunch.

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3.) Simple green salads. You can’t beat a classic salad, especially with avocado and a nice oil/vinegar/salt/pepper dressing. So healthy, too!

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4.) Frozen Bananas. I know it’s March and all, but my sister and I have been loving frozen bananas. Can you tell by our stash? ;) I’m thinking about rolling them in dark chocolate and nuts next time.

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And some favorites I’ve found around the blog world….

 Sun-dried Tomato and Cornmeal Biscuits from Sarah over at Ingredients of a Fit Chick. This girl knows how to bake🙂

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Eggplant Parm Sandwiches from Kelly of Hidden Fruits and Veggies. This recipe is lightened up using nutritional yeast, mozz, and a homemade spaghetti sauce- yum!

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Cinnamon Almond Flour Coconut Bites from Jodye, who runs Chocolate and Choufleur. Easy and healthy!

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If that doesn’t make you hungry, I don’t know what will😉

Sunnie

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WIAW- Buckwheat Banana Pancakes!

This WIAW is all about…

Buckwheat flour. Gluten-free, full of fiber and protein, bakes easily in everything. Where has this been all my life?!

It’s my new favorite food find, and I’ve been eating it in everything from decadent yet super easy pancakes…

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…to chocolate muffins…

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…to granola…

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I was surprised at how inexpensive it is, too! You can pick it up at Whole Foods, or you can buy a good-sized bag online for $4.29 at Swanson Vitamins here. I always end up wanting to buy everything in Swanson, so I have to bring out my self-control whenever I go on that site!😉

Back to the pancakes. These are just like my oat flour ones, but the buckwheat makes them more hearty and dense. I loved, loved, loved how much staying-power just one of these had!

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The recipe is really, really easy.

Ingredients:

Wet:

1 ripe banana

1 /4 cup almondmilk

1 egg+1 egg white

Dry:

1/2 c. buckwheat flour

1 T. or so of a good-tasting protein powder (optional)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

You take your dry ingredients and mix them in a bowl:

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 Take your wet ingredients and mix them in a separate bowl:

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Then gradually stir the dry into the wet, mixing until smooth. Heat a pan on medium high with a smidge of olive oil and pour the batter in!Simple as that. This recipe makes two small/medium pancakes, but I decided to just make one really big one🙂

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Topped with maple almond butter, cashew butter, banana, and Greek yogurt? Yep, I’m sold🙂

Happy WIAW!

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Home Sweet Home

After an amazing trip and a long drive home, I’m back on the blog :) We headed out of town for a horse competition, and it was a blast! Spending time with friends, family, and horses made for an awesome vacation.

I lucked out with the weather- it was up in the 70s for most of the time!

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I was lucky enough to be able to show a pony named Peccy, who was glad to enjoy the nice weather as well. She isn’t mine, but I was so fortunate to be able to ride her!

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It was freezing when we started driving, so my mom pulled into Starbucks for tea. That’s always a good detour😉

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Once we arrived, I got an long overdue impromptu haircut, since my hair wouldn’t fit in my helmet. We took about 3 inches off, and I was glad to have those split ends gone!

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The facility had some great lunch options. I loved the salads there, and this one had chickpeas, oil/vinegar, sundried tomatoes, and avocado.

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We kept it healthy at breakfast with nut butter/banana on instant oats, which are the best invention ever for traveling.

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I may have had all those healthy eats, but I didn’t miss out on the chocolate gelato either🙂

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We got home around midnight, and I walked into my sister’s room to find this sleepy puppy:

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He didn’t even wake up- I thought he was going to be a least a little excited to see me!;)

And here’s a little sneak peek for tomorrow’s post. This morning, I made Buckwheat Banana Pancakes, which were as decadent as they were filling. I can do serious pancake damage, but ended up splitting this with my sister.

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Yep, I’ll probably be making them everyday for the next few weeks😉 Have a great day!

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OU81 Bar Review!

Ready for another bar review?😉

The great people over at OU81 sent over 3 bars for Modern Girl Nutrition to review! Based out of Las Vegas, OU81 was formerly known as Nosh Bar until a recent name change. Here’s some bar background from their site:

The OU81 bar is a primal all-natural, gluten-free, grain-free nutritional bar composed primarily with the following ingredients; pumpkin seeds, almonds, dates, dried fruit, organic virgin coconut oil, grass fed whey protein powder, raw honey, pure vanilla extract and sea salt.

Sounds great to me! I couldn’t wait to review the bars because, due to their small size, I thought they would be healthy and easy running/school fuel.  I was also curious to see how much staying power they had! They sent over their 3 flavors, Coconut Cranberry, Chocolate Cherry, and Chocolate Coffee.

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The cherry lover that I am, the Chocolate Cherry was the first to go! What these bars lack in size they certainly make up in decadence! This one was very rich and tasted exactly like a Maraschino cherry.

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For a to-scale look, they are about the size of the palm of my hand, which is pretty small for a snack but great when you need something fast and easy.

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The next one I broke into was the Coconut Cranberry, which had big pieces of cranberry all throughout it- yum! I liked this one almost as much as the Chocolate Cherry.

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Last but not least, I split the Chocolate Coffee with my coffee-loving sister ;) I paired it with apple slices and yogurt+cocoa powder for quite the fancy dessert! If you like coffee, you’ll love this bar! It had a really really strong coffee taste which went well with the chocolate. My sister was a big fan as well.

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I also paired the bars with lunches…

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…and cut them up to add to my homemade trail mix. This was by far my favorite use! They are way better (and healthier!) than M&Ms🙂

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As far as nutrition goes, these are the real deal. Healthy fats make up the base, and grass-fed whey protein powder gives the bars a nice boost. The bar has 3.5 g saturated fat mainly from the coconut oil, and 10 g sugar.

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I would definitely buy these bars as running or hiking snacks! For an average day bar they are a little small for me, but they definitely make up for it in taste and staying power🙂

Let me know if you have tried these bars and what you think of them!

Have a great day!

Sunnie

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On the Road

We’ve headed out of town for a few days, and I am SO excited! We were supposed to leave at around 6 AM (Translation: 8:30 AM), so I made sure to pack a few healthy staples up the night before! On our across the country road trip last summer, I learned quite a few things about keeping up the healthy choices while traveling. Sometimes, all you have is this…

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..and that’s okay. But it helps to have quite a few healthy snacks on board for the trip down as well as when you arrive 🙂 I didn’t specifically go shopping for the trip, but a few weeks ago I began collecting a few things from here and there and putting them in a bag so there wouldn’t be any pressure on packing day.

1.) One of these items was Way Better Chips, which I bought another bag of since I loved the samples so much!

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2.) Almonds, these cute little flax packs, and a frozen Greek yogurt for the car ride. I love freezing individual yogurts- 5 yours later they thaw and turn into fro-yo!

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3.) Lydia’s Green powder sample and a few power muffins

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4.) Orgains, OU81 Bars that just came in for review, and trail mix.

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5.) Last but not least, we can’t forget good old instant oats, as well as fruit! I packed in apples and bananas.

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And just for fun:

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True!

And more thing: Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my lovely readers for leaving such nice comments all the time! They really do make my day🙂

Sunnie

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WIAW- Short and Sweet

Hi there!

It’s WIAW again- always fun! This WIAW is going to be short and sweet, because my internet connection is being slower than molasses and Zazu keeps asking to go outside every 5 seconds haha.  Let’s get right to it😉

Breakfast of banafied oats with chocolate pumpkin seeds, and carrot/cucumber/apple/lemon juice. Classic combo!

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Snack of a mini power muffin from my new favorite recipe. I have to keep making batches of these because they go fast in my family!

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My ever so predictable lunch of a wrap, Way Better chips, and an apple. #nevergetsold

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After school snack of Stonyfield Greek plain with cocoa powder and raw supergreen granola. The granola might look odd, but it just tastes like coconut and is so good!

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Then it was off to do barn chores. Buddy did his first jumping show this week and was such a good pony! I’m so blessed to have them in my life.

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A loaded sweet potato with a probably too many spoonfuls of hummus became dinner- my new favorite! (Apologies for the picture repeat)

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Dessert and product loving are all wrapped up in one! My mom went on a quick errand to CVS for a few things, and returned home with this! My first time ever trying Justin’s Maple Almond Butter did not disappoint, especially paired with banana. It’s really just a big jar of bliss.

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And Zazu even got a tiny taste😉

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Thanks to the awesome Jenn for hosting WIAW each week!

Have a great day,

Sunnie

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