My Morning Cocktail + WIAW

I love a cocktail.

Shameless, I tell you.

During Junk-Free January, my sole cocktail is my Morning Cocktail.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I start every day with this apple cider vinegar-laced gem:

My Morning Cocktail:

Glutamine and Aminos are both great for synthesizing muscle protein and preventing catabolism (muscle breakdown).  Key if you are trying to build muscle.

The Apple Cider Vinegar is what I get more questions about.  Here’s why it’s my jam:

  • It improves digestion and “regularity” (hence the glory of taking it first thing in the morning…)
  • Helps clear up acne (I also use it as toner)
  • Relieves joint pain and prevents muscle fatigue after exercise
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Increases metabolism
  • Breaks down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them
  • Natural heartburn remedy
  • Lowers/regulates blood pressure,  bad cholesterol, and glucose levels
  • May control fleas (hopefully this is more applicable to your pets)

Drinking this each morning truly is energizing.  I no longer need coffee… until mid-afternoon when I’m freezing and getting tired of the computer screen.


This WIAW post features 4 meals (meals #2-5) that were totally prepped on Sunday evening.  Planning is the #1 thing you can do to start your year off right in terms of nutrition!


Check out my 7 meals below, and then click here to head over to Jenn Peas and Crayons to get to see how others dined this week!


Meal 1:

After my morning cocktail, I set out to make one of my new staples: the Sweet Potato Pan-lette.


It’s a great, low-carb breakfast option.  Since I’m experimenting with a higher fat-lower carb diet this week, I made a couple of modifications:

  • Used 1/4 C egg whites + 1 whole egg
  • Added 1 tsp ground flax seed
  • Reduced the amount of sweet potato to 1/4 C

Meal 2:

The best part about a higher fat diet is bison.

I enjoyed a bison burger with apple slices and a high-protein, Strange But Good dipper:

  • 1/4 C no-salt cottage cheese
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 drop lemon Stevia
  • Sprinkle of cayenne

Meal 3:

Lunch was a super-easy fancy meal.  Salmon, roasted squash and eggplant, and celery.  Since I prep most of my food for the week on Sunday nights, this took all of 30 seconds to throw together.

Meal 4:

This was my post-workout meal: trout, broccoli, and hummus.  Again, all of this was prepped on Sunday so I could have it on the plate and in my belly STAT.

It was my first time making trout and I really liked it!  It is slightly fishy, but not offensively so.

Apparently it was a good workout because I wanted a little something extra after.  I busted out the jerky samples Simply Snackin’ sent me.  The flavor I tried would certainly qualify as Strange But GoodBeef Sirloin with Cranberries & Blueberries.

I’m not a huge jerky fan… but OMG.  This was fantastically moist and delicious.  Yes, jerky is salty… but if you’re going to eat it this is the way to go.  It has about half the sodium content you see in most (270).  Not to mention they are all-natural, high protein, and low calories.  Score.

Meal 5:

That trout was good… so I had it again.  Should have bought more… I only have 1 serving left!

I ate it on a bed of spinach with roasted broccoli slaw and brussels.  I coated them in a sauce I’d forgotten about: Lemon Tahini.  Served with a mini-Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

Meal 6:

The incredible, edible egg.  PB & Ceggs-style, topped with peanut butter.  The recipe is for a vegan version with tofu, but tonight I used real eggs.  And I used almond extract rather than maple.  Never.  Gets.  Old.

Meal 7:

Low carb is hard.  My low carb diet is high in carbs.  I’m trying… it’s a lot of error.  Who knew so many veggies were carb-loaded?  Ugh.

All of this to say that by meal 7 I’d had more carbs that I targeted.  Solution?  Low-carb protein creation.

It wasn’t awesome.  So I topped it with goji berries, sugar-free marshmallow creme, and cacao nibs.  And still… it wasn’t awesome. #fail


The protein count for the day: 177.0g.  The carbs?  Lets just say I suck at low carb.

Don’t forget to join the Strange But Good link up this Friday!!! :)

Do you use Apple Cider Vinegar?  What benefits have you seen?

Have you ever tried to go low-carb?  Any tips are appreciated!


  1. says

    That’s some good looking eats- I’ve never tried bison but it’s on my list…i can’t seem to get enough meat lately! The only time I tried low-carbing was my attempt at Atkins…that lasted all of 2 weeks but I remember eating a LOT of eggs & cheese and spending a boat load of money on those disgusting Atkin shakes/bars. Thank goodness those days are long gone and for what it’s worth, you actually make low-carbing look delicious :)!

  2. says

    I use apple cider vinegar only occasionally in salad dressing. I coudln’t imaging drinking it straight up.
    I could never go low-carb, I love carbs way too much! There are so many delicious carbs out there, like brown rice, whole grain bread, fresh seasonal fruit … I couldn’t live withouth them.

  3. says

    So I found these cute snuggly (and not pink) arm warmers. They start at pretty much your elbow and go all the way up your hands, but leave the tip of your fingers covered. I suspect they were designed for outdoor years, but I wear them all the time now, and they help keep me warm. That and the extra pair of socks.
    Your morning cocktail still scares me a little, but then again, when it comes to strange but good, I scare easily. I am sorely tempted to try it though since it has so many benefits.

  4. says

    i have a feeling if i try that jerky, i might become addicted and have to carry floss and gum with me every 5 minutes. But kinda worth it, yes?

  5. says

    I’m not good at low-one thing and high-the other thing. I do much better with a healthy combo of both. I know you’re on a mission, Laura so it makes sense to you. Thanks for the first really good and simple explanation of why the ACV is good for us. Do you need to add the other things to get those benefits or is the ACV alone that give them? Just curious. Thanks!!

  6. says

    I swear by apple cider vinegar! I have it everyday! Tony and I were talking about starting to do the amino drinks, but we are both worried that they taste funny. I’m starting to move further away from coffee and really get into my teas lately. I’m obsessed with Bengal spice tea!

    • Laura says

      I really like the aminos… not as thrilled with the protein powder. It tastes good, but you can find better stats in other powders.

  7. says

    Great post, sweetie! So interesting you are experimenting with a new diet! Is there a reason why? To see if your body responds better? I thought you were getting AMAZING results before 😀 <3

    Were you tracking your carbs along with your protein before?

    I am so happy you tried trout 😀 I LOVE IT

    • Laura says

      Just for fun… it’s less fun than I thought. More to come on Monday…

      Not really tracking, but I had an idea. I’m tracking this week and whoa – food is carb-y!

  8. says

    Low carb is definitely a struggle for me too! I get cranky when I don’t get enough! Everything looks great to me though. Your breakfast looks so good!

  9. says

    I have a bottle of ACV but I don’t often use it. I’m interested in your morning cocktail though. What exactly are the Fitmixer Aminos? I guess I could click on the link!

    Glad you found the trout.

  10. says

    I have been using ACV for a few months now – every morning mixed with water, apple juice and stevia. I never knew about the heartburn thing…but come to think of it, I haven’t had heartburn in months. Apparently, it works!

    And I just started taking aminos before my workouts this week…I actually love it! I feel like I have more energy at the gym, and the fact that it tastes like kool-aid (I have the Optimum Nutrition version in blue raspberry) is definitely an added bonus.

  11. says

    I love the look of your Sweet Potato Pan-lett. Yum! I currently am eating low-carb & you’re right, it’s not easy! Yes, sadly, so many veggies pack quite a few carbs in them… I love brussel sprouts, but those put me a bit high on carbs the other day. I tend to eat a lot of broccoli & spinach since they’re very low in net carbs.

    Was thinking of trying your PB & Ceggs, but not sure if I can get over the thought of putting PB on eggs… but, on the other hand, it’s tough to find low-carb things you CAN put your PB on… hmm.. might have to try it since a girl still has to have her PB! 😉

    • Laura says

      I did the same with brussels. *sigh*

      Let me know if the try the pb and eggs. It really is good. Eggs are fairly neutral tasting so you can really add anything. :)

  12. says

    since I began using ACV regularly, I have not seen ANY fleas! 😉 just kidding… I have to say I have never seen a flea in my house, my dogs do not have them (maybe they’re making their own cocktails?)

    I love it – and am going to say it DOES help with joint pain!

  13. says

    All of your meals look so delicious! Interesting, though, that I don’t consider bison as a higher fat protein choice. From what I know it’s supposed to be leaner than beef. But I guess if we weren’t eating red meat at all (which besides bison, I really don’t), then it’s higher fat than chicken and vegetarian proteins. Sorry, I’ll move on . . . :)

    I drink about 1-2 T of apple cider mixed with a tall glass of water and 4 drops of stevia (just enough to cut the tart of the ACV) every morning as soon as I wake up. I’ve learned to love it! It’s a great way to start the morning.

  14. says

    I’ve been meaning to try the acv, so many benefits! I’m amazed at your protein count, as usual. I’ve been more aware of my carb-protein balance lately. Trying to find the right balance for running is tricky! My body always thinks it could use more carbs… :)

    • Laura says

      Running a whole other ball game… I’m actually going to load up on carbs next week in prep for my adventure race.

  15. says

    Is the apple cider vinegar similar to kombucha at all? I used to drink that religiously and it had a very vinegary taste, so wondering if they are similar at all? I like your idea of a morning cocktail. Sounds like something that would be great to keep at work to wake up, or mix right before running out the door instead of coffee!

  16. says

    I drank ACV religiously for months but didn’t really see any changes so it kind of tapered off. I also tried going low-carb for a while but that didn’t go over well at all. I found myself feeling sluggish and cranky all the time, and my cravings were just insanity. I’m a girl that needs her bread!

  17. says

    I’ve done low carb many-a-times. I don’t mind it at all…the first day is always the most ‘difficult’ but once it’s over…I can easily get into the routine of problem.

    I’ve never used Apple Cider Vinegar.

    Cheers 😉

  18. says

    Oh man, I’d be a flop at low-carb too. Although both of those trout plates look pretty darn good! Especially if they didn’t even need cooking–I’m such a fan of prepping everything ahead of time, I’d never be able to get meals in if they required more than “take out of fridge and assemble.”

  19. says

    I tried to put a bit of ACV into my dog’s water many years ago.. just a few drops… and she refused to go any where near it!

    It is a good ingredient for so many things, though, I do agree.

  20. Christy says

    People think I’m crazy, but I use ACV and water to rinse my hair after I “no-poo” it with baking soda and water. My hair is crazy curly and has always been SOO dry, no matter how much conditioner I would slather on. This method, combined with homemade flax seed hair gel, has made my hair look AWESOME. But-yes, I fully acknowledge that it sounds absolutely, straight-jacket crazy. I’m cool with that.

    On low carbing it-I’m in the beginning of the whole30, which is pretty darn low on carbs, and the way that I’ve been satisfied has been to make sure to have a decent amount of healthy fat with every meal, usually either coconut or olive oil. I might recommend coconut oil, if you like the taste (I LOVE it), since it has medium chain fatty acids that can be quickly used for energy instead of going into storage. But, yes, low carbing it can totally be very challenging sometimes. Be encouraged though; the outcome will totally be worth all the work!

    • Laura says

      Ohhhh… I love that idea! I don’t have curly hair, but i dye it a lot so it gets dry.

      I have been doing the coconut oil. Need to do more though! Maybe for “dessert” tonight. :)

  21. says

    When I was doing the GoodBelly 12-Day Challenge I stopped taking my water-ACV-orange stevia ‘chug’ (more than a shot, but still not sipped…), because I was scared I might OVER stimulate my system. :) I have started taken it when I feel like I need to, mainly for digestive purposes, and I definitely do notice a change there. [Let’s just say that I took it after a slight overindulgence in tortilla chips this past weekend and it helped out SO much…] It is definitely a kickstarter.

  22. says

    I love ACV, but I never remember to take it consistently enough to get all the benefits. :) I’m doing better this week though – had my morning ACV with water every day so far! Just need to make it a habit, I know.

    And I would seriously suck at low carb. You are the queen of planning food and if you can’t do it, I know it wouldn’t work for me!

  23. says

    OMG GIMME that Sweet Potato pancake thing! SOOOO YUM! :)
    I love your “Junk-Free January” idea… HOPEFULLY I will be able to work up to Junk Free Jan & Feb… And then add on March, April, May… Ah ha ha! You catch my drift? LOL

    • Laura says

      I am on your drift! The reality is that I’ll be 99% junk-free until my next competiton… and then the next… It’s to hard to get on and off that train!

  24. says

    I tried ACV drinks for about a week but just could not get used to it. I would chug it down and then half way through my workout have to pee haha so i told myself it wasn’t really conducive to my morning routine.

  25. says

    I always look forward to your WIAW, they’re always different and ALWAYS make me hungry. I’ve noticed that in your recipes, you have the craziest ingredients (i.e. liquid smoke) and I’m wondering where you buy most of these uncommon foods.

    • Laura says

      Thank you!!! Liquid smoke is pretty easy to find – I got mine at Whole Foods. Most of my stuff come from there, actually. They should pay me. 😉

  26. says

    I am so excited to see Bragg’s on here! MY back doc’s secretary suggested I take a couple tablespoons a day for asthma and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try, so I have been doing it. ANd thus far, I almost think it works better than my inhalers!! Who knew?!

  27. says

    Your eats always make me hungry. I like your morning cocktail, but must say I like my alcoholic cocktails more;) I’ve tried ACV and had some negative effects from it, so if I do drink it I have to have it maybe at most twice per week. Of course I’d be the one to experience the bad stuff hah. I’ve never tried bison before, but I always here good things about it!

    • Laura says

      I was never a big jerky person but these are a lot different than your typical. I shared with a friend who already ordered her own!

  28. says

    I am so intrigued by all you eat & do! I have read about the apple cider thing for a while now but have never tried it… maybe one day! 😉 I have been reading a lot of things & Instagram things about Fitmixer – so what is the deal with that company…. Love the sweet potato pan-lette! :)

    • Laura says

      You should! It’s an easy recipe. 😉

      I like Aminos in general. The fitmixer brand tastes like kool-aid, so that’s just icing on the cake.

  29. says

    Ooh I’ve had rainbow trout before and it tastes amazing! Kind of want to try bison 0.0

    That’s interesting that you mention that vegetables can have a lot of carbs!

  30. says

    I was at whole foods today and seriously debated for a few minutes on getting the apple cider vinegar. I really want to try it but I chickened out. After reading all the good things though I may need to reconsider and man up!

  31. says

    I was just thinking I need to start a morning cocktail routine. It’s just too darn cold when I get out of bed. He he. Woo hoo for ACV!!!! Maybe Kitty needs some. Wait, he doesn’t have hair.

  32. says

    Ahh low carb… I could never do it .. I like my cereal and corn bread way, way too much LOL. I love that you drink your morning cocktail in a cocktail glass. That’s awesome haha!

  33. says

    Oh girl. Low carb. The bane of my existence. I think it’s the reason I’m so irritable lately. My new trainer gave me a diet to follow that is SO strict and literally 50g carbs or LESS a day! I have to admit I go a bit over every day because the one thing I refused to give up was my Greek yogurt, because I can make it into a treat before bed or a perfect afternoon snack, loaded with protein. But it only has 9g per cup. I’m so upset though bc I LOVE fruit, beans, cereal, oats at every meal, the special Trader Joe’s cereals my mommy buys and sends to me…NO NUTS! WHAT?!?! Does this man kick puppies too?? The only carb-loaded item I eat is my morning oatmeal per his instructions…
    we’ll just see how long this “eating lifestyle” lasts… especially being a baking blogger, this totally blows. There has to be another trainer or dietitian that I can be in a bathing suit by summer and fit in my wedding dress by Oct without making me give up carbs. Right?
    Plus I have to sneak my “healthy fats” into my meals without recording them (which I feel guilty about) because he doesn’t approve of them, but I know that they are essential to my hormonal balance.
    That is all. I’m done hijacking your post!

    • Laura says

      Giiiirl… that sounds brutal. Normally you don’t cut carbs AND fat. Bring on the tuna and chicken! :) Can’t wait to see what fun foods you come up with!

  34. Erin says

    Is that the Fruit Punch flavor? Tried any of their other flavors for your cocktail? Or Optimum Nutrition’s Amino flavors? Just curious which would best mask the oh so fantastic flavor of the ACV.
    Oh shoot, one more question…you said with this cocktail you didn’t need coffee anymore, did you suffer caffeine headaches when you quit?

    • Laura says

      It is – I don’t care for grape-flavored anything. I haven’t tried any other aminos, but I bet any would work.

      No caffine headaches, but I don’t have a very addictive personality when it comes to that. If you do have headaches, you could try some green tea.


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