Laughter Is Good Medicine + WIAW

It takes a lot to shock me.

 

Even more than it takes to offend me.

When I wrote Monday’s post, I fully expected to get some hater comments.  When the opposite thing happened… I was blown away.  Not only did people leave a ton of comments, but they said nice things or even agreed!  In fact, I think people were more offended by the fact that I don’t like dogs than by my disinterest in children.

One of my philosophies is to not take myself too seriously.  I love to laugh at situations, stupid stuff other people do, stupid stuff I do (there’s a lot)… anything.  I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously.  Robin Williams was a great example of that.  He’d battled demons for a long while, but spent his life making other people laugh.  I have battled with depression.  In fact, many people in my family have wrestled with it.  I bet a lot of you can identify.

It’s okay to be sad.  It’s okay to ask for help.  And it’s okay to make light of the situation.  Laughter is good medicine.  And remember…

Robin williams dick joke

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This WIAW is sort of a mashup of 2 days of food.  I was too busy at work to take many pictures.  Shocking, I know.

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

My inner fat kid loves baked goods.

 

So does my outer fat kid.

I really could eat baked goods all day long.  Keep your Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids, I’ll take the homemade oatmeal cookies.

Sadly, cookies aren’t exactly on my training plan.  Until now.  I strange’d it up in a storm of “use everything in my pantry.”

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

 

I balled up a version of one of my favorite cookies because everything’s better as balls.  I also altered the ingredient list a bit so it can be eaten guilt-free.  Not that I feel guilty about eating dessert… but sometimes my abs do.

These chocolate chip-laced treats are just as good as the real thing.  Really!  My boss ate one and said “oh my god… these are good!” with a only slightly suppressed tone of  surprise.

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

 

You could probably use any flour here – try coconut flour to make it gluten free.  They can easily be made vegan with a flax egg.  And, if you’re not ready to bring back pumpkin yet, try mashed sweet potato or banana!

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Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

Oatmeal Protein Cookie Balls

  • 1 C almond meal
  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C spelt flour
  • 2 scoops (62 g) vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals rice protein)
  • 2 T  brown sugar, packed
  • 2 T Stevia (or more brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 C water
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 3 T egg white (or flax egg)
  • 2 tsp NuNaturals simple syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp maple pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C sugar-free chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

In a small bowl mix coconut oil (softened in micro if necessary), syrup, egg white, water, and extract.  Pour wet mixture into the dry.  Stir until well-combined (you can use your CLEAN hands).

Fold in the chocolate chips.  Make balls of ~2 T of dough, place on cookie sheet and and flatten with your palm.

Bake for 10-12 mins at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Makes about 30 cookies.

*See notes in post above for gluten-free, vegan, and other options!

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

I’m thinking I need to finally try a clean(er) cheesecake of my own next!

Baked goods or candy?

What childhood favorite would you like to health-ify?

 

Elvis Jicama Porridge

The King needs no introduction.

 

That’s code for “I couldn’t think of anything cleaver.”

Seriously though.  How can you go wrong with peanut butter, bananas, bacon and chocolate?  Maybe if you’re vegan… but you could add TVP bacon or salted nuts instead!  The key is the sweet and the salty.

Elvis Jicama Porridge

 

You see the good, so where’s the strange?  I’m assuming some of you will think the jicama is (still) strange.  Think of it like chicken.  Or oatmeal if you want a more breakfast-y analogy.  It takes on any flavor.

What results is a bowl of creamy, peanut buttery porridge topped with sweet ‘naners and chocolate with salty deliciousness.  Mmmmm… bacon…

Elvis Jicama Porridge

I need a cold shower…

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Elvis Jicama Porridge

Elvis Jicama Porridge

  • Jicama porridge
  • 2 T peanut flour (or peanut butter)
  • Banana slices
  • Bacon pieces
  • Chocolate Syrup

 

Prepare jicama porridge according to these instructions, adding peanut flour at the end.

Top with desired amount of banana slices, bacon “sprinkles,” and chocolate syrup.  I made a quick syrup using cocoa powder, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a little stevia.  

Devour.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

Don’t forget to record your #MoveHappy workouts here for a chance to win this week’s prizes from Quest and Nutrix Hawaii!

Are you a fan of the King?

What is your favorite oatmeal topping?

 

Spirulina Cherry TVP Oats

Green is so easily considered strange.

 

So this recipe feels like a cop-out.

These green oats are legit strange though!  It’s not the green you’re expecting, and it’s not really even oats.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I have a thing for TVP oatmeal.  TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein) is like chicken.  Or tofu.  It tastes like whatever flavor you apply to it.  A sweet bowl of TVP oats isn’t hard to make good!

Spirulina Cherry TVP Oats

 

Now for the green part.  It’s spirulina.  Heather repped Nutrex Hawaii at the Blend Retreat this year and generously shared a few samples with me.  To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with it.  I knew it’s healthy.  Spirulina is a microalgae that grows naturally in healthy bodies of water.  It’s good for energy, immunity, cellular health, and cardiovascular, eye and brain health.  It’s also high in protein and Vitamins A, K1, K2, and B12. 

Did I mention it’s super-green?  It begs for #strangebutgood applications.  You want a bite, I swear…

Eat Me

 

Also found at Blend was a shiny new bottle of Cherry-Vanilla NuNaturals Liquid Stevia.  I’d had it before and loved it, so I was excited for the refill.  Of course, I mixed in my Growing Naturals vanilla rice protein (don’t forget about the freebie code!).  Gotta keep fueling the muscle growth!

Protein powder adds stay-power AND a fantastic creaminess to your morning bowl of deliciousness.

Spirulina Cherry TVP Oats

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Spirulina Cherry TVP Oats

Spirulina Cherry TVP Oats

  • 1/3 C TVP
  • 1/4 C oats
  • 1/2 C water + 1/4 C
  • 15 grams vanilla protein powder (I used 1/2 scoop of Growing Naturals)
  • 1/4 C cherries, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract (optional – you can also use vanilla or almond)
  • 4-5 drops Cherry Vanilla Liquid Stevia (or preferred sweetener)

 

Add the TVP, oats, and 1/2 C water to a small pot, stir, and bring to a boil (you can also microwave it like oats).  

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 10 mins, until mix softens and thickens.  

Stir in protein, cherries, extract, and stevia.  Add more water as needed (~1/4 C).  Allow to cook for 2-3 more mins. The mixture should be silky smooth.  

Scoop into bowl and add your favorite toppings.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

If you’re not a blogger, you can still share your recipes on Instagram with the #strangebutgood hashtag.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

I’m back from my NYC adventures (check out Instagram if you’re curious) and SO ready to get back in the kitchen!  More recipe are sure to come! :) 

Have you ever had spirulina?

 What is your favorite oats mix-in?

 

Current Obsessions + WIAW

I pride myself in not being a TV watcher.

 

Admittedly, I’ve even been guilty of judging.

I bought my condo 3.5 years ago and never bothered to get cable.  I’m never home and most TV shows seem silly anyway.  Who needs TV when you’re out living it up in real-time?

And then I was held captive on a long plane ride from Europe.

House of Cards

House of Cards.  The first 6 episodes were available in-flight.  I was hooked.  I landed and begged someone to share a Netfix account with me so I could finish Season 1… then I happily realized there is a Season 2!  Now I only have 2 episodes to go, and I’m hoarding them like a crack head.  I don’t want to run out!

It’s so out there, yet so very reflective of our society.  I’m at once shocked, appalled, riveted, and understanding.  This show is a total mind f*ck.  How will I survive until Season 3?!

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This WIAW is back to normal.  I’m trying to get back on track with the results from my Alcat test.  I have no regrets from my Swiss vacation gluttony, but my gut took a toll!

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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Life is a Jungle Gym + WIAW

Life is a jungle gym.

 

Did anyone else read Lean In?

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg refers to your career being a jungle gym rather than a ladder.  The same goes for life.  The secret, in my opinion, is to be flexible and not to let things get too under your skin.

success

 

A couple of weeks ago, I began a cleanse.  I’d been developing some bad habits and was feeling bloated and “meh.”  I also decided to have a food intolerance test done.  It turns out I had a lot of intolerances!  (Click here for more on that.)  Given that I was going to have to cut a lot of things from my diet, I ditched the cleanse.  Wheeeee…. monkey swing to the next bar!

The cleanse wasn’t so hard to give up – I was to the point of having protein back and my every levels are off the charts again.  (Side note: I’m still amazed by how that lack of protein wiped me out – and I was still getting as much as most of America eats!)  The harder part was figuring out how to avoid staple foods that I’d developed intolerances to.  No drugs, bro.

No drugs

 

My diet/nutrition a jungle gym.  Flexibility is key.  I have a choice to stay where I was and continue to feel uncomfortable, or to make some changes.  The food elimination is only 3-6 months (depending on the degree of sensitivity).  That’s not that long – a small price for me to pay for a solution.  So.  Here I go…

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This WIAW is second day with my food intolerances eliminated from my diet.  I’m sure I’ve slipped up (especially with cow’s milk), but I’m getting the hang of it.  Now that I’ve started, it’s not quite as bad as I made it out to be in my head. *knock on wood*

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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5 Benefits of Drinking Water + WIAW

How much water are you drinking?

 

Some days I get half my steps in walking to the bathroom.

When I first met my trainer, he told me I needed to drink at least 124 ounces of water a day.  I’m not sure what I was drinking before, but it probably was barely half of that.

It was really hard at first, but after about a week my body adjusted.  I went from feeling like I was going to float away to finding myself craving more!

5 Benefits to Drinking Water

Original art by Allie Brosh

 

Why drink so much water?  We all know it can aid in weight loss and is good for the skin, but here are 5 benefits you may not have known:

  1. Helps you build muscle – Water carries oxygen to the cells of your body, including those of your muscles; it enables your muscles to work harder and longer before they feel tired
  2. Cushions joints – Joints need moisture in order to remain strong and flexible; this mean your movements are smooth and pain-free
  3. Increases cognitive function – It ensures that your brain gets all the oxygen it needs, and ensures that your body’s electrolyte levels remain high enough to allow your nerves to relay messages to the brain
  4. Prevents fluid retention – Your body won’t try to retain water if it’s getting enough
  5. Burns fat – When you drink enough water, your kidneys don’t need extra help detoxifying your body, so your liver will be better able to metabolize stored fat more efficiently (not to mention it prevents constipation)

 

Bonus:If you have a desk job like I do, it keeps you moving at work.  Between getting up for refills and going to the bathroom, I think I’ve worn a tread in the carpet.

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This WIAW I was catching up from shirking my responsibilities this weekend.  It’s food prep on the fly!

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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Sriracha Tours + Accidentally Gluten-Free WIAW

Atlantarctica no more!

 

Working from home was nice, but the cold was no bueno.

This week we are finally thawing out down South (sorry about your luck, in the Northeast).  While I hope it’s here to stay, I find myself craving a getaway.  To some place thing warm.

Now that they aren’t shut down, California’s Huy Fong Foods factory (a.k.a. where Sriracha is made) is giving tours of the factory!  It’s purportedly to educate people about “how our Sriracha is made and how delicious it smells” after near-by residents complained that the spicy Sriracha production caused “unpleasant odors and burning eyes.”  Wusses.

sriracha burn

Source: http://theoatmeal.com/

Who’s up for a field trip???

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This WIAW I’m back in the office and on the wagon with meal prep.  I brought back a few favorites, and learned to cook something new!

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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Coca Cola’s Super Bowl + WIAW

Sometimes I am oblivious.

 

Ok, a lot of the time…

I’m not one to get too riled up over political issues.  At least not in the “the world is going to hell in a hand basket!” way.  I DO get fired up over discrimination and stupid political moves.  When Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ad aired, it didn’t cross my mind that it was controversial.  I actually tweeted that it was too long and boring.  My attention span only wants short, funny ads, dammit!

coca cola super bowl ad 2014

So why were people fired up?  They thought it was offensive that “America the Beautiful” was sung in different languages, featured many cultures, and *gasp* included a gay couple.

Really?!  Last I checked the English language didn’t originate in America.  Next year they should air the song being sung in a Native American language with all dark-skinned people.

I’m proud of my hometown’s company for embracing our melting pot country.  Even if it was a boring commercial.

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This WIAW was decidedly uncontroversial.  Someone at work even told me my fish smelled good.  And she was sincere!

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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Easy Oat Flatbread

Easy has been the name of the game lately.

 

Don’t worry, I have something more complex coming.

After a month of holiday party baking and creating, I’m appreciating the simple more and more.  I was particularly glad when Heather brought back her Meatless Monday link up with the simplest of ingredients: oats.  Simple doesn’t have to mean typical though!

Oat Flatbread

Please ignore my janky nails.

… 

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