Halloween Wednesday

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

It’s the only holiday not masquerading as a religious or national holiday.

There’s something in the air this time of year.  It’s exciting – they weather is nice, people are energetic (it’s a massive relief from the Southern summer heat and humidity)… and who doesn’t like to pretend to be someone else?

The “yard art” along the Beltline is even dressed up for Halloween!

Beltline ghosts

The family dog, Honey, is also festive.  My little sister brought her by my office for a visit yesterday.  My socks matched her candy corn handkerchief.

Can you believe she’s 13?!  Cutest Corgi-Golden “puppy” ever.

Halloween Honey

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Baked Banana Oatmeal Protein Bites

Have you ever eaten warm banana?

Think pie… bananas foster… breads.

When you bake a banana it becomes a gooey, caramel-y treat.  You don’t even need to use sugar.  Like in these muffins.

I’m not one to take the time to make a baked oatmeal in the morning, but I love having it for breakfast.  Especially as it gets colder outside!  Bake it in advance and you have a delicious instant breakfast, portioned out perfectly.  That’s the idea behind these.

Baked Banana Oatmeal Protein Bites… 

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Big Gay Ice Cream WIAW

There’s not much better than ice cream on a sunny, fall afternoon.

Or after a brutal workout.

It’s been a week of treat ‘yo self.  But how often does the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck head down South from NYC?  I enjoyed a cone on Monday and a cup on Tuesday.

Monday night I stopped to pick up a Salty Pimp after a bitch of a challenging workout with my trainer.  He only looks sweet and innocent.

Me and Steve… 

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Easy Travel Snacks + Quest Chips GIVEAWAY!

Travel can be a challenge when it comes to food.

Or it can be a fun adventure!

I’m no stranger to packing up my meals and going.  I once flew with 21 meals!  This trip is a little different.  I’m in Las Vegas playing in a softball World Series.  That means long days on the field, not knowing when the next food opportunity will come.  We don’t have a fridge and I doubt my ability to keep food at a safe temp in the Vegas sun all day… snack time it is!

Packaged foods are happening.  That doesn’t have to be all bad!  I’m not snacking on the “typical” things.  Here are a few items I’ve packed up to withstand uncertain schedules, heat, and a lot of roughhousing.

easy travel snacks… 

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Spooky Matcha Green Sludge + WIAW

Eat your greens!

I can still hear my mother yelling saying this to me at the dinner table.

Growing up, I was the pickiest kid on the planet.  If it was green, the only way I’d eat it is if it was raw and covered in so much ranch dressing (specifically, Marie’s ranch) there was no possibility of tasting it.

Fast forward 20 years and I’m voluntarily starting my day with this sludge:

Matcha Green Sludge

Matcha Green Sludge

  • 1 tsp matcha
  • 1 T gelatin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 T water
  • 5-6 drops liquid stevia

Mix together in a small bowl and a allow to sit 1-2 mins to allow the mix to gel.

It’s a very “green” tasting mix, which is why I add a little stevia… even my altered taste buds need some help.  Here’s the “why” behind the ingredients:

Matcha

One cup of matcha green tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea.  As if that’s not enough reason to start supplementing with it, it also enhances metabolism, reduces stress, lowers cholesterol, and combats aging and cancer.

One of my favorite benefits is the caffeine.  It’s perfect first thing in the morning.  It doesn’t cause the shakes though!  The relaxing properties of L-theanine in matcha promote concentration, memory, and mood.

Gelatin

This isn’t your cafeteria nastiness.  Gelatin is actually flavorless, making it easy to add to just about anything.  I began taking it for digestion at the suggestion of Lindsay (see her post here).  It 100% works for that!  I’m more “regular” than I’ve ever been.  It can help to heal the lining of your stomach and digestive tract, and is a detoxifier.

For someone who is active, gelatin is especially beneficial because it contains half of the 18 essential amino acids, which help build muscle.  With 6 grams of protein per tablespoon, it’s a great way to add more protein to your diet.  It is not a complete protein, but it helps the body fully utilize the complete proteins you eat.  It also supports skin, hair and nail growth, and is good for bone strength and joint recovery.  Rumor as it that it can help tighten loose skin and improve cellulite.

Cinnamon

Aside from making everything taste better, cinnamon is good for your health!  It stabilizes blood sugar levels, making it popular for those with Type 2 Diabetes.  Cinnamon might also reduce the effects of high-fat meals by reducing response of triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood but as much as 30%.*

It can also lower your bad cholesterol (LDL), reduce inflammation, and can decrease cancer risk (especially leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells, which my dad had).  It can control yeast with it’s antifungal properties. Allegedly, candida cannot live in a cinnamon environment.  When added to food, cinnamon acts as a preservative, slowing bacterial growth and food spoilage.  Even smelling cinnamon can have positive effects on cognitive function, memory, and headaches!

*This is not a license to raid the nearest Cinnabon… it has been found to be toxic in large doses.  And I don’t think even OD-ing on it will fight that sugar rush. ;)

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PB&J Yogurt Bowl Recipe + WIAW

Staple foods.  We all have them.

Some of us have them literally.

Amy's burrito staple

When my boss referred to Amy’s burritos as a staple food… he meant literally.  He opened this little gem and found something shiny in it.  Normally I like shiny things, but a staple in my burrito?  I’ll pass.

He emailed Amy’s and got a scripted response from customer service about an hour later.  The person didn’t seem too concerned,but said they send the pics to someone else int he company.  Well see… in the mean time, I’m especially grateful I go my food prep!

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A Must Have Box and Garnish & Gather Dinner (WIAW)

Mail days are the best.

Thanks to e-bills, actual mail is a treat 80% of the time!

The awesome people at PopSugar sent me a Must Have Box to try this month.  I was really impressed!  The Tilo scarf alone was worth it (retails at $125!).  It’s high-quality and incredibly soft.  Soft kitty, warm kitty…

Those Ghirardelli sea salt chocolates do not suck either.  I love that they are bite-sized… it (moderately) slowed me down as I worked my way through the bag.  I’ve already replenished with the dark chocolate variety. #sorryimnotsorry

PopSugar Must Have Box

Working out in the morning was a little more fun with my fancy blue Nicole Miller ear buds.  They matched my shoes today. #winning

The fuel made the workout more fun too.  A raw Almond Brownie bar from Urban Remedy.  It wasn’t too sweet and had a hint of salt to it.  Someone at PopSugar knows I love a sweet & salty combo!

Must Have goodies

They hooked me up with a discount code to share with you guys if you’d like to check it outSEPT14SELECT will get you $10 off a 3 month subscription (offer expires 9/30/14).

*Disclaimer: POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.*

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The Event Planning Life

The big day has arrived.

Hold me.

At work, we host a 3 day conference every year.  This year’s being today.  It’s been a little nuts  (<– understatement) leading up to it… but I am really excited!  Here’s a little bite of what life has looked like the past few days.

ATL skyline

There have been early mornings.

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Channeling Wonder Woman + WIAW

Wonder Woman is my favorite superhero.

If you know me, this is probably no surprise.

Mind over matter is a very real thing.  I find myself being able to “will” myself to do more than I should be able to both in and out of the gym.  It’s kind of fun to push yourself to do the (previously) impossible.  To me, this is Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman

My inner Wonder Woman is especially channeled on leg day.  20 reps with 6 plates on the leg press?  No problem.  Well, yes a problem… but not one I couldn’t handle.   My reward was going to the gym the next day and having a guy say (awkwardly) “Your legs have gotten bigger!  I mean… that’s a compliment… you know what I mean…”

Only in the weight room could you say that to a woman and get away with it.  HA!

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Flavor Overload + WIAW

Flavor overload.

A line needs to be drawn.

Lays flavors have gotten out of control.  I mean… I can see a Wasabi Ginger chip.  I can even stretch it to Mango Salsa.  But Cappuccino?!  No.  One review I read described them this way: “They smell like a tomb, and taste like stale crackers dusted with International Delight-brand instant coffee.”

I’m all for #strangebutgood… but really?!

Funky Lays

BUT… this is even worse than anything Lays could ever come up with.

Chicken Wing ICE CREAM?!

Chicken Wing Ice Cream… 

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