Tuesdays and Thursdays are kinda crazy for me because I have my paralegal classes on those days.  I have night classes and usually leave my house a little before 5 o'clock and am gone until almost 10 o'clock, so that means no dinner.  I always pack a snack to eat during class like trail mix and I always make a juice to take with me on my long drive to Emory, but I get hungry.  Eating healthy is wonderful, but part of that means lots of small meals instead of three huge ones. 

This sandwich is the best of PB&J, but the strawberries give a fresh taste and are not processed like conventional jam.  This sandwich was my dinner, but would make a tasty snack too!

PB&Strawberry Sandwich

  • 2 slices cinnamon raisin bread (I use Ezekiel Bread)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (could sub any nut butter or sunbutter)
  • 2 large strawberries sliced thin

  • Spread the peanut butter on the bread. 
  • Place the strawberries in a thin layer on one side of the peanut butter.
  • Put slices together peanut butter sides together and ENJOY!
Serves: 1

This smoothie makes for a sweet and yummy breakfast or afternoon snack.  It's just the right amount of sweet and is loaded with protein and other nutrients.

Pink Pineapple Smoothie

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 fresh pineapple spears
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder (I use Designer Whey Protein Powder)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • Blend all ingredients and ENJOY!

I know I've been slacking on the daily posts about what I've been eating and how I've been exercising. Yesterday was a good day both activity wise, cravings wise, and food wise.

DINNER: Black Beans, Rice, Peppers and Onions, Guacamole, and Salsa

SNACKS: Chobani Greek Yogurt

This was my dinner last night! Yum! And this whole plate was only a little over 500 calories.  Eating as a vegetarian never looked so good. Cuban style black beans, cilantro lime brown rice, sauted onion and bell pepper, fresh salsa, and spicy guacamole.

ACTIVITY:  80 minute endurance run

Yesterday Bernard and I opted to skip church and hit the park.  We love being outdoors and taking Chloe Mae with us, so we headed over to Stone Mountain Park.  Since we bought an annual pass last month the trip was a "free" way for us to spend time together and enjoy the weather.

It was a sunshine-y and absolutely perfect day.  The temperature was in the mid 70s with a slight breeze.  We hiked some nature trails and walked all around the park.  After about an hour and a half of walking we decided to head home, grab some lunch, and get started on the gardening project.

I've always wanted to garden and this year we are making it happen.  My tomato and pepper plants are not ready to be transplanted so I went ahead and got started on some other veggies.  I created a raised bed out of cinder blocks.  I planted beans and cucumbers in the bed from seed and planted some strawberry plants on the edge.  Bernard helped me load up all the blocks and then I manipulated the pattern to create a large rectangle.  I bought some marigolds while we were out yesterday too for 50 cents a piece.  They have a lovely smell and the yellow blooms look awesome on our patio.  The cinder blocks were only $1.25, strawberries $1.88 each, and marigolds $.50 each.  The total for everything was like $25. Oh yea!!!

My SPLURGE!  After we picked up all the supplies at Lowe's we stopped at Five Spot Frozen Yogurt for a special treat.  It was a fun little afternoon date and snack.  I went a little overboard with the chocolate toppings, but I couldn't feel too guilty.  We really wanted to stop at Marble Slab Creamery, so this froyo was a much healthier option.  Next time I am going to make sure I only get fruit on top.

All in all yesterday was perfect!  I got to spend time with my honey and my pit bull child.  I was able to spend time in the sunshine and relish in the outdoors.

Happy Spring!

This makes a HUGE serving and is perfect for breakfast or as a post workout snack.  This smoothie is loaded with protein and oh so yummy!

Double Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (I use Designer Whey Protein)
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 3-4 ice cubes

  • Blend all the ingredients in a blender and ENJOY!
Serves: 1 large or 2 small

This juice is all fruit and is the perfect treat.  I love a green juice in the morning, but the boyfriend likes his juice sweet.  This is tasty and just the right amount of sweetness.

Pineapple Juice

  • 3 large pineapple spears
  • 2 small fuji apples
  • 2 small pears
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh mint

  • Juice everything.
  • Mixture will be very thick and frothy.
  • Cut with water if desired.
Serves: 1 large or 2 small

It makes the perfect addition to a balanced breakfast!

Ever since I ran my half marathon last Thanksgiving I have really enjoyed races.  I am not quite sure that the COLOR RUN qualifies as a true race because it's so much more fun, but nonetheless it is a 5K.  I ran it with my friends Felicia and Holly.  We had a lot of fun even if we had to sit in traffic to get there and back! Oh Atlanta traffic...yes it is always that bad.  When we finished we were covered in colored powder and looked like human tye dye. 

Here is me and Felicia before!  Notice how clean and white we are.

My support system is always there and I could never be more thankful for that.  Not only does he always encourage me, but he loves to drive me to these things and never complains that he has to hang around and wait for me to finish.

 Here is me after the race! I am covered in colored powder and have it in places one should never have anything. 

This is all of us after the run!  Not only are we glad to be finished, but we are coated in powder. 

The weather could not have been better and the sun kept the temperature in the low 70s.  I had a great time and always enjoy a good run, but I was one happy girl to be home.  I had a date with my hot shower after all. 

After the race we chowded down on some homemade Larabars that I made last night.  Larabars are available at the store and are yummy fruit and nut bars with few ingredients.

This recipe makes about 6 and we toted them with us for a nice snack before lunch.  They are the perfect pre or post workout food because they use whole ingredients, don't have any added sugar, and are the perfect portion.  They are also gluten free.

AND they are boyfriend approved!

Oatmeal Cookie Larabars

This recipe has been modified from Chocolate Covered Katie.

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried dates
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans (could use walnuts)

  • In a food processor, pulverize oats then add remaining ingredients.  Process everything until mixture is well blended and sticky.
  • Line a small pan (8 x 8 or smaller) with wax or parchment paper.
  • Press mixture into pan and use another sheet of wax paper on top to ensure that mixture is flat and even.  Continue pressing mixture until flat.
  • Place bars in the freezer for 5-7 minutes or until firm enough to cut with a knife.
  • Cut into bars, shape edges, and ENJOY!
Serves: 6

* You could also skip the bars and roll these into balls.

I spent yesterday playing catch up.  My parents came into town and we ended up staying up until like 1:00 am talking and hanging out.  While I don't have a job to worry about getting up for my honey definitely was dragging yesterday.  My parents left before 9:00 am and then I juiced and hit the treadmill.

I made a yummy salad with baby spinach, arugula, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, cheese, olives, and chia seeds.  I tossed it in my homemade mustard red wine vinaigrette.  Not only was this salad delicious, but it was so filling.

After a quick lunch I was headed uptown to Buckhead to pick up my race packet for the COLOR RUN  that I ran this morning.  I got my t-shirt, a dorky sweatband, and number.  They also threw in a pink color packet, although there wasn't a shortage or color powder.

Once I picked up my packet and made the trip home I snuggled up to relax and take a break.  I cuddled up with the latest issue of Women's Health and Clemmy's Ice Cream.  What's not to love about sugar-free, all-natural ice cream in a peanut butter chocolate chip flavor?! NOTHING!  I like to fake myself thinking I am indulging in a huge portion because I use a ramekin instead of a massive bowl.

After a nice two hour long nap I woke up and started dinner.  We had fried brown rice with lots of veggies and edamame, broccoli, and red pepper tossed in Trader Joe's soyaki sauce.  Truly the perfect vegetarian friendly meal that beats takeout like no body's business.

Happy Weekend!

These are a few of my favorite things!

1. I love this look because the mix seems perfect.  I am digging the floral, stripe, and leather combination.

2. Not only do I love bandannas and scarves, but I adore the way they are wearing these.

3. I really love being a ginger, but this shade inspired me to dye my hair in this color family.

4. My country roots are truly who I am and these boots are stylish!  I would love to wear them with jeans or a breezy dress.  My inner hippie, flower child is calling out to these.

5. I am not a necklace wearer per se, but I think this one is delicate and not too girly.  I wish it was in silver, but I really love the curves and the way it dangles.

I hope these looks have inspired you as they have me to get motivated for spring and try something new and fresh!

Happy Spring!

As part of my Vegetarian Challenge I have been looking for creative ways to enjoy foods I love, but make them healthy and meat free.  I love veggies and I love southwest/tex-mex flavors so this seems like an easy way to put together a yummy lunch.

Southwestern Salad with Salsa Ranch Dressing

  • 2 cups organic baby spinach
  • 1 cup organic baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons, cheese of choice
  • 2 tablespoons salsa of choice
  • 1-2 tablespoons ranch dressing of choice

  • Combine all the salad items in a large bowl or on a large plate.
  • Mix ingredients for the dressing.
  • Toss salad in dressing and ENJOY!
Serves: 1

Ever since I started juicing again I've become obsessed with green juices.  They are loaded with nutrients and when done correctly are lower in sugar because you are using mostly greens.  I've tried a lot of different combinations and basically just throw whatever I have in my refrigerator when the morning comes.  

I've been reading about wheat grass and have been intrigued on adding it to a green juice.  I've read that it can be difficult to juice so I thought I would try the powder.  When I was at the store I didn't want to commit to a massive tub of this powder so I bought a couple packets to experiment with.  The end result was a grassy taste that I don't mind to much.  This mean green juice is just that...mean.  It is not for those that do not like green juice or have never tried juicing a lot of greens.

Mean Green Juice with Wheat Grass Powder

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 1 small apple (I used a fuji)
  • 2 cups spinach 
  • 3 kale leaves
  • handful fresh mint
  • 1/2 wheat grass packet

  • Juice all the produce and then stir in the wheat grass packet.
Serves: 1

I was excited when I saw all these yummy ruby red beets at Whole Foods, but I was still wondering what they would taste like when I juiced them.  The only time I've ever had beets was when they were pickled and clearly anything pickled takes on a different taste.  I was definitely surprised last night when I juiced them because the flavor was rich and bright and delicious.

Sweet Beet Juice

  • 1 large beet
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 orange, peel removed
  • 1 small fuji apple

  • Juice and ENJOY!
Serves: 1

If you pay attention to health food trends or follow any vegan/raw food blogs you've probably seen chia seeds.  These little seeds pack a big punch and will certainly make a fabulous addition to some of your meals.  

Here is what the fuss is all about:
  • according to the USDA, a one once serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein
  • the seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese (similar to the nutrient content in other edible seeds like flax or sesame)
  • when a chia comes into contact with water it becomes a gel meaning that a chia seeds can be used in place of dairy and fat in baking and will keep you fuller longer
  • chia seed can stabilize blood sugar levels because it slows down the rate at which complex carbs are broken down
  • being that chia seeds are so high in protein for such a small serving, they are helpful in those looking to lose weight or bulk up on lean protein to build lean muscle
So how can I use them?
  • use them in baking
    • make a chia "egg" by mixing 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water
    • use in place of half the fat/oil called for in a recipe
    • mix them into batters (pancakes, cakes, muffins, etc.)
  • for breakfast
    • sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt
    • blend them in smoothies 
  • at lunch
    • sprinkle them on salads
These seeds are neutral in flavor and very small so once you start cooking with them you'll have all sorts of uses for them.  I love them in all sorts of things.  Chia seeds are an ancient Aztec food and I believe them to be a bit of a miracle ingredient because they are so powerful in nutrition.  Not only do they taste great, are loaded in fiber, omega-3 oils, and protein, but they keep you fuller longer and have so many uses.  The next time you are at the health foods store consider picking up these little cuties and trying them out.

Here's to Happy Healthy and Being TOUGH!

I had leftover butternut squash and sweet potato and voila...these burritos were born.  The squash or sweet potato adds a nice hearty touch to these burritos without you even knowing that you are eating something healthy.  Between the black beans, cheese, and rice you will feel like you are at your favorite burrito joint, but you are eating something made from whole foods with full flavor.  My Red Pepper Pico Salad makes a fabulous side to these burritos.

Rice and Bean Burritos with Butternut Squash

  • 1 cup mashed butternut squash or sweet potato ( I used a combination of both)
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed (about half a 15 oz can)
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo, seeds removed and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice
  • 4 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • spinach or lettuce of choice

  • Combine all ingredients except the spinach and tortillas in a large bowl.
  • Once all ingredients are thoroughly combined divide mixture into four equal parts.
  • Place a small amount of lettuce or spinach on each tortilla.
  • Place rice and bean mixture on each tortilla and roll as you would a burrito.
  • Heat a skillet or griddle to medium-high heat and add the burritos.
  • Cook until golden on each side and remove from pan.
Serves: 4 

This salad is a spin off of pico de gallo, is simple, and overwhelmingly refreshing.  I love this salad as a side dish to my Rice and Bean Burritos with Butternut Squash.

Red Pepper Pico Salad

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved (could use regular tomatoes instead)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2-3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

  • Combine tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a medium size bowl.
  • Whisk lime juice and olive oil together, then pour over salad.
  • Salt to taste.
Serves: 4

If you've read more than a couple of my posts than you know I love a challenge and this month is no different.  After all, I have trained and ran my first half marathon and just completed a ninety day spending fast as of today.  Last week I vowed to abstain from eating meat after watching the documentary Forks over Knives via Netflix and I've never felt better.  Yesterday marked the one week mark for not eating meat and I've decided to challenge myself with being a vegetarian for the month of April.

Not only have I not been eating meat, but I have been seeing produce in a new, exciting way.  I love the challenge of having to be creative with meals and think outside the box.  I have never believed in processed foods, so there are no soy crumbles here and I am not a carb-ivore either.  My focus is for every meal to be plant based with a portion of that being made up by whole grains, seeds, or nuts.  I also have started juicing again which is a wonderful way to get additional nutrients in addition to a healthy diet.

I have felt amazing since last week and how could I not feel good with all the vegetables and the juicing?!  Not only do I want to be healthier, but I would love to loose about 18-20 lbs.  I lost 2.5 last week and am on the path to shedding what I want.

I am still running and if anything training harder.  I would love to run another half marathon in the next couple months or so.  I like goals and I love doing things I've never done just to see if I can so as part of my accountability I will be logging my meals and activity everyday.  Not only will this help me stay on track, but I am hoping it may motivate some of you to do something new and break down that wall.

I never thought I would run a half marathon, go 90 days without spending any extra money, or give up my beloved bacon, but here I am.  I am one mean contender when I focus on something!  Watch out world!



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