Double Chocolate Coffee Protein Shake

One of my go-to breakfasts during the summer are protein shakes or smoothies. Heavy bowls of hot oatmeal or eggs don’t really work for me during this season since it is so hot outside–cold smoothies are refreshing for these humid, hot days. They are also so easy to make and customize.

I’ve recently discovered that I’m sensitive to lactose, so I try to stay away from dairy products and whey protein. I ordered some Vega (dairy and soy free) protein packets to try since so many people recommended this brand (shout out to one of my besties Megan Britt), and so far I love the chocolate flavor. I still have to try the Vanilla and Berry and I cannot wait. I used the chocolate in this morning’s protein shake–which was delicious! Try it for yourself!

I used:
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*1 packet chocolate Vega protein powder (it looked equivalent to one scoop)
*Approximately 1/2 cup ice
*1 packet instant coffee
*1 scoop all-natural peanut butter
*1 capful vanilla extract
*1 teaspoon cocoa powder (the protein powder is usually enough chocolate flavor, I just like mine with extra cocoa goodness)
*1 packet stevia
*Enough almond milk to get everything moving (maybe 3/4 to 1 cup)

Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

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Food + Fashion + Beauty Products I Love

I want to mention that the only photos that are mine in this post are the chicken pizza photo and the one of me and my friends at the lake. Thanks for reading!

FOOD

Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Glazed Donut Coffee

I love this coffee because of it’s subtle chocolate flavor. To me, coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven, kind of like peanut butter and chocolate. I pair it with a little bit of cream and stevia or vanilla coffee creamer. Yum!

Meatzza

I’ve seen the cauliflower pizza crust craze on Pinterest and tried it….but I wasn’t impressed. It tasted pretty good, but it ALWAYS falls apart. I saw a recipe for a pizza crust using a package of ground chicken breast and decided to try it. AMAZING! I’ve made it a dozen times in the past few months. It is way more flavorful than a bread crust and does not fall apart. The trick is to add about a cup of raw oats to the meat and a lot of spices/seasonings. I made a BBQ version last night and it was incredible.

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Homemade Oatmeal Protein Pancakes

I’ve made these for breakfast almost every morning for the past week. They are freaking delicious, healthy and filling. I switch it up every time I make them–I like to add mixed berries, chocolate chips, banana, grated apple and cinnamon. Top with a little maple syrup or honey. To a blender, add 1/2 cup raw oats, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 egg, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp white sugar or stevia, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 to 1 cup milk of choice. Add the toppings after you pour the batter into pancake circles in the pan.

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Mio Drink Enhancers

I have a hard time drinking enough water, which leaves me really dehydrated by the end of the day. A tiny squirt of a Mio drink enhancer in my iced water makes it much easier to stay hydrated because it tastes good! A little bit goes a LONG way. I love the blueberry lemonade and strawberry watermelon.

FASHION

Rompers

I used to think rompers were dumb and meant for little girls only. Now I LOVE them. They are comfortable and come in all sorts of fun patterns and colors. TJ Maxx is my favorite place to purchase them because they are always under $15. I recently bought this one in the photo below and have already worn it a few times! Love it.

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Roxy Apparel

I’ve really been into Roxy stuff for casual summer fashion. I have a Roxy swimsuit that I purchased at TJ Maxx (surprised? lol) a few years ago and it has held up great. I wear it a TON every summer and it still looks brand new. I also have a few Roxy tanks, a skirt and some flip flops that I love as well. Their stuff is amazing quality and so cute.

Kate Hudson’s Fabletics Workout Clothes

I saw Fabletics being advertised on Facebook a lot, so I decided to check it out. If you sign up with them (totally free), you can order a full workout outfit for only $25 with free shipping. I purchased this tank in fuchsia and these capri leggings in dark gray. I’m very happy with everything and I would definitely order from Fabletics again!

BEAUTY

Marc Anthony Beach Waves Spray

I received this spray in one of my recent Ipsy glam bags and am in love with it. In the summer, I always let my hair air dry since the humidity is so bad. If I try to style it, it just frizzes. After I shower, I just spritz this in my hair to give it some natural beachy waves. It smells heavenly too, like coconuts.

Dead Sea Treatment Facial Moisturizer

I found this moisturizer at TJ Maxx (I think I may be slightly obsessed) a few weeks ago and love everything about it. It was a steal at $4.99 and it feels great on my face. I have very dry skin, so this moisturizer helps with that. It doesn’t cause breakouts and also smells very clean. I always apply it after a shower and randomly during the day if my facial skin is feeling dry or tight.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil

This was another Ipsy glam bag item, and I loved it. I received it two months ago and I already finished it. I think Urban Decay is my favorite makeup line. This eyeliner glides on so easily and I never had to push down too hard. I need to go buy some more since I’m out! I highly recommend this eyeliner!

Bath & Body Works Aruba Coconut Body Lotion

This lotion smells so beachy and incredible. I need to buy a bunch of bottles to use during the depressing winter!

Natural Energy Booster Drink

This is one of those creations that stemmed from me throwing whatever I had in the fridge into the blender. I was really craving something super refreshing and packed full of vitamins that would fuel me after an early morning workout, and this certainly did the trick! It actually made me feel much better than drinking a cup of coffee and I felt ready to take on this lovely Thursday.

I’d like to thank my friend Megan for inspiring me to start my day on such a healthy note. She always tells me about her yummy veggie-packed juices that she drinks in lieu of coffee, so I was ready to try my own version. You should definitely check out her blog because she is an excellent writer and has some scrumptious vegan recipes on there.

Anyway, I totally made this juice with a blender, so you do not need a juicer to make this.

I added two big handfuls of raw, organic baby spinach first.
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Then, I diced 1/4 of a large cucumber and threw that into the blender with the spinach followed by two dollops/spoonfuls of unsweetened applesauce.

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I squeezed in the juice of one lemon and made sure the seeds did not fall into my concoction. You don’t want to find lemon seeds in your mouth. I guess it really wouldn’t matter since everything gets blended together anyway….just to be safe though!
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I then added 5-7 medium frozen strawberries. You can add more if you want this drink to be sweeter, but anywhere between 5-7 should be perfect.
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I added a packet of stevia, but next time I make this I will omit it. The strawberries and unsweetened applesauce gave this drink the perfect amount of sweetness.
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Lastly, I poured enough water into the blender to get everything moving. You could add orange juice, apple juice or even lemonade if you want things to be a bit sweeter.

AND VOILA! After a nice blend, my natural energy booster drink was complete. I know that it does not look pretty, but I think it tasted great and it was chock full of veggie goodness.

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I am definitely going to make this tomorrow morning as well. I hope you all like it!

Bacon Wrapped Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Goat Cheese & Spinach

Wow, that is a long title!

You guys have to try this recipe! Or some sort of variation of it. It was absolutely delicious and pretty easy to throw together on a random weeknight. Does anyone else get into a slump when it comes to cooking/meal planning? For a few weeks I’ll be on a roll and prepare yummy meals left and right, but then I go through weeks where nothing sounds good to me and I don’t feel like cooking.

I went through one of those slumps recently, but was suddenly inspired when I spotted the thin sliced chicken breasts on sale at Kroger.

I threw a bunch of random items in my cart that sounded good and decided to experiment in the kitchen that night with a stuffed chicken breast dish.

Here is what you’ll need:

-1 package thin sliced chicken breasts
-2 ounces of a log of goat cheese (I bought the sundried tomato flavor)
-1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen spinach
-all natural bacon (I used Applegate Farms turkey bacon)
-various spices (I used the Kroger brand of Mrs. Dash’s original seasoning)
-olive oil

Turn on your skillet to medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Meanwhile, drop 2 ounces (or more) of goat cheese into a small bowl. Add the frozen spinach and spices, then mix everything together (this may take a little bit of elbow grease).

Sprinkle your favorite spices onto each chicken breast in the package and then spread the goat cheese mixture on them until you run out.

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Roll up the chicken breasts long ways and then wrap each one with a piece of bacon.

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Place each roll onto the skillet and cook until they are finished.

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David and I enjoyed ours with sautéed zucchini and brown rice. It was a delicious meal!

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I want to make some more for dinner tonight!

Food Prep Tips

I am a huge advocate for prepping meals ahead of time. It makes life so much easier and will help you avoid eating cereal out of the box for dinner because you’re too tired to cook something. This has happened to me–I work all day, go to the gym, come home and I feel so lazy and tired. The last thing I want to do is cook, so I end up eating handfuls of cereal because it’s easy.

My husband is a good cook and creates masterpieces in the kitchen from time to time, but he works nights (12-hour shifts from 6:00pm-6:00am, so he only works half of the days of each month), so it’s hard for him to cook on a regular basis. I’ve figured out that a lazy Sunday is perfect for prepping healthy meals and snacks. The time spent doing this is well worth it because during the week, all you have to do is reheat and eat!

I don’t do this every Sunday because sometimes I’m not home, but I try to a couple times a month. It really makes a difference.

What you have to do is prepare all of your meals/snacks for the week and refrigerate or freeze them. It just depends on how soon you’re going to eat them. Here are a few things that I make that freeze/refrigerate easily.

*Chicken & Veggie Lasagna*
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-whole wheat lasagna noodles
-any veggies you want (zucchini, squash, tomato, spinach, mushrooms, etc.)
-red pasta sauce
-LIGHT white pasta sauce (optional, but it makes the dish so yummy)
-1 pound ground chicken (turkey or beef)
-1 to 2 links of all natural sweet Italian chicken sausage
-Italian seasoning (dried basil, oregano, thyme, etc.)
-cheese (grated parmesan and shredded Italian blend)

*Grilled Or Baked Marinated Chicken Breasts*
Grilled Chicken BreastsSource

-boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
-your favorite spice rub or marinade

All you have to do here is grill, sautee or bake several chicken breasts or tenderloins and keep them in the refrigerator all week. They’ll be easy to grab and chop for salads, sandwiches or even in a yummy Mexican taco or fajita dinner. You can do this with ground beef, turkey or chicken as well. The ground meat is also perfect for taco night, lasagna or stroganoff. The possibilities are endless.

*Lazy Day Casserole*Lazy-Day-Casserole-sausage-potatoes-carrots-peppers-onions-herbsSource

-1 package of all natural chicken sausage
-2 sweet onions
-2 bell peppers
-2 sweet potatoes

Place all chopped ingredients in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and your favorite seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.). Bake at 350 degrees until the veggies are cooked. Refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to pull this out for a mid-week meal.

*Homemade Protein Balls*kidsnackSource

-2 cups natural crunchy peanut or almond butter
-2 scoops protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
-2 ripe bananas, mashed
-2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seeds
-a small handful of chocolate chips

These are way healthier than snacking on candy or sugary granola bars. They are also delicious and keep well in the freezer.

*Apple Peanut Butter Snack Bars*
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Source

-2 cups rolled oats
-1 cup unsweetened applesauce
-1/4 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup honey
-2 eggs
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×9 baking dish and set aside. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.  Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and use the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula to press it down evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges are just barely browned.  Allow to cool before cutting into squares. These keep well in the freezer or refrigerator.

Enjoy and happy food prepping!

Low-Carb Pizza

Let me just begin this post with I AM NOT ON A LOW-CARB DIET. The human body needs carbs to function, especially if you’re active and work out on a regular basis. I love carbs. I love oatmeal, quinoa, fruit, pancakes…mmm carby goodness. They are delicious and I crave them all the time. I just thought I’d try out this recipe to see if it really does work and if it tastes good.

Along with ice cream, pizza is also one of my favorite foods. It can be very unhealthy for you, so I like to find ways to lighten it up and still make it taste delicious.

Yes, you can use whole-wheat crust to make a “healthier” pizza, but the pre-made dough is usually full of gross ingredients that I cannot pronounce. I’ve tried to make my own pizza dough, but have failed several times. I always end up with a gooey, sticky mess! Any tricks on how to make perfect pizza dough?

Anyway, here is what I used. I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, He & She Eat Clean.

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*1 pound ground chicken (you could use beef or turkey)
*1/2 cup rolled oats
*Grated parmesan cheese (use however much you’d like)
*Pizza seasoning (use however much you’d like…the mix I used included oregano, marjoram, granulated garlic, and basil)
*Extra dried basil, oregano, garlic powder (you can use whatever seasonings you like)
*2 egg whites
*Pizza sauce
*Toppings (I used zucchini, bell pepper, red onion, and tomato…just be sure you brown the veggies in a skillet with a little olive oil before you add them to the pizza)
*Cheese (I used a little bit of a mixed shredded cheese blend)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the meat, oats, parmesan cheese, egg whites and seasonings in a bowl.
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Form the mixture on a pizza stone into a square or circle…whatever shape you want your pizza to be! This will be your crust.photo 3

Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop your veggies and sautee them in a pan with a drop of olive oil for a few minutes. If you put them directly on the pizza, they will still be crunchy and sort of raw when it comes out of the oven. Just sautee the veggies until they are about half-cooked.
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When the crust has baked for 20 minutes, remove it from the oven and top your pizza. I added the sauce, then a sprinkling of cheese, then veggies, then another sprinkling of cheese. I topped it off with a dusting of grated parmesan cheese.

Now, place your pretty pizza into the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust starts to brown around the edges.photo (11)

Enjoy!

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Raw “Ice Cream”

I know that this recipe is all over Pinterest (that’s where I found it), but I thought I’d share my success story with it!

My absolute FAVORITE dessert is ice cream. Hands down. I love it all–vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookie dough…my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I am not against eating real ice cream and I do eat it from time to time as a treat, but the problem is that I want it all the time. I could easily sit down with a container and down half of it if you let me. Ice cream isn’t the healthiest item on the grocery store shelves, so I decided to try out this raw “ice cream” to satisfy my craving for a cold, creamy dessert.

This recipe is so simple and only requires a handful of ingredients.

Here is what you’ll need:

*3 frozen bananas (let your bananas get nice and speckled with brown spots before you peel ’em and throw ’em in the freezer)
*Large scoop of peanut or almond butter (No need to measure)
*1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Optional…it’s just as good with just the first two ingredients)

I apologize for the low quality photos. Below is the raw ice cream without the cocoa powder.

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Roughly chop the bananas into chunks (to help out your food processor) and place them into said food processor with the peanut/almond butter and unsweetened cocoa powder. Pulse until it is smooth and creamy. You may have to stop and start a little bit because the chunks of banana tend to stick around the walls of the food processor. Just knock them back toward the blade and keep going until it reaches your desired consistency.

Below is the raw ice cream with the cocoa powder.
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This doesn’t turn out like regular full-fat ice cream. It is sort of like frozen yogurt, but it is oh-so delicious. Feel free to add your own toppings/flavors such as granola, nutella, chocolate chips, sprinkles, or nuts. This recipe makes 2 big servings.

Enjoy!

What is your favorite dessert?