Friday Faves!!

Because I missed my Tuesday link-up post, I figured there’s no better time than the present.

I’m enjoying Taylor Swifts new song and apparently these guys are too.

Did you download IOS8 yet? So far i’m enjoying some of the changes (minus the draining battery). There seems to be lots of new features that may not be so obvious!

If you feel like baking this weekend, make this bread. I did and it was delicious.

This is going to be my next baking adventure.

*Updated to add: it’s delicious.

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Influenster recently sent me the Venus Embrace Sensitive Razor* to try and review. If you’re like me and cut yourself every time you shave, this is the razor for you. Honestly, my legs have never felt so smooth. The handle is light and the size of the razor really allows you to hit all the curves of your legs. The only negative thing I could say about it is that it takes a little more than a quick shove under the shower head to clean the blade between strokes but the quality of the razor more than makes up for it. Also, the little hook that comes with the razor works better than any other one I’ve had. I don’t know what it is, but usually I get back to my shower to find the blade and handle separated on the ground because it fell. Not anymore.

Have a great weekend!

*This razor was sent to me free of charge by Influenster in order for me to provide an honest review. All opinions regarding this product are my own.

What I Ate Wednesday

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday with Jenn from Peas and Crayons

What I Ate Wednesday: Short Sentence Addition

This past weeks eats started with this. What is this? Homemade coffee Oreo ice cream. Yes. I went to work, was talking about how I planned to buy an ice cream maker and lo and behold, we had one in the back. I’ve made about 6 batches of ice cream so far including 2 batches of this coffee Oreo, chocolate coconut, blueberry brown sugar graham cracker, chocolate chip and a few failed attempts at almond milk ice cream.

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My newest obsession: Carrot Cake Oatmeal. It’s creamy, delicious and tastes like a carrot cake. I’ve had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner all on different days. I’m all about vegetables in my oatmeal normally so this is just a vitamin and nutrient win.

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The perfect pick-me-up. Find this chocolate bar–it is perfection.

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Not working consistently has left me plenty of time to bake. This Pumpkin Protein Cake was the first thing I attempted this week and it came out delicious. I’ll be sharing this recipe soon.

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I also made these protein brownies–not ready yet but not terrible.

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Cucumber rolls–not a baked good of course but harder than they look!

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and these sweet potato cupcakes of course.

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Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

I’m a fan of changing recipes up to make them a little healthier. I love spinach in my smoothies, exchanging tons of vegetable oil for another fat and cutting out refined sugar for something else sweet.

I’m sometimes a little wary of throwing vegetables in baked goods though in fear that there will be little strands of veggies and or taste less like a treat and more like a salad.

I’ve made zucchini bread which doesn’t taste like zucchini and I’ve heard of sweet potato bread but never actually tried it.I had a container of boiled sweet potato that needed to be eaten so I figured I would try to throw it in something delicious.

These cupcakes are chocolate-y, moist and not incredibly sweet but sweet enough. They’re also low in calories, carbohydrates and fat which makes it a lot easier to eat more than one.

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Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2.5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon instant coffee
6 packets monk fruit in the raw
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons non-fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup egg-whites
1/4 cup boiled sweet potato

Optional Frosting:
1/4 cup peanut flour
1/2 packet monk fruit in the raw
Drop of vanilla extract
3-4 Tablespoons water

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix.

Add in egg whites, yogurt, sweet potato, milk and mix well until no lumps remain and batter has a cupcake batter consistency.

Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and fill each liner half way with batter. The batter should make 12 cupcakes.

Bake for 8 minutes or until the top has set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove cupcakes from pan and place on a rack.

When cool, frost with your choice of frosting or a simple peanut butter frosting:
For the frosting, mix 1/4 cup peanut flour with a drop of vanilla extract and half a packet of monk fruit in the raw. Add water a tablespoon at a time until it develops a peanut butter consistency. Frost cupcakes.

 

Nutrition Facts for 12 unfrosted cupcakes:
45 calories/8 carbs/0 fat/3 protein

Healthy Foods to Always Have on Hand

I eat a lot of the same foods. I consume different variations of the same thing for breakfast, lunch is usually protein and veggies and dinner is usually something similar. Until recently, I never found the need to meal prep, but lately, I’ve figured out how handy having things ready to eat truly is. Besides having food already in the fridge, I also make sure to keep a fully stocked cabinet of foods for snacks, condiments and additions to every meal.

My Top 5 Staples:

1. An Orange Carb Source: Butternut Squash/Sweet Potatoes/Kabocha Squash (when I can find it)
Even though it’s a little more expensive, I always buy the pre-cut butternut squash at the store. Peeling a butternut squash is more hassle than it’s worth and makes my meal prep a lot more difficult. I simply buy a package of squash, throw it on a baking sheet and roast it in the oven for about 40 minutes or until it’s soft. Sometimes I sprinkle half with cinnamon for something different. Having plain roasted squash is perfect for adding to salads, lunches, dinners or even mashing for something like pancakes.

As for sweet potatoes, I buy a few and cut each one into differently so I can identify one potato. Usually I’ll do fries, wedges, rounds and chunks. I usually peel the chunks but not anything else. Like the squash, I simply throw them on a baking sheet and cook until soft. I LOVE cold sweet potatoes but they are also easy to just warm up.

2. Lean Ground Turkey (or chicken)
I usually buy a package of 99% (or 97%) lean ground turkey and put the whole thing in a pan right when I get home. I add a little water, a ton of chili powder, cayenne and paprika and cook it through like taco meat. Having ground meat in the fridge is an easy way to throw protein into stir-frys, wraps, omelette’s or anything else.

3. Mustard
I might be weird, but I love mustard on everything. In my opinion, it’s the perfect condiment. I put mustard on my salad as a dressing, put it on meat and dip my sweet potato fries in it. I use it like this because I simply love mustard but a plus is that it’s essentially a “free” food–only about 5 calories per serving.

4. Peanut Butter
I have so many jars of peanut butter that it’s a little ridiculous although I personally believe you can never have too much. Peanut butter is an easy way to add satiating fat to any meal. Peanut butter goes great on oatmeal and tastes delicious drizzled over squash or sweet potatoes. Not only that it’s easy to find little squeeze packets of PB to keep in your bag in case you’re starving with nothing around.

5. Rice Cakes
I eat rice cakes as my pre-workout snack almost everyday. They also go hand in hand with the peanut butter. When you need a quick breakfast before a workout, a couple rice cakes with peanut butter and a banana works great. They are perfect as a snack and as a post workout meal, I’ll occasionally break one up with almond milk and eat it like cereal. Although I usually buy plain ones, I love the apple caramel ones for something sweet and cheddar for something more savory.


Of course I always have other things in my pantry but these are all constant and they make grabbing something to eat a lot easier when time is tight or when I don’t feel like making anything.

 

What are your staples?

Sharing Saturday

I’ve got a ton of work this weekend and in order to stay on track with studying, I often take little breaks to keep me focused. Some things I’ve found and liked:

This website is really interesting! 

I keep seeing breads, cupcakes, etc, with sweet potatoes. This sweet potato cinnamon bread looks deliiicious! 
and this sweet potato cake? gimme.

I’ve never been a big tea fan but lately, I’m enjoying it. I walked by a Davids Tea the other day without going in and I am so tempted to go back after eying these seasonal flavors. Coffee cake? Chocolate? I might have to take my first trip there soon.

Want a protein packed cookie dough? Quick recipe:
One container plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1.5 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tsp. vanilla
sprinkle of stevia
Chocolate chips
Mix and dig in!