Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blueberry Coconut Almond Ballz

Happy Tuesday ---- T-minus 3 days 'til I start a 4-day weekend {not that I'm counting or anything ;-)}

Do you ever find inspiration at the oddest times?? I was home alone Saturday night and as I sat watching the Olympics on TV, my stomach started grumbling for some munchies. I remembered a recipe I'd seen earlier in the week, so I pulled out my trusty lap top and decided it was the perfect time for some kitchen creativity. So what if it was 9:51 p.m. on Saturday night --- yes, the time did catch my eye lol --- don't hate me 'cuz I'm such a crazy-ass party animal!

To me, veggies & dip or chopped fruit don't always cut it when I'm looking for some snackage. I want something that says 'sinful' to my brain but is easy on my waistline. I originally saw a recipe for Banana Berry Snack Balls on The Lean Green Bean and they instantly caught my eye because I love me some balls......

{insert smirk}

Seriously though, these little morsels are healthy, clean and satisfying. They definitely met my criteria for a sin-less sweet treat. I did some tweaking and personalized the recipe to include some of my must-have ingredients (hello coconut!). The result was pretty darn fabulous.

Blueberry Coconut Almond Ballz
Recipe adapted from Lindsay's Banana Berry Snack Balls
Makes 12 balls

1 banana, mashed
1 c oats
1/2 c blueberries
4 tbsp all natural almond butter
1/3 unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 - 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and gently combine without squishing the blueberries. I used frozen berries which makes it a little easier to fold in.

Spoon out 12 balls (approximately 1.5" in diameter) and place onto a plate lined with parchment paper. Freeze the balls and then transfer them to a resealable freezer bag. Store in the freezer.

Remove from freezer when you are ready to snack and let them thaw for at least 15 minutes before chowing down.


These are also really tasty when crumbled into some plain non-fat Greek yogourt.

What's your favourite late night snack?

Have a great day!


Monday, July 30, 2012

{Almost} Wordless Weekend ~ A Crazed Foodie

Hey there! Happy Monday. How was your weekend? I went totally 'cuckoo for cocoa puffs' in the kitchen this weekend. I did some meal planning, made some treats and started to do a little planning for an upcoming mini-vacay we have planned.

Check out all the food craziness that went on at my house:

I have officially declared Sundays to be pancake day at our house.
I've gotten into the habit of making a batch of protein pancakes every week!

Somebody was pooped out...

...now who wants to come help me with all these dishes???

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Enjoy your day!


Friday, July 27, 2012

High Five for Friday

TGIF everybody!

This week flew by and as usual I am welcoming the weekend with open arms. Tomorrow I have plans to meet my friend Krista for yoga and hopefully coffee afterwards and that is absolutely it! The feeling of having an open schedule for the next two days feels freakin' fantastic!!!

I'm hoping I'll find some time to tinker around in my garden, start on the vision board I've been talking about for months, perhaps try my very first vlog (?!), do a little meal planning and hopefully squeeze in a little snuggle time with my sweeties!

Derek hates having no plans (opposites definitely attract in our case!), so I can see that there may be an impromptu barbecue or bonfire in the works as well, which works for me on this last weekend of July --- crazy, right?!

Do you have anything exciting planned for the weekend?

To start this weekend off right, I'm going to share my five faves of the week.


My Garden!!! I love, love, love seeing everything grow and change from day to day!
We had a great rain Wednesday night and Thursday, so I am really excited to see the changes this week!

This was posted on the Fitfluential Facebook page yesterday. I <3 it!

Perfect workout for a gorgeous day that can be done in your own backyard or at a local park.
(I've done Booty Camp before ~ it's a challenging, boo-tay kicking workout!)

One of the keywords searched that attracted the most traffic to my blog this week was...

"Channing Tatum naked"  what?! ....LOL

This totally cracked me up. I recently talked about the movie Magic Mike, which is how this must have come about, but sadly you won't find any naked pics on this here site!
I think some people might have been disappointed haha!

Words to live by.

Pinned Image
Source: Pinterest via Whitney Hardin

Thanks as always to Lauren for hosting this weekly shindig.

Have a great day and an even greater weekend!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Low Down on Clean Eating & Some "Pinning" Love

Hi there! Happy Thursday to you! It's been a quiet week at my office because there are tons of people on summer vacation. I thought the week would drag by since so many people were out having fun, but it's actually been a quiet and productive work week. It's amazing what you can accomplish when the boss isn't around to bug ya!! :-)

I've been getting a lot of questions about clean eating and what it's all about and what you do eat vs what you don't eat, so I thought I'd talk to you a little about that and then share some awesome clean recipes that I have recently found during my escapades on Pinterest.

At first, I did a little searching around online before I answered the question "What is clean eating?" There are several different interpretations out there, so here's my simple answer:

CLEAN EATING is a lifestyle that focuses on eating whole, natural foods.

Clean eating, in my opinion, is the way to go so that you are fuelling your body with the best food and nutrition for optimal functioning. THIS IS NOT A DIET, although you will look and feel great! Basically, you want to eat foods that have been processed the least. This means you limit processed foods, foods sweetened artificially, bad fats, refined foods such as white flour, white bread or white rice and alcohol (this one is toughest for me!). When you start eating clean, you need to look at labels and become aware of ingredients --- if there are few ingredients and you know what each ingredient is (and it's a whole nutritious food), then it's probably a good choice! Organic is good too because we don't want to eat foods that have been chemically-treated. Clean eating is not just for vegetarians and vegans; if you're a meat eater, you can do this too! When it comes to animal products, I look for local stuff with labels of grass-fed, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, etc.

So....what to eat, what to eat? Once you get started, it's really not that difficult to eat clean, but it does take a little more planning because you can no longer reach for your favourite frozen convenience meal. Here are a few really great sites that I find helpful for meal inspiration:

The Eat-Clean Diet (Tosca Reno's site)

I've also been stalking Pinterest searching out some mouth-watering clean meal ideas. Here are some of the most drool-worthy that I've found so far:

Pinned Image
Source: Pinterest via Mary Tate

Pinned Image

Pinned Image
Source: Pinterest via Jenha Martin

And here are a few of my own clean recipes I think you just might enjoy:

Happy {clean} eating my friends!!

Are you more productive when it's quiet and there's not many people around or do you thrive in a busier environment?

Have a great day!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday & Fitness Fanatic!

Hiya! Happy Wednesday. Can you believe this is the last Wednesday of July 2012??? I know I'm probably sounding repetitive here, but where in the heck has this year gone?!?! I've seen a few comments out there from people who are already looking forward to the comfort foods of Fall for goodness sake --- hey man, I love me some comfort food, but I still have an entire garden of veggies to enjoy, so for now I`m sticking to salads, stirfries and lots of fresh, delicious summery food!

On Monday, I started Week #4 of Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer and I continue to feel great! I've been sticking to my clean eats and following the workout plan and things are going really, really well! Check out what I've been munching on this week:

I continue to flip flop between protein pancakes and veggie/egg white scrambles. They're quick and easy and oh so tasty.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you already will have seen a glimpse of this awesome lunch! On Monday, I made up some Salad in a Jar combos. These ones had a Mexi-theme (black beans. brown rice, sweet potato, green onion, orange peppers, tomato, shredded cheddar and mixed greens). Instead of using a fat-laden salad dressing, I mashed up half an avocado with sugar-free salsa. This was the freakin' bomb-digity of salads my friends!!!!

All packed and ready for lunch.

Salad unloaded....AH-MAZING!!!!

One thing I've found myself craving this week is something sweet. Last night I whipped a batch of raspberry lemon popsicles. Mmmmmm.....

Oh baby, Sunday night's dinner was deeelish! I had grilled 'shrooms, half a steamed sweet potato and a huge salad. I've been attempting to make a healthy recreation of one of my fave salads --- the Olive Garden salad. This was one of my best ones yet and I promise that I'll share a recipe as soon as it is perfected! This was a meal fit for a king :-)

And now we come to fitness....I'm in Week #4 of LiveFit!!! This is a huge accomplishment and I'm so proud of myself for sticking with it. Dare I say that I'm starting to get my very own set of guns???

Pow pow --- I have muscles, I really, really DO!!! hehe

This week my workout schedule's going to look a little like this:

Monday - rest
Tuesday - back/biceps
Wednesday - shoulders/abs
Thursday - chest/triceps
Friday - legs
Saturday - yoga & back/biceps
Sunday - rest

Next week, we add cardio back in (excited!!) and our workouts increase to 6 days per week. I think I'm going to get a royal butt kicking --- I'm feeling a little out of shape in terms of my cardiovasciular health, so we shall see how things go the first day where I have to add 30 minutes of moderate cardio. I'm hoping that I will start to burn more fat and that my body will start to lean out.

So thank you once again to Jenn for hosting this weekly foodie shindig. If you're looking for more food & fitness inspiration, make sure you head on over to her site to see what other bloggers have been up to.

What is your favourite popsicle flavour?

What body part do you like working out the most?

Have a great day,



Monday, July 23, 2012

How Does your Garden Grow

Hiya! Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Ours was fabulous ---- we spent the entire day on Saturday outside enjoying the weather. First at a 25th wedding anniversary celebration and then at a local fair watching one of our favourite local bands. On Sunday, Derek had to spend the day at Baseball Day because he's the president of our local association, so I spent some time working, napping and checking out the progress in our veggie garden.

Derek's uncle lives on a farm just around the corner of us. A large spot at the edge of the field was left for a garden.  Surrounding 3 sides of the garden is corn. You drive up a really long lane.....

....and then this is what you see everywhere around you while you're in the garden.

Um....can you say creepy scene from Children of the Corn??? I saw that movie when I was really, really young and it has haunted me ever since. Growing up, we used to live a block (a country block that is) away from my grandparents. We would bike up to visit them all the time in the summer and I swear most years corn was planted in every field between our house and theirs. I would pedal my little legs as fast as I could go and wouldn't dare look left or right as I went because I was scared to death that I would see some crazy-ass killer children coming after me to recruit me into their cult!!!  Now, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't pass for under 18, so I'd be in real trouble....

Isn't it funny what memories stick out from our childhood?

Two of Derek's uncles use half the garden and I got the other half.

The uncles' half....

 I swear that there is produce in there --- somewhere :-)

...and my half.
 I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm kinda proud of my half!

I was really, really late getting all my produce into the ground. I only planted it 3 weeks ago, but we've had the most perfect weather and everything just keeps growing and growing. I even got my first cherry tomato on the weekend!

In my half of the garden, I planted:

Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatoes (2 varieties)
Leaf Lettuce (2 varieties)
Green Beans
Sweet Peppers
Hot Peppers
Butternut Squash
Buttercup Squash

I try to stop by once a week to do some weeding and check out the progress of my veggies. I'm very impatiently waiting for everything to start blossoming and some veggies to start appearing!

What is one your favourite childhood memories?

What would you/do you plant in your vegetable garden?

Have a great day!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday - LiveFit Trainer Continues On...

 Happy Wednesday!

Are you surviving the heat?? Yesterday set new records here in Southwestern Ontario --- I'm told (& I really hope) that it is expected to be the hottest day of the year! It was SO HOT! Don't hate me for saying this, but I am really looking forward to the arrival of Fall -- warm days and cool nights is my favourite kind of weather! 

I know some people don't have a big appetite when the temperatures spike, but heat won't keep this gal down. In fact, I really can't think of any type of circumstance that stops me from wanting to eat!


I can't believe I'm already in the middle of Week 3 of Jamie Eason's 12 Week LiveFit Trainer. I'm really starting to notice a difference in the way my body feels since I started eating clean 17 days ago. I always ate fairly healthily, but my nighttime snacking has definitely been cut way back and I have really reduced the amount of processed food that I eat on a daily basis.

Let's have a peek at what I've been noshing on this week:

I've been eating lots of protein pancakes and egg white scrambles for breakfast. A couple of days ago, I decided to stuff a tortilla with the egg white scramble and then added some mashed avocado to create my version of a breakfast quesadilla. It was pretty freakin' yummy! I mixed a little taco seasoning with some non-fat plain Greek Yogourt as my sauce on the side.

After my workout is done, it's off to work I go. A large coffee with milk is my morning drug :-)

My snacks have mainly consisted of some sort of conction that involves non-fat Greek Yogourt. I recently won some granola from Boulder Granola (new fave!!), so I've been mixing in a bit of that together with a peach chopped up into chunks.
We got some local peaches on the weekend and they are scrumptiuous!


I've also been eating raspberry cheesecake protein popsicles like crazy.

*Teaser - I have a new popsicle recipe coming for all you chocaholics out there! Stay tuned....  ;-)

Most of my veggies are consumed at lunch. Large salads and boatloads of water are the norm.
This salad was awesome--I combined a baby arugula/spinach mix with broccoli slaw, raw almonds, shredded carrots, yellow pepper & marinated tofu and then added some light spicy peanut dressing.


I actually had time to put together a nice dinner for Derek & I on Sunday --- it was nice to relax and have a leisurely meal together! I had marinated kabobs loaded with veggies & tofu, some whole grain brown rice and a side of roasted beets from our garden. Ok, so they're from Derek's uncle's side of our garden, but we're family, so we share so he won't mind that I scooped some while no one was there on Sunday morning hehe ;-)

My workout plan has increased from 4 days per week to 5. We still have 2 weeks of no cardio, but I've really started enjoying the weight training and I'm not missing the cardio as much as I did in the beginning. We've also increased the weight from 60% of our maximum to 80%. Let's just say that my body hurts. Most of it is a good muscle hurt, but yesterday I couldn't raise my arms above shoulder level without some serious effort!

If all goes according to plan, my workout schedule this week is going to look a little like this:

Monday - Chest & Triceps
Tuesday - Legs
Wednesday - Back & Biceps
Thursday - Shoulders & Abs
Friday - Chest & Triceps
Saturday - Yoga
Sunday - Rest

My upper body is definitely where my weaknesses lie, so instead of doubling up on the legs workouts, I've decided to double up on chest & triceps this week and then maybe back & biceps next week.

Whew, I've written quite the WIAW post this week! If you have any questions or want any more information about my experience with the LiveFit trainer, my clean eats or workouts, please feel free to email me anytime. If you're looking for more food & fitness inspiration, head on over to visit Jenn at Peas & Crayons and see what other bloggers have been up to this week.

What is your fave body part to work out at the gym?
Enjoy the rest of your week!