Pumpkin Protein Powerhouse Smoothie

HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEEN!

In the spirit of this spooky holiday I decided to whip up a unusual (to my routine anyways) and very impromptu smoothie this morning. Pumpkin puree was obviously going to be in the mix but the rest I just winged from there. I was craving a veggie omelet but couldn’t think of a way to give it a festive twist so here’s a new smoothie to add to the mix!

Pumpkin Protein Powerhouse Smoothie

Recipe:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 7 almonds
  • 1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt or coconut yogurt (omit for a less thick texture)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Dash of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and sweetener (last ingredient is optional)

Calorie Count: 350- Not too bad for all the candy I see in the future for the rest of my day!

Also please keep in mind the bigger things in life than silly costumes, sweet treats, and spooky jokes- Keep everyone on the east coast in your thoughts and prayers!

Hurricane Sandy: death toll rises as storm hits land. Deaths reported in New York as the historic storm hits land in southern New Jersey

Hurricane Sandy

Most importantly be safe and remember calories don’t count today… right? We’ll be dancing them all off tonight anyways…

❤ Jamie

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Halloween-spiration

Although I officially celebrated Saturday night, I’m obviously keeping the party going all week. Have I mentioned I love Halloween?

By the way, my costume was a total hit…I have pics, as promised:

The night was seriously a blast, I couldn’t possibly ask for more. I love when Halloween meets my expectations 🙂

So today I thought I’d share a Halloween-themed web round-up of things I’m loving this year. Here goes:

This awesome idea from Etsy – how freaking cute, right?

Stuffed Jack-o-Lanterns from Go Dairy Free:

My Science Project’s Halloween-themed Jello Shots, especially the Candy Corn one:

Pumpkin decorating for the fashionista…such a great idea from The Autocrat:

We all know I LOVE Chocolate Covered Katie’s desserts…this one is especially relevant: Pumpkin-Filled Reeses! Um, yes please….

And last but not least, the “Fall Bucket List” from The High Heeled Hostess – I need to get on this:

So go make some Halloween desserts, carve pumpkins and jump in a pile of leaves…cause let’s be real, it will be winter before you know it! Happy Almost-Halloween!

❤ Sarah

Motivation Monday

After my morning run, I’m feeling inspired to push for a daily double today. Debating between post work weight training, a Bikram yoga class or hitting the gym for a boot camp class… Here’s a few images to get you inspired to start this week off on the right foot!

//Tone It Up girls//

Considering most of your probably engaged in plenty of Halloween festivities this past weekend, get back on track and make today a good start to the week!

Happy Monday!

❤ Jamie

Spooky Screwdrivers

Ok, so Halloween isn’t actually until Wednesday, but who goes out on Wednesday in the corporate world? (besides us…cause let’s be real, we can’t not!) Regardless, this weekend is when the real celebrating will happen, so why not brew up some chilling cocktails to get in the Halloween spirit?

Last year, we were drinking black vodka with OJ…actually turned out looking pretty awesome:

 

{{Please ignore my creepy spray-tanned hand}}

1-2 shots black vodka

1 c. orange juice

Ice, if desired

Also called Goblin Screwdrivers….they made it a little more visually appealing over at Second City Soiree:

You can also try it with cranberry juice…red and black would probably be even creepier. And don’t forget the Pumpkin Martini! Can’t get enough of those this time of year…

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m PUMPED for this weekend. Going to pick up my costume tonight! Stay tuned for photos 🙂 Have an absolute blast! And please, share your stories with us in the comments! We’d love to hear how you celebrated.

❤ Sarah

All-Day Breakfast

By now, you are well aware of obsession with brunch, but back when I was in school, breakfast was easily my least favorite meal. After late nights of studying (or other activities) I never had much of an appetite before class. I used to force myself to eat something just because I knew all the benefits of kick starting the morning off right –>have to get that metabolism going<–

Well boy have the tides changed! Especially since my workouts typically take place the second I roll out of bed, my stomach is practically growling before I can get food into it.  I make it a point now every morning to get up and whip something together before heading off to work.  I have a number of go-tos: smoothies, veggie scrambles, oatmeal, cereal, my version of a breakfast sandwich or scramble wrap, rice cakes w/ almond butter and banana or greek yogurt w/ fruit and granola.  In honor of my new-found love for breakfast, last week I decided to take one day and solely stick to breakfast food. Quick and easy meals, here’s what I came up with:

The Menu

For Breakfast: Puffins peanut butter and chocolate cereal w/ almond milk and diced banana

For Lunch= Green Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
7 almonds
1/3 cup non-fat greek yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk (can be more but I like mine thicker)
Handful spinach
1/2 scoop Whey Vanilla protein powder
Dash of cinnamon
Optional: If I’m feeling naughty 1/2-1 tbsp PB or almond butter

For Dinner: Veggie Scramble (pic was taken half way through)

2 eggs
Diced onion
Died jalapeno
Handful spinach
Cherry tomatoes
Black beans

Topped w/ avocado and salsa
Don’t forget your snacks as well!
In the spirit of Halloween I figured since Sarah got to show off her pumpkin earlier this week, I might as well too.  I know you’re all jealous of my creativity… I’m just a little scared of sharp objects.
Any ideas for last-minute Halloween costumes? I’m running a little low on time!
❤ Jamie

Trend Alert: Mid-Knuckle Rings

These are my latest obsession. There’s just something about these little buggers that makes hands look so elegant. Here are a few that I’m loving right now:

SunaharA, $23

Supply, $28

Etsy, $24

Little tip, the one I wear every day was actually a toe ring…so if you have any cute toe rings from back in the day, re-purpose them!

Back to work, my team is launching Windows 8 this week…get ready world!

❤ Sarah

Benefits of Sleep

The last few nights have been a constant battle of trying to get myself in bed before my weeknight (aka corporate world) curfew. While it’s a battle I’ve seemed to be losing these past few days, it results in a tough decision… Get the extra hour or so of sleep, or get up and hit the gym. Typically I make it a punishment that if I break curfew, I have no other choice but to get up and sweat it out. But I’m quickly starting to realize a girl can’t live off 5 hours of sleep a night!

We all know the answer is clearly BALANCE, but when that seems impossible, it’s important to be making decisions that will keep you healthy instead of running you into the ground.  I’m starting to accept it’s not a bad thing to sleep in past 5 am on a weekday and get that extra bit of shut-eye.  Being restless and groggy can lead to poor eating choices, and in my case, sugar cravings! There are ways to incorporate extra calorie burn (seen here) throughout the day so that if you need to give yourself a free pass [[every now and again]]… it won’t kill ya.

Of course, the benefits to working out are limitless; improves mood, boosts energy, weight control, ups your metabolism, relieves stress… you get the point! But sometimes what isn’t so obvious are the benefits of a good night’s rest.  Here are a few reasons from Health.com on why it may not always be so bad to hit snooze and stay curled up in your comfy bed an extra hour… just don’t make it a habit 🙂

Improves memory: If you’re trying to learn something new, you will perform better after a good nights rest.  During sleep you can strengthen memories or practice skills learned while you were awake–>Hence why you rest up for athletic competitions or college exams.

Live longer: As simple as too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan.

Curb inflammation: Which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging. Research shows that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins.

Spur creativity: Research indicates that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.

Improves athletic and scholarly performance: Easy one… being well rested helps your physical and mental performance.

Maintain a healthy weight: “Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.”

Lower stress and anxiety: “Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure,” Dr. Jean says. “It’s also believed that sleep affects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.” According to Dr. Jean you also get more emotion stability with good sleep which helps you steer clear of depression.

Overall who doesn’t want to banish under eye circles and maintain glowing skin while living a happy and healthier life?  I’m not saying use this as an excuse to be a repeat offender on that snooze button [because we all know my morning workouts are more effective than my post run cup of joe] but when there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day, make sure to BALANCE as best you can!

❤ Jamie

Copycat Trader Joe’s Carrot Miso Dressing

What a weekend! Pumpkin carving, tons of football, and VIP treatment at the bars….I’d say it was definitely a success.

Two of my fall faves: Bears football and Halloween

However, after what seems like weeks of never ending craziness, it’s time for me to give my body a rest. My head is foggy, I’m tired, and just generally not feeling great, which I know is a symptom of lots of late nights, lack of exercise and little attention to my diet. Plus, Halloween is fast approaching, and I want to be feeling nothing short of fabulous for my favorite holiday. So this week, I’m cutting out inflammatory foods like corn, tomatoes, sugar and processed soy, and focusing on green smoothies, fruits, veggies, whole grains and tons of water…AKA what my diet used to look like.

This morning, I decided to whip up a green smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch, the perfect foods to kick off a cleanse. Lately, I’ve been craving Trader Joe’s Super Spinach Salad due to it’s to-die-for Carrot Miso dressing. Unfortunately, it’s pretty calorie laden due to all the oil they add…not exactly cleanse friendly. So I decided to make my own healthier version this morning to put on my lunch salad. It seriously tastes exactly like the real thing…which makes me insanely excited for lunch.

HEALTHY TRADER JOE’S CARROT MISO DRESSING

Ingredients:

2 medium sized carrots, diced

3/4 inch chunk of ginger, sliced

1-2 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 tbsp. olive oil (you can use less or omit completely to further cut cals)

2 tsp. rice vinegar

1 tbsp. miso paste

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or magic bullet and process until smooth. Add water as necessary to achieve desired texture. This recipe makes enough dressing for 2 salads (gotta love leftovers!)

So, I’m curious… how do you cleanse after a crazy weekend?

Have a wonderful Monday, let’s make it a great week!

<3Sarah

Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Herbs and Onions

Happy Friday!

I literally have no food. I’m in desparate need of a trip to the grocery store. Luckily, I still managed to whip up something to eat for lunch today, given my extremely limited selection.

Now that fall is here, I find myself craving roasted vegetables all the time. Squash and sweet potatoes are my favorite to roast, but lately I’ve been trying to branch out a little bit. Today, all I had was purple cauliflower. Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

 

I roasted it up with onions, garlic and rosemary…it was easy as pie and completely delicious.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 head purple cauliflower

1 small onion

3-4 cloves garlic, sliced

Rosemary, salt and pepper

1 tbsp. coconut oil

Instructions:

Melt the coconut oil. Cut up the veggies and coat with oil, spices and herbs. Set oven to 450 degrees and cook for 20 minutes, checking a few times to rotate the veggies. Add some water to the pan if the cauliflower doesn’t seem to be getting soft. Serve as a side or over rice with a delicious dressing!

Serves 1-2

Hope you all have another fabulous weekend!

❤ Sarah

Homemade Pizza

Pizza probably isn’t the first thing you think of when making a healthy homemade dinner choice. Fortunately, there are multiple swaps that can make it more calorie-conscious then ordering it in. Whole wheat dough, reduced fat cheese and lots of veggies, just to name a few (or, make it vegan using Daiya cheese or just veggies).

Typically when making homemade pizzas we’ll gather some friends and let everyone make their own individual pizza from the bar of toppings, using homemade dough from scratch or whole grain tortillas as a base, like this spicy little number.  Last night a friend and I got together to have a little pizza and beer and celebrate the Blazer’s first home [pre-season] game!

Ingredients (These will vary, but last nights selections):

  • Whole wheat dough (you can also use tortillas or your favorite gluten free crust!)
  • Pesto
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Reduced Fat mozzarella cheese, or Daiya Vegan Cheese if you avoid dairy
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Mushrooms
  • 1/2 a pepper
  • Shrimp
  • Olive Oil

 //Pre Oven: Left half=Pesto, artichoke, shrimp Right half= Marinara, mushroom, pepper//

Instructions:
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • Flatten dough as thin as possible [I’m more of the thin crust type]- We went for a rectangular shape
  • Spread a thin layer of pesto on 1/2 and marinara on the other
  • Sprinkle w/ cheese
  • Apply toppings (sliced mushroom, peppers, artichoke)
  • Optional to sprinkle w/ cheese again (It’s technically split into 4 squares… hence why the bottom half has more cheese and stray peppers…clearly not my half:))
  • Place pizza in oven
  • Cook shrimp in olive oil on skilit until almost cooked (pictured below)

//Grilled Shrimp//

  • Coat shrimp w/ a tbsp of pesto and dice
  • Once pizza is half-cooked, pull out and add shrimp
  • Cook for around 15 mins or until you can lift the bottom of pizza and see it browning
  • Let it cool then slice and enjoy!

//Final Result//

I have a strict rule where I must attempt to make each masterpiece slightly different from the last.  That being said, I may have to make an exception for the pesto/artichoke/shrimp half…topped with red pepper flakes and ranch for dipping makes it pretty hard to beat!  All and all, best part of the night… BLAZERS getting the win! Counting down the minutes till I see them live in action tomorrow!

❤ Jamie