Friday Favorites- Granola and Yogurt Edition and BONUSES!

Happy Friday loves!  I haven’t done a Friday Favorites in months!  Without further ado:

It’s so odd to think I gave up both dairy and grains a few months ago to try to be ‘healthy.’ I honestly found that I feel so much better eating healthy protein-packed greek yogurt and granola.  Here are some of my favorite finds I have been LOVING lately!

Siggi’s Skyr Greek Yogurt.

siggis yogurtI love Greek yogurt and Chobani will always have my heart, but I love Siggi’s Skyr Yogurt.  What is Skyr?  According to Siggi’s:

“Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It is made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures. The whey, the water naturally found in milk, is then strained away to make for a much thicker, creamier, concentrated yogurt. So to make just one cup of skyr, with all that water going out, you need 3 – 4 times the amount of milk required to make a regular cup of yogurt. As a result of this process skyr comes out with 2-3 times the protein count of standard yogurt.”

*Warning for your sweet tooth: It is a bit more tart than other Greek yogurts and more thick, too.  I love it!  I’ve been having it along with Muesli Fusion and Kind granola for snacking and breakfasts! I also use it as a filling in my egg white ‘crepes’ I eat for brinner!

egg crepe

Strange but oh so good!

Another Skyr yogurt product I found at CVS of all places- B’more Organic Skyr Vanilla smoothie!

shakeIt is a fantastic smoothie with more than 30g of protein per bottle! Plus, no added sugar!  What’s more- they “donate 10% of after tax profits to Jodi’s Climb for Hope—a non-profit dedicated to funding cures for breast cancer and MS.”  Awesome!  I poured this over some granola from Teaism I got near my office for a healthy snack!

Muesli Fusion– I actually have been a fan of muesli- a loose, raw granola-like cereal more common overseas- since I went on a European cruise back in 2008.  The ship was based out of England so their breakfast spread was catered to the European clients- meats and cheeses as well as their version of oatmeal- muesli!  Cold, wet oats with nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

muesli fusion

My favorite flavor!!

Anyway, I got to try, fell in love with, and snagged a couple bags of this awesome stuff while at Blend Retreat.  It is by far the best muesli I have ever had!  I have been making overnight oats- something I never do!- for the past couple of weeks.  My favorite flavor has some great stuff in it, too!  Oats, chia seeds, almonds, cranberries, hemp hearts and unsweetened coconut!  Here’s my recipe for the best overnight oats featuring Muesli Fusion:

  • Scant 1/3 C Muesli Fusion
  • 1/3 C plain greek yogurt (I switch from Siggi’s to Chobani, whatever I feel like having)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T sugar free jam (any flavor, I love raspberry and blueberry)

Mix all ingredients in a plastic container, store in fridge overnight.  Add a splash more almond milk in the morning, top with favorite toppings (I love more hemp hearts and Kind granola) and dig in!  You can also heat it up in the microwave for a minute or two as well- I love it both ways!

kind granolaKind Granola– I stopped eating granola when I went strict paleo/Whole 30 since granola has oats in it (paleo= no grains of any kind…aka persistent grumpy Krista).  I had heard about Kind granola and seen it in the stores so thought I would give it a try.  I LOVE it- it is super crunchy (a must for granola), gluten free, no funky ingredients, and lots of fiber!  Plus- it has super big clusters!  Totally loose granola like oats is just weird- give me the clusters!

Lastly, a couple bonuses for you guys!!

First, to top off your yogurt edition Friday Favorites, I have a new recipe for you-which includes greek yogurt!

MANGO cranberry almond greek yogurt flax oat powerhouse bars!!

Whew that’s a mouthful (no pun intended 🙂 ) But how do I fit in all the amazingness that are in these bars without such a long title??  Seriously, these bars are packed with yummy stuff and will make a great stick-yo-your-ribs snack!

Onto the recipe!!

mango barMango Cranberry Almond…Powerhouse Bars

Makes roughly 12 bars (inspiration/majorly altered from balanced spoon)

Ingredients:

  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C flour
  • Scant 1/2 C flax meal
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/8-1/4 cup cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped MANGO
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 C lil shuga (can substitute honey)
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2-3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Cinnamon/cloves to taste (I omitted but I bet it would be yummy!)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a pan with foil and spray foil with non stick spray.

Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.  Mix wet into dry.  Add additional milk if the batter looks a little dry.

Spread batter (it will be a bit thick!) into pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly puffed and no longer jiggly.  Let cool, cut and enjoy!

And the last bonus for Friday, a few favorite posts this week:

Crafty Hodge Podge via Hey Love Designs  <–featuring yours truly 🙂

A Dream Come True via City Girl Blogs (breast cancer survivor, friend, and new mom!)

6 Basic Things to Look for When Choosing a New Veterinarian via I Still Want More Puppies  <–good to know for the future!

Avett Bros Concert and Some New Races via Geek Turned Athlete

Rowing: How to via Runner Girl Eats  <–this is good info!

What Counts as Cardio via The Family Practice Blog  <–awesome!

The real story about my BolderBoulder via Wonderings of a Twenty Something

Letting Myself Talk and Making Myself Listen via City and the Cubicle

Life as a 20-something via Cookie Dough Katzen  <–love this!!

Have a fabulous Friday everyone!!  And a great weekend!  Those battling Tropical Storm (as I type this) Andrea- stay safe!

Rock on Lovers 🙂

Pin it Partaaay!

Hiya lovers!  Today is a special day- Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean is hosting a Pin it Party!  It’s such a great idea and way for highlight our favorite posts, increase blog exposure, and spread the pin love! I have five posts I would love to see pinned more in Pinterest, and I plan to pin some of the amazing stuff other bloggers have linked up.

Here are my top five posts!! Enjoy and don’t forget to check out other amazing bloggers- and join the party!! Thanks Lindsay for such a great idea 🙂 Happy Pinning!!

Quinoa blueberry and oat muffins

muffin pm

These are made with quinoa flakes, oats, and frozen blueberries.  I also have a cinnamon recipe for these muffins on the link, too!  The muffins make a great breakfast or midday snack!

Pumpkin chocolate chip quinoa cookies

quinoa cookie2

These cookies are also made with quinoa flakes and have an added protein kick with protein powder.  Even better? They’re grain and gluten free! A perfect healthy treat!

How to choose your Crossfit Box

choose box

When I decided to join Crossfit, I had a few choices in which box (Crossfit term for gym) I could go to. After a workout one day I got to chatting with other members about how they chose our box.  This post has great information on what to consider when choosing your Crossfit box.

Home Circuit and Homemade BBQ Sauce

At home circuit Pic

No gym?  No prob!  You can do this circuit workout in your living room while watching your favorite evening show! I won’t lie-it is intense! Especially going into the third round, I was a sweaty mess!  Bonus- there is an easy homemade BBQ sauce recipe on the post!

True Gratitude trapeze tg

I think this is something we can all relate to- remembering to be grateful for all we have in life, especially when times are tough.  A long-held belief of mine is that without suffering there can be no compassion.  I feel that without true gratitude there can be no contentment.

Hope you enjoyed my post for the Pin it Party!  See more on Lindsay‘s blog!

Quinoa and Oat Breakfast Muffins- Two ways!

Hello and happy hump day!  I hope everyone’s having a great week- and that you had a stellar weekend like me!  Here’s a quick recap:

I drove to my momma’s house this weekend with the bf for a quick visit.  I didn’t get to spend time with my niece, nephew or sister as they headed to a cheer competition a few hours away.  I’m sad I didn’t get to see much of them but they won several titles!!  Proud auntie right here 🙂  Friday night we had a fabulous Mexican dinner out, followed by movie night where we saw ‘Olympus has fallen.’  While the firearm-instructor bf and federal-government-employee-self kind of nitpicked the validity of the movie, it was still very entertaining and suspenseful!  Plus, this man in any movie is a great movie!

Swoon

Swoon

Source

Saturday I spent a couple hours tossing out junk I saved from my childhood so momma could have her garage back.  I still have several more boxes to go through in her basement, but it felt good to clear out stuff I no longer need.  (PS- this site has great advise on when to let sentimental things go).  Other than a few key pieces (my high school diploma, old photos) I said a quick goodbye to my pogs and tossed the rest out.

Aside from the normal GCL- grocery/chores/laundry- the rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing.  At Crossfit I found my 1RM (1 rep max) for overhead squats- 55#.  Not much, but it’s a good starting point, and I can only progress from here! I also dead-lifted 65#- more than I ever thought I could do!  I am seriously in love with Crossfit.  I am doing so much and pushing my body more than I ever imagined and it feels amazing!! I have never been more sore but it hurts so good!

muscle hurt

Truth

Source

Well, what better way to finish off a great weekend and break up the work week than with a recipe?  I never really had the intention to post these until Bethany urged me to after seeing this pic on Instagram:

Wow, that pan needs some scrubbing!

Wow, that pan needs some scrubbing!

I was in such a baking mood I decided to make two different kinds of muffins- cinnamon and blueberry (pictured).

These sucker’s are dense and lightly sweet and packed with healthy ingredients that make a great addition to any breakfast- and they have some serious staying power!

Ok ok, enough tempting, now get to baking!

Blueberry or Cinnamon Quinoa Flake and Oat Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • just under 1 T ground flax seed
  • 1/2 C oats
  • 1 C quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 T lil shuga (or stevia to taste)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to taste

Pick one (or add your own! Get creative!):

  • 1/2 T Cinnamon (for cinnamon muffins)
  • roughly 1/2 C frozen blueberries (for blueberry muffins)
YUM!

YUM!

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners- and spray the paper ones with non-stick spray, this batter sticks! Whisk eggs, applesauce, vanilla, almond milk and spices in a bowl until well combined.  Add quinoa, flax seed, and oats and mix until just combined.  If making blueberry muffins, add the barely-thawed blueberries (just take out and let them thaw while you prep your other ingredients) and mix until combined.  Spoon into muffin tins and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool a bit and serve!  I topped mine with a little sunbutter- well, because I put that shizzle on everything! (ha ha like Franks redhot, but BETTER!)

Get creative with these- add in mini chocolate chips, use other frozen berries or dried cranberries, add a couple tablespoons of nutbutter- or sunbutter!!- add chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds.  The possibilities are endless!

Have a great week everyone!

Rock on lovers 🙂

The little things

Happy Wednesday!! I cannot wait till this week is over.  I have been in such a blah mood I can’t seem to shake. When I get a little down about life circumstances (crummy job, finance worries, etc), I try to focus on the good things in my life. I was touched by a post Julie did over at Peanut Butter Fingers where she described the little things that bring her joy.  In rough economic and political times such as these, I think its a great idea to remember the little things are what make life worth living. Here are some of mine:

Reading in bed with my boyfriend M. So yes, we are old.  Both M and I love to read so frequently before bed we read next to one another.  It’s a bit cheesy, but I love it. I just finished The Host by Stephenie Meyer. It was a fantastic read that I could not put it down!! I highly recommend it for all you fellow dystopian novel lovers!

Making coffee for my mom. When I visit my mom I usually wake up before she does (woah, role reversal!).  When my dad was diagnosed with cancer and was home a lot, he would still make it out of bed to make and bring my mom her coffee in bed before work.  On weekends it was a leisurely thing they enjoyed together, sipping coffee and talking about weekend plans.  I make it a point to make and bring her coffee when I’m home. Even though I can’t replace her soul mate, I feel like, for a brief moment, I can provide a tiny morsel of that joy I know she misses so much.

Watching the sunrise/sunset. Cliche? Nope. I don’t watch it every morning and night, but especially when I go on vacation, I make it a point to watch at least one sunrise and sunset.  It is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment and wonder to see the sun rise and set in different parts of the world.

Meiterranean Cruise Juune 2012 117 - Copy

Sunset on cruise ship in Europe with S

Meiterranean Cruise Juune 2012 119 - Copy

Sunset continued

Meiterranean Cruise Juune 2012 312 - Copy

Sunrise in Mediterranean Sea

I also enjoy seeing the beautiful sunrises on my commute to work.

No filter and yes I took this :)

No filter- walk to work

Sadly, thanks to daylight savings, I don’t see them any more 😦

Sunflower seed butter.

sunbutter

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know my obsession love for sunflower seed butter.  Especially Once Again nut butter, which is made where my boyfriend grew up! They make excellent things there 🙂

Tiny accomplishments at Crossfit. It’s hard for me to be proud of the little accomplishments in Crossfit.  I tend to want to get things right the first time and get frustrated when I’m the ‘wimpy’ one in class, but Monday night I didn’t care.  I did power snatches with the ‘training’ bar and added 5# to each side, plus the wood plates for stability, with no shame.  I even had a SUPER hardcore coach who was taking the class work right behind me, intensely power lifting his way through with a crazy intimidating, weight belt-strapped-muscle-heavy body.  His name is Sven…. doesn’t that just ooze intimidation?!  But I did the workout and finished with good reps and did not even care he was there!

Cat snuggles. When my roommate is home, her two cats predominantly stick to her side.  But when I get home before she does they latch themselves onto me and it is so cute!

Patty all snuggled :)

Patty all snuggled 🙂

Patty will snuggle with me on the couch and Phindus will sleep on my bed.  They aren’t mine, but for a few hours it feels nice to have fur babies comfort me 🙂

Those are just a few for now.  Maybe I can do a regular post about the little things in life I enjoy to help inspire others that are also in a rut!

Rock on Lovers 🙂

What are some of your little joys in life?

Fresh new salad idea for Spring!

This past weekend I did a grocery trip to Whole Paycheck.  I love love that store so much, even if it is a big money suck.  They always have fun samples of new items to try, friendly staff, and great healthy and unique food selections.  I always leave spending way more than I wanted but leaving with some great stuff!

Saturday I had one of the best samples I have ever had here.  It was a simple spinach salad with the best dressing I have ever tasted. I even went back for seconds…is that a Whole Foods Sample no-no?  Dont care, I had no shame like Abu here:

abuLooking at the ingredients next to the mixing bowl I recreated this amazing salad as soon as I got home with my empty bank account bounty.  It is ridiculously simple but tastes so amazing you wont believe how easy it is!

Crazy Simple Parmesan Lime Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

  • Baby spinach
  • Good Olive Oil
  • Fresh-from-the-round Parmesano Reggiano Cheese (no green lidded tubes!)
  • Freshly cracked S&P
  • Fresh lime juice

Method: Add your greens to a bowl and gently drizzle a little olive oil over your spinach.  Next squeeze a lime wedge all over.  Add some grated Parm Reg and crack some S&P.  Gently toss and devour!

Seriously I was blown away by this flavor combo.  Parm and Lime may sound weird but definitely try it- it is so fresh and bright and perfect for Spring!  Liven up your work lunch salad!

And check it out- you can get your very own WHEEL of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for only $930!!

Rock on Lovers 🙂

What’s your favorite salad dressing?  How about cheese?

Quinoa flake noatmeal recipe and MIMM#3

Happy Marvelous in My Monday!! It’s my third one!  Yay!

My weekend was uneventful, other than a great brunch with Michelle and Stef 🙂  I love those ladies 🙂 I also finally saw Magic Mike with some girlfriends from work.  Verdict?  Meh.  I’ve actually seen something similar in Vegas….I’ll leave the rest to your imagination 🙂

Boy do I have a great recipe for you! I am a former oatmeal addict-turned-paleo-ish eater and miss my morning bowl of warm, thick, deliciousness something awful. I have been trying different recipes found on the interwebs to supplement my old oatmeal cravings.  If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you now I am a huge fan of my morning breakfast scramble from Tina’s blog.  As much as I love that recipe I needed a change!  I would really love grits all the time, especially after enjoying a lovely meal at Busboys last week, but sadly the nutrition profile is less than stellar.  High empty carbs, barely any protein, and, if we’re splitting hairs, corn is technically a grain. I wanted something similar and after some research I found this:

quinoa flakes

Quinoa flakes!  I was a bit skeptical since the taste of quinoa is a bit strong (not bad, just different nutty flavor), but after making this batch last night I am sold!  And have a new breakfast addiction 🙂

It is thick, creamy, only a slight quinoa flavor, and full of protein and healthy carbs!

Breakfast Quinoa Flake Noatmeal

Like my pink Menchies spoon??

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C organic quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 C liquid egg whites
  • 1/4 C unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 C canned pumpkin
  • Stevia, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc to taste

Method:

Cook quinoa according to instructions: bring to a boil 1 C of water.  Add quinoa flakes, stir well and cook for 1 minute.  Add egg whites, pumpkin, almond milk and spices and combine and mix well.  Remove from heat, stirring frequently. (Or, cook on medium high heat for additional 2-3 minutes, which will make it very thick!).  Add whatever toppings float your boat! I love adding sunflower seed butter and watching get all melty 🙂

Marvelous recipe indeed!!

Today was also marvelous because I did a Crossfit type workout at work with a close friend/coworker (lots of work in that sentence!) and it was killer!  He had been asking me to join his workouts for some time so I finally caved- he chose and he delivered a sweaty workout!

For time:

  • 25 walking lunges
  • 20 pull ups (assisted)
  • 50 box jumps
  • 20 double unders (I did 40 single)
  • 20 V ups
  • 30 kettle bell swings
  • 20 burpees
  • 25 dips
  • 20 back extensions
  • 20 wall balls

We finished in about 30 minutes and were both a sweaty mess after.   I look forward to more crazy workouts with him in the future!

Happy MIMM!  Hope it was marvelous for you, too 🙂

Rock on Lovers 🙂  Any good recipes or workouts lately that kick butt?

Monday Circuit And BBQ Sauce

Morning everyone!  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Thank you all for your kind support, and thank you to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for a fantastic sponsor post shoutout. Check it out- I’m sponsoring her for January!

Today I am writing to you from my house- we have a delay for work so I had time to sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast and write a new post- with a fun PicMonkey creation and a recipe I created yesterday.  Pretty productive use of my time off from work this morning!

I spent this weekend with my mom.  It was fabulous.  I took Friday off so I had more time to spend with her.  We didn’t do anything except a little shopping at Ulta (like Sephora, I could spend hours in there playing with makeup like an 8 year old!) and eating Wegman’s sushi while watching tv.  It was a simple, relaxing weekend.

Love

My rock

I wanted to get a little sweat in, so I decided to do a circuit I created and actually did while visiting the bf;s fam in NY over the holidays. No gym?  No prob!  You can do this in your living room while watching your favorite evening show since its about 30 minutes. It is intense- especially going into the third round, you will be sweatin’ and feeling these moves!

At home circuit Pic

I was a sweaty, spent mess!  Definitely a good at-home workout!

I spent Sunday doing chores and hanging with the bf.  I was craving turkey burgers and BBQ sauce like a mad woman, and I had a small hissy when I realized I forgot to get BBQ at the grocery store!  I looked up a quick recipe from PaleOMG. I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients so I made a BBQ from what the bf had in his kitchen- and it turned out really good!

On the fly BBQ Sauce

photo(28)

Ingredients:

  • Approx 2 Tbsp apple butter (I had sugar and spice added)
  • Approx 2 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 2-3 Tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch or Two Cayenne
  • Shake or Two Garlic powder
  • S&P

Method:

Mix everything together to quell your BBQ sauce craving!  A lot of this is just to taste, so mix and add ingredients as you go to your liking! I was pleasantly surprised how good this was!  Even the bf was impressed 🙂

Well it’s time for me to get ready for work!  Have a great Monday!

Rock on Lovers 🙂

Question: ever make anything on the fly and it turned out really well?