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 🙂

Holy Heatwave and Froyo News!

Hello and happy Monday! How was everyone’s 4th of July? Mine wasn’t too shabby! Spent it with the bf and friends and staying indoors- it has been ridiculously hot in the DC area! And the weekend prior almost the entire area lost power! I ended up only spending a portion of the weekend at my moms to celebrate her birthday as her power went out in addition to mine! Thankfully my bf (who luckily was one of the few who had power) let me mooch off crash with him in his AC apartment. But we did get it back late Sunday morning so I was able to return home to finish the weekend chores and get ready with power for the workweek!

Last weekend was the hottest of this crazy heat wave the country has been experiencing and I spent it tubing in Harper’s Ferry! We had a big group of people and had a great time sweating cooling off in the river! One of my friends M made some amazing fruity hippie juice while I brought adult gummy bears (read: vodka soaked!).  Both were a huge hit! We snacked, drank, and lazed the heatwave-day away!

As I mentioned din my previous post (and if you cant already tell), I’ve been updating my blog to have a more snazzy design! I am in no way blog-creative and am somewhat technically challenged when it comes to website design, but I hope I can get this blog completed soon! So thanks for sticking around while this place is under construction.

Now onto the most exciting news to share. Based on a recommendation from M, I am creating a new series on here- froyo reviews! If you follow me on here and Twitter you know how serious this addiction is- and there’s only one way to cure it- trying every froyo place I can!  More info can be found on the Froyo Love page!

Oh, and I joined a gym again!  Feels so good to be back in there lifting weights and getting my sweat on!

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  Rock on lovers 🙂

Love and Loathe, Toss and Try

Hello and happy almost-weekend Lovers!  I have been crazy busy (as always it seems!) and super stressed. I have been attempting but procrastinating studying hard for a test I have to take Saturday for a job I applied to- and will hopefully get!  I am really nervous- even though I started a new position a couple months ago, this one is even closer to what I really want to do with my background in Forensic Psychology.  But enough about stress!  I wanted to mention my awesome weekend prior to last weekend where I was lucky to spend a couple days at my best gf’s moms house in the country near WV!  It was very peaceful and tranquil, her house welcoming and warm, and I had such an enjoyable time.  Even though it was chilly and rained, I still enjoyed communing with nature and getting away from the city for a bit.  They were such gracious and kind hosts I cant wait to visit again!  Hopefully this time it’ll be a bit warmer and rain-less!

Since my last couple of posts were a bit lengthy, I thought I would make this one a simple ‘What I hate/what I love post’.  So here ya go!  Some things I’ve been loving, loathing, trying and tossing.  Maybe I’ll make this a regular post?!

Love:

  • Veggies.  Been craving broccoli and carrots recently.  No idea why but I’m sure my body loves it!
  • Farmers Market- there is one right next to my work every Thursday.  They have great apples and my favorite apple butter, plus a gelato stand!
  • Weather
  • New workout challenges
  • Smores

    Yum

Loathe:

  • Injury- pulled quad.  If you follow me on twitter (@Shortqtpie) You know I pulled my quad muscle really bad playing soccer a couple weeks ago.  I have never pulled a muscle this bad- I literally hobbled off the field in tears.  Thankfully it is almost all better today!
  • Forced exercise regime (see above- no insanity, walking only)
  • Studying- It just gets harder the older I get to discipline myself to study.

Trying:

  • Paleo diet- since when do I not try something new?  I LOVE my oatmeal and miss it so.  But so far so good!  The hardest has been giving up dairy- slowly but surely.
  • Coconut flour- its an approved flour on the paleo diet, and I have been making coconut flour everything- cookies, pancakes, you name it.

Tossing:

  • Fish parenting.  I’m sad to report that Sultan Carlos Finnegan did not survive the weekend I was in WV.  Sad Face 😦

 

What are you loving/loathing, tossing/trying recently?

Wish me luck this weekend!  I will definitely need it!!

Rock on lovers 🙂

 

Hunger Games and My Grief

Hello lovers!  Hope everyone had a great Hunger Games weekend!!  I went to see it with a bunch of coworkers after work Friday.  I devoured read the serious in a ridiculously fast time.  I can never thank one of my best girlfriends S enough for turning me on to the books!  I was so enthralled reading the books, and my poor roommate heard me rant and rave while I tore through the books.  Even more than my insatiable desire to finish the series, I wish my dad was alive to read the series.  Here’s hoping they have them in Heaven!  But back to the movie:

EPIC

I thought the movie did a fantastic job of portraying the best of the book that it could- for a short movie.  I think people that get very upset when the movie doesn’t match the book don’t realize- well duh, the movie will never have YOUR portrayal/imagination that you created when you read it.  So of course it will never live up to what you imagined!  I think the terror Katniss felt when entering the arena was great, but I do wish they would have expanded on her relationship struggle with Gale as well as their trials while in their Districts and in the arena a bit more.  I think this website (Thanks, Katy!) does an excellent job of stating everything that us obsessed devoted Hunger Games fans think the movie could have included to really make it even more awesome.

Moving on to a bit more sobering topic.  The anniversary of my dad’s suicide is approaching.  On April 3rd it will be three years.  Three years.  Three years seems like so much and so little at the same time.  I cannot believe so much time has passed since I have seen, spoken, hugged, argued, and laughed with my dad.  I have come such a long way since the first few days and weeks following his sudden passing.  I spent the first year in a blur trying to find my place in a new world- one without my daddy.  It was extremely helpful to be attending graduate school as a full time student, while also working a full time job.  I began a mere four months after his passing, and I was so grateful for the intense distraction school gave me.  And when I wasn’t writing papers or reading articles for class, I was consoling my mother- a young widow at the age of 53.  Only after I finished school in December 2010 did my real healing begin.  I began spending time with friends again, sleeping through the night, and really trying to cope with the changed person I became.  To this day I struggle with normal life situations.  I get jealous when friends tell me they argued with their dads.  Anytime I watch ‘Say yes to the dress’ I cry a little inside knowing my dad will never be there to make fun of all the frilly dresses, or walk me down the aisle insisting he will never give away his daughter- my groom will have to fight him for me, and of course everything he will miss as I live on.  And every time I pass my old home exit off the freeway when driving to my mom’s new house, I feel so deeply sad I can no longer seek comfort in the home I made so many memories with him in.

From the outside I’m sure I appear normal- I go to work everyday, I continue to exercise, go out and meet friends, and even date (albeit fruitlessly).  I laugh at my coworker’s silly jokes, I cry watching the Hunger Games, I love getting my free truffle from Godiva, and enjoy sitting outside soaking up the suns glorious warmth.  But inside I am still healing from what professionals call complicated grief- grief that has longer periods of sorrow and anguish.  Knowing my dad took his own life has a myriad of grief symptoms I cannot even begin to describe on this blog- anger, disappointment, guilt.  And this grief doesn’t simply ease with the passage of time- only my coping skills help me disguise it better from the world.  While I have accepted my dad was in an excruciating amount of physical and mental pain, and I know he was not in his right mind and only saw death as an escape from his pain, I still struggle with just not having him in my life.  I find sometimes I struggle even with trying to become upset-like I cant seem to get sad. I don’t want to be sad all the time, I used to be happy! Only when I have the occasional dream or nightmare does that elicit sadness and eventually a cathartic sob session.  I miss him so much it hurts almost more than losing him.  As any fellow daddy’s girl can tell you, my daddy meant more to me than anything in life.  I lived to make him proud.  And I continue to live today for myself- to make him proud to the day I can see him again.

If you or anyone you know are in crisis and need help, please contact the free and anonymous call center 24/7 at (800) 273-TALK.

What I’m Loving Wednesday..well, the Last Few Days!

Hello lovers and Happy Hump Day!!  I hope wherever you are the weather is just as awesome as it is here in the Nation’s Capital!  I decided to do a post on things I am loving recently… and not so intently focused on food or fitness…well, maybe only a little 🙂

First off, one of my new favorite shows, New Girl, which I originally wasn’t that interested in.   But after a couple episodes, I wish it was an hour long episode!  Jess is so quirky and fun, and her roommates are so awesome!  I wish my roommate was as cool as those boys!!  (JK, S, you know you are WAY better than the boys…but I bet you wish you had them, too!)

Next is PB2!  What is PB2 you ask??  Only the most awesomest and yummiest Peanut Butter sub ever!  It’s a lighter version of peanut butter, kind of similar to peanut flour.  You simply add water to a tablespoon or two of the PB2 powder and BOOM instant reduced-calorie and still delish peanut butter!!  Yowza.

Not my photo...but I do currently have 3 things of this stuff in my possession...

On to the apple butter.  I’ve been adding this to my oatmeal every morning.  Except the last few mornings when I ran out because I was a piggly wiggly and consumed almost the entire jar in a week.  BUT its just the apple butter- no added sugar.  So its totally good for me.  Oh, got this from Whole Paycheck Foods.

See- empty jar.

I am loving my insanity workouts.  I suppose that’s easy to say today- it was ‘cardio recovery’ day, so there wasnt the normal pool of sweat at mt feet, soaking wet sweat towel and drenched workout shirt on me today.  But the workout consisted of intense core and leg muscle conditioning and boy were my legs shakin like bacon!!

I am currently 2.65 weeks into this workout and I have already started to see a little bit of the above results.  I know if I were to really reign in my diet (abs are made in the kitchen, right??) I would see results more quickly…Damn you Reese’s Peanut Butter cups!!  And as I write this now I feel guilty…and I will try harder to stick with a healthy and clean diet so I can tone up!

My job. I am loving my new job!  It’s going well so far.  Everyone is very friendly, I am learning the lingo and new terminology as quickly as I can, and picking up on my tasks and responsibilities, too.  I have even produced a few products my supervisor liked!  Best part?  NO PHONE CALLS/EMAILS.  My last position was very customer service oriented.  I was the only program manager for a while (until about 6 months before my new position where I got a partner), so I was the SME (subject matter expert)…and the only one for the entire company.  My phone and inbox would blow up every day.  In my new job, I only get a few emails from my unit/section, and the phone calls are people looking for me…but don’t know I have a new job and got routed to me in error.  In short, I love not being in a customer service roll anymore!!

Last on this list of what I am loving recently is a DC staple in the Spring.  They’re iconic, they’re beautiful, and they only last a couple weeks every year, and I have been lucky enough to see it…uhh, well, once officially…but I work so close and see them so often on tv its like I see them every year.  What are they?  The Cherry Blossoms (capitalized, duh), of course!!!

Gorgeous

So beautiful!

Sometimes I forget where I work until I see a monument or get asked by a tourist where something is.  But I am truly blessed to live and work in the capital city of the free world!  I hope everyone has a chance to come visit me here. 🙂

That’s about it for today lovers! Rock on 🙂

What are you loving recently?  Have you been to DC before?

 

Granola Review!!

Hello and Happy Hump Day!  Hope you guys are enjoying this crazy warm weather like we are having in DC!  It was so nice today my coworkers and I were able to go for a nice walk around downtown.  While I am a big fan of winter weather – well, I love snow and snow days!- I do enjoy this warm weather, too, even if its odd for the 1st of February!

So I am sure if you stick around for my blog adventures (and I really hope you do!) you will soon find out my love affair with granola.  I love all kinds- chewy, crunchy, nutty, sweet…I’ll pretty much take it in any form any time of day.  Added to some oat bran for texture for breakfast, a little added crunch to cottage cheese, a little snack with some almond milk, or even right out of the bag.  I was pretty addicted to the granola they had at my office’s cafeteria (weird, huh?  I swear it had THE BEST crunch!), but recently they switched it out for a funky kind that I definitely do not prefer.  Though if its a dire granola-fix I need it’ll do until I can get the real good stuff.

Recently I got one of those healthy snack box subscriptions from Lollihop (a Christmas present from my super awesome mom- she knows me so well!) and hands down the best part of this box was the grain-free granola from Paleonola.

SO SO good!

It is unlike any granola I have tasted.  I love any granola flavor and particularly adore ones that are fall-flavored, like apple pie or pumpkin spices.  But the sample I received was the chocolate one!

Did I mention I love chocolate?

Not as much as granola, at least not with this stocked in the house.  Literally a couple days after I hoovered my sample I got their huge sampler pack.  I felt like a kid in a candy store when it arrived!  I’ve had this on my yogurt, alone with milk, and by itself…and shamefully stood in my kitchen, work badge and commuting sneakers still on trying every flavor right out of the USPS box!  I cant tell you how amazing the nuttiness and depth of flavor each of the granola flavors have.  Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Fix are my favorites.  The best part?  Its grain-free and part of the Paleo diet!  So those attempting to reduce or remove grains from their diet and follow Paleo living, this stuff is for you!  And they shipped super quick so no one got hurt while I waited for it to arrive 🙂  I don’t personally follow the Paleo diet, but I love learning about all the new things people try, especially if it may be beneficial and part of a healthy lifestyle.  I would definitely recommend you try their amazing granola!!

Rock on Lovers!!

*These views are my own.  I was not paid, endorsed, bribed, coerced, blackmailed…you get the picture…to review this product.  I honestly love it and recommend it to anyone looking to try a new and totally amazingly yummy granola!!