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Tag Archives: Snacks

New Workout Page and Honey Peanut Buttery Granola

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Boy, oh boy do I have a recipe for you!

But first, I want to tell you about some updates I made to the blog yesterday.

After the usual Sunday grocery shopping and food prep, I got out of the house and headed to Starbucks to completely focus on getting some blog work done.

 

The end result was a mission accomplished!  I updated the workout tab on the top bar, and created a drop down list categorizing various workouts that I have created, my race stats, and I compiled all of my fitness related posts into one place.

So, if you are in need of  a workout routine, then head on over to the workout page to check it out!

Now, on to the important stuff…

Honey Peanut Buttery Granola

I had really been wanting to make a batch of granola recently, so I decided yesterday was as good as a day as any!  I looked at several of my usual recipes, took bits and pieces from each and threw in a little of my own flair.  The end result was completely tasty.

Ingredients (warning, this recipe makes a TON!! So you can definitely half it or even quarter it!):

  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 cups oats
  • 2 cups sunflower seed
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, oil, honey, vanilla, and agave.  Place in the microwave and heat for about 1 minute, or until it is slightly bubbly and easy to stir and combine.

Place dry ingredients in peanut butter and honey mixture.  Stir until combined.  Place the mixture onto one or two greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir.  Reduce the oven temperature to 250, and place the granola back in the oven for 10-15 minutes removing it to stir and replacing it back in the oven until it is the desired brownness.

When it is done cooking, spread the granola on waxed paper to cool, then store in a sealed container.

ENJOY!!!

Sweet Snacks

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Hello again from Florida!  Here is a special guest post from Courtney over at Sweet Tooth Sweet Life sharing some delicious summertime treats with all of you today.  Enjoy!

Guest Post:  Sweet Tooth Sweet Life – A Summertime Favorite: Sweet Snacks

Hi everyone! My name is Courtney and I’m the author behind the blog Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. I’m a 28-year old personal trainer and former elementary school teacher (you can read a bit more about that here if you’d like). I live up in Upstate, NY with my husband and high school sweetheart, Jay, and have lived here all of my life. When I’m not training, you’ll most likely find me blogging, in the kitchen, or spending time with some of my favorite friends and family.

Before anything, let me just go ahead and give a quick shout out– “Thanks so much, Tara, for inviting me to guest post while you’re away! Hopefully you’re having a blast while on vacation on sunny Florida!”

So anyways…let’s talk about summer for a second. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love summer. Living in Upstate, NY, I don’t have the pleasure of experiencing warm weather year-round, so when it’s here I make sure to soak it up as much as I can.

I love to dine al fresco, enjoy a cool glass of wine on the back deck, and just hang out by the pool with some yummy snacks. Oh yes…I love my snacks. I also have quite the sweet tooth (in case you couldn’t already tell by my blog title) so you can bet that, a majority of the time, there are going to be some deliciously sweet snacks out by the pool.

In case you’re like me and enjoy the occasional sweet snack now and then, here’s a few ideas for you to try for the next time you’re hanging out by the pool…or heading to a barbecue…or doing absolutely nothing at all. 😉

Creamy Fruit Dip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches

Cookies & Cream Cake Mix Cookie Bars

White Chocolate Oreo Cream Squares

Enjoy!! 🙂

Back in the Routine

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Last night, as soon as I got home I changed my clothes, laced up my running shoes, and headed out the door for a 3 mile jog.  I thought about doing 4, but with the heat being so hot I thought 3 today and 4 on Wednesday.

After taking a week long hiatus from running I was ready to jump back into a routine this week, heat and all!

I ran 3 miles with an 8 minute and 30 second pace, not too bad considering the weather!

Dinner

Dinner then came together in just 20 short minutes.  I simply roasted some green beans and reheated a salmon burger patty that my mom left me with from the weekend.

I topped the burger and dipped the green beans in a mixture of Greek yogurt, dill seasoning, and a little garlic salt.  The dill makes the dip taste so fresh and light!  Perfect for a summer meal after a hot and sweaty run.

Homemade Luna Bars (based on the recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie)

Luna bars have always been a favorite snack of mine.  Easy to throw in the bag and tasty.  I have been eyeing this recipe for a while now and I am so glad that I tried it!  The recipe is very simple, it comes together quickly and tastes amazing!  A perfect treat-like snack for anytime of the day.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brown puffed rice cereal 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 2 Tbsp of protein powder
  • melted chocolate chips

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, salt, agave and peanut butter and melt together in the microwave.  In a large bowl, combine the puffed rice cereal and the protein powder.

Pour the peanut butter mixture over the puffed rice cereal and mix well.  Use a potato masher to mash everything down, squashing some of the rice puffs.

Place a piece of wax paper down in a baking pan.  Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press down firmly.  Melt the chocolate chips and spread on the top of the bars.  Freeze for about 30 minutes or more before removing to serve!

Enjoy!

Nutrition (recipe makes about 20 bars)

Calories:  122  Fat:  6.6g  Carbs:  11.3g  Protein:  5.8g

Breakfast

This morning, I had a new flavor of baked oatmeal….

Strawberries and cream baked oatmeal!  It ended up turning out pretty good, but I had a little kitchen mishap so the measurements got kind of wacko…so no recipe. 

Over the weekend my mom gave me a kind of stevia that is extremely strong compared to the regular stuff.  In my recipe, I added 1 Tbsp for 4 servings not thinking that was a lot…well that was wrong, completely wrong!  So, I continued to add more and more of each ingredient in hopes to cover up some of the strong stevia taste.  Thankfully, I figured out a winning combo (not sure what it is though!) so I didn’t have to waste the entire batch of baked oats.

 

Question of the Morning:

  • What kitchen mess up have you had lately?

The Big Move

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Hello!!!

We are officially moved in!!

Now, we just have to put everything away in it’s new home 🙂

Friday night when I arrived home, Brian and I shared a glass of wine with our “last meal” at the apartment.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t anything super fancy, it was made up of a ton of leftover, and random produce in the fridge that I could easily get rid of.  But it still tasted good!

Brian was sad to leave.

We then worked through the night making sure all of the odds and ends were packaged up and labeled.  Then, the morning came, we put the finishing touches on packing and the movers arrived.

They had the place cleared out in an hour and a half!

We had a lot of heavy wooden furniture, tables, a bed, and a couch, and we thought that it would be safest if we hired movers (for us and the furniture!).  Brian and I had never hired movers before, but we now highly recommend it.  We decided to use Two Men and a Truck  simply because we had heard of them before and we had friends that had a good experience with them in the past.  Their slogan is “movers who care”, and they really do live by that.

I was so impressed with their speed at getting things into the truck (after all they are paid hourly!), the care that they gave our belongings, and their friendly personalities.  With each item that was large, they wrapped it in a blanket surrounded with a seran wrap type material to keep it in place.

They were so careful with things that could potentially get damaged.  For example, Brian and I had a lamp that was laying out for them to take.  The movers asked us to remove the light bulb and take the lamp shade ourselves so that nothing could get damaged.

Overall, I was very impressed.  It made the move smooth, easy, and quick.

Now, all we have left is the unpacking part.

After the movers got everything into the house, it was time for lunch.  I made myself a salad of spinach, romaine, broccoli, onion, tomato, egg whites (with cottage cheese in them), all topped with salsa and balsamic vinegar.  Very tasty.

After getting somethings in the kitchen put away, we headed out to a graduation open house for one of Brian’s cousins.  Of course, snacks were involved.  For me:  some veggies and dip, a pickle, a delicious purple iced sugar cookie, and some Reese’s Pieces.   I haven’t had Reese’s Pieces in a while, and I realized why I don’t buy them…they are addicting!  Brian and I kept going back for more, and we even took some “for the road” to snack on in the car 😉

We then came home, and got the clothing situation mostly organized and took a break to eat some of Brian’s dad’s homemade French onion soup and a side salad.  Delish….as I was eating it, it made me think of Christmas!  I already made the request to have this dish again during the holidays.

Today

Today, I woke up early, had some egg white oats with strawberries and a bit of peanut butter for breakfast.

Now we must finish the unpacking, organizing, and decorating…happy Sunday!

LOVE Bites

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I did it…this morning, I “ripped off the band-aid” and got my first team teaching session of Body Pump out of the way.  The first attempt at anything is always the worst, and I find it is best to just do it and get it over with…kind of like quickly ripping off a band-aid.

And guess what, I had a blast teaching live people with a microphone on while standing on stage!  Did I make a couple of mistakes?… of course I did!  But that is why I was team teaching and not full-out teaching the class on my own.  I may have been a little ambitious with my weight selections, but I still got through it, and I am teaching again on Thursday morning 🙂

After teaching, I was more than ready for breakfast.  I actually prepped myself a bowl of overnight oats last night so that I could eat right away when I got home…but Brian ate it!  He thought that I made it for him…I honestly didn’t mind too much that he ate it, but I make my oatmeal a little different than his oatmeal.  He doesn’t exactly like it when things taste “healthy” and I do.  Oh well!

Instead I made myself a very interesting smoothie combination.  A pineapple banana spinach protein smoothie topped with some of my Chocolate PB2.  I know that I only received the PB2 in the mail yesterday, but whenever I get something new to eat I feel like I have to try it immediately!

It was interesting, and actually quite good!  I will say, I am LOVING the Chocolate PB2 and can’t wait to formulate some recipes with it!

I then volunteered at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  When I left to volunteer, it was a beautifully sunny day out, so I decided to walk to their offices, which only takes about 30 minutes.  Well, that was a poor decision because as soon as I was leaving it a heavy down pour of rain began…and I had to take a taxi home!  I felt so goofy riding in a taxi in the middle of the day in my own city, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!  30 minutes in a  torrential down pour would not have been the smart decision.

Lunch

By the time I got home, it was after 1pm and I was pretty ready for lunch.  I whipped up a batch of homemade hummus in the food processor (so quick) and enjoyed it along side some veggies, tuna, and some (unpictured) Greek yogurt.  Tasty, quick, and simple.  Just what I needed.

Sharing the LOVE

This past weekend while I was in my training for Body Pump, I made sure to pack myself lunch and adequate snacks.  While I was eating one of my snacks, some of the girls that I had made friends with asked what I was eating. I told them what this tasty little morsel was and rattled off the ingredient list without really thinking anything of it.  Both of their eyes lit up, and they asked where I got the recipe.  “I made it up!” was the answer, and instantly a light bulb clicked in my head that I should make them a batch of this little treat and share the recipe with them.


As soon as I got home on Saturday, the first thing I did was whip up a batch of these Love Bites so that I could share them with my new friends 🙂  When they tried them the next day, they couldn’t stop telling me how great they tasted!  It was then that I had the thought of making enough for everyone to try, but it was too late.  At least I got to share the love with two of my new friends.

LOVE Bites

Yields:  14 Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raw oats
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup Foods Alive hemp seed
  • 1/4 cup raw organic agave nectar
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until a sticky mixture is formed.  Roll the sticky mixture into 12-14 balls.  Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Nutrition:

Calories:  138.3  Fat:  7.6g  Carbs:  16.9g  Protein:  4.1g

Question of the day:

    • Have you ever tried PB2, and what recipes do you use it in??

 

Snack Attack

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Good afternoon!

The majority of my morning before volunteering and my afternoon after volunteering has looked like this:

Studying the new release of BodyPump in preparation for my certification course this weekend.  After I make dinner, workout with Brian, and attend a BodyPump class…the rest of my night will probably look very similar.

I did manage to have time for lunch 😉  Today, I had a spinach and romaine salad with sunflower seeds, tomato, and tuna topped with my mom’s homemade salsa.

 

Snacks

As I was leaving today, I made sure to pack a snack in my bag because I knew that I would be unable to eat lunch until much later than my usual lunch time.  Whenever I pack a snack, I try to make sure that it is light and has a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat so that I am able to stay satisfied for longer without necessarily having to eat a ton.

My snack today was simple:  string cheese, 6 Kashi Original 7 Grain Crackers, and 6 almonds.  My snack packed around 10grams of protein (for staying power) and clocked in at only 163 calories.  Not too bad if you ask me.

Here are some other easy and balanced snack ideas:

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese with half an apple and 1 tsp of nut butter
  • 1 container of yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped veggies dipped 2 Tbsp of hummus with 3 almonds and 1 ounce of cheese
  • 1/3 cup of plain oats, about 1/3 scoop of protein powder, and 6 peanuts chopped and sprinkled on top for some crunch
  • 1/3-1/2 can of tuna mixed with 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt and about 1/2 cup of chopped veggies (I like celery, bell peppers, and red onion)
  • 2 Peanut Butter Protein Balls
  • Smoothie:  1/3 banana, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 scoop protein powder, ice

Question of the Afternoon:

What are some of your favorite snack ideas?

 

 

Creative Protein Ideas

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Good Morning!

This morning I headed out bright and early to another BodyPump class.  I know it is best to give your muscles a day of rest when training, but last night at the Les Mills new release launch event we only did half of a BodyPump class…and I wanted the full thing, so I came back for more today.  I must say…the new shoulder track is killer!  But in a good way 😉

I had a startling experience this morning.  It was dark as I walked out to my car this morning.  Finding my car and remember where I have parked is always a little bit of a challenge…even in the day light.  So, this morning I walked out to my car, and I looked down and noticed that a hub cap was missing!!

Now, before I left for the cruise I had two missing hub caps.  While I was gone, my parents kindly replaced them for me, so when I looked down to see no hub cap my hear dropped.  How did this happen?  I couldn’t remember hitting any curbs lately.  I was baffled…until I looked at the body of the car and realized it wasn’t mine!  My car was parked next to this car, and they were both a similar color (and it was dark!).  I was sooo relieved that I had not lost a hub cap.  What a  dramatic way to start the morning!

Breakfast

After BodyPump, I headed home and it was time for breakfast.  A little overnight oat action is what I decided on for today.  Or should I say “in the morning oats” because I didn’t actually prep them last night.

Today’s mix-ins were half an apple, 2 tsp of homemade peanut butter, and Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder.  It certainly hit the spot!

Protein Powder Ideas

Lately, I have been finding all sorts of ideas and recipes for protein powder.  Spark People has a list of 15 new ways to use protein powder, which definitely got my recipe creating brain thinking.  The recipe that intrigued me the most?  The protein cookie!  I am going to have to create a recipe for that.

Here are some of the ways I use my protein powder to make it a little easier to incorporate protein into my diet without having to eat a ton of meat.

Overnight Oats

Regular Oats

Smoothies

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Homemade Protein Bars

 

Question of the Morning:

  • What are some of your favorite ways to use protein powder?
  • Have you ever walked up to the wrong car and thought that it was yours?
  • Have you ever lost your car in the parking lot?