A Weekend Off-line

I don’t do it too often, but this weekend I decided to just unplug and take some time away from my laptop. Sometimes it’s nice to be internet free and just enjoy life without constantly going online and facing that computer screen.

I’ll admit I didn’t go 100% computer free. It was actually a lot harder than I thought! I ended up checking a couple emails and ordering some textbooks for my upcoming school semester. But it was still nice to spend so much time away from my computer, especially now that I’m in between semesters and theres no school to worry about.

Since I got most everything I needed to do finished earlier in the week, it was nice to just hang around with no plans, see friends, watch some tv, read, and just do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

My weekend started off with a lovely bowl of pb and jelly. In smoothie form.

I just blended together some frozen blueberries and cherries (I froze some fresh ones the other day – those are the best!) with a cup of unsweetened almond milk, ice cubes, 1/2 T peanut flour and the outcome was this pretty purple smoothie. Topped it off with some blueberry muffin pieces and a light sprinkle of peanut flour.

I think by now, most of you know that I have a slight obsession with pb + jelly and will eat it in any way shape or form. From cookies to oatmeals to smoothies 🙂

It was one of those weekends this weekend. Where my stomach was a bottomless pit and just couldn’t be satiated no matter how hard I tried. I finally decided to just listen to my body, so this weekend was full of good eats 😛

Some foodie highlights this weekend:

Lots of grilling

Yummy baked goods

Many(!) handfuls of fun snacks

Even though I was technically ‘unplugged‘ over the weekend, it didn’t keep me from thinking about moving to a self-hosted site. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I’m still fairly new to the blogging world and not all that tech savvy so any advice would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

Alright, the day is still young and I ‘ve still got a couple things I want to do today so I’ll catch you all later! Have a great Sunday 🙂

Do you ever take time away from your computer? 

What do you love to do on the weekends?

Any advice on self-hosting a blog?


Smoothie Magic and {Not So Much} Muffin Tops

I’m on a smoothie roll!

Lately I just can’t go a morning without them. This morning I probably had one of my favorite ones yet and all it took was that one magical 1/2 tablespoon of peanut flour.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Rainer Cherry Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • a couple frozen rainer cherries
  • 9 ice cubes
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder (I use true vitality)
  • 1/2 T peanut flour
  • 1/8 t xanthan gum

I’m also on a baking roll. (Successful bakes are a whole other topic ;))

Every once in a while I catch the baking bug and it comes down to how much time and motivation I have.

Time was on my side the other day and I was craving muffin tops so I got baking.

Remember that really flat looking thing I had yesterday morning?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a muffin top pan.

That way my muffin tops can look like this…

rather than this…

It’s a sad looking thing, isn’t it?

I had a brilliant plan to use an ice cream scoop to scoop out little mounds so that they would miraculously bake into fluffy little muffin tops.

Couldn’t have been more wrong. As usual.

Apparently runny batter spreads when baked. I’m sure the whole world knew that. Yet I thought for some reason mine wouldn’t.

But’s its all good, because in the end all baked goods taste the same whether they’re flat, puffy, or in muffin form.

And these turned out pretty tasty.

{Not So Much} Chocolate Muffin Top

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran (or 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour if you don’t like the crunch of oat bran)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 2.5 T chia seeds
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 2 T dark cocoa powder
  • 1.5 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 2 egg whites
*Mix all wet ingredients in a small bowl.
*Pour wet into dry and stir to combine.
*Place bowl in refrigerator for 10 mins.
*Meanwhile, preheat oven to 35o degrees.
* After 10 mins, scoop mixture out with ice cream scoop into whatever pan floats your boat 🙂
*My muffin took about 17-20 mins to bake while my {flat} muffin top took 10 mins. 

These are best stored in the refrigerator or freezer. They’re just as great eaten straight out of the fridge, which I’ve been doing. Literally.

I don’t know how many times I catch myself standing in front of the fridge eating who knows what with the door ajar. I guess it’s a win-win. I get extra AC plus my hunger is satiated 😉

What’s your favorite muffin flavor? If I HAD to choose, I’d say I love a good classic blueberry muffin.


No Rest for The Weary

Just in case you were wondering…I’m still alive! It’s been a while since my last post hasn’t it?

I spent the majority of the past couple days studying for finals and I’m ecstatic to say I’m officially DONE. Now I get a 2 week break before the fall semester starts up.

I took my last final yesterday afternoon and have been on the go since. After my final I headed home for lunch and a quick sesh with Jillian. I had just enough time to get in a workout before going to the airport to drop someone off.

This is a perfect workout when you’re short on time. It’s quick and you can make it as hard or as easy as you want.Less than 30 mins later I was drenched in sweat. I’m not sure if my house was too warm or if her workout was just that tough. Probably a combination of the both.

So after Jillian kicked my butt, I headed to the airport. Speaking of airports…Is anyone else fascinated by how airplanes work? As I was leaving the airport to head home an airplane flew right over me on the highway and landed on the runway to my right. I don’t know what it is, but I have this weird interest in watching them take off and land.

Anyways moving on…

I quickly showered after I got home so I could head out to meet up with some good friends of mine whom I’ve known since middle school! I’m always guaranteed a fun time when I see them 🙂 We had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and then headed to…karaoke!

Needless to say, last night was a fun night! A great end to a full week of studying.

This morning started out the same as every other morning this past week. A big bowl filled with one Barbara’s shredded wheat, natures path heritage flakes, and fresh raspberries, blueberries, and diced white nectarine.

I kinda wish it was this:

or this:

But I wanted something quick and easy so cereal it was. Still delicious though!

I was a little more ambitious when it came to lunch. I actually went foraging for basil outside and broke out the food processor

to make this basil pesto.

I spread it on one half of my Ezekiel sprouted english muffin and topped the other half with an egg white flower sprinkled with pepper.

It may have been a bit messy, but that pesto made the sandwich. I love how creamy it was since it was made with navy beans in place of olive oil. Plus I’m a sucker for anything with basil in it.

And now you’re alllll caught up with me and my eats whether you wanted to be or not 😉

So what am I going to be doing with my two free weeks? Well this week I’m just going to take it easy and do whatever I please and then next week I’ll be heading to a place more tropical. I need to get away from this heat!

I’ve got something fun in store for tomorrow thanks to my friend Christi (hiii!), but until then I have a date with a vacuum and some cleaning staples because I’ve got some serious cleaning to do. I won’t rest easy until I get it all done!

Enjoy the remainder of your Sundays! 🙂

Any karaoke fans out there? – I’m as tone deaf as can be, but it definitely doesn’t stop me from belting out some old school songs. Thats part of the fun I guess 😉

Do you like homemade pesto? – This was actually my first time making pesto at home and I loved it!


Productivity and Protein

Today was full of reviewing learning, finishing my last paper(!), and protein.

It pretty much started with a question…

What does one do when one is forgetful and forgot to put the ice bucket back into the freezer last night?

Go to the nearest coffee shop of course!

Starbucks just happens to be my nearest coffee shop so thats where I stopped by after the gym this morning. Actually, I didn’t exactly stop in since this particular Starbucks has a drive-thru. More like drove by. Laziness to the max? Yeah, I think so.

I couldn’t exactly just drive by and ask for a cup of ice now could I?…so I ordered myself a nice large cup of iced coffee. Something I haven’t had in a while.

Along with my iced coffee, I got my large cup of ice.

So why did I want this ice so badly? – I’ve been wanting to make a cold protein shake/smoothie for a couple days now and since I keep forgetting to put the container back in the freezer to actually make ice, I’ve had to resort to semi-cold chocolate milk. It’s good, but just not as good as it would be with ice. Especially in this heat.

Since I had a huge cup of coffee, and there was no way I could stomach both a protein smoothie and 20 ounces of coffee, I figured I may as well use it as my liquid.

So in went 1.5 cups of iced coffee, 1 serving of chocolate protein powdera couple glugs of unsweetened almond milk, and about 2/3’s of my venti cup of ice.

The outcome?

I poured it into the previously ice filled Starbucks cup and it actually almost looks like a Starbucks frappe. I either put way too much liquid in or not enough protein powder, so it ended up tasting just like what I would think a Starbucks coffee frappe would taste like. yum 🙂

I think the coffee I added in that ‘protein frappe’ may have given me some super concentration powers or something because I plowed through my paper like no other. Three cheers for coffee!

Shortly after it was lunch time and I found out that not only do I not have ice in this house, I have no food. Well, there’s some food, but the majority of it is expired.

After some scrounging around I finally came up with soba noodles, silken tofu, and eggs. Um…protein in a bowl? I think by that time, my stomach was ready to eat just about anything in a bowl.

Layer 1 – Soba Noodles:

Soba noodles pack quite the protein punch. Surprising, yeah?

Layer 2 – tofu:

I don’t think silken tofu is meant to be sliced. I couldn’t even pick move it to the bowl without it breaking on me.

Layer 3 – 1.5 eggs:

Basically just 1 egg + 1 egg white sprinkled with cayenne pepper.

A nice sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Plus some chopped basil. (I LOVE (!!!) the smell of basil)

All mixed up with a little more toasted sesame seeds and cayenne pepper.

(Not to be gross or anything but…Don’t stare at the photo too long or else the noodles start looking like worms – don’t say I didn’t warn ya! 😉  )

I don’t think I’ve had such a protein packed lunch in a long time. It was actually so filling I never finished it. I ate all the other layers, but left some of the soba.

Right before dinner I had another protein bowl. Just a mini one though.

cottage cheese + a generous sprinkle of cinnamon + operations management notes

I wonder if protein has anything to do with productivity because I was certainly able to concentrate a lot better today than the previous days. Protein = full = satisfied = more concentration on work & less concentration on hunger pangs?

Or it could have been the fact that I finally got into study mode.

I think my brains reached capacity for the day so it’s time to crash and start new tomorrow.

Night! 🙂

 

 

 

 


August Brings the Heat

I can’t believe July is already over…Happy first day of August!

I was up bright dark and early this morning at the unearthly hour of 4:30am. I spent almost an hour reading magazines and watching infomercials/trying to fall back asleep until finally I gave up on going back to sleep and switched over to a news station.

The weather happened to be on and apparently we’ve had 30 straight days of 100+ degree weather and today our heat advisory has officially been lifted and changed to an excessive heat warning. oy vey.

Doesn’t this look like fun? I’ll be spending most of my time indoors this week anyways since I’ll be studying for my finals, but I feel terrible for all those high school kids who start football and marching band practice this week.

With this August heat wave coming in, I kept this morning breakfast on the cooler side.

I would’ve liked to have a similar breakfast to yesterdays, but I didn’t really feel like turing the stove on.

A play off pb & jelly oats – Oats cooked with strawberries, then topped with blueberries, raspberries, and a drizzle of sunbutter mixed with almond milk.

Todays breakfast – Pre-workout

Nature Path’s Heritage flakes and lots of sweet blueberries

I usually don’t eat much before a workout, but since I was up way too early, my stomach was growling and I knew I had to feed it.

Breakfast part 2 – Post-workout

Double Chocolate Milktwice the chocolate, but none of all the added sugar in normal chocolate milk:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder
  • ~ 1 T dark cocoa powder
All blended together for about 20 seconds.

Since I had some loose ends to tie up when I returned home after my workout, I didn’t exactly get in a full post breakfast, but the chocolate milk pretty much tied me over til lunch.

_ _ _

So what’s the best way to cool off in this heat (other than an ice cold smoothie)?

Iced tea

quick fact: since I took my ice maker out of the freezer to clean, it took two full trays of ice cubes to make this cup of iced tea.

Ice makers > Ice cube trays

I’ve always been more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, just a few occasional cups every now and then, but during my time in Hong Kong I seem to have picked up quite the tea habit.

Since tea is such a popular drink in Asia and consumed with almost every meal (having been part of the british empire, afternoon tea is very popular in HK), I’ve just developed a stronger liking to it.

One of my absolute favorites is Hong Kong style milk tea. It’s basically just black or ceylon tea mixed with evaporated milk.

You can pretty much order it anywhere in HK, anytime of the day.

Although i do prefer drinking it hot, it’s just as good cold.

My second favorite tea is roasted tea, whether it be roasted brown rice tea, roasted green tea, or roasted barley tea. I just enjoyed that roasted taste in general.

This particular bag of roasted tea is my favorite. It’s a mix of matcha green tea with roasted brown rice.

But if nothing else is available, I always enjoy a nice cup of green tea.

Preferably iced though, and sometimes mixed with a tiny spoonful of manuka honey (i promise thats some good stuff – both health and taste-wise!).

I’ll most likely be drinking all sorts of variations of these over the next couple weeks. Guess I better get that ice maker goin!

Do you like tea? What’s you favorite kind?

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?

_ _ _

On another note, I just realized yesterday that some of my photos in my previous posts have gone missing. It may have been because I went through my media library and deleted photos thinking that once I had uploaded them into the post they no longer needed to remain in the media folder. Boy was I wrong. It’ll probably take me a while to re-load and replace them all, but eventually I’ll have all the photos back up!

Also, not that they already aren’t, but my posts may be a bit sparse this week as I’ve taken procrastination to the next level and fallen way behind on my studies. Gotta catch up and ace those finals 😉



Almond love

After a day of fun in the sun yesterday, it was time back to the normal grind…which today, was my dreaded operations management assignment.

Of course I didn’t start until I got my brain warmed up a bit with a nice hearty breakfast.

On the menu this morning: Oats

A nice big bowl topped with cooked apples and some homemade cashew butter.

I haven’t had oats in a very long time and this particular bowl was extra delicious.

I worked through the morning with a couple visits to the freezer where all the leftover 5 ingredient crispies I had made for yesterdays boat trip were hanging out.

Since I had made two batches and there was way too much food on that boat, there were quite a few leftover crispies. No worries though…just means more for me 🙂

Batch 1, I had made with cashew butter and batch 2 was made with crunchy barney butter. I love cashew, but the crunch of the almonds from the barney butter definitely gave those crispies a little extra somethin’ somthin’ which made them my instant favorite.

You know what else almonds gives a little extra somethin’ somthin’ to?

Black bean almond milk (and now that I think about it, just about everything else…)

Remember that batch of black bean milk I made about a week ago? I also blended up a black bean almond version recently, which I enjoyed even more.

I pretty much followed the same process as last time, except this time my 1/2 cup of soaked beans had been cooked for 20 mins in 2 cups of water.

After cooking them I had stored them in the refrigerator, along with the liquid, for a couple days until I decided to use them.

Black beans

Plus 1/2 cup roasted almonds & 4-6 cups of water

were placed in a blender with the strainer attachment.

(4-6 cups of water because it depends on whether you like it thick and creamy or more smooth and diluted)

2-5 mins in the blender and the black bean almond milk was ready!

Roasted almonds are key here! austiNuts has some of the best roasted almonds I’ve had and I think it’s really what gave the black bean milk its extra special taste.

I’ve got a couple other delicious almond treats up my sleeve, but that’s for another day 🙂

Any almond fans out there?


Photo Friday

Friday morning started out early with a fun strength workout followed up with an all-in-one type breakfast. I wanted to drink a chocolate protein shake, but I also wanted oats, and there was no way I could eat both a bowl of oats AND a large protein shake, so I just had them both at once.

I kept it on the cool side though, since it was hot hot hot outside yesterday.

Ok, so I just looked at the weather and it doesn’t seem like it’s that hot from the numbers, but I promise it felt way hotter. Perhaps because the humidity is 80%+ everyday.

I was out and about pretty much all day yesterday, and I realized that I really haven’t shown any photos of Hong Kong other than food, so I’ll show you my afternoon through photos…

Lunch in Soho

There are restaurants lining this hill and at every block it opens up left and right and there are MORE restaurants.

 You can pretty much always find shade somewhere here because of all the high rise buildings.

One thing most of these photos have in common? People. And a whole lotta them.

I took most of these photos in Central, more specifically Soho where a ton of restaurants are located. It’s a very international area where everyone speaks English.

The last two photos are in Mong Kok – you may remember me mentioning this is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, particularly on Saturdays.

I don’t have many plans today other than getting back on track with summer school, once again…but tomorrow (Sunday) I’m going on a boat trip!

Have a fabulous weekend!