Everything you own in a box to the left: Creating your hippie tool kit for work!

Okay, I started this post back in October when my team first moved our work location.  Since then, I have moved 3 times to 3 new  locations.  Every time we moved, I would hear Beyoncé’s song: Irreplaceable, play in my head.  Anyway, back to my October post with the song playing in the background ;P.

I am a little dumbfounded.

My life fits in one box.

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Okay, one partially filled box.

Well, my work life fills part of a box.  This box is actually pretty cool– I think it’s cool because it is what held my birthday present from my parents & brother.  I will share that with you soon 😉 You see at work my team is homeless (kind of). At the end of last week, we packed up our work areas to move into a temporary home.  I was a little shocked to find that after almost 2 years at my employer, all of my personal belonging fit into the box my convection oven arrived in.

What’s even better, most of the objects in my box are relate to food! I mean if you want to live a healthy, hippie lifestyle you can’t count on others to provide the essentials for you.  BUT, I can help you build your own kit healthy, hippie kit of essentials.  I really should come up with a cool name for my kit.  Maybe you can help?   I have by no means perfected the essential items that should be part of every health nut toolbox health-box and mine are always changing.   I have slowly added items that make living a hippie life at work EASY!  Yes you read that right… you can live a HEALTHY, HIPPIE Lifestyle and work in the corporate world!

I know this because I live a hippie life at work.   The best part is, I absolutely LOVE my hippie life!

What’s in my box?  Well, let me tell you.

IMG_0277Probably my favorite thing is my mini crockpot.   Winter is the perfect time to enjoy soup and is there a better way to heat it up?  All I have to do is toss the soup in the crockpot, plug it in and it does it’s thing.  I do stop by and stir my soup to make sure it heats up evenly.  I know, I know, winter is quickly disappearing, but I still love my crockpot.

 

What’s next?

How about my stash of spices and seasonings 🙂

I have 2 cute jars, one recycled from a previous purchase, that hold coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. I love having a coconut oil sitting near me.  I will toss a sweet potato into my BIRTHDAY present (my cooker!) and once it’s all cooked, I grab the coconut oil and toss a dollop on, let it melt and enjoy my treat! IMG_0278 The apple cider vinegar I keep around to make my quick salad dressing!  I will give you a hint, keep mustard in the fridge and your stevia handy.

I also keep cumin, turmeric and cinnamon in box.  They are great add-ons for almost any meal.  One of my favorite IMG_0279treats is so simple.  I cut up an apple and sprinkle cinnamon on it and enjoy! Yummy… hmmm I am getting hungry, I wonder if I have any apples handy 😉

Alright, we are getting to the end of my box.  The last thing I want to share with you today, is my duck!  It’s a slingshot that quacks! I am learning that relaxing and not taking myself too seriously is a good thing.

What’s do you keep on your desk for a stress reliever and to encourage you to have fun and enjoy your job & life?

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Do you have a stash of healthy things at work?  What’s in yours?  I would <3 to hear!

 

 

Salad minus lettuce?

Is that even possible or REAL?

Sure why not?  I mean, who really makes the rules and aren’t some meant to be bent?

Have you ever had a day when you pack a salad for lunch and the salad sounds good?  Well it sounds good when you pack it, but as the day goes on it sounds less appealing? esp the spinach part. I mean, a big pile of veggies and beans is still a salad right?

Today is one of those days for me.

Sitting in the fridge is a wonderful green smoothie.  Ingredients include: SPINACH, blueberries, strawberries and a banana.  Part of it was my breakfast and the rest will be my snack later. So when lunch rolled around, I was planning on eating a salad. (I am really working on fueling my body with the nutrients it needs.) I piled a large stack of veggies from our cafeteria on a plate and sat down at my desk and took a bite before adding the spinach.

In the words of a great co-worker, it tasted good, really, really good.

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I tore up my spinach and started to mix it in.

Took a bit.

Salad

Decided– I liked my salad without the spinach.  I did not even want dressing either.

Started picking out the lettuce.

Took another bite… better.

Removed 90% of the spinach… even better.

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My spinach sat in a pile… discarded.  I may return to it later– or maybe I will drink my smoothie and call it good!

So yes, today I ate a salad minus one key ingredient. Sometimes you just have to go with how your body is feeling and what sounds good.

Some days, a salad minus the spinach is better.  Do you ever have days that a salad minus the spinach or lettuce tastes better?

I challenge you to enjoy the day and be ready to think out of the box when it comes to your food.  Make a salad minus the lettuce.  Forget a key ingredient and see where life takes you!

Hugs From a Skillet

This last week was a week I had to just put my head down and fight through it; good thing I am a fighter!  Okay, not a boxer or someone that actually punches a co-worker in the face, but mainly because I would end up in jail.  No one wants to go to jail, not really… Anyway, by the end of the day Friday, I was out of energy & out of fight. I needed a hug. OR Warm,  yummy, comfort food. I was late getting out of work, and after driving home I was in need of getting food into me fast. What sounded good was a BIG stack of fluffy pancakes.  In my opinion, pancakes are the perfect feel better food. But there was one minor problem, I have not been eating any flour lately, and did not want to start last night. Oh, but wait for it…

This week, while visiting my sister at college my mom (Banana Bev) learned a new recipe from one of my sister’s teammates. Mom got the nickname, Banana Bev one night when she made my sister and her teammates ice cream out of a frozen banana.  She was super excited over her new find. Somehow the name has stuck.  My sister’s friends love passing her banana recipes.  So thanks to my sister’s friend: A, Banana Bev and I now have an awesome, comfy banana pancake recipe.
“Banana Bev Pancakes” Ingredients: (Her version of the 2 ingredient pancakes)
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
Add on’s:

  • Cinnamon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blue Berries
Smash your banana.  I did this on a plate.
Smashed Banana

 Crack 2 eggs & beat them.

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Mix in your banana
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Add a splash of vanilla and beat/mix it well
IMG_2249 This is your core batter.  I am sure you could add some cinnamon or mix in peanut butter to the batter, and it would be fantastic.  In fact, I may have to try that tomorrow when we get snowed in :o. If you want to make your batter a little smoother, you could toss it into a blender. Now grab your coconut oil (I used the coconut oil that had the coconut flavor still in it which gave a great tropical flavor. Once your oil and skillet are warm, drop a dollop of batter in. When I asked Banana Bev, when I should flip it, she responded with, “When it’s ready.”  That’s not super helpful!, but since this recipe is similar to a real pancake, you will know when it’s ready.
IMG_2250 My first flip was a little rough and my pancake separated, but we made it.  In fact, with each pancake I made they got a little better. By the end of the batch– I think I had it down. IMG_2251

Instead of using syrup or Agave, I grabbed a blueberry and date jam(ish) yumminess that was in the fridge and topped the pancake off.  I will have to get the recipe and post it for you.
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I am pretty sure that after my first bite I heard the angels break out in a chorus of Hallelujah– just for me 😉 This was the perfect comfort food, that gave me a hug at the end of a tough week. IMG_2253 I am sure this recipe has been around for a while and after running into it a couple of times, I am so glad I tried it.  I think my cleaned plate says it all! IMG_2254 So if you need a good, comfy food that willingly gives hugs and is healthy?  Just give this simple recipe a try! IMG_2255
Other places I found this recipe or similar versions:

http://ourbestbites.com/2014/02/2-ingredient-pancakes/
http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2013/01/2-ingredient-healthy-pancakes-gluten-free-dairy-free.html http://www.recipegirl.com/2013/01/26/2-ingredient-pancakes/

Matcha in a Mason Jar

Mmmmmmmm…. this is soooo good you HAVE to try it!

Recently, my body decided it did not like coffee, but I was still missing my morning drink. Tea just has not been cutting it.  Then I saw this recipe on facebook from Young & Raw  and my mornings seem complete again. I have adjusted this recipe a little from the original that Young & Raw posted.  I really liked it and wanted to share with you.  I did make a small change to the recipe.  For the original recipe: click here.

Ingredients:
photo 12 tsp. Matcha-  I chose organic

8 oz. Milk – I use Organic Almond Milk, unsweetened. (it’s only 30 calories for 8 ounces!) You can use any milk.

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1 tbs. Maple Syrup (you can use more or less… my sweet tooth shows)

Stevia-  Use this after you try your drink if you need to sweeten it more

Okay, here is how you can whip up your own Matcha in a Mason Jar.

I toss all the ingredients in the blender and mix.

Once mixed, pour over ice and ENJOY!  If you need to sweeten it more, add stevia to taste.

You will have a awesome Iced Matcha in a Mason Jar!

photo 2

 

 

“Thank you but I don’t… I don’t eat that”

I have a confession to make. I know we are not great friends yet, but soon we will be and I need to share this with you. Recently, I realized I fell off the healthy eating bandwagon. I was going through the motions but not being as true to my healthy eating as normal. Don’t get me wrong, I was still mostly on the wagon, but I had fallen off enough to notice a change in my body, mood, and energy level. Like normal, I still bought everything organic, ate mostly un-processed food but soon my evil twin, “The Queen of Just One” reappeared. Just one cookie because my co-worker made them, just one piece of pizza, just one brownie. I mean who can pass up a gooey brownie filled with more chocolate?

Chocolate & Carmel Amazingness in a cookie
Chocolate & Carmel Amazingness in a cookie

Not ME, it that was a sure thing.  The sad thing is, everything that I ate could be made using healthy ingredients but since I was not making the sweets I was eating, they were made with things like bleached flour and regular table sugar. After realizing just how far off my bandwagon I was, I made the decision to cut out all processed foods, sugars and starches. Break my body of its quickly forming sugar habit, more like addiction and get back on my normal bandwagon.

 

Normally, I do really well with my eating until I get to THAT busy point. You know the one… when you can no longer tell if the pile of cloths is clean or dirty sitting on your dresser without smelling it. (sometimes even then it’s your best guess.) Somehow my barn looks like a tornado ripped through it and don’t ask to ride in my car because I am not sure where you will sit… on or next to the workout bag, the tennis bag, groceries, horse tack or swimming bag. BUT the worst part for me is when I start hiding things from myself. I don’t remember hitting my final tipping point recently, but I guess I did. I was eating out more than I like to out of necessity.  I was beginning to live to eat instead of eating to live, which is not normal for me.  Suddenly my clothes were not fitting how they should, my energy level was low, my workouts suffered and I was beginning to feel crummy. It was time to get serious again.  The sugar had to go!

I renewed my healthy eating habit and enlisted my mom to get serious again with me. No more just ones allowed.   The first few weeks of eating clean were a little rough as I experienced what I would call withdrawal symptoms from sugar. I am several weeks into eating clean again and the sugar withdrawal is finally gone.  YAY! I am not craving or wishing for a brownie to magically appear within reach. The cravings hung around for way too long.  You see, I did not consistently eat the bad stuff but enough that my body got used to it.

I am strong individual but on my brother’s birthday, I almost broke down for cake, ice cream and cupcakes all within an hour…

Just sitting there tempting me
mmm… it taste’s so good but it’s so bad.

That night I got home later than normal and I was a little tired and a little more than hungry.  When I walked in the door, my senses were assaulted by the amazing smell of my favorite local bakery’s signature cake.  Then there were cherry fritters that my boss brought to work with him on National Donut Day. It seemed like every time I turn around my senses were bombarded by sweet treats tempting me to set aside my newly reestablished resolve. The first week that I had gotten back on my bandwagon, when people offered me something that I am not eating anymore my response was, “I can’t.” Without fail they would reply, “Sure you can” and they were right, I could. I could easily pop a piece of donut into my mouth or grab a piece of cake and sneak in my room, hide and eat it without anyone being the wiser. Instead I decided that I would out smart my bodies cravings… that’s when I developed my new line of defense. So far this new line of defense has been GREAT!

So let me share it with you.

“Thank you but I don’t ___________.”

You can say this to your tempting co-worker or to yourself when things smell amazing and the best part that I have found is that they don’t argue anymore. I have even found myself telling, “Thank you but I don’t eat __________” has helped me. I feel like I am changing my mindset every time I tell myself, Thank you but I don’t.

This simple sentence has become almost like a life changing motto for me.

I have done this in the past that is remove all sugar and processed foods from my life.  I have never struggled with it like this time.  This experience has been challenging for sure. Remember that birthday cake from my favorite bakery?  Well I told it more than once, “Thanks but I don’t eat things like you anymore.”  I was able to walk away from it… I did not even take a little bit of frosting and that is my favorite part.  The closest I got to that enemy was to take a pic of the last piece.  Normally, I would have snuck in a whole bunch of taste tests of the frosting and enjoyed a piece or two of the actual cake.  Not this time! I left it for my brother and his buddies to enjoy.

I should say I have two more confessions: wait for it.  One: My birthday is coming up soon!  Two: I <3 my sweets! Since mom joined me back on the healthy bandwagon and also gave up sugars and renewed her resolve to eat right we both agreed that no matter what, we would not have a cake from my favorite bakery for my birthday. We normally celebrate my anniversary of me getting better with age over 4th of July. Instead of the normal cake, we discussed a few ideas of what I wanted for my “birthday cake.”  Remember that I said most sweet deserts can be made as a healthy alternative?  Well last summer we discovered Chef AJ.  She has the most amazing chocolate cake with a raspberry glaze. mmmmm… craving it now. I wish I had pictures of the last one we made. It was scrumptious! I think it even beats the traditional cake from our local bakery… sorry local bakery!   This cake will be showing up at our celebration. I wish I had a picture of this for you.  I guess I will have to let you know how it all turns out after the celebration.  I am choosing that from now on, the sweets I do eat need to be the healthy alternatives.

Since I have adopted my, “Thank you but I don’t eat that _________” motto.  I am walking away from the foods that I should have never "Cheesy Sweet Potato Casserole"started to eat again in the first place.  I am excited to be eating my normal healthy foods!  Here is a picture of a sweet potato “cheesy” broccoli quinoa bake!  Back to the foods that I love.   My clothes are fitting better again; my energy level is increasing; I am happier and I am eating to live rather than living to eat. So dear friends if you have recently fallen off your healthy bandwagon or just want to get on a healthy bandwagon, please feel free to join my on mine! There is plenty of room on this bandwagon. In the future, I will be sharing my secrets, favorite recipes, tips and tricks of how I stay on my bandwagon. P.S. we did not talk about this, I am sure we will in the future, but it’s okay to fall off your bandwagon… AS LONG AS, you pick yourself up and get back on!

Bandwagon