Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Celestial Tea Winner!


I cant believe how fast this week has gone! I hope to get back to posting soon but might be another month or so until my schedule relaxes a bit. Which is ok! Things are going awesome though and Im so excited to announce the winner of this fantastic tea give away!


And the winner is….


Joanne from Eats Well with Others!!! She was entry number 25. Congrats girl!! Email me your address when you can and I will forward it.


I hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous weather we are having now. I cannot wait for spring. Have a fabulous day!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Celestial Seasonings Wellness pack Giveaway



Life has picked up in a really great way! I've been super busy, having fun and still takin care of myself. I was actually lucky enough to receive an amazing wellness pack from Celestial Seasonings (could not have come at a better time I might add!) filled with lots of goodies to help keep you feelin’ great.

This time of year I think can be particularly tough. Season changes always bring about lots of stress to the immune system. Not to mention our hectic lifestyles on top of it all. I know everyone is dealing with some insane schedules right now. Yikes! So all you can do is take of yourself the best that you can. I always try to stay away traditional meds as much as possible and I look to foods and teas as a way to keep healthy. When I got this very generous box of goods from celestial seasonings it was exactly what I needed!


It was jammed pack with a variety of their wellness teas and accessories! Perfect! Pretty much everything you need. Honey sticks, cool mug, soothing lip balm, cute bear and some cool reads. Oh yeah and fabulous tea!


Could not wait! I tore into some of their green teas first. I tested out the Honey Lemon Ginseng Green tea and it is delicious. Really comforting and soothing. Not too overpowering, nice taste. The green tea I tried next was just as good. Green tea is just always delicious I think. There is a ton of great information out as to the benefits of including green tea into your diet. I try to drink 2-3 cups per day personally!


I've always been a fan of the sleepytime teas that they have, so this one was a given winner for me. Minty, lemony and calming.

I was really curious about the Echinacea Complete Care tea. I remember when I was little my mom would give me these big Echinacea tablets whenever we started to get sick. (Anyone ever take these?) They were sssoo chalky and strong in taste that I used to have to choke them down. This tea however tasted fantastic. It has a strong peppermint smell when you open the box but there is only a light aftertaste of mint in the tea itself. It has a very clean taste. I like the licorice that is added in as well. It really shines through. Yummy!

The tummy mint was also fabulous. I'm really finding that I like peppermint tea more and more. Peppermint has been used to help treat digestive issues but I also find that it helps with my night time cravings and calms me down after a busy day.

I really enjoyed these teas not because they just taste fantastic but they also are formulated for helping you stay healthy and balanced.



And just in case your curious about certain herbs and how they alleviate certain symptoms the book, Herbs for Health and Happiness, is a really interesting read. I loved paging through it and just looking up certain herbs and learning about what they are used to treat. They have it sectioned off into certain ailments such as calming an upset stomach and building a healthy heart. Great little reference book to have!

Overall awesome wellness pack! I'm such a huge fan of their products anyways so this was so cool to be able to try out new teas. The people at Celestial Seasonings also have offered to pass along a wellness pack to one of my readers. How awesome!

Heres how to win….


1) Leave me a comment telling me your favorite tea or you best way you find to relieve stress and seasonal colds..

2) Add me to your blogroll!

3) Link this giveaway on your site and let me know

4) Become a follower


I’ll pick the winner one week from today..so March 15th. (omg its already almost mid March?!)

And Id just like to say you all make my day!! I loved all your sweet comments and thanks for excusing my absence lately. =) Its all about keeping everything balanced though and keeping your body happy and healthy.


Have fabulous week!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where have I been?


I've fallen off the face of the earth. Well kind of. My schedule has completely kicked up and my main focus is being able to get enough sleep at night. I'm so sorry I haven't been around for awhile. I will be back soon and I so cannot wait to see and read what you all have been up to! I hope everyone is having such a fabulous week and thanks for understanding. Will be back to regular posting/reading very soon! Can’t wait!!



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Its back…..!!


I just wanted to thank you all so much for all your awesome comments on my last post! Rockin advice! So my cereal is back.

I think my main problem was I was eating a big bowl of cereal right before bed. While I don't think this is a huge thing it made me feel kind of restless at night. The tofu pudding went down way easier today so I think Im going to keep my cereal eats for afternoons or mornings. I think its just more what my body handles a bit better. So thank you all so much!


During my trip to While Foods I did find this and I thought it sounded kind of great.


It was really tasty! Not overly flavorful but awesome with the cinnamon and goes really well with almond milk. What I really like was the ingredient list.

Wheat bran, whole grain corn flour, whole grain wheat flour, corn bran and cinnamon. Thats it!

But enough about my cereal! Today was some serious cookin! After my usual gym run and Whole Foods shop a thon I came home and had to whip up some of Averie’s PB cups. It was one of those things that I have been meaning to make forever since they look absolutely amazing. I was on my computer at home looking them up and my husband walked by and says....”Why have you not made those yet?!”

So PB cup time it was!


I made some white chocolate and dark chocolate ones. All stuffed with loads of peanut butter.


I topped a few with sea salt. I love the salty sweet combo. And some with cinnamon.


Thank you Averie for some awesome cup recipes!!

While my hubs was away getting a massage I decided to bake him a cake too. (Hes spoiled, JK!) ;)

Its a pecan pie cake hybrid. Pecan pie on the top and a fluffy vanilla bourbon cake on the bottom.

Sounds awesome, right? Only I made one horrid mistake on this pup. Heres my lined spring form pan..



Instead of using one piece of aluminum foil I used a few. Total fail. When you pour the pecan pie filling in first, top with cake batter and throw in the oven it leaks out everywhere. Im sitting on my couch and all of a sudden billows of black smoke are pouring out of my oven since some of the sugar mixture leaked out of the pan and onto the bottom of the oven. Awesome.


No matter! I pulled out the cake (opened all the windows so the smoke alarms wouldnt go off..) cleaned the oven like a crazy person, lined the oven with foil, shoved it back and in and prayed it wouldnt fall.

Luckily sucess!! So next time when making this cake…leak proof the pan first. =)

Overall the cake is super fluffy, light. The pecan pie topping seeps a bit down into the cake, the hubs loved it! So total success.


Pecan Bourbon Vanilla Cake


For the Pecan Layer:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups pecans, toasted and diced
For the Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, then line the bottom and sides with parchment paper and butter the paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil. (Leak proof it!)

Make the pecan layer:

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, kosher salt and vanilla. Spread in the prepared pan and scatter the pecans on top; set aside.


Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and fine salt in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, bourbon and vanilla in another bowl.


Beat the butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 10 minutes. With the mixer on low, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with flour. Fold in the pecans.


Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a rack, 30 minutes. Remove the springform ring, invert the cake onto a plate and remove the paper.

Tips on unwrappin the cake:


Let cool for about 30 minutes. Then pull up on foil.


Remove springform pan and push down on foil to get it out the way.


With your hand or a plate (my case my hands) gently flip your cake over so pecan topping is on top.


Remove all foil and Done!



Whew and now Im tired. One gross oven later I had one tasty cake. Actually after my sugar faux pas this was a pretty easy cake to whip up. Although I’ll make a confession. I dont really like pecan pie! Ack I know! I just never did. My hubs on the other hand, LOVES it.

Its his favorite so of course I always look for ways to make it once in awhile. So he was my taste tester on the cake and it passed with flying colors!

Do you find yourself making things you don't necessarily like just for others?

Tommorrow starts another week! Woohoo! Circuit training, spinning, weights and elliptical action. Im ready for it all! Any big plans for the week?

Happy Monday!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

First week circuit training down..

Hey! How has everyone’s week been? Super busy I'm sure! I finished up my first week of circuit training and I'm loving it. I was really incredibly sore (which I love!) I took today off since my legs were really tired. I'm trying to somewhat stay on a schedule, aiming for 6 days a week but will allow for a rest day when needed.

My new favorite thing ever though…?


The foam roller! 

I have never used this before and I cannot even tell you why not. Its amazing!! Its hurts a bit at first but after using just even a couple of times I could really feel the difference in my back and legs. Highly recommend it for sore muscles! I love rolling out on the floor while watching a movie at night.

The eats for the day consisted of plenty of lentils! Im on a super lentil kick..


Roasted beets, zucchini, squash and lentils. I made a quick dressing with horseradish mustard, apple cider vinegar, stevia and plenty of Italian seasoning.


So good!

Dinner was a quick egg white omelet, veggies and some marinara sauce and parm.


I've been trying to adjust my diet and bit and just stick to proteins and veggies. Which is mainly what I eat anyways but I have to try and give up my beloved cereal (just a bit anyways!) I always get hungry at night for some reason and was told protein was a better snack before bed since it feeds the muscles. Thoughts??
So I swapped my cereal and ended up eating some greek yogurt with cocoa powder. This was ssssooo good! I added 2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder and it got insanely thick and tasty. Topped off with some cacao nibs and I was set to go!


Definitely not the most beautiful thing ever but delicious. I made some cinnamon muffs for the hubs earlier in the week. I completely forgot to take some pics so I snagged one while he was in the middle of eating. Lots of cinnamon in the middle of those puppies!


So I think for the next few weeks I'm really trying to clean up my diet a bit and stick with mainly veggies and proteins with some healthy fats and a few grains here and there. I’d like to really get my body stronger so I'm hoping that now I have a new workout plan my new diet clean up action will get me to where I want to be.
Have you ever rearranged your diet in any way? If so was it to meet a specific goal or just because you felt it was more healthy? Did you find it difficult?

I've been feeling stagnant in my workouts so this week really excited me to get back in action. I think its so important to try new things out whether it be in the form of diet and exercise just to see how the body responds. Have you revamped a certain way of doing things? Were you happy with the results? I'm just really curious is hearing about all your experiences with this!

Stay tuned for wellness week and to kick things off a super wellness giveaway!

Averie is having an AWESOME peanut butter and coconut giveaway!
One amazing Sahale giveaway !

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quickies and a winner!

Aahh yes…I love President’s day..why? Day off! No shopping plans really, more like some serious couch time! But today, back to work!

The morning started off with my usual big bowl of oats that I love..


And of course coffee. My favorite things about my mornings is my huge cup of coffee. There is also nothing like kicking back and slowly eating some awesome breakfast and coffee.

This morning I trainer at the gym and got my ass kicked. Score!!

Quick rundown:
10 push ups
10 little bigs
10 chest pulls
10 leg lunges, each side
10 russian twists
10 burpees
Repeat 6 times..
Then some plank work and jacobs ladder followed by cardio action. Ouch!

Lunch was a huge salad with of course some slaw dressing, lentils and almond butter with fiber crackers. SO good. New Oxygen mag came in the mail too. I love paging through that!


For a quick snack I ate some cottage cheese lettuce wraps. I am so loving these! Just cottage cheese, red pepper slices and some jicama with pepper. So good!


Dinner was a quickie today (big surprise!)..
Steamed Kale with veggies and sautéed shrimp. I topped it all off with some Peachy Pecan bbq sauce which was quite good!


Later on though my chocolate cravings kicked in and I whipped up some chocolate coconut tofu pudding. I tossed some puffed kamut on top. I like something crunchy with my pudding usually.


Whew what  day! Time has been flying by!
Now time for my giveaway winner!! I popped on over to the random number generator and the winning number is……


Gina from the CandidRD! Congrats girl. Email me your contact info so I can pass it along!
The thing I love about giveaways is there are always more giveaways! Stay tuned for a super wellness giveaway coming soon!

Whats your favorite go to quickie meal on the go?

awesome nut butter giveaway! 
Cool dressing giveaway! 
Vegan anniversary giveaway!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hotels, Cigars and Training…



New post finally! sheesh! This past week has been insane! But in a good way. Lots and lots done but little time for anything else. Ah well, c’est la vie.. right?


To recap a few things I had my first training session. Gotta start off by saying I FINALLY found a good trainer. I've had some really bad ones in the past so I was really hesitant. This girl really knows what she's doing and gives me lots of attention, which I like. I guess Im needy.

As I was working through certain moves she was constantly correcting my form and talking me through it. I really like that because it keeps me really conscious of what I'm doing.  I’ve had trainers in the past that have actually walked off mid set to chat with people. So all in all I'm super sore and super happy!



What else has been going on? Well my hubs surprised me with a trip to the historic Biltmore hotel in downtown Los Angeles, Awesome! I haven't ever been there and it is gorgeous. Its only 15 minutes away from us but it was really great to just take a brain break for everything and get away for awhile.


Gorgeous Chandeliers..


and doorways…

We went out to this seafood restaurant for dinner and I hate to say it but I got mad sick. The place seemed really nice and it seemed really fresh so I have no idea what I got sick on. We don't eat out that often so maybe it was just the change of food? Who knows…it was fun anyways! Despite the late night Pepto..Luckily I woke up the next morning feeling great! So all good!

Even though we were only gone for one night, I came back smelling something ripe.  Banana-ey kind of ripe. So I went on the hunt. I found some lovely black bananas in my fruit bowl and I got super excited. (Am I the only one to excited over brown bananas?)

So I thought at first maybe to make some banana bread but then decided I wanted to play with my dehydrator. I was going to be home all day, when does that ever happen? So I remember an old Emeril recipe from awhile back and using that as inspiration I made my own.


Banana Cigars with a Mango and Blood Orange Salsa and Vanilla Cream:


2 ripe bananas


1/2 box silken tofu

1 tsp. coconut extract

1 vanilla bean

stevia to taste

Mango salsa:

1/2 mango

1/2 blood orange

1 Tbsp. shredded coconut

1/2 lime juiced

1 tsp. coconut extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 pinch ginger

1 Tbsp. coconut shreds






To make banana cigars:

First puree bananas and roll out onto a piece of parchment. I spread it out to about 1/4 inch thick and popped it in the dehydrator for about 5 hours at 135 F. Once done it will look like this:


Peel off parchment and cut into strips. Fold into a cigar shape and set aside.

Make the “cream” by adding all the ingredients into the food processor and blend. Mine was pretty thick but additional gums might help to thicken it a bit more.

Now salsa time! Chop all ingredients and set aside to chill out for a bit. The longer they sit the more the ingredients will marry.

Once you are ready to eat, pipe the cream into the bananas..


Put a generous dollup of salsa on plate, top with banana cigars and garnish with a drizzle of agave, cinnamon and crushed pistacios.




Now I had some banana leather left over. So I decided to make another version of this!

Place mango salsa at the bottom of a shot glass. Roll banana leather into a cone this time.


Fill with cream and place into shot glass. Garnish!


I served this with some fresh ground chocolate on the side! Delish. There are so many variations. Wouldn't it be awesome to make a grilled mango salsa?? I think next time I might make some chocolate PB pudding and make a fudge sauce with maple syrup and cocoa powder to drizzle. Possibilities are endless with this. I'm so enamored with this fruit leather now. Ha!

Anyways I hope everyone had an awesome and amazing Valentines Day! Do you have off for Presidents day? If so any big plans? Mine is to sssoo catch up on everyone’s blogs. I cant wait to read up on what you have all been up to!!

What's your favorite new cooking tool? Any new technique or fun gadget you cant live without?

Have a great night everyone!!


P.S. Check out this awesome blender giveaway!