Sunday, March 19, 2017

{Grocery Haul and Meal Prep}

Hello cupcakes! 

Welcome to my meal prep madness. First I want to tell you about my new produce bags! I am totally obsessed with them. 



These are sold on Amazon (use the link above). They are $12.97 for a set of 9 bags. I got the mixed set, so it comes with: 2 large, 5 medium, & 2 small bags. 


This year I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic, chemicals, and waste. Who else hates all those plastic produce or bulk bin bags? I added the picture below to show you each bag has a tag for how much it weighs. This means you can use the bags for the bulk bin purchases. 


I wanted to add a little from Purifyou's Amazon description because I truly believe in what this company describes:

  • UNIQUE: Our double-stitched bags can safely hold up to 11 pounds. Despite their strength, our bags are still see-through and light-weight (our largest is less than 0.91 ounces), saving you time and money at the register. With yet another time-saver, you can place your bag straight into the fridge, and the breathable fabric often extends the life of your produce. That equals more savings, less food wasted, and less harm to our planet. Win-win.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: Our premium bags are not just for produce though, and with so many different sizes, you just might find all sorts of household items to use them for, from the little guy's Legos to Grandma's favorite stamp collection. They also work great for laundry delicates, small sports equipment, beach trips, gym clothes, school lunches, toys, office supplies, camping trips, road trips, and virtually any form of household organizing you can imagine. Did we already say win-win?
  • HELP SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT AND WORLD TOO: Because with every purchase, a portion of our profit is donated to help promote sustainable living around the world. Check out our new water well construction in Kenya! Plus, with our satisfaction guarantee you have nothing to lose, and a soon-to-be-favorite set of bags to gain. How about a win-win-win. So what are you waiting for? For a limited time, take advantage of our sale price -- subject to removal at any time.

Now for some meal prep.... 


Pictured above: rice cakes (caramel & regular), cooked brown rice, mini sweet peppers, carrots, Purifyou bags, tomatoes, lemons, psyillium husk pancakes, cucumbers, green onions, collard greens, oats, oven roasted brussel sprouts, almonds, and soaking cashews. 

I also cooked chicken breast in the crock pot with chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. I place all the ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Then I shred the chicken and add back to the crock pot. I cook the chicken for another couple of hours so the chicken soaks up the flavor. 


I use my rice cooker to cook the brown rice and steel cut oats. For the rice: I add 1 cup of rice & 3 cups of water. For the oats: I add 1 cup of steel cut oats and 3 cups of water. I use the white rice setting on my rice cooker. I like to add chia seeds and flax seeds to my oats. I bought little jars at Target to store my oats in the fridge. 

Brussel sprouts & carrots: I love oven roasted brussels and carrots. I preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I add oil to a baking sheet. I like to chop the carrots in half and the brussels in half. I add both to the baking sheet and top with Pink Himalayan salt. I like my veggies to get a little crispy, so I bake for around 45 minutes to an hour. 



Another thing I am starting to make is homemade Kombucha! This was my first batch and it turned out really well. I still want to experiment a little more and then I will share my favorite recipe with you. Kombucha is so good for your gut health. It is full of probiotics.

Homemade Almond and Cashew Milk:


I've recently started making homemade almond milk and homemade cashew milk. I am tired of buying nut milks that have other ingredients. Plus homemade tastes SOOO GOOD!

I like to soak 1/2 cup of almonds or cashews in water overnight. I usually soak almonds for two days to make extra creamy milk. Cashews do not take as long. After soaking, I rinse the nuts and add to my blender. I don't measure the water, but I fill my blender to the top. I think the line is 32 oz. Then I blend until my blender finishes (it is the smoothie setting on my blender). 


For almond milk, you will need to strain it. Cashew milk doesn't need strained. I use a nut milk bag I purchased on Amazon: {Nut Milk Bag}


Here is the left over almond pulp. You can save this an bake with it! You can dry it in the oven and use it as almond meal for recipes. 


I purchased this cool glass jug at Target and use it to store my nut milk. You can also blend dates, honey, cinnamon, or salt into the nut milks if you want to flavor them. One caution I do have is: you will need to drink the milk faster than store bought because homemade does not have any preservatives. I learned this the hard way because I prepped my oats for all week. By the end of the week my oats were sour because the nut milk was spoiled. I suggest drinking the nut milk in 2-3 days.  

Now after that long post, let me end with the meal plan I used for this meal prep:

Preworkout: Alphamine (PEScience)
Breakfast: steel cut oats with chia seeds, flax seeds, almond milk, and protein powder. I also have Amazing Greens powder with BCAAS in a shaker bottle. I take my Omega 3 supplement as well 
Lunch: Slow cooked chicken, brown rice, oven roasted carrots and brussel sprouts, and tomatoes. I also drink apple cider vinegar with water
Dinner: Collard green wrap: chicken, brown rice, spicy hummus or kite hill cream cheese, green onions, avocado, cucumber, and peppers. I also have my homemade Kombucha
Snack 1: psyillium husk pancake with almond butter. I also have lemon water
Snack 2: rice cakes with peanut butter

Other things about meal prep/grocery shopping: 
  • I went to Sprouts for my groceries this week. I love that they have bulk bins to get my almonds and cashews. They also have pretty good deals on produce. 
  • My weekly grocery bill ranges from $40-75 depending on what I have left over from the week before. 
  • I usually prep my breakfast, lunches, and snacks for the week on Saturday or Sunday. I usually make dinner when I get home from work with prepped meat. 


There you have it! A full week of meal prep! I hope you enjoyed learning about my meal prep and grocery haul. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Questions for you:
1) What is your favorite meal to prep for the week?
2) How can you reduce the amount of plastic, chemicals, or waste?
3) What would you like to see next on my blog?

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Monday, March 13, 2017

{Freezer Protein Bars}


Hello cupcakes! 

I love having healthy snacks on hand. These are super easy to make & are full of healthy fats and protein.

Ingredients:

1/3 c peanut butter
3 scoops Primal Protein Powder, Vanilla Coconut 
1/2 c unsweetened coconut
1/2 T flax seeds
1/2 T chia seeds
2 T coconut oil
1/2 c Anthony's Goods almond flour

Directions:

Throw everything into a food processor and blend until incorporated. Scoop batter into a dish and freeze until firm. Cut into squares and enjoy! 

How easy are these though!? 


Now I am off to spend some quality time with my best friend, cousin, pup, and boyfriend! 

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

{Sweet Potato Brownies}


Hello cupcakes!

Who loves brownies as much as me? 

Brownies are probably one of my favorite desserts next to cookies. I've made many different healthy brownie recipes, but this one uses sweet potatoes! I have so many sweet potatoes at my apartment right now, and I am always up for a challenge of a new recipe. 

Here are the ingredients:


1 sweet potato, steamed and skin removed
1/4 c. Fourth and Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee
1/2 c. coconut sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp. Eating Evolved Collagen Hot Chocolate 
1 T. Organic Gemini Chocolate Smoothie Mix
2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 T. Anthony's Goods Arrowroot Flour
1 T. Anthony's Goods Cassava Flour
1/4 c. Anthony's Goods Almond Flour
Pieces of Eating Evolved chocolate bar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). 

In a food processor, combine sweet potato, ghee, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Next, add eggs and process until smooth. 

Add all dry ingredients to the food processor (cocoa powder, smoothie mix, arrowroot flour, cassava flour, almond flour, & collagen). Process until smooth and all the ingredients are incorporated.

Add batter to a greased baking dish. Top with Eating Evolved chocolate pieces. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes or until desired done-ness (Is that even a word? haha). Some people like their brownies gooey, so cook less. If you prefer more done brownies, cook longer. 


Who wants to see the finished product? 




One of my best friends is coming to California today, so now I have a little treat to welcome her! I can't wait to share some of our adventures with you.

Now to clean my apartment... I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

{Primal Pumpkin Protein Cookies} + California Adventure Update

Hello Cupcakes!

I have another fun and exciting recipe to share with you...

{Primal Pumpkin Protein Cookies}



I am kind of bummed though because I took a lot of cool photos of these cookies and they did not upload to my computer... I already deleted them from my camera :( Oh well! At least I still have two pictures to share with you. 

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1/2 tsp. almond extract
chocolate chips of choice

Directions:
Place dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined. Next add wet ingredients and stir until completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips (I used ghirardelli dark chocolate chips). Use an icecream scoop to scoop dough out onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. 

*You can also top the cookies with unsweetened coconut shreds or pecans*

Makes approximately 12-15 cookies



One of my best friends and my cousin are coming into town in a week! I am going to put these cookies in the freezer and take them out while they are visiting. I always love to have treats for visitors!

You can click the link to each of the flours and protein in the recipe to buy some of the goods for yourself. Both are also found on Amazon:

*Cheaper on Amazon*


Also... update on some adventures:



This photo is from Potato Chip Rock in Poway, California. This hike is about 7.5 miles round trip and is also  has very heavily traffic because everyone wants their picture on the famous Potato Chip Rock. We hiked up the trail with our good friends Matt and Katie. They have been our hiking buddies since moving out to California. This trail was pretty fun and challenging but not super hard (if that makes sense). I always wear my heart rate monitor on hikes to see how many calories I burn. This one was over 2,000 calories if I remember correctly. 


Another hike we did was Cedar Creek Falls. This hike requires a permit. Oh and if I did not mention it before, Patch goes on all the hikes with us! He absolutely loves it! While I was researching this hike, I realized it is a bad idea to try to hike this one in the summer. It gets HOT! This hike was not hard at all when we went. If there would have been a little more rain we could have watched a waterfall at the bottom of the trail. This hike is located in Ramona, California. 



Patch stayed with some family in California while Cory and I went home for Christmas....I don't think he was spoiled at all! Haha! Thanks Sandy, John, Brandon, Alexis, Megan, and Jordan for taking care of Patch!



Once Cory and I got back from Indiana, we went straight out to the desert to meet our friends for New Years. This is Ocotillo Wells in California. We had the best time out there! It's kinda crazy because there is absolutely nothing for miles on miles. 


These are two of my girl friends, Maxine and Kali. Maxine, Cory, Patch, and I joined Kali's family and friends for the weekend. 


The picture above is Cory on a dirt bike. 


In January of this year Cory and I got to go to Disneyland. Our favorite was Radiator Springs. Disney did great at recreating this town from the movie. 


Later in January, my mom and Trish (family friend) came out to California from Indiana to visit Cory and I. This was my mom's first trip to Cali since I moved here last August. My mom wanted to go wine tasting in Temecula, California... so we went to two different wineries. Kali and Maxine also came with us! Our girls day turned out to be so much fun despite all the rain we had that day. 


Of course we had to take lots of pictures!




My mom and Trish also wanted to hike while they were here. We took them to Iron Mountain (which Cory and I hiked a few weekends before). Iron Mountain is about 5.6 miles round trip and is located in Powway, California. 


This is my mom and Trish towards the top of Iron Mountain. 


After our hike, we headed to Carlsbad to get Ice Cream at Sub Zero. I love this place because they have almond milk and coconut milk options! After eating our ice cream, we headed to the beach to watch the sunset. It was the best sunset!


I don't know about you, but there is just something so soothing and magical about palm trees. I think I love them so much because I did not grow up around them. I only saw palm trees on vacation. Now I feel like I am on vacation every day!



Our friends, Matt and Katie, invited us to hike THE HARDEST trail we have hiked so far. This one is called El Capitan in Lakeside, California. This hike is 12 miles round trip. We started off early in the morning to make sure we had time to hike the whole thing. It took us quite a while and the mountains and hills on this hike were so steep. I only wore my tennis shoes, but I would highly suggest actual hiking shoes for this hike. You need the support and grip of the hiking shoes. 


The hike was hard but also so rewarding. The view at the top of the peak was amazing. By the end of the hike I was so exhausted. Patch also came on this hike with us and he was so good the entire hike. What a trooper! He's an adventure dog.

Stay tuned for more adventures...

Later Taters 

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 





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