Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Green Juice 101

Happy Tuesday!  Is it cold where you are?  We had quite the winter storm here in Ohio and I'm not looking forward to being out on the road today.  You could say that I love snow, but only on the weekends and not during the work week :)

Something that was on my bucket list for over two years was to buy a juicer.  In January of 2012, I went to Hawaii with my family.  You can read more on that here and here.  We stayed on Kauai and after tasting fresh juice at a farmer's market, life would never be the same.  I went home adamant that once I started a full-time job, I would purchase a juicer... but instead I bought a Tassimo for my 6 am commute :)

Flash forward to January of 2013 - I returned to Kauai with my family once again and just like before vowed that I was going to purchase a juicer ASAP once I returned home.  Just like before, I didn't buy it - I was too busy packing up apartment #23 and getting ready to move into my boyfriend's home.

Finally, this year in December, I bought my juicer, a Hamilton Beach from Target.  The price was right, not too high and not too low.  Definitely on the inexpensive side for a juicer, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to be one of those kitchen appliances that gets purchased and then barely ever used... like the dehydrator, which has only been used for kale chips and macaroons.

The verdict?  I love this little juicer but it's not the best quality one out there.  It doesn't extract much juice from apples, carrots or spinach.  A higher quality juicer would remove more juice, so someday down the road, maybe I'll upgrade.  For now though, this little wonder gives me the benefit of fresh juice with minimal cleanup.  I highly recommend!

Juicing purists would say that you need to consume the juice immediately after juicing due to oxidation, but my thought is that some green juice is better than no green juice and I don't have time at 5:45 am to be breaking out the juicer.  I don't think my fiance, who is still sleeping soundly, would appreciate that much either! and didn't on the days I actually juiced at 5:45 am

So, here's my favorite recipe!  I add lemon to preserve the juice and store in 16-oz mason jars.  This recipe makes enough for 3 days of juice.  Enjoy!

My Favorite Green Juice


2 cucumbers
2 red delicious apples
1/2 oz container of spinach
2 large heads of celery
1 large handful of cilantro
1/2 lemon

1. Wash your vegetables under cold water. Chop apple into 4 pieces and remove stem. Remove base of celery. Chop cucumber into 4 large pieces.  Peel lemon.
2. Feed celery into the chute of your juice, followed by the apples, spinach, celery, cilantro, cucumbers and lemon.
3. Store in mason jars, fill to almost the top line and refrigerate. Consume immediately or at most within 72 hours :)

What's your favorite juice recipe? 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Simple Salsa!

Happy Monday!  Today, I've got a story and a recipe.  I didn't always like Mexican food.  In fact, for awhile, it was my least favorite.  Flash forward to college, when my friends Manisha and Christina changed my ways.  Now, Mexican is basically a staple in our house.  Most recipes are fairly easy and are for the most part always gluten-free.  Salsa was something that always alluded me!

I'd tried a few different recipes using canned tomatoes and they were always a hit.  The problem was they made SO much that it was hard to finish it all throughout the week.  I wanted a quick salsa to go with our easy lunch of cheese quesadillas... so this is what transpired!  I hope that you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

Simple Salsa, inspired by the Pioneer Woman 


1 - 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
1 - 14.5 oz can tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 jalepeno or 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo
Salt to taste :)

1. Add all ingredients to a small food processor and blend until desired consistency achieved.
2. Feast away with your favorite tortilla chips :)

I stored the leftovers in a mason jar!  Let me know what you think if you make it :)

What's your favorite Mexican food? 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weekend Recap!

Hi there :)  Happy Sunday!  How was your weekend?  Any big adventures?  Today was all about getting ready for the upcoming work week, sleeping in, prepping meals and grocery shopping.   The rest of my weekend was much more fun!

On Saturday, my fiance and I met with a travel agent to figure out what we want to do for our honeymoon.  The appointment was kind of a bust, but we did narrow down where we want to go... it's looking like the winner is going to be St. Lucia!  There are so many options of things to see aside from just the beach; we plan on hiking the pitons, going to a live volcano, visiting the hot springs... the possibilities are endless :)  All we have left to do is book the trip!

Saturday night, I met up with my friend Leah to celebrate her 29th birthday.  We've been friends for over 21 years - I can barely believe it.  We went to our favorite local spot, the Green Dog Cafe.  I ordered the Harvest Salad - mixed greens with apples, apricots, goat cheese and a walnut vinaigrette.  I caved an ordered the gluten-free cookie :)

It was delicious!  Not very sweet, so it was the perfect after dinner splurge.  Getting home was a little treacherous, due to the fact that it had started snowing like crazy during our dinner.  I drove slow and made it home in one piece.  I don't know about all of you, but I'm ready for winter to be over and spring to be here.

Our home is a little bit in shambles.  We're remodeling our dining room for the past month and have had multiple issues with the contractor for the ceiling.  In a nutshell, we tried to prime the ceiling last weekend but couldn't because the plaster hadn't set correctly, so he came to fix it.  Then, when we went to paint this weekend the plaster hadn't been sanded to be flush with the ceiling and then paint made it ridiculously noticeable...so the contractor will hopefully be back to fix that this week and soon we'll be able to have the room finished.  This seems to be our winter tradition- last year, we stayed in the itty bitty spare bedroom while remodeling our bedroom - it was horrible and just like last year, we'll be so happy when the new room is done.

I threw my coat over one of the 6 dining room chairs that is taking up shop in our living room - along with a huge china hutch and dining room table.  About 20 minutes later, my fiance called and said "hey, you should hang up your coat," I checked the pockets to look for my keys and instead found all my favorite candy.  We shared a fast break on one of our very first dates after Paul learned I'd never had one before.  What a perfect weekend surprise :) 

Hope your weekend was just as fun!  See you all later with a post about meal prep :)

What did you do this weekend? 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Protein Packed Cookie Dough Bites

 Hi there! TGIF!  Who is ready for the weekend?  I know I am :)  Tomorrow, we're meeting with a travel agent to discuss our plans for our honeymoon.  I'm excited to plan a warm and beachy vacation in the midst of the midwestern winter.  Where is that groundhog again?

Anyway, after that I'm meeting up with my BFF for lunch, sneaking in a workout with my fave in our basement gym and going to one of my favorite restaurants for a birthday dinner for two of my other best friends!  It should be a busy Saturday.

That being said, one of my 2014 goals is to get in the best shape of my life for our wedding.  My fiance and I have been working out together, which has been awesome.  I started out needing help just to hold the bench press bar - ours is probably about 40 lbs - and now I can do at least 5 on my own.  Paul helps me finish the set by making sure the bar doesn't deck into my face when I do negatives.  I've been working on pull ups too, using the same negative method.

Now, I can do a decent amount of negatives on my own and the rest I do using the simple human trash can that used to be in our kitchen... normal people would use a chair!  I've started doing intervals at the gym during my runs and it makes them so much more fun!

I've never been a big meat eater, so once thing I'm trying to be conscious of is to add more protein to my diet.  As an RD, I'm an advocate for trying to obtain the macronutrients, naturally, through whole foods.  However, sometimes for my personal diet, they could use a boost.  I always try to buy protein powder from natural sources and stick to whey, brown rice or pea protein.  Designer Whey is easy because you can purchase it at the store, where my other faves such as Plant Fusion and Perfect Fit are only available online.

I've seen recipes for cookie dough bites floating around the internet for awhile and over the past few years have made a few of them.  I played around with ingredients that I had laying around in the kitchen and came up with these bites... they taste amazing.  They also pack about 5 grams of protein each - choose 2 as a quick snack while you're on the go or as a recovery snack for your workout.

Protein Packed Cookie Dough Bites


2/3 cup cashew meal
1/3 cup gluten-free oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips

1. Place chocolate chips into small food processor, grind until fine. Set aside in small bowl.
2. Place cashew meal, oats and protein powder into food processor, pulse to combine.
3. Add honey and chocolate chips, pulse until combine
4. Use your hands to roll dough into balls. Enjoy!

The perfect snack with a cup of tea :)  See ya later, I'm off to foam roll and watch a little tv. Have a great weekend!

What's your favorite protein packed snack? 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A New Design for 2014

If you're a long time reader, you'll notice the blog has a new look!  I recently switched from the regular version of blogger to the dynamic version.  So far, I'm loving the new layout, although, it does make the blog a little less easy to navigate - I'll be working on that more in the future.

If you're a new reader, welcome!  Let me know how you found my blog in the comments - pinterest, facebook, etc.

Thanks & see you soon with some new posts!


Engagement Party Recap

Hi there!  This post is going to be wedding related, so if your here for the recipes and random recaps, feel free to skip and come back another day. If not, keep reading :)

Weddings have tended to come in waves.  There was the huge wave of friends that got married right out of college and another big wave two years ago.  One thing that I've noticed that is more popular now that never seemed to be back then, is having an engagement party!  I'd only been to one before I attended my own, so when my MOH asked me if she could throw us one, I said sure.  It sounded like so much fun and a great way to get our friends and parents together before our big day.

The party took place at Japp's, a specialty cocktail bar in Cincinnati.  We were able to rent out one of the rooms for the night, hire a bartender and bring our own appetizers and decorations!  It ended up being a blast - all of our close friends attended - the room we rented out opened up at 9:00pm when a live band started playing.  Our party continued on though, because more people didn't shop up until 10:00 pm :)  I was sad when the night was over because it was so wonderful to have all of our loved ones in the same place... I'm guessing I'll feel the same way after the wedding!

See you later with more recipes :)