Latest grocery finds

I love getting ideas on new foods and drinks to try from other bloggers, so today I though I’d share some of my favorite recent grocery finds.

I saw these drinkable vinegars at Kroger this weekend and knew I had to give them a try! I have been trying to be more aware of my gut health, and since I already love Suja juices, I thought these would be perfect to add into my daily routine. I bought four flavors, but I’ve only tried the peach-ginger so far. But it’s a winner in my book!

This was a random find at Aldi. I swear every week their products change! But I love love love pineapple salsa, so I knew I had to give this one a try! I ate half the jar in one sitting (oops), so I give it two thumbs up!

A couple weeks ago I posted about the benefits of honey. Since I don’t have honey from Ryan’s dad at the moment, I bought some local honey to add to my breakfast bowls, smoothie and to keep around for a energy-boosting snack.

This was another random find at Aldi, but now I’m hooked on these wraps. They have less carbs and calories than bread, and it’s easy way to sneak in some veggies. My favorite wraps lately have been pepper jack cheese, turkey, spinach and radishes. I also like to drizzle them with Italian dressing. Such an easy, nutritious and delicious lunch!

What are some of your recent grocery finds? Let me know in the comments below!

10 simple summer snacks

Since it has been SO HOT lately, I thought I would share a quick roundup of some simple summer snacks. None of these recipes require the oven, some are healthy and some involve ice cream 🙂

Enjoy!

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1. Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
INGREDIENTS
• 4 cups frozen strawberries
• 3 tablespoons honey
• ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1 tablespoon lime juice

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. I use and LOVE my NutriBullet.

2. Fruit & Cheese Kabobs
3. Celery & Peanut Butter
4. Honey Vanilla Ice Cream
5. Real fruit popsicles.img_1072

6. Frozen grapes and cottage cheese (I stole this idea from Hungry Runner Girl)
7. Smoothies!
8. Fresh fruit
9. Sliced cucumber sandwiches
10. Caprese salad

Benefits of honey

Happy Monday! This weekend was a whirlwind (aren’t they always?!) but I am excited and ready to start the work week. I have lots of career and personal goals brewing, so I determined to make this week count AND make it a good one!

So for today’s post, I am talking about the benefits of honey! The benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. Since one of Ryan’s dad’s hobbies is bee keeping, we are lucky enough to get free, raw honey basically year-round. It’s pretty neat to see whole the process behind-the-scenes. It takes a lot more work than you think!

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Honey is a great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies. Sometimes before a long run, I will eat a spoonful of raw honey for an extra burst of energy. Lots of natural sugars = good for runners. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy.

Honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes.

Natural honey is also good for allergies! This was something I learned from Ryan’s dad. After moving to Tennessee, I had the WORST allergies. He gave me some natural honey (which was from TN) and after eating it for about a week, I noticed my allergies were a little better!

The bees go from flower to flower collecting pollen that causes you to suffer, but when a you consume local raw honey, you also consume that same offending local pollen. After some time, an allergy sufferer may become less sensitive to this pollen that previously caused problems and experience less seasonal allergy symptoms.

I’ve heard honey can help with sore throats, but I’m not entirely sure if that is true. Anyone out there know if this is a fact? Feel free to send some info!

Any other runners out there eat a spoonful of honey before a long run/race?

Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie

Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food.

The Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie is a great beginner friendly green smoothie. It’s full of iron, potassium and vitamins galore— AND tastes like a tropical treat from all the island fruit.

Green Smoothie

INGREDIENTS
1 cup spinach fresh
1 cup water
half cup pineapple
half cup mango
1 banana peeled

INSTRUCTIONS
Place spinach and water in blender (I use a  Nutribullet). Puree until smooth.
Add fruit and blend again.

RECIPE NOTES
*Use at least one frozen fruit to make the smoothie cold or serve over ice.
NOT A FAN OF BANANAS? Feel free to substitute with another fruit, like extra mangos. You can even freeze the bananas first to reduce the flavor and also add some extra chill to your smoothie.

Drink up!

Healthy eating should not be a diet plan

Welcome to back the work week, friends! I hope you all had a great Father’s Day weekend. I got to spend time with both my dad and my father-in-law, so I am one happy girl today!

Now. Onto more serious matters.

I hate when I’m out to eat with people and they think because I’m getting “just a salad” that it means I am dieting. No! I don’t want the foods I eat to be considered a diet! I want to become a way of life. I want to eat healthy and nourishing foods that sustain my daily activities!

Eat good to feel good, right? I want to feel good. I want to feel great. Lots of processed foods and fake sugars are not going to get me there.

Cucumbers and tuna fish (my latest lunch obsession) is healthy, but you know what, it also tastes good! And I don’t feel bloated and nasty after eating it like I would if I ate a burger and fries from McDonald’s. Eating healthy should not be a diet plan.


I want to learn to live a balanced life. To me, eating well is a way I can respect my body AND help it live out its full potential. I like to run. Therefore, I need foods that can fuel my body so I can be my best self and perform well. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate chip cookies and pizza is one of my top three favorite foods, but I think a life filled with moderation is a good thing.


Below, I’ve linked some of my favorite recipes that are delicious and good for you!

BREAKFAST
Hard boiled egg and cheddar muffin.
Cherry Banana Smoothie.
My new favorite smoothie.
Avocado toast FIVE ways.

LUNCH
Sweet & spicy summertime guac.
White bean and mozzarella sandwich.

SUPPER
Easy baked ginger chicken.
Skinny beef and broccoli noodles.
BBQ salmon. (While I don’t get to cook fish at home due my husband’s, but I love to eat it! I haven’t tried this recipe, but it looks delish!)

EXTRAS
Chocolate chip banana bread cookies.
Summer fruit salad.

Friday Favorites v.52

It’s Friday! We survived the four day work week. Don’t those always seem to go by the slowest? I think I came in early and stayed late every day this week due to a project I have that goes to print next week.

On the agenda for this weekend is Friday After 5, lots of house and yard work tomorrow and hopefully Holiday World on Sunday!

1. These real fruit popsicles from WalMart. I had a pineapple one when I was my parent’s house earlier this week and they were delicious! I liked that they were made real fruit and didn’t have any artificial sweeteners. 

2. The Loop. It’s a site under the Runner’s World umbrella that lets bloggers come together and post in one place. I’ve only shared one post on the site, but everyone seems welcoming and encouraging. Isn’t it crazy how the internet can connect people?! I love it.

3. It’s National Doughnut Day! One of my co-workers is bringing in a variety of doughnuts and I am so excited. The best way to start a Friday.

4. This. Thanks Oiselle for sharing wisdom and good words.
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5. 30 minute abs and arms workout.

6. I love a good a quote. And Twitter.
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7. This is adorable. 21 images of little Wonder Women who are the definition of girl power.

8. If you missed my post from yesterday on how Murphy has improved my health. Be sure to check it out – it’s a good one!

Leave me a comment below and let me know one favorite thing from your week!

Rainbow cake recipe

It’s a new month! So many of my friends have birthdays this month, and every now and I then I like to bake something out of the norm for them.

So here is a fun cake recipe (a little from the Betty Crocker, a little from AllRecipes and some of my own trial and error) for a rainbow cake. Enjoy!

Rainbow Cake.jpg

INGREDIENTS

CAKE
2 boxes vanilla cake mix
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
6 eggs
2 packages (2.7 oz each) classic gel food colors

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
1 cup shortening
1 cup butter, softened
1 bag (2 lb) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk

STEPS
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray.
In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among 6 small bowls, about 1 1/3 cups each.
Using food colors, tint batter in 1 bowl blue, 1 bowl red, 1 bowl green, 1 bowl yellow, 1 bowl orange (using red and yellow) and 1 bowl purple (using blue and red).
Refrigerate 3 colors of batter until ready to bake. Pour remaining 3 colors of batter into cake pans.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center and begins to pull away from side of pan. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling racks; cool completely.

Wash cake pans. Bake and cool remaining 3 cake layers as directed.
In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light yellow. On low speed, gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until frosting is smooth. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
Trim rounded tops off cakes to level, if needed. On serving plate, place purple cake layer. Spread with frosting to within 1/4 inch of edge. Repeat with blue, green, yellow, orange and red cake layers. Spread light coat of frosting on top and side of cake to seal in crumbs, then frost with remaining frosting.

Summer Fruit Salad

So I know it’s not officially summer yet, but the temps in the 80s for most of the week, it sure feels like it.

In the summer I am ALL about fruit. Obviously that’s when most things are in season, but there is nothing more refreshing after a hot and sweaty run than some cold and juicy fruit.

This summer fruit salad hits the spot and will be something I plan on enjoying all summer long.

We used to have a plum tree in my backyard growing up and I used to grab them off the tree in handfuls and eat them between playing tag with my brother and jumping on the trampoline. So I am so happy to see plums in this delicious fruit salad.

Enjoy!

Summer Fruit Salad.jpg

Tips for healthy grocery shopping

Guys. I love a good planner. My day feels so much more structured when I put pen to paper and map out my day.

The same goes for grocery shopping. Because let’s be honest. If I don’t go to the store armed with my shopping list, this happens: 

So. To keep this from happening, as the week progresses I keep a running grocery list. Things that pop up while I’m cooking, toiletries I run out of and the staples we buy every week.

I also break the list up into what I buy at Aldi and what I buy at Kroger. If I have time, I try to buy produce from our local farmers market, but let’s be real, I don’t always have time for that at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings.

No matter where I shop though, I always try to look at the ingredient list on the products I buy. The more real food, the better! Shopping the perimeter of the store really helps me make smart choices when shopping.

Now let’s take a look at some of what I buy weekly/monthly.

Aldi = chips, breakfast bars, lunch meat, cooking + baking essentials like sugar, flour, oils, etc, produce, milk, eggs, spaghetti, yogurt, protein powder and sometimes random pickups since their inventory changes from month to month.


Kroger = Suja, golden delicious apples, meat, pizza and toiletries. We have a few items that we prefer the name brand vs. Aldi brand.

I feel like I might be in the minority here, but Ryan and I eat the same five meals every week. Every Monday is taco night, every Tuesday is porkchops + veggies and so on. While sometimes it gets a little routine, it saves us so much money and hassle when trying to decide on what we are having for supper that night — we already know! We never go out to eat through the week and we save money and calories because of it!

This system works for us. But it not work for you and your family. Find what works for you and stick with it. Trust me, it took months and months of shopping at different grocers, meal planning and budgeting to get where we wanted to be.

Food should be fun! Even though we eat a lot of the same meals, we still enjoy them. Sitting with each other and eating a meal together is always one of my most treasured parts of the day. I hope it is for you too.

Good moves + eats

This week has been bananas.

So I’m popping in a quick hello and some of my recent workouts and eats.

Our home gym is coming together nicely! We’ve always had some random free weights and I got a treadmill for Christmas, but now we have an entire corner of our garage dedicated to our gym space.

A couple weeks ago we also bought a pull-up bar and cage (?) (similar to this one) for bench pressing and squats.

I’m so happy to have a place to workout at home. While it’s a large upfront cost, we’ve spread it out over the last two years and are able to use it a lot more than we would an actual gym due to our commute (we live out in the country) and wanting to be home with Murphy.

Also, I’ve been trying to complete this workout and it’s a killer. BUT I can tell I am getting faster (even if I do have to take some walking breaks every now and then)
3 mile treadmill workout

Now onto some food. I picked these up at Aldi while I was grocery shopping. Something small to crib my hunger + penguins are my favorite. 😍

Also. I have recently discovered Suja juices. OHMYGOSH, guys. I am in love. Like why did I not try these before?! I picked up the sweet beets and the strawberry/cherry vibrant probiotic Sunday when I was Kroger and now that I have tried them both, I want to shout it from the rooftops. (This post is in no way sponsored by Suja. I just really like this product and want to share with you all)
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That’s all for today. Happy hump day!