Saturday snacks

Hi friends! Popping in real fast to tell you if you are looking for a quick and healthy snack, these Bear Naked peanut butter and honey granola bites are BOMB. They are so good.

I’m not a cook, so while I know lots of people make their own energy bites, I rather just buy mine. Got these today for the first and I’m hooked!

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Friday Favorites v.78

This week kicked my butt. Work was hard, my workouts were hard, meal planning didn’t go great and overall it was exhausting. Even though I am wiped, I feel like I am plowing through the thick of things and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (24 days til Christmas!)

But, let’s talk about the good and fun things from this week with my usual Friday Favorites post!

1. I hit my daily goal of 10,000 steps four times this week! Even though I try to run almost every day after work, I sit so much at my desk job during the day that I don’t always hit 10,000 steps a day. I love job, but I do wish I could move around more at least have a stand-up desk. My Fitbit Blaze has been great and reminding me to move more every house. Even the small steps add up!

2. Gift guide for the monogram addict.

3. These Nature’s Bakery fig bars are the best! They are dairy-free, made with no bad ingredients and only have 10 grams of sugar (which is still kind of a lot, but way less than others bars I’ve tried) I got them at Kroger and they have been a great mid-day snack.

4. I taught my last class earlier this week and I am so proud of myself for making it through the semester. I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to improve and teach again next semester. Go Panthers!

5. I snagged this cup at TJ Maxx on Black Friday and it’s perfect for me! I work at a newspaper and teach a media writing class. So if you have any newspaper-lovers in your life, grab this cup. It’d make a great stocking stuffer!

6. I finally got my hands on Grace Not Perfection AND A Simplified Life, both by Emily Ley. I’ve about 3/4 of the way through GNP and I can’t wait to finish it this weekend.

7. I roasted sweet potatoes for the first time earlier this week and HOLY YUM they are a new favorite.

8. Murphy loves our Christmas tree! It’s so cute to see him play with the ornaments and lay in his bed and look at the lights. Now I just need to put presents under the tree!

Tips for a healthier Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! I love all the food, family, football and naps that are associated with the holiday. But every year I have to remind myself that it is not a time to go overboard with the great food. While I strongly believe in a balanced lifestyle, I think it’s okay for little splurges around the holiday. If you restrict yourself from the foods you want, not only will you go overboard later, but you will probably regret not eating your favorite foods that you only get once or twice a year.

So here are tips and articles from around the web that I hope will help you have a great and healthy Thanksgiving!

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This article is from 2015, but all the tips still ring true!
7 tips for a healthy Thanksgiving.

Eat breakfast.
While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.

Make or bring your own healthy dish.
Most people are going to notice if you use ingredients with less sugar or fat. While it’s fun to splurge on grandma once-a-year- pumpkin pie, it’s also nice to have some other healthier options. This way you can have your pie and eat it too 😉

Recipe ideas!
Roasted Kabocha Squash & Grapes.
Smokey Chicken Chili. 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Mine will forever and always be mashed potatoes and gravy.

Chick-fil-A kind of day – WIAW

Well guys. I had Chick-fil-A for TWO meals today. Oops.

I didn’t even mean for it to happen this way. I had to take Murphy to my parent’s house this morning and on the way over there I realized I hadn’t eaten breakfast. Chicken biscuits are my favorite breakfast to splurge on and sweet tea is like my coffee. I love it and I need it every day.

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Lunch was pretty normal/healthy (thankfully! CFA twice a day cannot be great for me) Turkey sandwich and strawberries with lots and lots of water.

After work, I had about 15 minutes to get some food before I needed to head to campus to teach. Chick-fil-A is super close to the college, so that’s where I went + I could eat chicken all day, every day. #noshame

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What did you eat today? I love reading other WIAW posts. Feel free to share with me in the comments!

This post is NOT sponsored by Chick-fil-A. I just really love their food. 

Health Benefits of Oranges

We all know the saying “an apple a day keep the doctor away,” but an orange a day could be just as helpful.

There are a ton of reasons why eating an orange a day is a good idea — not only are they low in calories and full of nutrients, they promote clear, healthy skin and can help to lower our risk for many diseases. Plus they are delicious!

Benefits of Oranges

A healthy dose of vitamin C—in which oranges are concentrated—provides antioxidant protection and immune support.

Can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Good source of fiber.

One orange provides a range of vitamins and minerals and a staggering 130 percent of your vitamin C needs for the day.

Helps reduce your chance of stomach ulcers.

While all fruits and vegetables provide their own greatness, I love eating oranges in the summertime after a long run. Something about the sweet and tartness of an orange gets me every time. They are truly one of my favorites fruits.

I am not a registered dietician. This is all advice and facts I have learned through the years through my interest of food and nutrition.

Some of my favorite snacks

I am a snacker. While some days I am totally fine with three square meals a day, most days I need a snack between lunch and supper. Some days Ryan doesn’t get off work until 7, so we don’t eat supper until 7:30 or 8. On those nights, I am HANGRY and have to grab something after my workout before I go crazy.

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite (and mostly healthy!) snacks. Have a snack you think I should try?! Let me know in the comments below!

KIND Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

Smoothies! SO much goodness in a cup. Here, here and here are some my favorites recipes.

Fresh cold pressed juices.

Blue Diamond Almonds.

Cherry Limeade from Sonic!

Fresh fruit! Especially in the summer after a long, hot run.

Spinach and blueberry smoothie bowl

Lately, I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to get more greens into my diet. So I’ve been trying to add more spinach to smoothies (rather than just a small handful, I’ve been adding like close to cups). I’ve also been adding Suja’s green drinking vinegar to my smoothie for an extra kick + lots of good vitamins and nutrients.

But the best part of this is they don’t make my smoothie taste gross. So while I’m sneaking in these nutrients, my tastebuds have no idea! Eating healthy can be fun and delicious.

SPINACH AND BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL

2 cups of spinach
A splash of Suja green drinking vinegar
1 large spoonful of plain Greek yogurt
Some frozen fruit and veggies (I just whatever is on hand, usually it’s frozen sweet potatoes, bananas, blueberries, oranges, literally whatever is in the freezer)
Small spoonful of Crazy Richard’s peanut butter
2 tablespoons of chia seeds

Then I top it with a variety of honey, nut butters, seeds or nuts, granola and blueberries ( a great source of antioxidants!) I’m seriously addicted. Some days I eat it for lunch and supper. The great thing about smoothie and smoothie bowls is that they are totally customizable to whatever you crave!

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It gives me fuel for the entire afternoon and doesn’t cause a sugar crash since I’m using all fresh and natural ingredients. I hope you get the chance to try it out. I hope you will love it as much as I do!

Friday Favorites v.60

Another week has come and gone AND we are almost to August. It is crazy to be how fast time seems to fly sometimes.

With another hot weekend on the horizon, my plans are to play with Murphy in his “puppy pool” ($10 plastic kiddie pool), try to get a couple good runs/workouts in and stay inside out of the heat and humidity.

Before I retreat indoors for the majority of the weekend, I want to share some of my favorite things from this week.

1. Blackberries! I randomly picked up a small carton of blackberries and they were all gone in two days. I forgot how much I love this sweet and tart snack. I definitely plan on buying more when I go to the grocery tomorrow. 

2. This is a two-for-one. While playing around on Twitter earlier this week, I came across both of these article from MotivRunning. Enjoy!

14 Signs are you are a runner.
It’s never too late to start running.

3. Well if this isn’t the most accurate thing. #DogMom

4. I love a good podcast and earlier this week Anne from Fannetastic Food rounded up a pretty good list of podcasts — a mix of everything. Check it out if you need some inspiration on what to listen to next.

5. This verse and background from She Reads Truth.

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6. I have still been on a smoothie kick this week, so I have been buying all kinds of frozen fruit mixes from Aldi and Kroger. I love the mixed berries and ones with frozen greens in them! Sneaking spinach into my smoothies has been the best way for me to get some extra nutrients lately. Not only do they taste great, but they make me feel engerized and not sluggish.

7. I got this candle earlier this week when browsing through the clearance aisles at TJMaxx. I love the smell. Reminds me of growing up out in the country 🙂

8. Afternoon naps with Murph.

The best buttermilk pancakes

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INGREDIENTS
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white sugarDomino Premium Pure Cane Sugar 2 LB
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon saltMorton Salt, 26 Oz
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it’s ready!
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it’s just blended together.
Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

***I also add chocolate chips to my pancakes. I’m still a kid at heart.

But feel free to add in your own toppings!

In the words of Ron and Leslie from Parks and Rec:
Leslie: “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?”
Ron: “People are idiots, Leslie.”