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Posts Tagged ‘Smoothies’

I started the day with a pilates class at our neighborhood studio, Mighty Pilates. I’ve attended Mighty’s group classes since last November when I scored a killer intro deal on BloomspotNestled in our cute little neighborhood and five minutes away by foot, this has been a wonderful place to workout and meet some fantastic people. Everyone on the Mighty team is friendly and knowledgeable, and the environment is spa-like…except for the rows of torturous reformers and towers! The Jumpboard and Sport classes are my favorites because they combine cardio and strength training. I left class feeling quite mighty!

Notice anything different about breakfast? I usually don’t photograph my drinks, but I just want to show you that I’m hydrating! In addition to an unsweetened iced tea, I drank plenty of water in a new water bottle I picked up in Tahoe. A useful souvenir, no? My latest theory is that I need a pretty new water bottle every few months to motivate me to drink more water. A little sad, I know!

Anywho, after two mornings away from my beloved oaties, this bowl of whipped cinnamon banana oatmeal was just what I needed to energize me for the busy day ahead!

Later in the afternoon, I grabbed a Larabar on-the-go because I didn’t have time for a seated meal just yet…

But before getting started on making my husband’s banana cream pie dreams come true, I needed an energy boost. So, I made a mini smoothie, halving the ingredients, resulting in this little bowl of protein-packed energy goodness.

As you might have noticed, my husband is obsessed with banana cream pie. For his birthday, I decided to make him a BCP to share with friends at his dinner later that night. For a second, I considered lightening the traditional BCP recipe. But don’t worry. After over two and a half years of marriage, it didn’t take long to make the right decision. Sometimes you just have to stir in some sugar and butter and throw caution to the wind. Ah, the things I do for love!

He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”
Michael Pollan

Traditional Banana Cream Pie 

Recipe from Here

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked (I used Christine’s Handmade Upper Crust Frozen Pastry Shell, which I highly recommend!)
  • 3 bananas, sliced

Directions:

  1. If you are using a frozen pastry shell, bake it and set aside to cool.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
  3. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes while stirring continuously. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
  4. Line the cooled pastry shell with sliced bananas. Top with pudding mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Chill for an hour.
  6. Top with coconut flakes and cocoa nibs. Serve and enjoy!
Pie in tow, we headed to meet our dear friends at Everett & Jones, a famous barbecue joint just across the Bay in Oakland. Why barbecue, you ask? Well, you can take the man out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the man. And let it be known that this BBQ joint is Velvet Husband-approved. We loved it. And coming from two Texans, you know this place had to be something special. I loved how our drinks were served in mason jars.

The best part of the night for me was my sweet husband’s reaction to it all!

We had so much fun spending time with our awesome friends. I adore each person in this picture!  Thank you so much for celebrating with us!

After dinner the staff emerged from the kitchen in a congo line, clapping and singing with Velvet Husband’s blazing banana cream pie in tow. In my opinion, you can never be too old for the royal treatment!

We had such a fun night! Happy Birthday to my sweet husband, the biggest blessing in my life! I love birthdays because they give me an extra excuse to spoil him like he spoils me. He kept telling me, “I don’t want my birthday to be over!” Now that’s a good day.

Y’all come back now, ya hear? 😉

What is your favorite must-have birthday treat?

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Tahoe to SF!

After so many satisfying meals recently, I shouldn’t be surprised when some miss the mark. Tired from our long day of skiing, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted for breakfast on Sunday. Natch, I tried a few things! First I ate a salmon & spinach omelet and strawberries. Nope, that’s not what I wanted.

Next, Velvet Husband and I split this massive waffle. It was alright, but it paled in comparison to the apple pancakes. Strike two! I stopped at this because I wasn’t hungry anymore, but man…it’s days like these when I crave a smoothie or a trusty bowl of oats!

But with a view like this, I can forgive and forget a multitude of breakfast sins. 🙂

In retrospect, I was probably just dehydrated from the day before. It should come as no surprise that nothing sounded good when what I needed first was good old-fashioned water! After hydrating, relaxing, and walking, I was beginning to feel like myself. I’m learning more and more how integral proper hydration is to our overall health and wellbeing. I have a bad habit of waiting to drink enough water until I’m thirsty, but at that point, our bodies are already feeling the effects of dehydration. How much water do you drink each day? What differences have you noticed in your health since you started hydrating properly? 

On the way back to San Francisco, we stopped in Truckee, a small mountain town. We stumbled upon Elijah Bleu’s, a quaint coffee house that also serves hearty meals. Elija Bleu’s Veggie chili and cornbread hit the spot for lunch. There, now that’s better.

Now, brace yourselves for this one, y’all! During our lunchtime chatter, I couldn’t help but notice how Velvet Husband was situated directly between two little pig portraits. When I pointed this out to the house comedian, he promptly showed off his best pig-pression to complete the trio. Ladies and gents, I’m honored to introduce you to the three not-so-little pigs of Truckee! I love this man!

Oh yes, this happened. I was laughing to the point of crying, which happens pretty often around my husband, the house comedian! Reduced to sidesplitting laughter, our fellow coffee shop patrons weren’t sad to see the giggly tourists go! And hit the road we did…back to San Francisco.

Can you guess what I was was craving for dinner when we got home? 😉

When was the last time you laughed so hard that you cried? 

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How is your weekend so far? We’re having such an amazing time in Tahoe and it’s not over yet! Sunny, high 40s-50 degree temps, and plenty of…snow? Yes! Spring ski means less crowded slopes, good powder, and it’s H-O-T-T out there! After a half-day ski at Northstar, we’re recovering and vegging (read — Velvet Husband is passed out next to me in sweet slumber!) before we head to dinner and then get our gamble on. More precisely, until Velvet Husband gets his gamble on. I’ll be there for moral support.

For a [small] change, I started yesterday with cinnamon whipped banana oatmeal topped with chia seeds, blueberries and peanut butter. No milk or sugar necessary because the whipped banana is so sweet! I’ll definitely add this to the breakfast rotation eat this everyday for a week because it’s that good.

My kale-banana-chocolate-berry smoothie bowl tasted delish as usual but looked a tad funny, so I’ll instead distract you with my cutesy bowls. Pretty, yes? Take note of the pretty floral pattern, not the odd smoothie! I picked up four of these pretty bowls in Fredericksburg, Texas a few years ago, but I think they’re made in Chicago. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you the specifics. Funny-looking smoothie, seriously cute bowl. 🙂

On the way to Tahoe, we yelped to find a convenient place for dinner, and wow — we were so happy with our choice! We ate dinner at Paul Martin’s American Bistro in Roseville. The servers were So Cal laid back and friendly and the food was unexpectedly delicious for the price. The prices were reasonable compared to what we usually see in San Francisco! We had such a fun little date and even got to sit outside because the weather is much warmer than in San Francisco. Silly husband. 😉


What a fantastic restaurant find for our little jaunt up north! I love Yelp for road trip purposes, don’t you? Do you rely on yelp to find new-to-you restaurants? What are some of the best and worst restaurants you’ve come across on road trips?

Velvet Husband loved his banana cream pie, his favorite-est (new word!) dessert in the world. Nothing on the dessert menu grabbed my attention, so I passed. By the time we got to the hotel, I needed craved a little sweetness, so I had a few peanut m&ms from the snackbar. There’s something to be said for indulging your childhood memories and enjoying a few halloween candy-type sweets once in a while, don’t you think?

Here we are on the mountain today with our super hot helmets! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend with the people you love! xo

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Hi, friends! Velvet Husband and I are about to head to Lake Tahoe for his birthday weekend, so I better keep this short! And before I address zee controversy, let’s cover yesterday’s meal picks, shall we?

Breakfast was a bowl of oats with unsweetened cocoa powder, strawberries, bananas, raspberries, and of course a scoop of crunchy peanut butter. Berry good.

Kale, berries, half a banana, chocolate whey protein powder, glutamine, and two dollops of peanut butter made two delicious lunchtime smoothie bowls. Lucky for my taste buds, the chocolate whey powder and berries disguised the kale taste. The crunchy peanut butter ‘egg’ didn’t hurt either. Look, quick sand! Tasty quick sand.

And just because it’s cute, check out my mug of Get Gorgeous tea from yesterday. This was part of my Valentine’s Day present to Velvet Husband. Subtle message, huh? I snacked on a peanut butter Larabar before heading to Bikram for an 8:15 pm class — late, eek! I prefer morning workouts, but sometimes they just don’t happen. I’ve learned not to force it or be hard on myself if I miss a scheduled workout. There’s always tomorrow, and activities like yoga and strength training should be energy-producing, not energy-sapping. Velvet Husband has taught me so much about a wonderful little thing called flexibility! Have you become more flexible with yourself over time? Has someone in your life helped this process?

After Bikram, I made use of that pretty little pepper + hummus for a late dinner. Just as yummy as it was the one I had a few days ago. You can find my recipe for Snazzy Stuffed Bell Peppers here. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

Now, for zee controversy. After dinner last night, I read a disturbing article that painted the healthy living blogger community in an unflattering light. I found this tabloid-style article inaccurate and painfully one-sided. If anything, reading healthy living blogs and recently starting my own have helped me express myself, live a more balanced lifestyle, and exchange recipes as well as encouragement with people who inspire me. Blogging about my day and the food I eat allows me to appreciate my blessings, and it encourages me to try new things in the kitchen and with my camera. I may not continue to take pictures of everything I eat, but for now, it’s fun to experiment with my camera settings and document my life one bite at a time. Most of you have probably read the Marie Claire article I’m referring to, but I just came across it last night. Do you think taking pictures of daily food selections and blogging about a healthy, balanced lifestyle is a healthy creative outlet, or not? Perhaps there’s a fine line between appreciating our blessings through food and obsessing over it. But seriously, Marie Claire, do you think your weight-obsessed magazine/website is doing women any favors? I’m happy with where I stand. Grateful. Empowered. Joyful. Beautiful. 🙂

Have you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay tuned for pretty pictures from Lake Tahoe. 🙂

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The weather in San Francisco is still gorgeous, and Velvet Husband and I spent a lot of time together yesterday! Such a change from how crazy the past few months have been! For breakfast, I made a bowl of strawberry shortcake oatmeal fit for Miss Strawberry Shortcake herself! I crushed about ten Newman’s Own alphabet grahams (because I’m 10) and added them to the almost-cooked oatmeal on the stove. The crushed graham crackers tasted wonderful with the natural sweetness of the strawberries and bananas. Velvet Husband was too hungry for a photo shoot, but his oatmeal add-ins included whipped bananas, brown sugar, walnuts, and strawberries. He didn’t even notice the chia seeds, so my sneakiness paid off. Nothing R-rated here, just Red Velvet splendor!

Creatures of habit that we are, we walked to our local Peet’s Coffee for a little refreshment. I enjoyed an unsweetened black tea and conversation with a sweetened Velvet Husband.

For lunch, I made a delicious strawberry banana spinach smoothie with dark chocolate whey powder, glutamine, TCHO cocoa nibs and some sinking peanut butter. Good eggs sink, bad eggs float. This was a good peanut butter egg. Ooh, that just made me think of Cadbury peanut butter eggs! What’s your favorite Easter candy? More importantly, when can you send me some? 😉

We got twenty of these festive plastic margarita cups in all different colors as a wedding gift from a friend of mine. She was so cute and spot-on to get us margarita glasses and margarita mix because we used to drink margs together after work at Baby Acapulco in Austin, also known as Baby A’s.

There’s a two margarita limit on the world famous Baby A’s purple margarita, so arrange for a designated driver if you plan on partaking. Come to think of it, my smoothie yesterday kinda resembled the infamous purple marg! Good thing I stopped at two. 😉

After my purple margarita nutritious smoothie, Velvet Husband joined me in the evening for a strength & sculpt class. Obviously, I was feeling super ambitious with my weights. Ha! Even though I got a good burn yesterday, the lame music and general lack of enthusiasm in the class made me miss Body Pump. 😦 They don’t have Body Pump at our gym, so this class will have to suffice. There was a sub for the regular much-loved teacher, and whew…she had a tough crowd! I would have preferred the normal teacher, but I sympathized with the sub because people just weren’t receptive to her style. Velvet Husband and I tried to go along with her, but there weren’t too many other happy faces in the room yesterday!

For dinner I made pan-seared salmon and oven-roasted asparagus with garlic. I topped the salmon with avocado-mango salsa with cilantro. Velvet Husband and I were both very pleased with dinner.

Hope you’re having a great day!

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Nothing says Saturday like a little Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, and of course Willie. Oh, and chocolate peanut butter oats with raspberries and banana slices. It was a berry lovely morning. 🙂

After drinking plenty of water, I headed off to a morning bikram class at Bikram Yoga Seacliff. The hot room was extra humid today, but our teacher had a great energy about her, so she made the class enjoyable and upbeat. She directed a few compliments my way, which felt great. I’m used to getting compliments on my standing bow pose, but today I got a “Beautiful!” on my rabbit pose. Beautiful isn’t the first word I’d use to describe the oddity that is rabbit pose, but I’ll take the compliment! I felt really strong, alert, and happy throughout class today. However, I still struggle with focusing my thoughts and staring into my eyes for the full 90 minutes. I find it most difficult to clear my mind of non-yoga thoughts for the duration of class. The mental aspect is just as important as the physical practice, so I look forward to making progress on my ability to focus on my efforts. What goes through your mind during yoga class?

On my drive home, I made a wrong turn and drove through the Presidio. Getting lost in this part of San Francisco isn’t necessarily a bad thing, huh?

Given how often I’m having smoothies for lunch, I guess y’all can call me the Smoothie Queen! I can’t help myself–they make such a satisfying lunch, especially post-workout. Today’s creation was inspired by The Grass Skirt’s Strawberry Shortcake smoothie. Thank you so much for the inspiration, Erin! Be sure to check out The Grass Skirt! I modified her recipe in the following ways to meet my needs: I used Newman’s Own Cinnamon Graham Alphabet cookies, vanilla bean whey protein powder, ground flaxseeds, frozen raspberries (in addition to strawberries of course), and I used water and ice instead of milk. It was fabulous! Of course I couldn’t help myself by adding two scoops of peanut butter to the end result. I think the food speaks for itself today. 🙂

Velvet Husband should be home in about an hour! We’re going to a steakhouse for dinner to celebrate his homecoming and the end of the trial. Woohoo! I am so excited to see him and spend a romantic evening together. I’ll be sure to report back with all the dinner details! I’m off to make myself and our apartment presentable. 🙂

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After five weeks apart from each other, Velvet Husband comes home tomorrow! He’s been in Orange County for a big trial for the past five friggin’ weeks. Not the worst place to spend a month, but believe me, he wasn’t exactly chillin’ by the pool. He worked so many long and sleepless nights. I am so proud of him. San Francisco smiled with me today because Velvet Husband is coming home to us!

Chocolate peanut butter oats with bananas and blueberries are a perfect way to start the morning, don’t you agree? I used the same recipe as yesterday with the welcome addition of organic blueberries. This is the best breakfast I’ve had in a while. What is your favorite breakfast?

I needed something to tide me over till lunch, so I stopped by Tully’s on Fillmore & Jackson for an acai-berry pomegranate iced tea and a Ghiradelli dark chocolate square. The location of this Tully’s is ideal, but I find the customer service lacking. I’m always friendly with the staff, but I never get a smile in return. What’s up with that? Oh well, no matter. I’m reminded of Plato’s sage advice: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I’ll keep smiling in hopes that someday when I’m feeling down, a stranger’s kindness might lift my mood. Have I mentioned that in addition to being Secretary of Orange Jackets in college, I was also the Chair of Random Acts of Kindness? A fitting role, don’t you think?

I made a delicious chocolate-strawberry-blueberry-banana-spinach smoothie for a late lunch. Two nutrient dense smoothie glasses and two spoonfuls of peanut butter later, and I was was feelin’ good again. Cue the Robert Earl Keen.

I picked up fresh ingredients for an impromptu dinner of pan-seared halibut with avocado mango salsa. This meal was so quick and delicious! While prepping dinner, I snacked on a TCHO dark chocolate square. I’ve been known to do that from time to time. 🙂
Pan-Seared Halibut with Avocado Mango Salsa
Halibut:
  • 7 oz halibut fillet
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Cooking Spray
  • Salt & Pepper

Avocado Mango Salsa:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 6 garlic clothes, diced
  • 6 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 mango, peeled and chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • Salt & Pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Marinate halibut filet in olive oil or spray with olive oil cooking spray. Season halibut with salt and pepper.
  3. Place parchment paper on a cooking sheet and set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook on medium heat until browned.
  5. When sufficiently browned, remove garlic and onion from heat, and spoon them into a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. In the same pan used to cook the garlic and onion, sear the marinated halibut filet for three minutes on each side at medium heat.
  7. When searing is complete, place the halibut on parchment-lined cooking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. While halibut bakes, mix together remaining salsa ingredients in the bowl with garlic and onion.
  9. Serve halibut and salsa with fresh organic green or red leaf lettuce salad of your choice. Enjoy!
After this delicious dinner, I treated myself to a peanut butter treat. Now that I’ve watched DC Cupcakes, I think it’s time  to get serious about cleaning our apartment! Have a fantastic night, and many thanks for reading my young blog! 🙂

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