Welcome, I'm Monique! Ambitious Kitchen is a blog devoted to clean eating, healthier baked treats, plus my passion for fitness and nutrition. Bottom line, I love to inspire others in and out of the kitchen! Read more.
Remember when I mentioned that I was going to try be a little bit healthier when it came to food choices? Well I’ve been pretty dedicated… so far anyway. Eating better and enjoying more refined sugar sweets made with wholesome ingredients has made me feel incredible, lighter and maybe a little bit leaner. Isn’t it funny how even the smallest changes in your food choices can make a BIG difference? I think so.
OH BABY. I made you a grilled cheese because HELLO… it’s grilled cheese month!
If you haven’t noticed, I really don’t pay attention to food holidays that much. Or holidays in general. I just kind of make what comes to mind (and seasonal!) then hope it fits into your dinner or dessert plan. But grilled cheese? Come on you know I can be on top of my game with that shit.
So many new obsessions lately! I mean did you watch Game of Thrones on Sunday? Errrr my goodness, how is that show SO good? I can’t even fathom how someone can have that incredible of imagination. It’s like oh hey, I’m just thinking about dragons all day long… probably should write some books about it with all of these intricate characters that magically weave together perfectly. People will love it.
Oh hi guys! Welcome to your regularly scheduled Wellness Wednesday post! Today’s how-to was inspired by me wanting to cut out excess sugar in my diet a few years back. First, I started reading the nutritional labels on everything I ate. Turns out that nearly 15+ grams of sugar were coming from my morning or afternoon greek yogurt snack. Yep, it’s true!
Did you know that most of the fruit-based greek yogurts out there add cane sugar and/or syrup to sweeten the yogurt? That’s so unnecessary, don’t you think? I mean I’ll admit I love a sweet afternoon snack but when realized HOW MUCH sugar they really added I was disturbed. Surely I could find another way to enjoy greek yogurt without spoonfuls of added sugar, right?
First I started experimenting by just eating plain greek yogurt, but it was way too tart for me. I couldn’t even eat more than 1/4 of a cup without wanting to throw it away. The yogurt needed a little something else in there to make it more appealing.
When I was little, my mom used to make pesto pasta for me all the time. In fact we had it so frequently that I grew to dislike it quite a bit. I know you’re probably wondering how that’s even possible, but it’s true. As I grew older I could never get back into it either until about a few weeks ago when I finally tried pesto again.
I have to admit something and writing it here makes it official: I really haven’t been eating healthy lately. The whole month of travel really caught me off guard. Usually I’m pretty cautious and fairly diligent about making healthy food choices but I’ve had my fair share of sweetness this month.
As someone who has had food struggles, it’s important for me to stay on track with the way I eat because if altered, I can easily develop an unhealthy relationship.
Lately it feels as though time is passing by too quickly, like yesterday there was snow on the ground and wasn’t it just Christmas when I baked a batch of cinnamon rolls and all brunched in our pajamas? There are certain days when I appreciate how quickly the hours fade, just like the sunset in the evening. And other days where all I’d like to do is linger in these moments for a few days, soaking up every drop of memory and happiness. But as we know, life will pass you by if you spend too much time thinking about the past or future.
This has been my mantra lately. Live in the moment. Do what you feel is right. Always trust your heart.
I’ve been on a quest to travel more; there’s something about it that feeds my soul, filling it with knowledge, contentment, adventure and love. I’ve been to the Caribbean, Arizona, Minnesota and Texas all within the last month. I’ve appreciated every moment, each flight and along the way discovered that I value experiences over things, as I know that I’ll remember these moments as long as I live. Cheesy much? Ha.
Guess what I did over the weekend? Hopped on a plane to AZ to see Tony for Easter! I didn’t really have it all planned but was hanging out with Lee and brought up the idea; she told me to just go for it so I booked a trip, borrowed some of her clothes and jetted off! I can’t tell you how incredible it was to see the look on his face. Me being there was completely unexpected.
Here’s a little more detail on how I was able to pull it off: While driving to his hotel from the airport, we chatted on the phone and I told him I was going out for dinner with a girlfriend all the while he was thinking that I was in Minnesota. He said he was just watching basketball and hanging out so it was just my luck that he happened to be at his hotel. I arrived and as soon as I got to his room, I placed a Reese’s Egg in front of the door (they are our favorites!), knocked loudly then ran around the corner. He opened the door with a confused look on his face, then I peeked around the corner, we both got huge smiles on our face and I came running in for a hug. Totally cute stuff.
The rest of the weekend was spent watching Netflix, eating and enjoying time relaxing. Do not ask me how I get any work done these days. I can’t wait for April to come so I can have a week or two at my own apartment.
Did you know that banana bread was the most searched food on Google last year? For reals. There’s something comforting about a slice fresh from the oven and paired with your morning coffee. I prefer mine served warm and spread with a creamy nut butter. How about you?
Due to my obsession of baking with bananas, I have quite a few recipes on AK devoted to banana bread. I decided to round up a few healthy banana bread favorites and include others I’ve been eyeing up from around the internets. Below you’ll find recipes for every dietary need and I’ve even indicated them as either gluten free, vegan or paleo!
I hope you’ll find something you’ll enjoy. And of course, I promise to bake you up some more banana bread goodness soon.
I’ll be in Minnesota the rest of the weekend catching up with family and friends, plus doing the whole Easter brunch thing. As a kid, Easter used to be one of my favorite holidays. Most likely because I loved all the chocolate bunnies and sweet things. I think my Mom got me an Easter basket each year until I was about 16… until the year she didn’t and I threw a complete fit. As in, I literally searched the entire house looking for my Easter basket because I thought she was kidding when she said she didn’t get me one. It was such a special tradition to me and OMG how I used to love JellyBelly beans and Reese’s eggs. Mom… still waiting for my Easter basket… you’ve still got time! HINT.Read more.
Oh hi! Can you believe it’s already April? I CANNOT wait for patio season here in Chicago and heading to some baseball games at Wrigley!
Lately It’s been so much fun to see everyone out and about during the weekdays and of course, the lake shore has been packed with people running, walking and biking. It’s nothing like running around the track on the Princess Cruise ship when it’s sailing the ocean, but it’s definitely still beautiful.
Of course, we all know that Summer follows Spring and certainly that it’ll be time to hit the beach. I don’t know about you, but my abs always need some work before bikini season. They’re one of the hardest muscles to work and achieve a nice, toned look. But who doesn’t love a good workout challenge?!
I’m teaming up with Lee from Fit Foodie Finds again to bring you another at home heart-pumping workout! Yep, that’s right — this workout can be done anywhere and will absolutely help to tone up your abs. You can do it every day if you’d like, or every other day. I never get sick of these exercises plus it’s always fun to work up to a full set if you are new to working out.