Yes, the weekend is here. I should be thrilled, but to tell you the truth, I am sooooooo tired. The only thing I’m thrilled about is the chance to sleep in.
I don’t think I’ve recovered from last weekend yet, plus my new job started on Monday so I’ve been going, going, going. Maybe I’ll take the weekend to recover just a little bit. This is really just me explaining why I haven’t been posting as frequently.
But here’s something to look forward to: A brand new redesigned Ambitious Kitchen! Yes, each day we’ve been plugging away on my new site! I’m excited for it to launch, but let me tell you, it takes more work than you would think!
Anyway since I’ve been on the go lately, I’ve needed to make sure that all of my meals and snacks are prepared ahead of time.
I’m also kind of on this no-wheat experimentation diet, thus I’ve been eating high protein breakfasts – including these awesome veggie-packed egg white muffins.
Ummm hi. I’m recovering from a food coma — a deep and scary one. I guess that’s what happens when you attend food conferences in a city where there is magical Mexican food.
I can’t even think of anything except salad right now! I need it. Because apparently I think that it’s okay to eat ice cream sandwiches the size of my face, buttery muffins for breakfast, and ohhh I don’t know about a million peanut butter m&ms (give or take a few).
I’ll be paying for my decisions for the next week; however, with salads that include strawberries, goat cheese, quinoa, and crunchy sunflower seeds; I’m not sure I mind too much. Especially when it’s tossed in my absolute favorite lemon dressing.
I would have to say that this salad is absolutely perfect for summer. It’s slightly sweet, but oh so fresh! Often times I add chia or poppyseeds to the lemon dressing for a little fun crunch and extra nutrition. The goat cheese adds in a nice tang and along with the dressing, I found it to be irresistible! The sunflower seeds are different and lovely, but you can use pecans if you’d like.
Other optional add-ins that I’d suggest: chickpeas or pulled chicken breast. You can serve this over spinach and pack it for your weekly lunches.
Ahhh the weekend is here. I’ve been craving it like chocolate.
Now it’s unusual for me to bring you a recipe on a Friday, but I just had to share this epic banana bread with you.
Strawberries + Coconut + Chia Seeds. Have you ever heard of such a lovely combination? It’s like a cozy little slice of heaven.
Speaking of things that need to be shared: I have some exciting news to tell you… but I have to hold off a bit (sorry!). Ugh keeping secrets is pretty difficult for me too! Look for a fun announcement very, very soon!
Anyway this banana bread is something I can share. In fact, it’s pretty major — beautiful even! And guess what? It’s also full of healthy ingredients that most certainly deserve a little special attention.
First thing’s first: How was your Memorial Day Weekend? I hope you had the chance to relax and eat some delicious food.
I was able to finally catch The Great Gatsby in theaters and HOLY heaven… Leo! I don’t think he’s been that good looking since his Titanic days. Besides staring into Leo’s eyes via theater projection screen, I was able to accomplish a lot this weekend. I cleaned my room (MAJOR DEAL), booked some flights, spent time with my family, cooked, and instagramed my food like a freak.
Yes, I’m totally one of those people.
I wish I could say I instagrammed and ate this salmon this weekend, but that’s just not truth. I actually created this dish several months ago and completely forgot about it until recently when I was strolling through my photos. Please forgive me! How could I deny you this magical meal?
This salmon. Um, words really won’t do it justice, but I’ll try to describe it in the best way I know how: through super delicious adjectives (obviously) and dramatic descriptors.
It’s time to talk nutrition, clean eating and weight loss on Ambitious Kitchen. I’m sure you all know how important it is to feed your body with nourishing, good-for-you foods. You could run for an hour every single day but if you aren’t eating right, you’ll never see the results you desire. To top it all off, there are SO MANY diet out there; how do you even know what’s right? While I agree that it’s best to eat for your body type and what makes you feel good, I am also a huge advocate of clean eating.
So, what is clean eating? It’s basically a no-junk approach to your diet, plus it’s actually incredibly simple AND delicious! You don’t have to sacrifice the things you love, you just make alternative choices.
Here are some examples:
So you’ve probably heard all of those before, right? Yes, eating clean is a conscious choice but it can also be a constant battle. Come on, are you kidding? I’m not perfect. I drool over Bon Appetit magazine and sometimes I just really crave an ice cream cone from McDonald’s. However, I live by the 80/20 rule which means most days I’m eating simple and clean. This makes me feel better, more confident, and in general, happier. I love the way my body feels when I’m eating healthy foods. Simply put, eating an apple is much more energizing then eating an Oreo. Wouldn’t you agree?
Now I’m not an expert or a nutritionist, I can only speak from my own experiences with weight gain/loss, dieting, and in general being a female. Obviously there’s a huge amount of pressure on women these days, and it’s easy to feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Most importantly, you also have to remember that only YOU are in control of your habits. If you want to make a change, you have to start somewhere. It’s certainly not going to be an easy road, but the good news is that little changes absolutely lead to BIG results!
If you’re not sure where to start on your road to clean eating and weight loss, here are my biggest tips:
I hope that you’ll find some of these tips useful. I’ve found them successful for myself, but I’m definitely not an expert. I’m only sharing my knowledge based on what I’ve read and experimented with in my own life. You can consider that a disclaimer.
Now I think we can all agree that snacking is so much fun and it’s really difficult not to reach for that candy bar at 3pm. But I’ve got a brand that I think you will absolutely love! Quest Nutrition makes protein bars that taste like candy bars. Seriously, I think if I could eat these bars every day for the rest of my life, I would. Yep, obsessed!
Recently Quest Nutrition reached out to me and kindly sent me a sample package of their protein bars. OH MY GOODNESS, I was shocked at how incredible they were. These bars are truly perfect for someone who either loves to work out, is watching their figure, or for a low carb lover.
So let me tell you a little bit about their bars: they’re gluten free, contain at least 15g of protein, are low-carb, and have no sugar is added. Yes, they are as amazing as they sound — I’m not kidding! For me these bars were wonderful before or after a workout or if I needed a quick breakfast in the morning. My favorite flavors are chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, vanilla almond, and strawberry cheesecake. And all of them taste incredible when microwaved for 15 seconds.
I can’t recommend them enough and lucky for you, Quest has agreed to sponsor a giveaway.
Here’s how it works: I will randomly selecting TWO winners who will receive a 12-sample pack of Quest Nutrition Bars.
How to enter:
For additional entries: Each follow on one of social networks below will get you an additional entry, just make sure you let me know in the comments that you have done so.
*Disclaimer: Quest has agreed to sponsor a giveaway for this post, but as always opinions are my own. I’m not an expert on health or nutrition; I just love sharing my experience.
Monday’s here! Don’t cry… I made you waffles.
Man, I love waffles. They remind me of when I used to go to the diner with my Dad; I always ordered the giant, crispy Belgian waffle with strawberries. Mmmmmm.
I’ve been hoping that waffles make an epic comeback for years. Instead I’ve watched cookies-stuffed-in-cookies, cupcakes, mini pies, and baked donuts take over. So I need you to get on the waffle train with me. If you need convincing, these waffles should do the trick.
Have you guys seen all of the new peanut butter flavors popping up? What a dream.
Wait, maybe that’s just a dream for me? You know I love my nut buttahhhhhhhhhh. Here’s a confession: I secretly want to have a pantry devoted to all of the nut butters I can hoard. (Probably a bad idea for my waistline, although I think my tastebuds would appreciate it very much.)
Did you know that today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day?! You think I would have made you a cookie recipe but nope; you get good old healthy bran muffins.
In reality, they’re actually really, really good bran muffins! Come on, you know I wouldn’t lie to you.