If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my yoga tweets lately (#akyogachallenge). I’m falling in love with my practice and it feels absolutely incredible.
Now what’s funny is that I’m the type of person who NEEDS intensity from a workout. Usually kickboxing and running tend to be my favorites because I love the ‘high’, uplifting feeling that comes from those cardio endorphins. What’s unusual is that I’ve found that I get the same feeling from my yoga practice, except I don’t have to run 8 miles to feel like I accomplished something. As soon as I step onto my mat, I let my stress go and focus my energy on breathing and thinking positively.
Most of all, yoga is slowly teaching me to appreciate the beauty within myself. It seems that we’re all searching for something, whether it be a change in our lives, bodies, or our hearts; however, before any change can happen we have to learn to accept ourselves from within. For me this yoga challenge is about so much more than just being fit.
Spring is right around the corner so I thought I would make you something to brighten up your day! We’ve been waiting far too long for patio season, so I’m starting the party early with this Sangria Red Wine Punch.
Now you could probably call this a skinny sangria since I swapped out regular full-sugar juice for diet cranberry juice and diet soda. Skinny drinks = more drinks? Just kidding…
I love this recipe because the fruit soaks up the wine and juice, and so it’s perfectly juicy and flavorful when you drink it. It’s great for a party, or really anytime you need something refreshing.
Mine was wonderful. I caught up with a friend over margaritas and mexican food, and also enjoyed some yoga sculpt classes where I sweat my entire soul onto the mat. I absolutely love yoga though; there’s just something about it that makes me feel incredible. I compare it to a bit like a runner’s high, except with an emotional connection. Perhaps it’s a little difficult to explain, all I know is that I’m smitten with my yoga practice! In fact, I’ve been considered becoming a yoga instructor. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time especially because fitness is such a huge part of my life.
First though, I’m focusing on a redesign for Ambitious Kitchen which will take up an incredible amount of time. So if you see pictures of me with bloodshot eyes, it’s from staring at my computer for too long. Not from other things. Obviously.
I hope you had a great 4th of July with your friends and family!
I did! Summer cocktails were flowing, potato salad was piled high, burgers were chowed on, cheese and crackers were consumed, and the cake was gone; it was a day full of endless eating. In fact, I caught myself mindless munching all day. And now that my mind realizes what went down, I’m upset about it. Summer BBQs win again!
I know just what I need: some seriously good-for-you, juicing smoothie vegan stuff. With spinach, or kale… Or I don’t know… JUST GIVE ME ANYTHING BUT CHIPS AND CAKE!
Are you feeling the same way? Please say yes.
I’m a HUGE fan of protein shakes. I drink one at least once a day. And no, I do not have muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger, thank you very much. They’re a delicious snack that fills me up and usually keeps me from reaching for Nutter Butters and chips at 3pm.
Now I definitely can’t claim to be a health or nutrition expert, but I do know how to prepare healthy snacks and meals. And since so many of you are interested in eating healthy, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the types of foods I normally eat and give you ideas for some healthy breakfast recipes that can be easily prepared at home.
So what do I normally eat? Usually clean, unprocessed whole foods, including whole grains, lean meats, fish, some dairy, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. This means cooking at home, preparing meals ahead of time, and resisting the urge to bake cookies and drink margs. And let me tell you, THAT is super difficult sometimes.
BUT with all of these delicious options below (and in my recipe index), I think you’ll have enough recipes to start your morning off healthy and delicious.
Whole Wheat Banana Quinoa Pancakes— these are one of my favorites especially topped with natural peanut butter! Make a batch, pop the leftovers in the freezer, then during the week simply take out two, reheat in the microwave and enjoy! Throw in blueberries in the batter or chocolate chips if you’d like. They are pancakes made easy.
Eggs — I eat eggs at least once a day for either breakfast or dinner. Sometimes I make egg sandwiches like the one in the picture above. Usually though I’ll whip up an omelet using 1 egg and 3 egg whites; I also like to mix up my fillings. Here are some suggestions of what you can stuff or top your eggs with: smoked salmon, goat cheese, asparagus, green chile, avocado or guacamole, black beans, low-fat cheese, tomatoes, onion, etc. For more great, easy egg recipes head over to Fitness Magazine’s site. I’ll also be posting a how-to make your own omelet sometime soon!
Things you can put on whole grain toast or english muffins: mashed avocado, hardboiled eggs, low sugar jam and natural nut butter, whipped low-fat cream cheese and smashed raspberries, non-fat greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with toasted almonds and drizzled with honey, bananas and peanut butter.
And what about this protein shake?
Well, this shake packs flavor in a glass. Bananas and blueberries are a great combination together. It will fill you up and takes less than 5 minutes to make.
You really have no excuses to miss breakfast with this delicious little thing staring at you.
My hope is that some of these ideas and recipes will inspire you to get in your kitchen, eat breakfast, and be a little healthier. We all know breakfast is easy to skip, but it’s also the most important meal of the day.
Let me know what your favorite healthy breakfast is in the comments below!
Banana Blueberry Protein Shakes
2 cups milk of choice (skim, almond, coconut, soy)
2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (I use whey protein)
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 large ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks (best if the banana is frozen)
3/4 cup of ice cubes
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses and enjoy.
Feel free to add any of the following: 1 cup of spinach for a green smoothie, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, flax seed, chia seed, etc.
You can also use different berries or a mixture of fruit instead of blueberries
Getting my aggression out. Kickboxing, cycling, yoga is all good… plus then I can eat more of the above.
My new camera. It MIGHT be more important to me than cookies. It’s certainly more important than a boyfriend.
Grandma’s buttermilk waffles. Crispy with a lovely fluffy texture. Don’t worry I snatched up the recipe to share.
Peanut butter and banana (and chocolate chips sometimes) sandwiches. Forget the jelly; I’m all about diversity.
Maxi dresses and big sunglasses. I live in this.
Smoothies made with coconut milk. It’s like I’m drinking a tropical vacation!
We all know I’m big into margaritas and all things spanish inspired. I eat spanish food more than anyone I know. And of course I love a good cocktail type beverage during the warm summer months.
Piña Coladas are the official beverage of Puerto Rico (where my family is from), and I thought that I would share with you a lightened up version that you can slurp down whenever! Typically made with coconut creme, pineapple juice, and rum–these tropical beverages can be super high in calories. To make them lighter, I removed the coconut creme and replaced it with coconut milk, added frozen bananas, and said adios to the rum.
Buttttt where did the rum gooooo?
I’m all about the goodness of coconut milk; it’s creamy, rich, and full of nutrients. I’ve been putting it in cupcakes. I pour it over my oatmeal. I’d take a straight shot of it.
Look I don’t know where my heads at, but I do know that blending up this healthy smoothie made me feel like I was in Mexico on spring break. Until I realized I actually wasn’t… annnnd the fact that this drink didn’t actually have any alcoholic in it– which meant I still needed to go to yoga because I was completely capable.
I say after hitting the gym we add the rum and say hello to Summer!
Just a simple favorite.
Vegan Piña Colada Smoothies
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup coconut milk (I like Silk coconut milk, unsweetened)
1 large frozen banana (chunks)
1/2 cup ice cubes
Place pineapple chunks, banana, coconut milk, and ice cubes in blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Pour into two glasses. Top with pineapple for garnish, whip cream (vegan if desired), or drizzle with honey.
For frozen banana chunks, simply cut up banana, place in small ziploc bag and place in freezer
Recipe would be great using coconut milk ice cream or yogurt instead of coconut milk