Ginger-y Carrot Soup (Vegan)

Oh Monday, you always seem to be back so soon.

Hi friends, hope your week is off to a great start.  I wanted to pop in to share a quick and easy, healthy recipe with you.

carrot soup

Delicious ginger carrot soup.  Light, yet comforting.  A bright healthy bowl of yummy (and so much tastier than this picture looks, I am still learning how to photograph my food).

This soup came together super quick and easy, and makes a lovely, light dinner paired with some crusty bread.  The basil is optional, but I would highly recommend it.

Carrot Ginger Soup

1 (5-6) pound carrots

1/2 an onion

2-3 cloves garlic

4 cups vegetable broth (I used Better Than Bouillon)

1 heaping Tablespoon almond butter (peanut butter would also work just fine)

1/2-1 teaspoon Sambal Oleek

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Fresh diced basil for topping

Directions: Peel and chop carrots and onions.  Add all ingredients (except the basil) to a pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer until vegetables are soft.  I then used an immersion blender to blend until smooth.  You could also use a regular blender, but will probably need to blend in 2-3 batches (careful for hot soup spatters).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  I found with the Better than Bouillon I didn’t really need salt, but with homemade or low sodium broth, it may be needed).  Serve and garnish with the fresh basil.

Let me know if you give it a try.

Weekend Recap #2

Hola!  Hope you all have had a fantastic weekend (and our still enjoying a nice evening)!

My weekend started with a super sweaty, hip hop yoga class Friday evening at my favorite studio.

session1.png

Followed by a little of this and a little of that.

PS.  That is 48oz of Kombucha, I was pretty excited about that find, Gingerade is my favorite flavor.

Rest of the weekend was pretty bueno, taught my first Saturday total body class.   Enjoyed lots of family time, including my sweet, little niece’s birthday party!  I took today as a rest day from working out, but have been chasing kiddos and cleaning all day.  That counts for something right?

On the eats front, breakfast was definitely rocking this weekend. This morning was avocado toast with eggs and watermelon.  Yesterday, I was trying to use up odds and ends before grocery shopping.  Which resulted in this delicious creation.

breakfast.jpg

That is an organic blueberry waffle (Sprouts brand), with goat cheese, blackberries and just a drizzle of maple syrup.  Watermelon on the side. Delish!

Also, let me introduce you to my new little addition, who looks so cute in my kitchen windowsill.  My little dude helped pick him out, I love it!

succulent How was your weekend?  Anything exciting on the agenda this coming week?  I will be back tomorrow with a new soup recipe for you and some workout ideas later this week.

 

Friday Funday!

Hi friends!  Hope your week is winding down nicely.

funnies

(Friday funnies – this was cracking me up all afternoon yesterday)

I have always enjoyed reading about people favorites on their blogs, so I thought I would join the Friday fun.  Some of my current faves this week have been a catch up lunch with an old friend.  Enjoyed over spicy Thai, with a fortune that was just what I needed to hear in the moment.

Watching the desert bloom.

I have also been focusing on my yoga practice more this week, which I feel always helps me to feel grounded, happy and strong.

What is making you smile this week?  Any big plans for the weekend?  I am looking forward to yoga, teaching a total body class and some family time.

Have a great weekend!

 

Finding time for fitness (or doing what you can)

Real life:  Woke up at 4:23 AM yesterday.  Super proud of myself that I was up early enough to get a full workout in before the day started.  At 4:35 AM my two-year old woke up (he is usually not up until 6:00ish) demanding ready for milk and snuggles.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love snuggling with my little dude, but I also really need my workouts for both my health and sanity.  Which is where the mini workouts come in.  Instead of doing the workout I had planned, I did a quick cardio/core mini workout (included below if you want to give it a whirl) and spent some extra time with my little guy.  Was it the workout I had planned, no.  Did it still help me start my day in a healthy way, you betcha.

In my younger days, I had an all or nothing approach to working out.  I was either getting in a full hour workout or class at the gym, or it was a miss.  Now, I still love taking a class or doing a longer workout as often as possible, but I have to squeeze in my workouts where I can.  Which is why I love me some mini workouts.

If you have 15-20 minutes (and internet access) why not stream a quick workout?  There are so many options just a click away.  Not feeling a class?  Take a quick walk or jog.

shoesI try to make sure I have shoes I can move in at work (also, I love me some super bright shoes), so I can take a quick walk at lunch.

Don’t have 15-20 minutes?  Use what time you do have.  Try to squeeze in one round of a circuit a few times a day.  Challenge yourself to doing a set of squats while your coffee’s brewing in the morning.  Or a few push-ups off the edge of your desk each time you get up.  These little bouts of movement can be a great way to keep fitness focused during all the hustle and bustle and the day, and get in some activity when you otherwise wouldn’t have time.

Here is a quick (about 5 minute) workout to get started with, no equipment needed:

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 30 second plank
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 30 second side plank
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 30 second side plank (other side)
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 30 second plank

 

Cashew Banana Bread

Hola!  Hope your week is off to a smashing start.  I had a pretty hectic day, as is to be expected after a few extra days off.  Started the day teaching class bright and early, then straight into the work groove.  By the time I got home, I was ready for a treat.  Fortunately, there was one waiting for me.

banana bread 2

Cashew Banana bread!  This was one of those on the fly, lets see what happens type of recipes, inspired by a bunch of over ripe bananas and some odds and ends I was not sure what to do with (looking at you cashew meal).  It is all the sweet, comfort of traditional banana bread, but with less sugar and no butter or oil.  There is also a healthy dose of fiber and fat from the bananas and cashews, giving it a little more staying power.

Mom tip: I loved the cashew streusel topping on top, and the hubs loves nuts in sweet breads, but I worry about my one year old choking, so I made a slightly smaller loaf with topping, and a small, no topping loaf for the babes.

Cashew Banana Bread

Makes one large loaf (or a medium and small loaf if taking the mom tip route)

Ingredients:

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

.5 cups cashew meal

4 ripe bananas – mashed

.5 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

.5 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

.25 cup sugar

2 eggs

.5 cup unsweetened applesauce

.25 cup chocolate chip (optional, but I would highly recommend it)

Streusel topping (optional, but again, I highly recommend it):

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons cashew meal

1 tablespoon butter

.25 cups chopped cashews

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a bread pan with cooking spray.  In a bowl, mash the bananas until smooth (some lumps are okay).  All all other ingredients, excluding the chocolate chips, and mix until well combined.  After combined, fold in the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into your bread pan, add streusel topping to bread if using.

Streusel topping:  In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cashew meal and butter (butter should be room temperature or melted), as this mixes it should start to form a crumbly mixture.  Once combined, stir in the cashews.  Spoon mixture onto batter and gently pat down.

Bake for 55-60 minutes.

banana bread

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Weekend Recap

Evening friends!  Hope you are having a great weekend.  I am still a little off my game with workouts and eats, though I did manage to squeeze in a quick core/cardio combo on Saturday and an online Barre workout today.  I am still getting back on track after being away a few days.  I had a busy weekend, spending time with my kiddos and recouping from travel/preparing for the week.

Saturday morning was set to be a busy chore one, but my little runaway halted all plans.

mogs - CopyMeet Moglei (Mogs), our fur baby who decided Saturday morning to sneak out of the house, sending us into a frantic search.  No idea how he escaped.  The door was not left open and I don’t see how he could have gotten out of the yard (and he never has before).  We drove all over the neighborhood looking for him and could not find him anywhere.

As I finally went home to start calling shelters and trying to figure out what to do, a woman from down the street walked up with him!  She had found him, and brought him back to us.  My hero!

After that fiasco, the kids and I decided to enjoy some zoo and Target time.  There is nothing quite like the conversations you have with little ones.  My two-year old commented on how much he liked the “sprinkles” on my arm, took a minute for me to realize he meant freckles, little cutie.

Our Target adventures led to this find.

larabar 2 - CopyHave you tried these?  I don’t think they are new, but they are new to us.  My baby girl LOVED them.  Really can’t hate on that ingredient list either.

larabar 1

I’ll be back tomorrow evening with a new banana cashew bread recipe.  Here’s to a great start to the week!

Wedding fun in Temecula (and quick hotel gym workout)

Whoo!  What a whirlwind few days it has been.  I was on the road at 4:00AM (SO EARLY) on Wednesday to arrive in Temecula, CA in time for my dear friend Leslie’s wedding rehearsal.  I made it with time to spare and we kicked off a few days of fun wedding festivities!  It was my first time in Temecula, and it is just beautiful.  There were rolling vineyards in every direction, and the scent of lavender and fresh citrus in the air.

Check out our patio view the morning of the wedding.

temecula am

Les wedding day I had a wonderful time celebrating with the bride and groom, and all their guests; some I had known for years. just love weddings, it is such a happy occasion, and watching two people who are obviously so in love and supportive of each other come together is always an amazing thing.  Also, is this not the most beautiful bride!  I wish I had gotten a good picture of her dress, with it’s super long train. It was gorgeous!

Most of Wednesday and Thursday was spent celebrating and getting ready, I did manage to squeeze in a quick morning workout at the hotel gym the day of the wedding though.

The hotel gym was surprisingly huge and well equipped, there were weights, machines, cardio equipment.  There was even a small yoga studio separate from the main workout area.  Below is the workout I did, 20-25 minutes and on with the day.  Let me know if you give it a try.

hotl gym

Hotel gym workout (I used the treadmill and a barbell for chest presses, but you could also jog/run outside and swap push-ups for chest presses if working out at home with limited equipment).

One mile jog/run:  Start with a slow jog and increase speed every quarter-mile

Circuit 1: Alternate exercises, repeat circuit 3 times

  1. Chest press x 10
  2. V-Ups x 10

Circuit 2: Alternate exercises, repeat circuit 3 times (used dumbbells for this circuit)

  1. Dead lift x 10
  2. Upright row x 10
  3. Tricep extension x 10

*Please note, while I am a certified personal trainer, I am not familiar with your needs, abilities or limitations.  Please consult a medical professional before attempting a new workout or exercise program.

Hope you all have a great weekend!