There’s MUFFIN Better than Mondaysssss.

There is MUFFIN better than a MONDAY. Or that is what we tell ourselves to get through the day. Nothin’ is worse than having a case of the MONDAYSSSS. In other exciting news, I recently got upgraded from a sad Dietetic Intern to now a WORKING GIRL (insert dancing girl emoji). I currently like to consider myself the brunette version of Melanie Griffith from ‘WORKING GIRL’, minus the awesome 80’s fashion and hair styles.

Towards the end of my Dietetic Internship, I was offered a position as a Registered Dietitian/Clinic Supervisor II for Northeast Valley Health Corporation – Woman, Infant, and Children. It was a job offer I never expected. I had created this mindset that after the Internship I would focus solely on creating my own nutrition business along side being in the gym working with clients. But as I have learned in the past year that our direction in life can change. As I worked every Saturday for WIC, I had days where I felt I made a difference through my exceptional motivational-interviewing skills, to inspire a person to eat more fruits and vegetables or be more active. Then I had the days where I walked out and asked myself did I even help one soul?!?!?! From having those days of up and down I had decided AGAINST ever continuing my work with WIC. Wellll, as I mentioned earlier, that the path we are in life can change direction. The only constant thing in life is change, right?!?!?!  A question, I asked myself and others was, “If you were offered a full-time job before you finished an Internship, should you accept it?” Everyone I asked replied with an astounding, “YES!” Seemed like a no-brainer, right?!?! HA, AS IF. I believe that God has asked of me to live a purpose-driven life to help others achieve healthy lifestyle through making better nutrition choices and to be more active. But does that mean accepting a position at WIC?!?! During interviews, ya know the portion at the end where they go, “Do you have any questions for us?” Welll….At my last Consortium, the Dietetic Internship Director for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), gave us some insightful advice when interviewing. She mentioned that the employer already knows our skills and attributes from our resume and our overall goals. But what is overlooked is asking the employer what they can do for us, for our goals, and if it would be a budding relationship. So at the end of the interview that is what I did. I asked, “You know my passion/goal is to teach others about nutrition, make better food choices along with being physical activity, can WIC provide me an avenue for me to live out my purpose-driven life?”

And the rest is history. Granted, the job position is conditional on me taking the Registered Dietitian exam which I am currently studying for during my lunch breaks. When we cross that hump, you shall expect another blog post.  But as the Featured Image displays – HEALTH HAPPENS HERE – and HERE is where I hope to make a difference. I may not create a global change, but if I can spark a light in a Mom or in a child to create a new healthy habit then I am one step closer to my goal in life.

As TESS, said in the 80’s inspiring movie WORKING GIRL, “You want to be taken seriously, you need serious hair.” Unfortunately, I don’t have serious hair, but I have got a SERIOUSLY AWESOME Paleo Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe – that I hope to dazzle my new co-workers with. These Chocolate Chip Banan Muffins are grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, with the only sugar from the bananas and dark chocolate chips. Basically, these MUFFINS were once cupcakes that just got SMART. Plus, there ain’t MUFFIN better than MONDAYSSSS. And when you ever have overripe bananas, the logical thing to do is make Banana anything and add chocolate. DUH.

Ingredients: Makes 12 Muffins

1/4 cup Almond Flour

1/4 cup Coconut Flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 bananas (I weighed them out and came to 150g/each)

3 eggs, whisked

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (74 grams) Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 375º either grease or cupcake line muffin tray.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Add chocolate chips and mix in.
  4. Using an ice-cream scoop, fill in each cupcake liner.
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.
  6. Let cool on wire tray.
  7. ENJOY you STUD MUFFIN, you.

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GANG’s ALL HERE.
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BANANA LADY LUMPS.
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BANANA – CHOCOLATE LADY LUMPS.
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DO YOU EVER JUST WANT TO EAT THE BATTER?!?!?
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MUFFIN COMPARES TO YOU.

Nutrition per MUFFIN: 130 cal | 3g Protein | 10 g Fat | 11g Carbohydrates |

2 g Fiber | 5 g Sugars

Nutrition Facts Label: (click link to print label)

NutritionLabel (1)

 

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America, I think I like you an WAFFLE lot.

Happy Birthday America! I have to say you lookin’ prett-ay good these days. Ya know aside from that ugly Election thingy, Trump vs. Hilary. Not one of your finer moments. But we all have our moments.

How do we survive July 4th celebrations or any type of celebration and still stay on track?!!?

The big question. Life is about learning to love ourselves, enjoy the good times, be happy, and feel good in our own skin.

1. Balance – Variety – Moderation
You will hear me say it always. It applies to not just nutrition but to LIFE. Enjoy the day, enjoy the food, enjoy your family. Tomorrow is a new day.

2. Start the day off right.
We know eating breakfast helps keep that metabolism running through the day. So if the day gets busy and you have to start cooking or traveling, grab something quick such as a banana with some almond butter/peanut butter and some hardboiled eggs. If you have time cook up some egg white omelette with spinach and top with some pico de gallo and guacamole. Focus on Protein and Fat to keep you full and satisfied.

3. Invited to a PART-AY?? Make/Bring a Dish.
Everyone has their THING. They either like the potato salad, the chips and dip, the dessert, but whatever it may be ask to bring/bake/cook what you know is YOUR THING and make it healthy for you. I’ll tell you right now nobody will know the difference.

4. One Plate Rule
I like the one plate rule. It’s hard I know, but it’s so worth it. We all get in trouble when we start going for seconds and thirds. I get one plate, I put in moderate portions of everything I want. And I don’t mean stake it super high. Take your time eating the meal – Taste the flavors of the food – Engage in small talk. Learn to enjoy the atmosphere and RELAX.

5. Get UP and MOVE
In-between the meal and desert, get up and move! Take the kids to the park, go for a walk around the neighborhood. Remember to be active.

6. Dessert
If you don’t want the healthy desert, then don’t worry about it. Get what you want but make the slice smaller. And remember tomorrow is a whole new day to reach for your goals.

 

Now as we proceed to give you what you need….

WAFFLES

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This waffle recipe taste just like cake – cake – cake. Basic-ally the best way to celebrate any birthday. It’s essential to finish off these Almond Flour Waffles by covering them in a coconut cream glaze and a sprinkle of some ol’ red and blue, strawberries and blueberries.

Recipe:

1/2 cup Almond Flour

1/4 cup Coconut Flour

1/4 cup Arrowroot Flour

1/8 cup Organic Coconut Sugar

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1.2 tsp Baking Soda

1 Egg

Coconut Oil Spray

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and heat up Waffle Maker
  2. Spray Waffle Maker and pour batter.
  3. Cook until lightly golden
  4. EAT em’ ALL.

 

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America, I think I like you a WAFFLE lot.

 

 

 

Simple Mills Chocolate Chip Cookies…. oh and PB

What do you do when it’s The First Official Week of Summer and 106 degrees outside?!?! You turn the oven on and bake some chocolate chip cookies. DUH. More importantly you bake the cookies so when you need to make an ice cream cookie sandwich you are already prepared. See always one step ahead of y’all (yeah…not really).
I will be honest and say, that I am not the most savvy in creating recipes. So when I can find a product that I can ‘get down with’ I want to use it, exploit it, devour it. I am a dirrrtyyy girl. Sorry, not sorry. Plus, when I finally have my dream come true to be on a first name basis with Juli Bauer from PaleOMG and she’s like, “Oh yeah, don’t you love this (insert whatever product)?” and I can respond with confidence, “Oh totes girl, I recommend it to all my clients!”
Insert: Simple Mills Products. Simple Mills products are simple, delicious, real food in a baking mix. They classify themselves as gluten-free, grain-free, non-gmo, soy free, and paleo friendly. Their products range from almond flour crackers to frosting, cookies, pizza dough, vanilla cake, and muffins. I first saw them through PaleOMG and was super excited to find them at my local health food store here in Antelope Valley and TARGET (damn, #targetdoesitagain). In a world full of processed foods, it is refreshing to find a company that wants to provide as many natural ingredients in a product.
The chocolate chip cookie mix ingredients include: almond flour, chocolate chips, organic coconut sugar, tapioca, organic coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Simple ingredients. To finish this mathematical baking equation you add:
Milk (dairy or non-dairy) + vanilla + butter or oil (coconut, vegetable, or grapeseed)
For me I used Almond Milk (unsweetened) and coconut oil. Coconut oil is made from the pressing of the white meat inside the shell of the coconut. Coconut oil is one of the most abundant sources of saturated fats. The saturated fat in coconut oil is comprised of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) – basically a chain of fatty acids that are of medium length. MCTs have shown to be broken down differently in the body and not stored in our fat cells, when compared to other saturated fats such as lard. This could create a thermogenic effect, and boost fat burning action in the body. I am an advocate for coconut oil not just for its weight loss effects but that it can reduce inflammation in the body and MCTs are a good fuel source for your brain and body.
FURTHERMORE, I added another experiment to also ‘test’ an additional product. Dun…Dun..Dun..powdered peanut butter. (yes roll your eyes). But I get so many questions on natural peanut butter versus powdered peanut butter. SOOO I decided to buy a container and use it. I used the product Just Great Stuff Powdered Organic Peanut Butter. The ‘benefit’ of the product is it provides that peanut butter flavor for 90% less fat. The ingredients in this powdered peanut butter are: organic peanuts, organic coconut sugar, and sea salt. The nutrition for 2 tbs of powdered PB are: 50 cals, 5g Fat, 1.5g Fat, and 5g Carbs with 3g Sugar.
Without further adieu….
Ingredients:
1 Simple Mills box – Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. MCT Coconut Oil (I would recommend using 2tbsp. – 3 made it very oily)
3 tbsp. Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 tbsp. Organic Powdered Peanut Butter
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GANGs ALLLL HERE.
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk almond milk and vanilla.
  3. Add Simple Mills Cookie Package ingredients and mix to form. 4. Add coconut oil and mix together. Then add your powdered peanut butter (or NOT).
  4. Use 1 tbsp. to form small balls and place on parchment paper. Box says it makes 12 cookies, and I was able to make 16.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Enjoy with ice cream, fat free whip cream, or just by itself!

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IIFYM: IF IT FITS YO’ MOUTH.

Macros per cookie: 97 calories, 1.5 g protein, 9.7g carbs, 3.9g sugar, 6.1g fat.

Side Note: Because their products contain no preservatives, you need to store the cookies in the fridge or freezer, for sake keeping!

Tips for ‘MACRO FRIENDLY’ TRAVEL

As the famous Matthew McConaughey said in the brilliant film ‘Dazed and Confused’, “You just gotta keep livin’ man, L-I-V-I-N.”
Life will never be perfect. Yes, this Type A ‘Perfectionist’ will admit to you that life nor I will ever be perfect. There will always be something that will come up that may take you out of your comfort zone. During my Dietetic Internship, a rule of thumb, was learn to be flexible. I attended a conference in San Diego, that was sponsored by General Mills (eye roll). Let’s just say the food choices they offered to me were not ‘macro friendly’ and would have me needing to catch up on my protein macros the rest of the day. Yet they allowed me to come and go during lunch – insert Plan B – a trip to Whole Foods. At Whole Foods, along with my hand dandy food scale, I was able to use the Salad Bar combined with the Hot/Cold Food Bar to create an awesome ‘macro friendly’ lunch. Plus, it allowed me to save some extra carbohydrate macros for going out to dinner at any swanky San Diego restaurant. We won’t always have control over certain situations but we have control over the path we take to reach our goals. Here are a few of my tips for macro tracking (or sticking to a healthy eating plan) when life happens.
  1. Travel Food Scale – Even if you don’t macro track, its a good way to keep food in balance and moderation. AWS – 600 Digital Food Scale from Amazon is only $9 – invest in yo’ self.
  2. If staying in a hotel, call beforehand to see if there is a fridge or microwave available to you. If so you can pack oatmeal to cook in the microwave, store vegetables and protein such as turkey lunch meat to have a health snack on hand when those SNACCidents happen.
  3. Snacks that don’t need a fridge can be – trail mix, Rx Bars, protein bars.
  4. Scope out restaurants in the area of where you are staying so you can find look up the menu and find a meal that fits within your goals.
  5. Balance, Variety, and Moderation – remember LIFE HAPPENS, learn to enjoy the good times. When we learn to indulge in foods we don’t normally have it allows us to take the power and control back in our hands and not let food be the boss of us.
Life will never be perfect. Your nutrition may never be ‘cookie cutter’ perfect or the best. However, it isn’t about being perfect or the best but being better than you were the day before.

 

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Nom, Nom, Nom
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Cold Food Bar
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Hot Food Bar
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Treat YO’ self

The SUBTLE ART of WAFFLES (aka ABS)

“Life is like riding a bicycle,

To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

Albert Einstein

Since completing the Dietetic Internship, I have attempted to check off everything on my year long bucket list I made. Things like Disneyland, Harry Potter World, reading, recipe development, and upgrade/expand my blog and brand. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to attempt all this in a month before starting the Dietitian job I accepted. Especially Disneyland and Harry Potter World……I just want a Butter Beer and to ride “It’s A Small World” but alas God has other plans.

However reading books, recipe development, and upgrading/expanding my blog is something I can do and slowly (at a snails pace) getting them done. I have successfully done two second recipes, whoop whoop. Like I said snail pace. However, I am killin’ the reading game right now. Currently, I am reading ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life’ by Mark Manson. Basically every word, sentence, paragraph and chapter is a TRUTH BOMB. Do yo’ self a favor and get this book NOW!!!!! After venturing through my second ‘100 Happy Day’ Posts for Instagram – I have been determined to keep this Happy Day theme on rolling. Hence the quote from Einstein, to keep the balance in life you must keep moving. And I intend on moving onward and upward in life. Yet, I realize that not everyday is filled with unicorns and rainbows and I know I put so much focus on things that I may not be able to fix or change. This may be detrimental to me in the long run. Hence deciding to read ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. The first TRUTH BOMB from the book is: Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience. As I learned from the book Mindset, when we accept negative experiences or when we fail it opens us up to growth. When we accept a growth mindset it opens numerous doors for success and happiness in our lives. So this is my growth mindset, acknowledging that I fail at blogging or posting recipes on a daily basis but I choose to put my focus on things I can do. Do you boo, boo.

The SUBTLE ART of WAFFLES

Let’s be honest, when you have WAFFLES there isn’t any room for negativity. Plus we all know WAFFLES are just PANCAKES with ABS. And if the saying is true you are what you eat…..then I AM ABS. ANDDD these Double Chocolate Chip Power Waffles are just what I need to help me POWER through the day and keep me fueled for my workout. I’m a big fan of Kodiak Power Cakes mix because of its carb:protein ratio and limited ingredients. The Siggi’s yogurt, is the new kid on the block, and is based on Icelandic yogurt promoting simple ingredients, low sugar with a high protein content. I also decided to add a half scoop of chocolate whey protein to increase the chocolate-y flavor all while making these waffles even more AB-tastic…..
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Ingredients:
53 grams Kodiak Cakes Mix
1/2 scoop (15g) Chocolate Whey Protein
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
150 grams Siggi’s 0% Vanilla Yogurt
1 egg
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
15.0 grams Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels
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Directions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl – Kodiak Cakes, protein powder, cinnamon, and baking soda and mix.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl – almond milk, yogurt, egg and whisk.

IMG_2377     3. Add dry to wet and mix thoroughly. Then add chocolate chips.

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4. Using a waffle maker (or you can make these into pancakes), keep cooking heat on low and cook it long so that the waffles can crisp up and cook all the way through.

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Optional: Sprinkle extra Chocolate Chips on top because YOLO.

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Whole recipe makes 6 waffles (2 Waffles/person).
Per serving:
150 cal | 14.2g Protein | 19g Carbs | 4.5g Fat

ROLLIN’ WITH THE HOMIES

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN BALLLSSSSS
#WHATSMYSNACK
These Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls are super easy to make with only a couple of ingredients and less than 20 minutes to make. You can add them to your morning yogurt to have some extra chocolate goodness to start your day or have as a snack during the day with the HANGRY feels hit ya. These balls are nutrient dense packed and macro-friendly.
Gluten-Free Oats – a great source as a complex carbohydrate with fiber to aid in digestion.
Flax Meal – a great source for fiber (GI gut health), essential fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid, a precursur to omega-3 fatty acids), and lignans (phytochemicals that has antioxidant properties).
Protein Powder – added protein to help repair muscle damage from workouts.
Natural Peanut Butter – source of protein and monounsaturated fat, and taste creamy GOOOODDDD.
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1 cup Gluten-Free Oats (Bob’s Red Mill is what I used)
1/2 cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (you can use any nut butter)
1 tbs. Raw Honey (melted before added to mix)
2 tbs. Cocoa Powder – unsweetened
2 tbs. Flax Meal
2 scoops Chocolate Protein Powder (I used ON brand because I find it to be the best option with less fillers and for a cheap price)
1/4 cup water
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Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and stir. Add water to help mix everything together. If mix is still too dry add more water – 1 tbs. at a time.
  2. Place in fridge for 20 minutes to let rolls harden up.
  3. Roll in to 14 balls and store in fridge or freezer.
  4. ENJOY!
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Per ball: 113 calories | 6.6 grams protein | 8.4 g carbs | 5.5 g fat.
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GANG’S ALL HERE. 
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Combine all ingredients. 
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OOOEYYY GOOEYYY.
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ROLLIN’ with the HOMIES.
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BALLSSS OUT.
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CHECK OUT THOSE PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS.
I can’t wait to BALL out with these babies.

I WOKE UP LIKE THIS…

 LIFE gives us these reminders or good, swift kicks in the butt to let us know how truly BLESSED we are. Not just for the people in it but for the chance every morning to be grateful and show gratitude towards others. Today, I woke up happy, I woke up feeling grateful and excited for life. Today – I woke up.

I’ve realized I spend too many days not active in my life as I should, a bystander you could say. Today, I decided to document everything, wellllll because – I WOKE UP.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”

William Arthur Ward

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I am grateful for….

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She still thinks I am cool.
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My Otter-Half
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The BOY who has my whole heart.

 

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EASTER PIG.