Guys, today is the day!  My new food blog Just a Pinch just went live.  Go check it out!

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When I started taking my Ochem and Anatomy/Physiology summer classes, my Mondays – Wednesdays became 16-hour days…two of those days, I’m up at 5AM to teach the 6AM spin class at Biker Barre, and I don’t get home until 9 or 9:30PM from class.  Unfortunately, it means that there’s not a lot of time for cooking but a lot of time for snacking.

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Since I head right from work to school, I wanted to make a hearty and healthy snack to take with me in the car.  A lot of the bars that are available at the grocery store are full of sugar and additives. Yuck!  This recipe has no added sugar and uses raw and all-natural ingredients.

 

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The only downside to these bars is that they crumble very easily.  I tried to mitigate the crumbling by adding a little applesauce, but  it didn’t help much.  I did discover that rolling them into small bite-sized balls keeps all the ingredient stuck together, but I prefer the bars ;)

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And funny story – as I was shooting these on my back porch, I started to notice more and more birds flying overhead and sitting on the electrical cord directly above.  Clearly, these are delicious if the birds were eyeing them ;) A few shots later, I gathered my things and quickly went inside before I got divebombed by a flock of hungry birds!

NO BAKE NUTTY GRANOLA BARS
 
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These bars are the perfect afternoon snack and super easy to make.
AUTHOR:
RECIPE TYPE: Snack
SERVES: 16
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups Rice Cereal
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup light maple syrup
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup dates (pitted)
  • 1 cup unsalted mixed nuts (I got mine from Costco)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the dates in a food processor with a pinch of water and mix until broken down into small pieces
  2. Add the unsalted mixed nuts to the food processor and pulse until combined with the dates
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, rice cereal, chia seeds, peanut butter and maple syrup. Stir until combined
  4. Add the mixture from the food processor and use your hands to combine
  5. If needed, add the applesauce to keep all the ingredients stuck together
  6. Cover a 15-inch x 10-inch x 2-inch rectangular baking dish with parchment paper and fill it with the mixed ingredients, flattening down the mixture.
  7. Cover and let sit for a few hours


And if you missed my post last week, my new food blog, Just a Pinch will be ready to launch next week!  In the meantime, you can follow me on instagram @perfectlypinched for some yummy food photography!  Once Just a Pinch launches, I will not longer be using my personal instagram accounting for food-related posts.

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4TH OF JULY, 2014

July 8, 2014

in life lately

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Shooting fireworks is tricky business.  The key to capturing them is using a slow shutter speed and holding the camera very, very still (a tripod will work much better.) [click to continue…]

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Happy belated 4th of July, everyone!  Hopefully you got to see some fireworks over the weekend.  Unfortunately, I had an Ochem exam on Saturday so I couldn’t enjoy Friday as much as I had hoped.  I did, however, find some time to make a banana ‘cream’ pie.

You may be wondering why you only see whipped cream and not pie…well friends, I learned a few valuable lessons as a novice food blogger when I made said pie:

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banana mango

If you follow me on instagram, you know that I’ve made this recipe multiple times.  I’m kind of obsessed.  It’s freshing, easy and healthy.  Perfect for summer!

The reason this mixture is so good is because the mango and banana flavors perfectly complement one another.  The mangoes are a little tangier and the bananas are creamy and sweet.  When I make this, I use sweetened frozen mangoes (purchased at Costco, I believe) and a really ripe banana (the more ripe the banana, the sweeter the flavor!)

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender.  However, the food processor perfects the texture of the ‘sorbet’ that is difficult to match with just a blender.  And in case any of you are considering getting a food processor, I am 100% confident that it will change your life.  I just started using one a few months ago and it is by far my #1 most-used appliance in the kitchen (I use it more than my blender!)

Also – you may have noticed that this week is especially dessert heavy.  There’s going to be one more fun 4th of July themed dessert tomorrow and then I’ll take a break for a little bit (maybe) :)

Banana & mango sorbet
 
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The perfect quick and healthy summer dessert
AUTHOR:
RECIPE TYPE: Dessert
SERVES: 1
INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup coconut milk (I recommend using regular, not low-fat)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ¾ cup frozen sweetened mangoes
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a food processor, mix the frozen banana and ¼ cup coconut milk until it's a creamy texture. Scoop into a bowl and immediately place it in the freezer.
  2. In the food processor, mix the mangoes with ¼ cup coconut milk. Depending on the type of frozen mangoes you use, you might want to add a little honey if they taste bland.
  3. Add the mixed mangoes to the bananas and enjoy!

 

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Hello!  Happy Monday!

In case you missed my exciting announcement, be sure to check it out!  It only seems fitting to post a decadent recipe to celebrate :D

Before I continue, let me just say that I am a MAJOR sweet tooth.  It doesn’t exactly bode well for my future career….but, let me also say that I believe in moderation and above all else, real food.  

I brought over a small batch of these to the lovely front desk staff at Biker Barre on Saturday.  The first question I received: are these healthy?

Well, not exactly.  BUT, they are made with high quality chocolate, all natural peanut butter, real butter and powdered sugar.  Seems much better than what you would find in the little orange candy packages at the grocery store…

**This recipe was originally taken from Fifteen Spatulas.  I simply reduced the sugar and added sea salt.**

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Happy, happy Friday my friends!  Things have been quiet around here.  But, for good reasons!  And not just the reasons I complained about earlier this month

I have a really exciting announcement to make.

One that’s been in the works for a few months now…it’s a big project (and beautiful, if I do say so myself! :) )

Here’s  a hint: it involves, food, photography and design…any guesses?

If it’s not obvious yet…it’s my new food blog!  In the next few weeks, I will reveal the finished product.

>>>But why do a complete redesign?

It makes sense that I refocus my brand as I continue my journey towards becoming a Registered Dietitian.  You’ll still see snippets of my life/overall healthy living, but my main focus will be food.

So, to all my lovely readers out there, I’d like to introduce you to…

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^^This is Shelby - my fellow Biker Barre instructor/friend. She teaches after my 6AM on Mondays! ^^

Good morning, friends!  Happy Monday!  I taught my 6AM class this morning and I will admit that I am struggling today.  I didn’t necessarily follow all my tips presented below for surviving early morning workouts (hello pizza for dinner and too many episodes of Orange is the New Black) so it seemed like a good time to publish this post!

Despite feeling off today, I’ve been loving the early morning workouts.  Both for logistical reasons (my nights are mostly consumed with school) and for the happy-go-lucky feeling I get when I’m done.  With no option to hit snooze now that I teach twice a week at 6AM, I’ve had to make some adjustments to my routine.  As someone who used to hate working out in the morning, here’s why my opinion changed:

1. You get your workout over with and can enjoy the rest of your day

No more feeling frustrated when work gets out late and you miss your favorite fitness class and no more feeling guilty when you opt out of going to the gym in favor of a work happy hour.  **bonus: the gym is always less crowded in the mornings, too!

2. It’s a positive start a new day

How can you not feel good about yourself after doing something good for your body right away?  Not to mention, the endorphin rush is exhilarating.  Positive attitudes all around.

3. You set yourself up for success

When you put the effort into starting your day in a healthy way, you’re more likely to continue that trend throughout the day.  You sacrificed sleep to sweat – stay strong and make healthy decisions!

4. You find a niche

It’s really cool as an instructor (and client!) to see the same faces coming to morning classes.  It almost feels like a little workout family.  It’s the same concept as the ‘runners nod,’  (I’ve coined the term ‘runner’s nod’ as the small gesture or smile that runners give one another on the street.  It’s like a secret ‘handshake’ that says, ‘I know what you’re going through.’  It’s awesome!)

So, if you’re starting to consider trying some early morning workouts, or if you’ve tried early morning workouts in the past and they’ve failed, here are some tips to try:

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I’ll be honest – last week was wearisome.  I ended the week feeling more exhausted than I’ve felt in a very, very long time.

Discouraged by my physical and emotional exhaustion (mixed with my lack of a social life,)  I found myself slipping into the comparison trap [the rational side of me is reading this now and whispering 'the grass is always greener, my friend.']  I started to doubt my ability to persevere through the current/future challenges related to a complete career switch.  I was frustrated, negative and spiraling into a stress case.

And then the weekend came, I had time to sleep, study and I had time to prepare for this week.  When I woke up Monday morning, I read the above quote in my instagram feed.  The timing was perfect.

I may not be completely happy with where I am in my life, but I am encouraged that at least I am doing something about it.  Every day, I get a little bit closer to my end-goal – a goal that I know will take a lot of time, energy and work to achieve.  I just need to be a little more patient, less hard on myself and I need to remember that although sacrifices are involved, (missed social gathers, limited sleep, no weekend trips, etc.) it’s what I will eventually gain that truly matters.

As this week continues, I hope this quote will encourage you as much as it did me.  It’s relevant in multiple aspects of our lives – why do we eat healthy?  Why do we exercise? We give up the sugar, the energy, the sweat in order to gain something even better. We work now, for a better tomorrow.

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And speaking of tomorrow….it’s National Running Day tomorrow and Rock n’ Roll is offering awesome discounts on their race series.  I ran the 1/2 marathon this year in DC and loved the course.  I’m even considering registering for my second full marathon next March since it’s only $75 (price good on 6/4 only), which is basically unheard of!  Who wants to join me?!

 

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ANNE

May 22, 2014

in dc lately

Here are a few more photos from my shoot with Anne.  I’m still getting used to my camera (1/2 my photos turned out blurry from camera shake) but I thought these showcased  some of the fun we had together.

Happy Wednesday (already?!) friends!

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