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AMRAP Nutrition bars are something I’ve been eyeing since way back in my Paleo days (aka 2-3 months of 2013 lol).  That’s because they were the only bar that was high protein, but was also 100% Paleo.  AMRAP Nutrition Bars also Non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, preservative and artificial anything-free, and high fat to carb ration.

I received three flavors to try (Fig Cacao, Almond Honey, and Cashew Vanilla), and honestly I ate them so quickly I forgot to take any notes on flavor.  I just know that they were goooood.  One things for sure, the size and texture were very filling, enough to tie me over and replace up to 2 meals (meaning my usual breakfast and morning snack).

Now three of you have the chance to each win an 8-pack of AMRAP bars in a flavor of your choice  (that means each winner can choose Fig Cacao, Almond Honey, OR Cashew Vanilla).  This contest is open to both US and Canada.

Enter to win here: Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Midnight, Sunday September 14th

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Disclaimer: Through my relationship with Fit Approach, I received complimentary AMRAP Bars for review. As always, all thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own.

I thought I’d pop in while I’m at it and share a little Sunday meal prep.  I’ve been trying to eat more real foods vs. things like “organic cinnamon squares” (which are basically the equivalent of cinnamon toast crunch), and protein bars.  I’m also trying to eat less meat, and preferably only have it for dinner.  Here’s what’s on the menu currently for this week:

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  1. Breakfastovernight oats
  2. Snack #1pumpkin pancakes
  3. Lunch – all-egg-omelet (3 egg whites & 1 egg w/yolk), japanese yam, coconut butter and mixed greens
  4. Snack # 2  (pre-workout) – pink lady apple, almond butter and cinnamon
  5. Dinner – is open for some wiggle room, but it will probably be some variation of easy spaghetti squash or healthy tacos (I just need to get to the Mexican Market!).

Do you meal prep?
I’ve been pretty consistent for the past month or 2. 

Do you ever get sick of eating the same thing?
I usually have no problem eating the same thing over and over…until I eat it to the point of nausea and then never eat it again, or at least for a really, really long time!

Also, the winner of the Corazonas giveaway is Ellen S for subscribing to Daily Cup of Asheejojo.  Please email me at dailycup.asheejojo@gmail.com!

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Tis the season to be giving!  And eating seasonal flavors, such as LARABAR’s Pumpkin Pie and Snickerdoodle!  That’s why today I’m giving one of you the chance to win a caddy of 16 mixed original LARABAR flavors.

LARABAR’s were one of my go-to’s for a quick and reliable snack when I was doing the Whole30 challenge, and even after when I was trying to keep my eating primarily Paleo.  Obviously I’ve deviated from that, but I still try to eat clean and healthy. What I love about LARABAR’s is that they have minimal ingredients (less than 9), and are basically a mixture of dried fruits and nuts.  Even with being so simple, their flavors are still diverse and delicious!  They’re also great for people with dietary restrictions; LARABAR’s are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, vegan and paleo (just not the one’s with peanuts).

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Some of my favorites include Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte, Chocolate Chip Brownie and Chocolate Coconut Chew (do you see a trend?…I like chocolate).  LARABAR sent me a couple flavors to try that I haven’t seen in the stores (Pumpkin Pie, Snickerdoodle and Cappuccino)…and I can say I’m a fan of all 3!

To enter, just follow: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends midnight Sunday, November 17.

 

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Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary samples of LARABAR. However, as always, all opinions are my own. 

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About a month or so ago, when my dad was visiting, we went to Bier Garden Encinitas where I had a “Sprout Salad” with pea shoots, sunflower sprouts, kelp noodle, watermelon radish, and tangerine sesame dressing.  At the time, I had no idea what kelp noodles were, but when I got my salad, it appeared to have rice/vermicelli-like noodles.  It was a good salad, but it was one of those things where you pictured the dish differently than it arrived, so you didn’t quite remember what you ordered or what ingredients were used.

Fast forward to recently when I started to see kelp noodles pop up all over the internet (e.g. Grok Grub’s Asian Noodle Salad and Blogilates’ Peanut Miso Kelp Noodles).  I learned they were super low-cal and healthy, contrary to my belief they were just another type of asian noodle.

Last week I finally found some at Whole Foods!  And while I looking in the tofu/fermented/kelp noodle case, I also found mixed sea vegetables.  At a loss for what to make for dinner, on the back of the package was a recipe for a salad that I semi-mimicked (see below) with the addition of mixed greens and kelp noodles (since my whole mission was kelp noodles!).

Basically, this is a long rant about kelp noodles and how I developed this salad.  All you really need to know is that it’s easy, filling, bright and refreshing!

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Kelp Noodle Salad
INGREDIENTS:
2 meyer lemons, juiced
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 package of kelp noodles, rinsed
1 bag of mixed greens
1 medium apple, diced
1 small avocado, sliced
1/2 cup mixed sea vegetables, rinsed
DIRECTIONS:

  1.  In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil.  Set aside.
  2. Prepare the kelp noodles (rinse) and cut to desired length.
  3. Mix together the kelp noodles, mixed greens, apple, avocado and sea vegetables.
  4. Toss with the lemon/EVOO dressing.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

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Special word of advice from someone who hates reading instructions: make sure you read the directions for any type of foreign (as in unfamiliar) ingredients you might buy.  The mixed sea vegetables were covered in salt and I thought it was a ridiculous amount.  Come to find out the salt is used to preserve the taste and you’re supposed to rinse it all off completely. 

Do you ever cook with unfamiliar ingredients?

Happy Friday!  What says Fall more than pumpkin and squash? NOTHING.  Maybe vibrant, colorful leaves, but you’re not going to eat those unless you’re Piper…are you?

Here are a couple of recipes I would love to make.  And probably will make in the near future.  But as of now I’m in the same position as you, cleaning up some keyboard drool.

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  1. For my running group we sometimes have to play name games.  The last one was your name and your favorite food. Answer: Kabocha Squash. I finally had a brainchild and decided  to look up some recipes other than just roasting it!  Sake-Steamed Kabocha Squash with Miso – The Year in Food
  2. Donuts. And Pumpkin.  That is all. Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Maple Almond Butter Glaze – Taylor Made It Paleo
  3. There’s nothing I love more than cornbread.  Seriously, I ate it so much last year, eventually I had to stop because I started to gain weight.  This looks like a pretty good option; flavorful and still healthy.  Put anything like honey and sage in my butter and I’ll eat it.  Pumpkin Corn Muffins With Honey Sage Butter – Running to the Kitchen 
  4. This needs to be a on a restaurant menu somewhere so I can go out and get it NOW.  Paleo Butternut Squash, Kale & Ground Beef Breakfast Bowl – The Healthy Foodie

I’ve been meaning to make this broccoli slaw “spaghetti” for awhile, and once I got around to looking at the directions, I realized it was a lot easier than I thought.  Like, easier than making spaghetti, easier.  No boiling water, no waiting around.  We’re talking 10-12 minutes max for a veggie-laden “spaghetti.”

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Broccoli Slaw “Spaghetti”
Simplified from Hungry Girl
INGREDIENTS:
1/4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
One 12oz bag of dry broccoli slaw
1 cup basil marinara sauce (no sugar-added)
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a skillet with ¼ tsp olive oil to medium-high heat on the stove.
  2. Add slaw and 1/4 cup water. Stir occasionally and cook until water has evaporated. Cook until al dente (around 5-8 minutes).
  3. Add tomato sauce, stir and continue to cook until hot, about 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and flavor with seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, basil, etc.).  Makes two 2 cup servings.

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past couple of days.  I downloaded Hulu Plus free for a week and have 6 seasons of The Hills to get through before next Friday (haha)!  Other than that, I traded in my watermelon colored Mizuno’s for a pair of these:

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And I also got a pair of Superfeet insoles because I learned the pain on the back inside (posterior medial) portion of my lower leg might be from over-pronation.

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(source)

On another note, I learned paleo baking is harder than just substituting approved ingredients in recipes.  Below is what was supposed to be chocolate chip scones.  It looks like one big pile of paleo poo!  So much for bringing something to my running club brunch potluck.

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Today is officially one week out from my race, so next week will be all about last minute preparations (outfit, music, etc.).

Happy Sunday night!

Weekly Workout Recap
Sun – 4 mi run
Mon – PT (upper body, core)
Tues – PT (full body)
Wed – Speed work: ~4 mi [5×400 w/400m rest, 3×400 w/100m rest]
Thurs – PT (lower body, heavy)
Fri – Rest
Sat – Long Run: 8.5 mi
Sun – Rest
Total Weekly Mileage: 16.5 mi

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This past weekend my boyfriend and I went to Brooklyn Girl Eatery in Mission Hills, San Diego.  This is one of his favorite restaurants, and little did I know he was holding out on a gem of a “New American” restaurant!  From the eclectic decor and clashing “thrifted” furniture, to the endless appetizing menu options, I think I might have a new favorite restaurant.  One of the menu items we shared was the “All Kale Caesar!” (Lemon, Anchovies, Croutons, Parmesan, Bacon & Eggs) which has inspired today’s recipe — my Paleo take.

IMG_4674Paleo Caesar Dressing
INGREDIENTS:
1 can anchovies, drained
4 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 egg yolk, pasteurized
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a food processor, blend together the anchovies, mustard, egg yolk, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice.
  2. Turn the food processor on low and slowly pour in the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and mix one last time.
  4.  Pour into a container and let the dressing refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

IMG_4680Paleo Kale Caesar Salad
INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups baby kale
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
5 grape tomatoes
Paleo Caesar Dressing, amount desired
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Toss all ingredients together.  Option to top and serve with grilled chicken breast.

You know those words you never take the time to fully read? Well carrageenan is one of those for me. And it doesn’t help either when you’re trying to talk to someone about it, and the only thing you can remember is that it starts with a c, has some r’s and a g. Somehow I magically turned the word into “carcinogen.”  It might as well just be that.

Carrageenan is a seaweed extract that is used as a binder or texturizer. It is sometimes used in place of gelatin (an animal by-product) to make a something vegetarian or vegan. I have primarily found carrageenan in dairy products such as almond milk, coconut milk, etc.

When I started the Whole30, any additives were no-no’s. Carrageenan was specifically identified as a “no-list” ingredient. This meant that I could no longer drink my Blue Diamond unsweetened vanilla almond milk. For a while I went to canned coconut milk (only ingredients are coconut and guar gum), a quick and easy fix for dairy-substitutions. However, I finally took the time (and not too much time) to make my own almond milk. This has become my new favorite. In smoothies, protein shakes, in place of coffee creamer.

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After conscientiously avoiding carrageenan in products, I have noticed it’s negative effects when it had entered my diet unexpectedly.

Case Study: I had been making my mocha protein shakes at home with no problem. The amount of coffee had never been too much or provided me with any kind of headache or caffeine overload. However, several times I made this shake at my boyfriend’s using his protein powder (Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Shake), and every time it gave me a headache even before I finished it. I thought it was weird that less than 8 oz of coffee would be giving me headaches, and only when I didn’t make my shake at home.  I finally looked at the ingredients and realized the culprit was carrageenan.

Moral of the story is that I have found carrageenan to be a good for nothing additive that can also be a culprit in GI distress, and supposedly cancer.  So don’t worry if you look at your non-dairy milk and realize the big C is in it.  Almond Milk one of the easiest things to make. All you need are some nuts, agua, a blender and some cheesecloth (or a nut bag)!

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Homemade Almond Milk
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Referenced here and here
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup almonds
3 ½ cups filtered water
½ tsp. vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:

1. Soak the almonds for at least 2 hours, preferably 8-12 hours or overnight. Make sure to cover them completely (can be tap water, this is different from the water listed in the ingredients).

2. Drain the almonds and rinse with water.

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(nice, plump soaked almonds)

3. Place soaked almonds, filtered water and vanilla extract in the blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes.

4. Place the cheesecloth over a fine-mesh strainer and let the milk separate from the almond meal.

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5. Carefully squeeze all of the milk from the cheesecloth or nut bag.

6. Option to reserve the leftover meal for future recipes (recipes using almond meal see here, here, and here).

7. Pour the milk into a container and use within 3-5 days.

Enjoy your additive free, 100% pure almond milk!

 

 
 
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