Tag Archives: almond butter

things that make me smile

5 Nov

favorite snack: homemade bread with almond butter and pumpkin butter

lists

leftovers

black skinny jeans – best Gap purchase ever

lunchtime fun with the husband

big brown Olive eyes

see above

pumpkin spice latte of course

love

What things are making you smile on this lovely Friday?

Happy Weekend.

the day i almost didn't vote + giveaway winner announced

2 Nov

Hello!

What an exciting day with elections and all!  I feel terrible to say this, but I almost forgot to vote.

Well, maybe I didn’t almost forget to vote.  I just almost didn’t vote.  But then I started to feel really guilty and like a terrible citizen who isn’t taking advantage of her right to have a voice.  So, the husband and I hightailed it to our voting center and basically shut the place down. Next election I definitely want to do more research and have a better idea of who I want to vote for in each area…and why.

Another exciting thing about today was making and inhaling the single best snack known to man.

Homemade bread. Almond butter. Pumpkin butter.

Heaven on a plate.

Moving on.

After a full afternoon of working on the biz, I was all geared up for a fun dinner.  I’ve had a recipe waiting in the wings for several days now and finally decided to make it tonight.  It’s a multi-step process, and I got through step #2 before I had to abandon ship kitchen and head to the polls!

By the time we finished reading and over-analyzing 99 hundred state questions, we were both starving and made the last minute decision to ditch my marinating meal and grab a pizza instead.  Isn’t that terrible? haha! I’m a fan of spontaneity.

And pizza 🙂

The mystery mixture should be good and ready by tomorrow night, and I shall reveal it to you then!  It’s a spin off an Eat Drink and Be Vegan recipe, so it’s sure to be a winner.

Okay, I must cut this short and get to bed asap.  I’ve been getting less than 6 hours a night lately, and it’s not making for a nice Candice.  Sleep is important!

But first, I shall announce the winner of the CSN $40 gift-card giveaway!  Thank you all so much for entering!  I loved hearing all of your favorite foods – so fun!

And the winner is…

Kathi!

Her comment:  “One food? I would have to say oatmeal I love it both hot and cold.”

Congrats Kathi!  Please email me your information, and we’ll get your gift-card to you!  Happy shopping!

*The winner was chosen using random.org

Thanks again to CSN for sponsoring the giveaway!

G’night friends:)

What is your favorite healthy (or not:) snack?  Let’s generate some ideas!

takin' me back

15 Sep

Today was another successful day of Operation: Get Clear Skin. Successful being used very loosely of course – meaning I pulled out all the stops by sticking to the list I posted yesterday…but my face is technically still not clear at all. I honestly do think I can see a glimmer of improvement, though, so my hopes are high.  Thank you for all the supportive comments and advice.  You guys rock!

Actually, the drama with my face brought back a memory of Thailand for me today.  It was Valentine’s Day of 2008, and Jonathan had planned a one night getaway for us at a hotel in Chiang Mai.  It was really only about 15 minutes away from our apartment, but had air conditioning, a bath tub and was gecko free as far as we could tell:)

this little guy welcomed us to our kitchen the day we moved in – little did we know his entire extended family + all his friends lived in our house as well.

flowers the husband bought me from the market

hotels like this are fairly inexpensive for Americans

I seriously stayed in this tub for hours on end.  It was like I was back in America.

The next morning he took me out to breakfast…

and then it was time for the big surprise.

He had booked me a massage and facial (also really cheap in Thailand – I could get a manicure for about three dollars)!

I remember laying on my back, feeling like I had died and gone to heaven as a sweet Thai woman massaged things into my face.

You see where this is going.

The next morning I woke up and throughout the day this rash began to show up on my face.  It was like my entire face was completely overtaken by blemishes…seriously beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my 27 years.  I wanted to hide under a rock and never come out.  And I kept asking myself “what could have possibly made you think it was a good idea to let someone rub not only their hands, but also various other unknown concoctions all over your face?!”

Needless to say I haven’t had a facial since.

And that’s where memory lane ends.

Back to today.  I started off again with a delicious breakfast juice before doing an hour session of yoga in preparation for my class tonight.

The goods.  Parsley, escarole (leafy green I picked up at Whole Foods last week!), 1 plum, 1 organic carrot, 1 beet and 1 apple

aren’t beets so pretty?

a spry little sprig of parsley

and the finished product

After yoga and some light house keeping, I was ready for a snack.

apple and almond butter

I haven’t had an apple and almond/peanut butter together in a long time…but I think it is time to bring it back! holla.

I also sipped on a Pom spritzer (a few ounces of Pom juice mixed with seltzer water) on the side.  This little drink was so refreshing to me today.

A little while later lunch was a green monster just like yesterday’s, except with almond milk – yay for a stocked fridge!

After meeting with a new student whom I will be tutoring now as well as student I’ve been tutoring for awhile, I came home craving exactly what you see above: homemade salsa (recipe coming soon!), baby carrots, sugar snap peas, spelt pretzels and spicy garlic  hummus.  This snack plate was so filling and it took me forever to eat it, which is a plus in my book:)

Dinner was a little more carb heavy.  I somehow failed to get a picture, but the husband and I made Mexican Fiesta Pasta. It was hot, mexicany, spicy and it really hit the spot!

I must be off to bed now…I’m planning to make it up in the morning in time for a run, but I’m a little worried seeing as how tired I am right now and how late it is.  Must. Get. Sleep.

G’night!

let's clear things up

14 Sep

Hello!

This morning…I juiced.

But before that I went on a 3.5 mile run.  It was a decent run – not the best I’ve ever had, but certainly not bad.  I love those moments when I hit a high in the middle of my run, whether caused by my current tune, something to do with the scenery or just a good strong and steady stride, it’s just so sweet.  We didn’t make great time – I think we finished in about 38 minutes, but I’ve just been less worried about time lately.  I would honestly rather just enjoy running than be super worried about how fast I’m going.

Anyway, so I came home and showered and then got to juicing.  I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had switched cleansers to Burt’s Bees because I wanted to start using all natural skin care.  I’ll be doing a full review on it later as I want to give it a little more time before I form a final opinion.  One thing I don’t think I mentioned before is that I felt like it was a good time for me to make the switch because I was having some serious breakouts on my face.  I haven’t had a problem with breakouts since high school, and I’m not really sure what’s going on.  But I figured since my face was already broken out, it would be a good time to change my skin care system, since switching can often trigger a breakout. Might as well get it all over with at once.

Not sure that was the best idea.  I’ve been using Burt’s Bees for about 2 weeks now, and my face has progressively gotten worse.  I honestly don’t think that BB is specifically the problem.  I think there was already a problem, and so far BB just hasn’t miraculously cleared up my skin.  It has gotten so bad, though, that I finally called the other day and set up an appointment with the dermatologist.  I’m seriously feeling desperate!

Anyway, I woke up this morning and was washing my face when it occurred to me that I should really try every natural remedy I can think of before I end up with a prescription cream of some sort that is full of chemicals and most likely expensive on top of that.  After just a little bit of researching I came up with a few ideas that I’m going to begin implementing.

  • Drink a lot more water – I drink water with most meals, but often forget to drink it in between
  • Eat more raw foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds (read: lots of juices, green smoothies and salads)
  • Eliminate (with a few exceptions) refined sugar and coffee
  • More yoga – yes, I think this matters.  It helps relieve stress and tension, which has a positive effect on my skin
  • Not wearing makeup whenever possible – this is kind of a catch 22 because I want to avoid makeup so my skin can breathe and begin to clear up, but I also have more of a desire to wear it because my face is so broke out.  Not sure exactly how to handle this other than I won’t be wearing makeup anytime I’m at home
  • Continue to wash morning and night with Burt’s Bees
  • Use tea tree oil on blemishes
  • Stop touching my face! I have a bad habit of doing this.

I just felt so compelled today to do whatever I can to take care of this problem.

Breakfastleafy greens + 1 beet + 1 carrot + 3 celery stalks + 1 apple + small piece of garlic = one amazing juice

After my juice, I did an hour yoga session.  I’m learning to turn my planning for classes into awesome classes for myself. I pulled out all the stops, even using my lavender scented cloth:)  A couple of hours later I had a snack plate.

Newman’s Own spelt pretzels

natural almond butter

homemade salsa

carrots and celery sticks

And for lunch I opted for a green smoothie.  This contained 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 container of soy yogurt (we’re out of almond milk), 2 heaping tablespoons Vega Shake and Go Smoothie, half a banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds and ice.

For an afternoon snack I veered from raw and ate up a cinnamon raisin Ezekiel english muffin with 1 tbsp almond butter.

Plus I drank lots and lots of water all day long!  Many trips to the bathroom ensued.

For dinner Jon and I grabbed salads from Chipotle on our way to buy groceries.  Mine included lettuce, black beans, grilled veggies, 3 kinds of salsa and guacamole of course!

Overall I already feel much better today.  Even though I can’t tell a difference on my face yet, it feels good to know that I’m going everything I can.  I would love to be able to cancel that dermatologist appointment in a week.

Well, now that I’ve laid out all my problems for the world to see, I must be headed to bed;)

Question: have you ever had problems with your skin, whether acne or something else?  Any ideas for natural treatments?

a day of reunions

7 Sep

After such a fun and spontaneous day yesterday it was admittedly a bit hard to get back into a routine today.  As my husband can attest – I live for spontaneity.  I love waking up and not know what the day will hold and then making it into something wonderful.

We spent the first half of Labor Day getting some work done.  One of the harder aspects of owning your own business – you must work even on holidays!  I was so glad we got work out of the way, though, because then we had the rest of the day to relax and play.

On a whim, we decided to head to Tulsa.  There are several draws to visiting this second closest city to us:

1. my brother-in-law and sister-in-law live there.
2. Whole Foods lives there.
3. There’s a mall.

What can I say? I’m easily pleased.

Before heading out of town, we grabbed some lunch to take on the road.

For him – Chickfila.  He doesn’t get quite as excited as I do about taking pictures with his food.

For her – Panera.

Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich (minus the feta)

And an apple balancing on my knee:)

Our first stop in Tulsa as at the Apple Store at the mall to look at iPads.  The husband is considering purchasing one for the business, but got cold feet and decided to think on it some more.

We also stumbled upon this place while perusing the mall.

I had never tried Teavana tea before, and I was pleasantly surprised!  They had several different flavors out for sampling and they were all delicious.  I resisted bringing any home with me, but I would definitely like to try some of their teas in the future.  Tea has been on my mind more and more with colder weather fast approaching, so Teavana – maybe we will meet again:)

Upon leaving the mall, we headed straight for my BIL and SIL’s house.  We didn’t stay there long as they had dinner cooking and we needed to get back home, but considering we hadn’t seen them since Christmas (pathetic!) it was so nice to catch up in person for awhile.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture yesterday, but just for fun here’s one from when they (MIL and FIL came too!) came to visit us when we lived in Thailand.  Fun times.

Anyway, before heading back home, we grabbed some dinner at PeiWei

And then headed to Whole Foods, where the best thing ever happened.

I was reunited with my love.

no cameras allowed in Whole Foods so we had to sneak this shot with the iPhone

Almond Butter and I have been separated for a good few months due mostly to the much lower cost of peanut butter:(  But last night Whole Foods had their machine working where you can grind your own, and it was only $4.99/lb.  So much cheaper than buying it in a jar here!

I was a true foodie through and through last night as I giddily walked through the store with my prized possession tucked safely under my arm and a smile from ear to ear.  Only those of you who share my love for almond butter can understand how happy I was.  The rest of you can just think how weird I am.  I’m okay with that:)

It was a smooth ride all the way back home…just me and the husband.  And possibly some dark chocolate.

Hope you all had a great day and are all geared up for the short week!

Love, Candice

Do you live for spontaneity like myself?  Or do you prefer the structure of a routine and planning?

all in a day's eats

14 Jul

Eek!  I can’t believe I’m just now getting around to posting.

I have been pulling some seriously late nights this past week, and it needs to stop!  It’s causing me to be so exhausted during the day.  I just love staying up late, though!

Lunch today was simple.

Two slices of Ezekiel bread, Morningstar black bean burger, hummus, a healthy dose of sunflower sprouts, and rotel tomatoes.  Yum!

And the biggest watermelon spread ever! I promise I didn’t eat all that…at least not for lunch;)

I’m pretty sure I’m going to morph into a watermelon before it’s all said and done. That or a sunflower sprout:)

I had totally forgotten that yoga was tonight until I started craving it this afternoon.  Then it hit me!  So, after tutoring I went straight to class, and did some lovely sun salutations, half series and child’s poses.  love. love. love.

Since I knew I’d be getting home sort of late from yoga, I spent some time this afternoon chopping up veggies and making a stir-fry sauce.  So, when I got home all I had to do was dump it all in the wok and cook some bulgur!

I included cabbage, bell pepper, pattypan squash, carrots, onions, zucchini and sunflower sprouts.  Obviously I added a sprinkle of chia seeds to top it all off!

The most important thing about stir-frying veggies is timing.  I always put my carrots in and let them cook for a bit first (same story with broccoli if you’re using it); then I add bell peppers.  Soon after the peppers I add in everything else except for the sunflower sprouts, which I toss in at the very end.

I would give you the recipe for the sauce I made, but it needs some revamping.  It involved low sodium tamari sauce, garlic, olive oil, maple syrup, seasoned rice vinegar and ground red pepper; it was a bit bland unfortunately, so I’ll spare you the details.  The incredible veggies were the star of this show!

Dessert was a brown rice cake with a thin layer of Maranatha Chocolate Almond Butter spread.  This stuff is just like eating icing.  It is so good!

With a cup of decaf iced coffee on the side.

Well, I hate to cut this short, but I gots to gets to bed!

Tomorrow is a special day here, but I’m going to wait ’till tomorrow to tell you why!  Any guesses?!

baby cuteness

9 Jul

Morning!

Yesterday ended up being a whirlwind of a day.  I made a last minute decision to hop on the road and go visit my family for a couple of hours.  My baby cousin, whom I see very rarely, was in town so everyone was gathering at my grandma’s to hang out.

I was able to get a few things accomplished before I left as well as hit up a new class at the gym – turbokick.  It was my first time to try this one, and I really liked it.  If any of you have ever tried turbo jam by Chalene Johnson – it’s the live class version of that.  I’ve done turbo jam about a million times, so turbokick wasn’t entirely new to me, but they’ve added in a lot of new moves since I bought my DVDs.  I think I’ll probably go back…it gave me a really good workout to say the least!

Anyway, here are some pics from the day

Breakfast before Turbokick – Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup raw oats, the last of the frozen cherries and chias

Midmorning snack – brown rice cake with the last of my almond butter:( I think I need to run to the store

Lunch – spinach lavash wrap (love these!), Morningstar black bean burger (not vegan btw) Sabra garlic hummus, broccoli slaw and spinach

Afternoon snack at my grandma’s – watermelon!! Seedless watermelon!

I also had an unpictured apple pie Larabar on my drive back home

Dinner last night was also unpictured because I figured you guys don’t need to see enchiladas yet again on CSM.  I promise we didn’t actually make them again last night…we had leftovers; however, not promising we wouldn’t have made them had there not been leftovers;) What can I say?

Well, I’m off to piyo class! I’ll be laying low, working at the house today until I meet Mohammad for tutoring.

Don’t forget to stop by and enter the chia seed giveaway!  If you haven’t tried them before, I promise you’ll love ’em…what’s not to love?

Have you tried chia seeds before?  Tell me what you’re favorite way is to eat them!
If you haven’t had them before, what would you do with them if you win?