Tropical Smoothie Bowl

Apparently smoothie bowls are in.

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The first time I saw a smoothie bowl I thought what the heck. Why would you want to ‘eat’ a smoothie with a spoon? Straws are so much FUN! Unless you’re worried about wrinkles because apparently straws cause wrinkles but ain’t nobody got time to worry about that.

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But today when I made this smoothie it was so thick, I thought maybe I should pour it into a bowl and give it a whirl. I topped this bad boy with some almonds, chia seeds, and chopped up nectarines and was pleasantly surprised. While I do love sipping smoothies through a straw, it was nice to have a little texture in this smoothie.

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After the last few posts of straight sugar, I’ve been really trying to be healthy. Like REALLY. I’m already seeing results from this Tone It Up Bikini Series and am super excited to see the end result. June 21, baby. Let’s go. [I also get to see THIS girl June 21, so even more motivation to stay on track so I can celebrate with her!]

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But anyway, this tropical frozen delight is perfect as a pre-workout fueler. Smoothies are my jam these days. J got a Magic Bullet for me for my birthday last year and I didn’t really have a whole lot of use for it over the winter but now I’m drinking 3-4+ smoothies per week. Love blending things into smithereens.

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c coconut milk
1/3 c frozen tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya)
1 frozen banana
3/4 c frozen orange yogurt (or plain frozen yogurt with creamsicle protein powder or just plain frozen yogurt or regular non-frozen yogurt – if using non-frozen, may want to add a couple ice cubes)
1 scoop protein powder if using non-protein powder yogurt
Toppings: chopped nectarine, chia seeds, almonds

1. Blend all but toppings.
2. Pour into bowl.
3. Top with toppings. Optional to add: coconut, chopped mango, etc.

Healthy Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have been running the last week and a half straight. STRAIGHT.

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Okay, not straight, but a lot. Between work, school, homework, and volunteering, it has been a whirlwind and all I can think about is swimsuits and margaritas [ahem, come onnnn summer].

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And chocolate. Because when times get tough, chocolate understands. Chocolate doesn’t judge – chocolate understands. So, I made these healthy vegetable and fruit muffins and studded them with some chocolate chips. Because muffins (and life!) are better with chocolate.

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I like to mash these bad boys into my oatmeal in the mornings. Is that weird? If you’ve added muffins to your oatmeal, then I applaud you. If you haven’t, make these and add to oatmeal. And eat as dessert. And snacks. And all day every day.

Healthy Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Make 7 muffins

1 c white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1 egg white
1/6 c brown sugar
1/4 c + 3 tbsp + 1 tsp (or 1/6c + 2 tbsp) milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1/2 zucchini, grated
1/2 banana, mashed
1/3 c dark chocolate chips

1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar and egg white until completely mixed.
3. Whisk vanilla, milk, and Greek yogurt into bowl, then fold in zucchini and banana.
4. Slowly add flour mixture into wet ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips.
5. Fill a greased muffin tin and pour in mix until 3/4 of the way full.
6. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Protein Waffles

Let’s talk leg day.

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Now, I’m sure you’ve seen all the funny leg day pictures and if you workout, you’ve probably experienced them. Simple tasks like driving (switching from gas to brake – OUCH), walking up stairs, putting on pants… you know. It’s painful.

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Well, I am seriously trying to get my booty in shape, literally, as well as my triceps and my abs. I mean, less than 30 days until spring, people! I go to Planet Fitness, and even though they don’t have yoga classes, they DO have Smith Machines, which are those fancy little machines that have the bar and the free weights and the automatic lock. Aka. Squats without assistance. Or benching or whatever you want to do – Smith Machine has your back. Unless you drop it and it doesn’t catch immediately – then you’re a lunk. But that’s another story [that luckily hasn’t happened to me].

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So I had been doing the norm – leg extensions, hamstring curls, calf raises, adductors, abductors, squats… but now I am adding lunges with the Smith Machine. And MAN OH MAN are my gluteals sore. For real, though. If you don’t know what a Smith Machine is, check it out. That bad boy is your friend when it comes to bikinis. I’ve started doing higher reps/lower weight to try to “tone” rather than “bulk,” and those last few reps are tough.

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THE POINT is – do your leg day. Do your squats. Earn your protein. That was literally what I was repeating to myself (“Earn your protein, earn your protein.”) as I cycled ridiculously fast and was panting like a 100-year-old sedentary person. I’ve started in on the whole protein powder thing (chocolate, of course) and I like to earn it. Deserve it, if you will.

You deserve these waffles. You do 4 sets of 15-20 reps on squats AND lunges on the Smith Machine ( + the other leg machines + cycling or some cardio), you definitely earn your chocolate protein.

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These waffles are actually not chocolate… the boyfriend prefers his fancy protein over my cheap protein (I’m still having to be persuaded into this whole protein thing), so he added his to the waffles. So, in the end, all I’m driving at is – earn your protein. Earn your waffles.

Protein Waffles
From Tone It Up; makes 2 waffles

1 banana
4 egg whites + 1 egg
2 scoops vanilla (or chocolate!) protein (about 20g each, so 40g protein)
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp peanut butter
Toppings (optional): sliced bananas and strawberries, maple syrup

1. Mash banana, then blend all ingredients.
2. Make waffles in a waffle maker.

Fruit and Cream Cheese Breakfast Quesadilla

Look at that glorious sun shining in. Gotta say there’s nothing like eating breakfast in the sunlight.

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And this breakfast is quite yummy. Now, it’s not quite as filling as oatmeal or pancakes, but it is just sweet enough to fix any sweet tooth.

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When it comes to breakfast, you have to think outside the box. Or the bowl. I mean, oatmeal or cereal everyday? For [most] people, that’s a snore [for me, that’s amazing]. But I thought I would shake it up.

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Fruit and Cream Cheese Breakfast Quesadilla

Whole wheat tortilla
Strawberries
Bananas
Cream cheese
Cinnamon

1. Assemble.
2. Nom.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yesterday I met a fellow blogger.

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She and I both agreed that we felt a little creepy when we decided to be blog friends. It started with a couple comments, then following each other on Instagram, then some emails. Finally, she took the courage to ask me to brunch. On a blog-friend-date.

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It was great. Pancake Princess meets Skinny Muffin. Texas meets North Carolina. Vegetarian meets vegetarian. We could’ve talked for hours. About food and blogs we love and cameras and blog photography backgrounds.

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Meeting her was like these muffins. You never know until you try it, but you have a good feeling it will work out. And afterwards, you realize it was a great decision. Warm, comfortable, and just what you needed.

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I changed this recipe up a little. Less sugar, full egg to reap the total benefits, and chocolate chips instead of nuts. Well, the peanut butter was crunchy, so that will satisfy your nut craving. But you can’t have peanut butter and bananas without chocolate. It’s a rule.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from the Skinny Chef

2 tbsp sugar
2/3 c natural crunchy peanut butter
1 egg
2 bananas, mashed
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
1 2/3 c white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 c plain soymilk
1/4 c chocolate chips

1. Whip together sugar and peanut butter with a mixer.
2. Slowly add in the egg, then the bananas and yogurt.
3. Add the flour, baking soda and powder, and milk, and mix until just combined.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Spray a muffin tin and spoon batter into tin.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, for regular-sized muffins, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.