Chocolate Covered Blueberry Smoothie

I switched from Planet Fitness to The Rush yesterday. And I couldn’t be more excited.

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I was talking to someone at work the other day, asking if they liked being a member of The Rush, and he said, “Well, you will get judged there.” He was kidding, because Planet Fitness is a “Judgment Free Zone” and The Rush isn’t, but honestly? I like the judgment. I like to look around and see people doing things I’ve never seen or even though of before.

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I want to look around and be inspired. To want to try something new or push myself to better my strength and my body. And the bathrooms – guys. They are legit. Seriously. I have a little ‘The Rush recap’ on my Instagram 365 pictures, and there’s a picture of the bathrooms. Really, people. They’re awesome.

But anyway, enough about bathrooms and judgment. Let’s talk about the real workouts I’ve been doing. I’m living in and loving Tone It Up Land. Today marks the first completed week of the Bikini Series. HELLO STRAPLESS BIKINI – HERE I COME.

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So, the boyfriend is pretty adamant about protein. Or, let’s just say he’s pro-protein. Like, the powder kind. We were starving after a pretty intense workout the other day and came home and made some smoothies. We are THAT couple [that goes to the gym and drinks protein smoothies together] and I couldn’t be happier.

I had been concocting this protein smoothie all morning. Actually, the night before, too. Because if I am going to be working out and sweating this much (and drinking liquid protein), I’m going to want it to taste goodAnd this does. Trust me.

PS: 27g of protein in this bad boy!

Chocolate Covered Blueberry Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla (or chocolate!) protein powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp Hershey’s syrup (optional – but it’s better to have sweets in the morning because you burn them off throughout the day, vs. at night!)
1/2 c frozen blueberries
8-10oz plain almond milk
2 ice cubes

Blend. Drink. Enjoy. Build those muscles.

Asian Tofu, Fruit, and Quinoa Bowl

I am 100% diving into Tone It Up world. If you haven’t seen my recent Instagram posts, you may not know what Tone It Up is or how awesome it is.

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It’s basically these two crazy awesome women who started this program called Tone It Up. They have recipes, workouts, motivation tips, and there is a whole community involved in it. It keeps you motivated and you can do “check-ins” every day about what you’ve eaten or what you did for exercise that day. There’s also a 100 by Summer (or 150 by Summer) which means 100 miles by June 21. I am already at 13 miles and pretty proud of myself. It can be hard and time consuming since I can’t run (stinkin’ bulging disc) but it’s forcing me to put the time in and earn the miles, which is good. Also, one of my friends is doing it with me which makes me that much more accountable and it makes it that much more fun.

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Tone It Up is also motivating me to eat well. I even got a kid’s size at Coldstone! Half chocolate and half frozen yogurt! With cookie dough, but still. A kid’s. Normally I get a Like It of Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip with mint and chocolate cake batter yogurt but I refrained.

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And I made this delicious concoction. Sometimes things just come to me. I think about flavor combinations and I get inspired. Normally, I whip up a salad or something easy for dinner but last night I wanted to make something a little special since I was going to be writing papers half the night and I wasn’t working.

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Asian Tofu, Fruit, and Quinoa Bowl
Note: I made all the tofu but only used half in the recipe and saved the other half for later. You can either do what I did, half the tofu recipe, or use the tofu recipe and have a stronger sauce.

For tofu:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 package tofu, cubed
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp garlic powder

For sauce:
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

For salad:
1 mango, chopped
1/2 c blueberries
1/2 of tofu
3/4 c quinoa

1. Set oven to 375°F.
2. Combine tofu ingredients, minus tofu.
3. In a bowl, combine tofu with ‘tofu’ ingredients, and stir. Allow to sit for a few minutes, stir again, and sit for a few more minutes.
4. Lay tofu out onto a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes, flipping after 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients.
6. Once the tofu is done, make the salad ingredients and pour the sauce over. Serve warm.

Summer Breakfast Quinoa

I’m interning with this dietitian, and we are currently focusing on gluten-free grains.

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Hello, quinoa. You are so dreamy. Full of protein, gluten-free, and highly versatile.

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We set up a sample and information table at a grocery store, and despite having few takers, we made some breakfast quinoa for people to try. Now I have quinoa on my brain. And breakfast quinoa? Nothing better than starting your day with some good ol’ protein.

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I softened these berries and peaches over heat and scooped them onto some cinnamon-infused quinoa. The almonds, pepitas and chia seeds added a nice crunch.

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Shake up your breakfast. Eat some quinoa.

Summer Breakfast Quinoa

1/4 c quinoa
1/2 c plain soymilk
1/4 c blueberries
1/2 peach, chopped
1/4 c strawberries
Pinch of cinnamon
Sprinkling of almonds, chia seeds, and pepitas

1. Combine quinoa and soymilk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After simmering for a couple minutes, add in cinnamon and stir to combine.
2. Combine blueberries, peaches, and strawberries in another saucepan. Add 1 tbsp water and cook, stirring frequently, on medium-high (closer to medium) until a sauce forms and the fruit softens. Bring down to a lower temperature, and continue to cook for a couple minutes while quinoa finishes cooking.
3. Combine quinoa, fruit (and sauce made by fruit), almonds, chia seeds, and pepitas in a bowl and serve warm.

Blueberry and Peach Pizza

I’ve done it again. I made a fruit pizza.

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Now, my coworkers look at me like I’m crazy. But I’m not. I’m just crazy for fruit. Not crazy mental.

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If you’ve never roasted fruit, you don’t know what you’re missing. Something about sticking a piece of fruit in the oven and pulling it out 10-30 minutes later is the most incredible experience. The fruit becomes sweeter (yes, it’s possible) and juicy and plump and fragrant and downright delicious.

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An old childhood friend came to visit this past weekend, and we had a blast. Straight up girl time. Luckily, she is with me on the fruit pizza train, and she wolfed it down.

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Just, trust me. Sometimes, you have to trust people. I’ve learned from trusting people that sleeping with a pillow between your knees reduces back pain and aligns your hips, liquid eyeliner is a lot easier to use than you think, and refrigerating cookie dough before you bake it makes it less likely to turn into melted cookie ice cream pudding. Good things come to those who are trusting [of the right people]. I’m the right person.

Now go make some fruit pizza.

Blueberry and Peach Pizza

1 whole wheat pizza crust
1/3 c pesto
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 peach, thinly sliced
1/3 c blueberries
1/4 c feta, crumbled

1. Spoon and spread pesto onto crust, then brush balsamic vinegar on top of pesto.
2. Place peach slices, blueberries and feta on top of pizza crust.
3. Bake according to directions.

Very Berry Shortcake Pancakes

I think I’ve really done it this time.

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This pancake recipe is everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. It’s light. It’s fluffy. It’s sweet. With a large dollop of whipped Greek yogurt and a drizzle of roasted berry juice, this is what breakfast should always look like.

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Last year I failed at a 4th of July recipe. I mean, what was I thinking? Don’t worry. I’m making up for it this year. This recipe is the only 4th of July breakfast you’ll ever need.

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The whipped Greek yogurt really came together. I was a little skeptical at the beginning because, well, it just looked like I had shaken it up really well. But it did remain light and fluffy and hold its structure while on the pancakes. I prefer not to use gelatin (for reasons I will not mention on this blog..) but I really wanted to fluff it up and to use Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is my answer to everything.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go to sleep with my nicely full-of-pancakes belly.

Very Berry Shortcake Pancakes
Adapted from Rachel Cooks
Serves 4

1 1/2 c strawberries, chopped
1 c blueberries
2 c flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c plain soymilk
2 eggs
1 c plain Greek yogurt (I used Greek Gods)
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp gelatin

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Toss berries in 2 tbsp sugar and spread onto greased pan. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Combine flour, 2 tbsp sugar, and baking powder in a bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, combine soymilk and eggs. Add them to flour mixture.
5. To make whipped “cream”, whip Greek yogurt, gelatin, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a mixer for a few minutes, until slightly fluffy.
6. Make pancakes by pouring 1/3 c batter onto greased pan over medium heat on stove. Flip when bubbly.
7. To assemble, dollop whipped cream between and on top of pancakes, and top with roasted berries.