Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

What is it about 3pm that requires something sweet and a little bit of caffeine?

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie

Even on weekends, I feel like I need a pick-me-up. I try to stick to one cup of coffee on weekdays but sometimes I drink two on weekends when I’m relaxing in the mornings. This morning, though, I skipped the second cup of jo’, which gave me full permission to have caffeine in the afternoon.

I made this a couple weeks ago as a breakfast smoothie and added almond butter, flaxseed, and skim milk. Today I made a lighter version to act as a snack. Careful, smoothie lovers. Some smoothies can pack a whopping 400 calories!

Chocolate Espresso Protein Smoothie
The following ingredient amounts are approximations; I didn’t measure anything because smoothies are flexible like that.

3/4 cup milk (I used coconut milk because we had it handy)
1 scoop protein powder (I used Vanilla Latte from ToneItUp.com but chocolate or vanilla work; this just has caffeine in it)
1 tsp ground espresso
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

BLEND!
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What’s for Lunch?

Okay, I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to blog. I have a couple recipes [Sweet Potato Fritters, Chopped Thai Salad] that have been sitting in the draft section of my blog posts [FOR MONTHS], and I just haven’t taken the time to search for the photos or remake the recipes to make sure that everything is right.

So, I am showing you some of the meals I had during my internship.

Oh. Backup. Update. I’M A DIETITIAN! Yes. A registered and licensed dietitian in the state of North Carolina. [Insert party emoji] How the heck does that sound!? Pretty stinkin’ good. I finished my internship in early May, took my exam late May, and a few weeks ago I accepted a job in the area at a hospital. I will write a post on all of that soon, but I wanted to throw a food post in first.

During my internship, I had to pack lunch almost every day. This was a struggle sometimes but a great learning experience and let’s just say I was eating pretty dang well!

Here are some ideas for lunches and snacks. I eat a morning snack and afternoon snack, so that’s why it looks like so much food, haha! I find lunches to be hard (as well as dinners.. planning can be tough!) so hopefully you can find some inspiration.

Oh, and here’s how this is going to go down: M = meal, so there’s M1-5 (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner). That means if M2 = morning snack, M3 = lunch, and M4 = afternoon snack. Lastly, please excuse the photo quality. I packed these bad boys at night when there is no sunlight.

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M2 .. Okay, I’m really trying to remember how this one went. Hah! We will say M2 grapes & nuts, M3 asian cucumber salad & sweet potato chips, M4 hummus & peppers [and this was probably a Monday, on which I did spin at 6pm and usually ate a banana beforehand, hence TWO M2s!]

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M2 Larabar [the best flavors are Coconut Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Brownie! OH and the Mint Chocolate Brownie is TO DIE FOR], M3 salad with all the fix-ins like black beans, tomatoes, edamame, spinach, carrots, etc. & grapes, M4 granola bites at my internship and a banana on the way to the gym!

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M2 Larabar & apple slices, M3 salad & tortellini with homemade sun-dried tomato pesto [holy yum], M4 yogurt & banana [can you tell how much I like bananas yet?]

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M2 Clif bar & pear slices, M3 wrap & sweet potato chips, M4 grapes

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Pictured above is meal prep madness! This is 2 days worth of food: M2 Larabar, M3 Chopped Thai Salad & pears with cinnamon or mixed berries, M4 banana!

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M2 yogurt + clementines, M3 salad [with sun-dried tomato pesto!] & pears, M4 tomatoes

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M2 mixed fruit, M3 salad & cucumber with guacamole, M4 banana!

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M2 trail mix, M3 salad & apple, M4 not pictured – WHAT?! Maybe a banana?!

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And lastly, snack edition! On Wednesdays, I would get a shrimp burrito bowl [Burrito Bowl Wednesdays!] so I only packed snacks. M2 nuts & pear, M4 guacamole & celery!

Hope you all enjoyed this peak into what I’ve been eating. Despite not blogging, I’ve documented a lot of my meals and might incorporate some into posts but I do like an official photoshoot with my food to make it pretty for the blog. Hang tight for that and tips on how to become a dietitian (and how to stay sane while doing it!).

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Healthy Snacks

Snacks can be difficult. Since starting this internship, I’ve had to pack so.much.food to keep me energized throughout the day. To keep metabolism up and keep yourself running on healthy fuel, having healthy snacks around is a must.

Snacks aren’t just for healthy grazing during school or work, they can also be great to keep cravings down during holiday parties. Holiday parties at work are common this time of year, and there are usually leftover goodies! Munching on a healthy snack can keep you from turning towards the Christmas cookies or donuts in the break room.

Healthy snacks are also great to enjoy before going to a party with friends or family because it can help keep you from eating too much at the party. Here are some things I like to munch on or keep in a lunch bag near my desk for when I become ravenous and need a little boost:

during the holidays:

apples – these are in season!
hearty cranberry muffins

cranberry muffins 1

granola bars with a little extra protein, like Luna Bars or Kind Bars
spiced nuts

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Also, be sure to check out these healthy snacks! These range from snacks for kids, snacks at work, to vegan snacks! YES, vegan snacks are delicious. See the hummus and veggies below!

any time of the year:

hummus & veggies

hummus veg

grapes
celery with peanut butter
popcorn
fruit and yogurt parfait

parfait

banana with peanut butter
cheese stick
handful of plain nuts

nuts

In the end, try to keep snacks light (200 calories or under) and healthy! Try a fruit and maybe add some protein for increased satiety. Remember, snacks keep you energized until your next meal, they can help keep your blood sugar stable, and they are great for metabolism. Go pack a snack to take tomorrow, your body will thank you!

Hearty Cranberry Muffins

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is your favorite part about Thanksgiving? Is it the lazy coffee drinking or the sleeping in? Is it cooking with your family or stuffing your face with turkey?

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The holidays are fun because everyone is jolly. Technically, Thanksgiving is the pre-jolly. The last calm before the holiday storm.

It’s a time to be thankful. I have a LOT to be thankful for this year. My family. My husband. My friends. My fur child, Carib. My internship. We have a beautiful apartment, I’ve finally figured out how to coupon and meal prep, and my husband makes a mean latte in the mornings. It’s a good life.

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So, I made you something. I know your menu is probably planned out and probably has been for the last month, but I wanted to share with you these cranberry muffins just in case.

They’re really good. They’re hearty but in a subtle way. They have WHOLE cranberries in them, which means there is an explosion of flavor every other bite.

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I really recommend that you make them if you have extra time or want something a little bit healthy and hearty this Thanksgiving. Here are a couple other easy Thanksgiving recipes, if you’re really behind this year. No judgment, promise.

PUMPKIN DEVILED EGGS

pumpkin deviled eggs 1

CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD WITH CANDIED ALMONDS

candied almonds 4

HONEYCRISP SPINACH SALAD WITH PECANS AND CRANBERRIES

honeycrisp salad 2

AUTUMN STUFFED APPLES

stuffed apples 4

APPLE CIDER SANGRIA

apple cider sangria 3

Hearty Cranberry Muffins

1 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, room temperature
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 c milk
2 tbsp canola oil
2-3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
3/4 tsp vanilla extra
1 c whole, fresh cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl with a whisk.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, brown sugar, milk, canola oil, and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine with a spoon. Add in cranberries.
  5. Grease 6-7 muffin tin slots and spoon muffin mixture into muffin tin.
  6. Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes and then reduce to 375°F and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Cake Batter Oats

Blogging these days feels like an accomplishment. Between two jobs, five days of class, and four days of volunteering, my life is a little crazy right now.

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I will say I am actually enjoying [?!?!] my counseling class, and I have this food procurement class where I get to cook, bake, and learn knife skills in the lab. This semester is rough but at least it has some balance.

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You know what else has balance? These oats. Healthy, fibrous oatmeal with cake batter flavor and sprinkles. If that’s not enough to get you out of bed in the morning, I don’t know what is.

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So whether it’s your birthday or the morning before a huge exam, treat yo self.

Cake Batter Overnight Oats

1/3 c oats
1/3 c soymilk
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp white cake mix
1 tbsp cheesecake pudding mix
Sprinkles, strawberries, and banana slices

1. At night, combine the oats, soy milk, and yogurt. Cover and refrigerate over night.
2. The next morning, warm for 60-90seconds, then stir in the remaining toppings.