Monthly Archives: October 2015

Cauliflower: The not so green veggie

Happy Friday Y’all!
Man, another week has flown by!  It has been filled with workouts, fun with an awesome blog hop I am participating in, and some fun in the kitchen!
The weather has been AMAZING this week and I am so thankful after all the rain we received from hurricane Patricia!  It actually dropped below 70 degrees a few mornings and I was even able to wear my Uggs! Hehefoodiefriday

Anywhoo, this week I am linking up once again with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit!! Our theme this week is cauliflower!
I have this random side story: So when I was growing up Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage.  I really wanted one but it was not in the budget for my parents with 4 little kids and my dad going to school.  I really don’t know where it came from, but that Christmas I got a Cauliflower Kid!  It came in a big green plastic leafy container.  I remember using the container to store my other doll clothes.  Maybe that sparked in me a love for cauliflower!  I still have my doll but it is in storage, but I was able to find a pic online!

Ckiduser-image-1218139954_thumb

Source- In the 80s

I feel like cauliflower gets a bit of a bad rep.  It isn’t really super pretty, and it for sure has no color (other than the leaves). Several weeks ago I was talking to a friend about how much I love cauliflower (I was that weird kid at birthday parties who actually ate the raw veggies…Ha) and all the awesome stuff you can do with it.  I did a little more research and found out some cool stuff about cauliflower!

  • Fights against cancer
  • Helps heart health
  • It is anti-inflammatory
  • Has many vitamins and minerals
  • Helps brain health
  • Great source of fiber
  • Full of antioxidants and phytonutrients

You can read more details about all of those fun facts here!
So as you can see, I have no problem devouring cauliflower when I can!  I have made it into pizza crust, used it like rice, had it raw, and my 2 favorite ways I am going to share with you today!

IMG_1508Roasted & Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • Whole cauliflower, cored and chopped into bite size pieces
  • about 1/2 cup olive or coconut oil
  • Pepper, paprika, garlic, Himalayan salt, garlic
  • 1/2 TBS butter
  • 1/8 cup chicken broth

IMG_1511

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425* F
  2. Cover the bottom of a cookie sheet with olive oil.
  3. Place chopped cauliflower on the pan.
  4. Lightly sprinkle on spices
  5. Even mix the oil and spices on the cauliflower with your hands.
  6. Roast for 20-25 min.

IMG_1535
If you so desired, turn roasted cauliflower into mashed cauliflower (a mashed potato substitute)

  1. Let roasted cauliflower cool slightly.
  2. Add cauliflower to a food processor.
  3. Pulse till cauliflower is mashed well.
  4. Add butter and chicken broth for taste and thickness.
IMG_1676


It might not look so inviting, but it was AWESOME tasting! You could hardly tell the difference!

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Mighty Nut giveaway that ends on Sunday! 

IMG_7799

The Food Dare- Book Review

Happy Thursday y’all!  It certainly has been a busy week here on the blog and in my day to day life!  I am loving the weather this week after dealing with several days of rain from hurricane Patricia at the tail end of last week and over the weekend!
As the end of the month approaches I want to share with you all a fabulous resource I was able to use over the last 30 days (plus a few when I missed a few days) that reinforced healthy habits.
Thanks to my partnership with FitFluential I was given the chance to review a book by a fellow ambassador.  The Food Dare is a book by Lindsey Banks of Fit Life Pursuits.

*As always, I am thankful for the opportunity to review items and receive compensation for my work.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own!*

So what is The Food Dare? Well, it is a 30 day challenge that can work for anyone who is desiring to life a healthier life style.  The dare is broken down into 3 phases, and each phase is broken down into small daily tasks that promote health and well living!  Each day explains the healthy step, why it is important for your body and questions to reflect on how the task went.
Before you begin the dare you have the opportunity to make take measurements and take record of how you feel about certain areas of your life.  It is great to see the starting point compared to the ending point!

food-dare-paperback-1040x780
Phase 1- all about water! I personally loved this phase, and for me, it wasn’t much of a challenge.  The Hubs joined me on some of the challenge days and he enjoyed the water days too!  He has  went to drinking all water over the past few months and he has seen how it has increased his health and energy!  If you struggle with water this phase would be a great beginning point for you!

Phase 2- Color- adding more nutritious fruits and veggies to our lifestyle. I have always enjoyed eating fruits and veggies.  This phase reinforced that in me and also reminded me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things and new ways to prepare and eat them (especially the veggies).
Eating the right number of servings, and ensuring what you are eating counts as a serving were great points that I don’t always think about! And a wonderful way to get in more veggies is in a smoothie!  In the book Lindsey adds some smoothie recipes that are delicious!

Phase 3- Clean- Focusing on where food comes from that we put in our body!  This phase seemed to go perfectly after phase 2.  Once you get a handle on adding in more fruits and veggies, the other food you eat can be evaluated and removed if it doesn’t add nutritional value to your life! Always an eye opener (good or bad) to record a food log and see all that you are consuming.
Along with eating and drinking for your health, managing stress and sleep are also vital! My biggest challenge during this challenge was getting enough sleep! My goal for the month of November is to really crack down on that and get better sleep!

The Food Dare
I give this book 2 thumbs up, and a high five to Lindsey.  She broke down healthy habits into small tasks that just about anyone would be able to finish!  Weather you are starting out on a health journey, have been on the journey for a while.  It is super easy to read and who doesn’t like checking off a fun calendar when tasks are complete!
quickstart-guide-calendar-320x320

Not only does Lindsey have this awesome book, but she also has support groups that you can join if you feel like you need a little extra boost to get yourself going!

The Food Dare is different because it focuses on creating a lifestyle transformation.
There are no gimmicks, no quick-fix schemes that won’t last, no diet pills or powders.
Unlike other programs or diets where you feel hungry and deprived of the foods you love, The Food Dare will teach you how to choose real food that is satisfying, delicious, and nutritious.
Get ready to stock your fridge!

What are you waiting for!  Nov 1 is just around the corner and a perfect time to start the dare as we head into the holiday season. It is always the right time to make steps to a healthier and happier you!

the-food-dare-cover-440x640
I hope you join the Food Dare and make changes for your healthiest self yet!

IMG_7799

Side note- All images used in this post were given to my by Lindsay with permission to use them.

Another Wild Workout Wednesday!

Hello once again!  I know, 2 posts in 1 days, that isn’t something that I get to do much these days.
It is Wednesday and time for a workout report.  I realized late last night that I never did made an official plan for this last week, but it ended up working out ok.
Since my hip has been giving me issues I have been trying to focus on stretching more and using my lovely foam roller.  The other night I was done and the Hubs came to see what I was doing.  The foam roller had turned into a pillow and I was just laying on the floor.  He asked me what in the world I was doing. “Oh, just foam rolling!” Ha, he knew better and encouraged me to get back at it!

Last week we lost another family member, so things got a little off track.  Add in the hurricane, a LONG dr appt and visiting a friend in the hospital, and I am glad I actually got in a few workouts!
Speaking of the dr appt, overall it was ok.  He asked a lot of questions and took a LOT of blood! So hopefully I will get some answers soon!  I am sure there are still issues with my thyroid, and not that I want there to be any other issues, but there needs to be something else going on as to why I can not lose weight!  It has become really frustrating! Who am I kidding, it has been a frustration for a LONG time.  I am proud of myself for keeping on the right path and working out and eating healthy meals.  Even years into recovery it is tempting to shut down and not eat.  But I KNOW that is not the right thing to do, nor will it do anything to change myself for the better!

What I have been up to!
Thursday- Walk & foam roll
Friday- Walk and stretches
Saturday- Body pump, walk and stretches.  And a free Shower! Haha

 

Sunday- More walk and stretches
Monday- Body pump and stretches
Tuesday- 4.5 miles on the elliptical, .5 mile walk to/from the park with the kids, an hour of zumba and some stretches.  No wonder my legs are tired and sore today!
Wednesday- Zumba tonight and 20-30 min elliptical


What I am planning for this next week!
Thursday- Try to walk/jog 3-4 miles
Friday- Piyo and 2 miles
Saturday- Body Pump or rest & LOTS of stretching and foam rolling!
Sunday- Race- was supposed to do the 10 miles, but I am sticking with the 5 for now.  If some miracle happens and I am up for it, I will do the 10. Plus LOTS of stretching and foam rolling!
Monday- Body Pump and volleyball
Tuesday- Zumba


I am joining Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from  Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Michelle at Fruition Fitness and  Nicole from Fitful Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday!

What do you do when you are sore?  Have you signed up for a longer race but then weren’t ready? What did you do?

See you again soon for another Workout Wednesday!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

IMG_7799

MightyNut Review and Giveaway!

It is Wednesday!  Yay! That means it is almost the weekend! Lately my weekends have been pretty busy, so I have been doing a bit of food prep during the week.  My experiments in the kitchen lately have been turning out pretty delicious!
One of my favorite peanut butter brands, Peanut Butter & Co just launched a new item, powdered peanut butter! Thanks to my awesome partnership with FIt Approach & Sweat Pink, I was sent some MightyNut to review!
As always, I am thankful for the opportunity to review items and receive compensation for my work.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own!
PBCo-Website-Redesign-61515-MightyNut
I am sure you have seen other powdered peanut butters out on the market.  I have seen and used different ones so I knew I was already a fan of them.  Getting to try Mighty Nut was a really great experience.  Not only was the flavor great in the 2 choices I tried, but it forced me out of my comfort zone to get creative with the product!

Mighty nut comes in 4 awesome flavors!

I chose to try the original and the flax & chia flavors!  I love that it came with a little scoop!
IMG_0477
Coming up with a recipe was my next challenge!  I made a super simple one for a quick on the go drink or post-workout drink.

Mighty Nut peanut butter & vanilla shake

  • 1 scoop of the chia & flax Mighty Nut
  • 1 scoop your choice vanilla protein poweder (I used Young living vanilla spice)
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk.

I added the ingredients and shook it in my blender cup and 1 min later I had one of the best shakes I have ever made!  Wow! I did not want to be finished drinking it!
IMG_1559

I also wanted to experiment with the original Mighty Nut! Oh it was fun!  The Hubs was really happy to be my test taster over the last 2 weeks!  He especially enjoyed the peanut butter cakes that I made with a recipe from A Whisk and Two Wands!
This recipe was inspired by my love for Thai food but wanting to make my own meals at home vs always getting take out!

Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps!
Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup tamari (can use soy sauce too)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 lbs chicken, cut into cubes
  • 1 TBS sesame oil for cooking
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce (or another lettuce of your choice)

Peanut sauce (you might need to play around with the ingredients till you find the right taste for you.  This ended up with the peanut taste and a little tangy and sweet at the same time)

  • 3-3 1/2 TBS powdered peanut butter
  • 4 TBS sesame oil
  • 4 TBS tamari
  • 2 TBS brown sugar

IMG_1590

Directions

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together.
  2. Place the chicken in the marinade for at least 30 min in the fridge.
  3. Mix the peanut sauce together while the chicken marinades.
  4. Add sesame oil to frying pan and add in the chicken
  5. Cook the chicken for about 10-12 min till it is no longer pink on the inside (I take the largest chunk and cut it in half to test)
  6. Once chicken is fully cooked, place it in a food processor or blender.  Pulse it until the chicken is shredded.
  7. Cook the red pepper in 1 tsp of the finished peanut sauce.
  8. Add all ingredients to a lettuce wrap, garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

IMG_1605

I also took the leftovers and made a salad! SO good either way!
IMG_1620
And now an even more fun part, YOU can win a jar of Mighty Nut along with the adorable scooper!!  Click below to enter!!! Contest will end on Sunday, November 1 at midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Giveaway restrictions:

  • U.S. only
  • One prize per person. If your winner has already won through another SPA’s giveaway, we will ask you to select another winner. We suggest including this disclosure in your post:

One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Mighty Nut through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

Good luck!
Have a healthy and happy day!

IMG_7799

What makes up Chocolate Runner Girl

Hey y’all!
Today’s post is taking a different direction.  I am participating in a fabulous Bog Hop this week and next so I am taking a little time out side of my normal blog schedule to share a bit about myself with some awesome new readers and fellow bloggers! Even if you are a regular reader, you might learn something about me today!  If you are new, WELCOME!  I am so thrilled to have you here 🙂

A BIG thank you again to Kristy at Runaway Bridal Planner for organizing such a great event!
IMG_8204

I recently turned 34(!!). So here are 34 facts about me that have helped to grow and shape me into the person I am today

  1. I have been married to the Hubs for almost 4.5 years!
    blog10423896_636004331255_3221749608734047464_n
  2. I am a child of God
    Blog10614364_654846486425_8888047406364827217_n
  3. I have lived in 14 states! It helped me develop a love for geography.
    blog228681_503802874035_9750_n
  4. I have worked with kids (teaching, nannying, tutoring, babysitting, church) for the past 25 years!
    blog11800482_692300802675_4280309674512808833_n
  5. I love to travel! My favorite places on earth (so far) are Costa Rica and Ethiopia!
    Blog1586_508017747395_2838_nIMG_6499
  6. Fall is my favorite season (although fall in the south is a tad different than it was up north).
    BLOG12036701_699826321475_6460691147290775922_n
  7. My original life goals were to be a pediatrician and/or a professional volleyball player. 
  8. I have my Master’s degree in teaching.
    Blog390708_547375623895_744214727_n
  9. My favorite color is purple!
    Blogging10154524_627012106745_688492575_n
  10. My high school was bigger than my college!  I also was blessed to attend high school and college with my friend who I have known for almost my whole life!
    BLOG11137114_679549446495_7140048172113411681_n
  11. In 2014 I ran 33.5 races.
    BLOGBLOG10439054_674383793505_8282143264891834267_n
  12. I love to cook (ahem, experiment) in the kitchen.
    BLOG12088018_700250636145_2915923508809605319_n
  13. I love cupcakes!
    blog11118505_685054309705_7489432084565065110_n
  14. I love music.  I had my first singing solo in church when I was six.  I also played the trumpet from 4th-12th grade.
  15. I love to clean and organize.
    blog11257826_685912275335_3165711747182162552_n
  16. I was interviewed on Anderson Cooper’s day time show.
    blog10410436_660754117485_1234129988851729118_n
  17. I love tea!  I only drink coffee once in a while, but it has to be certain brands from Costa Rica or Ethiopia.
    blog11665491_688583177825_4159936228165906392_n
  18.  I have a slight obsession with Very Bradley products!
    blog1520653_618029008945_1962052272_n
  19. I love to read!
    blog10569068_674400774475_7997993981865632629_n
  20. I am a visual person.  I have to have write everything down in my planner…or it just might not happen!
    blog11702669_689098674765_2534037446277457642_nBLOG10801708_658876215815_8906525818698907245_n
  21. I love learning more about and making my own natural cleaning and household products!
    blog11011467_677805132115_360990527619803116_n
  22. My favorite number is 21.
  23. I love to work out! One of my favorite things is to lift weights! And lots of them! ( I write more about my workouts and training on Wednesdays)
    BLOG11070503_678100056085_4085221891585382231_n
  24. I love the beach!  I can always find peace there!
    blog200713_503397960485_9551_n
  25. I really like pillows!  And sleep (when I can get it)
    blog11796312_692065324575_1176094254273389949_n
  26. Sunrises, sunsets and flowers add joy to my days!
    blog10384596_657290952695_410035753633237011_n BlOg63268_587027256705_1565831741_n
  27. I am a HUGE fan of Christmas!
    BBlog1499511_614590849045_1411137574_n
  28. Elephants & zebras are my fav animal, but zebra print is easier to find than elephant print 😉
    BlOg41113_520675810535_4220831_n
  29. I love to paint and do cute art projects!
    blog10891923_666757761135_6919312670694265258_n blog11887914_693588866385_6743338812068274124_n
  30. I overcame a 20+ year battle with an eating disorder! Thankful to God daily for new life!
    blog1932270_622762862265_1709286043_n
  31. My theme for this year!
    BLOG10513255_678023529445_7343393147936487700_n
  32. I love to bargain shop! Big deals give me a rush!  This is my best bargain to date! I paid $27 out of pocket for this gem! And it’s purple of course 🙂
    BLOG10385557_661705505895_1929150018780196482_n
  33. I love animals, especially dogs!
    blog10384918_654846401595_7659449075356878879_n
  34. And of course, I love chocolate!
    blog554156_575376504905_1329190002_n

And there you have it!  Well, a few facts about me 🙂  I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about who is behind the blog here at Chocolate Runner girl!  I look forward to getting to know y’all better too!

Have a healthy and joyful day!
IMG_7799

Fall fun, DIY pumpkin sugar scrub!

Hello all!  I know I don’t often post on a Saturday, but considering Houston is under flood warnings due to tropical storm Patricia.  

 Plus I am actually not working today (yay!!), so I have some free time.  To avoid cleaning my office I worked more on my sugar scrub that I started the other night.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz organic refined coconut oil
  • 4-5 cups pure cane sugar
  • 1 TBS vitamin E oil
  • 2 TBS pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Whip coconut oil (I used my kitchen aid stand mixer)
  2. Add in sugar, 1 cup at a time, fully whip.  (If you don’t like the consistency you can add more sugar or more oil- For a more gritty scrub, add more sugar. If you like a softer scrub use less sugar or more oil).
  3. Add in spices and vanilla
  4. Make sure all the ingredients are fully mixed together.
  5. Store in a glass or BPA free plastic container.  I am a huge fan of Mason jars!

 
This is perfect for hands, face and really all over the body.  And don’t worry if you eat it because it is all natural!
It makes great gifts, especially with the holidays coming up!

Enjoy!

Let me know if you make it and what you think!  Be warned, you will smell delicious! 😉

Have a happy and healthy weekend!
IMG_7799

Foodie Friday: Gluten Free Crustless Quiches

Happy Friday y’all!  Is it just me, or is this month FLYING BY!  I can not believe it is almost November!  I have a feeling that the rest of the year is going to FLY by!
This weeks theme of kitchen cleanse came at a great time!  As I have been working more on getting better with food prepping it was time to clean out the fridge!
Today I am linking up once again with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit!!
foodiefridayGluten Free Crustless Quiche
Ingredients

  • 3 cups veggies (I used pre-roasted eggplant, squash, peppers, zucchini and spinach)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, paprika to taste
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese

  

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350* F
  2. Mix all the veggies together in a large bowl with the spices
  3. Divide and coop veggies into a well greased muffin tin (should loosely fill each cup)
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of cheese onto each veggie cup
  5. pour 1/4-1/3 of egg into each cup, covering the veggies
  6. Bake for 20-25 min
  7. Enjoy


Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! 🙂

Make sure you join us next week for some cauliflower recipes!

IMG_7799