Author Archives: chocolaterunnergirl

About chocolaterunnergirl

Just a girl who loves to workout and enjoy a little chocolate along the way! My fitness journey, the good, the bad, and the chocolate!

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk & Food Blogger Love

Hello Friends!

Happy Friday and happy 1st day of fall!

As summer fades away it is still 90 degrees here in Texas, I still love that it is fall.  Even though it is not as cool as the falls I grew up with, I just love the feeling of fall. I have been putting out some cute fall decorations, I changed up my door sign, and have been busy in the kitchen with fall flavors and spices!

One thing I also love about fall is sharing the love of some of my fav food bloggers.  I am always inspired by the creative recipes and the gorgeous pictures of so many bloggers! It inspires me to want to be better at what I do! (Saving for a new camera to get better pics is 1 goal this fall!) Here are a few amazing recipes from around the food blogging world, which of course includes my Foodie Friday co-hosts, Annmarie and Farrah!

Patty from Sweet and Strong blog with this amazing Pear Smoothie
Farrah from Fairyburger with her tasty Ginger Tea Latte
Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama with this flavor packed Pumpkin Spice Coffee Protein Smoothie
Katie from Gettin’ My Healthy On with this delicious Maple Gingerbread Smoothie
Laura from Viand {the blog} with this gorgeous Turmeric Pumpkin Latte

It is hard to go wrong with all these flavorful drinks just begging to be devoured!

I decided to go with fall flavors with make a twist on my homemade almond milk recipe! I have to say the result was pretty tasty! My husband was raving about it for days 🙂

img_1031

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almonds, soaked in purified water for 6+ hours
  • 6 cups purified water
  • 6 medjool dates- depitted and soaked for 15-20 min
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 Tbsp pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place almonds, water & dates into a blender.  Blend on high for 2 minutes
  2. Strain mixture through nut bag over a large bowl
  3. Rinse blender/lid
  4. Pour strained milk back into the blender
  5. Add the pumpkin pie spice, purée and vanilla into the milk, blend well
  6. Store milk in glass airtight containers for up to 1 week in the fridge.
  7. Enjoy! It is a great addition to coffee! 🙂

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering 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 )

  • 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! 🙂Join us next week for some coffee recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

crgimg_9269

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Donuts

Happy Friday my wonderful friends!

Thank you all SO much for your kind words and well wishes last week! We are still so thankful we were spared flooding after hurricane Harvey and continue to help where we can.

Fall is almost here! I can smell it in the air.  The temperatures have been slightly cooler. The leaves have begun to drift down from the trees.  And I just can’t hold it in any longer!!! I need me some pumpkin!!  I actually received a pumpkin from my CSA last week and I can NOT wait to roast that baby and make something delicious out of it! Until then…

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our copy cat themed week!

I am all about pumpkin.  I have been a fan since I was a little kid! I love decorating with them and eating pumpkin flavored foods and desserts! Pumpkin yogurt, cupcakes, lattes, pasta, etc!

I literally woke up from a dream about pumpkin donuts! If you look on Pinterest, there are TONS of recipes out there. I looked at a few and decided I was jut going to make my own! Plus I wanted to add my other favorite ingredient, chocolate 🙂


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Donuts

Donuts

  • 2 cups sifted gluten free flour
  • 1½ tsp. aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. pink salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1  can pumpkin pie filling
  • 6 Tbsp. vanilla almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup enjoy life chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Rub coconut oil in the donut pan, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift GF flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, pink salt and baking soda together.  Wisk till combined.  Set aside.
  3. In a Kitchen-aid (or bowl using a hand mixer), combine coconut sugar and oil till fully combined.
  4. Add the pumpkin pie filling, almond milk and eggs. Mix till just combined.
  5. Gently fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  6. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Place the batter in a large frosting bag (or a zip lock and cut 1/3 on off the corner).
  8. Fill each space in the donut pan till full.
  9. Bake for 11-12 min, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let donuts cool in pan for 5 min then place them on a cooling rack.
  11. Enjoy!

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering 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 )

  • 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! 🙂Join us next week for some Food Blogger Love recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

crgimg_9269

Crust-less Apple & Pear Pie plus a little life update

Hi there friends!
Whew, it has been a pretty crazy few weeks.  Last update we were getting ready for hurricane Harvey to make landfall.  We were braced for the worst, and it was even worse than we expected.  Over the weekend it felt like the calm before the storm.  Then the rain came, and it just didn’t stop.  On Sunday evening we were just hanging out and the police came through in a swat vehicle asking us to voluntarily evacuate.  My initial gut reaction was to get out.  So we took about 30 min or so and grabbed what we could and headed out.  We didn’t know where would we were going to go. We talked about heading to Dallas but I really didn’t want to go that far.  Through the whole process I was texting with one of our good friends and she and her husband ended up booking a hotel for us that was just a few miles away.
When we arrived, I began to have some major anxiety.  It was nerve wracking to not know what was going to happen and to see the news about what had already happened in Corpus Christi.  We tried to settle in the best we could.  The National Guard was also staying at our hotel so I felt a little better knowing they were there.
I am glad we left our home when we did. On Monday they did a mandatory evacuation and by that point the highway going north was flooded so everyone had to go south towards the storm.
We stayed in the hotel for a few days but then they were booked up. So we were able to stay with a wonderful friend of mine.  When drove to her house I was very thankful the roads were clear.  We ended up staying there for a few days and then we were able to go home.


During this whole process I had booked a trip for the Hubs.  His eldest brother passed away on the 22nd and he had planned to go out to the funeral.  When the storm hit the airports closed down.  Thankfully I was able to change his flight and he was able to fly out in time.

This past weekend I headed to another area of Houston and helped out some friends with their kids and homes.  Seeing all the devastation on the news was nothing compared to seeing it in person.  However, in the midst of all the sadness, there was a spirit of unity and hope like I have never seen before! I was just amazed at the number of people just showing up and helping friends, neighbors, and strangers.  This is what our entire nation and world need.  No one cared what race, religion, or political view anyone had.  People just showed up to help and did what they could.  People from all over the nation showed up, sent supplies, & have been sending donations.  JJ Watt’s foundation has raised over 29 million dollars! He is committed to making sure all the money is used for the Houston area and those affected by the floods.  This made me SO happy because so many people have donated to other organizations (*ahem, the Red Cross*) and those organizations do not ensure the money goes to the actual victims of the flood.


Despite all the crazy weather and events the past 2 weeks, we are SO thankful.  I have been trying to get back to somewhat normal life and routine but am still struggling with survivors guilt.  I have heard of it before, but never really dealt with it before.  But let me tell you, it is real.  I have been doing what I can to help in different ways and just continue to be grateful no matter what the circumstances I am facing.

One thing that has helped me a lot is making meals for families.  I love to cook and I love being able to help in tangible ways.  Plus cooking and baking is therapy for me and I def have been needing that after all that has happened the past few weeks.

After all the crazy weather with the storm the weather has actually been really nice.  Cool mornings and delightful warmth in the afternoons.   Throwing on a long sleeve top on my way to work and the gym has been really refreshing.  This change reminds me that Autumn is on it’s way!  This is my favorite time of year.  I love the feeling of crisp air and see the changes in the leaves.  It sometimes happens a little later here in Texas than it does up north, but I love it all the same!

Today I am linking up today for Foodie Friday with Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Farrah from Fairyburger for our fall flavors themed week!
img_0589-1

When I think about fall 2 fruits come to mind, apples and pears.  I have made many an apple pie over the years, but have been thinking about trying to make a slightly healthier version.  We had an abundance of apples and pears in the fridge, and so I got to thinking, and this is what I came up with 🙂

img_0644-1

Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • 2 pears
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/2 c + 2 TBSP coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Core and slice apples and pears into thin slices and place in a large bowl
  3. Drizzle lemon juice over the fruit and mix well
  4. Add in the coconut sugar (sans 2 TBSP) , cinnamon, nutmeg and flour.  Mix till all the fruit is equally covered
  5. Chop the butter into small pieces and place on top of the fruit
  6. Sprinkle on the remaining coconut sugar
  7. Bake for 25-30 min
  8. Enjoy by itself or with some vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering 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 )

  • 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! 🙂
  • Join us next week for some Copy Cat recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

crgimg_9269

Banana cookies with a twist

Hello wonderful friends and happy FRIDAY!!!  This week was another busy week as school began for many of the kids in my life! It has been a week full of personal ups and downs and trying to get in the swing of my new routines!

Something that I need to get back in the routine of is food prepping in my own kitchen.  I cook at work and for a few weekend clients, but somehow have lost the edge when it comes to my own house.  My husband and I have been making some pretty major changes to our eating habits (more on that soon) so I will be working on figuring all that out this weekend.  Costco and I have a nice date planned for tomorrow! Haha

In the midst of slacking on food prep, I had a stash of banans that were SO ready for banana bread or to be frozen for smoothies.  However, I was not really in the mood for actual banana bread, muffins and my freezer is plum full of frozen bananas already! So I decided to get some ideas from Pinterest (always a good idea 🙂 )  I saw a few ideas for making banana cookies.  I looked at a few of the recipes, and I either didn’t have all the ingredients or it involved a very lengthy prep time.  So I decided to try my own banana bread recipe and see how it would work with attempting to make cookies. I was a little concerned we would end up with one giant pile of mush, but surprisingly they turned out really well!

img_9884

Ingredients

  • 5-6 ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 3/4-1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • 3/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the sugar and oil or butter.
  3. Add peeled bananas into the mix and mash well.
  4. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and mix in the vanilla.  Add those to the banana batter, mix well.
  5. Add in the sprinkle of salt, baking soda, mix well.
  6. Add in the flour slowly until just incorporated.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips
  8. Scoop about 1/8 cup of the batter for each cookie and place it on the parchment paper, about 1.5 inches apart from each other.
  9. Bake for 12-15 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Enjoy

This makes about 3 dozen cookies.  I am going to try adding some protein powder next time and use as a post workout snack 🙂

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering 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 )

  • 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! 🙂
  • Join us next week for some Kitchen Cleanse recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

crgimg_9269

Peach & strawberry pops

Happy Friday friends!

Like I said the other day, summer is FLYING by! This week we were honored to have our missionary friends in from Ethiopia! We had a great time catching up, sharing meals and hearing more stories about their adventures!  It was a blessing to be able to host them on their journey across the USA!

As summer comes to a close and the next school years is beginning, I long to cling to all the yummy summer fruits!  One fruit I LOVE is peaches! I have also been loving the price of organic strawberries the past few weeks! So much that I had WAY to many strawberries that needed to use up! With so much fresh fruit in my fridge, I needed to come up with a way to somewhat preserve the feeling of summer! Maybe I am just in denial that school is starting and some of my favorite littles are starting kindergarten!

 

img_9666

Ingredients

Strawberry layer

  • About 15 large strawberries- washed and hulled
  • 1/2 unsweetened almond (or another non-dairy) milk
  • 1 scoop unflavored vital proteins
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Peach layer

  • 2 whole peaches, pit removed and sliced
  • 1/2 unsweetened almond (or another non-dairy) milk
  • 1 scoop vital proteins
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Also need a set of popsicle makers

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in the peach layer
  2. In a separate blender cup or pour peach layer out and mix all of strawberry layer ingredients together.
  3. Fill each popsicle mold with 2 TBSP of the peach mixture followed by 4 TBS of the strawberry mixture.  Top off with 2 TBSP of the peach layer. You may have to adjust the amount depending on the size of your popsicle molds.
  4. Place molds in the freezer for at least 3 hours
  5. Enjoy the last dog days of summer!

 

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering 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 )

  • 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! 🙂
  • Join us next week for some Pinterest Curiosities recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

crgimg_9269

 

Hive 2.0 #ad

Endorsement disclosure: I received these products and services from Hive free of charge, however, all opinions are my own.

Hello friends!

What a busy summer it was! I can hardly believe that some of the schools in my area began yesterday! As life seems to get more and more busy, I keep coming back to trying to simplify as much as possible.  I do what I can to keep things easy-peasy around my house.  If it takes too long to do something, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will do what I can to find a way to make it less complicated and more user friendly!
On that note I have a slightly funny story to tell you all!  You may have seen me post over the last few weeks about the Hive Home system on social media or read about it here.  Here is a little recap of me setting up my thermostat.

So when I went to set up my thermostat, I read over the directions multiple times, I looked at a few Youtube videos and gained confidence that I would be able to set this all up with no complications! I had to shut off the power to our house to make sure I was not going to electrocute myself during this process! I was feeling pretty good about myself as I looked at the old thermostat and was so ready to be done with it!
img_9212

I removed the old thermostat and I got the tools set to install the new one.  The thermostat came with a nice plate to mount behind the thermostat, and I decided to use it so I did not have to do any more painting!  So out came my pink power drill, hammer and the screws.  I got the plate all mounted and then got the thermostat attached to the mount.  Next I had to connect the wires to the right places so that everything would work! After I turned the power back on I came in and it looked like everything was working right! I set up the thermostat on the hub with my app, and I was good to go.  Well at least for a little while.

I was feeling pretty confident with myself and my job.  It looked like everything was going according to plan! A few hours later our house started to feel a bit warm.  I played around with the settings but it was not sending out cool air. Oh dear!  So the next day it was still warm and I called someone to come check it out.  He was super kind and gracious! It turns out there was a wire issue with how things were attached in the attic!! Oh my I was so glad it was a simple fix!  After the issues we had last year with our A/C, I really did not and to have to deal with an issue that would cost thousands of dollars again!

So, even though we had a few issues getting things set up, I was really proud of myself for doing what I could to get the thermostat installed!  I am also SO thankful that within a few hours of our A/C guy coming out, our house was back to normal!

Since we installed the thermostat it has been wonderful! It has been so simple to use the app to change the temperature in the house when we want to.  When we are gone during the day I can make it a little warmer.  Right before I leave work I change it cooler and it is nice and cool by the time I get home.  Our electric bill has also been lower even in the hottest month of the year! I can’t wait to see how it continues to affect our bill in a positive way!

 

 

Have you heard of HIVE Home system before?
How would controlling your thermostat while you are away from home benefit your life?

 

May you be filled with joy and health!

crgimg_9269

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Workout Wednesday- Vegas Style

Hello wonderful friends! Happy Wednesday!

Summer is winding down, and I have mixed feelings about it.  I love the carefree days and all the fun summer brings, but I also love the structure that the school year brings.
This summer my workout schedule has been a bit crazy.  With all the traveling, pet sitting all over town, different work activities my workouts have not looked the same as they typically do!
My trip to Vegas for Blogfest brought a whole new level of workouts!  One thing I love about Idea World convention is the wide variety of workouts that are offered!  There is a workout that fits everyone’s style, and new workouts I had never heard of!
Being a part of BlogFest we were able to participate in 2 really fun workouts that were only for our group.  On Thursday afternoon we were led in a fun workout by Strong by Zumba.  It was really interesting to hear how they create the music for the program and they create the music to match the different moves.  It was a jam packed class full of energy coming from my friends as well as the instructors!  The workout itself was a combination of lots of moves in a HIIT style.
Despite my healing injuries, I was able to do most of the workout 🙂

Friday morning we had another group workout! Propel sponsored a sculpting class workout.  It reminded me a combo between yoga and barre class.  It was a great start to the day.

 

Friday afternoon I had the opportunity to do a workout with Kaisa that was sponsored by Vital proteins. After following her in Instagram seeing all her incredible workouts I was a bit intimidated. I am so glad I ended up not having to be nervous! She’s super sweet and was a great instructor! It was a somewhat smaller class so she was able to come around and give personal instruction. It was another hiit style workout with some modifications for us injured people.

 

Saturday I had the chance to do a WOW workout with Todd Durkin! Let me just saw it was a Rocky inspired workout that left me almost puking! We did a group warm up, had a motivating pow wow then got to work!  We divided up into 6 groups and did some partner workouts.  We did some work all together then split our groups into 6 stations.  I was paired up with a sweet trainer named Sarah! She was a great motivator and kept me inspired to keep going!  Each of the stations used body weight or really simple tools to work with (bands, bosu, ropes).  Each station had 3 exercises that we were supposed to do for 20 seconds each then switch with your partner!  With my current hip and bicep injury it was more of a challenge than normal to get through some of them, but I did!
On the last station and last set of work I was determined to finish! Sarah and the rest of my group was cheering me on and the second I finished the puke almost came! It took everything in me to not loose my lunch! I was really proud of myself! I did many things that I didn’t think I would be able to do!

Later after I recovered from the TD workout, I did a short Les Mills Body Jam demo with some of the Les Mills team! It was neat to meat some of the people who work behind the scenes of Les Mills!
img_8687-1

I arrived home exhausted and motivated at the same time!  I can’t wait to see what this next year of workouts looks like, especially now that I will be teaching Body Pump!

Stay tuned for more Vegas posts coming soon 🙂

Did you do any new workouts this summer?

I am linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday link up!  Annmarie from FitFoodieMama, Nicole from Fitful Focus and Jen from Pretty Little Grub

10912598_10152638558488785_954023868_n

 

May you be filled with joy and health!

crgimg_9269