Tag Archives: Houston

Triple chocolate zucchini muffins {gluten free}

Happy Friday friends!
I am so thankful it is Friday! It has been a bit of a busy week in every area of my life! There are some things brewing that I can not wait to share with you all, and I hope I can share within the next week or so 🙂

Last week began with a fun and crazy event at my gym.  The fitness instructors put on a showcase of many of the Les Mills classes and the members who participated were able to vote to see what new classes they will bring to the gym! It was so much fun to try new classes and get out of my comfort zone!  I was a bit wiped out from that, but it didn’t stop me from picking up the bed for our guest room! It is coming along and I hope it will be all finished soon! Amazing how this last room in the house is taking SO long! Hah
img_4631I joined a CSA last week, and I received my first batch of fruits and veggies! They are so delicious and fresh! I love how different they taste and how I know I am supporting a local organic farmer!
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With all the veggies I received plus a few things I had gotten at Costco I had 2 items that were overtaking my kitchen! It worked out perfect to use many of them up for our Foodie Friday theme today!

Today I am linking up today with Farrah from Fairyburger and  Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama for kitchen cleanse themed week!

I LOVE zucchini, and I have been making zucchini recipes all week but I still had some left.  I love adding them to so many dishes to add an extra dose of veggies! They go so well with so many recipes!

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Ingredients

  • 5 extra ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2-1 cup coconut sugar depending on the level of sweetness you enjoy
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded and chopped into small peices
  • 1/2 cup enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 1/2 enjoy life dark chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line 2 muffin pans with silicon cups (you can also use paper wrappers)
  2. Peel bananas and place in a large mixing bowl (I used my kitchen aid, but you can also mix these by hand). Mash bananas fully.
  3. Add in the coconut oil, mix well.
  4. Add in the coconut sugar, mix well.
  5. Add in the sprinkle of salt, baking soda, cacao powder & cinnamon, mix well.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together and blend in the vanilla.  Add those to the banana mixture, mix well.
  7. Add in the flour until just incorporated.
  8. Gently fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips
  9. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full
  10. Bake for 20 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. You may have leftover batter, and if so, make additional muffins or you can use a small bread pan and make a loaf, bake about 20 min also.
  12. 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 Tex-Mex (hello Cinco De Mayo) recipes.

May you be filled with joy and health!

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Spicy Avocado Eggs

Hi there friends!
Greetings from San Antonio! Here for a girls weekend with 2 of my favorite Sweat Pink girls! Check out Instagram to follow our fun times 🙂
So here is a short and sweet (or actually spicy) recipe to get your weekend off on a kick!
I also have a fun tip to share with you about how I make the perfect hard boiled egg!
I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our spicy themed week!

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Spicy Avocado Eggs

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • water (to boil eggs)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp (plus more to top finished eggs) paprika
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • ice cubes

Directions

  1. Place eggs in a sauce pan, cover with water.
  2. Bring water to a boil and cook eggs for 8 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and fill pan with cold water for 1-2 min or until the water in the pan remains cool.
  4. Place ice cubes in the pan and let them melt. (This helps the eggs peel really easily!)
  5. Peel eggs.
  6. Slice eggs lengthwise.
  7. Pop out the yolks and put in a med size bowl.
  8. Add in avocado and spices and sriracha sauce, mix together well. 
  9. Place yolk mixture in a ziplock bag. Trim a small hole in one of the corners. 
  10. Squeeze even amounts of the yolk mixture into the egg whites.
  11. Sprinkle additional paprika and/or sriracha sauce on top. 
  12. Enjoy!

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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 AnnmarieFarrah, 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! :)

Thanks again for stopping by! Join us again next week for some vegan themed recipes!

May you be filled with joy and health!
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Peppermint Protein Hot Chocolate 

Happy Friday friends!
Been a little quiet this week over here. It was a pretty busy week and I have focusing on some other areas of life. Had a girls night, went to my Bible study group, worked on finding curtains for our master bath (and was successful!) as well as spending quality time with the hubs, some evening kick butt workouts and cooking a LOT!

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Yay for new curtains!

Plus getting ready for another weekend away so yep, it’s been a busy week!

Fall weather decided to grace us with its presence a few mornings this week and even yesterday afternoon! The humidity has dropped to around 50% and it has been feeling glorious! Makes me miss the cool northern fall weather and I even put on our little firepace (minus the heat element for now…hehe)
SO of course this weeks recipe theme was perfect with the change of weather!

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I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our hot & festive drink themed week!

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Peppermint Protein Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup carob chips plus a few to sprinkle on top
  • 1/2 TBSP raw cacao powder
  • 2 scoop unflavored Collagen Peptides
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 oz homemade whipped cream

Directions 

  1. Boil water in a med saucepan then remove from heat
  2. Add in carob chips and whisk till melted/blended.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients (minus the whipped cream) and whisk well together.
  4. Pour into 2 mugs (I love using the mugs we made on our anniversary date last year!)
  5. Add a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of carob chips on top

 

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 AnnmarieFarrah, 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! :)
  • Join us next week for some vegetarian awareness themed recipes!

Be filled with joy and health!
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Houston Marathon!

On Sunday I was honored to be a part of the Houston Marathon!  Not as a runner, but as a volunteer! As a *wanna be* runner I have always wanted to run a marathon.  Every time I have trained something has gotten in the way of me finishing the race.  Injuries and weather have not been my friends.  I will run one, someday, but until then, I am happy with my smaller races and volunteering and cheering on my amazing runner friends!
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I woke up at 4:30 and rolled out of bed.  I got dressed and headed out.  I stopped to get gas and then picked up my friend Lauran was as going not feeling well but was still going to attempt the marathon.  We headed downtown in the dark of the early morning.  We made it with no issues, and I dropped off Lauran close to the start line.  I headed over to the area where I was going to volunteer by mile 20. It was a little confusing since they had closed off so many of the streets.  I was thankfully able to talk some of the police officers to let me through the blockade to get to my post.  I made it to where I was to be, parked and signed in.  So far everything was pretty easy.
I met a few other volunteers and we got to work setting up trash cans and then the cups.  Oh the thousands of cups!  Overall the system was pretty good.  Lay out a layer of cups, fill with water, lay down cardboard and make another layer of cups!  We ended up making 3 layers of cups just for our table, which was probably close to 2000 cups!  And we had 2 sections of Gatorade tables and 4 sections of water tables!  It was a LOT of cups!  I wish I had gotten a better picture of our table when it was all ready!  It looked pretty amazing 😉
We had a little pow-wow and were shown how to hold the cups and the best place to stand for the runners.
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It took a while to get everything ready and then all of a sudden the elite runners were on their way!  It was really amazing to see them run!  They are just SO fast!!! At our station just after mile 20 they clock was reading 1:38.00! I can run about 6-7 miles in the time they run 20!!! Blows my mind every time!  They did not get fuel from us and I would not either if I was running that fast!

About 15-20 min later a few more runners started to trickle in.  Most of them got fuel.  It was neat to see how they drank out of the cups.  Totally inspired me for my next race to try this form of pinching the top of the cup together and drinking out of the side.  Maybe I am late to the party on this one, but I am so glad I now know!
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I was very thankful for my ‘Race Crew’ jacket.  It was chilly at first, and several runners accidentally knocked the cups onto me, but I stayed warm and dry with my jacket.

For the next several hours I was passing out water and cheering.  I tried to call out as many names as possible to encourage the runners!  It was so great to see their faces light up as they heard their names!  I felt bad when I could not see the name or it was something I could not pronounce quick enough.  The table in front of mine had several high school boys helping.  After about 20 min of cheering and passing out one of the boys turned around and commented that I knew EVERYONE!!! Ha, nope, race bibs with names!  LOL
That same group of boys happened to be a bit of an issue.  They kept creeping out into the course to try and give away their water cup. They were also goofing off a bit and one of the kids was cursed out by a runner when he did not pay attention to what he was supposed to be doing.   Sadly the lady who was in charge of the water tables did not seem to handle it very well and ended up screaming at the kids over and over 😦
After a while someone finally figured out that they need to be given a different role.  After they changed roles the water table distribution seemed to go a lot better!
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A few of the volunteers
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When it was over the clean up went very fast!  I was really impressed by that.  All during the race a few of the volunteers continually were raking up the cups that were tossed to the side.  Many of the runners tried to make it into the trash and even apologized when their cups fell to the ground.  Not to worry fellow runners!  You are working your butts off running a MARATHON!  The least we can do it serve you water and pick up a few cups!
The garbage men came along and collected all the trash for us!  There were still a few straggling runners coming through and I felt bad when we did not have any more water.  I guess there had been some sort of delay at the start so some people were not where they thought they would be by 12:30pm.

Overall it was a really amazing experience.  I def felt like I was working and helping people unlike my last race volunteer experience in December where I literally stood/sat for 4 hours and did nothing (cause the role I signed up for ended up not being needed).

(Side note: My friend was not able to finish the race.  She was too sick.  My heart still breaks for her as she worked so hard.  I have full faith she will redeem herself soon!!)

I can not WAIT to volunteer again!! I would love to find at least a few more races to volunteer at this year! (And hopefully a triathlon!!)

Have YOU volunteered at a race?  What was your experience?

XO,
Esther
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Race Recaps…# 17 & 18

This past weekend I did 2 5k races.  One was a local race, and one was a virtual race!
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Saturday morning I got up early (5am), and headed downtown to the race.  It was already a little muggy and I was coming off a week of being sick I really did not expect to do anything more than finishing.  So my goal was just to finish. 
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Got my race bib and took my bits to have some energy for the race!
As I was standing at the start line I looked at my music and realized that I did not have any of my race mixes on my phone! Ahh.  When my computer crashed a few weeks ago it reset the itunes on my phone too…Boo.  So I tried to make a quick little mix for the run.  I was able to pull together about 15 songs, so I could have at least a little upbeat music for the run!
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Ready to rock and roll!  Or at least try… 😉
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The first mile I was able to do 4:1 run:walk intervals and I felt ok.  The first half of the second mile I started to slow down a little and went to a 3:1 interval.  The course was out and back, and at the halfway point I was starting to feel really dizzy and sick, so I decided to just walk and run a little if I felt better.  The sun was out and it was HOT!  When I got to the water station around mile 2 I grabbed a few cups of water and poured it over my arms and my face!  That helped keep me cool a little bit.  I walked the last mile with a few brief intervals of running.  I was able to pick up the pace near the end and finish strong, so I was really happy about that!

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Even though I was slower than I have been recently, I am glad to have just finished!
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On Sunday, I decided to do my virtual race INSIDE!  And I am glad I did as it was another scorcher of a day.
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I met my running buddy at the gym but realized I forgot my shoes!  Since I needed some new ones anyways, I walked over to the New Balance store and picked up a new pair!  They were on clearance and it was no-tax weekend here, so yay for a good deal on shoes!
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The virtual run went ok, and I finished a LOT quicker than I had on Saturday.  It was still hot in the gym, but no where as hot as Saturday morning was outside!
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(Excuse the sweating eye makeup…haha)

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So races # 17 and #18 are in the books!! 15 more to go for my goal this year! 

Did you race this weekend?  How was the weather?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-