Protein Powered Mason Jar Muesli

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Wait…what in the heck is a Muesli?!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been packing my breakfasts for work (in addition to my daily green smoothie)…and besides the usual overnight oats, I decided to give Muesli a go. And besides, I have some kickass protein powders that I figured belonged in my breakfast (and no longer in my smoothie…I think I over did it for the last month, so I’m all about switching thangs up).

But wait…for realz, what is muesli?

According to our friend the Dictionary and Wikipedia, muesli is a: breakfast and brunch dish based on raw rolled oats and other ingredients including grains, fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts, and may be mixed with cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, other forms of plant milk, yogurt or fruit juice. 

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Now, I’m not a fan of mixing oats with juice but I’m all about the yogurt and almond milk combo. It’s really nourishing, filling and pretty friggin’ deeeeelish.

This recipe makes breakfast even more amazeballs. It keeps you satisfied because it’s jam packed with protein (that Bob’s Red Mill, really hits it on the head), a variety of textures (I’m all about the crunchy) and keeps the body cool. Sometimes hot oatmeal is not sexy on a muggy summer day.

Besides, don’t you think your breakfast could use an upgrade?! I know I like a little variety (here’s my overnight oats recipe…it’s similar and perfectly adaptable).

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Summertime fine Chai Frappuccino {better than you know who}

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Cough…

Cough…

And another cough.

Ok Mother Nature can we get some stability? What’s going on?! I was totally digging the warm 80 degree weather with the occasional rain shower cuz that feels hellagood and now homegirl has switched it up on me.

And then the coughing started. I was just getting into my flow with the whole iced beverage thing and was cleansing for the last week or so…and now I’m back to hot dranks. What’s good though?!

I am legit coughing and typing this blog post as I lick my lips reminiscing on the million smoothies I was experimenting with over the last week or so. Honestly, we’ve kept it pretty simple in our home. It would be untrue and a whole bunch of bs if I said this wasn’t with the wedding in mind. Um hello bride to be in less than 100 days over here!

Can we take a quick moment to breathe that in?!

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Satisfying Snacking

Image I’m the type of person who gets HANGRY. Like, I get the serious case of the grumpies when I don’t eat something. I try my best to pack snacks or keep something on hand for those moments when I can’t get to the munching. When I’m out, especially with people who aren’t vegan or gluten free, it can be a struggle. I mean, who really wants to go out for tempeh tacos besides me? But thankfully I am slowly discovering new snacks that I can keep stashed in my purse or work drawer for those moments when I really need to gnaw on something delicious AND nutritious.

I was recently given the AMAZING opportunity to check out Vega’s brand new Vega Bars thanks to the ladies over at FitApproach. I don’t know about you but I’m not a huge fan of these mainstream meal replacement, protein or snack bars. Lately, it’s just all processed crap and usually has gluten or dairy which is totally unfair to me. Why in the world would I want to sacrifice my amazing stomach and healthy gut for something that doesn’t taste that great either?!

I was pleasantly surprised by the awesomeness of Vega’s brand new bars (meal replacement, snack, energy and protein). I have to admit my favorite was the Snack Bar: Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts and Sea Salt (for obvious reasons- I’m a chocoholic and I LOVE the combo of sea salt and chocolate).

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Photo credit: FitApproach & Vega Bars

One thing I am not fond of for most “health food” bars is the granular texture and the amount of added sweeteners. These particular bars had a great texture, were very tasty but they did have agave (which is fructose. I do wish they used coconut sugar or even just nixed the sugar, we don’t need that!) and at most had a whopping 19 grams of sugar per bar.  Thankfully the snack bars weren’t loaded with sugar and had at most 8 grams. I probably won’t go for the Vega Sport (protein or energy) bars because of the sugar content.

I really appreciate that Vega really focuses on adding greens, Omega 3’s, plant based protein and good flavors to these bars. The variety was absolutely delicious even though I didn’t eat the peanut butter flavor (allergic-yikes). I don’t advocate replacing your meals with these bars as a weight loss regimen or a diet. If you’re looking to nibble and just want a nutritious snack, these are a great option. I would really stick with a diet that’s rich in REAL, whole, nutritious foods- think veggies, fruits, whole grains (if you do grains), healthy fats, cut back on sugar and generously consume green smoothies. Overall, I really enjoyed these bars and hope you give them a try to see how you feel after eating them.

Have you tried a Vega Bar in the past?

What are your thoughts?

Peace, love and NO Beef!

Guramrit

I Sold My Soul to Tough Mudder

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In 3 months and 3 days I will embark on an incredibly frightening but exhilarating journey, Tough Mudder.  On April 19, 2014, my boyfriend, myself and our team of adventurists will attempt to conquer one of the most difficult obstacle courses known to man (or woman). A few months ago we made this bold decision but only recently decided to shell out the dreaded $155 entry fee and sign a waiver indicating our awareness of these physically, emotionally and mentally demanding 10-12 mile obstacle course. As I was reading the waiver,  I started to fear for my life. I read through the entire waiver and came across the paragraph of inherent risks:

I understand and acknowledge that the inherent risks include, but are not limited to: 1) contact or collision with persons or objects (e.g., collision with spectators or course personnel), contact with other participants, contact or collision with motor vehicles or machinery, and contact with natural or man-made fixed objects or obstacles); 2) encounter with obstacles (e.g., natural and man-made water, road and surface hazards, close proximity and/or contact with thick smoke and open flames, barbed wire, pipes, and electric shocks); 3) equipment related hazards (e.g., broken, defective or inadequate competition equipment, unexpected equipment failure, imperfect course conditions); 4) weather-related hazards (e.g., extreme heat, extreme cold, humidity, ice, rain, fog); 5) inadequate first aid and/or emergency measures; 6) judgment- and/or behavior-related problems (e.g., erratic or inappropriate co-participant behavior, erratic or inappropriate behavior by the participant, errors in judgment by personnel working the event; and 7) natural hazards (e.g. uneven terrain, rock falls, lightning strikes, earthquakes, wildlife attacks, contact with poisonous plants, marine life
and/or ticks).

Um….what? Contact with open flames? Electric shocks? What in the hell am I signing up for? My boyfriend and I just looked at each other before clicking submit, really contemplating if this was a good idea. After REALLY thinking it through, we made the decision to sign up.

We printed out our workout to get us prepared for the big day which includes burpees, walking lunges, pull-ups (my favorite- not really), butt kicks, pushups, squats and more- pretty much the Insanity Workout, times 10. We have successfully completed Insanity two times when we were in college (before the hype) so we really thought it would be cake or at least a little easier. Not that we aren’t in good shape but this workout was intense. We were dripping sweat and dreaded the 2 minutes of burpees and dirty ballerinas (frog jumps-but dirty ballerina sounds more fun). I anticipate that this will get easier over time as our stamina and endurance improves. My two month hiatus from the gym really did not help either (thank you concussion, you will not be missed). Luckily, I workout everyday doing yoga, walking, Jillian Michael’s DVD’s (her Yoga Meltdown DVD is BOMB- in case you were wondering) and am slowly getting back into Zumba and running or else this would seem completely unrealistic.

Even though I am fearful for my life (I really do not want to be subjected to electric shocks or run through fire) I know that having a great team, training and eventually letting go of my fear will make this a fun experience (progress pics will be posted throughout my bootcamp training since I anticipate some sexy abs from this).

Pray for me as I embark on this ridiculously insane but amazing adventure!

As a Tough Mudder I Pledge That: 

  1. I understand Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge
  2. I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time
  3. I do not whine-kids whine (waaah) 
  4. I help my fellow mudders complete the course
  5. I overcome all fears! 

Peace, love and NO beef!

Guramrit

From Sunday Funday Dinner to Super Leftover Meatless Monday

After a beautiful Sunday service at Unity of New York I began to crave something new. Yes, this is possible. I wanted to create something I haven’t created before (and add my own spin of course). After much contemplation I decided to make a veggie paella. Traditionally paella is made with seafood and poultry or other meat products but it is chock full of veggies and made with smoked paprika, short grained rice and saffron. I found a fabulous recipe on Tienda.com which I ultimately revamped and made my own to cater to the picky-ness of my household. Here is this delectable recipe:

What you need:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced (a lot of garlic but I LOVE GARLIC)
1 large yellow bell pepper (or any other color)
2 tablespoons of smoked paprika (or regular if you can’t find smoked)
2 zucchini, cubed
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped (I didn’t seed or peel, I love the liquid)
1 cup chopped Tuscan kale
2 cups frozen peas
3 cups of vegetable broth/stock (keep warm)
1 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of one lemon
5-10 strands of saffron
1 1/2 cups of short grained rice (you can use arborio, bomba, brown, or calaspara rice)
Salt and pepper to taste

How you make it:
1. In a large pan (if you have a rice pan, use that) heat the oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until translucent (or tender). Add smoked paprika, saffron, zucchini and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes (raise heat to medium for this).

2. Stir in rice and stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat back to medium low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

3. Once most of the liquid is absorbed toss in the kale, peas, half of the cilantro and stir.

4. The paella is ready when the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. If you like the crunchy rice at the bottom, turn up the heat to high for just about a minute. Once you smell the toasting of the rice, shut the heat, add the lemon juice and serve.

I ate this for dinner last night and tonight! I served it with fresh tomatoes and avocado today. Delish!

This is the perfect meal for Meatless Mondays!

That’s all for now lovers!

Peace, love and veggie paella,

Guramrit