The Best Things I Did This Weekend

I am currently staring at all the food I need to put away in the fridge and procrastinating doing so by blogging.

What is all this food I’m staring at? See below. ūüôā

The Best Things I Did This Weekend:

1. Celebrating Fathers’ Day!

There are no words that can justly describe how much Pop means to me. Such a humble, hard working, charitable man. Thank you for everything, Pop!

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We BBQ’d to celebrate and followed typical protocol‚ÄĒ I chop, marinate, and skewer;¬†Dad grills. We make a good team.

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breakfast for Pop: egg white omelet with cheese, greens, red bell peppers, and avocado + turkey bacon + cinnamon apple FlapJacked pancakes

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breakfast for me (unpictured: two or three more spoonfuls of almond butter)

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THE BEST ROASTED SWEET POTATOES EVER

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pork souvlaki

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Moroccan chicken kebabs

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grilled vegetables

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pita with chicken, tomatoes, and homemade cucumber mint yogurt sauce

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When Dad and I grill, we eat super casually. We’ll just graze and try whatever is ready out of the oven or off the grill, as a BBQ should be IMO. It’s like an all night buffet.

2. Logging off of Facebook and Instagram for a majority of the weekend (Friday and Saturday at least).

I dare you to try this. Logging off of social media and not worrying about notifications or checking news feeds did wonders for my focus and breathing. Yes, I was still on Instagram and FB, especially yesterday, but even taking a couple days off helped me realize how much time and energy I spent on social media. I’m going to make this a regular thing.

3. This breakfast.

I rarely have the same breakfast two mornings in a row, but this was a repeat on Friday and Saturday because it was basically 90% prepared and tasted 100% delicious.

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a hefty piece of this banana bread oatmeal bake (that I baked earlier this week) with sunflower seed butter + Greek yogurt with chia, cinnamon, nutmeg, banana, and pb

4. One handed handstand against the wall!

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I’ve tried this in the past and failed, but on Friday night I just went for it again and surprised myself! I did it a few times¬†and called it a day, don’t worry ūüėČ

5. Amanda’s¬†banana muffins.

These babies¬†made their way to the top of some ice cream…

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…and some chia pudding…

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…and into my belly.

6. Surprising mom at the airport during her layover.

It’s a long story as to why she was traveling, but long story short: We got to see her for the first time in about a month at the airport! She was so happy to see us, and we were so happy to see her!

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airport Qdoba doing me good

7. Listening to Tori Kelly’s new album on iTunes radio.

I need to white-girl-fan-girl here, because I CANNOT EVEN handle how amazing it is. I advise you to go listen (on iTunes Radio First Play, but the album drops tomorrow!).

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no one sings or does curly hair quite like her

8. Bareburger with Pop.

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The “SoCal”: turkey burger with sprouts, guacamole, pickled red onions, and a beauteous amount of aged cheddar on a multigrain bun

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vegan carrot cake which rocked our worlds

 9. Eating more than Pop on Saturday.

This is real life. I ate quite a bit more than my dad on Saturday, and I didn’t even try! Granted, we have two opposite goals for our bodies (and…different bodies), but I’m pretty darn impressed with myself!

10. Going to church.

Always the highlight.

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Woo that’s a lot of happenings!¬†Wait, more than half of these are about food. I act surprised, but I guess I shouldn’t be…

Hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

The top three best things you did this weekend!

Do you like repeating breakfast or changing it up?

Did you cook/bake anything amazing this weekend?

Mango Banana Chia Pudding

Some of your comments on yesterday’s post about taking advantage of silence made me laugh out loud.

For one, you guys are actually hilarious. But also, I got the sense that¬†some of you thought I was in.sane. I said that I strangely enjoyed silence in the car while sitting in traffic, but I should have mentioned that I definitely¬†do¬†still listen to the music in the car‚ÄĒ for a majority of the time actually. I just try to devote¬†some¬†time to silence.

My attention span is only slightly longer than that of Dug from Up.

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[source]

Moving on from that matter…

I am quite surprised with myself, because I’m¬†actually¬†crossing a decent number of items off my summer bucket list! If I can get 50% of it done, I will feel like a champion. If I get 90% done, I will call it a miracle. If I get 100% done, I’m lying.

One of my list items was to make at least two new recipes. I made energy balls last week, and this week I have pudding for YOU. Pudding made out of chia seeds.

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Salba Chia was kind enough to send me a bag of their whole chia seeds to try. They call their chia seeds “smarter than your average chia.” I thought a chia was a chia, but apparently not! What makes Salba seeds smarter¬†compared to others?

  • higher in omega-3s
  • higher in protein
  • consistent color that makes recipes more aesthetically appealing
  • non-GMO project verified
  • standardized and nutritionally consistent

Alas, these chia seeds do not necessarily make you smarter. Nevertheless, they are little  powerhouses!

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Y’all might have seen how I love chia seeds in my hot oatmeal, overnight oats, yogurt bowls, and smoothies. But I thought it was time to step out of my box and try chia pudding.

I was very skeptical of chia seed pudding for a long time, because: a) pudding recipes can turn out weird; b) chia seeds are a little creepy if you just look at them; c) will it really taste good?

a) This is easy. I mean, I made it, so you know it’s dummy¬†proof.

b) The neutral color of Salba chia helps a little.

c) It most certainly can taste fabulous! And this one does, if I do say so myself.

You can eat this pudding straight up, in a parfait with some Greek yogurt and granola, on top of ice cream, with more fresh mango and banana, or with a couple peanut butter cookies like I did (as inspired by Kylie’s recipe).

Whichever way you enjoy this, make sure you share it with others and tell them how this luscious pudding required classic French techniques. Then smirk on the inside because it actually took about 10% effort. Then tell them the truth because honesty is the best policy.

Mango Banana Chia Pudding

  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • half of a very ripe medium banana, sliced
  • half of a ripe medium mango, roughly chopped
  • 5 small or 3 large dates, pitted and roughly chopped

* I used 1% milk, but unsweetened nut milk or even light coconut milk would work!

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.

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Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight is best!).

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After refrigerating, the mixture will be very thick and gelatinous (It passes the upside-down DQ Blizzard test.) Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blend. You may have to add a splash of milk to get things going.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Feel fancy.

Honesty is the best policy: Salba Chia sent me their seeds to try for free. All content and opinions are all my own.

Wishing you all a kick-butt day!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried chia seed pudding before?

What are your favorite ways to use chia seeds?

What is your favorite easy dessert recipe?¬†Amanda’s banana bread mug cake forever.

A Very Blogger-esque Weekend

Ermahgersh.

That has been my catch phrase of the weekend, because everyone and everything that I encountered deserved such a remark. Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start!

Friday

I took the day off from my {unpaid} physical therapy internship to spend the day in NYC. First of all, can I just tell you about how I had to run to catch my train? Running (literally) late¬†left me shaking due to a lack of high intensity exercise¬†recently. I was¬†late for no reason other than¬†the fact that I’m terrible at managing my time and I get distracted too easily. Working on it.

First stop in the city was to meet my dad for lunch! He took me out to one of his favorite spots called Dig Inn, which is such a healthy living blogger eatery. Just look at this sign‚ÄĒ made of wood, says “seasonal market”. Fits all the criteria already.

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lentil salad with upstate apples // roasted sweet potatoes // bulgur with wild salmon salad

It was kinda like a full service version of Whole Foods hot bar, but even fresher and more delicious.

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This is me with the Brooklyn Bridge and the city air that left soot in my nose.

Then I saw this kangaroo sausage lover!

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Arman from The Big Man’s World! Upon meeting, he immediately boosted my ego saying, “I thought you were going to be tinier (shorter)!” That was an exciting compliment!

But seriously, Arman is such a cool and genuine dude. It was an honor walking and talking with the Australian no-bake master in person. He even brought me a batch of his newest strawberries and cream bars, which are not only me-approved, but Pop-approved. Go make them!

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The sunshine, heat, walking, talking, and less-than-ideal amount of sleep during the week left me royally pooped at the end of the day. I didn’t even have the energy to take a shower before going to bed, which is nasty but I did not care.

Saturday

I started the day inspired by Arman’s creations with this strawberries and cream “oatmeal pudding” based on his cake batter oatmeal.

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The rest of the day involved chores, handstands, bodyweight leg exercises, church, and experimenting in the kitchen.

I found turkey bacon in our freezer, resulting in the strong urge to wrap it around chicken. So I searched Pinterest, found this recipe for cheese-and-pepper-stuffed, bacon-wrapped chicken, and made it for dinner. I just used turkey bacon and garlic herb cheddar instead of real bacon and regular cheddar.

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This was one of the best decisions I’ve made all week! Is that sad? I say nay, because this was freaking fantastic. I served it with saut√©ed onions and mushrooms, and steamed veggie medley.

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Dad asked what I would name the chicken dish (besides “cheddar and pepper stuffed bacon wrapped chicken”). I said that it kinda looks like a race car, so he said it should be Chicken Lamborghini.

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Close one eye and envision the Chicken Lamborghini. Close the other eye if needed.

For dessert I baked peanut butter cookies¬†(for a belated National Peanut Butter Cookie Day celebration) and prepared a new mango banana chia pudding recipe that I’ll be sharing later!

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Sunday

It’s always fun when we get to make Sunday a pancake day! Strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes from Smitten Kitchen to be exact.

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The crisp of the cornmeal will get you out of bed

I am a major cornbread fan, so any opportunity to make cornbread in breakfast form is an opportunity to snatch.

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buttah, baby

And because I wanted peanut butter, I ate a bowl of full fat Greek yogurt with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, and a big spoonful of pb alongside my griddle cakes.

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More blogger interaction took place in the afternoon. In addition to texting Alison and Hayley¬†throughout the weekend,¬†I FaceTimed the beautiful Julia from Lord Still Loves Me!¬†Despite some crappy wifi connection, we managed to have a¬†lovely conversation. She is such a sweet and genuine lady‚ÄĒ I adore her!

I’m starstruck from this weekend.

I also baked this banana bread baked oatmeal, which I’m saying is for my dad, but we’ll see how much actually gets to his mouth before it gets to mine.

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So yes‚ÄĒ a very blogger-esque weekend. Meeting bloggers, cooking, eating, blogging… I think I’m going to continue the trend and get my yoga on right now.

Hope you all have a joyous day!

So tell me:

What is the best thing you ate this weekend?

What would you name the cheese-and-pepper-stuffed, bacon-wrapped chicken?

Which bloggers would you love to meet in person (I’m not looking for myself as an answer, promise!)?