Purple Sweet Potatoes

They are back.

The elusive, the mythical, the one other time I found them I spent 20 dollars on them. Purple sweet potatoes;)

The last time they were at Kroger was around Thanksgiving. THANKSGIVING. That is quite a long time to go without such a fantastic food.

Naturally, I bought every single one that I could find at Kroger. They are currently sitting in my fridge, just waiting to be devoured.

For those of you who have never had a purple sweet potato, they are like a sweet potato, but better. They are denser, sweeter, and look much cooler. THEY ARE NOT THE BULK PURPLE POTATOES. Purple potatoes and purple sweet potatoes are two very different things. One is sweet, the other just tastes like a potato, plus it turns blue after you cook it. Imposter.

My favorite way to enjoy these babies is baked in the oven at 400F for one hour. After that I smother it with peanut butter and cinnamon. It warms me up, which is something MUCH NEEDED after the current snowstorm which had trapped me in my house, and it is such a treat.

Perfectttttttttt

Perfectttttttttt

Have you guys ever had the wonderful privilege of having a purple sweet potato??

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Going to the Gym Tips + Pre-Workout Nutrition

Going to the gym can be a menacing task, trust me, I get that. In my utopian world, it would always be forty-five degrees, with a light breeze, and a hazy sun. Running outside motivates me more than any monotonous machines and sweaty drips.
But, this isn’t my paradise. Storms, arctic winds, saunic heat waves, and blizzards plague my area, and sometimes the gym is the only option.
But I always try to fit in my workout. It keeps me sane and lets me achieve something every day. (Well, except on rest days:)
It has taken me some time, but I have found ways to make the treadmill (*cough* dreadmill *cough*) or other machine more bearable.

1. Music, Audiobooks, Instagram, Internet- DISTRACTIONS.
Use whatever distractions you can to keep yourself sane. Personally, I love love love music. I can get lost in a good playlist. It keeps me from getting too “thinky”. One machines like the stepmaster though, you can check instagram or surf the web, because the lower body is so isolated. This is serves as an amazing distraction.

2. Intervals
Interval, or HIIT, training, is extremely effective and entertaining. With intervals typically between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, you constantly are changing treadmill (or bike/elliptical) speeds or inclines. It also mentally makes working out easier. “Mini-goals” can be more easily set.

3. Set Mini-Goals
Chunk you workout into a couple parts and focus on a chunk at a time. Running 2 miles 3 times is SO much easier than running six miles.

4. Eat a good pre-workout snack or meal.
Fuel yourself well. The best for me is to eat a bigger dinner a few hours before. I find that eating a majority of carbs, and some fat and protein is perfect. But experiment, because every body is different!

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Pre-workout tonight (eaten about 2 hours before my workout) was Farro, cooked with date chutney, carrot and veggie broth, tossed with corn, lettuce, and tofu. I served it with a potato and peanut butter!

5. Prepare
Lay out your workout clothes, bag, water bottle, headphones, whatever you need, BEFORE you start your day. Put that in your car, or by your door. That way when you have to go workout- you have no excuse at all.

6. Just do it.
Think of how much better you will feel after the workout. Then smile, and crush it. If your put your mind to it, anything is possible!

What are some of your favorite workout tips? Share then below!

Recap of a Crazy Busy Week- Some Fun Recipes!

This week was insanity. A nonstop whirl of school, rehearsal, runs throughout the neighborhood, and long hours at the gym (the treadmill has become bearable.. but I will always refer to it as the “dread-mill”)

So, the blog kind of took a backseat position for a few days- but, don’t worry, I thought of you all often, and took many pictures after creating a couple of fun things!

This week brought about quite a few wonderful oatmeal bowls:

I found some Justins peanut butter cups on clearance at Kroger, and I bought ALL of them. Oh my gosh, I recommend them so much! Anyway, Monday morning brought some rather simple vanilla zoats, topped with a banana, a peanut butter cup, some raspberries, some pistachios, and some of Justins honey peanut butter! So delicious and filling!

I found some Justins peanut butter cups on clearance at Kroger, and I bought ALL of them. Oh my gosh, I recommend them so much!
Anyway, Monday morning brought some rather simple vanilla zoats, topped with a banana, a peanut butter cup, some raspberries, some pistachios, and some of Justins honey peanut butter!
So delicious and filling!

I was forced to upgrade my bowl for Tuesdays oatmeal. The combination of zucchini, orange, egg whites, and protein powder flooded my usual bowl. I wasn't complaining though! Chocolate Orange Zoats made with some Vega Protein Powder. I topped this thick porridge with a chopped banana, and some melted Trader Joes Salted Peanut Butter.

I was forced to upgrade my bowl for Tuesdays oatmeal. The combination of zucchini, orange, egg whites, and protein powder flooded my usual bowl. I wasn’t complaining though!
Chocolate Orange Zoats made with some Vega Protein Powder. I topped this thick porridge with a chopped banana, and some melted Trader Joes Salted Peanut Butter.

This photo looks so strange. I tried to make it aesthetically pleasing but it just looks.. awkward. Oh well, the bowl tasted quite amazing! Vanilla Zoats topped with a Justins Peanut Butter Cup and a sliced banana!

This photo looks so strange. I tried to make it aesthetically pleasing but it just looks.. awkward. Oh well, the bowl tasted quite amazing!
Vanilla Zoats topped with a Justins Peanut Butter Cup and a sliced banana!

This was a good one! Friday morning oats, complete with an aesthetic flair! Gingerbread cookie oats (recipe needs some refining but watch out for it!) topped with a peanut butter cup, a banana, some pistachios, and some Trader Joe's List Flax and Chia Peanut Butter!

This was a good one! Friday morning oats, complete with an aesthetic flair!
Gingerbread cookie oats (recipe needs some refining but watch out for it!) topped with a peanut butter cup, a banana, some pistachios, and some Trader Joe’s List Flax and Chia Peanut Butter!

I eat oatmeal everyday, but a couple of the bowls I either forgot to take a picture of, orrrr I am saving them for an upcoming recipe post! So watch out for some delicious ideas coming your way!

But this week had more than oatmeal. So, so, so, much more. Like this:

A grilled mango and dark chocolate sandwich. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. MANGO AND CHOCOLATE SMASHED BETWEEN BREAD AND THEN TOASTED. CAN I GET AN AMEN!

A grilled mango and dark chocolate sandwich. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. MANGO AND CHOCOLATE SMASHED BETWEEN BREAD AND THEN TOASTED.
CAN I GET AN AMEN!

OK that one was super enthralling for me. And it tasted amazing. Mmmm. But I do eat more than chocolate and oatmeal, I promise haha.

Last Sunday night I made a giant batch of 16 beans soup that lasted me half of the week! It was so convenient, and super tasty as well! All I did was leave a "16 bean mix" from Kroger to soak overnight. Then I added broth and cooked the soaked beans for 1 hour. I added an onion, a bag of frozen sliced carrots, a tbs of chili powder, a tbs of sriracha, a teaspoon of salt, and other spices to taste, and let that simmer for another hour. Viola! Easy soup! To serve, I would add boiled potatoes, some go veggie cheese, and some sriracha sauce! So delicious!

Last Sunday night I made a giant batch of 16 beans soup that lasted me half of the week! It was so convenient, and super tasty as well!
All I did was leave a “16 bean mix” from Kroger to soak overnight. Then I added broth and cooked the soaked beans for 1 hour. I added an onion, a bag of frozen sliced carrots, a tbs of chili powder, a tbs of sriracha, a teaspoon of salt, and other spices to taste, and let that simmer for another hour. Viola! Easy soup!
To serve, I would add boiled potatoes, some go veggie cheese, and some sriracha sauce! So delicious!

A quick and easy pre-gym meal for me this week! A tortilla stuffed with hummus, greens, tofu, shredded carrots, and go veggie cheese. Alongside some carrots, this always got me through my workout with energy and no upset stomach! (Runners trots are the WORST!)

A quick and easy pre-gym meal for me this week! A tortilla stuffed with hummus, greens, tofu, shredded carrots, and go veggie cheese. Alongside some carrots, this always got me through my workout with energy and no upset stomach! (Runners trots are the WORST!)

And then the weekend rolled around. The weekends are my favorite, as they are usually filled with activities I enjoy that keep me busy. School is busy, but isn’t exactly fun haha. But I would rather be at school than be at home doing nothing. It is probably just me, but laying around is only entertaining for a couple hours before I just feel lazy and bored!!!

The weekend was also filled with easy snacks and meals.

A snack that I will always enjoy. A quest bar and some fruit. So easy, so fast, and SO FILLING.

A snack that I will always enjoy. A quest bar and some fruit. So easy, so fast, and SO FILLING.

A "big snack", or just a typical snack for me heehheehehe. 2 pieces of toasted Ezekial Bread smashed together with Go Veggie Cheese, served up with a rainbow of fruits and veggies!

A “big snack”, or just a typical snack for me heehheehehe.
2 pieces of toasted Ezekial Bread smashed together with Go Veggie Cheese, served up with a rainbow of fruits and veggies!

And now I am sitting at my computer, after completing a AWESOME half-marathon this morning. Eating this:

Greek Yogurt topped with a chopped apple, some blackberries, and some sweet potato butter (SO GOOD OMG)

Greek Yogurt topped with a chopped apple, some blackberries, and some sweet potato butter (SO GOOD OMG)

And that was my week! Next week will bring in some recipes, so keep your eyes peeled!!!

Cocoa Roasted Butternut Squash + This Weeks Favorites

The first week of the New Year has opened with triumphant bang- I have high hopes for the upcoming days that will mesh together to mold 2015. Strange, typing that phrase on this document. 2015. It feels like a wind has settled right beneath my fingertips, a final goodbye to 2014.

At school particularly, It feels quite strange writing 2015 in the corner-tops of my papers, for even though I acknowledge in my head it is 2015, the idea hasn’t permeated my conscious thinking too effectively. Oh well, hopefully by October I will have the year straight in my mind 😉

This Sunday was one for the running PR books. I ran my farthest distance yet, clocking in a 14.34 miles. Typing it makes is that much more real, and my heart dances thinking I ran over a half-marathon. In the past few weeks, while my pace has improved slightly along with my average mileage, the thing that has seen the most improvement is my mental fortitude. I used to be unable to run far distances on a track, but on wonderful christmas cruise I breezed through 9 miles on the upper level track. I used to groan at the thought of running after school, but now I rush home so I can hit the road. Running truly does become an obsession after you get into it. I can’t picture my life without it anymore. I am enthralled for the races that this year shall bring. I have a few that I am keeping my eye on at the moment, and am hoping to sign up soon 🙂

This week was also a celebratory one for my taste buds. I whipped a butternut squash from my closet and performed some magic, and am pleased to share the final result!

Look at this beauty. Oh, it was gone so fast. I couldn't get enough of the rich taste!

Look at this beauty. Oh, it was gone so fast. I couldn’t get enough of the rich taste!

It was so easy too. First, I cut the stem from the squash, cut it in half, and seeded it. Then, I heat the oven to “convection bake, 425F” and placed the halves in on a baking tin, face up, and let it bake for around 45 minutes. Before I put the halves in, I topped them with some cocoa powder, cinnamon, and stevia. Then, after I let it cool, I added peanut butter and coconut oil, and devoured it! Some melted dark chocolate on this would have been perfecttttt.

I need to buy more squash ASAP, I am down to the bare bones in my pantry….

I also created some quick and easy broccoli slaw. At Meijer this week, all of the broccoli slaw went on “managers special”, and was about $1 for a huge bag of the stuff. So, naturally, I bought four big bags. I made broccoli pasta with most of it (just broccoli slaw sautéed with garlic and spaghetti sauce- SO EASY AND YUMMY), but I had an idea to make some coleslaw after I saw something similar on pintrest.

This was easy as well (I love easy!). All I needed was 1.5 cups raw broccoli slaw, 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard, some spices (I threw in onion powder, paprika, and some pepper), as well a tablespoon of craisons (or raisons), and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds. So so so easy, and so delicious! Just mix and serve!

Yum! And so colorful!!

Yum! And so colorful!!

I also had the most delicious bowl of oatmeal ever. Lately I have been loving “flooding” my oatmeal, which is basically just splashing the piping hot oatmeal with a cool liquid. My favorite is juice- specifically carrot or pomegranate juice. (I could talk about carrot juice foreverrrr. I love love LOVE the stuff. Any yes, I am slightly orange!)

Sweet potato pomegranate oats, topped with a banana, peanut butter, and a splash of pomegranate juice. So wonderful, and so full of carbilicioius energy!

Sweet potato pomegranate oats, topped with a banana, peanut butter, and a splash of pomegranate juice. So wonderful, and so full of carbilicioius energy!

This week has been a great week so far! I am hoping for a strong finish, and not just to the week but for the year. Maybe that it looking ahead too far, but thinking in advance is one of my guilty pleasures 🙂

How has your week been? Tell me below!! (I won’t bite!!)