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father’s day!

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. School is finally over so I have more time to devote to the blog and I am excited about it! Although I will be attending summer school, I’m hoping to be able to blog more frequently and often!!!!! I missed you guys :)!

I had a great weekend spent with family. Father’s day was memorable and might just have to be repeated next year! My Nana Min came to visit all the way from Seattle, Washington so we took her on a hike near South Lake Tahoe to a scenic spot at Wood’s Lake.

Our day consisted of….

hangin with the best dad ever

the stylish cookie dog posing for the camera

eating my fave new chips, which are gluten free too!

preeeetty views

pictures with nana!

balancing on treacherous logs

a visit to Sorensen’s in Hope Valley for dinner!

relaxing in a hammock at Sorensen’s resort after a long day of hiking

devouring dinner… Chicken, corn-on-the-cob, dill potato salad, and green salad with an amazing basil vinaigrette

AND of course, dessert. Sorensen’s famous mixed berry cobbler!

it was a great day!!!

I LOVE YOU DAD!!!!

xoxo

Kara

WIAW #13

Happy first Wednesday of May! I can’t believe it’s already that time…I’m almost finished with my second year of college! This  cannot be real life. May is going to be an eventful month: Pi Social (Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropy event where we get pied in the face to raise money for literacy haha!), Cinco de Mayooo, Whole Earth Festival (if you enjoy hippies, henna and delicious vegan food, you’d love this), Houseboats on Lake Shasta, midterms and lots of schoolwork (but that’s a given!).

pi social last year!

after being whip cream pied in the face..

hola amigos!

whole earth festival 2011

HB2K11. so. much. fun.

I’m so happy its MAY!!!!!!

Let’s move on to what I ate on the very first Wednesday of the month!

Breakfast:

smoothie in a bowl: huge handful of spinach, 1 c frozen bluebs, 1 scoop vega vanilla protein powder, cinnamon topped with ezekiel golden flax cereal and bee pollen (i’ve been feeling a little sick lately and am not sure if it’s allergies so i picked up some of this at the co op to see if it makes a difference! look out for it on an upcoming freaky food friday..)

After an intense spin class and some weight lifting, (I focused on arms and butt today. Try doing arm circles with 2 lb weights for a minute or two and your arms will be BURNING!) I was so ready for lunch!

Lunch:

salad with chopped apple, cukes, carrot, blue cheese, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds and balsamic dressing & a dr. praegers veggie burger with spicy brown mustard on the side!

Dinner: 

another smoothie with spinach…seriously cannot get enough of smoothies these days. they are so quick, filling and easy when you’re in a pinch for time (which i have been!). this one was soooo good. spinach, frozen banana, vega vanilla protein powder, psyllium, cinnamon, spoonful of pb topped with cacao nibs! it tasted like a peanut butter cup!

Snack: 

museli (oats, dried blueberries, raisins, pecans, pistachios) + ezekiel golden flax cereal + homemade almond milk (!!!!) + strawberries. perfect study snack!

I also tried one of these delicious cornmeal pancakes my roomsicle Amy made. Find the recipe here..SO GOOD!

Thanks to Jenn for hosting again this week! Check out all the other bloggers yummy eats at her blog.

Questions of the day:

What was the best thing you ate today?

Have you ever tried a green smoothie/added spinach to a smoothie? What did you think?

What are looking forward to in May?

xoxoxox lotsa love,

Kara

freaky {food} friday: psyllium seed husks

Helloooo there! I am so happy that…

thank god!

this cat = me

And today I wanted to do a fun little Freaky Food Friday since I haven’t done one in so long! This Friday’s freaky food is psyllium seed husks!

What is psyllium seed husks?

Ever heard of Metamucil? It’s made of psyllium seed husks!

Plantago psyllium is a plant native to Iran and India. The stalks of the plant contain tiny seeds covered in husks, which is the psyllium seed husks we can eat! It has a long history of use in traditional and herbal medicines, and is quickly becoming popular for use in weight control and intestinal health. It contains a spongy fiber (soluble fiber) that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. If you are following a low carb diet, chances are you aren’t getting enough fiber – psyllium can provide that fiber you need! Every 100 grams of psyllium provides 71 grams of soluble fiber; a similar amount of oat bran would contain only 5 grams of soluble fiber. Only recently have scientists learned that soluble fiber has unique effects on metabolism. The herb also provides a feeling of fullness that is helpful before meals. Psyllium is one of the simplest, healthiest and most effective herbs for weight control.

Psyllium fiber is not broken down as it passes down the gastrointestinal tract and so it has no nutritive value other than as a source of fiber. Adding water to dry psyllium causes it to swell to up to ten times its original volume – the reason why it helps with satiety. For many years products containing psyllium (aka Metamucil) have been used to increase fecal bulk and loosen stools, as ways of treating constipation. It also has the advantage over other sources of fiber for reducing flatulence and bloating. It may be recommended by a physician to help soften stool and reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.

Psyllium husks are great to use in gluten free baking. It can be used as a replacement for xanthan gum and pectin (which helps bind and thicken substances).

What does it taste like?

It has a earthy, wheaty taste. It reminds me of this cereal!

Why should you eat it?

Well, for one, it gets things movin down there if ya know what I mean! If you’re constipated, psyllium husk should be your go-to!

But it also keeps you full, is tasteless (so it can be added to anything), has been proven to lower cholesterol, and is an excellent herb to promote overall health and wellness! I would recommend adding a teaspoon or two to your smoothies (it will also make them thicker) at first every day and then you can gradually go up to adding a tablespoon!

What are its nutrition facts?

2 tablespoons are 35 calories with 9 g of fiber and 10 g of carbohydrate. I usually only use about a tablespoon or less.

Where can I find psyllium?

I found my psyllium at Trader Joe’s, although I don’t think they sell it anymore. It can be found online at amazon.com or at your local health food store. Sometimes it’s even in the bulk bins! Be sure to look for “whole psyllium husks.”

thank you trader darwins!

Recipes!

Healthy cookies with flax and psyllium? These are a must try!

Dr. Oz’s Magical Breakfast Blaster smoothie calls for psyllium (he says psyllium is an essential ingredient for every smoothie)!

Gluten free flatbread recipe using psyllium here!

Raw strawberry pie. I need to make this ASAP!

My overall score:

Psyllium is awesome. I love adding it to my smoothies because it really makes them thicker and I can’t even taste or tell a difference in texture. After a few days of unhealthy eating, I always turn to psyllium to help detoxify my body. My favorite way to add it in my diet is to make the recipe below! It gets an A+.

A Blondie Bakes and Bikes Recipe!

Vanilla-y Cinnamon Fiber Pudding

serves 1 (a great low-cal snack in between meals that keeps you full!!)

Ingredients:

1 T psyllium seed husks

couple shakes cinnamon

half a packet of stevia (I use NuNaturals stevia) or the full packet if you want it more sweet – you could also use agave, honey, real sugar, nothing…

1/3 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can also use plain and add a little vanilla extract) + a little more for mixing in afterwards

Directions:

Mix the first three ingredients in a cup.

up close to the psyllium!

dry ingredients

Add 1/3 c almond milk and stir.

VAM added

Let sit for about 5-10 minutes (the longer you wait, the thicker it will get). I personally don’t like it super thick (sometimes I just drink it right after so it’s more like cereal and milk) so I wait for about 5 minutes and then add a splash more of almond milk!

looks nast but i swear it’s good!

And that’s it! So quick and easy. You could also mix in some oats, fruit, nuts, coconut, nut butter, etc and add more almond milk for a filling breakfast porridge! Yum 🙂

Have a happy Friday friends!! Don’t forget to write “psyllium seed husks” on your next grocery list!

xoxox

Kara

WIAW #12

Hi loves!

Happy hump day! It’s almost Friday! This week just flew by dontcha think?!

I haven’t done this in a while but today is WIAW, and I am taking part in the delicious food-fest over at Jenn’s adorable blog, Pea’s and Crayons! Thanks for hosting Jenn :)!

<center><a href=”http://www.peasandcrayons.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qddsgy21QHs/T3ZiNc9sjwI/AAAAAAAAFwk/AhxNjWpB4Y0/s1600/wiaw+serve+up+an+extra+cup+button.jpg&#8221; /></a></center>

For breakfast I felt like trying something new so I made (never home) maker’s hearty pecan chip micro muffin! But instead of pecans I used dried cranberries and instead of whole wheat flour I made it gluten free and used brown rice flour and gluten free oats (I’m not gluten free but my roommate/bff is and I wanted her to be able to try it out too!).

my very first micro muffin!

It was delicious, but I made the mistake of adding too much stevia to the peanut sauce so it was like sweetness overload and for some reason I just can’t handle overly sweet things in the morning. I think next time I’ll make the muffin with pecans and dried cranberries or add less chocolate chips!

In between classes, I snacked on a pink lady apple but forgot to take a picture. You guys are really missing out..what an interesting picture that would have been 😉 but it was crunchy and delish!

After a cardio chisel and spin class today I was starvinnn! Don’t get in between me and the refrigerator…you’ll get hurt hehe.

wrap time!

I sauteed some mushrooms in coconut oil, added 3 scrambled egg whites and some herbs de provence! I laid that mixture on a bed of spinach on top of a La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious tortilla and chopped up red bell pepper, a low sodium slice of turkey from TJ’s and feta. Loooooved it.

new favorite bars!!!

Snack time. These are literally too good to be true. I am obsessed. I want to try out every flavor! Or find out a way to make my own because there’s no way I can afford having one a day haha! #poorcollegehealthnutproblems

vegetarian lettuce wraps!

My roommate, Elana’s mom signed us up to get a box of all organic veggies from local farms delivered to our doorstep. The goods showed up this week! But unfortunately I was too excited I forgot to snap a picture! A big thank you to Nina for getting this for us!!!! 🙂 The lettuce, onion and red bell pepper in the lettuce wraps were from the box. If you’re interested in participating in this and supporting your local farmers visit the website itsorganicdelivery.com for more info!! A couple strange looking radish/parsnip looking things were in the box as well as a vegetable called Kohlrabi. We’re not sure what to do with that yet!

To make the lettuce wraps we sauteed half a white onion with two cloves of garlic in about one tablespoon sesame oil. Then we added in chopped bell pepper (about a half of one), one grated carrot, celery, and one package & a half of TJ’s baked tofu. Bragg’s liquid aminos was used to give it some more flava! I whipped up some dipping sauce with one heaping tablespoon of raw almond butter, about 2 tablespoons liquid aminos, the juice of half a lime, one tablespoon agave, and a little bit of ground chia seeds to thicken it out.

topped with some peanuts for crunch and a squeeze of lime!

This dinner was sooo easy and delicious. Plus it’s pretty low calorie, gluten free and is filling! Elana and I were proud of ourselves and we even made enough for leftovers :).

I needed a little something sweet to end the day off right so I made some hot chocolate!

would you like some almond milk with that cocoa powder?!

Although, I accidentally dumped too much cocoa powder into my mug so it was more like clumps of cocoa powder floating in almond milk. Yuck. I had to doctor it up a bit, add some water to thin it out and stir it a ton for it to finally be drinkable! I didn’t take a picture of the final product though…ugh! I added a few drops of liquid stevia and cinnamon and it was delicious end to my night of studying!

Hope you guys had a fabulous day! I hope it’s sunny tomorrow here so I can go for a nice run outside!!

missin this face.

I get to see Lily again this weekend! Soo excited.

xoxo,

Kara

happy easter and a special birthday!

Hello beautiful friends!

Hope everyone had a relaxing day whether or not you’re celebrating Easter!

easter basket!

I woke to find this full of my favorite goodies. The Easter bunny knows me well ;). Chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao beans, gum, sulfate-free shampoo & conditioner (smells so good I can’t wait to try!), and a couple new bars I’ve never tried!

Then we went over to my grandparent’s house for brunch. We had a wonderful time admiring my grandma’s antiques and cooking gadgets (I found the reason why I love knick knacks..haha), telling stories, but most importantly, celebrating my lil sis’ sweet 16!!

nom nom i love easter brunch! my grandma made amazing dill and goat cheese eggs, roasted & herbed potatoes, lemony asparagus, and gouda olive bread. we brought fruit salad topped with coconut!

the birthday girl!

see's candies. yum.

sunflower sistas

look at her now...she's practically a model!

Happy 16th birthday Kristin!! Thanks for being the best little sis a girl could ever ask for :). I love you!

xoxo,

Kara

zing bar review!

After a long day of classes I came home to find this box of goodies waiting for me…

the gems

Zing Bars!!!! I have been dyin to try these babies so I was stoked to see a box with my name on it. I had to hold myself back from breaking into it and devouring them all on the spot.

I received a bar of each of their 6 flavors: Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Almond Blueberry, Cranberry Orange, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. Half of their flavors are vegan (made with brown rice protein), and the other half are not (made with whey protein).

And this is what I thought of them!

Chocolate Coconut – vegan, chocolate coated, literally tasted like a Mounds candy bar. My favorite flavor!

Chocolate Peanut Butter – not vegan, chocolate covered, not overly sweet. Def another favorite!

Almond Blueberry – not vegan, very moist (I hate that word haha, does anyone else agree with me?!) and a little sticky, tasted a little like marzipan. Second favorite!!

Cranberry Orange – vegan, the citrus flavor from the orange made it taste very refreshing unlike some of the others, soft and dough-like consistency. Good, but not my favorite!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – vegan, reminded me of cookie dough but healthy, and with peanut butter! Another favorite!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip – not vegan, tasted just like an oatmeal raisin cookie but with chocolate chips in it. Yum!

These absolutely delicious bars are created by nutritionists, are gluten, soy, corn & wheat free, won’t spike blood sugar and are my new favorite bars! They are a little on the pricey side, so unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to eat them on a regular basis, but I encourage you all to try them out! For more information and nutrition facts check out their website here.

taken from the Zing bar website

Let me know if you guys have ever tried these!

Questions of the Day:

Are there any words that you don’t like using or just sound weird to you? For me, it’s “moist.” And the word “chunk” has always kind of weirded me out…I think it was because an elementary school teacher would use it to describe a stack of paper. “Everyone grab a chunk of paper!” Huh?!

If you’ve tried the Zing Bars what is your favorite flavor?

Well, hope everyone’s having a happy Thursday!!

xoxo

Kara

spin workout!

Hi friends! Hope you all had a wonderful and rejuvenating weekend 🙂

Lately, I’ve been on a making-up-my-own-cardio-spin-routines kick. It’s so fun! I either listen to a workout playlist from 8tracks.com (which I am obsessed with) or shuffle through my workout tunes on my iPod. Here is one I came up with for you guys to try out! It’s an hour long, fat-blasting, booty-burning workout that I promise you won’t regret! Let me know if you do it!!

Little Secrets – warm up @ 8 (or an easy/medium pace) with 70 rpm

Hit the Lights – maintain that warm up pace and then alternate an all-out sprint every other 30 seconds

Work Out – turn up the resistance so much that you must pedal out of the saddle; every other minute, lean forward with a flat back to burn that bootay!

Dancing with Avicii – sprint entire thing & catch your breath for a minute at the slow part of the song (2:00-3:00)

Marry the Night – run out of the saddle at 15 for 1:15, sit down and climb at 16 for 1:15, then sprint rest of the song at 10 (1:25)

Send Me on My Way – climb at 15

Something Good Can Work – sprint until 2 minutes have been up, then alternate pushing and pulling with one leg (pedal with only using the force from the right leg, do 20 rotations then switch legs and repeat until the end of the song)

Walking on a Dream – mountain sprints: climb in saddle at 14-16, do four pedal rotations in the saddle, then jump out of saddle and sprint out 4 rotations at the same resistance, alternate during the entire song

Dubsex – rest & drink some water, you’re almost done!!

Eyes on Fire – climb in saddle at 16, increase resistance by one every minute

Titanium – easy sprint entire way at 9

Lose Control – climb in saddle at 14 until the first chorus (~4o seconds), during each chorus do booty jumps out of the saddle: two pedal rotations standing up when she says “shake,” lean forward while holding abs in to work your butt at “wind,” stand up for “and roll” (each word gets 2 pedal rotations), sprint at 2:15 when the guy is rapping & go back to booty jumps or climbing in the saddle

We Found Love – at 10 sprint the chorus

Wild Heart – climb at 16, sprint in saddle at same resistance during chorus

Gotta Be You – warm down and stretch!

That last song is by my latest obsession, British boy-band cuties, One Direction! I think I may be seeing them live in June!!! I’m so excited, it seems to me boy-bands are making a comeback!

 

This lady cracks me up…I don’t think she could’ve described One Direction any better…hahah!

 

peace & love,

Kara

i vanished, but now i’m back!

Hi guys!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve missed you! Sorry I’ve been so sporadic in posting lately…slash haven’t posted in over a month (not okay!!). I’m still getting the hang of this whole blog thing slowly. I really want to be able to post everyday but unfortunately I’ve been super busy and stressed with life/school that it doesn’t always come first. I promise I’m back though!

To catch you up on some of the things/eats/events that went on in my life while I was away here are pictures!

homemade pad thai! cj clearly was enjoying it..

my very first cake balls (that were gluten free too!)

I used this recipe for pink velvet cake balls but bought gluten free cake mix instead!

pink cupcakes for valentines day made by the roomies!

crazed baking sprees

hanging out with my mom & sis for the superbowl

cutest dog EVER, named otis!

pi phi & kappa's annual biker bash (taking pictures in the bathroom...clausssayy)

breakfast sandwiches a la healthy happy life

Try it, you won’t regret it! Recipe found here.

chocolate covered strawberries can make any day better.

at our pi phi pairs themed formal - beavis & foxy lady helping me, "the girl in king kong," get lipstick off my teeth heehe

it's king kong! AHHHHHH!

banana bread french toast from crepeville. yummooo.

lilypad comes to college!

cinnamon + nutmeg + honey makes an amazing (exfoliating too!) face mask!!

friendzzz

such good miso soup for a cold wintery night!

Got the recipe here!

pi beta phi presents the most popular philanthropy event on campus...ARROWJAM! a lip sync/dance competition among the frats and sororities that raises money for literacy! woohoo!

rain rain go away

goofballs

mushroom kale rice bowl. so addicted. i crave this all the time!

Recipe love: make this, I promise you won’t regret it!

overnight oats with pomegranate seeds. bomb.

wheatgrass!

first wheatgrass shot with freshly squeezed oj!

Not gonna lie, it was a little rough. If I burped, it tasted like grass. Sorry, TMI. I got about 4 shots out of it but then it started growing mold….ughh. Next time I’m going to ask a person at the grocery store some tips to keep it alive for longer!

portobello pizza with vegan cheese!

quinoa brekkie with a delicious walnutty banana concoction.

Mmmm this livens up any old boring breakfast!

I also want to thank you all for being such wonderful readers. I always look forward to your comments and appreciate your guys’ support! You inspire me with your healthy recipes, workouts, tips and tricks that I would not have known about if I hadn’t found your blogs! Thank you thank you!!

XOXO,

Kara

cinnamon & spice pancakes

Hey guys!

I’m here with a recipe!

These are seriously my favorite pancakes I’ve made so far. AND they’re vegan!

cinnamon & spice pancakes with coconut banana butter and banana-blueberry "fro-yo"

Cinnamon & Spice Pancakes

adapted from Angela’s Spiced Up and Stacked Pumpkin Butter Pancakes and Katie’s Blueberry Pie Pancakes

serves 1, makes 3 small – medium sized pancakes

Ingredients:

1/3 c flour (ww pastry, spelt, gluten-free, etc.)

2 T rolled oats

2/3 t baking powder

1/8 t salt

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 T sugar or 1 packet stevia

1/3 c non-dairy milk

1 T oil (I used coconut)

3/4 t cinnamon

1/4 t nutmeg

1/8 t ginger

Directions:

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet. Mix well. Cook on an oiled (or sprayed) pan, on low-medium, flipping each pancake once.

sooo pwettyy.

You could drizzle these in maple syrup, chopped fruit and yogurt or you could make a cute little pancake parfait like I did! Alternating each pancake with a generous spread of Katie’s Coconut Banana Butter and then banana-blueberry “fro-yo” (1/2 frozen banana, a handful of frozen blubes, and a splash of almond milk whipped up in a food processor or vitamix). Topped off with a sprinkle of cinnamon, coconut flakes and fresh blueberries. Seriously SO GOOOOOD. Stop drooling and make this now ;). I promise you you won’t regret it!

xoxo,

Kara

WIAW #11

Hiii loves!

Okay so I’ve literally been the worst blogger ever. I’ve missed you guys! How are ya?!

I am proud to announce, I survived the two weeks of being vegan! Sorry for the lack of posts of what I ate, I have one coming up! Since then, I’ve been still eating vegan at home, although I went out to eat a couple days ago and I ordered chicken. I also made catfish for the boyf the other night (it was delish, recipe to come). The hardest thing to live without has definitely been cheese, and vegan cheese really doesn’t compare unfortunately.

After being vegan for 2+ weeks, I didn’t feel much different (I think it’s because I didn’t eat that much meat and dairy to begin with) and I’ve maintained the same weight. As of right now, I’ve decided that I will eat mostly vegan, but occasionally have some cheese, chicken or fish if I want when I eat out or am really craving it.

Today, I ate vegan!

Let’s see what it was….

pre-cooked quinoa (instead of oats! highly recommend!!) with half a banana, vanilla almond milk, cinnamon and topped with banana walnut brulee (recipe to follow).

Banana Walnut Brulee

serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c walnuts

1 T agave (can also use honey or maple syrup)

1/4 t cinnamon

tiny dash vanilla extract

1/2 banana, chopped

dash of cayenne

cooking spray

Directions:

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and set it to medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Add to skillet and let it saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, and add to whatever you like!

On Wednesday’s I have five classes, including a 3 hour biology lab, so I don’t have much time to eat! I practically swallowed a whole smoothie in one gulp as I ran after the bus on the way to my next class…..

green smoothie with spinach, spirulina powder, half a frozen banana, frozen mango topped with homemade granola. sorry for the awful photo, again, i was in a rush!

I came home ravishing (remind me to pack a snack next Wednesday gahhhhhh!) and fixed that with this:

mary's crackers, tj's hummus and bolani pesto while making dinner

some nasty looking black bean soup (my recipe with added carrots and onions) and angela @ ohsheglows dinosaur dill crunch salad (made with curly kale instead of dinosaur kale) - pretty good! i think i needed to let the kale marinate in the dressing a little longer, it was a hard to chew and i'm not used to eating it raw.

And of course……

best. dessert. ever. almond breeze vanilla ice cream with blueberries and homemade chocolate sauce (cocoa powder, agave, and a little splash of almond milk!). sweet tooth satisfied.

Yum!!!!

Okay off to do some Stats homework and read pages and pages in my Biology book! Soooo freakin excited.

LOVEEEEEESYAA

Kara